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It's Here.

29 August 2007
Well the countdown has come to an end. It's about 0200 right now and I'm doing some last minute cleaning and getting ready to take my desk apart, and pack my computer up. I thought I should make one last post before I tear her down. Tomorrow I will leave from the recruiting office here in Chillicothe at about 1330(1:30pm). I will take a shuttle up to Columbus and check into my hotel where I will sit(and study) until I go to bed that night. In the morning I will wake up around 0430 and get some breakfast before heading off to MEPS to do some paper work and such. After that I will swear in and head over to the airport and grab the next flight to Chicago. Where I begin my "P-Days"

P-Days are the days before the actual training begins. The days when you do the in-processing, such as getting your shots, haircuts, smurf-suit(lovely blue sweat suit), and other naval goodies. After the P-Days are done is when my training begins and my 8 weeks in boot camp start counting.

Before I go, I just want to say thanks to all of my friends and family for their support. As hard as it may be for you, it is just as hard for me to leave everything I know behind. To think of my brothers growing up without me being around to tease them about their attempts at facial hair or just to beat them up every once in a while. The thought of all the things in the lives of my friends that I wont be around to share. Or some of the people I may never get to see again. It's all hard for me to deal with, but I know that sometimes you have to be selfish to be selfless(in the words of Maranda) So right now I'm being selfish so that if in the future I decide to have a family I will be able to provide for them.

To My family:

No matter where I go or what I do you're still my family, and I'll just be a phone call or email away. I credit my family for the person I am today, take that how you will =P

To My Friends:

I wont forget where I came from and who my friends are, because it is hard to forget the people who have been part of your life like you guys have for me. We will keep in touch, fo sho!

I made this slideshow at
Check out these MySpace Slideshows!

To the Navy:
I'll see you Thursday.

Family Reunion

26 August 2007
Yesterday was the day of our supposed family reunion. Although it didn't take me long to figure out that it wasn't a family reunion after all. It was a little too patriotic with the stars and stripes decorations, and Navy flag hanging on the wall. The big tipper was the poster on the wall that said "Good Luck Adam" next to a Carrier. It turned out pretty nice. Lots of family came, Parents and Grandparents, Uncles and Aunts, Cousins and Friends, and a few coworkers surprised me as well. I have to admit they got me. Apparently everyone thought I knew about the party, and normally I do know when something is up, but I was caught completely off guard, good thing it wasn't an ambush or anything, I would've been in some serious trouble.

I've got some packing to do, and I need to study for my E-2 exam, I was talking to people who recently graduated and they said make sure you study EVERYTHING in that PQS book, because the test covers it all. I kind of skimmed through the first aid section, so I'm going back through and freshening up on everything. Plus I bought this book called "Honor, Courage, Commitment: Navy Boot Camp". I highly suggest anyone going into boot camp read this book. It follows a division through the whole RTC process, from swearing in at MEPS to graduation. I feel it gives you an advantage because you know what to expect.

I'm going to leave my copy with my recruiters when I leave if anyone wants to read it. Even if you're done with bootcamp, or just interested in the Navy it's a good book. So check it out.

3 More Days.

6 Days left

23 August 2007
Time is going too fast now. 5 months ago today, I was at MEPS swearing in and signing my papers, thinking of how 5 months was such a long wait. Now I'm asking for just a few more days really. So many people I haven't visited enough who will be mad at me I'm sure. Things have been pretty hectic lately. And when I do get some free time I can't enjoy it because I feel like there are a million things I should be doing, other than relaxing. Just nerves I guess. Although the thought of Boot Camp doesn't bother me. I only get anxious when I think about leaving the night before to go stay in the hotel in Columbus. Which doesn't really make sense, I know. Perhaps it's just because it's the first step into my new Navy life, and my goodbye to Chillicothe, OH where I was raised and have lived all my life. Where my family and friends live, and will continue to live without me while I'm gone. But it's necessary to sacrifice a little to gain a little more, besides it wont be forever.

