Thursday, August 23, 2012

My 20 Years in the Navy & Why I Got Hitched & Reenlisted Again

Reenlisted at the CVW-11 Compound August 2012 with Myla, Sam & Lt Pirouznia

Over 20 years ago, my Navy adventures begin.  Will I do it over again.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  But last week I did Reenlist for another 3 years. Midway through my Navy career I left and became a civilian for a few months but, it seems like the Navy blood is in my system and so I came back.  No regrets until.  Well that would be another blog.  Though this list may sound self-serving and all for my benefits and my family, I truly believe that "serving" my Sailors through my God given skills also shows in my motivation in doing this or else all this (no matter what motivation was) in the list is pointless.  Here are 20 reasons why I stayed active in the Navy.

1.  Steady pay.  With a family of 3, I need stability.  I did try my luck when I left the Navy 10 years ago and I thought I was not ready for this yet.  It maybe because I needed cushion, financially, to move on.

2.  Retirement pay at 20.  It is a no brainer, most military personnel stay past 20 for that reason alone but for me it is to guarantee food in my family's table.

3.  Travel.  I was fortunate to see over 20 different countries in just the first 15 years in the Navy.  I believe that travel is not only to enjoy for the moment but it enhances my understanding of the different sentiments of different culture or sensitive to the other people around me but really educate me in diversity.

4.  Camaraderie.  Becoming a part of a prestigious team cannot be underestimated.  I will always remember all the people from all culture in the Navy.

5.  Financial Benefits.  The discounts earned on quality shopping at the exchange and commissaries will continue even after the retirement from active duty.  Although in some cases, Walmart, Target & still offers the best deal.

6.  Housing Benefits.  The security and convenience of living on base with all the convenience of nothing to worry about the utilities.  We use the option of getting the allowance in our first few years and paying a mortgage but lately, our first experience, it was very convenient to live in housing.

7.  Health Benefits.  Not just the health insurance we get but the requirement and discipline to stay healthy through weekly exercise and strict monitoring of weight, we stay healthy and strong.

8.  Respect.  Being in the military, we feel the respect from civilians as they know how we contribute to the safety of the country against global enemies.

9.  Recognition.  The ribbons and advancement are form of tangible recognition that is almost guarantee if you work hard and do your best.

10.  Leadership.  Even at the beginning of bootcamp I was trained to lead and everyday is always a leadership in training session.

11. Diversity.  Where else can you work who came from all over the United States and in some cases from another country and at least every 3 or 4 years you work with different group of people.

12.  New Boss every 3 to 4 Years.  The longest time I work with the same environment and command is now at CVW-11 in Lemoore (4 years) and I was almost burnout, luckily my boss changes every 2 years.

13.  New Place every 3 to 4 Years.  Where else can you move at your employer's expense to move around the country at the state of your choice.  The excitement of moving to another place is almost an adventure.

14.  Best Food on Ship.  I know a lot of you may disagree but I learned how to appreciate how Navy Cooks were trained to be the world's best chef but those who complain about the Navy chow are probably disgruntled.  As a chief on deployment on ships or even at Seabee camps - it is delicious (after 20 years). 

15.  Network.  The vast network we develop around the world through deployments and most specially through Permanent Change of Station every 3 or 4 years, my family develop friends and contacts that we can keep forever (hopefully).

16.  Uniform.  The privilege of wearing the uniform daily (besides the savings and agony on buying working clothes) displays our dignified job and gives us pride whenever we wear them.

17.  Honor.  The sense of adulation from others and confidence we develop in our job.

18.  Courage.  The endurance and bravery that we develop in our entire adventure on 8 months of deployment away from our family.

19.  Commitment.  Our attention to detail and commitment was not only develop on this entire time but we continue to show how important every task we handle wherever we are.

20.  I will leave this open because I see more reasons I can add on what I have learned and develop in my 20 years in the Navy that I would not somewhere else including my Faith in God, my Love for my family and Endurance & Zeal to life.  I hope to pass this on to my son and so on.
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