Seals fired from torpedos tubes

Not quite so much being fired, but SEAL pods being sedately launched…
Torpedo ‘SEAL’ is a semi-submersible that transits within a NATO-standard 533 mm torpedo tube. Torpedo SEAL is fully extended and ready for use once removed from the tube, it is then able to transport two divers and equipment, fully submerged, over a range of 10NM. Torpedo SEAL may also be easily stowed within the multi-purpose tubes being designed into future submarine designs, or beneath the outer casing of the submarine. Find out more about JFD & The SEAL Pod 

I could have hacked being a SEAL, or specifically a Swimmer Canoeist of the SBSBut not for me the life of a ‘sun-dodger,’ spending hours on a sandy bottom; I chose a life on the ocean wave for adventures to foreign shores on behalf of Queen & Country.    Yours Aye.

Ninjas VS SEALs!

Among the great questions of our time, one in particular has sparked great discourse, dissension, and partisan reaction: Who’s quieter? Ninjas or SEALs?

“Ssshhh! Be very quiet…we’re hunting jihadis.”

What could start such a massive national debate? Only the inquiring mind of a seven year old aspiring swashbuckler. Here’s how it went down.

One afternoon while playing with a friend in the yard, the young Greentree was scolded by his mother. “Be quiet like a SEAL,” said Vivian Greentree. His friend immediately replied – as one would expect from a 7-year old. “Ninjas are quieter than SEALS.” And thus, a monumental argument began. WHO is quieter? Ninjas or SEALS? SEALS or Ninjas?

Such a question can only go right to the top. In this case I think we finally got to bottom of this burning issue. Thank goodness we were able to get a handle on it before the government shutdown. Whew!

Semper Fidelis!

Navy Love

Does the Navy have love to give? Business Insider seems to think we do: HP Wins The US Navy’s Love And A Contract (Sort Of) Worth $3.5 Billion

The parents of Navy SEAL Aaron Vaughn are pulling out of the wrongful death lawsuit.

ESPN’s Man the Guns. Join the Navy. (Not what you think it is.)

SEALs in their 18th year of service who agree to stay an additional seven years will receive a $160,000 “in a lump sum payment, called a CSRB.”

The Whidbey Growlers are too loud for Michael Monson and his wife Judy.

A Millionaire Shakedown Cruise

I took the old (new) bike out for its maiden voyage today just after dawn. Not a soul on the road, which was how I liked it. Other than the rear derailleur sounding like a reject from the snare-drummer corps, the thing ran smoothly. (Hmm, add in a front disk brake that rubbed slightly. And a tire-stem that needed a new plastic cap…)

I found myself riding through residential neighborhood after neighborhood standing tall at each intersection with my head on a swivel. It has been more than a decade since I worked as a bike messenger and a sleepy San Dog suburb is no Broadway Ave, but self-preservation dies hard.

I pulled up to the hippie coffee joint in my hood (we’ve three major ones, along with Starbucks and Panera) and grabbed an ice coffee. The coffee guy had a quote on his shirt that said: Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. I would have guessed Che, but it turns out (when I just looked it up) some naval officer named John F. Kennedy had said it. Hmpfff.

At the coffeehouse, as I sipped my iced nectar, I thought of millionaires. There was a banker type in the place with me, so perhaps that stirred my thoughts. And I had just discovered a friend from college makes two million dollars a year. He had incredible common sense, but was pretty quiet. If you’ve ever heard the term, work within yourself, that would describe him. He is now the general counsel for some San Fran internet corp which I’ve never heard of. I’m happy for him, but would not trade places for all the money in the world, which he apparently has. Being a lawyer sounds like onerous (boringly hellish) work. I was surprised his company publicized salaries, but for that matter, so does the military.

I also thought of my college roommate who bragged to me about some big LA deal he had closed in real estate a couple of years ago. He happened to catch me when I was driving home from some briefing I had given down in Norfolk at the Amphib Base (that involved SEALs and Marines.) So I shared that with him and despite him making ten fifteen times more money, I had the far more interesting story. I was not trying to trump him, but I did.

