Somewhere, Mrs. Stamps (my third grade teacher) is standing with her shoulders slightly slumped and shaking her head. She has just heard one of her students use a noun as a transitory verb for the hundredth time and feels like her mission of bringing proper English to the children of Mt. Vernon Elementary School has […]

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Just a moment in time

Like most of you, I am just trying to absorb the loss of our brothers in arms today in the fateful crash of the helicopter in Afghanistan. These man are part of today’s greatest generation and a reminder of how precious life itself is. They are not a number. They are not just a part […]

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The Surprise

My family has had a tradition of volunteering for the service for about four generations (five counting my nephews on active duty now). Great Grandfather was underage but somehow convinced the Union Army recruiter to allow him to serve. Rumor has it that he had been sent home once before because of his age. He […]

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You want me to do WHAT sir?

Most of us remember Newton’s First Law of Motion: An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. A 688 class submarine operating submerged has a displacement of about 6900 tons. So it […]

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What a mess!

Imagine yourself on the periscope of a submarine about to shoot a torpedo. You can feel the adrenaline coursing through your veins and there is an icy sheen of sweat on your forehead. You call out for the Quartermaster to take your mark and he rushes over to note the direction. The control room crew […]

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America’s Day Begins in “Guahan”… (that’s gonna take some getting used to)

Ah, Guam, garden spot of the Pacific. “America’s Day Begins in Guam” said the license plates of this little island paradise for many years. Guam (Guahan)  is an organized territory of the United States and has played a key role throughout its long history with the US. It was also a launching point for countless […]

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The Anchor’s Missing Sir

Anchors Aweigh is described as the response to the order to weigh anchor when the anchor has been tripped and is no longer attached to the bottom. I am unaware of there is an official response if the anchor is no longer attached to the ship. A number of four letter expletives come to mind, […]

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The Common Thread

I was about five years old when the work was started that created the Polaris Missile Submarine Program. If you think about the complexities of that time frame, there were six distinct challenges facing the Navy and their civilian counterparts. Despite the advent of nuclear power, the systems that needed to be created were all […]

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Follow the leader

All of us remember that children’s game called follow the leader. Someone played the role as leader and of course everyone else had to follow their lead. During the Cold War the Soviets played this game and played it fairly well. The submarines they developed always seemed to be strikingly familiar with the boats we […]

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