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The Provisional Peoples' Democratic Republic of Diego Garcia

Loyal Opposition Party Offers the Following: 

But Seriously, Folks...





Webmaster's Message:  "The PPDRDG is dedicated to ALL the memories of Diego Garcia... Over the years, most of us shut out the bad, and remember the good, and that's not necessarily the most balanced way to go through life.  Or maybe it is.  But despite what we treasure in our heads from our tour, we can all remember that a tour on DG usually involved unbelievably long hours, no clear reason why we were there, unappreciative supervisors and commanders, unwelcomed separation from families and friends, unfortunate adventures in alcoholism, indescribable boredom, and terribly embarrassing moments.

     "Recently, my site was criticized as creating an unreal picture of a very serious profession being practiced in a very important location - defense of the USA's vital interests by service in a remote, unforgiving place.  In particular, it seems newbies getting to the island arrive expecting their tour to be one long party.  And it seems some of those new kids get in trouble because they don't take their responsibilities as seriously as they should.

     "Well, now that I'm retired, I don't have to pay any attention at all to such criticism, and I'm not so sure its really this site's fault.  Could it be a function of the supervisor's perceptions combined with their own reaction to months and months on DG?  But, there may be a point here, I mean, I might be wrong, and I would like to protect those kids from a totally wrong perception of life on DG as they serve their Country.

     "So, in the interest of balance, this page is dedicated to all the serious shit about a tour on Diego Garcia.  If you have a one-liner (or two-liner, or a couple pages) you want to add, just e-mail me.  All entries on this page will be non-attributed, to protect the guilty!  But one thing I won't do is post anything that is hateful, racist, or sexist in nature.

    "One last thing - some people want me to put in 'Why We Are Here' stuff.  That's no longer my job - its the Commanders on the scene who need to get that message across to the troops - its one of the basic duties of command - and if they aren't doing it, then those COs are worthless fucks and need to be replaced..."


First, here's the classic gripe sheet - from 1987.
Copied from an 8' x 4' sign hanging in front of BEQ 16.
Submitted by Terri Youngs

VP-50 Blue Dragons Welcomes VP-19 to Diego Garcia Aloha!!!

No more Diego! No more Ship Store! No More Tacan 57!
No more MAF AIMD! No more shitty pizza!! No more earthquakes!!
No more merchant seamen! No more pole vaulting out of bed!
No more AFARTS! No more channel fever! No more VRC-50!
No more soybean burgers! No more black Tuesdays! No more Boston Whalers!
No more dreaming!  No more bloody Brits! No more alcohol!
No more sharks! No more beer deposits! No more holidays in Diego!
No more N.I.S.! No more old music! No more Bicycles!   No more cats!
No more boat people! No more stale cigarettes! No more crabs!
No more Diego sunsets! No more expensive phone calls! No more formaldehyde!
No more free haircuts! No more red ants! No more BUS STOPS!!
No more BULLSHIT! No more coral! No more star wars!
No more ready alerts! No more RAIN! No more Fishing! No more rosy palms!
No more room-mates! No more flying cockroaches! No more Masirah dets!
No more bulk sales! No more BEQ 16! No more early morning pup tents!
No more donkeys! No more Bollyball!! No more coral dust!
No more seashells! No more Diego Vice! No more Bee Pee Pipty! No more short pier!
No more chickens! No more Diego women! No more first class mess!
No more Donkey Burger! No more box lunches! No more Mogolian BBQ!
No more relocates! No more DOD shows! No more Waiting for mail!
No more: NO MORES!!!! HELLO CALIFORNIA!! HELLO MOFFETT FIELD!!!!

 

 

DG GRIPE SHEET

*  Running back to the head after a meal at the chow hall, or trying to light a cig in a monsoon.

*  Remember the crab smell?

*  There is absolutely nothing to do there that's any fun at all.  I mean, like, who bowls?

*  My wife divorced me half way through my tour - she was screwing around and they wouldn't let me go home on leave to take care of things.

*  I got busted for doing what everybody else does - getting drunk at the Turner Club.  They were just out to get someone that night to make an example.

*  I never got to go on a fishing charter.  The chiefs, officers and contractors always had them booked way in advance.

*  My first daughter was born while I was out there, and I didn't get to see her for 5 months.

*  The Ships Store is ALWAYS out of EVERYTHING.

*  If you are involved in an alcohol-related incident (ARI), you receive a "debarrment" from drinking.  No going to the clubs PERIOD, and no alcohol in your room.  If your roommate gets debarred, YOU can't even have alcohol in your room.  All the more reason to mind yourself when you're out.

*  Cable and Wireless is STILL expensive.  [editor's note:  In the late 80s, it cost $4 a minute to call to the States on C&W, and nobody could call in.  In 1992, the Navy began allowing incoming calls, and in 1995, put phones in all the Q rooms.  In 1996 the cost of an outgoing call was $3.30.  Today, outgoing calls on C&W are $1 a minute, and inbound calls from the States - using ATT, Sprint, etc. - are between $1.50 and $3.00 a minute.  At least C&W is competitive, local, and you get reliable, personalized service].

*  The loneliness can get to you if you let it!   Use the time constructively or just feel sorry for yourself - it's up to you!

