A Navy Chief, a Watchbill, and a Marine Corps Master Sergeant

I have a particular job that requires a watchbill. It is pretty standard in the military, making a watchbill and rotating folks in every four days, every eight days, every month, or every six weeks. It depends on the watch.

Ours is simple. The watchbill coordinator is in charge of making sure everyone on the bill is qualified and no one who has left the command is put up for watch. When I started this particular job, a Chief became my new watchbill coordinator. No problem, right? He’d stood watch for years of his life, no doubt.

Bottom line up front, he was a disaster. Every time he told me the watchbill was good to go, there were people who were long gone from the command on it. He put un-qualled people up for watch. Mistakes that I pointed out to him went uncorrected.

One day, I had it. I complained to the Senior Chief who used to sit near me.

Well, have you told him? He thinks he is doing fine, she said.

Yes, every time it is jacked up, which is always, I tell him. Last month, I scrapped what he did and made up a fresh watchbill myself. 

I’ll talk to him.

A month goes by and he emailed me to tell me the new watchbill was ready. Looking forward to a mistake-free bill, my hopes were crushed within ten seconds. Officers and Chiefs no longer at the command were on it. And I go over to his desk in person and point out the mistakes. 

I complained again to the Senior Chief. All jacked up, like usual.

He is having problems. He got back from his IA in Afghanistan and may have some issues.

I am not hard to please. It is an easy job. I’ve written hundreds of them. Just get it right. 

He may not be the guy.

Just my luck, a Marine Corps Master Sergeant checks into the command. Me and the Lieutenant Commander, who I work for, strike a deal with him. You don’t even have to qual for this watch. Can you do a watchbill?

He looks at us like two kids. Watchbill? Of course.

One year later and not one mistake. Great guy. Quiet perfection. Just today, I am at his desk talking about the watch, the folks ready to qual, and the great gun sales at Turner’s Outdoorsman. Above his cubicle is a box of vitamins. And the label says something like: Supplements for Military Personnel.

Well, that is kind of goofy, Master Sergeant. Do we really need specialized vitamins? 

Um sir, see the model on there? The one in the wheelchair?


That is the Captain’s wife. He nods to the desk next to us. She is combat disabled. 

Good thing the Captain is not here.

Good thing. 

And the final story goes to the Chief who jacked-up the watchbill to begin with. Just yesterday, the Senior Chief invited six of us to have lunch in the Chief’s Mess. I’ve been in there a couple of times and have always enjoyed it. We get in the Goat Locker and the Chief who I wanted to strangle is in there all alone, just staring at TMZ on the teevee.

I’m glad the Master Sergeant came to the command. I would’ve strangled Chief by now.

Vince Buckles Leaves Sons of Guns?

It is Tuesday and I am watching Sons of Guns. For the last three days, I have gotten handfuls of queries to this blog asking about Vince Buckles leaving the show.

Sons of Guns: Vince Buckles, Will Hayden, Steph Hayden, Kris Ford

So I google “Vince Buckles leaving Sons of Guns.” And I see on the Miki-mouse-a-pedia page that Vince has indeed left the show:

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms settlement

Stephanie Hayden

During a routine inspection in 2009, Red Jacket could not account for ten registered guns. In a settlement, William Hayden and Stephanie Hayden surrendered their gun-making licenses and were allowed to choose a licensed individual to control Red Jacket.

Initially, that person was Vincent Buckles, but Buckles has left the company and now two others individuals control the company.

Wow, is that possible? I follow the footnote at the bottom of the page to (who else other than the gun experts themselves) TMZ:

Vince Buckles Leaves Sons of Guns

TMZ has learned Vincent Buckles has since left the company — and two other licensed people are currently in charge of the business.

Essentially nothing.

I have learned no new facts, other than that Will and Steph are no longer the gun-making license holders.

Is Kris Ford holding the license? Remember, he was supposed to be kicked out of the shop if he dated Steph. Well, he and the Steph-meister are hooking up and he still works there. (Yikes, this is rapidly turning into a junior high-schoolish blogpost.)

TMZ has a slide-show, right below the above post, of “strapped stars.” Does that mean movie stars who are strapped for cash? Is Nick Cage going to pop his eagley hairdo up in there? Nope, apparently it refers to movie stars with guns. One of them seems like quite a stretch:

Kristen Stewart with a gun, Twilight

Is that even a gun? I can’t tell. Okay, maybe a revolver. Stick to gossip there TMZ and I’ll stick to, um, er, whatever it is I do ’round here!

Update: Welcome curious readers. I am an active-duty naval officer. When enlisted, I was a linguist and this is the story of me serving as a test subject for the SEALs. Look around, make yourself at home!

Update II: Vince has a new business called Mesa Kinetic Research.