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Old 11-20-2017, 02:52 AM
Urbanredneck Urbanredneck is offline
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Tell me about the Seabees

I know a young man who is thinking about them because he wants a construction career.

1. Is it hard to get in? I mean I know certain navy ranks are more competitive than others to get into.

2. What could a young man do to improve his chances of getting in?

3. Does a Seabee enlistment allow one to transition pretty well into a civilian construction job? Does it give a person a better chance into getting into a construction union?

Thanks
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Old 11-20-2017, 10:06 AM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is online now
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Chefguy was a career Seabee. I've sent him a PM.
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Old 11-20-2017, 10:10 AM
Chronos Chronos is online now
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It's my understanding that you can't just "join the Seabees". You can join the Navy, and once you do that, the Navy will decide where to put you to make best use of your skills. You can certainly express a preference, and they might honor that preference, but then again they might not.
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Old 11-20-2017, 10:11 AM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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I was a Seabee for 23 years and retired as a Chief Construction Electrician. And yes, it transitioned very well to the private sector. Someone like your friend would still have to go through a union's program to become licensed, but could easily work in some of the trades without licensing. I went to work for a private U.S. company overseas that was contracted to the government. They didn't care about licenses (or even qualifications in some cases).

As for getting into the Seabees, it could be a bit tight. The ratings (electrician, builder, utilitiesman (plumber), mechanic, equipment operator, steelworker, engineering aid (surveyor) are not what are called 'critical ratings' like the nuclear field and others, and I don't know what the manning levels are right now. He should check with a local recruiter and see if what the availability is. If at all possible, he should try to negotiate a guarantee of assignment to Group 8 (Seabees) as a condition of his enlistment, or even a guarantee of a particular rating/school. If he has any construction skills, he should make sure that the recruiter knows about it, even if it was just working with his father as a helper.

Once he goes through 'A' school to learn his trade, he will either go to a Mobile Construction Battalion (MCB), which deploys overseas, or to a stateside public works or other entity that needs staffing. In a battalion, he will most likely be assigned to one of several companies: Alpha (mechanics/operators), Bravo (utilities), Charlie (carpenters, steelworkers) or Headquarters (surveyors and support staff). Overseas, he will work in his trade with a crew on various projects, but will also be called upon to help with other work, and will do his share of "shit work" like everyone else does. As he rises in rank, the shit jobs become fewer and the responsibilities increase.

Back in home port, it's all about training, both professional and military, as Seabees are trained for defensive combat. That means qualifying on the rifle range, going on field exercises to simulate combat conditions, and going through endless readiness inspections.

By the end of a four-year enlistment, if he has kept his nose clean and done his job, he should be able to reach E-5, and will have experience in running a crew, planning out a job, etc., as well as a solid technical knowledge of his trade.
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Old 11-20-2017, 10:20 AM
Morgenstern Morgenstern is offline
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Stepson was a CB for 4 years. Diesel mechanic. Yep, they do more than construction. He got out and was hired immediately by a interstate trucking firm, and has done really well since then.
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Old 11-20-2017, 10:25 AM
What Exit? What Exit? is offline
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Great post Chefguy.

Just to add one thing as this bit me. If the recruiter is promising a rate, get it in writing and have others review it.

One friend had Journalist rating promised in writing, when he got done with boot camp he was told there was no room for him and offered other training, he opted to get out instead. Myself, I was going in for Electronics (ET), got talked into Nuke ET and missed the fact that meant they would assign me to either electrician(EM), machinist(MM) or ET. All I could do was drop from the 6 year Nuke commitment to the 4 year EM commitment.
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Old 11-20-2017, 03:34 PM
electronbee electronbee is offline
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Great post Chefguy.

Just to add one thing as this bit me. If the recruiter is promising a rate, get it in writing and have others review it.

One friend had Journalist rating promised in writing, when he got done with boot camp he was told there was no room for him and offered other training, he opted to get out instead. Myself, I was going in for Electronics (ET), got talked into Nuke ET and missed the fact that meant they would assign me to either electrician(EM), machinist(MM) or ET. All I could do was drop from the 6 year Nuke commitment to the 4 year EM commitment.
When did this all happen? I joined in 2002 and there was no guarantee that the rate you signed up for you would get, but it was more of that you had a choice in your possible career. For those that did not get what they wanted at first, they could wait forever until a spot opened up, choose something else, or choose something else. There was no "opt to get out" but I'll ask someone who was in Great Mistakes pushing boots.

