Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Combat Life Saver

My first time installing an IV port and saline lock. I suppose it could've gone way worse than it did - he didn't lose too much blood, and I did get it on the first stick.

Yes - I got stuck also. Twice. And no, I didn't get the IV - both were misses. C'est la vie.


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Monday, August 17, 2009

Runnin & Military

So running again today - by the ocean. It was beautiful. I'm not a huge fan of 0600, but it sure beats running in the heat of the day in Tampa. We did about 3 miles - and since we're running every day, its getting easier.
As we were approaching the end of the run, and right on the ocean, I heard some 'squawking' - looking up I saw a group of about 10 - 12 parrots of some sort sitting on the power line preening & just hanging out. How cool - to see parrots in the wild. Tampa is a cool city.
Something new, at least for me, is being deployed apart from Jory. We got engaged a week before I left for Tampa - and its been a tough 2 weeks. I miss her like crazy - and I thank God every day for Skype. We can talk and see each other, which is truly a blessing. Even better is when she gets to come visit. This is going to be a tough 8 months.


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Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Well, training has started.

I'm now in Tampa training with the JCSE (Joint Comm Support Element). Joint meaning we have troops from every branch of service, and being led by a LTCDR from the Navy (O-5) and an Army SGM (Sergeant Major). Not a bad group actually, and a very cool mission.

If you Google JCSE you'll see we fall under Joint Forces Command. We also have a great history - going back many years.

Tampa itself is, well, Florida. Hot and humid, and rainy at least once a day. When the rain stops its right back to sunny & hot.

Our day starts at 0530, when we leave the hotel (one of the amenities of being TDY). We hit base for formation at 0630, followed immediately by PT, which is usually a 2 mile run. We shower - which is really fruitless, cause you don't stop sweating. Then chow, and class from 0900 til 1830. Yes, that's 6:30pm. Back to the hotel, hopefully a phone call or Skype session, sleep and up again. At least we're only working 6 days a week. That Sunday break is taken advantage of!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Deploying to . . . where?

Yup - my good ole uncle is sending me abroad again. Only this time to . . . San Antonio? ? ? Is that right?

Yes, that's right. The plan thusfar is to go to Tampa for training (including advanced weapons training - I'm all over that) for 2 months, home for a week, and then off to San Antonio for 6 months.

I'll be working with the JCSE folks out of McDill AFB - on the DJC2 project (Deployed Joint Command & Control).

No - I don't know exactly what I'll be doing - other than managing a comm group - and acting as a comm officer. I'm trained for it - so that parts cool.

I'm hoping I get to come home for Christmas - or around there - to see the kids. That's going to be the hardest part - as it always is - leaving the kids.

More info when I have it. . . .

News . . .

First of all . . . StrangeLand is now, officially, over. Sorry if you were a fan - but the band is no more.

InnerSiege - is here. This is my new band. We are: Me (bass), Kevin Grose (guitar), Kevin Schmitt (guitar), Jeremy Ray (vox) & Wade Helm (drums). We have at least 10 songs ready to record, with a few more in the works. We have a gig this Sat. June 27, at B's Bar & Grill, bottom of the hill in Creve Coeur, Il. Then we're off to Cornerstone to run the Sanctuary Tent/Stage. Going to be a good week, I think.

Feel free to post the image all over the web - or print one out & hang it up! (click on it for a bigger version)

Hope to see you there. . . .

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Nope, not the US Naval call of universal distress - although some in my class might disagree - SOS in the USAF is for Squadron Officer's School. A CGO course - Company Grade Officers - course designed to "reblue" Captains, and designed as a mid-level course to teach officership, military history, leadership, team building, and a host of other topics of import to officers.

Not a bad class, overall. And not so much of the "military training" - you know, the yelling & screaming, and push up for punishment stuff. I'm glad - we can leave all that at OCS, OTS, or AMS - or basic training. I've had enough of that!

The best part, of course - was the networking. I was in a Class of 440, with 100 in my squadron, and 14 in my flight - including an oustanding officer from Romania, a MIG-21 pilot, no less.

My class was made up entirely of active duty officers, all captains save "Babon" - our Romanian pilot, who is a 1st Luitenant. I was the lone Guardsman, and the oldest by over 5 years.

We played flickerball, and studied, and gave briefings, and played war games. Problem solving was a huge part of it as well.

I'll have to post some pics up . . .

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Upcoming deployments?

Well, it appears that I may be doing some more. . . travelling. Not sure, and everything - as always - is subject to change, but I will probably be doing more in the next year.

First off - I know I'm going to Squadron Officer's School (SOS). In the USAF, we refer to this as PME - or Professional Military Education. SOS is the next PME course I need to qualify for my next promotion - which is Major. The course is coming up in April 09, for 5 weeks. I'll be in Mobile, Alabama. I hear the course is pretty good - focusing on leadership and military values & what not.

After that. . . well, lets see. We have some new requirements for the 33S3 AFSC (Air Force Specialty Code) - including A+ certification, Security+ certification, and Network+ certification. Apparently the Air Force wants to get its comm leaders up to shape with the rest of the US - in terms of qualifications. No worries. The first course - A+ - will be the week prior to going to SOS, so I'll just take 6 weeks off of my civilian job.

Following this, I hope to make Major sometime later this year. Federal recognition can sometimes take a bit. I have my first "board" - which is basically a review of my paperwork, to see if I qualify or not - along with any recommendations by my Squadron and Wing Commanders - happens while I'm in SOS. Completing SOS is the only square I have to fill - so I'm hoping they let it pass, with a caveat that I graduate the course.

My next deployment - well, I'm not certain yet, and there are a few options. I know we have Network+ and Security+ to complete later this year. We also have Unit Compliance Inspection (UCI) later this year. Fun, indeed.

With Iraq beginning to tone down - and with the Presidents new objectives of cease of ops by July - and gearing up in Afghanistan - the pressure is on for the Guard. We'll be providing more support - and folks will be deploying more.

We'll just have to see how that pans out. I'll keep updating. . .

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Leaving the ASOS

Well, I guess I'm an overage.

If that doesn't sound odd enough - what happens is even stranger - but turned out well for me. The ASOS I was part of . . . ok, wait - here's the history.
182 ASOC
182 ASOG
182 ASOS
168 ASOS
So, while I was in the same unit - we went through some changes. My last assignment was at the 168 ASOS - at which point I was 'unnecessary'. :) We had 2 Comm Officers - and only needed one. The way it tends to work in the guard - or at least on my base - is that overage folks are traded about. So - the commander of my unit brokered a deal with the commander of another unit - and I'm now officially in the 264th Combat Communications Squadron.

So - what does this mean for me? Well, first off - I think its a good move. Don't get me wrong - I like all the folks that I worked with and deployed with at the 168th. Great folks. But I think I have more opportunities for leadership development, i.e. career, within the 264th. I'm thinking any deployments will be a bit different as well. We don't go to sustain front line communications - but then again, I'm just learning about our mission and my role.

Also - all I can say is goodbye and good riddance to Lord Valdemort!!!!
Those from Afghansitan know exactly what I mean. . . . :D

Oh - and Tom Riddle. . . fare thee well also.