*    One of the things I remember is that you never got to touch another human being, except for shaking hands with the guy you replaced, and a year later, with your replacement ... unless of course you cheated on your wife or, well, don't ask, don't tell.

*  1.  Can't surf oceanside;  2.  Can't swim oceanside;  3.  Can't SCUBA dive anywhere.

*  The "official" Navy DG web page has a section describing the Brit laws, penalties, restrictions, etc.  You'd better read them, because they mean them.

*  I have been here 8 months now and the tour is too f_ _ _ ing long!  Travel absolutely sucks! and the people your work with, you get to see everyday, ALL Day!.!.!  Help...............

*  From the 1980s:  Regarding the serious side of Diego Garcia, I want to say that it really was professionally satisfying.  I was a young Lieutenant given responsibility for Terminal Operations after attending a six month school in Oakland, CA.  But I also remember the middle of the night phone calls, the Saturday morning work each week, the stress of shipping emergent parts to the CARL VINSON and CONSTELLATION, and REALLY missing "stateside" ...right down to the cells in the core of my psyche.

*  Not sure if this is a gripe or not, but it was the toughest thing I had to get used to:  The sheer isolation of the place, I mean literally in the middle of the Indian Ocean.  You have to gather a lot of determination and maturity to
place your energies in constructive things, such as starting a fitness program or taking correspondence courses (as I did), rather than fall into the all-too-easy cycle of drinking and feeling sorry for yourself.

*  From the 1980s:  The 25 Merc's were always being repaired in prime fishing time.

*  DG is still vital to the US and nobody should doubt this fact.  If it weren't for the quick response from the preposition force in DG following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, national boundries might have been changed and many more lives lost, dollars spent, and time wasted.  This is not lost on the Iraq leadership today!

*  From the 1970s:  There worst thing was getting out of the C-5 the first time.  The best thing was boarding the C-5 for the last time to fly to Clark AB, RP.  Other than these 2 events, I must have survived my 3 or 4 deployments.

*  I had to deal with everyone whinin' while I was there.  That is a big problem with the military nowadays, whining.

*  Yeah it's isolated, and everyone thinks it is a non-stop party (it was for me).  BUT the ONES WHO CANNOT CONTROL THEMSELVES GET IN TROUBLE - END OF STORY!

*  The only thing I did not like was my command. Or actually my chain of command. Starting and ending with my 3rd, yes 3rd, chief I had to work for in a year.

*  NOTHIN TO DO?!?!?!!? You're smack dab in the middle of some of the finest water in the world!!!!!!!! Learn to sail, boat, etc. etc.!!!  Get in shape!!!!  Get off your ass, sober up, and do EVERYTHING!!!!!

*  From the 1980s:  As far as I'm concerned, the leadership, CO, BRITREP, and every other Puckered Fuck out on the island can shove a coconut crab up their ass sideways.

*  My biggest problem is that your webiste does a wonderful job of romanticisizing that really Totalitaran, Orwellian place.

*  KNOWBODY PUTS A GUN TO YOUR HEAD WHEN IT COMES TO PICKING ORDERS!!!!! In the USN we DO have a choice. Sometimes a shitty choice, but a choice.

*  From the 1970s when there were no phones, no lights, no motorcars, not a single luxury:  Take it from an advance party member, there's always something to do on DG. Try taking a midnight stroll on the oceanside beaches and watch the Russians slip offshore to observe - its exciting and funny.

*  I was on DG in 75-76; sounds like it was better then than now, maybe because we expected so little back then that whatever we got we were appreciative of. Back then it was MARS, not a phone. Cable, what the hell was that?  We had 1 station a couple hours a day and that was not  there when I arrived. The only club was a rundown shack called the Brit Club and you had to be invited. Anyway NAVY stands for Never Again Volunteer Yourself; nobody forced you to join.

*  The Island would be much better off without the uniformed whiners who really should never have left the safety and security of their hometown.

*  A Hick in a uniform and overseas is still a Hick.

*  BritReps and CO's can make a major difference to morale - some years are great.  As a seasoned observer, I can say that the current crop is great.  But there have been bad years... but we won't go into that.

*  This new page reminded me of a very disturbing period in my life.  The ship store ran out of all deodorant except Secret.  They weren't kidding when they said it was made for a woman.  Two years later the therapy helped me to suppress this awful awful experience....

*  I don't have any gripes, it's the same as any other place, some stuff is good, some ain't, ya get thru it and go home and get laid!   P.S. -  no leave/no sex makes it a REALLY REALLY loooong year.

*  One of the biggest problems I saw was that too many young Sailors would actually EXTEND for an aditional year. WERE THEY NUTS? In order to avoid going to a ship, they would actually stay another year. Of the three Sailors I knew personally who extended for another year,  two who tried to commit suicide and one was such a miserable slug, no one could stand to be around him.

*  My advice would be to find people who arrived the same time you did and hang with them rather than folks who have been there a few months and will be leaving ahead of you.   Its a real drag when all of your buddies scram and you're the loner.   Also, get something regular going with your group of friends, besides getting toasted every weekend, our particular group started playing dungeons and dragons, it was a great escape to  adventure in fascinating worlds, rather than stew over a beer in muggy DG.

*  If you don't like reading, now is a good time to start.  The library on DG has a few good titles, but I had all my literature shipped in!

