Author Mark Faram

Ernie Borgnine was the reason I joined the Navy, though I didn’t meet him until 2003 at the Navy Memorial in downtown Washington, D.C. As a child growing up in the 1960s, one of my favorite television shows was “McHale’s Navy,” with Borgnine playing the part of Lt. Cmdr. Quentin McHale, drawing from his own experiences in nearly 10 years on active duty. “Doing that show was very much like being back in the Navy for me,” Borgnine said. “And like being part of a ship’s crew, we really became very close doing that show and many of us stayed…

When we last saw Josh and Greg in April, the Navy’s inseparable and loveable pot-smoking puppets had experienced a major hiccup in their friendship as outlined in Scoop Deck post here. That came, of course, after Josh turned his best friend in for smoking spice. After that, Greg was kicked out of the Navy. After a brief rehash of the previous episode, creator Geoff Breedwell picks up the story with Josh visiting the newly separated Greg. This new message comes at a time when the Navy is cracking down hard on spice. There have been major busts on a few…

For the third time, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (SS/SW) Rick West has posted a video on the web, but has declined to add his voice to the mix. Still, he gets his message across quite well by flashing a series of cards to his audience. This message? It was the safest year and summer for the Navy in the past decade.It starts out with a bit of symbolism that summer is now over as he seems to put away his baseball bats before picking up his flash cards to send his message. It’s his third video posted…

If you are a Navy snipe, then August is your month. That’s because on Aug. 31, 1842, the first enlisted engineering ratings — fireman and coal heaver — were created. Steam technology was in its early days at sea when the Navy built it’s second steam ship, the Fulton II, in 1837. And sailors would be needed to operate and maintain the boilers. To man these new ships, Congress passed a law on on Aug. 31, 1842, establishing the two ratings. Those already skilled in steam and machinery skills would be enlisted as firemen. Those with no skills could join…

Is your master chief old? I mean really old? Well he or she just might rate an honor for that. The Surface Navy Association is searching for its next “Old Tar” — the active-duty enlisted sailor who has been Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist qualified for the longest. According to NavAdmin message 224/09, applications will be accepted for anyone who earned their pin “equal to or later than Aug. 1, 1982” — and has the paperwork to prove it. The award, created in 1996 by the Surface Navy Association is currently held by recently retired Command Master Chief Sammie L. Lymon.…

Greetings from Chicago! Navy Times staff writer Mark Faram is at the 21st Annual Navy Career Counselor’s Symposium this week, getting the straight scoop on everything impacting your career. Check back for news and blog items from the conference. If there’s anything you would like to have us find out while we’re here, just send an e-mail to mfaram@navytimes.com.

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