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New Country, New Blog!

10 May 2008
In honor of my new orders I'm starting a new blog.

I'm leaving this blog up for anyone who may still find use or entertainment out of it, but from now on all posts will be on the new site.

Thanks for reading!

Graduation Number 2!

03 May 2008
Well it has happened. 

Two rigorous months spent in boot camp and six months worth of photography, videography, journalism, graphic design and print production and I am finally ready to actually go out and do my job in the Navy. Most of my boot camp friends spent about 30 days in training and have been out in the fleet since December. The long training is completely worth it though, I cant imagine doing anything else now that I've made it through this. Plus the things I've learned and the people I've met are irreplaceable.

So here's to some of the friends I have made since I've been here

Green - Good Luck in Annapolis, I'm sure you'll do fine, especially if they're a fan of what if's... A School was a blast, and a lot of it was due to your craziness. So thanks for that. Keep in touch and I hope we run into each other again.

Midnight - Thanks for everything, you're a natural leader, and you know it, so use that to help others around you be leaders as well, like you did for me, I still have a lot to learn but you definitely put me on the right track.

Murphy - Together since boot camp, and now this. You are a good friend, a bit creepy at times but loyal and honest, and that's rare. I'm glad you got the orders you wanted. Although,I will miss hearing my voice come out of your mouth 24/7... "pt pt pt pt"

Sashegyi - I know we all gave you a lot of crap but class wouldn't have been the same without you, it probably would've been a lot quieter and made more sense. Seriously though, good luck in the rest of your Navy Career. Make sure to annoy the crap out of t-lake.

Thorpe - MC3... Congrats on that man I'm proud of you, you were a sleeper, I never saw you coming. You worked hard and you earned it so frock you.  I hope you enjoy Millington, I'm pretty sure you'll do well there.

Timberlake - Good Luck in Ca. with Gagooch! You will have fun and you're lucky enough to be going with someone you know, even if his life is one big action movie and we're all sucked in by association ;)

Lauryn -  You're so Ohio it makes me sick, really though these last few months were actually enjoyable, so thanks. I can't imagine the odds that you would get the same orders as me, just like I can't imagine going without you now. So I'm counting down the days until I pick you up from the airport.

Boyd - ... is... is... that Ashton over there? HA Anyway, good luck with whatever orders they give you, hopefully we'll see you in Sicily. Regardless you'll do fine, you're pretty good at making friends so I have no doubt you'll get by without me.

Stephanie - There's a lot to say to you and at the same time not much, as I've said most of it before. You've influenced me in ways you'll probably never understand. So thank you for that. Don't worry about me going to Sicily, I really don't think that will make a difference, and if it does I guess we will just have a lot to catch up on when we both get back.

Right now I am on leave in Ohio, spending some time with family and friends before I head out. In about 10 days I will be getting on a plane and flying to Sicily where I will live for two years. Living there will be an adventure no doubt, and luckily for me I will be taking a very close friend with me, who, amazingly enough, is also from Ohio. 

Just so you all know I am probably not going to post for a while.  I'm on leave, and will be working with my recruiter through the week, keeping busy with friends and family, and working on starting the new blog. I hope that once I get to Italy this will become more a photo blog which means I will have to buy a camera of my own I guess.

So goodbye for now, I hope to get things up and running again shortly!

Hang tight please!

02 May 2008
I know I graduated 3 days ago and I still haven't updated, but I'm super busy right now. So busy that I shouldn't even be stopping to type this out right now. But I've got a big post on the way just as soon as I get all packed and have some time, most likely while I'm sitting at the airport.

SO! For those of you in Chillicothe, I'll see you in a day or so. For everyone else, just hang in there, I'll post soon.


Grad Status, Out-processing, and FTX.

24 April 2008
So to catch you up on what's been going on, I'll recap.

The past two weeks have been a blast. My best friend Stephanie flew into see me from Minnesota the weekend before last. Last weekend Brandon and Ashley flew in from Ohio to see me. Next week my mom is coming to visit for graduation, and by Friday I hope to be back in Ohio for the following week and a half.