*  The food is stale most times, but you can still stock up a good hoard, Klondike Bars, for instance, anything frozen, twinkes, ho hos what have you.

*  Play hoops, or tennis, or volleyball.  My old roomate and I used to play hoops and tennis at night when the temperature cooled down.  DG was just a year but it seemed like more, A LOT MORE! When your sport comes up, be it hockey, football, baseball, whatever, follow your team on the net, record their wins and losses on a little calendar, instead of counting days on a real one.

*  Pick up your buddies when they're down,...gather everyone up at suppertime, and hit the galley, never dine ALONE!  We also had movie nights where we'd all see a flic, its free ya know!!!! DG doesn't have to be a miserable experience, but it might, so make it as painless as possible for yourself.
     It seems the more luxuries that DG has to offer, the more grumping there is. When I arrived in '82 I didn't even have another woman to BS with the rest arrived 2 weeks later. The first night on the island, a guy broke into my room thinking he was going to score (glad I slept with a blade under my pillow) I learned very fast that come in all forms; the clearest water I've ever seen (ruined the NC beaches for me for life, but DG's are the best), solitude to hear myself think, no preservatives spoiling the taste of the food (we went fishing every sunday from an LCM-8, who needs a "fishing boat" anyway?), spending most of my free time doing the things I enjoy (like SKIN DIVING!), NO traffic jams (actually I did see one once, there were three trucks in line waiting for the truck in front to make a left turn), having the DG Tea Party (the Britrep and his crew had the main road blocked and was charging $.25 to get past. We kidnapped him and threw him in the lagoon along with a dozen boxes of tea bags. He thought it was cool as it was July 4th).
     Look around folks, there's plenty to do and enjoy about Diego Garcia. If I could, I'd go back in a heartbeat to live there perminantly. "They" call this civilization and DG barbaric. I think someone is just a wee bit turned around!
     Hey Ted, you can sign my name to this!  Barbara Shuping BM3 DG 1982-83

*  I haven't seen one complaint on this page that would have made me want to be at sea instead of on Diego. Tell them all to quityerbitchin!! If these people really thought that Uncle Sam was gonna send them on a 1 year, all expenses paid, vacation to a tropical paradise and not exact some sort of toll, then I guess BIOT missed quite a few drugs at their airport searches.  Military life, in general, in not a cushy ride. You all need to make the best of whatever situation you find yourselves in and remember, YOU WEREN'T DRAFTED, you volunteered for whatever service or support group brought you to Diego. They have a world class MWR program there and most activities cost little or nothing, the "locals are great and can show you how to enjoy your stay if you let them, and the parties are definitely world class. So get yer ass outta that rack and make the best of YOUR CHOICE. Whew! I do believe I've worked up a thirst. Must be time for a "Capt's Call"...

*  Whiners the lot of you!  The real serious bitches are: 1$/day windsurfer rental (should be 25 cents), $2.50/hour sailboat rental (should be $2.50 per week), weather (no friggin' snow means no ski jumping), no broadband internet connection (takes 2 whole minutes to download a playboy picture), no 100% Agave Tequila (now that's a hardship tour).  There's others, but I'm too emotionally distraught to continue....

*  I don't want to depress anyone, but I got around the long distance phone charges and paid nothing and still talked to my wife every night from DG.  I don't know if you can still get away with it but this is what I did:  I found the AUTOVON number to the base operator at a Base near my house, I called the number and asked the operator for an outside line, when I was connected I would simply dial my home number and it was a local call.  So if that doesn't depress you nothing will.  I learned this from the Base Chaplin who uses this technique when you need to make a hardship call home.  also the operator will place the call for you, just don't try and place a long distance call through the operator that won't work, or at least it didn't then.

*  The one one thing that I did not like was when I got a box from home, I had to open it in front of a BRIT at the PO.

*  The thing I hated the most about DG was having the ships pull in and the crews from the ships tearing up the Turner Club bathrooms, having sex in the stalls, and puking all up and down the aisle of the bus I had to ride to work.  Disgusting behavior!

* My husband was stationed at Diego Garcia for 1 year and then extended for 6 months.  I am a civilian and waited for him faithfully the entire time and when he returned, after one and a half days together, he left to a hotel and
told me by phone he wanted a divorce.  He then filed divorce paperwork with a paralegal, left the state and has now served me for divorce.   We were friends for several years, and had a relationship for four more, and then he married me before he left for Diego Garcia.  I think he must have started another relationship.  Does this happen frequently at Diego Garcia?  It certainly has left me with a hole in my heart.  I think the military should take more responsibility for the relationships of their military personnel when they are on unaccompanied tours.  Maybe instead of so many recreational activities and drinking they should have support groups/meetings/advise for those separated from their spouses.  Anyway, I'm curious to hear if this happens a lot after a tour at Diego Garcia.  Please keep my e-mail name confidential.  Thank you.

* For the past 6 mos and for how ever long I have to, I have been waiting for my husband to come back to the US. Luckily I have been able e-mail him, or I would be lost. He doesn't get to say much, which is understandable, but I wish the communication were better. The navy sends their soldiers out there, they should provide free phone calls, limited of course, to their family and companions. That's just an opinion from a lonely, yet proud, and waiting patiently, civilian.

