Wednesday, July 21, 2021

So, Why Am I in California?

USS Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001)
U.S. Navy Photo

Doing my job is the short answer, the long answer would bore you and get me in trouble. Let's just say that I'm doing systems testing aboard USS Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001) pierside in San Diego. (Or Sandy Eggo as Our Lex would have said.)

It's been hot (though not nearly as hot as inland) but there's a nice breeze coming in over the helo deck. Also the interior of the ship is air conditioned. Lots of walking is involved and the days are long (ish). Eleven hours has been the norm so far.

But I am loving every minute of it.

My co-workers are awesome and the crew is outstanding.

It's been a good evolution so far, though we're only two days in to a three week event, I have no complaints. I also have a new hat.


I love my job.

It's also worthwhile to remember who the ship's namesake is.

A hero in every sense of that word.

MA2 Michael A. Monsoor, United States Navy
U.S. Navy Photo

The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to

MASTER AT ARMS SECOND CLASS, SEA, AIR and LAND
MICHAEL A. MONSOOR
UNITED STATES NAVY
For service as set forth in the following CITATION:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as Automatic Weapons Gunner for Naval Special Warfare Task Group Arabian Peninsula, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 29 September 2006. As a member of a combined SEAL and Iraqi Army sniper overwatch element, tasked with providing early warning and stand-off protection from a rooftop in an insurgent-held sector of Ar Ramadi, Iraq, Petty Officer Monsoor distinguished himself by his exceptional bravery in the face of grave danger. In the early morning, insurgents prepared to execute a coordinated attack by reconnoitering the area around the element's position. Element snipers thwarted the enemy's initial attempt by eliminating two insurgents. The enemy continued to assault the element, engaging them with a rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire. As enemy activity increased, Petty Officer Monsoor took position with his machine gun between two teammates on an outcropping of the roof. While the SEALs vigilantly watched for enemy activity, an insurgent threw a hand grenade from an unseen location, which bounced off Petty Officer Monsoor's chest and landed in front of him. Although only he could have escaped the blast, Petty Officer Monsoor chose instead to protect his teammates. Instantly and without regard for his own safety, he threw himself onto the grenade to absorb the force of the explosion with his body, saving the lives of his two teammates. By his undaunted courage, fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of certain death, Petty Officer Monsoor gallantly gave his life for his country, thereby reflecting great credit upon himself and upholding the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

 Lest we forget...



40 comments:

  1. An unexpected pollen spike here in Philly as I read the citation.

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  2. Lots of dust here also John.....that's mucho dinero resting at dockside. Hope the next class of warships turn out differently than the LCS and Zumwalts, at least money-wise.

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    1. Speaking of which, we'll have far fewer LCSs in a couple years. Small budgets require hard decisions.

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    2. Fewer LCSs seems like a good thing. IMHO

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  3. That is a very nice hat Sarge.

    Just did a quick information download thanks to the InterWeb. How cool you get to see the second ship in a new class.

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  4. Whatever you do will be a significant upgrade. I have often wondered why the military does not make use of the Senior Enlisted (Retired) community to comment on the designs of new systems before going out to bid. Old Guns

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    1. OldGuns
      It is against policy to do anything that makes sense.

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    2. A peacetime tradition for over 200 years. (YMMV)

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    3. Old Guns - Early on I overheard some feedback from a bunch of Navy chiefs (all three flavors) and they weren't impressed. Some changes were made, but they listen more to the bureaucrats and desk jockeys than the actual guys who go to sea.

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    4. WSF - Which is why I topped out at E-7!

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  5. "Although only he could have escaped the blast, Petty Officer Monsoor chose instead to protect his teammates. "

    It's one thing to fall on a grenade when you know you're going to die regardless. It's a whole different thing...

    Rest in peace, Warrior!

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  6. Glad you are staying cool. Miserable heat is, well, miserable.

    Thanks for the writeup on Petty Officer Monsoor. Glad the ship was named after a hero instead of a zero or a politician.

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    1. One of the better named ships in the fleet!