I have been on grad status, which is amazing. Grad status means no physical training, no silly musters in the morning and afternoon and also no duty! Section leaders get two weeks of it, so I've been living the high life. Waking up anywhere from seven to seven-thirty. 

On the down-side, I have been working on out-processing. Getting stuff signed off on, getting shots for overseas duty and bla bla bla. It's such a hassle.

Next week is the final event though, the field training exercise. FTX is where we do everything we have learned the whole course through. We will spend two days on site staying overnight and everything. Other than that I have no clue what goes on, other than we get night vision!

I made the class graduation program, along with Green. We also made individual class books with samples of our work and a course description. So in honor of that I'm going to post up samples of everything I've done and have a little review sometime next week. I want to put up some pictures from FTX as well. So be on the look out for that!

Changes to come.

10 April 2008
I need to start by apologizing for last time I posted. I said I'd come back from school and make a new entry. Oops!

I am about 19 days from graduating I think. I have been through the graphic design course, and now I have moved on to production. Printing, cutting, folding, and stapling books and packets and such. It's alright, I actually worked at a print shop with my dad before I joined the Navy so a lot of it is very familiar. We're pretty much wrapping things up. My friend Green and I are working on the graduation programs right now, and we're all working on our own personal class books. That's one of the good things about this rate we make all this stuff ourselves.

Anyway, as of right now the plan is, I will graduate on the 30th and fly back to Ohio on the next day or as soon as possible, where I will stay for about two weeks. I will be in the negative for vacation days but I don't care, I'm not going to be flying home very often for about 1500 per round trip. I will be working with my recruiters in Chillicothe for 5 days I hope, that way I don't lose too much of my leave time. So if you're reading this and want to see me let me know. I'm going to be gone for a while probably.

After leave I'm returning here to pack my stuff and I'm out of this country! Off to do video broadcasting in Sicily. How crazy is that? I will be stationed there until June of 2010, after that I see a ship in my future. I couldn't have asked for better orders honestly.

Ok, that's enough for now. It's almost chow time and I'm still in uniform, I need to change in to my civilian gear!

(Oh! Also I have a new Navy blog in the works, it will most likely be the same address and I will move all the stuff from this blog to a new address. So I will let you know when that's going to happen)

4 weeks till graduation!

02 April 2008
I have been in contact with my sponsor over the last few days. A sponsor is someone from my next duty station that will help me with things I may need, and let me know certain things. She let me know a little of what to expect once I start working in Sicily.

I will start out in the news department, which basically means I will be shooting stories and editing their nightly five minute newscast. A typical day consists of shooting video, editing and making sure any stories I have due are done by 2 p.m. and then preparing for the next day.  They also do radio shows Monday through Friday, but I guess I will not have to worry about that until I've been there for a while. Which is O.K. with me.

As for the living arrangements I will share a bathroom and a kitchen with one roommate and I will have my own room. I am extremely excited about this! Those are better living conditions that I have had in seven months. Add to that the fact that I am going to an actual NAVY base, rather than another cruddy Army base...(no offense Army, but come on, these roaches are bigger than any dog I have ever owned)

I've gotta run back to school now, but when I get back I will update with a post about my leave situation.

On a lighter note...

24 March 2008
I'm going to Sicily! Orders came in today. To quote Chief as I walked by him in the passageway, "Oh, Wolfe, congratulations you're going to Sigonella." As if I had just won some game show or something.

Sorry about that last post, It was just a bad day, I'm not going to delete it, though. It's how I felt at the moment, and I can't say I disagree with it either.

Moving on, however. It's a broadcasting station. Go figure, the one class I almost failed is the job I get assigned. It's ok though, I'm excited either way. I'm going to Italy, how could I be bummed about that?

I will update this with more info as I get it, but I just found out this afternoon so I don't know much yet.

Hello Humility.

