Navy Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention released two anti-drug videos on YouTube this week: one targeting spice use, the other warning about the dangers of bath salts.
The animated PSAs feature original music and lyrics about all of the bad things designer drugs will do to you and your career.
Take a gander and let us know what you think.
The animation is decent and the message is clear: Drugs will ruin your career. But are cute, sing-song cartoons the way to show sailors how bad it’s going to be when they get caught?
Whether or not bath salts turn you into a girl-punching zombie, it’s more on the serious side. Which is more effective?
The woman in this picture probably doesn’t look familiar to you, but it’s likely that you know something about her.
Christine Fox is the former Maritime Air Superiority specialist who inspired Charlie, the Top Gun instructor who took off with Maverick’s heart in the 1986 movie named after the Navy Fighter Weapons School.
She’s also the Defense Department’s acting deputy defense secretary, as of Dec. 3, a position she’ll hold while the Pentagon searches for a permanent replacement for outgoing Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter.
Fox never actually taught at Top Gun, but she used her math and physics background to develop tactics for aircraft carrier defense at the Center for Naval Analyses, across the street at Naval (now Marine Corps) Air Station Miramar in San Diego.
According to a 1985 People magazine article, Top Gun’s producers originally planned to introduce a gymnast or groupie as Lt. Pete Mitchell’s love interest.
But then, during a meeting on base to discuss filming, the air wing’s commanding admiral asked Fox, then 30, to step into his office for a moment. And as the legend goes, Charlie was born.
Fox never drove off into the sunset on the back of a fighter pilot’s motorcycle, though. Unmarried at the time, the People article said, she had never been involved with an aviator.
Capt. Monroe “Hawk” Smith, the wing’s former operations officer, called her a “straight arrow.” He’s the one who came up with her honorary call sign: “Legs.”
Cmdr. Harry Hunter told People at the time, there was no problem taking her seriously.
“She’s so professional that her looks don’t become a point of interest,” Hunter said. “When she walks in you say ‘wow,’ but 30 seconds later you’re talking business.”
She had a similar view of the situation.
“The fact that I know so much about what these guys are doing every day and they come in and talk to me about it—why is my radar doing this?—changes the relationship,” she said. “It takes some of the romance out.”
Fox moved back to CNA headquarters in Alexandria, Va., before the movie came out, moving up the ladder and eventually becoming the group’s president.
She also served as the scientific analyst to the chief of naval operations, according to her Pentagon bio.
She later worked as the director of the Defense Department’s Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation, but left the Pentagon in June to become senior adviser to the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.
She stayed on as an unpaid consultant to Carter, keeping her updated on Pentagon affairs.
While Fox will “have all rights and responsibilities that the deputy secretary of defense would have,” she will not be in the line of succession, a senior defense official said this week. Army Secretary John McHugh, the senior most service secretary, is first in line.
Carter called Fox “remarkably brilliant” during his Monday farewell ceremony at the Pentagon.
It’s unknown whether anyone still uses her call sign, but according to People magazine, the guys at Top Gun came up with a new nickname after the movie went into production: Star.
Sailors assigned to the Marianas detachment of Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 5 kept Guam safe from a blast from the past.
On Thursday, after an evacuation, their “render safe” procedure on a 500-pound, World War II-era bomb found near the entrance to the naval magazine proved successful. The team disarmed the bomb’s tail and nose fuzes before it was removed from the area for disposal, according to a post on Naval Base Guam’s official Facebook page.
The bomb was found on a construction site. Lt. Dhruy Parashar, the unit’s officer in charge, had some words of advice for others digging on the island.
“A lot of World War II unexploded ordnance that we handle is found when a construction crew is digging in an area that no one has been in many years,” Parashar said in the post. “My advice is if anyone hits something metallic while digging, to take a careful look at what they hit, don’t touch it, and if there is any doubt call 911 and leave the area immediately.”
Former Chief Gunner’s Mate Kenneth Felt figures he shot his first deer when he was 13, walking home from grade school in Minnesota.
That one didn’t get any media attention. But the one he bagged 80 years later, using a long gun that dates to the 1870s, has made him a bit of a celebrity.
