Tuesday, September 20, 2016


I keep forgetting the time I wore khaki for years. It's not hard to understand my forgetfullness. I had 3 jobs at the time. Working as a Commander at Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command was just one of them and it usually felt pretty surreal at the best of times. I did work there, 5 days a week, year in and year out. I was the voice of SPAWAR after 9/11 but just from midnight until 0900.

In all that time I did wear the Trident. Twice I was stopped by Captains who wanted to know just how exactly I was wearing a Trident on my uniform. In another job, I was the CO of a mobile unit and we were a commissioned unit of the Navy and the CO of such were entitled to adorn themselves with the golden Trident.

I've mentioned the wearer of the Budweiser who I used to work with. He was on top of a roof down the road from BlackHawks down and decided to take his SEAL platoon for a swim instead of launching into the natives. He questioned my CAR but was mum on the Trident. It's a little trident.

Budweiser SEAL Trident

Command Ashore Trident
They're obviously not the same trident. I just like to refer to it as a trident because it gives them the vapors and they have to lie down and find their happy place. You really don't have to work with too many SEALS to find them really odd.

When they bothered to check their sneakiness, they went after me and those like me and, we had Forward Looking Infra-Red and we could see them just fine in the dark. I still remember using a plain old 24 inch carbon arc searchlight on a RHIB stuffed with SEALS one night who were trying to assault the very large Amphibious ship moored astern of us in San Diego. I called the Base Police to let them know there were infiltrators and the police didn't seem all that concerned. To be honest, neither was I. I had a pretty good idea who was locked up in one of the most powerful searchlights on the planet. About 20 minutes later the base police called me and told me to stop illuminating the prospective SEAL terrorists. I still sent the messenger of the watch to alert all the other ships at Pier 8 that the SEALS were out and trying to play the 'invade your ship game'.

We played with them back in the old nuclear days. We had the Security Alert Team and the Back Up Alert Force and they both drew weapons from the armory whenever we called away a drill. I remember issuing weapons to one duty section (not my normal one) where as each man was handed a pistol, rifle or shotgun he would say, "halt halt, or I'll shoot." It turns out that they all felt that even if the warning wasn't heard, it had been spoken and like a charm, would keep them from going to jail if they ever had to shoot an intruder and the SEALS were actually crazy enough to play their games against ships which may, or may not, have nuclear weapons onboard and were fully prepared to kill.

We used to have the most amazing stories of Zulu Five Oscars. When the Bases played they played typical little sissy games. They'd issue a perfect fake legit ID card to an "intruder" and expect the pier sentry to pick up on the fact that the man wearing an officer's uniform with commander insignia but a junior officer hat had an ID that said his name was either Mickey Mouse or James Bond. Homey didn't play that game.

I don't know. They never played with me. All of my security forces were instructed to kill if the intruder appeared armed, beat them down with the weapon to the head very very hard and then stand on their neck until I could come along and verify that they were just harmless pranksters teasing us and our cannot confirm nuclear weapons. On the minesweeper we all played along because the nights are boring and how often does on get a chance to track a RHIB using a 24 inch carbon arc searchlight? Well, there was always the CONSTANT. Nothing on that ship worked so it's not like she could do anything to us. And besides, we were the last sweep on the West Coast with the original 24 inch searchlight powered by something that could light up the dark side of the moon.

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