Also, you decided to drop a Nuke career in the navy because you couldn't be an ET?!?! They advance so fast and have huge bonuses. Yeah, something does add up here with this story. Again, I was in from 2002-2010, regularly kept up with people until 2014, and being a non-nuke ET was a six-year commitment. May have changed recently, very possible, also may have changed for new people from 2010-2014 and it never filtered down to me.

Hrmmm....
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Old 11-20-2017, 04:11 PM
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When did this all happen? I joined in 2002 and there was no guarantee that the rate you signed up for you would get, but it was more of that you had a choice in your possible career. For those that did not get what they wanted at first, they could wait forever until a spot opened up, choose something else, or choose something else. There was no "opt to get out" but I'll ask someone who was in Great Mistakes pushing boots.

Also, you decided to drop a Nuke career in the navy because you couldn't be an ET?!?! They advance so fast and have huge bonuses. Yeah, something does add up here with this story. Again, I was in from 2002-2010, regularly kept up with people until 2014, and being a non-nuke ET was a six-year commitment. May have changed recently, very possible, also may have changed for new people from 2010-2014 and it never filtered down to me.

Hrmmm....
Time period was 1983 for my friend and 85 for myself. I wanted ET or one of the other Electronic Tech like fields, I was planning to be an Electrical Engineer at the time. No idea what doesn't add up. They assigned me to EM and I decided 4 years was plenty long enough for me instead of 6.

Also I unlucky enough to miss out on the GI Bill and only got a far inferior program called VEEP.

Your ignorance needs to be addressed rather than dismissing my post. Be more careful in the future please.
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Old 11-20-2017, 05:08 PM
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Something I forgot for the OP. Seabees almost NEVER serve aboard ships. The only guy I knew in 23 years who bobbed around on the water was an Engineering Aid who was assigned to an oceanographic survey ship. Seabees used to deploy via LGBs (large gray boats), but that was a long time ago. I think the last place was probably Diego Garcia, and it was an incentive to get the airfield built in short order. It's a pretty sweet gig; you deploy, but you are on land, so your off-duty options are much nicer, unless you're in a combat zone.

Something else: generally, when you are deployed you are working six days a week and ten hour days. BUT, you aren't hot-racking with somebody else and working shifts. In home port, it's usually a regular workweek, with weekends off unless you're on one of the field exercises.

All of what I've posted is based on my own experiences, which may be dated. I retired in 1990. But I'm pretty sure that the real strength of the 'Bees is still there: teamwork, professionalism, leadership, and the notion that you can take on any task presented to you. Can Do!
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Old 11-20-2017, 05:20 PM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is offline
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I guess the John Wayne movie is a bit dated now?

The movie indicated older men, already working in the Trades joined the Seabees. IIRC most of the actors were in their thirties and up.

I remember the Cubans in Grenada were dismissed as "construction workers" that won't fight. Our troops found out they were experienced soldiers.

Last edited by aceplace57; 11-20-2017 at 05:23 PM.
  #11  
Old 11-20-2017, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
...
Something else: generally, when you are deployed you are working six days a week and ten hour days. BUT, you aren't hot-racking with somebody else and working shifts. In home port, it's usually a regular workweek, with weekends off unless you're on one of the field exercises.
Do any ships still hot-rack? Maybe Fast Attack Subs, but no surface ship I knew of still hot-racked even in my time period.
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Old 11-20-2017, 06:23 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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Do any ships still hot-rack? Maybe Fast Attack Subs, but no surface ship I knew of still hot-racked even in my time period.
Couldn't tell you. In all those years, I never set foot on one of those things, thank god. I had friends in the Naval air community, and I knew some CTs pretty well at one time, and I wouldn't have traded what I did for what they had to do, even though their promotions were much faster than mine. When I made Chief at 17 years, there was a baby Chief at my initiation who had seven fucking years in. Unreal. I wouldn't follow someone with that little experience into a McDonald's.
  #13  
Old 11-20-2017, 06:36 PM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is online now
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...
Also I unlucky enough to miss out on the GI Bill and only got a far inferior program called VEEP.
...
VEAP. What a steaming pile o crap that was.

I paid in, they made their match, and when I separated I had like 6 months to use it or lose it. Having no time in my new civilian career to attend a full time school, I lost it. Including my contribution.