Felt, 93, has been the subject of multiple media reports since his Nov. 13 hunting trip with a .50 caliber Husqvarna with rolling block action — a favorite of George Custer, among others. Walking on the same 260 acres he bought after his return to northern Minnesota from World War II duty aboard the destroyer Benson, Felt passed up a shot at a doe early on his journey. But he couldn’t pass up a second.
His weapon of choice hadn’t been fired at an animal in this country — it came from his grandfather, who’d used it in Sweden to kill elk and bear to feed loggers, Felt told the Star Tribune. Only in recent years had Felt’s son been able to locate ammunition for it; Felt tested it, and it shot straight.
The doe didn’t have a chance.
“The next evening, I went out on the trail … and I shot a grouse with my .22,” Felt said in a phone interview. “I’m doing pretty good.”
Felt enlisted in the Reserve in February 1942 — his buddy was getting hounded by the draft board, he said, and after a plan to become airmen didn’t pan out, they settled on the Navy instead. He left service more than three years later after seeing more than his share of history aboard Benson: An early convoy of U.S. troops to Ireland; a convoy of troops to participate in the North African invasion; one of the first ships to shell the Italian coast; participation in the invasions of Sicily, Italy and southern France; and eventual reassignment to the Pacific, where the ship anchored alongside the battleship Missouri while Japan’s leaders signed surrender documents.
He would later serve the state’s corrections department and was Clearwater County sheriff for 10 years. After two years as a private investigator and two heart attacks, he retired in the mid-1980s.
He said he attended reunions with his Benson shipmates until about a decade ago, when travel to the East Coast proved too problematic — and less rewarding.
“There aren’t very many of us left,” he said.
He remained in touch with those he served with who lived nearby, but he’s the last from his ship around, he said, adding that he still exchanges Christmas cards with some of his shipmates’ families.
Asked by the Star Tribune about next year’s hunt, Felt said simply, “We’ll see.”
Sailors assigned to Navy Explosive Disposal Mobile Unit 5, Detachment Marianas, are about to get a history lesson.
Everybody else is about to get out of the way.
Beginning at 3 p.m. local time Thursday, the area surrounding Naval Base Guam Ordnance Annex will be evacuated to allow for a “render safe” procedure on a 500-pound, World War II-era bomb found earlier this week, according to this Naval Base Guam Facebook post.
The bomb was discovered at a construction site near the entrance to the annex, formerly known as Naval Magazine Guam.
Anyone within 2,150 feet of the construction site will be moved out during the operation. Here’s a map:
Local police will be on hand to assist with traffic near the gate entrance, according to the release. The all-clear is expected to be sounded by 6 p.m. The bomb will then be moved to another area on the nearly 18,000-acre annex “for proper disposal.”
This isn’t the first time aging unexploded ordnance has been unearthed on the island — for example, a Navy EOD team defused a 1,000-pound bomb found on the base in 2010.
That old saying about a picture being worth 1,000 words? There’s a reason everybody says it:
A few words, anyway: As the striking photo above — part landscape, part history lesson — shows, the crew of the aircraft carrier Nimitz made its way to Pearl Harbor on Tuesday, en route to a pre-Christmas homecoming in Everett, Wash. As the ship passed by the USS Arizona Memorial, sailors and Marines paid tribute to fellow service members lost during the Dec. 7, 1941, attack.
“Every time I stand up there, I feel goosebumps when we pass the Arizona,” Interior Communications 2nd Class Michalle Boyce said in a Navy news release announcing the carrier’s stopover. “It is a very powerful experience.”
Boyce’s grandfather served on the battleship Oklahoma during the attack, according to the release. No matter her ship or her duty schedule, every time volunteers were sought to man the rails in Pearl Harbor, she’s been among them.
Nimitz, which left Everett in late March, is scheduled for a stop in San Diego before heading home at year’s end, according to the Navy. The carrier’s time at sea was extended as part of the fleet’s response to the Syria crisis, although 8 1/2 months isn’t far off the “new norm” for deployments.
Speaking of the new normal — what do you do with such an inspiring picture? Make it your Facebook cover photo, of course.
The CBS drama “NCIS,” now in its 11th season, reigns supreme in the weekly Nielsen TV ratings (football excluded) and has fans at the highest level of the sea service. It’s launched one successful spinoff and has plans for a second.
