Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I am a transient

Emptying the trash is one of many not-so-glamorous jobs at TPU.

My stay on Coronado Island didn't last long.  After a little bit of confusion, I have ended up a few miles south at Naval Base San Diego.  I am staying at the TPU, or transient processing unit.

I'll be here until my ship pulls in to Coronado Island.  My new home is not nearly as nice.  During indoctrination on Monday, they told us which areas in the immediate vicinity to avoid.  The reason was gang activity.

But the weather's fantastic!

I share a room with three other guys.  Two of them are coming onto the Nimitz with me.  It's the first ship for all of us.  One is a nuclear technician, the other an aviation administrator.

The reactions to my job are varied.  Some want me to take a picture of them, others give me a you-lucky-dog smile.  I've already recruited two Sailors to take photos of me.  They seemed pretty stoked to get a photo credit.

When I told one Sailor about Admiral Moynihan reading the blog, he replied: "You guys have your own admiral?"

 Cleaning tile 74B...left-handed...there was only one glove.

I've been assigned to bathroom and p-way cleaning duty.  Monday through Friday, from 0730-1430, I clean toilets, showers, sinks, sweep & swab, take out trash, etc.

Once I'm free, I head straight for the internet locations.  I've been bouncing around trying different places.  Here I am studying for E-4 at the bowling alley while waiting for the Ravens game to start.

The various commands here PT during the day.  It's always 70 degrees, so why not?  They run, play football, soccer, frisbee, etc.  We don't PT at TPU.

Notice the small group of Soldiers in the lower left corner.  Ironic, coming from an Army base.

I've been swamped with acronyms since arriving.  I saw this sign and stood there wondering what SALUTES and PRIDE stood for.  I thought my salute was pretty good, but this made it sound much harder.  After heavy contemplation I'm 97% sure they're not acronyms.

The highlight of the last few days was watching the Ravens beat the Jets to start the season 1-0.  I met up with Marty (Carey) and his buddies from Combat Camera at Cabo Cantina in Pacific Beach.

Ignore that San Francisco hat.



1.  Be flexible.  If you find yourself thinking "This isn't in my job contract", squash it.

2.  Make sure your sponsor tells you where you need to go upon arriving.

3.  If you're eligible to take the E-4 exam after arriving, be sure the Fort Meade Navy detachment sets it up!  They need to forward the exam to your new command.  I have to wait a month because something went wrong and there's no test for me to take here.

4.  Keep your military bearing.  You're going to see a lot of Sailors that aren't at the level DINFOS teaches us.  Don't talk in formation, keep your uniform looking good, cover on outside.

Yeah it's crappy busy work, but do whatever job they give you with professionalism.


  1. Hey Brooks! It was great seeing you again bro and welcome to sunny San Diego :) It sucks having to clean toiletes and such all day, but hey, the weather is nice and the hours arent long, yet. Keep your chin up, I know you are anyways. Great post, and BZ to your temp. photog's!

  2. Loved the picture of the TPU room. I was there in the summer of 06 and I LOVED it there. Believe it or not, it was the best time I had while I was in the Navy. Long live TPU @ Naval Base San Diego!!! Thanks man, I hope you are doing well.

  3. Nice, yeah I miss SD in general. Staring at the fifth straight day of gray rain here in Washington.

  4. And I'm reading this post in 2017, to prepare for TPU in Yokosuka haha