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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.