On another note Kevin, Marissa, and I went to a shooting range in Lancaster and got some target practice in. Which was nice, I wanted to get the feel for shooting a handgun before I left for boot camp. I have never fired a gun before and I didn't want to get there and look like a noob, well anymore than I already will that is. I did alright starting out, but the more we shot the worse I got. As we were wrapping up though, a guy a couple of lanes over gave us some pointers, so I hope to put those into practice tomorrow when we go again!

6 days left... that's no time at all.

Navy Links I Found Useful

17 August 2007
On the side bar I have placed a list of links that during my time in the Delayed Entry Program I have found informative or handy somehow. So for anyone reading who is in the Navy, in DEP, considering joining, or just bored I have explained what each site is and why it has been useful:

  • -Recruit Training Command Great Lakes, IL
  • - This is the website for Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes Illinois, where every sailor starts out. This site has information on what the recruits will go through, and how they can do better while in RTC. As well as what to bring, what not to bring. It also has information for the families of recruits, such as how to contact in case of emergency, or how to write the address on letters to the recruit, and info on the graduation ceremony.

  • -Navy Recruiting Command - Delayed Entry Program
  • -This is a site full of information about the Navy. Specifically things recruits should know before boot camp. A Guide to the Delayed Entry Program, with the sailors creed, the 11 General Orders, Naval History and much more.

  • -Similar to the Delayed Entry Program website above, this site has info about things you should learn before going to boot camp. It has flash cards, and games, and puzzles to help memorize the Sailors Creed and the 11 General Orders. It has the actual DEP PQS guide to look through also. There are plenty of other things aside from just resources for new recruits. My favorite feature is the "Find a Go-To Shipmate in your Rate" I used that to email an MC who is already active duty, and ask him a few questions that only an MC would really know. Very helpful page!

  • -Navy Personel Command - For Enlisted
  • -I just found this site recently, it has information on the G.I. Bill, calculators for pay and compensation, and quite a few other things, many of which as a new recruit aren't helpful to me but I'm sure will be in the future.

  • - 10 Steps to Joining the Military
  • -I probably visited this article 10 times a day before I had made my decision that I was joining and what branch I would choose. Priceless information on what to expect, what to ask your recruiters, how to tell if the military is right for you, what each branch has to offer, and plenty other tips that help those unacquainted with military life learn what it's all about.

  • - Navy Discussion Board
  • -A discussion board for the Navy. I have found that if I have questions I go to this board, and use the search function to see if anyone else has already asked and been answered and if not, I go to the "Joining the Navy" section and I post my question and wait for responses. Sometimes there is no other way than to just ask someone. Has been very helpful during my time in DEP

  • -U.S. Navy Slang - Wikipedia
  • -I've heard that it is best to learn as much of the Navy slang as possible before you go. It will save you some trouble. Like if someone tells you to get them a can of bulkhead remover you will know that a bulkhead is a wall, and bulkhead remover doesn't exist. Also worth remembering is that there is no ID10T form(pronounced Eye-Dee-Ten-Tango, but when typed out looks like idiot)

  • -Military Pay Charts
  • -Pretty self-explanatory. Military Pay charts as of April 2007.

  • -Basic Allowance for Housing(BAH) Calculator
  • -A calculator that figures up how much you will be paid in Basic Allowance for Housing to live in a certain area.

  • -Overseas Housing Allowance(OHA) Calculator
  • - Like the BAH Calculator, but this one Calculates how much for places located overseas.

    Choosing your first duty station

    There are, from what I've gathered, a few things that factor in when choosing your first duty station.

    Part of it is all on you. If you go through "A" school and do the best you can do,(which shouldn't be hard, just apply yourself. School work and duties first, play time later) and graduate #1 in your class that gives you first pick from the billets(a billet is basically a slot available for your rating, or job, on a particular base or ship). If you rank #2 you get to pick second, from whatever is left over after the #1 ranked student picks, and so on and so forth with the 3rd, 4th, and on.

