Author Kevin Lilley

In two ceremonies over a three-day span at the end of last month, four enlisted sailors and one officer received Bronze Star Medals. Navy Diver 1st Class (DSW/SW) John Hanson and ND2 (DSW/SW) Robert Klingaman received their honors June 25 at Southeast Regional Maintenance Center in Jacksonville, Fla., according to a Navy release. Both earned the awards while attached to Naval Special Warfare Group 3, for what the release called “a highly sensitive special operation critical to the national defense of the United States.” A spokesperson with SRMC could provide no further details; both men served with the Little Creek,…

A sailor assigned to a destroyer heading to Spain next year got an early going-away present July 4 from the Virginia Lottery. Gunner’s Mate 1st Class (SW) Christopher Kulp stopped by a Norfolk, Va., supermarket July 4 to pick up some corn on the cob and some shrimp — extra supplies for an Independence Day party. He also grabbed a $5 “Jewel 7’s” scratch-off ticket, which he scratched off in his car. First he uncovered the game portion of the ticket, which showed he was a winner. Then he scratched off the prize — $100,000. “My heart fell in my…

Doug Engelbart died Wednesday. He was 88. It’s not a household name by any stretch, but if you clicked, pointed, tapped or scrolled your way to what you’re reading presently, it should be: As pointed out in the headlines of multiple obituaries, Engelbart invented the computer mouse. His contributions to the computer field went far beyond what was once a wood-encased block connected to a primitive CPU — early advances in computer networking that led the way from vacuum-tube-filled, punch-card-fed monsters to the sleek machines we use today. What was his inspiration for such developments? Well, according to his New…

Lt. Brad Snyder is no stranger to our corner of the media universe, but his next competition is on a whole new level — publicity-wise, anyway. Snyder, blinded by an improvised explosive device blast in 2011 while serving in Afghanistan, has two Bronze Stars. He has two Paralympic swimming gold medals, both from the 2012 London games. But skill, perseverance, practice and the ability to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles won’t help him add to his award total this time around: He needs votes if he wants an ESPY. Snyder’s one of five candidates up for this year’s Best Male Athlete…

One of America’s closest naval allies — and the source of many U.S. naval customs — underwent a significant script change over the weekend. The traditional Saturday toast aboard a British Royal Navy vessel, up until last Saturday, had been a simple one: “To our wives and sweethearts.” The traditional response, either from the youngest officer present or the resident smart aleck, had also been simple: “May they never meet.” Both are gone. The Associated Press reports the new toast will be to “our families.” Also, the Tuesday toast to “our men” will become “our sailors.” A British military statement…

First, read Scoop Deck’s take on the recent cereal faker scandal that has rocketed its way around the Internet, to the point of drawing an official response from the Navy about Cap’n Crunch’s personnel records, or lack thereof. A Navy spokesman says NCIS will soon get involved in what will certainly be labeled “Crunch-gate,” and since the real NCIS couldn’t possibly be bothered, it’s a natural assumption that he means these guys. But really, if you want a TV show to address this mess, it’s best left to the experts. Stephen Colbert weighs in below, but here are some key…

It was going to be the last re-enlistment ceremony Jesse Siordia Jr. would ever plan. So, why not go big? Ready to re-up for six years after serving 14, the operations specialist second class decided to try and book country music superstar Toby Keith for the gig, hoping to connect with the singer June 16, when Keith’s “Hammer Down” tour rolled through Detroit. Siordia, a reservist with Navy Operational Support Center Detroit, started sending emails to everything with Keith’s name on it: Websites, record companies, casual dining establishments — “I went after everything I could possibly find,” he said. No…

You might not have a decal on your car to tell the world about your Navy service much longer, but active and retired chiefs in at least one state have an alternative option — one open only to them. South Carolina began issuing chiefs-only license plates (that’s one on the right) earlier this month, according to a news release issued by the Patriots Point Foundation, the fundraising group behind the Charleston Harbor-based museum that includes the decommissioned aircraft carrier Yorktown. The plate costs $60 and has been endorsed by the South Carolina-based chiefs’ messes at Nuclear Power Training Unit Charleston…

The video says it all, but read on below for a bit more background: [HTML1] That’s SEAL Cmdr. Chris Cassidy aboard the International Space Station, giving a quick glimpse (very quick, thanks to sped-up video with an appropriately lighthearted soundtrack) at how to shave one’s head in zero gravity. Key quote: “I don’t think I’ve looked like this since Plebe Summer.” The 1993 Naval Academy grad shed his hair late last month in anticipation of the arrival of Luca Parmitano, an Italian astronaut who, well … who saves on barbershop bills. Parmitano and two other flight engineers arrived aboard the…

Becoming a Navy chief is like joining a family. And sometimes, joining a family means helping with yardwork. Seventy-one years ago today, Charles “Chuck” Wheeler was serving aboard the aircraft carrier Enterprise (CV 6) during the Battle of Midway. He stayed on the flattop into 1944 and remained in the Navy for 28 years, retiring as a chief. Now 94, he sometimes needs a bit of help doing work outside his Foley, Ala., home. Those needs were passed along to the Chief Petty Officer Association at Naval Hospital Pensacola, Fla., by another veteran working aboard the battleship Alabama, now a…

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