For this article I’m going to refer you to a previous article written before the Deployment Chronicles began. That kind of gives you an idea of what the bloodhound award is and why it is very important to me.
If you don’t have time to read that article, then a quick recap is that the bloodhound award is presented once a year one winner for the Pacific fleet and one winner for the Atlantic fleet. Its kind of a big deal because it distinguishes you from all other ships on the water front and makes you the best ASW (Anti Submarine Warfare) ship there is. Anti Submarine Warfare is basically the ability to locate and stay away from submarines. Onboard I am the ASWO (Anti Submarine Warfare Officer), so you can see how important the ASW 2010 Bloodhound award was to me.
Well, we submitted for the award in December and the results were said to come out in March of 2011. I was really keeping my fingers crossed but there were quite a few people who were very skeptical, including my senior chief and the captain. I spent A LOT of time on the write up and it was very fun seeing everything unfold that we had accomplished over the past year.
When we submitted it to the Desron (the next higher chain of command off ship) I blew a kiss, crossed my fingers, and could only hope for the best. A few months later we found out that they had chosen us as their representative for the fleet wide competition. This would be all East coast nominated ships. Now we really had a chance…
A few weeks later I was sent to Rhode Island to attend the Advanced Surface Warfare Officer School (SWOS) class which is a requirement before you can get a SWO pin. Its a 3 week long course that prepares you for your final boards to get your pin once you get back to your ship and its a requirement to get the pin, so you have to pass.
During the three week period our ship had gotten underway and one night when I was sitting in my room studying for one of the tests, I got a call from an unfamiliar number and decided to answer it anyway. I always answer my phone just in case its someone from the ship.
It turns out it was my Weapons officer and this is how the conversation went:
Weapons Officer (WEPS), My department head: “Hello Ms. H, is there something you think we should talk about?”
Me: “I don’t know. The ship is underway. Did something happen? Is everything okay?” I immediately went into panic mode because the ship was underway and I was being called. Never a good sign.
WEPS: “I just talked to the Senior Chief from the Desron and he said he had asked you for some important information on the bloodhound award and you never sent him what he was looking for.”
Me: “What?! That’s absolutely not true! I would have for sure followed through with anything regarding the bloodhound award. I promise you that.”
WEPS: “So your telling me you never received the email he sent?”
Me: “No! When did he send it?!???” In my mind I was completely devastated, thinking I had dropped the ball big time on my division’s behalf.
WEPS: “He must of sent it right after you left for RI, so I guess that’s it. We lost our chance at the bloodhound award.”
Me: “That’s completely impossible, I submitted everything on the requirements list. You’ve got to be kidding me.”
WEPS: “I am. We won. We are the 2010 Bloodhound Award winners.”
Me: I mean seriously. Wait. WHAT?!???? WE WON? WE WON?” Then I was on my feet screaming and jumping around and I jumped onto the bed and I was completely ecstatic. Best news ever. Shortly afterward it sunk in that WEPS had completely duped me.
Me: “WEPS. How dare you trick me like that! What the F*** were you thinking?!??”
WEPS: “Shhhhhh…” I could hear him fumbling on the phone. ‘I am in the captain’s state room with a few other department heads and you were just on speaker phone!”
Me: “Ahhhh! Well I don’t care. You shouldn’t have tricked me like that!”
And that’s how I found out that we were the 2010 bloodhound award winners. I was slightly disappointed that I didn’t get to be with my division when we initially found out and it was first sinking in because I’m pretty sure that would have been an awesome time too.
Anyway. Winner Winner Chicken Dinner.
So we found that out in late March but we were not presented the award itself until after we deployed because the commodore wanted to be the one to present it to us. And that is where this comes into play on the deployment time line. Enjoy the pics!
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