The smart: Just before the end of the last Congress, the U. S. military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy was repealed. About time. I imagine there might be elements of the submarine force that might object to this policy change. I mean, when the boat is underway, the "wristwatch"* or other similar maneuvers can be presented at any time and place. Without the absolute certainty of heterosexuality that DADT provides, how will we know what the intentions of those crazy submariners are?
My favorite part of the debate was the people who opposed repeal because it would upset the culture of the military, and that we should respect the opinions of the rank and file. What? Are you kidding me? Decisions about military policy are made to maximize war fighting capability, not to make the people in uniform feel comfortable. The military has successfully integrated by color and by gender, and sexual orientation should be no different. Hopefully most members feel as I do, which is to say that I don't care what other people do with their privates on their own time, as long as they can shoot straight/put out a fire/take the correct immediate actions.
The dumb: Yesterday, I got an email from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, stating that my W-2 was ready. I was confused. DoD didn't pay me one stinking red cent in the year 2010. (I did get plenty of government cash, but it all came from the VA, and it's outside the realm of taxable income.) Since the last time I logged into myPay was almost a year ago, I had to reset the password. I finally got logged in, and clicked on the W-2 link, And what was I greeted with? A message saying there was no W-2 on file. Just peachy. I'm guessing that the original email was simply something sent out to all members of the Navy Reserve, which I am until this Saturday night at midnight. So the net result is that I lost many minutes of my life, which would be infinitely more aggravating if I had anything truly important to do with that time.
The whatever: Last week, the Submarine Force implemented a total ban on smoking inside the boats. This was announced back in April, but is just going into effect now. On Memphis, this would only have an effect when the boat is out to sea; when in port, all cancer stick use had to be done topside. If I were still on the boat, I'd probably welcome this change. Of course, it reduces the amount of smoke going through the atmospheric processing equipment. On the other hand, that means the recycled air has a higher percentage of "cum dust and farts," as one former colleague put it. The other big benefit of reducing smoking is the resulting reduction of smoke breaks, at least theoretically. What jumped out at me in the recent news stories was the percentage of the Sub Force that uses tobacco, estimated at two of every five members. Having been away from the force and its members for such a long time, I had forgotten about that. So...I guess all the best of luck to everyone who has to survive without their tobacco fix while they're several hundred feet underwater. Let's hope and pray that this change doesn't result in someone losing their ability to cope with undersea life and compromising an operation.
Finally, I mention the recent case of CAPT Owen Honors, recently relieved of command of USS Enterpriseafter the surfacing of some videos he produced when he was XO a few years ago. I don't have anything of my own to add to this, except to concur with the opinions of Cato's Chris Preble at CNN and followed up at Cato-at-liberty.
* Such maneuvers will be familiar to anyone who has seen the movie "Waiting..."; they formed the basis of the game played by the staff in the kitchen.
Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.