Saturday, May 21, 2011

EIDWS.. and no thats not a dirty word.

I am really lazy.  I start this post off with such a strong statement because its true.  That said, this month, I've been impressively NOT lazy...  Let me explain.

In the Navy (not like the song), you can get warfare qualifications.  Hooyah, go navy.  /roll eyes.  You can get them pretty much on any platform, ship, sub, aircraft and even if you're deployed to say AF/Iraq you can get the expeditionary pin, as a SEAL you get a pin, as a diver you get a special pin...  But, when you're unlucky lucky like me, you don't get stationed at places that offer pins (lookin at you, JTF-GTMO) or have a job that you qualify for a pin.  The thing with not having a warfare pin is that you're grouped with those sailors who... don't have pins.  And for some, not having a pin actually makes you not a "real" sailor.

Well, I've never had the opportunity to GET a pin, so when a particular PO1 wants to tell me that he doesn't have to listen to me (speak in general) because I'm not a real sailor because I don't have a pin...  I get enraged and usually cut him short mid-speech with, Some of us have not been afforded the opportunity to GET a pin, so your dissertation is invalid, next subject.  Rude?  Hell yes.  Appropriate?  Probably not, but after hearing it 2-3 times all the way through, I feel like he is being just as rude as me interrupting him...  I mean, I did hear him the first 3 times, with respectful acknowledgement, which is a BIG thing for me.

The Navy decided that people in certain rates (aka jobs for you non-Navy) often aren't given the opportunity to get warfare qualifications, and since having a pin is practically a requirement (if not a full on requirement) to advance to certain paygrades, they had to make a pin that was obtainable for those of us who are not "real" sailors.

Enter the Information Dominance Warfare (IDW) Qualification.  Aka the Nerd Pin.

Oh wait not that one!

Enlisted IDWS Pin...  Isn't that lightning bolt snazzy? (source)

"Real" sailors agreed that this pin was a joke.  If you don't get your pin on a water vessel, you're not a real sailor, but what does that say for people who have the expeditionary pin, that they didn't try as hard because they weren't on a boat or sub?  Most people who earned 2 pins already refuse to put the IDW on or even bother getting it.

But.. I'm pinless.  So, I'm getting my EIDWS (Enlisted Information Dominance Warfare Specialty, there is also an officer equivalent, which has been around for about a year already) and I'm proud of it.  Because of the wacky schedule I work, I was on nights when the EIDWS program was completed and we could begin training..  I didn't go to training, because it was during my sleepy time, and I need all the sleep I can get (to the point of taking naps during lunch break when I was still a student in VA Beach, I was a much nicer person if I got my nap in, it was proven).  Also, I go out of my way to NOT go to base on my days off.  NAVCENT is kinda like a black hole that just sucks you in and you can't ever escape once you enter, so its safer to just not go to base at all.  Sadly, sometimes the only way to get to hang out with your work friends is to go into work and hang out, but I digress.

This month I've been on days.  There are morning and evening training briefs and I since I am unable to attend the morning ones due to work load, I attended evening briefs when they were offered.  But this month was special.  They also did Saturday training sessions where we knocked out 10+ sections in a few hours.  Worth my time to go to base, even if it meant being sucked into the black hole?  HELL YES!

I started my EIDWS at the beginning of the month, and with 10 days left in the month I've only got a handful of sections left to get signatures on.  Now I just need to start studying (anyone wanna make a study group?) to prep for the board and test, and I'll have it.

Honestly, I'm proud of myself and I'm bragging right now, because I've done something awesome.  It doesn't matter to me that this qualification isn't necessarily the hardest qual to get or the fact that I didn't get it while I was stationed on something floating in the water.. well wait, I am on an island... again.  :)  The fact that I said, I'm doing the damn thing and I've done it, makes me proud of me.  Because, I'm lazy, its no jk.  But I've gone out of my way, and went to work on 2 of my Saturday's off to accomplish a hefty amount of work.

And another caveat.  I'm not Jane Navy.  I'm appreciative that the military has given me a paycheck and a job that I love, but I'm not that person that is anal about the fact that someone's pants aren't bloused to the 2nd eyelet on their boots or the fact that their black backpack has a label on it.  Getting a pin for me is a two-fold win.  1, I'll have a pin, so PO1 Pinman can stfu.  2.  I'll have earned a qualification, which looks good on my eval, which is hurtin because I don't do nearly as much volunteer work as I'd like.  But because I have a pin and there are other sailors that don't doesn't make them not good at their job or not as good of a sailor, if not better than someone with 10 million warfare pins.  I will NOT look down on another sailor because they don't have pins, in the same way that I don't look down on lower enlisted because they aren't PO (petty officers for the non-Navy).  Just because you don't have a crow or a pin doesn't make you less than anyone else.. unless you're a shitbag, and thats a horse of a different color.

So, maybe I'm only just lazy.  ;)

PS.  One of the first questions I asked my Master Chief in GTMO was if I could get a pin.. so ha!  10 pts, me.

Me trying to be taller than Master Chief the day I got frocked to PO2 (Personal photo)


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