    A second and more important factor in selecting a billet(and one you have no control over) is the "Needs of the Navy". Sure you can do your best to get first pick from that list of billets, but if there isn't a billet available in the place you want, then it wont be on that list. Plain and simple. If the Navy doesn't need an MC at Pearl Harbor then it will not be on the list, regardless of how well you do in "A" School.

    I imagine that down the road seniority also plays a great deal, although I haven't talked much with people about this one, as I'm just worried about making through RTC and "A" School still.

    Of course I could be completely wrong about this, this is just what I have heard from all the people I have talked to about it. So if someone reading this knows better, feel free to let me know.

    12 days.


    12 August 2007
    My Initial Fitness Assessment(IFA) was yesterday

    I woke up around 10:00 am, expecting my IFA to be at 1:00 pm I thought I'd have a nice bowl of raisin bran, since I would have plenty of time to let it all settle before running around and doing push ups. However AT2 Young, my recruiter, called me and suggested we do the testing a little earlier to avoid the heat. So I met him at about 11:15 with a stomach full of milk. The push-ups were no problem. The issues started when I was doing the sit-ups, with each one my stomach made a nice *glug-glug* sound, loud enough for everyone to hear. With my push-ups and sit-ups out of the way it was time for the run. It turns out one lap around the whole of the Shawnee Square building complex is a half mile. I took a few last drinks of water and started my 3 laps.

    It's hard to gauge how fast you should go. While running on the flood wall there isn't much in the way of scenery, you pretty much run past nothing. It's just a straight shot so it's hard to compare speeds to when you're running by stores, and people, and cars, and street signs. So I started out at what I thought was a pace a little faster than normal. I finished my first 2 laps in about 7 minutes, but by the beginning of the third lap I was pretty sure I was going to lose my raisin bran. The whole time I could feel all that milk churning inside my stomach. I stopped to walk every time I got out of sight just to let my stomach settle again. It didn't help my legs to stop and start but my legs weren't what I was worried about. I was sure I was over the time limit, with all the walking anyway. AT2 Young informed me that I ran it in 11:17 though, so I was surprised. Since I started out at a fairly fast pace I bought myself some extra time and finished about 2 minutes under the limit.

    Well that's just one more thing out of the way, and one step closer to RTC! Now I begin the busiest week of my life it seems, dental appointments, DEP meetings, birthday dinners and lunches, bingo, Hanging out with a friend from out of town and more... makes me tired just thinking about it.

    17 days... woah! that's not that many, I better start packing.

    Shaping up to Ship Out...

    08 August 2007
    I have heard that RTC(Recruit Training Camp) is 80% mental and 20% physical. So my goal is to knock out the physical part before I leave, and devote that extra 20% to the mental.

    As a 20-24 year old male I am required to do a 1.5 mile run in 13 minutes and 30 seconds or faster. Also I have to do about 50 push-ups and 50 sit-ups. I don't remember the exact number, just that 50 of each was "satisfactory". 13 minutes 30 seconds for the 1.5 mile run is actually "probationary" so my goal is to do much better than that. The push-ups and sit-ups never worried me, I have been able to do that since before I even signed up. The run, however, was going to be problem.

    So my friend Kevin and I started running about 2 month ago I think. We started out running a quarter-mile, and then walking a quarter-mile repeating 4 times. That lasted for about a week, and we upped it to running a half, walking a half, and then running another half. Next we bumped it up to running a the whole mile in times ranging from 7 to 8 minutes. Until finally we ran the whole mile and a half one day. I don't remember exactly but I think we were under 13:30. Now we always run a mile and a half, no matter how much we think we're going to cramp up and fall over, or get sick all over our shiny running shoes. Our best time is 11 minutes and 17 seconds, we must've had a good day that day because we haven't matched or beat that yet. My Initial Fitness Assessment(IFA) is this Saturday but I'm not worried about it, as long as I can get under 13:30 I pass. It will be strange running by myself though. I recommend running with a partner, one who will push you when you're ready to quit. You end up doing more than you ever thought you could. I went from running a quarter-mile and then walking a quarter-mile to running a mile and a half straight in under 13 minutes in about a month. If I had been doing it all by myself I would probably still be fretting about my test coming up.

