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A salute to one of the many unsung heroes of the Cold War:
The USS Casimir Pulaski (SSBN-633)
USS Casimir Pulaski (SSBN-633), a James Madison-class ballistic missile submarine, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for Casimir Pulaski (1745–1779), a Polish general who served in the American Revolutionary War.
Lafayette Class Ballistic Missile Submarine: Laid down, 12 January 1963, at the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corp., Groton, CT.; Launched, 1 February 1964; Commissioned, USS Casimir Pulaski (SSBN 633), 14 August 1964; Decommissioned and struck from the Naval Register, 3 July 1994; Disposed of through the Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program, 21 October 1994 at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, WA.
Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 7,250 t., Submerged: 8,250 t.; Length 425′ ; Beam 33′; Draft 32′; Speed, Surfaced/Submerged 20+ kts; Complement 120; Test depth 1,300′; Armament, 16 missile tubes, four 21″ torpedo…
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Guest blog written by a Retired Senior Chief Petty Officer
Last week our nation eulogized late Arizona senator John McCain as a steadfast friend, reluctant hero, and unwavering patriot. As our Navy’s newest Chief Petty Officers (CPO) prepare to don their anchors of gold at ceremonies across the fleet on September 14, it is prudent for them and the collective Chief’s Mess to briefly pause and consider how the CPO brand of leadership can have a positive and lasting effect.
During a 2008 U.S. presidential debate, Senator John McCain said, “Everything I ever learned about leadership, I learned from a Chief Petty Officer.”
I’d like to put that quote into perspective. Before recently losing his battle with brain cancer, John McCain was a six-term U.S. Senator who chaired the Armed Services Committee. He was a U.S. Naval Academy graduate, a former Navy fighter pilot, and Vietnam prisoner of war. He…
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Warning: Some salty language may have snuck past the censors
There was a Navy training film many years ago called “The Lost Sailor”.
The idea behind the film was for Navy leaders to recognize all the things that could go wrong with a young sailor when they first report on board a ship or submarine. The newly arriving boot was probably fresh from school and this was his first assignment at sea. He reports on board and suddenly gets disillusioned when everyone is too busy to pay any attention to him. In fact, the sailor that ultimately takes him to his berthing assignment is a sub-standard sailor who is only available for such duty because he is on restriction. It doesn’t take long for the squared away recruit to turn into a derelict just like his “mentor”. The entire film is based around leaders not letting this kind of thing happen…
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By: Garland Davis
They say the best ships a sailor serves in are his last one and his next one. How many times have you departed a ship feeling the anticipation of something new? A new challenge awaits. Your old ship has become monotonous and a grind and you find yourself glad to put it behind you. Even as your stride lengthens when you walk away, you feel an underlying regret to be leaving. There are men, and, I suppose in our new, ever changing Navy, women with whom you have shared some rough seas and hard times and some of the best of times. You are going to miss them. But this time, you will keep in touch.
But you eventually lose track. As the years and water pass under the keel, you forget names and which ship. You remember the good times. You’ll start a sea story…
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On one of the pages I follow, a question about the USS Ling caught my attention:
“I’m curious What is so rare about this submarine? What is unique about her that justifies saving her over another similar sub?”
My response proved that the spark is still there:
Your question referred to “another similar sub.” There aren’t many left.
Quantifying the significance for things like the Ling is relies on careful interpretation. Most people might look at her and see either an eyesore, “some war thing,” or scrap value. For folks like Paul, the Ling (in its present state) might represent a colossal failure of an organization to either preserve it or relocate it before the point of problematic return.
I see the Ling as a ghost of a former time when people actually were interested in bringing history to their community… either feisty Vets or inspired civilians who campaigned…
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Recently I was following a post on one of my submarine Facebook pages. The original guy had posted about a lack of recognition. To be fair, he had a lot of supporters and frankly I can’t give him a hard time since I have seen some of this through the years myself.
“Okay I have somewhat of a bitch to air:I have been looking for a new career however when I get the part of the application for Veteran Status I find that I do not fit any of the categories!!!! It simply appears to me that the time I spent on the XXXXXXX does not matter since it was only the Cold War and I didn’t get some little medal for doing what I so proudly volunteered to do – Serve My Country!!! Apparently those of us that served in the 70s – 80s are not a protected status.
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There is so much truth here. and quite applicable as we get ready to gather or our reunion in June…
When you get to a certain point in your life you start taking stock of what mattered.
The first seventeen or eighteen years of most people’s lives are the foundations for much of who they become. If you grew up in Middle America, your understanding of relationships, education, and spirituality are all forged from those basic foundations. I will admit that I truly struggled with all three of these in those early years. By the time I was seventeen, I had shown remarkably little interest or aptitude in any of the categories.
Perhaps because I was so much like him, my relationship with my Dad was tortured if nothing else. As I got older he got less well informed and my defiance ended at least once in a physical altercation (which I lost). As a middle kid, I never really fit into any of my brothers or sisters circles so…
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