Monday, April 23, 2018

A to Z Challenge - T is for Tank

A tank is an armored fighting vehicle designed for front-line combat.  It has heavy firepower, strong armor, tracks, a powerful engine, and good battlefield maneuverability.

The Abrams tank is the Army's principal combat tank

Abrams tank in action

The ultimate army tank video

New light tank for 2018

For more information:



What's next for U?
U is for Uniform.  Do the branches have different uniforms?  What do they look like?  Come back tomorrow and find out!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

April - week 17 - Ohio - the Buckeye State

17 Ohio

Date admitted to the US – March 1, 1803
Postal abbreviation – OH
Capital – Columbus
Area – 44,824.90 [34th largest in the US]
Population as of census 2010 – 11,536,504 [7th largest in the US]
Population density per square mile – 282.3 [10th largest in the US]
Area codes – 216, 234, 330, 419, 440, 513, 614, 740, 937
Zip codes – 43001 - 45999
Number of counties –88
State nickname –  Buckeye State
State motto – “With God, All Things Are Possible"
State Flag of Ohio

Fun facts
-America's first traffic light was erected in Cleveland on Aug. 5, 1914.
-Cincinnati Reds were the first professional baseball team.
-Akron was the first city to use police cars.
-Akron is the rubber capital of the world.
-Ohio senator John Glenn became the oldest man to venture into outer space.
-Cleveland is home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
-The Pro Football Hall of Fame is located in Canton.
-In 1852 Ohio was the first state to enact laws protecting working women.
-Ohio gave America its first hot dog in 1900.
-50% of the United States population lives within a 500 mile radius of Columbus.
-"Toward the lake" means "north" and "toward the river" means "south."
-Ohio is the only state with a state flag shaped like a pennant.

Law Schools
-University of Akron School of Law 
-Capital University Law School 
-Case Western Reserve University School of Law 
-University of Cincinnati College of Law 
-Cleveland State University - Cleveland-Marshall College of Law 
-University of Dayton School of Law 
-Ohio Northern University - Claude W. Pettit School of Law 
-The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law 
-The University of Toledo College of Law

Military facts
Military bases

Saturday, April 21, 2018

A to Z Challenge - S is for Seabee

Motto:  We build.  We fight.
Jobs in a Navy Construction Battalion (CB) include: Builder, Construction Electrician, Construction Mechanic, Engineering Aid, Equipment Operator, Steelworker, and Utilitiesman.

The Navy also has Underwater Construction Teams who are trained divers.  They secure piers and perform welding underwater when required.

Builders (BU)
Builders are the largest segment of the Naval Construction Force. They work as carpenters, plasterers, roofers, concrete finishers, masons, painters, bricklayers, and cabinet makers. They construct shelters, wharves, bridges and other structures.

Construction Electrician (CE)
Construction Electricians build, maintain, and operate power facilities and electrical distribution systems for the Navy. Their duties include installing, maintaining, and repairing telephone systems and high and low voltage electrical power distribution networks, splicing and laying electrical cables, and other related electrical work.  My son was a CE.

Engineering Aide (EA)
Engineering Aides assist construction engineers in developing final construction plans. They conduct land surveys; prepare maps, sketches, drawings and blueprints; estimate costs; perform quality assurance tests on common construction materials such as soils, concrete and asphalt; and perform other engineering technician functions.

Equipment Operator (EO)
Equipment operators drive heavy vehicles and construction equipment including trucks, bulldozers, backhoes, graders, forklifts, cranes, and asphalt equipment.

Steel Worker (SW)
Steel workers rig and operate special equipment used to build metal structures. They lay out and fabricate structural steel and sheet metal, and work with concrete reinforcing steel bars.
They perform welding and cutting operations, read blueprints, and use special tools.

Utility Worker (UT)
Utility Workers include plumbing and heating jobs, working on distribution systems and fuel storage, water treatment and distribution systems, air conditioning and refrigeration equipment, and sewage collecting and disposal facilities at Navy shore installations around the world.

For more information:

What's next for T?
T is for Tank.  How many types of tanks are there?  What do they do?  Which branches of the military have them?  Come back on Monday and find out!

Friday, April 20, 2018

A to Z Challenge - R is for Reserves

Almost everything here also applies to the Reserves of the other branches like the Navy.  There may be slight differences among the branches.

To enlist in the US Army Reserve, you must be between 18 and 35 years old and a US citizen or resident alien, with a high school diploma (preferred) or high school equivalent such as the GED. You must also pass the ASVAB test and a physical fitness exam.

All Army Reserve Soldiers must complete 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training, the same boot camp attended by full-time Army Soldiers.  After Basic Combat Training, you complete Advanced Individual Training.  Then you return to your civilian life (job, college, etc) and complete two weeks of training each year plus one weekend per month.  You are paid the same as active duty, prorated for the number of days/hours actually training/working.

Army Reserve Soldiers serve the US in many ways, including the following:

Army Reserve Soldiers often fill the positions of active duty soldiers when they deploy overseas, serving as drill sergeants, instructors, and security personnel. For national disasters such as hurricanes or flooding, Army Reserve Soldiers support humanitarian and relief operations.

During times of both war and peace, the Army Reserve helps countries establish or restore governmental institutions and functions.

The Army Reserve medical personnel staffs most of the Army’s hospitals, clinics, and field units. The medical capabilities of Army Reserve Soldiers often exceed those of active duty personnel because of their additional civilian experience.