* Yeah, I have something to gripe about: The sunrises and sunsets are so damn beautiful, the yellowfin tunas weigh to damn much and nearly give you a hernia bringin' em in. The lack of pollution cleared out my lungs and the people and parties were too f-ing cool.  What kind of place is this? Anway, one real gripe; the minute the women set foot on the island, their heads swelled up like basketballs from all the guys drooling over them when they got off the airplane. Too bad for those pigs that the tour lasted a year and not a lifetime.

* Dear Sir:  I had an audience with HM The Queen at Buckingham Palace, and all I got was this Poxy Flag...
     Bloody Hell!
     Yours;
     STILL a Commoner

From the 1980s:  "I FUCKING HATE PLANTERS CHEESE BALLS , AND PRINGLES IN THE CAN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

From 1993:  Things that I liked to gripe about on DG - 

     Bugs - Big-Ass furry camel-brown tarantulas, coming out from under the bus seat at 4:30 AM, while the bus is moving.  Cockroaches, hiding under the toilet seat, crawling on my ass and freaking me out when I sit down.  Brown hornets, stinging me on the thigh when I have never bothered the little bastards. 

     Aggressive barracudas, who have nothing better to do than hang out under the boat and keep us poor souls who just want to cool off from jumping in for a swim in the nice clear water.  We had one follow us around whenever we moved to a different location.  They're smart little devils! 

     Communications -  the "Cable & Penniless Co" - I know of people who spent a huge portion of their paycheck to call home every week. We also had a military phone line (can't remember what it was called) that we could make very short phone calls (I think they were limited to 15 min), and the operator would interrupt the conversation every 60 seconds after the first five minutes, just to tell us that we were running out of time.  I think we could only use it once a month or something like that.  It was also a very bad connection and sometimes impossible to hear from each end of the conversation.  You had to say "OVER" each time you were done speaking. 

     Waiting for mail - Marriages broke up because of the poor mail cycle there.  But, I know it's also bad on ships at sea, so I knew DG wasn't the only place with these problems.  However, when the MCPON visited DG in 1993, I expressed my concerns to him and he promised to look into it (it was a nice gesture).  Now here I am wintering over in Antarctica, with no mail for almost six months.  At least we have a good reason - no flights during the winter.

I can honestly say the only gripe I ever had about DG was being apart from my family.  But, being a proud Navy Chief, it was merely two back to back cruises with a two week vacation in between.   I have said over and over, that if I could have shared that island with my wife and son, they would have had to drag me with my fingernails embedded in the flightline from the island.

To all of you who have bitched and moaned about the place:  Look closely at the way you lived your life there.  Did you do the best job you could do at work?  Did you treasure the friends you met there?  Did you ever stop to take in just one of those sunsets?  Did you do anything to advance your career (and not just your military career)?  Did you try to share the beauty of the place with your family and friends stateside?  Did you see that the few hardships that you encountered were not hardships, merely tests of your own self will and determination?  Did you find something inside you that lead you to deepen your belief in YOUR God?  If you did none of the above, you missed out on the prime lesson of DG.  You are what you make yourself.
 
     Ladies and Gentlemen, life is what we make it, and that includes the year (some lucky bastards got more) we spent on DG.  If all you can focus on is the negative, then life will be negative.  Even those who lost a spouse in one way or another (divorces are rarely a one way street) should take a look at the loss, someone who wonít stand by you for a year is hardly going to be relied upon to stand by you when you are old, gray and pooping in a bag.  Open your eyes and heart and find that person who will. 

     If you can find nothing but bad on DG, then you will find nothing but bad in all of your life.  Lighten up folks, learn from the bad and cherish the good.  Itís not the island, itís not the command, itís not even the Navy.  Itís your life, make the best of it.

To all of you who have bitched and moaned about the place:  Look closely at the way you lived your life there.  Did you do the best job you could do at work?  Did you treasure the friends you met there?  Did you ever stop to take in just one of those sunsets?  Did you do anything to advance your career (and not just your military career)?  Did you try to share the beauty of the place with your family and friends stateside?  Did you see that the few hardships that you encountered were not hardships, merely tests of your own self will and determination?  Did you find something inside you that lead you to deepen your belief in YOUR God?  If you did none of the above, you missed out on the prime lesson of DG.  You are what you make yourself. 

     Ladies and Gentlemen, life is what we make it, and that includes the year (some lucky bastards got more) we spent on DG.  If all you can focus on is the negative, then life will be negative.  Even those who lost a spouse in one way or another (divorces are rarely a one way street) should take a look at the loss, someone who wonít stand by you for a year is hardly going to be relied upon to stand by you when you are old, gray and pooping in a bag.  Open your eyes and heart and find that person who will. 

     If you can find nothing but bad on DG, then you will find nothing but bad in all of your life.  Lighten up folks, learn from the bad and cherish the good.  Itís not the island, itís not the command, itís not even the Navy.  Itís your life, make the best of it.

