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Hello Shipmates. I attended AFUNP school and aviation electronics A school after San Diego boot camp the summer of 1970. I recall the thousands of sailors and marines there and settling into a routine of duty and school. It was odd as I didn't ask for this schooling, but somehow ended up in aviation and electronics. I soon found my niche, and I guess the Navy somehow knew my destiny. I enjoyed the challenge and the less restrictive life at NATTC. I still recall that getting off base required a blood chit or some company commander willing to provide a liberty pass. I received my rating as an AX, and didn't have clue what it was. I graduated A school as an AXAN and received my orders to VP30 training squadron and then VP24 my permanent sea duty station in PAX river MD. After several C schools, I was promptly sent to mess cooking while on deployment to Keflivik Iceland. After 5 months deployment we changed home ports to JAX FL. I made PO3 and finally got out of the Leading chief's duty and started the work I was trained for. After three more deployments to Kef, making PO1 in my first four years and then shipping over for 5 more years, I was ready for shore duty. There were billets open at NATTC Jax so I asked the detailer to line me up for instructor duty at Jax (sure was dream sheet request!) intending to stay at JAX and teaching the maintenance and equipment troubleshooting that I had gained 5 years of experience and knowledge. Well, I got instructor duty....at NATTC Memphis A school where it all started 5 years previous. It was a good tour, but odd training methods of computerized self pace study, unlike the instructor training I received. The ironic thing was that when I returned to NATTC, there were Marine and Navy instructors that I had as instructors in A school. Some were my teaching partners or members of my same learning group. I spent 4 years there and went to school, shopped my resume and got a job with GTE in hometown PA, developing integrated circuit test specifications for the Trident Sub program. 15 years there and then to Lockheed Martin Orlando working as a staff product quality assurance engineer in supplier quality for 8 years. The Navy did good for me. I am now retired. My wife and I took a road trip back to Millington just out of curiosity to see the base. I tried to get a visitor pass on base, but the civilian guard at the gate said that was not possible. The North side was not gated and we traveled a few roads there. It has all changed, and from the Navy road view, most all of the barracks that I stayed in and also stood MAA duty are all gone. It would have been great to get on base.
Hi Richard do you by chance remember a Marine Staff Sgt Sadler who was on instructor duty at NATTC around the time you were there? I went through AT A School there in late 1974 and was there till the summer of 75 when I shipped out on CV-43 Westpac cruise. SSgt Sadler was a great character I really remember him fondly he must have made a big impression on the 18 year old just discovering how cheap booze was at the EM Club kid I was. He had been awarded the Navy Cross in Vietnam. I really enjoyed reading your post thanks for sharing.
Thanks. Writing it brought back some fond memories, both as a 18 year old student and a more seasoned Navy instructor. The name sounds very familiar.
I was an instructor at the A school from 1976 to 1979. I worked with several Marine instructors, since I often changed shifts and lab's to learning centers. So I had the opportunity to meet many good Navy and Marine teaching partners. Of course, I did meet a few real a-hole instructors that shouldn't have been there in that role. My learning group A supervisor was Gunny Sgt. Bearup. He was a Marine's Marine. I also met hundreds of students and again, both good and bad.
Thanks for responding.
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