Sunday, October 4, 2015

A Beginning and an End

Since I'm now out of the Navy, I will no longer post  here. Overall, I believe the Navy was a positive experience for me. I learned a lot about what I'm capable of. If I went back I would've joined right out of high schoo, instead of floundering g around for several years beforehand. I enlisted because I was thrust back to the starting line of adulthood and I had no idea where to go from there. While in the Navy I learned more about myself and what  want from life.

Thank you for reading.

Sunday, April 26, 2015


"I was just joking."

This is the defense I hear most of the time whenever I call out someone for saying something sexist or racist. For some reason, that person thinks what they said is ok because they were "joking". I don't understand why they think this is ok.

Are rape jokes ok? No. Then why is it ok to joke about racism or sexism? (By the way, some of my co-workers think rape jokes are ok.)

Some of my co-workers describe their boss (who is male) using female pronouns. They think it's hilarious. But why? I feel like they're trying to insult him by pretending he's a woman. What the hell? Why is this funny?

What's a good reply to "I was just joking." Maybe I should say "Fuck you. Just kidding." Maybe that would get the point across. Probably not.

When I call someone out on saying something racist or sexist, they mockingly say they won't say anything like that around me again, completely missing the point. The point is that it's inappropriate to say those things at work at all. I don't care what you do at home or with your friends, but a whole bunch of diverse people have to work here and they shouldn't have to keep telling you to shut up. (They don't, but that's another point.)

They think I'm a prude and I don't like physical contact or dirty jokes. I do, just not at work. Why don't they understand this?

I hope one day to work in a place where I don't have to wince when somebody walks behind me.

I know they hate me because I call them out on their behavior. I didn't used to do it. I used to be a weaker person who didn't stand up for anyone else, let alone myself. I let people walk all over me and I never said anything. More than anything, I don't want to be that person again. Calling people out like I do also stops predators.

What predators do is start with a little comment to see how you'll react. If you don't say anything, they'll push the boundary a little further. Then a little further, every action or comment getting more severe until you finally say something. It's at that point when they'll pretend they were joking. Or they'll get angry and the situation will escalate.

Somebody out there please help me understand.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

I worry.

I worry about the junior enlisted people here.
I worry about the people who don't speak up.
I worry about what they don't say.
I worry about what gets hushed up.
I worry that they blame themselves.
I worry that they suffer in silence.
I worry that they think they are alone.
I worry that they have no one to talk to.
I worry that I am one of them.

Somehow, Some way, it's always something I did wrong.

Today someone said something offensive about women. I tried to report it, but my Chief was too busy. "Not now" he said. I went to a first-class and she asked me if he was joking. I said "Does it matter?" I don't think it does. It shouldn't matter. Then she asked me if I told him that I thought what he said was offensive. That maybe he didn't know me well enough to know what he can and can't say in my presence.

The military wonders why there is such an issue with sexual harassment/assault in the military. The reason is reactions like this.It doesn't matter if he's joking or not. It doesn't matter if the people listening are okay with it. It's still a workplace.

I shouldn't have to go around announcing to everyone that I don't abide misogynistic comments.

I shouldn't have to go around telling everyone not to comment on how good I look since I've lost some weight.

I shouldn't have to tell people not to sneak up behind me and tickle me.

I shouldn't have to tell people not to show me pictures of naked people.

I shouldn't have to tell people not to massage my shoulders.

But I do.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

What time is it?

It's rant time.

It seems like every day at work there's some new horror. I don't understand these people. What can they be thinking? That we're all friends and we come here to hang out all day? Granted, sometimes we do talk about stuff that's not related to work, but that in no way gives license to the experiences I've had. Sometimes I feel like I'm being too sensitive. Then I screw my brain back in and I realize I have a right to a workplace that's not filled with sex/rape/penis jokes and references. I've tried talking to some people at work about this and one guy in particular thinks that the first ammendment gives him the right to "...say whatever I want..." Huh? In what universe? As Zachariah Chaffee, an advocate of free speech, said "Your right to swing your arms ends just where the other man's nose begins." While you do have the right to free speech, I have the right to work in an environment that's not plagued with sex/rape/penis jokes and references. Just because they make you feel comfortable doesn't mean they have the same affect on everyone.

It's not just one thing that happened. It's a million little-/medium-sized things that happen all day, every day. However, I do have a big one to share:

A supervisor came up to me one day, holding out her phone. "Look at this," she said, laughing. On her phone was a picture of a guy with his penis hanging out. There was a second when I was confused. Why was she showing me this? Then it dawned on me that the penis was the entire reason for this episode. Really? Not only were we at work, she's my supervisor? Doesn't she get more training about this than I do? For goodness sake. Anyway, I just frowned at her, said "No." and walked away shaking my head. Really. What do you say to that?

There was another one where someone said I wanted a "big black cock". I'm actually proud of myself for my response to that one. I immediately let her know that kind of talk wasn't acceptable.

But why does it fall to me to say these things? Do we, as service members, not get enough training on sexual harassment? (I don't even know if that's what it's called.)

