Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Welcome Aboard

Hey Shipmates,

I wanted to take a minute and introduce myself to those who may be interested. I'm currently the Fleet Master Chief of the Pacific Fleet, stationed here in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on the island of Oahu (yep, Waikiki and Honolulu).

I'm a Sailor first who was a prior Boatswain's Mate (BM) and was almost an Electronics Technician (ET) before that, but was kicked out of ET "A" school for what they referred to at the time as a "non-military" attitude.

I've been in the Navy since February 1982, and like many of you, had planned to get out at the end of each tour.

So what makes me think I can relate to young Sailors' today? I think I pointed that out in the comments above, but aside from that, I'm a common-sense person with a common-sense approach to the issues and challenges that face our Navy and Sailors today.

Why did I start this "blog"? I want to know what you think. The Pacific Fleet is pretty darn big, and I can't be everywhere at once. Our (yours and mine) Navy has got some pretty fantastic leaders in its ranks and hope you take advantage of what they can do for you.
At the end of the day, this blog is for you. Tell me what you think. Keep it clean, but tell me what's on your mind.
Our Navy has changed over the 26 years I've been a Sailor, and it will continue to change over the next 26 years. We need to be a part of it, because I don't want us to be an observer on the sideline.
I travel a ton in the job so be patient if it takes me a while to answer a question or simply to reply to your post.
In the mean time, enjoy your current tour, sail safe and don't let a Shipmate do something they may regret if you have the chance to step in!


Anonymous said...

Nice post Master Chief. Wow, a blog. That's pretty impressive, seeing as there was no internet when we grew up.
I'm a Navy Chief currently on shore duty in Atsugi. Not exactly Oahu, but a nice place nonetheless.
Please help me understand the best way to request that the new PTU shirt be extended in length. I am 6'7", and I'm used to surviving in a six foot world. But, it seems to me that when a regulation on proper wear calls for the shirt to remain tucked in, it should have enough length to do so.???

chad said...

Should haircuts be included in a uniform allowance? Grooming standards fall under Ch 2 of our Uniform Regulation and stipulate that we must keep hair neat, clean and well groomed. It goes on to state the requirements for hair length, ears, and neckline and collar stipulations for men and hairstyle requirements for women. If a male sailor get's two haircuts a month at the NEX barbershop rate of $7.25, he will spend $174 (before tips) a year on this "uniform requirement". Per the Uniform Regs, all prescribed or mandatory uniform items are covered by a uniform allowance because they wear out and must be replaced. Should we therefore consider our haircuts and hairstyles a prescribed uniform item due to the fact that they must be kept up at regular intervals. There is some disparity for sailors embarked on ships because they can receive no cost haircuts at the ship's barbershop. Should this type of service be offered to all sailors no matter what type of duty they are on? And if so, how could it be covered? A separate allowance for haircuts? Duty barber's specified at each command? Designated free days at NEX barber shops? Tell me what you think. Include ideas for male and female sailors.

NC1(SW) Chad Geers

Captain John said...

Welcome to the Maritime Blogosphere Chief! We look forward to some great insight and hope to hear a good sea story or two!

Mooring Lines said...

Anonymous -
First I wish to thank you for your service in the FDNF (for those who don't know, that's the Forward Deployed Naval Force and although we have Sailors forward deployed throughout the world, those in the Western Pacific have a very demanding tour). As for the length of the PTU shirt, I'll bring it up to the Uniform Matters office and let them know we need to develop a "long" version of the shirt. In the meantime, I'm sure your command is aware and will provide the right amount of oversight while you PT in unit/command level physical training. As you know, the uniform isn't mandatory until 1 October, so we may have something out prior to then for you "long bodied" Sailors! :)

Mooring Lines said...


Thanks for your post and I apologize about my delay in getting back with you.

You bring up some valid points, but I have to tell you, from my perspective, this falls into a reasonable Sailors responsibility.

Let me respond to each part of your post:

Grooming standards are a part of our responsibility to maintain a proper military bearing and professional appearance. Along those same lines it’s our responsibility to maintain personal cleanliness standards. We don’t tell you how to get “clean” but expect you do so through personal purchases of soap, razors and deodorant. We don’t tell you how to get your haircut, only that it needs to be done so and within some grooming standard.

Our Shipmates assigned to ships can receive haircuts via the ships barber for free and that is a benefit of being assigned to arduous duty. For a ship that has only one barber, when that Sailor takes leave, it is then again up to the individual to ensure their grooming requirement be maintained. We do not place Sailors in shore side barber shops therefore someone has to pay for the service we provide.

Our Navy is made up of approximately 15% female. Do we pay them more as routinely, there haircuts cost more? Do we pay them less because historically they don’t need a haircut as often as males? A friend of mine, the Fleet Master Chief of MPT&E did some base line cost estimates for something like this and it ran into the US$1.4 B mark over a ten year time frame. What would we need to give up to get this paid for?

I think the bottom line as I mentioned above is, this falls into our individual responsibility to maintain our individual proper military bearing and professional appearance.

Keep leading NC1. I appreciate you looking outside the box at ways to help our Sailors.

Sail safe,