22 March 2008
After riding high for so long, I got a little taste of reality. I'm not as smart as I was letting myself believe. Or maybe if I am it's not my place to talk about it. I have always believed that it's ok to admit to yourself that you are good at something. It is when you start admitting to others that you are good at something, or you start gaining that arrogance that a lot of times comes with skill, that you will get put in your place. Well I found my place.

I know this is a bit of a different style post for this blog but it applies. I had gotten used to being "the smart one." People brag on me here, and I let it go to my head.  I began to hold myself to the standards everyone else has, and because of that I felt a lot of pressure to keep up the work.  Then I started the video broadcasting course. Ten days of 2 years worth of schooling. Not a lot of time to learn a lot of information.

By Wednesday of last week I was two hours from failing, Scoring a 38% on my second graded assignment. Me and about five others in my class of 12 were given two extra hours to fix the mistakes we had made and redeem ourselves and our grades. 

I made it up and passed the class Friday. The worst part, though, was all the comments like "Wolfe is failing!?" "I thought you were the Genius!" "bla bla bla" none of them meant to be insulting I don't think, but were none-the-less. All in all I think of it as a reminder that modesty is a valued trait in anyone worth admiring. Something that I had forgotten.

on another note... Orders are still not in for the 5 of us in our class who don't have them yet. Chief is going to a diving school on April 2nd and says we should have them before he leaves. Rumor is that there are no good sets of orders left, so I'm not even worried about it anymore.

6 weeks to go! I think.

15 March 2008
It has been another week since my last post, and still no orders. We are off lock down at least.

Actually wednesday I had an interview for a writing job in Annapolis, for the Naval Academy. Where Officers are made. I didn't want the job, so when the Chief interviewing me asked me, I told her I'd rather do graphic design or take photos than write stories. I told her that I had confidence that I could do it, but writing was my least favorite of all the things we've learned so far. So, I didn't get those orders. Now, again, I am waiting to find out where I am going. I have my fingers crossed for this week, usually orders come mid-month.

In other news, I graduated from Basic Still Photography last week. Finished with an average over 93% that's all I know. On our final project I got a 98%, my instructors said it was the best grade they've ever given out. Kinda blew me away when the said that! Below is a smaller version of what I handed in.

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Now we have moved on to EJC, or broadcast journalism. It's supposed to be the hardest class we'll have, so I'm a little apprehensive. So far though it's a lot of fun, recording video, narrating news stories, doing interviews, and then editing it all together.

I will update this as soon as I get my orders... well after I call a bunch of people first.


04 March 2008
Due to some people making some bad decisions, and us not doing the right thing and looking out for them, the whole Navy detachment here is on seven glorious days of lock down.

What that means:
  • Everyone is in uniform at all times
  • We will meet in the day room at 4:30, 6:30, and 9:00 p.m. after school everyday.
  • We can have uniform inspections at any of those musters.
  • No one is allowed to leave base.
  • No one is allowed to leave the building unless to go to chow, otherwise special permission has to be granted by their section leaders.
The worst part of all of it is my section was supposed to be on duty this weekend. However, since all sections will be on duty, my section's weekend is getting pushed back to next weekend. Which happens to be the three day weekend during which I was planning on going back to Ohio to surprise visit my family and friends.

So the moral of the story is if you know someone is doing wrong, correct them. If they wont listen take it higher. Look out for your shipmates.

P.S. >> still no word on orders I will find out soon though, I think.

Orders and other things...

24 February 2008
Since it has been almost two weeks since I have posted something new I thought I had better get on it. 

I have been in Basic Still Photography class since my last post. Since then we have taken a field trip to Baltimore and Washington D.C. to take photos of people. All I have to say about that is people do not like to be photographed. Either that or they LOVE to get photographed and just ham it up for the camera. Neither are really good for the assignment.  The point of the field trips are to show us that it's not easy to take good photographs when people aren't comfortable around you. Our job as a photographer requires us to make our shipmates or our subjects feel comfortable around us so they will continue on with what ever they are doing when we come around with the camera.