Thanks Obama. Oh yeah, that was Reagan's doing. Thanks Ronnie.
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Old 11-20-2017, 07:10 PM
Fubaya Fubaya is offline
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I guess the John Wayne movie is a bit dated now?

The movie indicated older men, already working in the Trades joined the Seabees. IIRC most of the actors were in their thirties and up.
They started the Seabees during WWII and actually recruited older, skilled people to fill the ranks. They recruited people 50 years old and the average age was 37, but once the ranks were filled, they started taking in people the normal way a few months later.

My grandfather was a Seabee in the Pacific and I think he was a little older than your average teen recruit but I don't know his exact age when he joined. I'm thinking 30. While not a front line combat troop, he saw enough action.
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Old 11-20-2017, 08:03 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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I guess the John Wayne movie is a bit dated now?

The movie indicated older men, already working in the Trades joined the Seabees. IIRC most of the actors were in their thirties and up.

I remember the Cubans in Grenada were dismissed as "construction workers" that won't fight. Our troops found out they were experienced soldiers.
I of course made all my kids sit through that movie, even though it was typical Hollywood bullshit. Wayne was the unofficial mascot for the 'Bees, and was invited as an honored guest to each year's Seabee ball. To my knowledge, he never bothered to show up.

Dated? Yeah, I guess comments about "Tojo's bug-eyed monkeys" could be considered less than optimal dialog these days.
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Old 11-20-2017, 08:29 PM
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VEAP. What a steaming pile o crap that was.

I paid in, they made their match, and when I separated I had like 6 months to use it or lose it. Having no time in my new civilian career to attend a full time school, I lost it. Including my contribution.

Thanks Obama. Oh yeah, that was Reagan's doing. Thanks Ronnie.
Actually if you didn't use all your benefits you were able to get back what you put into it. Also it wasn't Reagan but Congress that didn't reauthorize the GI bill so VEAP was something he threw together as a temporary replacement and then as I was part way through my term GI bill came back but I was already stuck in the VEAP. As I recall you got $2 for every dollar you put in it was pretty crappy compared to what the GI Bill had provided.
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Old 11-20-2017, 08:34 PM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is offline
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I of course made all my kids sit through that movie, even though it was typical Hollywood bullshit. Wayne was the unofficial mascot for the 'Bees, and was invited as an honored guest to each year's Seabee ball. To my knowledge, he never bothered to show up.

Dated? Yeah, I guess comments about "Tojo's bug-eyed monkeys" could be considered less than optimal dialog these days.
Wayne's films were propaganda intended to build support on the home front and encourage enlistment.

All of the war films, made during the war years, have inflammatory language directed at the people we were fighting.

It's a time capsule of that period in world history.

Last edited by aceplace57; 11-20-2017 at 08:38 PM.
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Old 11-20-2017, 08:45 PM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is online now
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I recall the 2 for 1 match. Other than that the program seems to have changed in details a bit over the years it was in effect. My recollection is that I lost my $2K (maximum) contribution. A look at the VA website suggests that is false. See https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/veap.asp

For darn sure it sucked compared to the previous and subsequent incarnations of the GI Bill. All that and we weren't eligible for IRAs because, had we stayed in for another 12 to 18 years, we'd have been eligible for a pension. They completely ignored the conditional part of that sentence. Bastards.

I did get the Reagan pay raises for which I was grateful. The rest felt sorta like the infamous "notch babies" in the Social Security system.

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Old 11-20-2017, 08:52 PM
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In 1977, a recruiter could promise an "A" school right out of boot camp. You'd have to qualify and he'd reserve an opening for you. All this would be BEFORE a potential recruit signed the enlistment catalog. THe school deal was on the contract. If they don't keep their side of the deal, if you want, the enlistment is null and void. If you fail the course, however, you're still obligated.
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Old 11-20-2017, 09:24 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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In 1977, a recruiter could promise an "A" school right out of boot camp. You'd have to qualify and he'd reserve an opening for you. All this would be BEFORE a potential recruit signed the enlistment catalog. THe school deal was on the contract. If they don't keep their side of the deal, if you want, the enlistment is null and void. If you fail the course, however, you're still obligated.
When I joined in '67, I was guaranteed a billet in Group 8, but not a school. When I went to the assignments guy, I told him I wanted to be an Engineering Aid, as I had experience as a surveyor on the outside. No billets available, so he offered me plumber or electrician. I didn't want to be dealing with other people's shit, so electrician it was. Turned out for the best, as I ended up getting a lot of supervisory and leadership experience, as well as learning a lot about other trades. The EA rating seldom gets that, as their specialty is so narrow.

