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post #1 of 7 Old May 4th, 2008, 6:26 pm Thread Starter
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Carrier PBS series

I did 22 years USN. One of my career goals was to NOT get assigned to a carrier. (Who wants to drive circles in the Indian Ocean for 6 months?)

I have a neighbor who was a Navy bubble-head nuke and we were talking about the PBS series "Carrier".

We both agreed it was good watching.

If you haven't seen any of it, it is worth checking out. Carrier flight ops, that is cool stuff!
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post #2 of 7 Old May 4th, 2008, 6:34 pm
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Re: Carrier PBS series

Wife and I watched the whole series, we both thought it was good even with the same 5 or 6 little"I don't understand why we are here" guys.

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post #3 of 7 Old May 4th, 2008, 6:48 pm
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Re: Carrier PBS series

I have mixed feelings about the show. The company I work for, CSC, was the primary sponsor. So I went out of my way to catch the program. I watched the first couple episodes and had mixed feelings about what I felt were stories of "if it weren't for the Navy, I'd be in jail (on drugs, dead, etc.)".

My feelings are mixed because I think the Navy can offer a lot to someone who's life is approaching a dead end or otherwise appear to have no way out of the circle of dread they might be living. The Navy offers wonderful opportunities for education, training, and provides much of the discipline many of these kids seem to desire/need.

On the other hand, I felt the program dwelled too much with these folks, giving the impression (at least to me) that our military is full of kids escaping a dead end life in the military. Having known many Naval Officers and Enlisted Men and Women, I know this is not the case. I felt this program catered to the drama of reality television rather than a true day-in-the-life of Navy personnel.


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post #4 of 7 Old May 4th, 2008, 8:31 pm
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Re: Carrier PBS series

As an Army brat who has lived on Army and Navy bases around the world, I've been watching this series with some interest. El Jeffe described my feelings to a "t".

I'd like to think that every one of the 5,000+ sailors on a carrier (or any other military facility) is there for all the right reasons, but it just can't be that way. Too bad.

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post #5 of 7 Old May 5th, 2008, 5:20 am Thread Starter
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Re: Carrier PBS series

Your comments are well stated and on the mark.
I haven't seen every episode, but became tired of the emphasis on the emotional traumas of family separation and on the "trials" of immature kids who came to the Navy with few other options, but that is the real Navy. Naval Service does a lot of good for some of those immature individuals, others just "flunk out".
I sat on admin discharge boards during my careeer as part to the process of culling out the really undesirables who make it in. That part of the Navy wasn't shown in episodes I saw. Captain's Mast and NJP proceedings: almost every port call for a ship that size creates legal problems because of bad behavior by some sailor(s) on the beach.
That is the true underbelly of the service. I recall a Commanding Officer I served as a Department Head for telling me: "I never thought of the Navy as an alternative to Welfare until I came to this ship." He was an Annapolis Grad and "grew up" in submarines. It wasn't until he took command of a surface ship (SubTender) that he had to deal with surface sailors. My point is that the communities are different, when you work across the communities and see the big picture, it isn't all nice and neat and professional. But it is the reality.

What I really enjoyed about the series was seeing the flight ops, the technology, the professionalism of the folks who get the job done.


Quote:
Originally Posted by eljeffe
I have mixed feelings about the show. The company I work for, CSC, was the primary sponsor. So I went out of my way to catch the program. I watched the first couple episodes and had mixed feelings about what I felt were stories of "if it weren't for the Navy, I'd be in jail (on drugs, dead, etc.)".

My feelings are mixed because I think the Navy can offer a lot to someone who's life is approaching a dead end or otherwise appear to have no way out of the circle of dread they might be living. The Navy offers wonderful opportunities for education, training, and provides much of the discipline many of these kids seem to desire/need.

On the other hand, I felt the program dwelled too much with these folks, giving the impression (at least to me) that our military is full of kids escaping a dead end life in the military. Having known many Naval Officers and Enlisted Men and Women, I know this is not the case. I felt this program catered to the drama of reality television rather than a true day-in-the-life of Navy personnel.
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post #6 of 7 Old May 6th, 2008, 12:08 pm
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Re: Carrier PBS series

I did catch a couple of episodes and was very intrigue about the whole thing until the they focused on the guy from OK and how he just wanted out and used racism to achieve his goal of getting kicked out. Personally he should have spent the remainder of his commitment in the brig or someplace rather being let go. I admit I do not fully understand or can imagine what things are like. I suppose it is like taking the wrong job and not being able to quit.

I do find the flight ops stuff really cool though.

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post #7 of 7 Old May 6th, 2008, 1:12 pm
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Re: Carrier PBS series

I like the series. I can read between the lines knowing that we are only getting a glimpse of maybe 20-30 people out of 5000. I especially liked the "Bolter, bolter bolter" part. And how they sleep through all that.

My brother was stationed on the USS Corral Sea carrier in the early eighties. I would visit him in San Diego or San Franciso when he was docked. He was assigned to the Awax radar planes. At all the ports they were in, they got to know where all the stripper bars were and they drank for days at a time. He said that working on the carrier was like working in a small town. He only got to know people that he worked with and they did everything together. For security and comfort zone.

He decided to get out after four years as his drinking was a little out of hand and he really wasn't being trained for anything that would help him get a job. Not many radar planes out in the civilian world.

He kicked himself many times over the next decade for leaving the Navy. But he would be conveniently forgetting the reasons that he left in the first place. He really was better off but didn't know it until much later.

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