For more information:

What's next for S?
S is for Seabee.  What is a Seabee?  Why is it called Seabee?  What do they do?  Which branches of the military have them?  Come back tomorrow and find out!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

A to Z Challenge - Q is for Quartermaster & Quarterdeck


ARMY - Quartermaster and Chemical Equipment Repairers perform maintenance on chemical equipment, quartermaster machinery, forced air-heaters, and special purpose equipment.

NAVY - Quartermasters stand watch as assistants to officers of the deck and the navigator; serve as helmsman and perform ship control, navigation and bridge watch duties.

COAST GUARD - Quartermasters are navigators who are assigned to all types of cutters. Their duties include all aspects of voyage planning, maintaining nautical charts and publications and the proper use and care of navigation equipment.

QUARTERDECK - a raised deck behind the main mast of a sailing ship. Traditionally, where the captain commanded his vessel and where the ship's colors were kept.

Different types of decks:

1. Poop Deck: located on the vessel’s stern, used by the vessel’s commanding superiors to observe the work and navigational proceedings.

2. Main Deck: the primary deck in any vessel. Not the topmost deck, which is called the weather deck. On sailing warships, it is usually the deck below the upper deck.

3. Upper Deck: the topmost deck on a ship, the largest deck amongst all other decks.

4. Lower Deck: located below the primary or main deck, generally comprises more than one deck, next to the lowest or orlop deck.

5. Promenade Deck: a place for the voyagers to take a walk on the ship, enjoying the beauty of the ocean. Generally the area around the superstructure, with either open railings or enclosed in glass.

6. Tween Deck:  an empty space separating or between (tween) two other decks in the hull of a vessel.

7. Flush Deck: extends from the front part of the ship to the aft. On such decks, there is no raised forecastle or lowered quarterdeck.

8. Weather Deck: a deck that is not roofed, open to the weather conditions of the sea, the upper most deck on the ship which is exposed to the environment.

9. Bridge Deck: the deck on which the navigational equipment of the ship is housed. The skipper and commanding officers generally are positioned on this deck during the voyage.

10. Quarter Deck: located near to the chief mast of a vessel on its stern. It is a part of the upper deck and includes the poop deck. Generally accessible only to the most senior naval officers on the vessel. When in port, all the activities of the ships are controlled from the quarter deck.

What's next for R?
R is for Reserves.  How do you join the Reserves?  What are the requirements?  What do they do?  Which branches of the military have them?  Come back tomorrow and find out!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

A to Z Challenge - P is for Permanent Change of Station (PCS)

A Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move is a move from one duty station to another, or from your final duty station to home of record upon retirement or discharge.

In the military, you can be required to move at any time, but it is most common to move every 2-3 years.

If you receive PCS orders, you are eligible for transportation allowances. The most common reimbursed travel allowances include:

Personal & dependent travel - The government will provide you and your dependents transportation from one duty station to another. They will either issue you a ticket for a common carrier (air, rail, etc.), or provide you money to travel via your privately owned vehicle (POV) [yes, it appears there is a military acronym for almost everything]. They will also pay you per diem, which includes an allowance for meals and lodging for the number of authorized travel days between locations.

Household goods and vehicle shipment - You are authorized to ship your personal belongings from one duty station to another. The government authorizes you a weight limit based on your rank and family status. You may also be authorized to ship or store your personal vehicle depending on your destination.

Dislocation allowance - Dislocation allowance will partially reimburse you for expenses incurred in relocation.

Temporary lodging reimbursement - The government will partially reimburse you for the additional costs you may incur when house hunting or living in temporary quarters in conjunction with a move through either Temporary Lodging Allowance or Temporary Lodging Expense.

I looked up for my son when he moved from his final duty station to his new home in Seattle.

My son left the Navy with the rank of E-5.  He was single with no dependents.  The military would pay to transport 7000 pounds of household goods, not including his POV.  If he had dependents, it would be 9000 pounds.  If he went over that weight, he would have been responsible to pay for each extra pound.  The cost depends on the distance traveled, from $1 per pound for short distances, to $4 and more per pound for longer distances and/or overseas.  Best to have a yard sale!

Currently in the news is the decision by United Airlines to discontinue overseas transportation of large pets.  United is the only airline from Guam to the US, so servicemembers PCSing from Guam would have had to leave their pets behind.  Here's the latest news:

For more information:

What's next for Q?
Q is for Quartermaster.  What's a Quartermaster?  What do they do?  Which branches of the military have them?  Come back tomorrow and find out!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

A to Z Challenge - O is for Officer

Officers are the managers and CEOs of the military.

Commissioned officers generally enter the Military with a four-year [or higher] college degree, or receive officer training following enlisted service. Officers are generally employed in management roles or highly specialized fields that require professional degrees [for example: doctors, lawyers, and chaplains]. An officer’s education often determines which career he or she will have in the Military. In most cases, the candidate will meet with a military advisor or career counselor during college to select a potential job specialty.

An individual interested in serving as an officer has four options: (1) attend a military college or academy, (2) enroll at a traditional college or university with a Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program, (3) attend Officer Candidate School (OCS) after graduating from college, or (4) receive a direct commission after earning a professional degree.

Warrant Officers are the technical experts in the Army. They have specific technical or tactical specialties [for example:  helicopter pilots], and manage and maintain many of the Army’s combat systems, vehicles and networks. Once they reach the rank of Chief Warrant Officer Two (CW2), the President of the United States gives them the same status as a Commissioned Officer.
Navy officer insignia
all branch officer insignia
Army insignia

For more information:

What's next for P?
P is for Permanent Change of Station (PCS).  What's PCS?  How often does the military do it?  What does it entail?  Come back tomorrow and find out!