Thanks to reruns on cable, the Mark Harmon-led procedural is rapidly becoming this generation’s “MASH” when it comes to the most likely show to pop up when you turn on your television.
But there has to be a limit. And the folks at Fox Japan are testing it.
From Dec. 29 to Jan. 8, the network will air 234 episodes of “NCIS,” covering seasons 1-10, in an effort to set a Guinness World Record for “longest uninterrupted transmission of a TV series,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
So, for our readers in Japan or those with very
legally questionable long-range satellite dishes, get ready for a long winter’s dose of Agent Gibbs come next month. Or think about setting your own record.
When the Midshipmen take the field for the 2013 Army-Navy football game, their uniforms will showcase a history as storied as the Annapolis-West Point rivalry itself.
The Nike Pro Combat uniform starts with a burlap-patterned base layer emblazoned with “Don’t Give Up the Ship.”
The saying was the last command of Capt. James Lawrence, commander of the frigate Chesapeake, who died of wounds from small arms fire during the War of 1812. Unfortunately, Chesapeake ended up falling to the British. But not long after Lawrence’s death, Commodore Oliver Perry would fly a flag reading “Don’t give up the ship.” This was during the Battle of Lake Eerie, in which Perry was the victor.
According to a Nike release, the game helmet was inspired by the officer’s cover. If you ask us, the insignia looks a lot more like what’s on a chief or mid cover, but all right. It is white with an officer’s gold stripe.
On the rear, the helmet also features a Navy jack, also known as the “Don’t Tread on Me” flag, which made some headlines recently. Below that, a series of Navy signal flags spell out BEAT ARMY. And the Marine Corps insignia jazzes up the hip of the white uniform pants.
The Military Academy’s Black Knights will also sport the War of 1812 theme, paying tribute to Gen. Winfield “Fuss and Feathers” Scott, who is remembered as much for his obsession with proper uniform wear as leading the first American ground battle win during the war of 1812.
When you think of President John F. Kennedy, you probably think about him as the commander in chief. But long before that, he was the commander of PT-109, a patrol torpedo boat in the Pacific during World War II.
Too young to know the story (or to have seen the movie)? Give it a read at Naval History and Heritage Command‘s website. In short, Kennedy received the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for leading his crew to safety after a Japanese destroyer rammed the boat and ripped it in two. The crew swam to a nearby island and survived on coconuts and water.
While a nation looks back on the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination, here are some links that give a glimpse at JFK’s time in uniform:
When Seaman Apprentice Dylan Ruffer told his fiancee he wanted to marry her the moment he set eyes on her after a nine-month deployment, she decided to make it happen.
Madison Meinhardt, 19, sent an email to Reno-Tahoe International Airport, asking if it might be possible to get married in the terminal.
“I’ve been here for 10 years, and I have brought home troops and fallen soldiers,” airport spokesman Brian Kulpin told Navy Times, “so this is an absolute honor, to do a wedding for somebody returning from being on a ship in the Mediterranean off the coast of Syria.”
Ruffer, also 19, returned Monday from his first deployment, aboard the destroyer Gravely. The ship spent the better part of this year working with allied navies in the Mediterranean and maintaining a presence as the U.S. prepared for a potential strike on Syria.
Once docked at Norfolk, Va., Ruffer hopped a plane for Reno, two hours from his and Meinhardt’s hometown of Chester, Calif. Sporting dress blues and a “Dixie cup” cover, he descended the escalator at the arrivals area and walked right up to the altar to marry his high school sweetheart just after midnight.
“Seeing her for the first time, it was amazing,” Ruffer, who only has six days’ leave, told reporters.
A reception complete with food, drinks, cake, DJ and hundreds of guests followed in the revamped baggage claim area.
“We were expecting a little wedding in the corner,” Meinhardt told The Associated Press. “This is definitely more than we could have ever asked for.”
Kulpin said his office got the word out to the community, who stepped up to provide all of the wedding amenities free of charge.
The El Dorado Hotel and Casino donated the cake, limo service and a honeymoon suite. The Pepper Mill Casino donated salon services.
Flowers and food were also taken care of, and KRNV, the local NBC affiliated, shot and edited the ceremony and reception for their wedding video.
“It’s a great love story,” Kulpin said before the ceremony. “Airports are all about bringing people together, and there’s no better example of that that’s going to take place here tonight.”