Thursday, September 18, 2014

New Hardship Duty Pay is out!

Dollar bill from

The military services already have the authority to do this, and it used to exist, but after September 11th it went away. Look's like the Navy is bringing it back!


WASHINGTON (NNS) -- To compensate Sailors and Marines for extended deployments driven by normal peacetime requirements, Hardship Duty Pay - Tempo (HDP-T) will be paid to Sailors and Marines, active duty and reserve, deployed beyond 220 consecutive days, effective Sept. 17, 2014.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

What if your Sailor has a miscarriage?

A human embryo at about six weeks after conception, i.e. eight weeks from the last menstrual period (LMP), image from Wikipedia Commons
While on deployment a few years ago, one of my Chiefs received a phone call from his wife, and I could tell from his facial expressions it wasn't good. So after a bit of time, I stopped by his room and asked him what happened. With a long face, he replied "My wife just called me to let me know she miscarried."

Honestly, I didn't know what to say. As a married man, I had two children so far with no miscarriages. Everything I had read online and at my church (which was mostly medical) told me miscarriages happened for a variety of reasons, normally because the baby wasn't going to make it even if born. Somehow those words were comforting to me, but all I could manage to tell Chief was "I am so sorry for your loss, can I do anything for you?"

The question of what you do as an officer when one of your Sailor's (or their spouse) has a miscarriage would come up on occasion, but it never seemed to make it into leadership training or any serious discussions I had with my mentors.

That all changed a few weeks ago. I walked out of work after a great day, jumped in my car, turned on my phone and called my wife (after I left base) to let her know I was coming home. She was very cold on the phone, so I figured she was just busy with our three kids. I walked into our house to see her curled up on the couch, wrapped in a blanket with a blank expression on her face.

That's when I found out my fourth baby wasn't going to make it into this world.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Navy Tuition Assistance Changes

 VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (Feb. 20, 2014) Sailors working on a college degree should ensure their school's accreditation type supports their educational and professional goals. Navy Tuition Assistance pays for one associate through master's degree and only pays if a degree at a particular level wasn't already earned using personal funds. Education professionals at Navy College Offices and the Virtual Education Center serve as an impartial resource to assist Sailors in making wise choices about their education. (U.S. Navy photo illustration by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Jayme Pastoric/Released)

Full article below. BLUF:

- Commanding Officers can waive the one-year on station requirement
- Must get a C (undergraduate) or B (graduate) in your class or you owe money
- TA no longer covers non-tuition fees


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Constitution Day and Citizenship Day is a month away

U.S. Constitution, as viewed at

No joke, September 17 is U.S. Constitution Day and Citizenship Day.  In standard DoD fashion there is even distributed training on it, located here:

Honestly, I'd prefer we make our new Sailors sit through this than anything related to the Sailors Creed, since so many people claim to uphold a document that they haven't even read before.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Biases are lazy

Shopping cart photo, from Wikimedia Commons

I stood watch a few nights ago with a young lady and we chatted about, among other things, shopping.  At some point she brought up that she loves going into grocery stores and checking out the "new items" aisle, which I was curious about since I didn't really remember seeing this aisle before.  Her response to me was "Well, you probably don't do much of the grocery shopping in your family."

Which, honestly, was a bit insulting, although I held my tongue and took it in stride.