On another note, I should be receiving my orders soon, within the next three weeks I would say. I asked Chief if I could go to London, and he told me we don't have a base there anymore, and then mentioned that there are a few other bases located in England, but I wouldn't be getting orders to any of those. So with that knowledge and the fact that the orders to the graphic design headquarters of the Navy in Millington, Tennessee have already been handed to one of my classmates, I have decided that I will just be surprised with where I go. I should be ok, the only bad orders I have heard come out of this place were for people who have earned them.

Well I have food on the way so I will wrap this up. Take care.

Graduation Number 1!

12 February 2008
Today was the day we graduated from the Basic Public Affairs Specialist - Writer course. The biggest chunk of our training at the Defense Information School. It covers all of the journalism/photojournalism aspects of the job. From here I move on to Basic Still Photography, followed by two more courses before finishing up at the end of April. Also from this point forward I'm only in class with other sailors. No more soldiers, no more airman, no more marines, no more coasties... it's all Navy, all of the time.

While it is nice in some aspects, it also sucks in others. Mainly the fact that I'm losing my best friend to Minnesota of all places(told you, you should've joined the Navy...) I'm noticing a common theme in the military though, you make friends and then you watch them leave. No worries though, I'm sure we'll keep in touch. At least I would hope so.

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Free Image Hosting at

Q & A: pt 1

Recently I received an email with some questions from someone who found my blog. So I answered his questions as best as I could, and then decided it would be a good idea to post this info just in case any one else may have similar questions. Also there is someone who wrote me a while ago and I haven't responded yet, so I'm sorry for that, I will respond as soon as I get a chance! but anyway...

He wrote:
So I've been researching on the MC rating in the US Navy and I'm pretty interested. While googling for info I stumbled upon your civilian to sailor blog. It has great insight. Is it true the chances of getting that job is as slim as you said in your blog? I'm just going to have to get lucky when I walk into the MEPS and hope there is a vacancy at that position. How is 'A' school at Fort Meade? Reading your boot camp blogs, how could you have better prepared yourself? Sorry for the bombardment of questions, I'm just curious to see if this is the right path for me.

Thanks for reading! Glad someone other than my family takes interest in my blog.

Actually it seems the rating has opened up a bit. There are a few people here who didn't even know what an MC was when it was offered to them. We get about 9-12 new recruits from boot camp a month. When you think of how many people are recruited total each month, that's not much, but hey I got it, right? Someone has to fill the slots.

A-School is amazing. Classes aren't too tough, the instructors are good, and all the staff are pretty helpful if you need it. Honestly I'm having the time of my life. But, as cliche as it is, life is what you make of it. There are, of course, some people here who hate it, but it's easy, just keep your priorities straight and you'll be fine.

If MC is unavailable you can always hold out, the recruiters may be difficult to deal with afterward, but it is your life. Personally I was prepared to join regardless of what I got. My second choice was IS(intelligence specialist) but I wasn't eligible because of my eyesight.

Preparing yourself for boot camp:

Mentally, just be prepared to be treated like a dumb little kid for a while. You'll feel useless and possibly even afraid, but just keep your head low, and get through it, it's only two months. Just remember, it is the RDC's Job to make you feel stupid, they are there to weed out those who can't make it, but you'd be surprised at some of the people who have made it through regardless.

Physically, although I wish I would've been more routine with my work outs before I shipped out, boot camp wasn't that bad. I wasn't really used to the steady physical training regimen that they have in boot camp, but if you push yourself harder before you leave it will be easier once you get there.

On one final note:

I would not go any other branch than Navy. Here on Fort Meade is what's called a "Purple Environment" meaning all the branches mix. And while you have to have respect for all the branches, I love the Navy. I feel like we have the most well rounded, and down to earth people out of all the people from the other branches I have met. I suppose maybe I am biased though, but I've met a few soldiers who say they should've went Navy. Never met a sailor who wished they went to another branch though, not yet anyway.

Hope that helps someone if not him, feel free to ask me any question you have and I will try to answer it.