As for my bike ride, I road home, gasping for the last part of the uphill trip. No matter how hard I run, I can’t get my lungs to work hard. (My legs hurt before I even start breathing all that mightily.) But cycling’s ‘nother matter. And I paid the piper today. I may not be a millionaire, but I love life and being a Sailor in the world’s finest Navy could not be better.

A Navy Sailor Gets His Shots!

The Navy loves playing voodoo with little needles. Not to brag or anything, but you be reading the blogpost of a Sailor recently inoculated against both typhoid fever and whooping cough! Yes, you can touch your screen. And you don’t have to worry about getting the dread typhoid. No promises about other sordid diseases, like Kuru.

Ribbon RackSo ten of us sit waiting around to see the HMs, corpse-like-men for you non-Navy folks. For an overseas screening. And an Ensign who looks Methuselah himself wanders into the waiting room. I love Limited Duty Officers. They are prior enlisted folks, with eight to sixteen years in. And this guy had a rack, this kind of rack, that would put a bashful war hero to shame. If I worked with him, I would have enjoyed calling him Ensign. They hate that. Even though they are. Ensigns.

I stand up and try to game the system by picking a number from the little red number thingy. (Like the butchah or deli’s got.) The number would have gotten me a place in the shot line. But there is no tape in there. I pull open the device, but there is no paper inside! Two SEALs are enjoying the process and one shrugs at me with a smirk. Apparently, I am not as tricky as I thought. The SEALs went in hot before me. And already gathered the bad-news intel.

Red number thingyI go over and tell the Third Class, a six-foot female with a heavy Russian accent. That her number machine is on the fritz. And she tells me nicely that the shot tech hides the paper when she goes out to lunch. Wow, what smarties in this operation!

Minutes pass. And I finally see her, the shot tech. And I trot off and get both inoculations. One in each side. Right and left. And as I get the shots, my shot tech counsels a young nurse on how to get a Navy wife (also with a thick accent, but glamour Czech-ish) out of her shots. Just tell her to tell you she is planning on getting pregnant in three months. So the junior nurse ambles off and I hear nervous laughter from the room next to mine. Except the tittering is from a fellow El Tee, an aviator all Top Gunned out in his flight suit. His wife, on the other hand, sounds gleeful. Better get ready for baby Vladimir there, Maverick! Who knew getting shots was so much fun?

innoculation shotMeanwhile, my nurse counsels me to get my wife to rub my shoulders with a hot compress. 

Um, Shipmate (I’ve seen her many times, so we are sort of pals. She is a prior enlisted, Filipina HM. Also, a grandmother and now a civilian. But I do call her Shipmate. It’s fun, try it sometime!) Yeah, I’m not married.

Oh? (And she gets that gleam in her eye.) I know a special girl in the Philippines for you.  

Ha ha! I laugh. Thanks. You are a Shipmate. I’ll be okay. 

I finally leave medical. In good spirits. I’ll havta head back when I need a chuckle. I start my car up and some band named Cayucas, singing High School Lover, comes on XM. Hipster music! But good music. Of course, my veins are cursing (you @&!* *&@#$!) with typhoid and whooping cough. I could be delirious. Cough cough. . .

Navy SEALs Training Hockey Players?

Rodney Dangerfield once said: I went to a fight the other night, and a hockey game broke out. Now replace fight with BUD/S. Yes, a bunch of crazy SEALs trained some hockey players: 

Buffalo Sabres

For the three dozen prospects of the Buffalo Sabres NHL team — from rookie first-round draft picks Mikhail Grigorenko, Zemgus Girgensons and Mark Pysyk to the returning members of the Rochester Americans, the Sabres’ top minor-league team — development camp started out as a day at the beach.

The Sabres enlisted the Navy SEALs to put their players through perhaps the most strenuous fitness workout of their lives.

“I was scared so I Googled Navy SEALs and watched some videos,” left winger Marcus Foligno said, “and then I was more scared. I tried to go to bed at 10 and went to bed at 1. That’s how scared I was.”

I’ll bet you were scared. Good luck in your next season. . .

SEALs Looking for Diversity

Join the SEALs, travel to exotic distant lands. . . bumper sticker

Do you want to travel to exotic lands, meet new and interesting locals, and then kill them? Are you a minority?

