So ends a relatively short Navy career. I started my training in the summer of 1990 and was commissioned an Ensign in 1994. I think the most notable accomplishment of my Navy 'Career' was obtaining my STCW 95 training to allow me to upgrade my (STCW 78) Third Mate License. It might not sound like much, but it was for me. Oddly enough, I never served on a Navy ship. I did go 'overseas' to Panama to participate in a large training operation. That was very interesting and fun, especially considering that I was working with those who were running the operation. My last active duty assignment was in a 'Crisis Command Center' in Washington, DC during Operation Iraqi Freedom tracking ships and cargo around the globe.
As with everyone else, I have had my fair share of difficulties with Navy administration. It took the Navy two years before they realized that I was not in their main (DEERS) database. I was in Panama at the time attempting to get a new ID card, which they refused to issue because I was not in the system. Things got worse when my unit told them that I was not one of theirs. Eventually that got sorted out when the Chief requested that they check again as I was standing in front of him, with orders that they had issued. Then there was the task of getting a 'five-year physical'. It was at that time that I learned that I failed my commissioning physical.
I have been awarded no medals, not even 'National Defense' which as one friend told me, everyone gets. Yes they do, but someone has to award it to you when you qualify, which never happened in my case. I don't like the idea of having to chase people down to give me an 'award'. No matter. As long as I don't have aspirations to run for President, then it's not an issue.
Ever since I was a child I had wanted to be in the Navy. Strange enough it was having my own children that killed off any illusion I had of continuing as an active Reserve Officer. That's a shame as I always looked forward to going on active duty.
[Note: This is by no means a full summary of my involvement with and contributions to the Navy. So feel free NOT to pass judgement unless your another Merchant Marine Reservist. It's also good to keep in mind that opportunities were much fewer and far between both in the Navy and Merchant Marine in '94, when I got out of school.]