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  7. Damn, been there done that, and got the hat, you have! Thanks for your continued commitment to our armed forces, Sarge!

    Used to play a game called canteen. 40 guys to a team. The object was to physically carry the canteen through the enemy goal. Throwing, kicking or whatever did not constitute a score. There were no other rules. Kind of a rough game. Officers and enlisted, we all 'played', and there was no rank on that field. Ah, the good old days, in the mud and the blood, and the beer!

    Anyhow, one of the side attractions was the other canteen game where, between plays, somebody would toss the canteen down and yell "Grenade!" It was one of those little 'trainings' that some people didn't think much about, but I think more of us did, and we knew just exactly what it meant. Like many other forms of muscle memory training, it instilled an automatic response. Esprit de Corps. We may fight like hell amongst ourselves for fun, but when the shit is real, it's the good of the team above that of the individual. While some folks may think there's not much of that spirit left in our armed forces, Michael Monsoor called bullshit on that hypothesis.

    Yeah the damned pollen has spiked here in Wisconsin today, as well. May the Good Lord Bless Michael, and keep him in the front ranks of His Avenging Angels forever more.

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  8. I understand the concept, I mean why it's shaped as it is, but my mind tells me that it's a rough draft instead of a completed project.

    Inland heat is given in California.
    Today it's supposed to be cooler, at 94, here.
    The smoke is off to the east bothering others so far this year.

    I've made acquaintance with a former SEAL or two.
    The hesitation factor with them is very brief.
    God bless Michael Mansoor.

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    1. I know what you mean about the design Skip, it's very different.

      Amen on MA2 Monsoor.

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  9. You have to think how the lives of those 2 he saved were/are affected. Mansoor will be in their conscienceless for the remainder of their lives.

    Is that thing fixable? (you could tell me but then....)

    Hope you will stop by Shakespeares.

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    1. I can tell you one thing William, this ship is special, and I mean that in a good way. Her crew is outstanding. We're working hard to make her a warship in fact as well as in name.

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  10. God bless the SEALs - we give 'em a lot of grief, but they are some of the best examples of toxic masculinity that I can think of. May Michael Monsoor rest in peace for all time.
    You pic brought back some memories - I stayed in the same hotel a couple of years ago when we were at a convention - also had a nice view but on the other side the building. Enjoy the food while you are there - some really great little holes in the wall, especially fish and Mexican. And stay safe - keep your radar out in condition yellow at all times, Sarge.
    Oh, yeah - since you are doing something useful, I don't begrudge your spending our tax dollars, once removed, while you are out that way. :-) Unlike some idiots from Texas who are creating a mess in our nation's capital right now. (takes deep breaths to calm down...)

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    1. They're not giving us much time to get into trouble! Busy, busy, busy. And I'm lovin' it!

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  11. I wrote two that went nowhere. Won't write anymore tongiht.

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  12. She is a beautiful ship. I hope that she and her crew will live up to her glorious namesake.

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  13. Have been AWOL here in comments for awhile. All's well, just busy, including baby sitting our (now) five month old grandson a few days a week when his folks work days overlap. Stiff reminder of why you do this when you are young, but a true blessing that he is getting to know grandpa and grandma.

    Congratulations on your gig aboard USS Michael Monsoor. What an honor. I have a question--did you happen to see this drawing posted aboard ship?--

    https://www.etsy.com/listing/269906128/navy-seal-michael-monsoor-tribute?ref=pla_sameshop_listing_top-1

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    1. Congratulations on the new grandson! I haven't seen that drawing on the ship. I'll look. Truly magnificent.

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    2. The reason I am asking is the artist is my oldest son. There were plans for him to hand deliver it at a ceremony aboard ship, but that got cancelled due to all the COVID B.S. IIRC, he wound up sending it digitally so they could crop/re-size it for the space available.

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    3. I'll take a closer look around the quarter deck, might be in the crew's mess, I haven't been there.

      Your son does nice work!

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  14. Brother Monsoor deserved a better ship; too bad we don't have any.
    Your good works ARE appreciated, however
    Boat Guy

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    1. Her crew is working hard to make her worthy.

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Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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