Daily Archives: 02 - Jun - 2009

Big news

You may have noticed that I was in port longer than normal between deployments. The reason is that my sea tour is over.

Right now I’m on leave, in the transition period between checking out of my last command and checking into the next one. I will be on instructor duty, responsible for training some of the Navy’s best and brightest (which is to say, I’ll just be one of the many cogs in the training pipeline, but still).

I just got back today from doing some house hunting in the area that I’ll be stationed, looks like I’ve managed to obtain a suitable place.

Of course, with any major transition needs to come some inward reflection. I’ve set aside some goals for myself to accomplish over the next 2 (or so) years as I accomplish my shore tour:

  1. Decide whether I want to stay in the Navy or not. I don’t hate submarines, but then again the Department Head tour that would be next for me would be, if anything, even more stressful. Not only that, but since my first boat was an SSBN, I would be pretty much guaranteed to be assigned to an SSN for my DH tour. SSNs have much longer times away from homeport (although they do at least get to make port calls — I’ve never seen a port other than Kings Bay, Georgia). I can say with certainty that I ended up being much better at the job than I thought I was going to be going into OCS in January 2005, so I know I’d do well if I continue on. In the end though, I think family issues may preclude me from remaining in the submarine force.
  2. A more mundane, though practical goal, would be to complete a master’s degree. Right now I can basically do Computer Science or some kind of Engineering Management course that qualifying Engineer Officer from Naval Reactors has set me up for. I’d like to do this before I complete my instructor duty assignment.
  3. I would like to attend at least one KDE or open-source conference! I should have more leave opportunities available to try to do so this time at least.
  4. And a shore tour wouldn’t be complete without hitting the gym 3-4 times a week at least. I want to get myself to where I don’t have to panic for the 2 weeks prior to a PRT to avoid going onto the “Fitness Enhancement Program” (although even that beats 2006 when I had to panic for 2-3 weeks prior to a PRT just to pass).
  5. I might start playing video games again. If I can get myself to swallow the swill that is modern video game marketing I might even sign up for the PlayStation Network so I can at least download game demos for my PS3 BluRay player. I’ve been waiting for Sony to quit referring to it as PLAYSTATION NETWORK, hopefully Sony gives up before my PS3 dies of underuse. Until then my Gamecube library still works fine and is (in retrospect) better than ever.
  6. And let’s not forget the various applications I maintain. It would be nice to merge JuK’s style into the modern era. Maybe I’ll learn KHTML or WebKit someday as well, as it’s a nice mix IMHO of systems programming (i.e. JavaScript, HTML parsing) and practical applications.

I’m also trying to build my own personal network to see what the possibilities are for non-Navy gainful employment about two years out in case my family situation doesn’t support that kind of sea duty.

Right now I see four feasible options assuming I have to get out:

  1. Get a job in the computer field programming. I think this would be ideal obviously, especially if it can also be open-source related.
  2. Get a nuclear-related job referred to me via the various submarine officer headhunters out there whose only purpose in life is to redirect officers getting out of the sub fleet to choice (and not so choice) nuclear jobs. Demand is so high that the employers pay for the privilege of fighting to hire you.
  3. Get a non-nuclear-related job via the same headhunter. Apparently submarine officers are highly regarded in the business world in general. Who knew?
  4. Give up and work for The Man in the form of some civil service job (in an attempt to make some of my Naval service time usable for a .gov pension). To be honest I think I’d rather just suck it up in the Navy if it came to this route.

Anyways though, it will be time to revisit this post in about a year I think.