Author Sam Fellman

“Being in the Navy actually has helped me a lot with getting comfortable with who I am,” says Electronics Technician 3rd Class Taylor Short, a 21-year-old sailor who posted videos online this month about being gay in the Navy. Since the ban on gays serving openly ended on Sept. 19, gay sailors are finding a variety of ways, large and small, to come forward about themselves. A lieutenant married his long-time partner at the stroke of midnight when the law lifted; a seaman posted “I’m gay” on her Facebook page. Short said in a video that he was already out to many…

A ship is making a Halloween port call in Washington, D.C., and not just any ship — ghost ship Barry. “Hundreds have served onboard, but some never left,” reads the invitation to the haunted ship, written by the Naval History and Heritage Command. “Come and find out who still haunts the decks of display ship Barry…” For those who dare, the ghoulish ship — a decommissioned destroyer which spends the rest of the year tied up as a fairly staid display ship at Washington Navy Yard — is open to the public on Friday night from 5 p.m. to 10…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvOmFfGu95c&feature=player_profilepage[/youtube] In a birthday video, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jon Greenert celebrated the 236th anniversary of the Navy’s founding in a dramatic setting. “Happy 236th birthday!” he said from the deck of the carrier John C. Stennis, as it passed through the Strait of Hormuz, with the cruiser Mobile Bay serving as a backdrop. “We’ve got 200 more good years ahead of us.” The setting reinforced one of his three central tenets: operate forward. “It’s about being forward, it’s about deterrent and it’s about bringing the offshore option to our president,” he said. “I want to thank you for…

It may be time to break out your blues. The date of the semiannual uniform change over from whites to blues is set by each of the 12 Navy regions, but wide swaths of the U.S. are changing over now. Blues became the official dress uniform for sailors from Maine to Maryland on Monday, just in time for a cold snap hitting the east coast. Sailors in the Washington, D.C., area are also switching to blues. But sailors in North Carolina and Virginia will have to wait two more weeks, until the third Monday in October, to don their blues.…

The idea for Doritos tortilla chips, which brought about a sea change in snacking and became a top seller for Frito-Lay, came from the mind of former Navy man Arch West, who died of natural causes on Sept. 20. He was 97. West joined the Navy in 1943 and served as a gunnery officer onboard destroyer escort Holt in the Pacific during World War II, according to The Dallas Morning News. A chance encounter on a family vacation inspired West to mass-market tortilla chips, according to The Washington Post: “He was on a family vacation in Southern California in 1964…

Speakers paid tribute to the family of former Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead at his retirement ceremony last Friday in Annapolis. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus presented an award to his wife Ellen and thanked his daughter Elizabeth “for sharing your father with us.” But for two other members of the Roughead family, Mabus’ compliments proved double-edged. “And I can’t fail to mention the contributions of Clancy, the smiling Labrador, and Arleigh, the latest addition, although I do have to say that the vaunted discipline of Gary Roughead does not seem to have rubbed off on the dogs at…

The law banning gays from serving openly ended Tuesday at 12:01 a.m. Now that it’s history, gay sailors are coming forward in ways ranging from showy to subtle. Others are simply blunt. One of them is Master-at-Arms Seaman Casie Jude, who’s posted in Italy. In a Facebook update on Tuesday she wrote, “Dear Navy: I’m gay. Duh.” One of her commenters replied, “I knew it!!!” Another sailor coming forward is Lt. Gary Ross. The 33-year-old surface warfare officer was married very early this morning at a small ceremony in Duxbury, Vt. to his partner of 11 years, Dan Swezy. It…

As he prepares to step down from the military’s top post in two weeks, Adm. Mike Mullen braved the bright lights and barbs of The Daily Show on Monday one last time. Mullen, while discussing his career, braced himself for the comedic trap, which host Jon Stewart laid about a  trip they had taken together to Afghanistan in July to visit the troops. Mullen — a veteran of three wars, not to mention countless comedy show appearances — proved his mettle. “I was surprised that when we landed at Kandahar, that you forced them to carry you around on a litter.…

To kick off the 50th anniversary of the Combined Federal Campaign on Wednesday, Naval Support Facility Dahlgren,Va. had an audacious goal: setting the world record for most people simultaneously doing the Cha-Cha Slide. To drum up support for the CFC drive, base organizers got hundreds of people dancing at zero hour: 12:30 p.m. Wednesday on a base field. But they came up 1,947 dancers short to take the title in the Guinness Book of World Records from a realty, which got 2,387 cha-chaers dancing at a convention center in Anaheim, Calif. in February. The 441 dancers who materialized Wednesday may not…

The Naval Academy maintained its stature as one of the country’s top colleges, according to the annual rankings released on Tuesday by U.S. News and World Report. Annapolis came in tied with its rival, West Point, as the 14th best national liberal arts college. But both trounced the U.S. Air Force Academy, which clocked in at a respectable 33rd place. (There are 280 “national liberal arts colleges” according to U.S. News and World Report.) The Annapolis ranking is a slight rise from last year’s report, when it came in 16th. In addition, the academy ranked fifth in the undergraduate engineering…

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