Navy time vs. Civilian Time

I swear this actually happened
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Keith Holman
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Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2005 7:43 pm
First Name: Rufus Keith
Last Name: Holman
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Which Years on Board: 1980-84
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Navy time vs. Civilian Time

Post by Keith Holman » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:17 pm

We've finally gotten to show real progress on a couple of things like the store and the bench and its frustrating how long some things take.
But then I remember some other schedules I've been subjected to.
Like the refueling/missile conversion overhaul at NNS&DD in the early 80s.
I arrived onboard the barge (because there wasn't enough of the ship to report to) on a Saturday evening in a snowstorm. 9+ inches of snow in Tidewater really shut the world down in January 1980. At the time, the rule was "If the shipyard and schools are closed, just come in on your duty day." Having just arrived, I hadn't been assigned to a duty section yet. That lasted until Thursday when the XO (LCDR Marshall) put out the word that ship's company was to be there on Thursday.
The overhaul was about 9 months along at that time and there seemed to be more holes cut into the boat than there was boat. The overhaul was scheduled for 18 months and it appeared to be there was a lot of work to be done although there were no official changes in our scheduled get out of there date.
Betty and I got married that April and I rented a house with a one-year lease, making sure it had a military escape clause because there was no way we would be there a full year.
That summer, we bought a house in Summerville from a retired CPO that was building a new house and wanted to rent back for 6 months. This was terrific, we had the house in Hampton until April 1981 if we wanted it with no penalty for leaving early, we had the house in Summerville in 6 or 7 months (in case their construction ran long). Life was good. But USN and NNS&DD wanted to teach us more about flexibility.
CPO and Mrs. Whats-his-name construction did run long, very long. Some issues arose like paying rent on time since they hadn't moved out on time. But we still had a mortgage to pay and rent on that little house in Hampton. They did eventually move on out doing minimal damage but not something I enjoyed.
Oh yeah, USN and NNS&DD were still publishing schedules that bore no resemblance to the civilian calendar. The realtor found us a short-term tenant who literally passed CPO and Mrs in the front lawn moving out. The short-term tenant moved early with no notice. Our landlord in Hampton agreed to let us extend the lease month-to-month since there was no way we'd be there a full additional year.
Summer 1981 was hard to get leave since I was on the watchbill for initial crit and USN and NNS&DD still hadn't revised the schedules.
The schedule had drug on so long that there was now little talk of gold and blue crews and had shifted to green and greener crews. The experienced guys were reaching rotation dates, and EAOS dates and some were even retiring.
Finally things seemed to be moving again.
We did trials with each crew around Thanksgiving and the other crew moved to Charleston at year's end to meet us soon. But some things weren't right on the boat so we waited for NNS&DD to fix those and get us moving.
We finally scheduled a mover to empty the Hampton house in April 1982 when the other crew would have the boat and I could take leave. Well, that was the way we planned it anyway.
I did catch up with her again in Charleston after she'd gotten everything moved.
Betty moved in April 1982, two years after the initial lease in Hampton, the house in Summerville had been empty close to a year.
I have often said my time on the Madison included the final 27 months of an 18 month overhaul/yard availability.
~Keith
Reunion Association President

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