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Firstie Cars

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Look closely at the photos on the cover of the latest CGA Alumni Association Bulletin.

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Ah, the never-ending humor of teasing Desi Atnip about her little Bug. Does anyone remember that day in early ’94 when they cancelled classes and we all went out to clear snow, and a certain blue Firstie Car with Wyoming plates ended up under a mountain of white stuff that had previously blanketed the parking lot?

Good times, good times.

Chime in below with your reminiscences of cartopia in 1993-94.

Posted in Humor, Photographs, The Factory.

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Our first Captains

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Captain devicesJoin me in offering a hearty congratulations to Laura Collins and Sean Cross on their recent selection for promotion to Captain. Bravo Zulu!

Wow, are we getting old or what?

Posted in Congratulations, Professional Matters.

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Listen to this female combat veteran

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Read the whole thing, which I’ve quoted wholesale from Hot Air:

I’m a female veteran. I deployed to Anbar Province, Iraq. When I was active duty, I was 5’6, 130 pounds, and scored nearly perfect on my PFTs. I naturally have a lot more upper body strength than the average woman: not only can I do pull-ups, I can meet the male standard. I would love to have been in the infantry. And I still think it will be an unmitigated disaster to incorporate women into combat roles. I am not interested in risking men’s lives so I can live my selfish dream.

We’re not just talking about watering down the standards to include the politically correct number of women into the unit. This isn’t an issue of “if a woman can meet the male standard, she should be able to go into combat.” The number of women that can meet the male standard will be miniscule–I’d have a decent shot according to my PFTs, but dragging a 190-pound man in full gear for 100 yards would DESTROY me–and that miniscule number that can physically make the grade AND has the desire to go into combat will be facing an impossible situation that will ruin the combat effectiveness of the unit. First, the close quarters of combat units make for a complete lack of privacy and EVERYTHING is exposed, to include intimate details of bodily functions. Second, until we succeed in completely reprogramming every man in the military to treat women just like men, those men are going to protect a woman at the expense of the mission. Third, women have physical limitations that no amount of training or conditioning can overcome. Fourth, until the media in this country is ready to treat a captured/raped/tortured/mutilated female soldier just like a man, women will be targeted by the enemy without fail and without mercy.

I saw the male combat units when I was in Iraq. They go outside the wire for days at a time. They eat, sleep, urinate and defecate in front of each other and often while on the move. There’s no potty break on the side of the road outside the wire. They urinate into bottles and defecate into MRE bags. I would like to hear a suggestion as to how a woman is going to urinate successfully into a bottle while cramped into a humvee wearing full body armor. And she gets to accomplish this feat with the male members of her combat unit twenty inches away. Volunteers to do that job? Do the men really want to see it? Should they be forced to?

Everyone wants to point to the IDF as a model for gender integration in the military. No, the IDF does not put women on the front lines. They ran into the same wall the US is about to smack into: very few women can meet the standards required to serve there. The few integrated units in the IDF suffered three times the casualties of the all-male units because the Israeli men, just like almost every other group of men on the planet, try to protect the women even at the expense of the mission. Political correctness doesn’t trump thousands of years of evolution and societal norms. Do we really WANT to deprogram that instinct from men?

Regarding physical limitations, not only will a tiny fraction of women be able to meet the male standard, the simple fact is that women tend to be shorter than men. I ran into situations when I was deployed where I simply could not reach something. I wasn’t tall enough. I had to ask a man to get it for me. I can’t train myself to be taller. Yes, there are small men…but not so nearly so many as small women. More, a military PFT doesn’t measure the ability to jump. Men, with more muscular legs and bones that carry more muscle mass than any woman can condition herself to carry, can jump higher and farther than women. That’s why we have a men’s standing jump and long jump event in the Olympics separate from women. When you’re going over a wall in Baghdad that’s ten feet high, you have to be able to be able to reach the top of it in full gear and haul yourself over. That’s not strength per se, that’s just height and the muscular explosive power to jump and reach the top. Having to get a boost from one of the men so you can get up and over could get that man killed.

Without pharmaceutical help, women just do not carry the muscle mass men do. That muscle mass is also a shock absorber. Whether it’s the concussion of a grenade going off, an IED, or just a punch in the face, a woman is more likely to go down because she can’t absorb the concussion as well as a man can. And I don’t care how the PC forces try to slice it, in hand-to-hand combat the average man is going to destroy the average woman because the average woman is smaller, period. Muscle equals force in any kind of strike you care to perform. That’s why we don’t let female boxers face male boxers.

Lastly, this country and our military are NOT prepared to see what the enemy will do to female POWs. The Taliban, AQ, insurgents, jihadis, whatever you want to call them, they don’t abide by the Geneva Conventions and treat women worse than livestock. Google Thomas Tucker and Kristian Menchaca if you want to see what they do to our men (and don’t google it unless you have a strong stomach) and then imagine a woman in their hands. How is our 24/7 news cycle going to cover a captured, raped, mutilated woman? After the first one, how are the men in the military going to treat their female comrades? ONE Thomasina Tucker is going to mean the men in the military will move heaven and earth to protect women, never mind what it does to the mission. I present you with Exhibit A: Jessica Lynch. Male lives will be lost trying to protect their female comrades. And the people of the US are NOT, based on the Jessica Lynch episode, prepared to treat a female POW the same way they do a man.