That career has paid off in more ways than I can count. Even today, I can at least talk with contractors about work on the house and understand what they are telling me and whether or not it's bullshit. And of course I can still do a lot of work myself. I eventually parlayed my Navy career into good-paying positions and was able to make us financially secure in retirement.
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Old 11-20-2017, 10:09 PM
Urbanredneck Urbanredneck is offline
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I was a Seabee for 23 years and retired as a Chief Construction Electrician. And yes, it transitioned very well to the private sector. Someone like your friend would still have to go through a union's program to become licensed, but could easily work in some of the trades without licensing. I went to work for a private U.S. company overseas that was contracted to the government. They didn't care about licenses (or even qualifications in some cases).

As for getting into the Seabees, it could be a bit tight. The ratings (electrician, builder, utilitiesman (plumber), mechanic, equipment operator, steelworker, engineering aid (surveyor) are not what are called 'critical ratings' like the nuclear field and others, and I don't know what the manning levels are right now. He should check with a local recruiter and see if what the availability is. If at all possible, he should try to negotiate a guarantee of assignment to Group 8 (Seabees) as a condition of his enlistment, or even a guarantee of a particular rating/school. If he has any construction skills, he should make sure that the recruiter knows about it, even if it was just working with his father as a helper.

Once he goes through 'A' school to learn his trade, he will either go to a Mobile Construction Battalion (MCB), which deploys overseas, or to a stateside public works or other entity that needs staffing. In a battalion, he will most likely be assigned to one of several companies: Alpha (mechanics/operators), Bravo (utilities), Charlie (carpenters, steelworkers) or Headquarters (surveyors and support staff). Overseas, he will work in his trade with a crew on various projects, but will also be called upon to help with other work, and will do his share of "shit work" like everyone else does. As he rises in rank, the shit jobs become fewer and the responsibilities increase.

Back in home port, it's all about training, both professional and military, as Seabees are trained for defensive combat. That means qualifying on the rifle range, going on field exercises to simulate combat conditions, and going through endless readiness inspections.

By the end of a four-year enlistment, if he has kept his nose clean and done his job, he should be able to reach E-5, and will have experience in running a crew, planning out a job, etc., as well as a solid technical knowledge of his trade.
Thanks for the great information.

He wants to eventually become a carpenter and for that he would go into the BU or builders ranking.


Now I have a couple more questions:

1. How many times did you have to actually fight?

2. How long must a person stay in before they can get full veterans benefits like being able to use VA hospitals or buy stuff from the PX?
  #22  
Old 11-21-2017, 12:07 AM
Loach Loach is online now
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The Seebees arenít the only option. MOS 12W is a carpentry and masonry specialist in the Army. The Army guarantees your MOS before you sign your contract. If thatís what he wants to do he should know he has other options.
  #23  
Old 11-21-2017, 09:09 AM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is online now
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The USAF also has the equivalent of Seabees.

The non-expeditionary folks who maintain existing facilities are called generally called "civil engineering". All the typical trades are represented.

There's also the expeditionary folks who fly in and build facilities from scratch or perform emergency repairs. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prime_...mergency_Force and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rapid_...dron_Engineers for more about that stuff.

See here for the recruiter info on all these kinds of jobs: https://www.airforce.com/careers/bro...ers/facilities
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Old 11-21-2017, 09:14 AM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is online now
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Late add. See also http://www.afcec.af.mil/ for the non-recruiter version.
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Old 11-21-2017, 10:28 AM
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Late add. See also http://www.afcec.af.mil/ for the non-recruiter version.
Also, I contend that the Air Force version is superior by virtue of the silliest initialism: "Prime BEEF".

Also, Air Force RED HORSE squadrons, which are probably the closest current Air Force analogue to a Seabee battalion

Last edited by gnoitall; 11-21-2017 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 11-21-2017, 10:36 AM
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Now I have a couple more questions:

1. How many times did you have to actually fight?
My father was a Seabee in the Vietnam War. There was never a time when he was exchanging fire with an enemy. But his base did a few times come under mortar fire, to which his unit's response was to run for the bunkers. And one of his occasional duties was to launch grenades at clods of turf floating down the river, because while those were usually just clods of turf, sometimes they concealed sappers trying to attack the bridge.
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Old 11-21-2017, 10:57 AM
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Thanks for the great information.

