My Naval Career started in 1983 with the Delayed Entry Program.
In 1984 I did some training at the Rock Island Arsenal.
I was in Company 276 in Boot Camp at Great Lakes Illinois.
My First Command was the USS New Jersey BB-62 out of Long Beach California.
I served on there from 1985 to 1990. I was assigned to 3rd Division Deck.
I started out as a deck Seaman, worked in the Print Shop as a Lithographer,
made Boatswainsmate 3rd class where I worked as the Aviation Passageway Supervisor,
worked as the Fire-team Hose Three Leader on the Flight Deck during Helo Ops,
worked as the Left Lower Powder Door Operator in Turret 3 during General Quarters,
and worked as the wrench checker at the ships King Post, and signal man for station 13
during UNREP - underway replenishment.
Later I made Boatswainsmate 2nd class where I became a boat coxswain.
I caught the end of the Lebanon Conflict, Served on West Pac 1986, 1988, 1989-90,
and was part of Operation Praying Mantis and the beginning of the Gulf War.
My next command I got assigned to a science team in Antarctic at the
Admundsen Scott South Pole Station for 2 weeks
where I helped researchers measure the depth of ice.
Then I was Temporary Assigned Duty on the USS Underwood-FFG-36
where I did an expedition to the Arctic Circle; going to Scandinavia and Russia.
Later I was assigned to a boarding team working with the US Coast Guard;
boarding suspected drug boats on one boat we found children being trafficked...
From 1991 to January 1992 I got out of the active duty Navy.
I worked as a Cargo Handler for CHB 5 in Sand Point Washington; with the Navy Reserves.
I came back in active duty as a cook. Went to MS "A" School out of San Diego California.
Then I went ship to ship as I was awaiting to transfeer to my next Naval Sea Command;
one ship was the USS Merrimack AO-179.
Where I got to watch them do rigging instead of doing rigging.
My next Naval Command was the USS Richmond K. Turner CG-20
out of Charleston South Carolina from 1992 to 1995.
On board her I became an assistant Pantry Cook from August 1st until November 21st 1992,
Then I became a Galley Middle -Man, I worked as a middle man until I became the
Head Pantry Cook after I was finally paid as a 3rd class again on January 16th, 1993.
I put my crow back on; on September 15th 1992; but had to wait three months to get paid!
On Monday June 7th 1993 I became the Damage Control Petty Officer.
I worked as the Divisional DCPO until I was promoted to
Mess Management Specialist Second Class on May 16th, 1994.
I became the Starboard Watch Captain and Line Cook until DC1 Grimm transferred on
June 15th, 1994. And then I took over as the Damage Control Supervisor for
Engineering Damage Control One (EDC1) Division. I did this duty until I went to
Second Class Petty Officer Leadership Training and 3M coordinator training
in Groton Connecticut in September 1994.
Then I became the Ships 3M coordinator until we decommissioned her on March 31st, 1995.
She was sank in a SINKEX (sink exercise) by the Enterprise Battle Group and Carrier Air Wing 3
off the coast of Puerto Rico on August 9th, 1998!
On her I went on Mediterranean Cruise 1993, Caribbean 1994 to 1995, Operations in Bosnia,
and LEAP (Light Exo Atmospheric Projectile) Exercise 3.
During Med Cruise 93 we hit a typhoon and were dry dock to the USS Shenandoah AD-44.
I worked as a middle-man in the galley on there; since the crew of the Turner could not eat
in their own ships galley due to maintenance.
My next Naval Command was the USS John C. Stennis CVN-74 out of Newport News Virginia
from 1995 -1998. I served on board the PCU (Perspective Commissioning Unit) John C. Stennis
command from Monday May 1st until Saturday December 9th, 1995.
Then we commissioned the ship to the USS John C. Stennis CVN-74.
I did three different duties on board the carrier.
First I served with the SS40 Maintenance Division.
The write up from Captain Allin from the now decommissioned
Richmond K. Turner CG-20 impressed the PCO
(Perspective Commanding Officer) of the Pre-Commissioning Unit.
