No More Navy Uniform Changes

You know, I was planning on buying some additional uniforms before I deploy. As a way to flesh out my naval wardrobe. But now I am not so sure. The notion that we’ve got all this camouflage doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me,” Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said at the Defense Writers Group breakfast meeting in Washington. “I think it’s worthwhile to see if we can shrink the numbers here. Uh oh. Can we please just stop? No more uniform reshuffles. I’ve worn at least a dozen different uniforms over the same number of years.

My enlisted uniforms:
-Summer cotton whites
-CNT whites
-White Crackerjacks
-Blue Crackerjacks
-Johnny Cashes
-Utilities
-Coveralls
-Old PT uniform

My officer uniforms:
-DCU cammies
-Wash khakis
-Poly blend khakis
-Service Dress Blues
-Aquaflage
-Desert flight suit
-Summer officer whites
-Choker whites
-Officer coveralls
-New PT uniform

I give up. I truly give up. Can we stop the madness? I understand that we in the Navy are led by civilians. But can we stop? Just don’t make any changes for five years. Nearly all those uniforms above, I bought. Yes, I got some in Boot Camp. But they were low quality and I changed them out in two years. Yes, I received a uniform allowance when I was enlisted. But I don’t now. Other than the DCUs and one flight suit, I bought all my other officer uniforms. Please stop. I’ve put out nearly a K for just the aquaflage. $1000. No allowance. I gladly pay it and wear it with pride. Just stop. Please. . .

USS Portland = Portland, Maine or Portland, Oregon?

Naming surface ships and submarines has a political element to it. I won’t bring up previous ship-naming snafus, but sometimes the names are non-controversial, like the Nautilus, and sometimes there are issues: 

Maine’s two US senators are asking that the USS Portland, an amphibious transport dock ship named after the city of Portland, Ore., also be named in honor of Portland, Maine. Senator Susan Collins, a Republican, and Senator Angus King, who is independent, sent a letter Thursday to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus saying they were surprised that the ship’s naming announcement did not state that the ship was also named in honor of the city of Portland, Maine. The letter asks that the ship also be named in honor of Maine’s largest city, ‘‘consistent with the long history and tradition of US Navy ships bestowed with the name USS Portland.’’

I think the boat can share both cities, right?

Lance Corporal Donald Hogan, Marine Hero

I am sitting in my home away from home, Panera Bread. The traffic outside is all jerky bumpers and tire shrieks. A bummy dude with an expensive laptop sprawls a seat five feet from me. I finish reading this moving post on the Marine Corps and continue my duck hunt through the web for interesting stories to share. Posts, articles, pictures that capture me, waiting for me to do the same to them.

Then this story waves at me and I know I have to salute a great hero:

A Marine who died from a roadside bomb in Afghanistan was awarded the highest honor given to members of the Corps for his heroic actions as he hurled his body into a fellow serviceman and warned the rest of the his squad of the blast.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said Tuesday that 20-year-old Lance Cpl. Donald Hogan is “now part of Marine lore along with the great heroes of the Corps” as he presented the fallen hero’s parents with the Navy Cross. He said his actions placed him among the “bravest and finest” in the Marines.

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus presents the Navy Cross posthumously to the parents of Lance Cpl. Donald J. Hogan

Thank you Lance Corporal. I can’t say much else. Other than, this chokes me up:

Hogan spotted a kite string on the road go taut in Taliban territory, a sign that a roadside bomb was about to go off. He flew into action, hurling his body into a fellow Marine and then running to the road to yell a warning to the rest of his squad before the blast killed him.

Hogan had wanted to join the Marine Corps since he was a young boy.

His father, Jim Hogan, said he was always proud of his son for following in the footsteps of his father, a Marine veteran of three wars from World War II to Vietnam. Speaking at the morning ceremony, Hogan thanked the Marine Corps for helping his son fulfill his lifelong dream.

“We will always be grateful,” Jim Hogan said.

Grace in action, both the son and the parents.

Lance Cpl. Donald Hogan

And then two thoughts filter in simultaneously. 1) I want to tell this shifty bum next to me to sit up and read of Lance Corporal Donald Hogan’s heroics. It cannot be but inspiring. And 2) I silently promise that if I am ever given the opportunity to assist a family, a wife, parents, kids, any relative of any of our fallen heroes, that I would do anything within my power. Gladly. Cut their lawn, tutor them in geometry, walk their dog. Yes, this and more. May God show me the way if it is to be. That is all.