Of course, if you want to do the above (with the locals), I imagine that makes you a minority. But the minority the Navy is looking for is those of the racial variety:

Those minority communities of Detroit, Miami and the area from Atlanta to North Carolina’s Research Triangle are the Navy’s latest hopes to find and recruit young men with diversified backgrounds and the physical stamina and desire to undergo the famously rigorous training it takes to become a Navy SEAL.

Random picture of two SEALs, one of whom is a minority

The force today is about 85 percent white, much higher than the Navy overall, so the Coronado, Calif.-based Naval Special Warfare Command wants to broaden the look of the community and draw in men of different ethnicities and races that more reflect U.S. society. Doing so, officials have said, would enable its forces to blend into foreign places where they may operate and help build relationships with allies.

The diversity effort, part of a June 22 request for proposals issued by NSWC, extends to the community of SWCCs, the special warfare combatant-craft crewmen who man gunboats and operate with SEALs.

BUD/S is the hardest training the Navy can throw at a recruit. We had better not water it down just to get Sailors of a certain look. It’ll get people killed. . .

New Coveralls

When I go camping, and it has been some years, I wear a pair of Navy coveralls. When I was doing this training evolution with the SEALs, I also wore them. They were easy to get into and comfortable. Unfortunately, when I was wandering around in the dark, I ran into a metal post sticking out of the ground. And it sliced through my coveralls and then my knee. One of the SEALs saw what happened and he ran his bare finger up and down the bloody wound and told me I would be alright. I shudder now at the thought.

But still, I need new coveralls. Let’s see, here is a pair that has muscles stitched in to them:


Hey, it even has a medal! I wonder if comes in extra-large?

Navy Seal Dies

A Navy Seal answering (sometimes) to the name Gunnar has passed away. Among other feats, he was dive-qualled to 500 feet. Gunnar was thrity-eight years old:

He was a U.S. Navy seal best known for learning to use a screwdriver. And now Cold War veteran Gunnar has passed away on Monday. He was 38-years-old at the time of his death and enjoying some quiet living in Washington DC’s National Zoo.

Gunnar, the U.S. Navy Seal

To be clear, Gunnar was not a U.S. Navy SEAL, the elite military group that took out Osama bin Laden. Rather, Gunnar was an actual seal, used by the Navy during the Cold War to fetch items from the ocean floor at depths of nearly 500 feet.

RIP Gunnar and thanks for your service. You make all seals (and SEALs) proud. Your children Kara and Kjia undoubtably mourn your passing. . .

Act of Valor: SEAL Movie

How does this work, they filmed a movie with real SEALs? I am surprised the Navy allowed the flick to continue. The few guys I have known on the teams seemed far too mission-focused to take a break to film a movie. Not to mention the OPSEC issues involved.

Searching on-line for info. . . Ah, this was initiated by the Spec-War community itself:

In 2008, Navy Special Warfare invited a handful of production companies to submit proposals for a film project, possibly a documentary, that would flesh out the role of the SEALs.

The goals: bolster recruiting efforts, honor fallen team members and offer a corrective to misleading fare such as “Navy Seals,” the 1990 shoot-em-up starring Charlie Sheen as a cocky lone wolf. ”

In the SEAL ethos, the superman myth does not apply. It’s a lifestyle of teamwork, hard work and academic discipline,” said Capt. Duncan Smith, a SEAL who initiated the project and essentially served as producer within the military.

Good advertising so far, like the poster below. And the trailer is here.

Act of Valor, SEAL Movie

Act of Valor takes audiences deep into the secretive world of the most elite, highly trained group of warriors in the modern world. When the rescue of a kidnapped CIA operative leads to the discovery of a deadly terrorist plot against the U.S., a team of SEALs is dispatched on a worldwide manhunt.

As the valiant men of Bandito Platoon race to stop a coordinated attack that could kill and wound thousands of American civilians, they must balance their commitment to country, team and their families back home.