I say again, I would have loved to be in the infantry. I think I could have done it physically, I could’ve met almost all the male standards (jumping aside), and I think I’m mentally tough enough to handle whatever came. But I would never do that to the men. I would never sacrifice the mission for my own desires. And I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if someone died because of me.

- Sentry

Now read it again. Then read this.

Posted in Opinion, Professional Matters.

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RIP: David Chan Diaz, 1971-2012

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Rest easy, classmate. We have the watch.

Dave Diaz

Dave’s obituary:

David Chan Diaz, 41, of Andover died November 19, 2012 at the Merrimack Valley Hospice House in Haverhill, MA.

David leaves his wife of 17 years, Rebecca (Hunter) Diaz and children Raven and Wolfram Diaz. He is also survived by his parents Richard and Eugenia (Chan) Diaz of Westford, MA, sister Lesli Maul of California, extended family and many close friends. David was predeceased by his sister Suzanne Diaz.

David was born November 19, 1971 in Boston, MA. He graduated from the United States Coast Guard Academy in 1994 and served in the Coast Guard from 1994 to 1999. While in the Coast Guard David enrolled at Washington University, St. Louis, MO where he earned his Masters Degree. Upon graduating in 2000 David and his wife Rebecca moved to Andover where David worked as a Data Analyst at Philips Medical for many years.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday November 24, 2012 at 1:00 pm at the Christ Church in Andover. Memorial contributions may be made in David’s memory to the Merrimack Valley Hospice House, 360 North Avenue, Haverhill, MA 01830 or to a scholarship fund for David’s children through EverRibbon.com under “Dave’s Kids”.

Here’s the map for the funeral, and here’s the donation link.

Posted in Condolences.

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Yesterday’s get-together in DC

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Who are these old farts, and what have they done with our classmates? Click for the full-size photo:

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This shindig got organized on our e-mail list, so send a blank message to this e-mail address to join it if you haven’t already.

Posted in Get-Togethers.


Calling Rick Baumgartner!

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Your ship just came in.

Posted in Employment.

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USS GABRIELLE GIFFORDS (LCS 10)

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No, it is not a joke. SECNAV Ray Mabus has fatally beclowned himself and the service he leads.

Posted in Breaking News, Professional Matters.

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The Powerpoint self-immolation of LT [Redacted], USN

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Somewhere out there is a U.S. Navy Lieutenant whose pitifully overinflated self-image is about to be folded, spindled, and mutilated.  Over at CDR Salamander’s place you’ll find a redacted version of the shambling mutant refugee from Myspace self-aggrandizing powerpoint presentation that this genius sent to her new command prior to her arrival.  Rumor has it that the unredacted PPT of Career Death™ already went viral via e-mail.  It must be seen to be believed.  Try not to weep for our military; it’s already too late when the standards for O-3 have sunk this low.

Here are two of the sixteen slides.  No, these are not the worst.  Trust me.

Do yourself a favor when you drop by Sal’s blog to see the whole thing in all its crapulent glory: Do.  Not.  Miss.  The.  Comments.

Posted in Humor, Professional Matters.

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Got an itch to write?

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A post at the USNI blog about junior personnel writing on professional matters bothered me. I realize that those of you from ’94 who are still in uniform can’t claim to be “junior personnel” anymore, but with Flag/SES billets continuing to multiply, you might still be reluctant to write anything opinionated that runs afoul of official policy. Here’s my idea.

Screw official policy.

If you have a burning urge to write something from the heart that highlights wasted opportunities, counterproductive policies, corruption, or anything else that’s politically incorrect in our beloved Coast Guard, let me know. I’ll set you up with a pseudonymous account here on the Class of 1994 site and you can air what needs airing.

I’ll also see to it that your writing gets cross-posted on Facebook, Twitter, and as many milblogs as I can schmooze into it.

Of course, any civilian or reservist classmate is welcome to write under a pseudonym if desired. It just seemed more of an issue with active duty folks, for obvious reasons.

Posted in Professional Matters.

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BZ to USCGC HEALY

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Having safely escorted a Russian fuel tanker through the ice to refuel Nome, Alaska, USCGC HEALY (WAGB-20) and her charge have safely returned to open water. Read the linked editorial and ponder.

Two of our classmates were in the thick of things: Greg Tlapa as HEALY’s XO, and James Houck as the FOB Nome Ice Boss. Nice work, fellas!

Posted in Breaking News, Professional Matters.

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USNI still being led astray?

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Possibly, says a U.S. Naval Institute blogger.  It seems the most recent membership meeting might not have fixed anything.

Posted in Professional Matters.

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New London hasn’t changed much

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The city was forced to shut off a new $11 million public fountain because the locals have started using it as a toilet.

Posted in The Factory.

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If you’re attending the USNI members’ meeting today …

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… then bookmark this page on your smartphone before you get there, so you’ll have your B.S. detector properly calibrated.

Background here.

