Friday, February 7, 2014

MC Perspective: The real [boring] frontline

ARABIAN SEA (Aug. 31, 2013) Aviation ordnancemen assigned to the Death Rattlers of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron lift a missile on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz.  (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Kelly M. Agee /Released)

I wonder how many MCs enlist and say:

"Imma go take photos of jets 
and missiles and cool stuff like that!"  


Here's the reality though.  For many would-be photographers arriving to a carrier....

"Where THE HELL are my reenlistment photos?"
The front desk is the front line of a carrier's media shop.  This place is no joke. Photo by MC2 Jess Lewis.

This is where they usually end up.  THE FRONT DESK.  This is where the entire ship comes to fill out and pick up print, photo, graphic, and video orders.

Think about that for a minute.  You ever been in a FedEx/Kinko's?  They tend to be a couple steps above the DMV on places we like to visit.  Now imagine doing that work on a ship full of people that are tired of being crammed together.  And most of them outrank you.

Let's just say people skills are really really crucial on the front desk.  Did I mention there's an insanely obnoxious buzzer that lets us know someone's at the door?  Listen to that about a hundred times in 12 hours...

"Where THE HELL are my reenlistment photos?" Photo by MC2 Jess Lewis.

This is Seaman Kelly Agee, and she did a pretty long stint at the front desk when she arrived.  Below are her thoughts on the experience.


How did your first couple of weeks on the Nimitz measure up to your expectations?

When I first got to Nimitz everyone was helpful and showed me where everything on the ship was and what was expected of me in the shop. I thought getting around the ship would be harder and that getting in the swing of things would be more difficult. 

There's no front desk class in 'A' school. How challenging was it to work there for that long and how ready were you to "get to work for real?"

Nimitz's indoctrination class was helpful for knowing about the ship but I really wanted to do the job of an MC, so having to work the front desk for two months was challenging because I really wanted to do something more related to my rate.

Any fleet survival advice for new MCs?

It's not hard to survive out in the fleet if you make friends with everyone you possibly can. Don't stick to just being friends or hanging out with MCs. If you make friends out of the shop it makes it easier to get your qualifications and you get connections to stories as well.


She really is that positive.  I see her Facebook posts.  Thanks Agee!  

Everyone else don't be scared.  The photo at the top of this post is one of many great ones Agee took after leaving the front desk.  It'll happen for you as well.

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