Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Fire in the Hole!

This week has turned out to be very interesting as far as things to do here at ODS. For the most part, our chiefs have stopped yelling at us all the time, and we are under the leadership of our division officer. Although we do manage to mess up the easiest things. We had some "pain and discipline" for one of our guys not shaving. And some more pain and discipline for yours truly not stowing his officer's crest outboard on my belt loop when my garrison cap is not being worn. Oops!

Sunday was a good day. Our chief was on quarterdeck watch so he was around a lot and taught us some things in the classroom that day. The nice thing was that each of the staff corps officers were able to share their stories about what drew them into the Navy. It was very touching. It was also nice to hear that our chief thoroughly enjoyed his graduation. We also got to hear about his career in the Navy as well.

Monday, I don't really remember what we did. So it must not have stood out! Oh that's right. I think we did Dental that day. It involved sitting and waiting. I found out I have a cavity. But since I'm not going to a duty station (as of yet), I will probably have to pay to have it filled on my own (Thank you Apple for Health insurance) After dental, I believe we had some drill and some lectures and not much else. I actually was able to sleep quite a bit!

Tuesday was a fun day, though not so much in the morning. Since it was raining, we did PT indoors. This involved two minutes of pushups, curlups and lots of laps around the P-way's of King Hall. After PT was breakfast, followed by me driving the students from base to the medical center for their audiograms. Since I had mine done in Meridian, MS last year, I think it was already in the system so I didn't need to go! THANK YOU LORD! After four hours of sitting in the van, getting to know my new roomate, we returned for lunch and then headed off to the USS Buttercup!

I know, the name doesn't inspire fear, shock and terror in the hearts of the enemy. But it is the Navy's only underwater boat trainer. This boat allows sailors to train for the unthinkable. Shoring up and stopping leaks if the structure of the ship were compromised. After a few hours of lecture, we headed for the boat. The water was a nice 80 degrees and after our 75-80 minutes and two different drills we did manage to save the ship from sinking!

Today was a nice day. After a 1.5 mile of 30-90's (Running for 90 seconds sprinting for 30) we came back for breakfast and then headed off for firefighter training. As you know this was something that piqued my interest. After many lectures about SCBA, Fire extinguishers and everything else we got to don our turnout gear and go fight fire. Unfortuntely, my back was hurting very bad today. I had to get my SCBA off as soon as I could. (For those of you in LVFD, they had some cool masks but their tanks were about 15 pounds heavier than ours--Tell Chief, I'm still training even up here!)

Tonight I went to Chaplain Drakes services on base. They were wonderful. Just what I needed. The worship service was great, the Bible study was expositional. Another shipmate (aka Sea Warrior) of mine went to Clearwater Christian and him and I both liked it. So if two "enemies" can come together anything can happen right?

Tomorrow is supposed to be lectures all day! We'll see what happens! Off to study my Navy Knowlege. Everyone wish my son a Happy Birthday! He turns five tomorrow! What a big boy!!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

There's an Acronymn for That

ODS Week 1

Well the first week is behind me as far as ODS goes. Honestly, all the blogs I have read seemed to make it out far worse than it really has been. Let me give you a run down of the week as best as I can. Since all the days have seemed to run together, I'll just be as accurate as I can.

Saturday (May 12)
After saying goodbye to my wife and kids, I boarded the plane for Atlanta, GA. There wasn't a whole lot to that trip. Pensacola to Atlanta is like riding down the street in a nice sports car. Nice, smooth and fast. The plane landed and I boarded the trip to Detroit. There was the first snafu in the process. The plane that was going to take me from Atlanta to Detroit had a malfunction and arrived late. This seemed to be no huge problem, because I would have enough time to get to my connection that would take me to Rhode Island. Unfortunately, they kept pushing back the time. I arrived in DTW, and ran from Concorse A to Concorse B. This was no small run, and I had 11 mins to make it. Unfortunately I arrived 1 minute to late. I had to board the next flight to Rhode Island which was 3 hours later. I used that time wisely, studying my handy-dandy Navy Knowlege and listening to the Fire Alarm at DTW go off for 15 minutes, as people ran around in some sort of panic. Hey, I'm a firefighter. If there's no smoke, there's no fire. Usually.

