Friday, March 20, 2009

Ask the Captain

NBVC, Magu Point, CA has a newsletter. I am not sure how often it is published but the one I am looking at is dated January 15, 2009. In this newsletter is a section call "Ask the Captain!" I guess this is where people can write in and as him questions. Then the one selected to be answered gets published in the newsletter.

OMG! I love this Captain. I want to hug him. I want to salute him (because he has earned it. I can't insert it because it is a PDF document so I am going to copy and paste for your enjoyment.

What is the deal with the gate guards not surrendering salutes to officer’s vehicles? I don’t think an admiral’s wife or your wife would appreciate that either. We’ve worked hard to get here and should be recognized. They learned to recognize your vehicles. On every base I’ve been on they have a sign WE RENDER SALUTES PROUDLY. Here they work on trying not to salute the vehicle if the active duty member is not present. Isn’t it by UCMJ code they are supposed to render a salute to an officer? The vehicle has a sticker so why do they not (salute) whether or not the active duty member is present or not? Fill me in!! DO THEY NOT TRAIN THESE PEOPLE ANY MORE?? If not, I see more and more laxness going on in this military.
A CWO wife.

You are going to love this.

Answer:Wow. That’s quite a sense of entitlement you have. Are you sure a salute is sufficient? Perhaps a curtsy or a genuflect would be more appropriate? We could have one sentry prostrate himself before you while the other fetches some oats for that high horse you’re riding. First, the irony of addressing what you perceive to be an issue of respect in such a disrespectful tone is not lost. Secondly, since you specifically brought her into the dialogue, my wife thinks your question indicates a regrettably narrow perspective. Third, yes, we have training which encompasses many things for which a post sentry is responsible and accountable, primarily focused on force protection, anti-terrorism, law enforcement, defense of critical assets and infrastructure, and the use of lethal force. But thanks for asking. Fourth, if you consider standing a post 65-70 hours a week as “laxness,” then I invite you to put on your winter coat and go stand on the asphalt in front of your house for four hours holding your vacuum cleaner when the temperature reaches 85 degrees. That will give you some very small sense of what it is like to man a post, without of course the lethal responsibility. Salutes are a custom between military members dating back as far as Roman times when soldiers approached each other in a manner to indicate they were not armed. The custom evolved over many centuries in many militaries, but it has always been a custom exclusively between military members. It is also important to understand that the salute is a custom of mutual respect, not subservience. That is why both members salute. It is customary (and required under Navy regulations) for the junior to render (not “surrender”) the salute first, but the senior member must return the salute promptly and in the same manner. This tangibly expresses the reciprocal respect among military members. NBVC sentries will render salutes to properly identified officers, active or retired, immediately upon identification. The salute was never intended as recognition of, or as a reward for, your “hard work to get here.” While I certainly value that hard work and your support of your husband’s military career, along with the sacrifice it entails, you ma’am are compensated in other ways for those achievements and accomplishments. You rate many things other than a salute as a dedicated Navy wife, our gratitude, appreciation, and respect among them. I sincerely hope, expect, and require that you are always treated courteously and professionally on our bases. I would ask that you give the sentries their due as well rather than leaping to the most cynical of all conclusions when our execution is imperfect. Send your questions, issues and concerns to Capt. Brad Conners, NBVC commanding officer, c/o the Public Affairs staff at You may also write to the following address; 311 Main Rd., Bldg. 116, Code

Didn't I tell you you were going to love it?


jojo said...

That is priceless!! Thank you for made my day with that one, heck, you made my weekend j)

Tonjia said...

that man has been around the block a time or two! I LOVE him!

Debbie said...

Oh this made my day too! I used to get so pissed at Officer's wives and their "entitlements". His response was right on point and I love it and him too!

Lisa said...

Yes, that was good. I think he put her in her place, gently but firmly. What a man! Or maybe his wife wrote it!!???

Marge said...

That was funny! And I loved the response! An officer's wife is entitled to a salute since when!

Hope you're back to a more regular posting schedule. I've missed you!

Reddirt Woman said...

Love it!!!

Some people think everyone should bow and scrape... 'scuse me... salute them no matter what. What a great reply this gentleman and officer made to that woman. She's probably a legend in her own mind...

Thanks for sharing this one. I'd give the Captain a big hug and an "Atta Boy!!!" for this response.