Tag Archives: Navy

Mustache March: Tradition, Camaraderie, and IG Complaints

Update: General Welsh announced the Mustache March winners.  Retired Naval officer Sara Zak published her own commentary in the Air Force Times, calling it all a “setback for AF’s strong women.”  US Air Force Major Deirdre Gurry begged to differ in her Air Force Times column, saying she’s “proud to say that since World War II women have been invited to join” the military “boys’ club.”

Besides the Air Force Times letter written by the disgruntled female officer, it seems the attempt at a little fun by Air Force Chief of Staff General Mark Welsh generated some grief as well — including a concerted effort to get him fired:

Retired Navy Commander Sara Zak [sent] a complaint to the Air Force inspector general’s office, she asked that Welsh step down and rescind the challenge, saying the activity was “contrary to his Chief of Staff of the Air Force message to airmen he issued in January, [that] it perpetuated an environment conducive to sexual harassment, and that the Air Force should acknowledge [that] traditions that denigrate or fail to show proper respect to all airmen will not be accepted as part of the Air Force culture.”

Zak — whose retired Navy status makes her interest unclear — was pretty much told to pound sand, so she tried every other avenue she could think of:  Continue reading

DoD Identifies Marine Killed in F/A-18 Crash

The US Marine Corps has identified the pilot who was killed in the crash of his F/A-18C Hornet March 1st:

Captain Reid B. Nannen, 32, of Hopedale, Ill…died March 1 from injuries resulting from an F/A-18C Hornet crash on the Fallon Range Training Complex, approximately 70 miles east of Naval Air Station Fallon, Nev.

The reports also indicate Capt Nannen — “Eeyore” — was a TopGun student at Fallon; he was assigned to Iwakuni, Japan.

Captain Nannen was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps on May 25, 2004…

Nannen is survived by his wife, Sarah Nannen, and their four children, as well as his parents, Dale and Mary Nannen.

You can contribute to a fund for Capt Nannen’s children here.

Capt Nannen’s youngest child had just been born a few weeks earlier.  He never had the chance to hold her.

Also at the Marine Corps Times.

In First, Navy to Deploy Secular Chaplains

The US Navy will soon be deploying 21 “Deployed Resiliency Counselors” (DRCs):

The counseling and support services provided by the DRC are preventative in nature, aimed at addressing life challenges such as adjustment to deployments, separation from friends and family, relationship and family issues, and other challenges to military life. The DRCs are also fully trained to provide an extra layer of support to any victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, assuring that there are no gaps in support services.

In addition, the DRC will provide psycho-educational training on a variety of topics as suicide prevention, stress reduction and substance abuse prevention.

That is, of course, essentially the role of military chaplains — without the provider having an officially religious background. The press release notes Continue reading

Cross-Dressing Airmen Party at Kadena (Video)

The Stars and Stripes covered a ‘drag fundraiser’ held at Kadena Air Base, Japan:

Servicemembers here may have been the first to take to the stage and perform as drag queens on a military installation in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender troops…

Six servicemembers — gay, lesbian and straight — donned heavy makeup to dance and lip sync songs…

(The previous drag show on a military base apparently did not include military members.)  Navy Lt. Marissa Greene, who helps lead the local chapter of the homosexual advocacy OutServe-SLDN at Kadena, reported she’d hoped to sell 75 tickets — and ended up selling 400.

It is a leap to assume that all 400 people were Continue reading

F/A-18C Crashes Supporting Top Gun

Update: The Navy announced the pilot died in the crash.  The name of the pilot has been withheld until 24 hours after notification of next-of-kin.

A US Marine Corps F/A-18C Hornet crashed on Saturday while supporting the Naval Strike and Warfare Center “Top Gun” course.

The Navy has issued several releases since then on the follow-up:

Initial reports from the scene indicate the aircraft is a total loss. It took Navy personnel several hours to reach the crash site as it was located in remote, rugged, mountainous terrain…

The reports say they are “continuing to search” for the pilot. Having located the aircraft, that is not a good omen.

Also at the Marine Corps Times, CNN, Christian Science Monitor, and the Stars and Stripes.

Navy Chaplains Quietly Fix Uniform Rules

The US Navy recently revamped its uniform program — again — in a move that was largely unnoticed but by those who have been critiquing the US military’s hunt for a long-term uniform over the past few years. As the issue was largely ignored, missed also was the substantial impact to US Navy chaplains.

