Blizzard Bloghop 2010: Wife of a Sailor

A friend is the one who comes in when the whole world has gone out.

~Grace Pulpit

Blizzard Bloghop 2010 hosted by Household 6 Diva

I can’t believe I didn’t see this earlier. The Household Diva over at HouseholdDiva6 has a really neat idea going. See, many of us bloggers can’t get to any blogging conferences for one reason or another so she’s devised a way for us to virtually meet. You can read about the details here.

So welcome Blizzard Bloghoppers. Here’s a little bit about me:

I’m in my mid-20s (okay, a bit closer to 30 than 25, but whatever!) and I

Our Wedding

married my active duty Sailor last March. Since then, we’ve lived together for only 7 1/2 weeks.

He PCSed to Washington state back in May leaving me here in Michigan to sell our house. During this time, we went through our first deployment. I currently haven’t seen him for five months. But that will all change in just 23 days (well, as long as the Navy cooperates) when he comes to Michigan to help me drive our three dogs to Washington state to live (which will be another adventure since I’ve never lived anywhere but Michigan).

Skah, the 125lb Great Pyrenees

Yup, we have three dogs. Two Greyhounds–Chase and Lulu–and a two year old Great Pyrenees named Skah. That’s 285lbs of dog right there between all three!

But I have another connection to the Navy. Last June, I raised my hand and become a Navy Reserve Officer.

So this blog is all about my journey as a newlywed, a new MilSpouse (that’s Military Spouse) and a new Navy officer. Things are fun and frustrating, but I love my life!

Leave a comment and I’ll be sure to visit your blog!

Playing Navy Officer

I fear three newspapers more than a hundred thousand bayonets.
~Napoleon

Last week I played Navy Officer. What I mean is, I did my first stint of “active duty” for one week.  Actually, even though it was active duty, I ended up being in civilian clothes all week.

You see, last drill weekend in Everett, my Officer-in-Charge (OIC) asked me if I’d like an opportunity to get some good experience and to make some extra money. Being as cash-strapped as I am, I of course said yes.  The immediate previous command needed help with their bi-annual media training and my OIC knew that I did that as part of my civilian job.

So, I headed off to Newport, Rhode Island to the Navy War College to help the other command do their media training. And it wasn’t just any media training. Nope, this was a small part of the NWC students’ capstone project where they are immersed in a global scenario (they live, eat and breathe this scenario for several weeks!) and part of that scenario is to do a press conference/media interview.

That’s where we came in. All of the students were high-ranking military officers (LTCDR/0-4+) and civilians from 45 different countries. There were 260 of them… and only eight of us! These officers didn’t know we were military (Reservists) ourselves, which helped because what Colonel or Captain really wants to be grilled and critiqued by a Chief or Ensign?

So each day, Monday through Friday, we ran both a press conference room and a one-on-one TV camera interview. In the press conference, three students would come in and give an opening, have time for questions from the “reporters” and then have a closing statement. We’d give them some easy questions, some hard questions and some off-the-wall questions… just to try to de-rail them and to get them flustered.

One of my cohorts–and fellow PAO Ensign (who is a year ahead of me and I’ll have to salute come next summer!)–was fantastic at getting the students flustered.  She’d ask them questions about things like if they’d like to do the re-make of Officer and a Gentleman and ask them random questions about Facebook.  She really was absolutely fanatic. You can find her at GIJess.

In the one-on-ones, it was all the upper echelon of senior officers. We were able to put a camera right in their face and go at the questions. They didn’t have time to take a break or take a breath.

Of course, afterward they were all briefed on what they did well and what they could have done better. The response was overwhelmingly positive, which was nice to hear.

It really was a ton of fun and I met some great people. The public affairs community is really small so there is nearly a 100% chance that I’ll be working with them again. Which I look forward to!

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My Horoscope is Right

It still might take a few more days for your life to return to normal, for you have recently been on a wild ride.
~My horoscope for today

My horoscope for today is most definitely correct.  I can’t talk about it, though.  However, I might be MIA for a bit as I have to suddenly up my flight by two days.  Next week, I was heading out to Washington for my drill weekend with my new command.  I’m still heading out there, only it’ll be two days early.  All I can say is that life is very, very cruel sometimes. And sometimes, you have to take the smallest ray of light to be able to make it through.