 Mike McCoy , Scott Waugh.  Kurt Johnstad

February 24th? Yeah, I’ll see the thing. I’ve paid $8.50 for far worse. Kung Fu Panda, Kung Fu Panda II, and my pre-purchased Kung Fu Panda III tickets (2014 release date) come to mind. . .

Assault Rifles of the Navy SEALs

Have you heard of eHow, a website that bills itself as your one-stop online resource for life’s challenges?

No matter what’s on your list, eHow can help. With more than 30 categories that cover just about everything, eHow is your one-stop online resource for life’s challenges.

Professionals in every field come together to offer expert advice, backed by the additional support of a can-do eHow community. Together, they’ve created a library of accomplishments online–and it’s available to you anytime, anywhere.

I saw their article on Assault Rifles of the Navy SEALs and they list the M-4 A1 and the M-16 A4. Other, more complete, lists contain the many variants the SEALs use. My problem is not with eHow’s brief article. It is with the picture they post. Of the AK-47:

eHow: Assault Rifles of the Navy SEALs

Without doubt, SEALs have used these in-country. But the article does not discuss the foreign AK.  And the eHow site comes across as uninformed. . .

Stealing Avocados, NCAA Basketball, the USS Carl Vinson, and President Obama

So our beloved Sandy Eggo has made the national news cycle tonight!

On the Yahoo trending now section, a local story is number two. Take a guess what the topic is. The San Diego Chargers? Or maybe the Navy? The Michigan State versus North Carolina NCAA basketball game to be played on the USS Carl Vinson? Nope, try avacado thievery:

Delicious Avocados

An avocado thief received a strange punishment in California.

The jobless man is limited to possessing no more than 10 of the delicious fruit at a time.

In addition, he also has to stay away from groves where they grow.

As for the basketball angle, the Carrier Classic game between North Carolina and Michigan State, surely you have heard of this match-up:

The Navy has given final approval for the Morale Entertainment Foundation to stage the Carrier Classic basketball game between North Carolina and Michigan State on the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson on Veterans Day.

The Mighty USS Carl Vinson

It will be the first NCAA hoops game on an active flat top.

Rear Admiral Dennis Moynihan, the Navy’s chief spokesman, and Mike Whalen, director of the Morale Entertainment Foundation, said the game on 11-11-11 on San Diego Bay will be played without cost to taxpayers and without operational issues that would adversely affect the Navy.

Guess who will be in attendance? Jacky Nicholson? Nope. WIlliam Crystal, Steve Spielberg? Negative, shipmate. Try the Commander-in-Chief, President Obama:

President Barack Obama, the nation’s basketball-fan-in-chief, will have the seat of his choice at the Carrier Classic hoops game on Veterans Day on the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson, the aircraft carrier that buried Osama bin Laden at sea.

Barack Obama, Slam Dunk Champion

The White House announced Thursday that Obama has accepted an invitation to attend the Nov. 11 matchup between North Carolina and Michigan State, the first college basketball game on an active flat top.

The Carl Vinson and its sailors have attracted considerable attention since early May, when the carrier conducted bin Laden’s burial at sea after he was killed by Navy SEALs in a raid ordered by Obama.

The United States Navy, lethal when deployed. Useful for hosting highly-ranked basketball teams when in port. I can just see the headline the next day:

412 shots fired from the deck of the Carl Vinson, no injuries reported. 

A Navy SEAL Hangout

The Navy owns San Diego, but San Diego owns the Navy’s stomach.

Sandy Eggo

Putter around America’s Finest City long enough in uniform and you’ll end up lunching at a Navy hangout. Per wikipediaSan Diego hosts the largest naval fleet in the world. So you can imagine how many legendary joints there are in this town.

Generally, the fleet-staff bubbas roll down the hill into Point Loma with the Spawar and undersea crowd; the black-shoe 32nd Streeters go taco crazy; and the Coronado bunch (Naval Air Station, Amphib’ers, and SEALs) have good selections on-island*.

McP’s SEAL Pub

One such Coronado haunt is McP’s Irish Pub & Grill. It is world famous as a SEAL hashery (so I don’t feel like I am breaking any secrets by divulging the info.)