I was hoping to fit in as the supervisor of that division, but it did not work out for me.
There was way too many maintainence problems on board a brand new ship.
My work load was overwhelming, I had triple the deck drains I had on the Turner
(44 on the RKT; 132 on the JCS); and I did not get along with my supervisor who
ordered me to do shortcuts and unsafe work practices...
Then I transferred to be the Supervisor in Charge of the Stateroom Preparation
and Maintenance Division (SPMD DIV).
It was my duty to ensure the staterooms were prepared for the officers to move in.
It was like being a housekeeper at a hotel; like when I worked at Red Lion Inn in Seattle.
Except I also had to do maintenance on the stateroom deck drains and sinks as well.
I got outstanding performance for my duties; so I thought.
Two weeks before the officers moved in I was reassigned duties.
The person who took my place received a Navy Accommodation Medal
for outstanding performance of duties as preparing the staterooms for officers.
I was angry, because all the staterooms were done by the time he took over;
all he did was hand out the keys to the officers.
He got promoted to first class; I stayed a second class.
However, I was transferred to my own office where I worked as the
Training and Education Petty Officer (TEPO) for supply department;
where I wrote and conducted training lectures for 96 galley personnel,
kept the files of over 500 supply training records,
and also ensured the safe sanitation and food safety of the galley.
I also worked as the Unit Locker 34 Leader for one of the ships fire teams,
taught Self Defense to the Ships Self Defense Force,
and was in charge of the Berthing Clean Up Crew.
On her I did a Shakedown Cruise to Saint Martin, Ft. Lauderdale Florida,
and to Halifax Nova Scotia.
My next Naval Command was finally Shore Duty at Newport Rhode Island from 1998 to 2000.
I did several different jobs in Newport Rhode Island.
First I was part of the barracks clean up crew, where we cleaned out the old barracks.
Then I got my assignment working for the Admirals Staff. I served coffee and such.
I was not happy and the Admiral knew it. One day Admiral Boorda asked,
"What is wrong shipmate?" I was hesitant to answer the CNO (Chief of Naval Operations).
But did answer him. I responded, "Do not like being a cook and I am not making rate."
He got me assigned to the Auxilary Security Force; where I put in a cross rate package
to be a Master at Arms. I did ASF phase one and two training.
Then became the Blue Team Leader (night watch). I did this duty the majority of my time.
I roved and checked up on the watches and ensured they were not sleeping.
We had to be especially vigilant during that time. It was the time that President Clinton
decided the missile strikes launched at a pharmaceutical factory in Al-Shifa Sudan and
at a al-Qaeda camp in Afghanistan. The operation was called "Infinite Reach".
It was in retaliation for the embassy attacks on Kenya and Tanzania.
It took place on August 20th, 1998!
I also taught self defense and gave anti-terrorism awareness lectures to the security staff.
My last three months there I worked as the 689 barracks petty officer;
doing maintenance work again.
While there I ran my own little martial arts school on the base;
teaching karate to kids at base housing.
I called it the "Pine Tree Wind School of Karate Newport".
I also attended martial arts classes at the "Newport Karate Club"...
Newport Rhode Island had great base housing for my family.
They all loved it. My son Timmy was in the boy-scouts and
I was one of the leaders at the Narragansett Scout Council.
Him and I went to the Black Ships Festival together.
My son Kenny was born there on June 24th, 1998.
I sure miss him!
He fell through the Ice on the Rock River exploring at Harold's Landing
and he drowned on December 22nd, 2016.
We all used to get "Awful Awful's" at the Newport Creamery.
Newport Rhode Island was one of the best commands for my family.
My next Naval Command was the dreaded USS Belleauwood LHA-3 from 2000 to 2004.
Summery of the Belleauwood
In 2003 I was finally honored as a Master at Arms First Class. I was honored, because I wrote a Self Defense Force Training Program for the U.S.S. Belleauwood LHA 3. On the Belleauwood I checked onboard and was assigned as the Speed Line Supervisor. On the Belleauwood I was not treated very well, yet stood the most duties in my entire naval career.