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The Serious Marital Problem Section:

Here's an entry about serious human relationships:   Most of this site is devoted to the fun and frolic of DG, but its not all rosy!  The separations can really, really, really, fuck up a marriage and a family.  Here's a sad, but absolutely true story, and the only kind I'll post anonomously.  It was received in 1999:

From the operator know as the "SPAZ"
MY QUEST = ease the pain
VT of a SWALLOW = who gives a shit
NATIONALITY = U.S.; SERVICE = Uncle Sam's Canoe Club.......Enough about the bullshit, previously e-mailed you about my time there, and just want to say that I thought dodge was a memory, but my spouse is there now and have received notice that she wants a divorce after 60 days of her on station. Great huh, that frickin island comes back to bite me in the ass after all this time. She tells this shit, yet wants to do her year there then deal with the situation, is this fair to me or my son??? come on bitch and wake up and stop being on Gilligan's island and come back to the world and handle the problem. Do you wish to **** up my kid for the rest of his life????  I don't know what else to say except I wish that ****** island would dissapear into the deep blue sea... This the "Spaz out and ENDXMT!!!!!!!!!!"

EDITOR'S NOTE:  Hey Spaz,
     Listen, I can't really say anything that would help with what's happening with you and your wife, but I CAN put it in bold print on my pages.  Maybe she'll see it and wake up, and maybe other people will see it and get the point that DG wasn't all peaches and cream.  Although a lot of my site is about how great this or that was out there, I also remember a lot of the shit and the pain out there too.
     If its any consolation, I spent my 20 in the AF, about 10 of it off on my own overseas, and saw every possible human relationship come apart or get started.  The one thing I really noticed big time was that very very few of those "remote romances" went anywhere after the remote was over.  Its just the lonliness of being out there and the temptation, which most of us can't resist.
     I had some hard times too, and here's what I think.  If you're willing to take her back, give her the year she wants and then decide.  If you don't want her back, ever, then move quickly and get it over with.
     The main thing that kept my wife and I together was our 3 boys.  Now that they're off on their own we've learned to forgive and forget a lot of the shit that happened while I was in the AF.  So, it could happen that way for you, too.  Good luck, bud.  Ted.
P.S. give me her email address and I'll tell her to shape up for you.

Here's another:

Dear Ted,
     I have been reading your stories from those that have been on D.G.  I can't tell you just how troubleing they are.
     I am a wife who's husband has had one of your Island whores, she was married too.  She flaunted herself around the guys until my spouse cracked.  I was prepared to divorce him, I couldn't believe it happened at all.  Hes' the one who wishes to remain together, as he says "Your a wonderful wife and I love you."  Why should I, when I can read for myself just what goes on there.
     I can't help but wonder if its' worth all the pain and sorrow, especially when I read about and hear from the sluts themselves; sex on the docs, on the beaches, in the trees etc. Screwing guys that they don't even know or care to remember.
     Your site was a real eye opener for me and I am well versed just what you people do there, _ _ _ _!  You all sound like a bunch of animals that belong in the trees!
     Why not tell stories about the wounded families, casualties of your pleasures on D.G.
Sherry

EDITOR'S NOTE:  Sherry, please see my note to SPAZ above.   Good luck.

Just to prove it isn't all peaches and cream, here's the view from an EOC who spent FIVE FUCKING YEARS on DG - in the 70's & 80's & 90's, finally retired around 2000/2001, and I figure anybody who managed to make it FIVE FUCKING YEARS on DG ought to have his say, so here it is, verbatim:

