My Naval Specialist rating was Logistical Specialist(LS) and I am a veteran of both Gulf Wars.
This covers over 20 years of military service so it is a little long.
I have served in Thailand, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.), Egypt, Italy, Latvia, Germany, Spain, Singapore, Senegal, Gambia, Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea. At US Bases - Norfork Naval Base, Cheatham Annex Naval Base, NSA Naples, NAS Sigonella, NSA New Orleans, McChord AFB, McDill AFB, McCoy AFB, Tinker AFB, Whitman AFB, Richards-Gebaur ARS, Rosecrans ARS, Minneapolis St Paul ARS, Selfridge ANGB, Hickam AFB, Pearl Harbor Naval Base and the Navy Supply College in Athens, Georgia as well as Reserve Centers in Kansas City, Minneapolis, Forest Park, Detroit and Great Lakes.
I joined the US Navy - Reserve (USN-R) in Kansas City, MO at the KCMO Navy Marine Corp Reserve Center (NMRC). When I joined I was assigned the Logistical Specialist rate because of my experience working with government supply chain management and government management of purchases and contracting from my work with the USDA Federal Grain Inspection Service. My indoctrination training (boot camp) was done at NSA New Orleans.
My first set of orders assigned me to a Naval Overseas Air Cargo Terminal (NOACT) unit. Local training was at Whitman AFB, Richards-Gebaur ARS, Rosecrans ARS with four day training orders to Norfolk Naval Base, Cheatham Annex Naval Base, McChord AFB, McDill AFB and McCoy AFB for training on active flight line operations. This unit became part of the Navy Materials Transportation Office (NAVMTO) before being joined with several other units to become the Navy Expeditionary Logistical Supply Force (NAVELSF) and being designated a NOACT Detachment. Because of a manpower shortage during my time at the KCMO Center I was briefly assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 15 (Seabee unit).
During my time in Kansas City I was assigned for brief tours to Forward Logistical Sites (FLS) in Bahrain (Manama), Egypt (Hurghada) and the U.A.E. (Fujairah) in support of Operation Desert Storm (First Persian Gulf War). I also had brief assignments in Italy, Spain and Hawaii.
When I moved from Kansas City to Naperville I was reassigned a NOACT unit in Minneapolis at the Naval Operational Support Center (NOSC) Minneapolis which operated on the nearby Minneapolis St Paul ARS. This unit would regularly receive donated goods for shipment to South American on Air Force Cargo planes from the Mano a Mano and Feed My Hungry Children charities. These goods were flown to various South American countries on a space available base under the Denton Program. This unit was selected as the Navy Reserve Unit of the Year for its work with these non-profit NGOs. I did brief tours to Thailand, Williamsburg, Norfolk and Naples while with this unit. During a Navy reorganization this unit became attached to Navy Cargo Handling Battalion (NCHB) Seven under ELSF command.
During my time at Minneapolis I was mobilized under Operation Enduring Freedom after 911. I was put on alert two weeks after 911 and was finally activated and mobilized the following February. I was mobilized to Bahrain and assigned to the Air Mobility Command (AMC) Air Terminal Operations Center (ATOC) as the Capabilities Forecaster. I managed cross-functions between terminal, passenger, cargo, postal and tarmac operations to facilitate the rapid movement of passengers and cargo in and out of operational areas.
Among my duties was arranging dedicated flights for senior staff for various CONUS and CENTCOM AOR commands. I also arranged priority flights for EOD, SEAL and other SOCOM units as well as special duty units. One of these special duty units was the CIA Predator Drone Operations under the supervision of the Air Force. This was a priority unit because they operated the only drones in theater that had weapons platforms and could be used on targets of opportunity. I was also select to be a member of the management team establishing the contract requirements for the construction of the new AMC terminal.
Shortly after returning from deployment I was selected for Advancement to Chief Petty Officer (CPO) and under went my Chief’s training with the Minnesota Chiefs Mess. During my training I received a letter from the Regional Readiness Reserve Command (REDCOM) CO. In his letter the admiral explain the need for Chief Petty Officers at NOSC Forest Park and asked me to consider requesting transfer to Forest Park. Shortly after completing my CPO training I put in my request for transfer and was assigned to Carrier Battle Group (CBG) Eight which later became Carrier Strike Group (CSG) Eight. This was an admiral staff unit and we provided support for multi-national Naval Exercises. During my three years with this unit I did tours in Singapore, Latvia, Germany and Virginia as well as on the USS Tortuga and USS Enterprise.
NOSC Forest Park was placed on the BRAC List and I was briefly assigned to the NSA Naples unit during its transfer from NOSC Forest Park to NOSC Great Lakes and was promoted to Senior Chief Petty Officer (SCPO). Once at NOSC Great Lakes I was transferred to a Command Naval Forces Europe (CNE) Maritime Partnership Program (MPP) unit located at NOSC Detroit on ANGB Selfridge in Michigan.
MPP is designed to assess and improve combined maritime law enforcement capacity; promote national and regional security and increase interoperability between the U.S and international partners. This is done through joint exercises, ship visits and training with host nation civilian and military personnel. In Africa the MPP mission is accomplish though use of the African Partnership Station (APS) program.
Since the US Military has only one military base in all of African (Djibouti - Camp Lemonnier a USN Expeditionary Base) these missions are conducted jointly with the local US Embassy (Federal Statue requires that all military personnel deployed in a Foreign country have to be attached to either a local military base or a US State Department Embassy).
As a Senior Enlisted Leader (SEL) and LS my duties for this command were to liaison with in country US Military Personnel (Attaché, Regional Security, etc), local USN contractors, Embassy personnel (Ambassador, Deputy Chief of Mission, Chargé d'Affaires, Regional Security Officer,etc.), Ship personnel (CO, XO, SEL, Supply Officer, etc) and local senior government & military officials as well as personnel from other US government agencies (Coast Guard, US Fish and Wildfire, Law Enforcement, etc). The goal of these interactions were to facilitate exercises, training and joint operations with the US Navy as well as Community Relations (ComRel) and Public Relations (PR) events (transfer of donated materials to NGOs, formal receptions, projects at local schools or hospitals, sporting events, etc). During my tour with this unit I had assignments in Senegal, Gambia, Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea.
My final unit rotation before retirement was to a Naval Reserve Fleet Hospital unit. My duties with this unit were mostly enlisted mentoring and administrative. This unit was undergoing reorganization and relocation to new facilities, which were not yet completed when I retired.
I was raise to believe that citizenship comes not only with rights, but also responsibilities. For me one of those responsibilities has always been a duty to repay the debt for all that this country has provided me; the opportunities, the quality of life, the freedoms. The philosophy of service before self has always rung true for me.