Following are statements from my evaluation letter I wrote to protest my low evaluation mark. When I checked onboard the Belleauwood in October 2000 I already volunteered to be part of the Fire Party. In December I re-qualified as a Fire Investigator and stood this position for duty section 4 while standing middleman and soup cook duties.
During the shipyard and dry-dock period of 2001 I volunteered as the supervisor for the Rehab Tiger Team (a small detail used for maintenance) under the supervision of Chief Roberts. After the rehab I worked as the Damage Control Petty Officer for S-5 Division and made sure that over two hundred staterooms were habitable while I was working with an injured shoulder. My shoulder was injured on June 24th while moving a cabinet. This was supposed to put me on light limited duty, but it did not.
From September 2001 to July 2002 I worked in the QA; Quality Assurance S-9 Division. I volunteered as the supervisor of the Engineering Tiger Team during this time. My team painted out all of the engineering spaces. My entire team got letters of accommodations for a job well done. Then I transferred to S-2 division.
During the 2002 West Pacific Deployment I Petty Officer Kerofsky worked as the galley middleman while standing collateral duties as the Berthing Petty Officer, ensuring that the supply berthing area was cleaned and orderly; Sanitation Petty Officer, ensuring that all waste products were properly separated, that the plastic was melted and formed into discs in the plastic room, and that medical waste were properly disposed of; Training Petty Officer, verifying training records, writing training lectures, and conducting training to over two hundred galley personnel; the Assistant Repair Parts Petty Officer, which I verified that all orders for repair parts were properly formatted and corrected when needed; a Stretcher Bearer for the Flight Deck Triage during General Quarters in operations in Kuwait and Iraq; the Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Representative in which I helped keep the morale high during a stressful deployment; did Catholic Lay Leading during church services in the absents of the Catholic Chaplain; led Rosary Prayer Meetings, praying with and for shipmates, mentoring them, and helping them to maintain a higher spirit through Christ Jesus; and taught a karate class three times a week in the ships gym.
After the deployment I volunteered to be part of the Ships Self Defense Force. While there I wrote a self defense and security program for the ship. This led me to be promoted to an Honorary Master at Arms. I qualified for the M-9 pistol, M-14 rifle, M-16 rifle, M-60 auto, Mossberg 500 shotgun, the baton, and hand to hand combat. I became a high ranked marksman for the M-14 7.62 mm rifle and a sharpshooter for the M-9 pistol. I also went to the Armed Sentry Course were I graded at a 98 percent. This course I learned all the general orders of a sentry, how to secure a pier, and how to control a hostel situation. And I stood Ships Self Defense Force duties from March to May for duty section 4.
During the Shipyard and Dry-dock period of 2003 I volunteered for the Deck Matting Team where we redid several ships spaces repairing and relaying new deck tiles. I did this duty until I was accepted as the Duty Master at Arms. I worked with the Security Department from June 2003 to February 2004. While working there I went to three Master at Arms schools: Oleoresin Capsicum Spray Course where I got sprayed in the eyes and had to go through an obstacle course consisting of going across a bar, jumping down and punching and kicking a standing punching bag, shooting a target at close range, running to the next standing bag and hitting it with the baton, and then apprehending and cuffing a suspect. Naval Correction Custody School out of Lockland Air Base in Texas where I graduated with an 86 percent. There we learned all about brig operations, paperwork, forms; check in and out procedures, prisoner search, and how to control a brig riot. And the Prisoner Escort Course where I graduated with a 94 percent.
During the 2004 West Pacific Deployment I worked as the Galley Speed-line Supervisor while standing the duties of the Phone Talker / Safety Observer during Well Deck Three Alpha Operations on 6 to 11 July while offloading over two thousand Marines safely. I received a letter of accommodation for my outstanding performance. Stood Quarters Supervisor in the Brig during prisoner lockup from 13-16 July where I ensured the safe transport of detainees. And I stood collateral duties as the Moral, Welfare, and Recreation Representative where I sold tour tickets for ports of call in Singapore, Bahrain, and Hawaii – ensuring the welfare of the shipmates onboard and keeping the morale high. Catholic Lay Leader where I ran the church service in the absence of the Catholic chaplain – keeping faith and calmness to shipmates in times of turmoil and distress. And stood duties as the Assistant Safety Petty Officer where I ensured that the galley operations were conducted in a safe manner, ensured all equipment was up to safety standards, and did the daily safety check walking around with my clipboard and check list.