Despite being stationed in Sandy Eggo for more than a year, I had still not been to McPs. No problemo. We took care of that issue this last Friday. Promising to meet a friend from the Gator (Amphib) base, my Senior Chief, another O, and I took off in search of some mean chow.

San Diego is oddly micro-climatey. Case in point, streaming down the I-5 at about 10 miles per hour faster than we shoulda (yikes Senior), the Midway and the airport was off our right shoulder. And it was sunny. As soon as the Coronado Bridge loomed, the fog enveloped us, licked us shut, slammed a stamp on our car, and airmailed us off to misty-land. It was like we were in Ireland, minus the brogue and the little Brosephs with pots of gold everywhere. Ahh, yer blarney.

Coronado Bridge: The Bridge to somewhere with good food.

We poked over the bridge carefully, so foggy was it. Rumor is that the despondent, the lovelorn jump from the Coronado Bridge to off themselves. (Or I am mixing up my bridges? My intention with this post is to build bridges, not to mistake them.) Ask any Sailor on Coronado how bad the traffic is cummuting across the two-lanes during oh-anytime-rush-hourish. It’s bad, trust me.

But not Friday at high noon. We shimmied right across and dropped into Coronado pretty as pelicans spotting some sour sourdough. Traffic’s funny on the island. Not funny, as in ha-ha funny, but funny as in hellish funny. 25 MPH, check. Cops lurking, wating. Check too.

We hung a left on a lettered street (Perhaps B Street? Shakespearean segue: B Street or Not B Street?) and slid up near McPs. By this time, Senior was grumpy. ‘Tis the nature of E-8s to be ruffled. It is a privilege of the rank. The issue? No parking. C-town was notorious for parking issues. Bee-you-tee-ful place, truly. But parking? Faa-get-about-it.

Twice around the blocky, and twice no dicey. Until out of nowhere a space beckoned right in front of the Pub. We swooped in, only to discover that the O we were meeting from the Amphib base had been saving it for us.

My heart leapt in my khakis. Sailors are like German Shepherds to each other. Trustworthy, clean, reverent, kind, campassionate, humorous. Wait, we sound like Boy Scouts! You get the idea.

Mission Accomplished: McP’s proud owner

We popped out and ducked into the Pub. It was a little dark and we wound past the bar on our left and out to the outside garden. (The outside, I have discovered, is usually the paradise waiting just beyond the door from the inside.)

Indeed, we were rewarded with a table and quick drink. Please read the traits I have listed above should you question our frosty beverage choices. Strictly cokes and ice-teas all around. Lushes we are not. Not on the taxpayers’ dime (errrr, quarter) when we had to go back to work. No special boat drinks for us.

The waitress was smiley and tank-topped. Order in and my friend from the amphib base tried to extract hair stories out of me. No way. Yes, I went to Berkeley, but my hair was not much longer than it is now. I won, she lost. . .No Berkeley hippie stories to tell.

Note to all inquiring souls: hippie is the correct spelling. Not hippy. A hippy is a female with thighs like an outside linebacker. Or inside. But not like a cornerback. I better stop, all this talk of football is reminding me that Cal lost again again again to USC this last Thursday. And it wern’t pretty. Sob, sniff sniff.

Lunch, it harketh. A feast titled the Saint Paddy’s Day Burger. Yup, I lunched at an Irish bar and ordered me a March 17th special. No one pinched me until it came time for the bill and then one of the Lieutenant Commanders touched me for a twenty. Rank and all, I duly rogered up a Jackson. The only interest on the twenty, I told him, was that I was interested in getting it back some day.

McP’s St Paddy’s Cheeseburger, get some!

Okay, by now, you are probably on the edge of your seat. Won’t this yappy Sailor tell us all about his burger! Enough with teh Navily schtuff. Disclose the gastronomical details, pwease. Was it worth the trip across the suicidal bridge, a growly Senior, and a parking sitch from purgatory? Yup, it was all that.

I ordered the burg medium rare. I like ’em even rarer, but I have yet to find a place to serve it alive, what with the a coli, b coli, c coli, d coli, and e coli issues we got in Cali. That coli family, a regular bunch of Mansons.

