MILLINGTON, Tenn. (May 28, 2015) Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Benjamin Payne received a retiring Sailors medical record at Naval Branch Health Clinic, Naval Support Activity (NSA) Mid-South. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Christopher Marshall/Released)

Twice a year, the Navy makes it’s Sailors take a physical fitness test. Once a year, the Navy makes it’s Sailors go through a battery of medical checks to ensure it won’t have Sailors drop dead during this test. Pretty straight forward.

Except when you move to a new command, which Navy Sailors do on average every 3 years. In my case, I moved over a month ago. I wasn’t permitted to hand carry my medical records (that’s too dangerous!!), so instead I gave the medical people a form so that they could request my records be transferred to them. If it sounds antiquated to you, you’re not the only one.

But it gets worse.

Continue reading “Can we fix our military medical records?”

Yes, I legitimately worked there, and earned these coins.

“We’ll be so much more efficient doing this at Fleet Forces.”

I cringed when I heard these words. I was working at Second Fleet, about ready to transfer, and I heard one of the smart-ass bureaucrats from Fleet Forces tell me this. My reply was sharp “Really? You have no idea what we do here.” And I was right. At the time, Second Fleet handled all the training, certification and day to day problems for the entire East Coast of the Navy. Every CASREP, every SITREP, all of it flowed through the Second Fleet Battle Watch. Our purpose was to use the 3 stars of our boss to fight for training time, materials and whatever else the fleet needed to deploy successfully.

But the Navy wanted to “save money,” so we were told that Second Fleet would be dissolved, and all functions taken by the behemoth command known as Fleet Forces. Almost instantly afterwards, TF-80 stood up. We had lots of powerpoint to justify TF-80, with “readiness kill chain” and other fun phrasing, but in reality TF-80 was the fill in for Second Fleet, because all those “efficiencies” weren’t really happening. Then, after 7 years of watching fleet training go down the toilet and us surge units to fill spaces for combatant commanders, now we’re bringing Second Fleet back. Heck, we’re even thinking about bringing back a NATO command in Norfolk to address things like integrating allies into Carrier Strike Groups (gee, didn’t we have that before?).

Continue reading “Bringing back Second Fleet…and maybe some real training”

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