Over the pass 3 years I have seen many things happen some good some not so good. To put blame in any one place would not be fair so I would have to say that all of us are to blame.  When I say all of us I am just not talking about the people in the command but everyone on the island and the Navy itís self.  This being my third time on the island I have seen it go from one extreme to the other and back again.  I will not talk about how it was back years ago because that does not apply to being here now.  I will talk about
the island as it is now and the people that where or are here now.  I hope from this it will give others incite to what is going on that may not be aware of it or maybe just didnít care!
     When I arrived on the island I felt as if I was part of sometime.  The members of the commands were doing activities together and getting a long in a good way.  Everyone was trying to make the stay on the island as pleasant as possible.  The work was getting done and people where being held accountable for there actions.  There was no break down of the Chain of Command as I saw it.  When the Command Master Chief when to C.O. mass for fraternization with a Senior Chief I was the one that spoke up and told my
side of the story because of what I had seen between them.  Knowing the regulations I had no other choice in the matter when it all came to light.  Like many others I never said anything about it until that time.  So I was part of the problem too.  The reason I held back and did not report it sooner was because I saw nothing that indicated it was affecting the command.  I donít feel the Navy should try to control what to people do together.  If the job is getting done and work is not affect let it go and leave them a lone.  You canít control human nature.  Anytime you put people of different sexes together things are going to happen and you canít stop that.  When it comes to personal feeling rank will always take a back seat.
     Working with the contract I am told that I cannot associate with the contractor because of a ďconflict of interestĒ.  That I can understand.  But lets look at this island a bit closer than most people have before I get into this area.
     Most of the contract worker on the island came from three places, Subic Bay, Olongapo or Manila.  Most worked for the Navy before coming here in the Philippines or knew some one who did.  This may be a British island but it belongs to the Filipinoís and that is the plan truth.  When then Navy enlisted the Filipino into its ranks it took the top 1% from the country to join.  Most came from very well off families who had worker on land or whatever.  So when Navy Filipino arrives on the island he is as we say, ďis
already hooked upĒ. With in a week or so they are in the villages with family or friends.  Even if they donít know anyone on the island there is still the connection.  Donít get me wrong, I have nothing against them, that is just the way their couture is and I understand that.  What I an talking bout is the Navy QAE/ATRCO, MASTER CHIEF, SENIOR CHIEF, AND CHIEFíS.  Due to the title and position within the Chain of Command they should fall under the same guild lines as the QAE/ ATRCO but they donít.
     Example: a member has a party on the short pier for getting advanced.  People from his department came, including his department head, LT, LCPO, fellow Chiefís along with the X.O. Then contract workers start to arrive to the point the where there was more contract people than military.  NOTHING WAS SAID ABOUT IT! So how was I to take that?  Here are the rules, but it is
okay to openly break them?  Well that is the way it was taken and not just by me either, but all who saw it.
     Then there was the going away party in the Fil Mur club for a Chief from the same department that was only for primarily for the Filipinoís on the island both contractor and Navy. Again NOTHING WAS SAID!
     So letís look at this now.  Itís sad but true and I hate to say it but the Chiefís on the island are not doing the command right by their actions.  The command is not doing anything to bring the Chiefs on line with the command policies.  The chiefs are told that they cannot and will not hang out in the berthing areas around the E-1 to E-6 barracks.  So when a party gets busted in that area and there are chiefs there what is said or done?  NOTHING! So it continues on like nothing happen.  Within the Chiefís community on this island there are too many clicks going on.  We as Chiefs are not working as one, everyone has there own agenda as to what is and isnít important, which rules apply and which donít.  It is for this reason I have for the most part keep my distance from my community of Chiefs.  If Iím going to get stabbed in the back I would at least like to have an ideal who did it.  I have seen plans come and go with in the CPOA and 90% of them fall a part, why?  Because no one really cares, I feel.  To busy playing baseball of fishing or some other personal item so the CPOA tries to fit their schedule and that just doesnít work.  Another sad part is I see no way of fixing this condition within my community.
     Then there is the age-old problem of what language is to be spoken within the workspace?  As long as I have been in I still donít know the answer to this question.  I will say that it is a problem within the workspace.  When I am sitting there or in some one elseís office and the other party starts to speak in a different language it bother me.  I have no clue what is being said. When I am dealing with a contract there is no need for any other language than English to be spoken.  Maybe this is mistrust on my side but
that is how I feel about this issue.
     Now for the island wide parties! Who are these held for? The military or the contractors?  It is MWR funds paying for it and yet 80% of the people getting the benefits out of it are contractors.  WHY?  Each time I have been to one I had to wait in a mile long line for a Tee shirt only to fine that they were all gone now, all of them! Well this is a moral builder as I sit there watching the contractor walk away with his.  The contractor should either pay by person for the party or hold their own party.  Not ride on the coat tails of the Navy people who end up getting the bad end of the stick all the time.  Iím not saying that the contractor should not be allowed to
attend but let us put this into perspective a lot more than it is right now.
     During my time here I have the clubs to go too.  For the E-6 and below I think it is not all that bad.  For myself as a Chief I have felt very restricted due to the limitations placed on me.  For the most part there are only 2 clubs I can go to too relax. The CPO and the United Seamanís club. The command put out the word that the Fil Mur club was off limits and was for only the contractor.  Well this word never got to the other commands on the island it seams.  I can say this because when I spoke to a chief from NCTS he stated that he goes out there all the time and never heard that word about the club.  Then I spoke with one of the girls that work in the club and she told me that there are a lot of military that goes there all the time.  So there again is the problem! Word not reaching everyone so we are living by different standards within the same community. For me the CPO club is not an option to go to. When I get off work the last think I want to do is sit around and talk shop or watch someone kissing some else ass for what
ever reason. Iím not in to that shit all.

My last year on the island:

