Thursday, October 22, 2009

As a Proven Champion of Many Lost Causes - GOLD Medal goes to me

For a little over 14 months I had been trying to convince NPC and NNWC to confer Naval Aviation Observer wings on RADM G. Pat March who spent a fair amount of time flying the P4M as a Communications Intelligence (COMINT) Evaluator (COMEVAL). Despite prior success in getting NAO wings for several other 1610 officers in the past, I failed to convince 'the powers that be' on the merits of RADM March's case. Although, RADM March had no expectations, mine were high - but recently dashed. Two days after the Admiral's death on 18 October 2009, I got word from NPC that the request was denied.

As indicated below - RADM March was not optimistic (or concerned) about approval.

"Although we drew flight skins (pay), we COMINT types in those days were never designated TAOs like the ELINT people in the rear end of the aircraft who were attached to NAVCOMMUNIT 32G. As I recall, it was because we had not gone through the evasion and escape survival course. Actually, I have a pair of TAO wings. When I was CO at Kamiseya, I happened to be chatting with some of the personnel in 5th Division (the ones who manned the direct support teams afloat, in the air, and submerged) and was good-naturedly grousing about the fact that I didn't receive wings although I had been doing what they were doing (and had earned them). A few months later the 5th Division presented me with a desk pen set that had a pair of wings mounted on the base. It's still on my desk, of course."

RADM G. Pat March
Former Commander, Naval Security Group Command


Anonymous said...

Perhaps the petty bureaucrats who didn't recognize the merits of this lost cause can work quickly to correct it before next month's inurnment. Or perhaps they're just happy that they were able to make a decision about something...and won't give it a second thought.

Captain Mike Sare (1610) said...

RADM March sent me a personal note when I converted from 1110 to 1610 in 1978 and headed for Misawa – he did not know me, but for a SWO in a sea of SWOs, here I had this Admiral “talking to me.”

via e-mail.

Anonymous said...

What a shame. I have personally witnessed these wings going to Squadron Intel Officer, who have no official role in the air, simply because they completed the Aft Observer PQS. I guess the Admiral now wears the wings that really matter...

Captain Will Metts said...


Regrets that you had not received notification previously.

The decision was not to pursue awarding his NAO wings.

Please advise if you have additional questions.


CAPT Will Metts
Information and Intelligence Operations Division Director

Via e-mail