Quick Update

08 February 2008

Hey, in the middle of Final Cut right now. Final Cut is the mock newspaper we produce at the end of the Journalism course, which happens to be my situation. Anyway, what that means is I'm pretty busy lately.

but here is what i've been working on... kind of:

Picture Pages

30 January 2008
Today's Assignment: Take lots of photos of a subject for a picture story in our "newspaper"
Today's Results:

To Chief

27 January 2008
     I know none of you reading probably knew him, but Chief Bell, an instructor here, passed away sometime within the last 24 hours. I don't know much other than he had a heart attack. It doesn't mean a lot to most of you, but he was a well respected man here, with a lot of heart and love for the Navy and his "shipmates," be it student or instructor.

     He was one of the most motivated, most squared-away Sailors I have met in my short time in the Navy, and I doubt that I will ever meet another who loves his job as much as Chief Bell.

     He inspired everyone around him to be a better sailor, and inspired me personally to enjoy my life in the Navy through a positive attitude.

     So thank you Chief for being a great influence on everyone around you. You are already missed.

Been a busy week.

     Since becoming section leader things have gotten a little more hectic around here. Being a section leader isn't the reason it's been so hectic, well not the only reason anyway.

     Update on school: Things are going well, we finished up all the photojournalism assignments, I will try to post some more of my pictures up very soon(Took some wicked awesome photos). We've finished up all of our feature story writing as well. All four features were above 90% so I'm very happy about that, since I wasn't sure how well it would go. Now we have started layout and design. Word of the day: Pagination. The act of actually placing all the items on the page of the newspaper. It's a lot more technical that I would have hoped for, but I still love it. I will keep you updated on that. Caught report of my overall average for every assignment we've done: 96.04% last I heard. Depends on how I did on some of the assignments we turned in recently.

     Talk of me getting Petty Officer 3rd class is going around, but I don't want to get my hopes up. So until I graduate I will just keep trying to keep my grades up and enjoy myself at the same time.

Until next time...


He said, She said...

13 January 2008
     For those of you who read my story, thanks.  I'm sure you noticed, as a few of my friends have pointed out to me, that I use phrases like "said so-and-so" or "so-and-so said" quite a bit.

My friend Felicity asked me, "Do you guys really have to state THAT clearly who said what?" 

     Yes. We're given a little room for creativity in that aspect, but we are not allowed to put ourselves into the story. If we write something and then don't give credit to who said it, it looks like we said it ourselves. Also, as for using the word "said" so many times, we are given some freedom to be creative, but not too much. We are not supposed to guess or assume what someone is feeling or thinking. So something like "...recalled Frank with remorse" would be a no go.

     In other news, as of Friday I was appointed to be assistant section leader of section 3. Basically, there are 3 duty sections in our detachment(the building all of the A School Sailors stay in). Each day a different duty section is on duty. The section on duty is in charge of cleaning the building for that day, making sure there is someone standing watch* at the front door and driving people places if needed. Also each weekend a different duty section is on duty.  

     As assistant section leader I will help make the watchbill(the paper that shows who has to stand watch), take roll call at the musters(meetings) and assign cleaning duties to the people in our section. When the section leader graduates, I will take his place, and someone else will be appointed to assistant section leader.

*Watch - Basically standing guard duty at the entrance to our building, and making sure no one gets in or out who isn't supposed to be, answering the phone and taking messages, and sometimes making tours of the building or around the outside to make sure everything is in order.*

A bit of what I've been doing.