 It could be that we don't have enough training about this. Or maybe the training isn't engaging enough. The problem might be that the training we do have isn't taken seriously. But why not? I guess some people, both up and down the chain of command, don't see this behavior as an issue.

That's what really scares me.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Let's Catch Up

Hey, it's been a long time. How've you been? That's great. Me? I'm okay.

So let's see. I completed LS A school easily enough. Thank goodness I got into a class that was self-paced. That way I was able to finish 3 weeks ahead of schedule. LS A school is at Naval Air Station (NAS) Meridian, MS. It exists mostly to train new Navy pilots. However, the base is very good at minimizing jet noise at the behest of the locals. There are also several different A schools there, so the military population consists of students, both officer and enlisted, and the people on the flightline who manage the jets.

The A school material was easy to understand. The instructors are knowledgeable and helpful. Most of them are retired Navy and some of them are still enlisted. I got a retired Chief. While most students are there right out of boot camp, some have cross-rated from the fleet. Those are given positions of authority over the people from boot camp. Even with that, the people from the fleet may be shocked that many of the freedoms they got used to in the fleet are taken away. For example, even the people from the fleet are subject to the "phase" system. Everyone, when they first arrive aren't allowed to leave the base for the first few weeks, until orientation is over, among other things like not being allowed to drink.

I can't remember how often they did mock PRTs. I think it was every week or every other week. If you fail one, you loose your phase and many of the freedoms you have earned. This goes for fleet people and boot camp people alike.

Meridian, MS
While the base is nice, the same unfortunately can't be said of the surrounding area. I always was back at the base before sunset, as I didn't feel safe out at night. Sometimes I didn't even feel safe out during the day. The town is small and rundown. There's one mall and one theater. When you are out in town, especially in uniform, (as is required for certain phases) you need to keep in mind that many people in town are retired Navy. Don't embarrass yourself. Act like an adult.

So after LS A school, I got my first duty station: NAS Oceana.
It's in Virginia Beach, VA. It's very much like NAS Meridian, just larger. There are still pilots and A school students. There are more junior enlisted people around. The surrounding area is MUCH better than Meridian. Virginia Beach is a tourist town, so there are many things to do. There are beaches, malls, theaters, clubs (if you're into that sort of thing). Whatever you'd want in a town. Colleges too. I encourage anybody stationed here to get started on his/her college. Just ask around and people will point you in the right direction.

So you're pretty much caught up now. I'm taking college classes and I'll be out of the Navy in about a year.

I promise I'll try to post more.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Since my LS A school is only a month, I don't have long before I'll be filling out my dream sheet and heading off to my first duty station. I haven't figured out what I'm going to write. I have so many questions. Where can I go? Do I want overseas? Washington State or San Diego? Do I want a ship or a squadron? Is there something I can choose from other than those? What about Guam, Japan, Hawaii, London, Italy, Greece...? I could go on and on, but there's a character limit for this blog. :P

Anyway, I've been searching for answers to my questions concerning LS's and dream sheets and I've yet to find any. Whenever I ask anyone where I can go, they say "Anywhere." I know that's technically an answer, but it's a bit vague. I'd really like a list. Even though I didn't ever get to fill out a dream sheet as a nuke, it would've been a lot easier since there are only about 10 aircraft carriers. But you can order supplies and handle mail - really - anywhere.

I'm getting used to not having very much information before I make a decision. Before I joined the Navy, I was compelled to learn everything and plot out each possible outcome before I bought a jar of peanut butter. Now I'm telling the Navy where I'd like to live the next 3 years.

Sometimes I can't believe I'm actually in the Navy. The last couple of years have been tough, but they don't feel like my life. I look down at my uniform to try to remind myself that it's real and it's me. Is it odd that after over a year in the military it doesn't feel real yet? Maybe after I'm on a ship it'll (what's it supposed to do?) sink in...

Things here at NTTC (Naval Technical Training Command) in Meridian are much different than NNPTC in Goose Creek. I'm discovering what it's like to change commands and feel everything you've grown accustomed to being taken away and replaced with something foreign again. It almost feels like going back to boot camp. However, that could be because they pretty much treat me like someone who just got out of boot camp. I wish I had earned my crows at the end of nuke A school. At least then people could look at me in my unniform and tell I'm not straight out of boot camp. I didn't cut my hair because I thought people would be able to tell from that. I was wrong.

I suppose you're asking your computer monitor why it would matter to me that they thought I was from boot camp. Well, the sailors straight from boot camp are akin to puppies. They're still on what I called the "Boot Camp Grad High". They feel like they've reentered the world. They're eyes are big and everything makes them sparkle. They come here with just their seabags.They spend their boot camp money at the NEX and look forward to buying and wearing civilian clothes. They have so much energy. They run around and laugh loudly and do things. heh. I suppose I'm a bit jealous. Even though I haven't been on a ship like the Petty Officers in my class, I feel seasoned and jaded.

These damn Mississippi pine trees are wreaking extreme havoc on my allergies. I'm going to bed. I have much more to say about Meridian and the base here; maybe I'll write again tomorrow. To keep you until my next post, think about this: There are Marines here. And they do lots of pull ups.