Well it has been a while since I last wrote anything to finish this off but then I thought I was leaving so I never needed to add more. Well now I do!
    You know just when you think you have seen it all and it cant get any worst it does and it did. Well at least in my option. Everyone has there own ideal of how a unit should be run. As long as it involves my job and the conduct of my troops I donít have a problem with it. But the minute it cuts in to my time (Chief or not) that is where I draw the line. When I am told that some meeting after working ours is mandatory at the CPO club that is bullshit!! I donít go to a retirement for some one I donít know just to sponge off them for free drinks. But what the hell,, If I donít know them or care. Then why even think about going anyway? So needless to say I donít go. The CMC may not like it but thatís the way it is!  One thing I really hated during this time frame was this ďone island, one team, one missionĒ bullshit. Nice saying but nothing to back it up! That is the sad part. The harder they try to get everyone together the farther apart they get. All that has happens since the CMC has arrived appears to be for her benefit and her career betterment. A ďhorn tooterĒ as I call them.  ďLook at what I have done, her I am, I am the one that came on board and got Diego Garcia back on trackĒ.  ďGong ho, Gong hoĒ, and all that shit! Some times it makes me sick to think of what my Navy had become and the caliber of CPOís we have now. I guess that could be one reason why I never got higher in rank than I did, who knows. But I know this since I took the old CMC to mass for some strange reason my Evals never made it to my microfiche record, strange isnít it? Well, ďit donít mean nothingĒ, not a thing!  Many of the same problem that where here before are, still are. But hey, T.I.D., ďThis Is DiegoĒ, right? One year tours, what do you what?
     The only thing that keeps me going, are the people that I worked directly with each day. The other Seabees that have come and gone and the civilians that have always been here!  Of it has been them that keep me going over all this time. And to them I say
thank you. From the daily joking around to the teasing and funny looks I got. I have loved working in the best department on the island. We know it is and so does everyone else.
     Most of all, the one thing I will remember are the comments and the company of the other Seabees and the CEC Officers that have been out here during my tour.  Diego Garcia as always been thought of as, ďthe Seabeeís IslandĒ. For us it always will be too. With that in mind we look at the rest of the Navy, Air Force, Army, and yes the Brits too with a certain contempt in our eyes I
think. If it werenít for us this place would be nothing! Bold words I know but that is just plan SEABEE PRIDE! CAN-DO, and WE DID!!
     With the arrival of the new NFS Commanding Officer and CM/C they came up with a plan to try to bring the island under one umbrella. So out of that came the slogan,  ďONE ISLAND, ONE TEAM, ONE MISSIONĒ.  Shit I thought that was just plan military knowledge? If this island and the Navy as taught me one thing that would be that common knowledge isnít so common any more. You know working together and all that stuff! Well like so many times before in my 24 years in the Navy I was wrong again! So now we have it crammed down our throats everyday like it will make a difference? Good ideal I guess but I never bought into it and just continued to do my job as I always have in the pass.
      One day I was calling into the command Master Chiefs Office to talk about my behavior as a Chief Petty Officer. Well in her eyes I sucked as a Chief, as she so plainly put it. She had no problem with the way I did my job but what really got her going was my lack of participation in function after working hours. So for 30 minutes she ranted and raved about how I made her look bad
and all that crap. I knew she was serious about it yet I found it kind of funny in a way. Deep inside I think or at least I hope she knew that what she was saying had no affect on me in any way and I was going to do what I wanted to do anyway. Which I did!
     Some time had gone by and the CMC talked to my LCPO and my LCDR  and she wanted to know what my problem was so when I heard about that I wrote a Memo to her which the commander thought shouldnít go to her. Gee I wonder why? Well here it is, enjoy!!

From:  EOC [name edited out by webmaster, even though he wanted me to leave it in - he's no coward, but I don't want him shit on by the powers that be.  Ted]
To:      CM/C
Via:     51A
           50A
Subj:   RESPONSE TO CM/CíS QUESTION ON MY BEHAIVOR

     Questions have come up as to why I am not an active member within the Chiefís community or the command. So I will try to explain these reasons in a way that is it perfectly clear.
     1.      Ever since I joined the Navy I never EVER looked at it as a career. It was a job that I liked doing, I enjoyed the travel and SOME of those I have meet and served with. I canít see hanging out with someone just because they are the same rank as myself or ďin the same communityĒ. I find this to me a mindless existence for a reason to go to a function or clubs where for myself I donít really care one way or another about what goes on, what is said, planned or what ever. If it pertains to my troops or my performance
then that is handled during working hours in an official manner. I know as a Chief there are times when some matters that deal with my troops can only be handled after normal working hours and I have never let my troops now! Most of the Chiefs on the island I donít even know! Why? I am not an outgoing person for one. Most of my time is spent in my room, which I am very happy with. When I get off work the last thing I want to do is hear shop talk all night while I am trying to have a good time. Thus the reason I donít go to the Chiefís club and prefer the Seamanís club. It is my time to get away and be as I call it ďanother face in the crowdĒ, not ďThe ChiefĒ. Whenever I am asked for help with a matter that deals with work I have always been there in support of their needs.
     2.      No, I havenít given up because I OTEIPed or am getting ready to retire. I am just tired of what the Navy has become. Itís not my Navy anymore and most of the things I see going on around me I donít understand or agree with. Yet I support the Navy, the Command and the policies that are in put before me if I donít I would have gotten out of the Navy many years ago. When I see people, ďhorn tootersĒ as I call them drawing attention to them selves for every little thing they do I find it sickening. Maybe that is one reason I am still a Chief, I donít know! I do my job and if that is not good enough well I guess that is my fault. Iím not going to step on someone else back to reach the next higher pay grade. Besides the pay increase is not that much anyway! So I stepped aside and let those who wanted to be seen by the command be seen. I donít need the attention nor do I want it. I am not 100% Navy all the time, sorry. No Iím sorry that is just me! The Navy is not my entire life never has been never will be. I judge each person on their own merit regardless of rank so if I chose not be around some one for what ever reason that is my choice, not the Navyís. I
donít like being told what to do on my own time so when I am I really donít like it and react to it in a negative way. Just to clear things up incase it still isnít clear. From 0700 to 1600 Iím Navy, after that itís my time.
     3.      In closing I would like to add that some people you just canít change and I am one of them. My Navy is long gone and so are my ways of doing things. I also want to add that having to explain my action I fine very childish and unnecessary. What as the Navy come too? I donít have a clue and I donít think anyone else does either!!