He wants to eventually become a carpenter and for that he would go into the BU or builders ranking.


Now I have a couple more questions:

1. How many times did you have to actually fight?

2. How long must a person stay in before they can get full veterans benefits like being able to use VA hospitals or buy stuff from the PX?
I never had to use my weapon against another person. When I was in Vietnam, I was posted to a public works detachment on a Marine Corps base. The Marines took care of perimeter defense, so we didn't have to. The base was the supply depot for the I Corps Marines, so technically it was a rear echelon base. My experience was eerily like Chronos' father's, enough so that I almost wonder if we were in the same place. On the other hand, right across the road from us was a Seabee battalion encampment, who would have had to defend themselves if there had been a ground assault. Like his dad, we came under rocket and mortar fire, and we had a number of guys medevacked with shrapnel injuries.

That said, there were plenty of 'Bees who had to defend what they built. Marvin Shields even received the MOH for heroism in Vietnam.

Benefits vary, and I would suggest searching online for most answers. PX privileges are pretty much restricted to active duty, retired, and civil service.

As for other services and their construction folks: my experience with them was less than favorable. We had a joint effort in RVN to built 15 seahuts at one of the bases. They needed them quickly, and we sent a team of five Seabees, while Red Horse (air force) send a team of ten. Our team erected eleven huts in the time it took Red Horse to put up four. That's not to say they haven't gotten better, but from what I saw in subsequent years, it looked fairly lame. Another consideration is that promotion in the AF is painfully slow. On the plus side, they're less likely to be in the serious shit in a combat area. Can't speak to the Army combat engineers, as I never saw them in action.

Last edited by Chefguy; 11-21-2017 at 10:59 AM.
  #28  
Old 11-21-2017, 11:10 AM
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Also, I contend that the Air Force version is superior by virtue of the silliest initialism: "Prime BEEF".
...
Yup.

If you like Prime BEEF you'll really like Prime RIBS. There's no good article on them I could find, but here's a link to their logo that tells you all you really need to know: http://www.af.mil/News/Art.aspx?igphoto=2000790640.

Have chow; will travel.

Last edited by LSLGuy; 11-21-2017 at 11:11 AM.
  #29  
Old 11-21-2017, 11:11 AM
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My experience was eerily like Chronos' father's, enough so that I almost wonder if we were in the same place.
Mostly Da Nang, I think.
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Old 11-21-2017, 11:53 AM
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Mostly Da Nang, I think.
Yup. I was at FLC Red Beach, just north of Da Nang.
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Old 11-21-2017, 01:27 PM
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Yup.

If you like Prime BEEF you'll really like Prime RIBS. There's no good article on them I could find, but here's a link to their logo that tells you all you really need to know: http://www.af.mil/News/Art.aspx?igphoto=2000790640.

Have chow; will travel.
An aphorism, attributed to a moderately successful commander: "An Army, like a serpent, goes upon its belly."

That's why I always respected the Services folks. (Other than the idea of what they could do to your chow if you didn't. )
  #32  
Old 11-21-2017, 04:53 PM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is online now
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Oh yeah. Never play a practical joke on the people who feed you. I just like the creative acronym.
  #33  
Old 11-21-2017, 05:09 PM
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Oh yeah. Never play a practical joke on the people who feed you. I just like the creative acronym.
One nice thing about being a 'Bee on a Marine base was that we always had head of the line privileges in the galley. It's a tradition with the Corps going back to WWII, as the Seabees were building all those amenities like toilets and showers and airfields and needed to eat and get back to work. We went in early for lunch one day and there was a boot private at the chow line. We started helping ourselves and he stopped us. The Gunny walked out just as the guy was telling us to get away from the food and leave the area. It was a nice ass-reaming, other than for the private, probably an 8/10, but then it was a Gunny and not a Sergeant Major.