7:00 PM Update: Here’s a thought-provoking proposal to make the USNI relevant to the junior ranks again.  Apparently today’s meeting didn’t go well.

Posted in Professional Matters.

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CGA 94 Alumni Class Notes Info Request

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Greetings classmates!

I’m in need of some help from you all via some information on what is going on in your life for the Alumni blog. I would love to have any pictures and photos that you would like to share by 1 May 2011. Please email your photos to me at [ click to reveal ]

Thanks in advance and I hope that you are all well.

JP

Posted in Class Notes.

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USNI upheaval continues; attend the 4/29 meeting if you can

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If you haven’t been watching the goings-on over at the U.S. Naval Institute over its proposed change of mission, you should start.

Here’s an open letter by Raymond Pritchett, who sums up some of the problems.

On February 25, 2011 Major General Thomas L. Wilkerson, USMC (Ret.) announced on the United States Naval Institute blog that “the Board of Directors has recommended an historic change to the Mission of the Naval Institute to ‘advocating the necessity of global seapower.’” Nearly three weeks later a letter from Steve Waters, Chairman of the United States Naval Institute Board of Directors, was posted to the Naval Institute blog with the intent to address the criticism and concerns being expressed by USNI membership. In his letter explaining the mission statement change, Chairman Steve Waters highlighted three specific challenges facing USNI that included financial instability, decline in membership, and a trending loss of relevance. The emphasis by Steve Waters in all conversations has been on the first issue, financial instability, but I personally believe the second and third issues are far more serious problems.

The decline in membership for the Naval Institute is a serious problem, and I applaud the Board of Directors being committed to dealing with this problem. During the members meeting April 29th, I look forward to hearing what the Board of Directors has done to address this issue. I have observed that over the last decade a generational gap has developed within the membership of the Naval Institute, and only within the last few years has USNI been addressing this issue.

It is still unclear who will be presenting for USNI at the annual members meeting. I have heard that John Morgan is unable to make the meeting due to medical reasons. Let us all hope his medical condition isn’t serious enough that it prevents him from attending online. This is a historic time for the Naval Institute, and to be very honest I have serious concerns regarding the quality of leadership on the Board of Directors when so many members of the Board of Directors are hiding from membership following what I see as one of the most embarrassing episodes in the 137 year history of the organization.

I get it that Board of Director members are busy people and may be out of town on business, but is it really too difficult for any Board of Director member who can’t be present to get the phone or participate through the webcast? All I hear about from the Board of Directors are 20th century solutions to 21st century problems, and now they want to use 20th century excuses in the 21st century too?

So on one hand, folks inside USNI are working hard and beating the bushes looking for ways to encourage Junior Officers to share their experiences at a pace greater than the rhythm of the monthly issue of Proceedings, but on the other hand the leaders of USNI on the Board of Directors can’t find a way to make a members meeting planned months in advance following one of the challenging debates in the organizations 137 year history? The disconnect that exists between the leadership on the Board of Directors of USNI and the people who actually work inside USNI is depressing.

If you are a member of the US Naval Institute and live in the Washington, DC area, you need to attend next Friday. I’ll be there. I look forward to listening to the concerns of other members, and learning the answers to a great number of questions that must have legitimate, honest answers. Some folks are attending because they want accountability, but my motivation for attending is that I want to see what the future looks like.

For those who do not understand what is at stake next week, listen carefully to this warning because it is very much legitimate based on my extensive homework on the issues recognized by the Board of Directors at USNI. If Friday becomes a bullshit show by the Board of Directors, the Naval Institute will lose the future with the younger generations of officers in the maritime services. The organization does not have time to wait even one more year for action to be taken on these issues; the window of opportunity for certain opportunities that have everything to do with the future is closing.

If you do not realize that fact, you are wildly out of touch with the people in the maritime services today and need to do your homework. If you require more information, you need to start asking serious questions. We live in an era of abundant choices, and right now according to data I have collected in relative comparisons of various alternatives and Proceedings – the folks in maritime services are choosing somewhere besides the Naval Institute to contribute their ideas.

Next Friday we fix that.

If you’re a UNSI member and you’re near Washington, DC this Friday, please attend that members’ meeting and let your voice be heard.

If you’re not a member … what in the heck are you waiting for?

Posted in Professional Matters.

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CGA recruiting video

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Ahhh, memories …

Posted in The Factory.

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Don’t mess with an MSRT sniper

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Posted in Professional Matters.

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Twenty years ago today …

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… we became the Class of 1994.

Posted in The Factory.

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Evel Knievel’s secret love child?

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Nope. Number 725 is none other than our classmate, Collin Fagan, racing in 2008.

He was knocked out, but wound up with just a broken finger and some bruises. Details (and links to two video clips of the crash) on Facebook.

Posted in Photographs.

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20 years ago, it was our turn

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Brand new Swabs of CGA '14

Reporting-In Day … seems like it was only yesterday.

How time flies.

Square those corners, Swabs!Reporting-In Day for the Class of 1994Chris Chase and Russ Bowen on  Reporting-In DayReporting-In Day for the Class of 1994

Posted in The Factory.

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