Well the rest of the trip was pretty uneventful. I met some prospective ODS students at the airport and we caught a Taxi to NAS Newport. This took an $85 cab fare down to $20 a piece! Praise the Lord,

Sunday (May 13)

The morning was my own. I went to the liturgical service on base. It wasn't too bad, but really seemed short. (About 30 mins total). I had lunch with one of my Liberty classmates and met some people that were in my company. At 1730, the first briefing with our class Lieutenant took place. Lt. Fromnecht. He is a really nice guy and really wants us to learn how to be Naval officers. He's very patriotic and has had some very inspiring words for each of us to remember. The first briefing consisted of Navy paperwork. As they say in the Navy if it isn't written down, it didn't happen. (Hence the reason for this blog).

One of the things I had dreaded most was the weigh in. I had worked for several months to get to the right weight. I had checked myself on the scale and saw I was 2 pounds heavier. Since the height measurer measured me an inch shorter than normal (This meant I had to be five pounds lighter than I initially thought) This was tough. I was stressing big time! But by the time I got on the scale I was within standards! Praise the Lord!!

Monday (May 14)
More paperwork. We also learned some marching basics from our Class LT. Nothing hard so far. We had lunch, learned some lunchroom procedures and at the end of the day the Lieutenant told us to be ready at 4:30am. I was pretty ready for 3:45 since that is what I had read.

Tuesday (May 15)
0430 on the nose. Our class chief Chief Hebert woke us up screaming to get up. He ran down the hall banging on the doors saying, "On the Line!" We had no idea what to do. But we did as he said. We did something that day. But I really don't remember. Oh yeah. We got our PT gear. Or was that Monday? I don't remember.

We learned a bunch of Navy terms. Here are some I had never heard of before (P-way=Passageway, or Hallway; Scullery=Spider looking Dish Return; On your face=Do Pushups). Anyway, our class chief is really quite good at his job. He is tough and stern, but he is not afraid to show that he is a human being. Congratulations to him too, because he just graduated from college. Maybe he'll become an officer now and go to ODS. :)

This was also the uniform shop day. This involved 5-6 hours of standing in line being fitted for everything the Navy would require you to wear. Fun fun fun!

Wednesday (May 16)
Lots of lectures on basic things. Navy knowledge. Also this day was the Navy's third class swim test. It was really a lot of fun. I passed (Thankfully). There was a 10 meter jump, a front facing five minute float a swim and inflating the khakis. It was a fun!

We really began to do a lot of drilling these days. We learned a bunch of marching movements. A lot of neat things.

Thursday (May 17)
This was the first PRT test. I'm still not sure how I did. But no one said I failed. At least not yet. We also had to begin prepping our Khaki uniforms for inspection. This was much more difficult than I had imagined. There is something every Naval officer needs to do. That is take pride in his uniform. There are a bunch of new terms to learn here too. Gig line, brass on brass, IP's=Irish Penance=String as well as other terms. We also had an inspection rehersal too.

Friday (May 18)
Uniform inspection day. All the time I spent looking at my Navy knowledge would come in handy in this one inspection. Lectures most of the morning. The rest of the time was spent prepping uniforms. Our company was late. This is not good. Our chief said he'd make us pay....

I did pass the uniform inspection. Because we were late, I did not get to adjust my uniform so my gig line was off, my belt was off and my laces were not tucked in correctly. Ughhh! Oh well, I passed! We thought we could wear our uniforms. Unfortunately, not. We hadn't earned them yet.

Saturday (May 19)
Today started at 4:30 like normal to the sound of an air raid siren. We were led from deck to deck doing PT (Pushups, Squats, Situps, led outside to the SUYA (Don't ask); the Cookie Jar and the Rose Garden (aka Sand Pit). This wasn't too terrible, but my abs hurt. After this awakening. We were told we had earned the right to wear our Khaki's! Woo Hoo! Our company looked pretty good marching in them. However, one thing, the SHOES HURT!!!

See ya'll next week! For update number 2!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Playing Taps or Reveille

I'm not sure where to begin. Since my last post, lots has happened. As of right now I have a little less than twelve hours remaining before I board the flight to Providence, RI for ODS (Officer Development School). The chaplain program operates a bit differently than others and one day I will have to take the time to devote an entire post to the process. But suffice it to say, I have been busy getting everything ready for the time of my life!

So for the next five weeks, I will be trying to blog about my experiences as a Navy Chaplain. Hopefully future Chaplain's and Chaplain Candidates will be able to view the blog and if it's a help to you, great. If it wasn't...well tough.

For the first post about ODS let me tell you some things I have heard that might help or hinder your time at ODS.

1. Be thankful you're not in OCS.
2. Don't call the Chief, "sir".
3. Be prepared to spend some money.
4. Bring Swiffer
5. Give up Caffeine
6. Get ready quickly
7. Have fun!

See you all soon!