09 January 2008
I asked and was told it's ok for me to post one of my news stories, so here...

Sailors get new uniforms, more money

 "    With all those Christmas bills to be paid off, sailors should resist the urge to spend the extra money that may be showing up in their bank account soon.
      The new Navy working and service uniforms, in development since early 2004 by Task Force Uniform, are scheduled to hit the fleet summer 2008, according to Navy Administrative Message 351/06.
     With a major change in the contents of a sailors’ sea bag coming fast, sailors here, and nationwide, will be curious about the changes to come to the familiar Navy uniforms.
     All pay grades, E-1 to 0-10, will be affected by the proposed alterations to the uniform sets, with the new battle dress uniform replacing dungarees and utilities, alterations to the dress whites, one year-round service uniform and changes to the officer dress uniforms, said Senior Chief Petty Officer Rhonda Moore, chief of military personnel at the Defense Information School here.
     According to a release by the Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs, the all ranks uniform is a BDU-style working uniform made of near maintenance-free permanent press 50/50 nylon and cotton blend with an eight-point cover. The new service uniform for E-6 and below consists of a short-sleeve khaki shirt for males, and an over-blouse for females, both with permanent military creases. Black trousers will be worn my males, and beltless black slacks or optional skirts for females, and a black garrison cap for both male and female.
     “We’re rich in tradition and heritage, and I think bringing those uniforms back will display that,” said Moore of the alterations to the uniforms. The changes give them a World War II era feel, she said.
     Moore said she was especially excited about the new physical training gear that would give the Navy a uniform appearance, which is important when stationed on an Army base.
     The new PT uniform is slated to be available spring 2008, said Moore.
     Sailors here can expect to see the uniforms in places like Annapolis, but not likely at the clothing store on post right away, explained Moore.
     The new clothing items will also be available online at the Navy Exchange website, said Petty Officer 1st Class Thomas Gilligan, a photojournalism instructor at DINFOS.
     The Navy has already begun distributing money for the new uniforms, and sailors who haven’t received theirs yet will be seeing the increase when their next clothing allowance is due, said Gilligan.
     The new uniforms will probably hit major bases and the NEX website first, beginning in June 2008, added Gilligan.
     The change is a necessary one, Gilligan explained. “I think that we have too many things in our sea bags right now,” he said.
     The BDU’s can also be worn off base for everyday tasks like stopping at the grocery store on the way home, making them a change for the better, said Gilligan.
     While it is definitely a change, the new uniforms hitting the fleet soon keep Navy tradition alive, while providing a fresh look for sailors around the world.   "

Also, here are some of the pictures that I have taken, rather than just pictures of me:
(Photos property of the United States Navy.)

Back in the swing of things!

08 January 2008
Well, I've been back for five days and we're right back into the swing of things, hitting the ground running, taking the bull by the horns and any other appropriate expression that I can't think of. I finished my first news feature story. These were fun to write, but also a little rougher. We had to pick the topic of the story, something considered news, then we had to find two sources to interview, people who are experts on the subject, and then we have to mix it all together and get a story.

I started it before Christmas break, so it was a little difficult to pick right back up where I left off, but I think it turned out ok. I'm going to ask tomorrow and see if I can get permission to post the story on here. It's not a real story anyway, it's just a graded assignment, but I thought I may as well show what it is I've been learning and doing.
Speaking of, we had another day of photojournalism. My friend Green and I took some good photos too...

photos property of the United States Navy

Homeless for a while.

03 January 2008
Well I've been home for two weeks as of tomorrow. I've had a great time. I've definitely learned a lot. About my life, about my friends, about this town, and I feel safe to say I'm ready to go back.

I've been running nonstop since I've been back, trying to see everyone at least once, which is a lot harder than I thought it would be. I think I've done a decent job though, and if there is anyone I missed I'm sorry, I will probably be back in May.

Christmas was good, I spent it with my family.  I got some things I needed, like white t-shirts, black socks and shoe polish! I also got to download all my music off of my old computer and put it onto my laptop, that made me happy.

Then I spent new years with my friends and had the best new years eve of my life, no doubt. Some friends were missing but it was still a good time.

I will spend today packing and saying some goodbyes, and then it's back to Maryland for another 4 months.

I wish I was sad to leave but I can't say that I am. Sad to leave some people but, like me and a friend talked about, this is not really "home" anymore. I was born and raised here, I have friends and family here, but it's just not the same. Not to say that Maryland is home either, because it is far from it. Maryland is just the setting for the current chapter of my life. Technically I guess that would make me homeless... I kinda like it though.

P.S. I apologize for not writing more. I was reminded by NC1 that the transition from civilian to sailor doesn't end after boot camp. That means my blog shouldn't either.