It seems the Navy’s current versions of camouflage uniforms didn’t authorize a Chaplain’s insignia — meaning it was impossible for average Sailors to easily identify their chaplains:

“The fact you couldn’t identify a chaplain by his or her religion immediately on site [sic] was something the Navy Chaplain Corps requested to fix…Allowing sailors to identify their chaplains and Continue reading

Helicopter Crash Survivor on Faith, Family, God (Video)

What do you live for?  What does your life show the world that you live for?

Helicopter gunner Dylan Boone was one of two survivors of a 5-man crew of an MH-53E Sea Dragon that crashed off the coast of Virginia in January. As reported in the local press, Boone recently spoke to his Upward Church, detailing the ordeal in a 37-minute conversation that touched on a few major life realities, including his realization that he wasn’t living the life he should:

Boone said that more wrenching than his physical injuries was the recognition that he was spiritually wounded.

“I didn’t know if I was going to heaven or hell,” he Continue reading

Bill Nye, Ken Ham Debate Meets Military Cheating Scandals

There’s a fascinating philosophical connection between the debate of Bill Nye and Ken Ham over creationism on the one hand, and reports the US Department of Defense is becoming increasingly “troubled” over troops’ ethical problems on the other.

First, Dr. Al Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, attended the Nye/Ham debate (viewable on YouTube) and made an interesting assessment. The debate wasn’t, in the end, over facts. It was over worldview — and Bill Nye’s faith that “human reason” was an ultimate solution [emphasis added]:

Bill Nye repeatedly cited the reasonable man in making his arguments. He is a firm believer in autonomous human reason and the ability of the human intellect to solve the great problems of existence without any need of divine revelation…He sees himself as the quintessential “reasonable man,” and he repeatedly dismissed Christian Continue reading

Klingenschmitt: Chaplain’s Statement Proves Need for Protections

Former US Navy Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt recently responded to testimony by the Rev James Magness, the Episcopal Church’s Armed Forces Bishop, given at the House Armed Services Committee (previously discussed here):

Klingenschmitt calls it arrogant for James Magness, the Washington National Cathedral’s bishop for the armed forces, to say that chaplains who pray in Jesus’ name risk offending non-Christian troops and harming unit cohesion.

“This quote by him demonstrates exactly the reason Continue reading

Update: Responses to DoD Changes on Religion Rules

Update: J.B. Wells wonders aloud if the DoD intentionally produced the policy to change the religious freedom focus to turbans and beards while keeping “liberal constituencies” like Michael Weinstein “at bay.”

There have been a wide variety of responses to the US military’s update to DODI 1300.17 (accommodating religious freedom), with language that seems to imply a more open attitude toward outward display and expression of religious belief.

The Christian Post, like many sites, focused on the apparent ability to wear religious accoutrements:

The Pentagon reportedly decided to change its policy on religious wear after Major Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi, a Sikh, spoke at a Congressional briefing about the challenges American Sikhs face in the military earlier in January. Kalsi told members of Congress that he believes he can effectively serve his country while still maintaining his religious appearance, including an uncut beard and a turban.

While that may or may not have been a factor, the DoDI clearly includes language from both the 2013 and 2014 National Defense Authorization Acts — that is, requirements levied by Congress, not just reconsideration based on serving Soldiers.

The US Navy appeared to try to quell Continue reading

F/A-18E Pilot Ejects, in Critical Condition

According to the US Navy, an F/A-18E Super Hornet pilot ejected last Wednesday and was picked up by a local fisherman. The pilot is reportedly hospitalized in critical condition, with local news reports saying he was having trouble breathing when the fisherman recovered him.

The pilot (or aviator, in Navy parlance) was ultimately picked up by an MH-60 — from the same squadron that suffered a helicopter loss the week prior.

The Super Hornet was assigned to the “Pukin’ Dogs” of VFA-143 out of Oceana Naval Air Station. As is the usual practice, the Navy will investigate the incident.

US Navy Disregarding DADT Repeal Plan?

Update: The theme continued at the Air Force Times nearly three weeks later.

The US Navy recently announced (on its continuously updated DADT page) that it had coordinated with Japan to understand that “spouse” in the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) would cover a “same-sex” couple. (Published at the Washington Post, repeated at Stars and Stripes.) As a result,

The Navy [said] in a notice to personnel that it had added Japan to its list of overseas assignments for same-sex couples…The Navy has made only Japan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, available

as overseas assignments for gay couples.

The specifics of that announcement were largely missed or simply viewed as another “victory” by homosexual advocacy groups, including the American Military Partner Association, which

described the Navy’s decision as “welcome news” but noted that the armed forces do not treat same-sex spouses equally at many duty stations abroad.

Oddly, neither the AMPA nor anyone else seems to have noted this “special treatment” for homosexuals in assignments was never supposed to happen.

The Pentagon’s DADT repeal report Continue reading