Friday, April 16, 2010

'A' School Graduation Day


Photos by Lois R. Slaughter

Okay, so before I write about anything let me warn you.  All of these photos will have me in them.  Why?

Because of the lightning bolts.

Confused?  The MC rating badge consists of a satellite orbiting the planet with...four lightning bolts.  The lightning represents the immediacy of news.  Whats current right now is old tomorrow. 

My mother, the photographer, got me her graduation photos FAST.  So they're going up first...because I need to blog about graduation.  And what's a blog without photos?  So get ready to look at lots of pics of me and my family.  Don't worry, I'll add more...objective they're cleared by Public Affairs. 

Edit:  No need to add them, stop by the new 'A' school blog for great grad pics! 

  Rear Admiral Moynihan presents the McRill award. He told me my family's a hoot.

I was extremely honored and humbled to receive the MC1 Bobby McRill award.  It was presented by the U.S. Navy Chief of Information, Rear Adm. Dennis Moynihan. To have an award handed to me by the CHINFO was in itself an awesome experience.

MC1 McRill was killed in combat in 2007 outside of Sadr City, Iraq.   He was known as the Sailor's Sailor.   Chief Shavers, in an interview about the McRill award, told me he remembers his friend as caring deeply about his shipmates, and conducting his day-to-day business with a strong sense of integrity.

The more I learned about MC1 McRill, the less deserving I felt.  Now that things have calmed down a little, I'm seeing things in a different light.   To me, having my name attached to this award isn't about what I've done, but what I will do.  I have to go out and earn this.   And that's great motivation!

MC1 Bobby McRill


My dad, Glenn, and stepmother, Kathy, outside of the Navy detachment before graduation.

My aunt, Martha Hinkley...who may need a team of SEALs to help out with a rampaging pig problem.

My mama and Perreault, my old roommate.

My aunt, Ruth Newnam, or "mama #2".


It was great to have my family there to celebrate this milestone.  And they all said they really enjoyed such a personal ceremony.  (also, RDML Moynihan charmed every one of them.) Each Sailor was able to introduce their family, as well as show some of their 'A' school work on the big screen up front.

Stop by the new 'A' school blog for great graduation pics! SR Asato's working hard on it as I type.


I recently thanked my class for helping me get to where I am.  I didn't come to Fort Meade expecting to do the things I've done.  I wanted to get good grades and learn how to be a better Sailor.  I wasn't thinking about Section Leader or Student Leader.  But from the very beginning my classmates believed in me.  It started with "Slaughter you're our alarm clock ok?" to jokes about "MCPON Slaughter" to "this class would be headless without you". 

I've been helped by so many of them, it'd be tough to record them all.  Perreault helped me go out the door prepared on many occasions, Jones showed me many camera tricks and fixed mechanical issues I never would've been able to on my own.  Bell helped me to study for a test at the last minute.  Cheek and Arzola chanted "Team Slaughter" every time they saw me for the first few weeks.

AND I can't forget the support I got from the instructors, the MTIs, and the guys in the class ahead of me.  Thanks to LT Soltes, Chief Carter, Ensign Larson, MC1 Farr, CS2 Preston, Johnson, Votaw, Raegen, Stevens,  Pittman, Kogler, goes on and on.

Let me tell you, if you get enough positive reinforcement, you start to live it.  Many days I got out of bed with ZERO energy.  But every time I made it through by looking at myself the way my classmates did.

Powerful stuff.  Thanks guys.  Don't stop believing in your shipmates and in yourselves.

1 comment:

  1. great job Brooks. Looks like the navyagrees with you. Keep up the good work. Hanah is living in San Deigo now with her husband who is in homeland security. if you would like to see them after you are settled let me know.
    Your Uncle Sam