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Welcome to the "Go Navy!" section of Gonzo's Garage.  In these pages, you will find information pertaining to my 20-year career in the U.S. Navy.  Serving my country was one of the most important and cherished things I have ever done in life, and I wanted to use these pages to share with you some of my experiences from a 20-year career.  My most memorable experiences by far were from my days on the aircraft carrier, working on the flight deck, and listening to the sound of freedom as the Tomcats roared off the deck.  Working on the flight deck with my Navy brothers was dangerous, but it was the most rewarding experience I have ever had.  I miss my days on the ships at sea, launching aircraft, and just being part of the most awesome aviation units in the world - the Navy Fighter Squadrons with which I served.

You can now find me on the "Together We Served" Military Forum!




[Enlisted Career]          [Officer Career]          [Awards & Medals]

Senior Chief Petty Officer                      My Enlisted Career                      Petty Officer First Class

I enlisted in the Navy under the Advanced Electronics Field (AEF) Program, and entered active duty as an E-3 (Airman) on July 30, 1976.  My highest enlisted rank was Senior Chief Petty Officer (E-8).

Dates Duty Assignment, Location Job Titles Held
July 76 - Oct 76 Recruit Training Command, San Diego, CA
Recruit Company 163
Note:  This activity was decommissioned.
Recruit under training (Basic Training)
Oct 76 - Dec 77  Naval Air Technical Training Center, Memphis, TN
(Web Link)   
This activity is now in Pensacola FL
Student - Basic and Advanced Avionics
Dec 77 - Dec 80 Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, CA
Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department
(Web Link)
Avionics Technician, Training Coordinator, Assistant Calibration Manager       
Dec 80 - Jun 83  Naval Air Facility, Misawa, Japan
Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department
(Web Link)
Avionics Technician, Shift Supervisor, Calibration Manager, Training Coordinator
Jun 83 - Sep 86 Fighter Squadron One Twenty Four (VF-124)
Avionics/Armament Division
Note:  This activity was decommissioned.
Avionics Shift Supervisor, Quality Assurance Representative
Sep 86 - Apr 88 Fighter Squadron One Ninety Four (VF-194)
Avionics/Armament Division
Note:  This activity was decommissioned.
Avionics Branch Supervisor, Drug & Alcohol Program Advisor
Apr 88 - Feb 90 Fighter Squadron Fifty One (VF-51)
Avionics/Armament Division
Note:  This activity was decommissioned.
Avionics Branch Supervisor, Air Warfare Qualification Board Member
Feb 90 - Apr 93 Fighter Squadron One Twenty Four (VF-124)
Fleet Replacement & Maintenance Training Dept.
Note:  This activity was decommissioned.
Aircraft Maintenance Training Instructor, Aviation Maintenance Training Supervisor
Maintenance Control Chief 

"Once A Chief, Always A Chief!"

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Naval Officer Crest               My Officer Career              Naval Officer Crest

I was commissioned as a Naval Officer (Ensign) in April, 1993, under the Limited Duty Officer (LDO)  Program.  I was one of only thirteen applicants, out of several hundred candidates for the Avionics Officer designator, that were selected  that year!  My very first assignment was aboard the Aircraft Carrier Carl Vinson as the IM-3 Division Officer.

Dates Duty Assignment, Location Job Titles Held
Apr 93 - Jun 93 Officer Training School, Pensacola, FL    
(Web Link)
Student:  Officer Indoctrination and  Aircraft Maintenance Officer Schools
Aircraft Weight & Balance School
July 93 - Sep 94 U.S.S. Carl Vinson (CVN-70), Alameda, CA
Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department  
(Web Link)
Avionics Division Officer (IM-3 Division)
Repair Locker Officer - Unit 1F
Oct 94 - July 96 Naval Air Station, Alameda, CA
Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department
Note:  This activity was decommissioned in 1996
Assistant Aircraft Maintenance Officer
Maintenance/Material Control Officer
July 96 Reverted to permanent enlisted pay grade (E-8).
Transferred to U.S. Navy Fleet Reserve
Inactive Reserve - Waiting For Orders
Nov 2005 Officially transferred to the retired roster U.S. Navy Veteran - Retired

My Naval career was disrupted in 1994 by a neck injury that caused a stroke.  I served out the remainder of my Naval career at NAS Alameda as a Naval Officer (see last entry above),  I was selected for O-3 (Lieutenant) but reverted back to my permanent enlisted pay grade of E-8 (due to retirement laws) and retired from active duty - transferred to Fleet Reserve (with Disabled Veteran status) in 1996, and was transferred to the fully retired rolls in 2006.  In 2009, I was reverted back to my officer rank for retirement purposes.

"... he (The LDO/CWO) possesses the one thing that the direct commissions may pretend, but can never attain: the sure knowledge of what goes on in the hearts and minds of enlisted men..."

  Gerald P. Averill

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Navy Commendation Medal Citation #2        Navy Commendation Medal Citation #1        Navy Achievement Medal Citation        Letter of Commendation

Letter of Appreciation from Blue Angels        Supervisor of the Quarter - VF-51        Supervisor of the Quarter - VF-194

Enlisted Air Warfare Specialist Certificate

(Click on a citation letter to see the description)

Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist

Navy & Marine Corp Commendation Medal - I was awarded two.

Navy Achievement Medal

Meritorious Unit Commendation

Navy Battle Efficiency "E" - Earned for service in VF-51 and CVN-70

Navy Good Conduct Medal (Only enlisted people can get this) - For each 4 years of exemplary (Enlisted) service - I have 4 of these

National Defense Service Medal - For service during and after Operations "Desert Shield" and "Desert Storm"

Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal - Earned During Operation "Earnest Will" in the North Arabian Sea, 1988

Southwest Asia Service Medal - For Deploying to Persian Gulf, Operation "Southern Watch"

Navy Sea Service Ribbon - For each  extended deployment at sea - I was awarded 3 of these

Navy Overseas Service Ribbon - For my service in Japan from 1980 to 1983

(Mouse Over to See Name of Award)


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