I’ll be able to talk about it next week, though.

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Wordless Wednesday #9: My Commissioning Ceremony

I prefer liberty with danger to peace with slavery.
~Author Unknown

It’s Wordless Wednesday again!  Leave a message and I’ll try to return the favor.

I will continue the last two weeks of my wedding photos next week.

Petty Officer--and Huzzy's former supervisor--gives the opening speech

Petty Officer--and Huzzy's former recruiting supervisor--welcomes the crowd.

The OPO makes a short speech with Deppers in the background

The OPO makes a short speech with Deppers in the background

My recruiter re-swears in the Deppers (Delayed Entry Program). They will all be heading to recruit training in Great Lakes within the next year.

My recruiter re-swears in the Deppers (Delayed Entry Program). They will all be heading to recruit training in Great Lakes within the next year.

A few Deppers are given awards and advanced to the next paygrade. Congrats!

A few Deppers are given awards and advanced to the next paygrade for their hard work. Congrats!

My recruiter gives an intro before giving me my oath.

My recruiter gives an intro before giving me my oath.

Reciting my oath of office.

Reciting my oath of office.

The OPO and enlisted recruiters watch

The OPO and enlisted recruiters watch

Making a short speech thanking everyone... and inviting them to learn how they can serve their country (yeah, I'm shameless)

Making a short speech thanking everyone... and inviting them to learn how they can serve their country (yeah, I'm shameless).

Photo op time.

Photo op time.

The cake provided to us by the museum where I work (and where we had the ceremony).

The cake provided to us by the museum where I work (and where we had the ceremony).

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Commissioning Ceremony and a Mattress

If you are ashamed to stand by your colors, you had better seek another flag.
~Author Unknown

My mom and brother came over yesterday for my commissioning ceremony. With them, they brought a twin mattress that my mom isn’t using anymore.  Let me tell you… after sleeping on nothing but an air mattress that you have to re-inflate a few times a night or a couple of couch cushions on the floor–a mattress to sleep in is A. Maze. Ing.

I can’t even explain how wonderful it felt. I slept for about eight hours last night (which included being woken up three times by the dogs), which is more than I have been getting. But I knew I needed more and still wasn’t too tired. So I invited Lulu onto the mattress and cuddled with her until I got sleepy and then kicked her off and slept for another two hours.  Wow, I felt so good. I’ll never complain about an uncomfortable hotel mattress again because I know it’s better than the alternative!

My commissioning ceremony went off quite well yesterday. Though I had already had my administrative commissioning, this was a day for me to make it about the two organizations I represent: an aviation museum and the Navy.

We called it “Navy Day” at the museum and thankfully it wasn’t all about me.  We had more than 25 Deppers (young men and women who are in the Delayed Entry Program and are awaiting their turn to go to the recruit training in Great Lakes) who also re-swore in. A few received advancements and are now in the next paygrade.  Yay for them!

After they swore in, then it was my turn.  Our local TV station was there as well and I did a one-on-one interview afterward. It was interesting trying to make sure I equally represented both my civilian employer and the Navy during the interview!  Unfortunately, the interview didn’t air (which is fine, I don’t need to be on camera!) but we did get some great b-roll that went on the air so all is good.

We even had a Lieutenant Commander who showed up (the Officer Programs Coordinator) which was surprising. He was really nice and complimented me on the success of becoming a PAO in the Navy Reserve as only 9 were chosen this year.  I’m glad to be able to represent not only the Navy, but represent Michigan to the Navy (our state had 2 of those chosen).

The other great thing about yesterday was the fact that the enlisted recruiters in the area were all present. I know many of these guys (they are all guys right now) because Huzzy was one of them until just a few months ago. They were helping me learn some of the things I needed to know and it was just very, very odd for them to be calling me “ma’am” and to be saluting me.

I think that having the perspective of having my husband as an enlisted guy will help me. I understand what the flip side goes through and I DO know how their attitudes towards officers. I think that will really help me. I am so very, very honored to be serving our country and be a part of the world’s greatest Navy.  I hope I can make everyone proud.

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