     Just as I think I have seen it all this place kept amazing me more and more. It's like the shit just never stops pilling up. It seems that the rules of the Navy only apply when it is convenient to the command. Maybe this is Navy wide? I can't say! All I can say is that is the way it. One team, one island, on mission, the island logo. Well go ask the XO  some time if you can use her car for a VIP coming into the island and see how much ass you walk of her office with after she gets done chewing on it for a while. Then at morning command quarters she gives a talk on team-work, wow what a joke that was. But hey, it sounded good!
     I just canít seem to end this because the shit just keeps coming and not to share it would be a waste. So the command master chief comes back from Washington and the selection board plus a few conferences. So she has a meeting with the chiefs to fill us in on what is happening. Well the CNO (chief of naval operations) says that now we cannot call chiefís initiations that any more because to initiate means a hazing. Well after Tail Hook (thanks officers) that was outlawed in the Navy. So now it is call ďthe journey into the world of the chiefs! It sounds like a ride at Disneyland now. I told them I was not going to play this year with the new chiefs and I know that just set off the CMC but you know what? I didnít really care one bit. Seeing this new thinking I feel the Navy is heading down really fast and really hard. And when it hits bottom like it will soon it is not going to pretty at all. But that is just my own thinking.
     In closing I would like to add that Diego Garcia is what I made it! I had a good time here and have met some really outstanding people also. Iíll just remember one thing about this island paradise, the three big letters, T.I.D!

Here's another Chief with gripes:

Hey there.  I never realized you suffered the same bad experience like me... but I do believe your ears were not shut with my own story. Like you, I found Diego Garcia a nice place to work and to relax after office hours.  I found a lot of friends as well as enemies since I have worked according to the rules. I admit I mingled with my fellow Pinoys but it was with limitations... especially contractors.
     My experience with the CPO was sickening.  I never thought a fellow chief would create severe accusations against me, and a master chief have to change the report in favor of his chief. What a sad memory to live by. I never thought the CMC will be on their side too. Of course, as a newly frocked senior chief, they envisioned me as having abused my authority and that my added star had made me act foolish enough to tarnish my record.  Shame on them .. as I worked so hard in the island.
     Explaining my side to the CMC even made it worst.  I have mentioned to the CMC about the problem in enforcing policies (policies not widely dissipated to the military and civilian forces), and my ass was put on line. A simple conversation with her went as far as  the XO.  Till I left, I was fighting to clear my name but I ended a loser.
     Good for you... you are now retired. I still have a long way to go.  If only the 15 year retirement window will be opened for my rate, I will be following your footsteps ASAP!

[Editor's Note:  I have heard nothing good about the CMC , and the XO, mentioned by both these Chiefs, and many, many other correspondents.  I ran into these kind of people in my time in too.  Thank God I was an officer and could tell a shithead E-9 to fuck themselves - or get fucked, as the case may have been.  Too bad the services can't weed out these eaten up bitches and sons of bitches before they screw up paradise, say around the time they make E-2.]

 O.K. - and here's a response to the above complaints!
From someone who was on the island for 6 Years!

Ted, this is in respond to the Chief complaints. I was on the Island for 6 years and had a blast. I was always trying to find time to relax. I stayed busy all the time. I fished, did the Wave Runners, rode bikes, walk, taught for the Red Cross, played softball, was an umpire and referee for flag football, country and western DJ and dance instructor. I came to DG as a GS-13 contractor which allow me to go to the officer club, an a retired E-8 which allowed me to go to the CPO club. I helped the First Class ASSOC build the hash house and they made me an Honorary First Class which allowed me to go to the 61 club. One of the biggest problems I saw on the Island was the Military (Navy/Air Force) They always tried to control your life and your personal life. Once you get away from the military everything was ok. I new it was time for me to leave when I didn't want to leave. Anyone that doesn't have a good time there its there owe fault.
     PS: About the Island wide picnics. These picnic were paid for with MWR fund.  These funds came from the ship store and other MWR facilities on the Island and not just from government funds. When the ships store made money everyone enjoyed. Quit crying.

And another:  Go to the chiefs club at kings bay------then the next day go to NAS JAX.  See which one you enjoy.  The
diffrence shipmates and shitheads- Retired CPO {SS}---53-74 Quit crying---Respect goes up and down. just thought I  should remine my fellow chiefs .
 

FROM mike g. [wonotree4@yahoo.com]:   I felt compelled to send this after reading about the chief who wouldnt "kiss up" with all the other chiefs.  First of all my hat is off to you chief, its guys like you that have made the seabees what they are (or were). Back in the 70's when i served on the "rock" we had more chiefs(and officers) like you and less that played the kiss ass game .  These were the guys that kept up moral ,and if you fucked up ,(which i did often) they would most likely go easy on you ,as long as you knew your trade,and worked hard, and didnt directly give them any shit. Nowadays it seems that everyone has to , or wants to be politically correct. These are the phony cocksuckers who are the main reason things are the way they are today, they break down the fiber that kept us all together,they only care about thier self betterment ,or advancement and couldnt care less about anyone around them. Believe me its the same way in civilian life to. I sometimes regret not doing my 20 in the Bees , but when i read stories like yours ,i can see that the chicken shit just kept gettin deeper. One thing i can tell you chief is youve probably left a lifetime impression on a few seabees that have served under you, and they will most likely remember you for what kinda guy you were , as for the rest of them..fuck'em.  congrats on your retirement.......  CAN DO !
mike g




 
 

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