Last edited by Chefguy; 11-21-2017 at 05:09 PM.
  #34  
Old 11-21-2017, 05:17 PM
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Oh yeah. Never play a practical joke on the people who feed you. I just like the creative acronym.
That was what the Boatswains were for. They were great to play jokes on and on a Carrier couldn't be less important.
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Old 11-21-2017, 05:23 PM
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Also, Air Force RED HORSE squadrons, which are probably the closest current Air Force analogue to a Seabee battalion
Paging Tripler.
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Old 11-21-2017, 07:01 PM
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Paging Tripler.
Uh-oh, now I'm in trouble. . .
  #37  
Old 11-22-2017, 04:21 AM
dba Fred dba Fred is offline
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Originally Posted by What Exit? View Post
That was what the Boatswains were for. They were great to play jokes on and on a Carrier couldn't be less important.
Iím guessing youíve never been on a bridge and seen the rating of personnel manning the helm and lee helm and various lookout stations. Or ever seen whoís manning the underway replenishment stations bringing aboard food, fuel and supplies. Or dropping the anchor, handling the boats when anchored out and securing the ship when tying up to the pier.
But Boatswain's mates on a Carrier couldn't be less important
dba Fred, 1st then 2nd Division Officer, Deck Department, USS Enterprise (CVN-65) many years ago
  #38  
Old 11-22-2017, 10:47 AM
Tripler Tripler is online now
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Uh-oh, now I'm in trouble. . .
Nahhhh, it's all good. I was with the 819 RED HORSE before I went EOD, then on my last deployment to Afghanistan (in an EOD capability), had NMCB support to our EOD Battalion.

What do you want to know about RED HORSE?

Tripler
"Lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way!"
  #39  
Old 11-22-2017, 10:48 AM
gnoitall gnoitall is offline
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Oh yeah. Never play a practical joke on the people who feed you. I just like the creative acronym.
Yeah. Debate the strategic and operational effectiveness of the difference services all you want, but anyone probably has to acknowledge that the Air Force has the best "marketing".

And to bring the Air Force discussion back on-point, here's a web page with a list of US Air Force enlisted Civil Engineering specialties (AFSCs, Air Force Specialty Codes -- the Air Force's equivalent of a Navy rating or an Army MOS).
  #40  
Old 11-22-2017, 10:50 AM
gnoitall gnoitall is offline
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Nahhhh, it's all good. I was with the 819 RED HORSE before I went EOD, then on my last deployment to Afghanistan (in an EOD capability), had NMCB support to our EOD Battalion.

What do you want to know about RED HORSE?

Tripler
"Lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way!"
Well, the context is enlisting in Civil Engineering military career fields as training for post-separation career in construction trades. OP was originally about Seabees, and I wanted to make sure the Air Force put in a good appearance. Which apparently is you.
  #41  
Old 11-22-2017, 11:40 AM
Tripler Tripler is online now
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Well, the context is enlisting in Civil Engineering military career fields as training for post-separation career in construction trades. OP was originally about Seabees, and I wanted to make sure the Air Force put in a good appearance. Which apparently is you.
Well, in my younger days after a couple of beers at the end of a long workweek at the local watering hole, it was a fine appearance, but with us rowdy bunch, I would hesitate to say "good".

So, I was a 1LT when I got to the HORSE, and can't speak to direct enlistments this year--a lot has changed (mostly for the better). At the time, IIRC, there was a dearth of AF Civil Engineers, and the enlistment/re-enlistment bonuses for the 3EXXX-series AFSCs. 3E7X1 (Fire Department) and 3E8X1 (EOD) weren't attached to RED HORSE units, but had some pretty high re-enlistment bonuses due to the low manning/high OPSTEMPO. That, and the Air Force is looking to expand in 2018. There's still a stressed need for AF Civil Engineers, and signing up for a particular career field is a different path than a Base of Preference (BOP) program, which could line you up with a geographical area to get you into a HORSE.

There are three active duty RED HORSE Squadrons: the 819th at Malmstrom AFB, MT, the 820th at Nellis AFB, NV, and the 823rd at Hurlburt Field, FL. There are a smattering of Reserve RED HORSE squadrons, and they are usually attached to active duty ones. Here's a quick list. Again, recollecting individual unit assignments, that's on a "mission needs first" basis, meaning the first-need gets filled first.

The only prerequisites I know of are to have a decent ASVAB score, and be willing to deploy. . . a lot. I know of PLENTY of Airmen who were able to parlay their Air Force-learned engineering skills to the outside world. In my opinion, the Civil Engineer career fields are one of the most successful military skillsets to be applicable in the outside world (as opposed to other 'purely military' skillsets like Security Forces, Intelligence, or Combat Shoe-Clerking).

So to answer your question, I think it's twofold: 1) Enlisting under a 'guaranteed contract' of an AFSC; and 2) Working the Base of Preference program.

