At Civil Engineer Corps Officer School

After I came back from Puerto Rico in December I spent a month in Gulfport until it was time for me to receive some Naval training in Port Hueneme California. I already knew how to do Civil Engineering, but now I had to learn how to do Engineering the Navy way. The whole school lasted 3 months. It wasn't too bad though and I did learn a lot of stuff. I also had a lot of fun. One of the fun things we did as part of the school was a small field exercise. What was fun was that we got to use the MILES gear which is like high tech laser tag. We had laser boxes on the end of our rifles that would go off from the recoil of the blank. If you got his with this laser, a buzzer in your vest would go off. It was a lot better than when you were a kid playing in the back yard arguing who shot who first. I got one kill at about two hundred yards. We did everything from going on patrols to digging fighting positions.

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Me with all of my battle gear. The view of the area we had to defend.

I had a lot of fun in my spare time too. One thing I got to do was fly an old Navy trainer (T-34) with the Navy flying club. You can see it in pictures below. It was 225 horse power, so I was able to get high performance hours (and my rating) at $70 an hour. It was a blast to fly too with the extra power and a stick. It was also beautiful flying in the area as you can see in the pictures below. The best was taking the plane above the clouds and maintains, opening the canopy, and doing steep turns over the clouds.

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Me in the T-34 A view of the cockpit.
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A view of the Oxnard Valley. A view of the Channel Islands.

I also did some volunteering while I was there. I found a good Boyscout troop that needed some help. They had just trippled their numbers in one week and had to do a lot of rethinking how to run a bigger troop. I was able to help them a lot. The toughest thing about that was having to train the adults. Boy Scouts is boy run with advice from the adults, but some adults have problems giving up control. I also got a couple of guys together from my class to do some tutoring. We first tried to do it at the highschool, but they wanted electronic finger prints and background checks. Not that we were afraid of what they'd find, they wanted to charge us $35 a person and would not stay open long enough for us to come in after class. So instead we ended up doing the tutoring at the local library. It meant we had fewer people come by, but it was the only way we could do it. I also led a group of officers (About 15 of us) working on a Habitat House for two weekends. We did the framing and the trussing of a two story house.
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Camping with the boyscouts. Some officers working on the habitat house.