    Oh! almost forgot... 21 days!

    Mass Communication Specialist

    02 August 2007
    First of all I need to start off by stating how thankful I am that Mass Communication Specialist(MC) was open to me when I went to MEPS. My paper work tells me that there are about 1400 individuals in this rating. That is 1,400 MCs out of about 340,000 active duty Sailors. So the odds were against me but I was very fortunate.

    With that out of the way I will describe what an MC is and what they do:
    (my rating insignia)

    Mass Communication Specialists are Public Affairs and Visual Information experts. They present the Navy story to audiences in the Navy and to the rest of the world through a variety of media. MCs write and produce print and broadcast journalism news and feature stories for military and civilian newspapers, magazines, television and radio broadcast stations. They record still and video photography of military operations, exercises, and other Navy events. They serve overseas, on ships, and at stateside commands as photographers, public affairs specialists, newspaper and magazine staff, and TV and radio station staff and talent. MCs also create graphic designs in support of the public affairs mission, create and manage official websites, and perform high-speed, high-volume graphic reproduction.

    What they do
    The duties performed by MCs include:
    • Prepare and write news and feature articles for publication
    • Photograph events for publication and historic documentation
    • Operate and maintain a variety of state-of-the-art still and video cameras
    • Operate computer-based graphics software and desktop publishing systems
    • Create original visual information displays and graphics
    • Multi-media design and production
    • Design and manage public and secure websites
    • Layout and design military newspapers and magazines
    • Manage radio and television stations
    • Operate video and electronic imaging equipment
    • Operate digital electronic reproduction equipment
    • Edit video news, features, and documentation
    • Shoot still photographs and video for accident or incident investigations
    • Conduct interviews
    • Market stories
    • Perform as a Public Affairs Officer

    Related Civilian Jobs
    • Screen Writer
    • Photographer
    • Photojournalist
    • Copy Writer
    • Reporter
    • Editor (Film)
    • Editor (Video)
    • Camera Operator (Television)
    • Graphic Designer
    • Multi-media Artist and Animator

    Once Recruit Training Camp is over in late October/early November I will be heading to Ft. Meade, Maryland. There I will be attending my "A" school for 25 weeks. In "A" school you have more freedom than in RTC, meaning I will have internet access again. From what I've heard "A" School is much like college, just a little more strict. Earning more privileges as I progress. From here on expect a few updates before I go to RTC, I will be somewhat busy in this last month of civilian life, but I will have enough time to update a bit I am sure.

    27 days!

    The Beginning...

    01 August 2007
    Is it strange to say that an HBO miniseries changed my life? Because it did.

    A while back, somewhere around the beginning of 2007, I caught a few minutes of "Band of Brothers" on The History Channel. About a week later my copy of the series arrived in the mail, and after the first episode I was hooked. Within a week I had finished the series. When the credits hit the screen on the last episode I was left feeling a little, well, hollow.

    I looked at myself and compared to the men in that war and I did not like what I saw. I felt like I had nothing to proud of. I mean I sit all day and play video games, watch tv, and chat to people on the net. It was time for an extreme change, and what better way to do that than to test myself in the heat of battle, to throw myself headfirst into the fire and come out a better person because of it. However I wouldn't let myself join up just for "the rush" I felt like I was seeking.

    One night, after a conversation with some friends about the military as a career option I really started looking into it though. I did research on pay and benefits, what jobs were offered from each branch, and comparison of civilian and military life. I was surprised by what I found. After a few months of reading up on my own and talking with friends I had settled on the Air Force. I gave all the branches a chance, and thankfully so, because after talking to the recruiters for the Navy I knew it was where I wanted to be. Better Educational opportunities, a better probability to get and keep the job I wanted, and the chance to see the world! I didn't rush it though, I took time to come back in and speak with the recruiters over a 2-3 week period, and they were patient with me. Had they not been I may have felt too pressured.

    On 23 April 2007 I swore in at MEPS In Columbus as a Mass Communication Specialist(MC), the job I wanted. So here we are today!

    28 days and counting.