Tripler
The only hard fact I can provide: "Speak with a recruiter, and don't sign a thing until you get what you want."
  #42  
Old 11-22-2017, 12:22 PM
Tripler Tripler is online now
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At the time, IIRC, there was a dearth of AF Civil Engineers, and the enlistment/re-enlistment bonuses for the 3EXXX-series AFSCs.
Should read: "At the time, IIRC, there was a dearth of AF Civil Engineers, and the enlistment/re-enlistment bonuses for the 3EXXX-series AFSCs were good."
  #43  
Old 11-22-2017, 12:53 PM
Bear_Nenno Bear_Nenno is offline
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Loach beat me to it. The Army has construction people too. Screw drivers, bulldozers... all kinds of construction stuff. Best part is they will guarantee the job in writing. Try to be a Seabee and you could end up a barnacle breeder or whatever they call the guy who has to pull dead dolphins out of the Navy's tuna nets.
  #44  
Old 11-22-2017, 02:13 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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Originally Posted by Tripler View Post
Nahhhh, it's all good. I was with the 819 RED HORSE before I went EOD, then on my last deployment to Afghanistan (in an EOD capability), had NMCB support to our EOD Battalion.

What do you want to know about RED HORSE?

Tripler
"Lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way!"
I have to say that the Air Force always had the best food. Seabee chow was only about one step above what the Marines had to eat. We used to sneak over to the AFB whenever there was one available, or over to a regular Navy chow hall. It got so bad in Guam that the Naval Station banned the battalion from eating over there unless there was an active project going on nearby, in which case they would issue special temporary ID cards to the crew. They had an ice cream sundae bar! I got stuck with a crew working at the Naval Magazine, which was staffed by Marines. Worst chow since Vietnam.
  #45  
Old 11-22-2017, 02:25 PM
Chronos Chronos is online now
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Yeah, my uncle who was in the Army (Vietnam era, but in Germany) always loved getting sent over to the Air Force side of the base for some errand or another, because then he got to eat the Air Force food instead of the Army. He said that they got all of the same supplies, but that the Army put no effort whatsoever into preparing them.
  #46  
Old 11-22-2017, 02:59 PM
Loach Loach is online now
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Originally Posted by Bear_Nenno View Post
Loach beat me to it. The Army has construction people too. Screw drivers, bulldozers... all kinds of construction stuff. Best part is they will guarantee the job in writing. Try to be a Seabee and you could end up a barnacle breeder or whatever they call the guy who has to pull dead dolphins out of the Navy's tuna nets.
For others because I know Bear knows this.

My 3rd and final MOS was 12B combat engineer. Thatís the type that blows shut up and doesnít build anything. Fine by me I already had a civilian career. 12Bs are the ones driving the Husky and Buffalo to clear routes of IEDs. Setting up obstacles and destroying obstacles. The fun stuff.

The Army Corps of Enginners has many more jobs that are directly applicable to civilian life. They use the term horizontal and vertical. The horizontal engineers are the heavy equipment operators. Back hoes, bulldozers, big forklifts... everything thatís used on the civilian side. The vertical guys are the carpenters, masons, electricians, plumbers... everything you need to build buildings. There really are a ton of different jobs with experience that can be used on the civilian side and the Corps of Engineers are in the forefront of large public work projects.
  #47  
Old 11-22-2017, 03:04 PM
What Exit? What Exit? is offline
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Yeah, my uncle who was in the Army (Vietnam era, but in Germany) always loved getting sent over to the Air Force side of the base for some errand or another, because then he got to eat the Air Force food instead of the Army. He said that they got all of the same supplies, but that the Army put no effort whatsoever into preparing them.
Tin Cans (destroyers & frigates) were known to have better enlisted food with lesser supplies than carriers. Cooking for a few hundred vs 4000 made a big difference. The Chief messes on the carriers were excellent though by all accounts.
  #48  
Old 11-22-2017, 03:38 PM
electronbee electronbee is offline
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Originally Posted by What Exit? View Post
Time period was 1983 for my friend and 85 for myself. I wanted ET or one of the other Electronic Tech like fields, I was planning to be an Electrical Engineer at the time. No idea what doesn't add up. They assigned me to EM and I decided 4 years was plenty long enough for me instead of 6.

Also I unlucky enough to miss out on the GI Bill and only got a far inferior program called VEEP.