And yes indeedy, the meaty masterpiece was medium rare. Red, slightly bloody. Damn. I want one right now. It is hard to type over a slobbery keyboard. Call me Sylvester.

The fries were great. Fresh. Perfect. I was in love. Not like it was hard with me, rye cheeseburgers, and grilled onions. The cheese, Schwiss. Sheeeshburger, it was. Don’t call me Sylvester, rather call me Romeo and I had me a lovestory. And then the tragedy when Juliet disappeared, only to wail from my stomach: O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo? My cheeseburger called and I did not answer. Nothing left to tell really, other than the history of McPs.

From the LA Slimes:

While there are other watering holes favored by SEALs — including Danny’s Palm Bar and Grill in Coronado and Ye Olde Plank Inn in Imperial Beach — McP’s Irish Pub & Grill remains the most popular.

It’s here that SEALs come when they return from an overseas mission. This is the place where newly initiated SEALs celebrate after completing the grueling 26-week basic training at the Naval Special Warfare Center here.

TMZ even got in on the act (ignore the soldiers line below) lauding the Frogs after a successful midnight visit in Pok-ee-stan:

We’re told the soldiers went through 8 kegs, 15 cases of beer and TONS of cocktails in just four hours … while leading the bar in several “USA!” chants.
McPartlin tells us, “It’s great — Osama was expecting his 72 virgins, instead he got 24 Virginians!” (The Navy SEAL team that executed the mission is based in Virginia.)

Combat Corpsman, no hamburger recipes

As for the McPartlin mentioned above, he is the great American who owns the joint. A decorated SEAL himself, he is an author too. From the Amazon jungle website:

All his life, Greg McPartlin wanted to be a Marine corpsman, a medic skilled at saving lives. Three months of “bagging-and-tagging” bodies during Vietnam’s Tet Offensive took the luster off being a Marine-but not off McPartlin’s desire to serve his country.
After assisting in the sea-recovery of Apollo 11-the first ship to bring men to the moon-the twenty-year-old McPartlin was redeployed to Vietnam as an elite Navy SEAL. Barred as a medic by the Geneva Convention from the make-or-break training considered vital to service as a Navy SEAL, McPartlin had to show he had what it took.

Prince Harry, that princely O-3 (aren’t they all?), even snuck off to McP’s while doing some whirly bird training out at El Centro (Spanish for the center):

Captain Prince Harry

Harry, a.k.a. Capt. Harry Wales, visited several San Diego nightspots, including McP’s Irish Bar and Grill in Coronado, owned by a former Navy SEAL and favored by off-duty SEALs from the nearby base, according to KGTV (Channel 10).

He also visited the rooftop restaurant/bar of the Andaz hotel in San Diego’s Gaslamp District.

A tweet from the Andaz staff said that “Harry and his friends relaxed with some drinks while watching rugby.”

McP’s is a block from the Hotel del Coronado where local legend holds that Edward, Prince of Wales, met Wallis Simpson, who was then married to a Navy officer, during an official visit in 1920. Their romance caused Edward to renounce the crown in 1936 for “the woman I love.”

Colonel Jerry Sanders, USMC. El Mayor, San Diego

The mayor of San Diego is Jerry Sanders. Due to the amazing amount of good grub in our fine village, I intend to start the rumor that Jerry was a Colonel in the Marine Corps and he has a predilection for friend chicken and very stringy ties. (Or is this not as funny as I imagine it to be? Note: Colonel Sanders is neither in the Corps, nor a fried chicken maven. He was, however, Police Chief and not the Village People version. The real deal.)

I started this post with the line: the Navy owns San Diego, but San Diego owns the Navy’s stomach. Perhaps I should re-write it to: San Diego owns both the Navy and the Navy’s stomach. Nothin’s easier to snare than a hongry Sailor.

Tell me, have you got a favorite cheeseburger?

* Upon fourteenth reading and recollection, Navy Sailors go anywhere for sweet chow. We some roamy types. Not restricted to locale or scared by cultural specaility. Ever heard of Pho, that Vietnamese miracle? Yeah, I’ve slurped me some serious bowls of ‘dat. Ox tale, tendons, volkswagons, all of it. . .