Off the September promotion exam in 2003 I was promoted to Petty Officer First Class. This led me to pursue my sights past chief and work on becoming a Security Technician Officer. I desired to become a Lieutenant. I struggled, however, just to make the chiefs board. The low evaluations from hard work; was not right. The so-called Filipino mafia always tried to keep me down.
They kept me down for one by giving me low evaluations; which I deserved higher evaluations than they gave me. One of my fellow shipmates was promoted to chief petty officer; and he sat around all day. He was promoted because he was a Filipino and I was not. This was not right.
The way I was treated unfairly made me strive harder. The hatred I felt toward those that did me wrong was the pinnacle that kept me going. This was not always like this for me. When I first started out in my naval career it was not like this. When I started out I felt like I belonged, when I ended off I did not feel like that anymore.
Then in 2004 I went to voluntery Captains Mast and told my story to the Captain -
Captain Gay who received a letter from the CNO (which was no longer Admiral Boorda,
because he allegedly committed suicide). And I was then, without knowing ,
officially promoted to master at arms first class.
I spent the rest of my dreaded Belleuwood tour doing roving patrols with the
Master at Arms Department...
On her I went on West Pac 2002, 2004, and operations in Iraq.
One with Triage Ops and the other doing prison escort.
My next Naval Command was Great Lakes Illinois from 2004 to 2006.
At Great Lakes I did 18 months of rehab. Some while in a wheelchair as my right knee was
swollen like a balloon. I was injured falling down a ladderwell causing damage to
my neck (nerve damage), right shoulder (tendinitis), spine (stenosis),
tingling in my right hand, shaking, and chronic pain for the rest of my life.
This happened on the dreaded Belleauwood. One injury moving a cabinet (Captains bed),
and the rest when I fell down a ladder-well. I still go through physical therapy today,
Tai Chi class at the VA to keep me moving, and trigger point injections to control pain.
Not to mention I also have tinnitus (ringing in the ears) caused from the big Naval guns
and grinding on deck. And have an equilibrium imbalance as well.
Not to mention PTSD and frequent nightmares from combat and bullying.
But I do not give up; as you read in my Marital Arts Journey.
At Great Lakes I mostly did admin duties and front desk duties.
In 2006 I was given home awaiting retirement orders.
And in late 2007 I retired from active duty Navy as an MA1 (SW) -
Master at Arms First Class (Surface Warfare) .
However, this was not the end of things.
I was called back to help with the Naval Sea Cadet Corp as a Training Officer Lieutenant.
I worked with them until 2013 teaching teens and young adults about the Navy;
everything from types of ships, knot tying, and Naval etiquette.
Now I am officially retired as a DAV veteran from the US Navy...
My Naval Awards!
Navy Achievement Medal (1)
(Earned in 1994 while working as a Damage Control Supervisor, outside my rating,
on the USS Richmond K. Turner CG-20.
And for the repairs of the ships deck drains)
Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (10)
National Defense Ribbon (2)
Combat Action Ribbon (1)
(For a combat team I was with in Bosnia)
Marksman Rifle Ribbon (1)
Sharpshooter Pistol Ribbon (1)
Battle Efficiency Ribbon (5)
Naval Expeditionary Medal (2)
(Gulf Expedition and Arctic Circle Expedition)
Silver Lifesaving Medal (1)
(while working with a coast guard team)
NATO Medal Bosnia (1)
Humanitarian Operations Medal (1)
(I helped guard and build an orphanage in Africa)
Coast Guard Operations Ribbon (1)
(when working with the Coast Guard in early 1992)
Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon (2)
Global War on Terrorism Medal (1)
(first Iraq Campaign)
Iraq Liberation Medal (1)
Good Conduct Medal (5)
Volunteer Service Medal (1)
(Sea Cadet Volunteer)