Your ignorance needs to be addressed rather than dismissing my post. Be more careful in the future please.
ET/FC was/is a six-year enlistment. As we spent, well this might have changed, but up until 2010 you spent more than two years in schools, hence that six-year enlistment. Nukes are also six-years as they spend the first two years at Nuke school before shipping out. Your story still doesn't convince me you are legit though. Maybe it's too much time on the Stolen Valor sites...

Also, it's VEAP.
  #49  
Old 11-22-2017, 05:07 PM
What Exit? What Exit? is offline
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ET/FC was/is a six-year enlistment. As we spent, well this might have changed, but up until 2010 you spent more than two years in schools, hence that six-year enlistment. Nukes are also six-years as they spend the first two years at Nuke school before shipping out. Your story still doesn't convince me you are legit though. Maybe it's too much time on the Stolen Valor sites...

Also, it's VEAP.
Look asshole, I was in long before you. I spent 4 years Navy, only made it to E4 as an EM3. Nuke was 6 years, ET was only 4 back in 1984 when I was talking to and be tricked by the recruiter. As to VEAP, yes that was corrected above and I know it very well. I was indeed a fresh-air snipe on the USS Ranger, that is fine. I spent time in every shop except flight deck in E-Div. Stood watches from Steering to Switchboard with 400mhz and was training for Load Dispatcher. Back then I knew the steam cycle as well as any MM or BT, now I have probably forgotten most of it.

Want to make bullshit accusations about more stuff, you'll love this one, I made it through boot camp without firing a gun. Impossible you say, well if you think I full of shit, I'll explain it in detail but it involved both being ASMO'd and then Training PO in the next company when I was suppose to go to the range. While mess cranking I transferred myself from Galley to Bake shop. Help that I was the only one that really knew how to repair the doughnut machine.

What else will give you more fuel? Oh, I got Cap advanced from E3 to E4 and then almost got busted later on back to E3. Thankfully the Chiefs appreciated my work and protected me from an asshole Warrant Officer. I got off with a small fine and 20 days stuck on the boat. Oh my extra duty was pretty easy, I had so many friend on the ship that they would go to the MAA shack and request me for the night. Sometimes I did easy electrical work and sometimes I played games. I did get stuck with the damn needle guns twice though.

As all of this was 30 years ago, I do forget some fine details. Good luck remembering every detail from 30 years ago yourself.

Want to know about the time I got an Ensign in trouble for trying to force me to attend a religious service?
  #50  
Old 11-22-2017, 05:23 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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Originally Posted by What Exit? View Post
Look asshole, I was in long before you. I spent 4 years Navy, only made it to E4 as an EM3. Nuke was 6 years, ET was only 4 back in 1984 when I was talking to and be tricked by the recruiter. As to VEAP, yes that was corrected above and I know it very well. I was indeed a fresh-air snipe on the USS Ranger, that is fine. I spent time in every shop except flight deck in E-Div. Stood watches from Steering to Switchboard with 400mhz and was training for Load Dispatcher. Back then I knew the steam cycle as well as any MM or BT, now I have probably forgotten most of it.

Want to make bullshit accusations about more stuff, you'll love this one, I made it through boot camp without firing a gun. Impossible you say, well if you think I full of shit, I'll explain it in detail but it involved both being ASMO'd and then Training PO in the next company when I was suppose to go to the range. While mess cranking I transferred myself from Galley to Bake shop. Help that I was the only one that really knew how to repair the doughnut machine.

What else will give you more fuel? Oh, I got Cap advanced from E3 to E4 and then almost got busted later on back to E3. Thankfully the Chiefs appreciated my work and protected me from an asshole Warrant Officer. I got off with a small fine and 20 days stuck on the boat. Oh my extra duty was pretty easy, I had so many friend on the ship that they would go to the MAA shack and request me for the night. Sometimes I did easy electrical work and sometimes I played games. I did get stuck with the damn needle guns twice though.

As all of this was 30 years ago, I do forget some fine details. Good luck remembering every detail from 30 years ago yourself.

Want to know about the time I got an Ensign in trouble for trying to force me to attend a religious service?
Let it slide, man. It don't mean nuthin'. I try to be cautious about saying what's what in the Navy these days, as I retired 27 years ago and I'm sure that much has changed. Haven't been accused of being a poser, and I'm not sure what I would do if that happened face-to-face. But on the internet? Shit, like I said, it don't mean nuthin'.
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