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13 February 2014

Are You Ready For a Sucky Deployment

Deployments can either be a blast or completely SUCK.   There are many things that factor into the equation of a bad or good deployment, how long it is, what ship you are on, your chain of command, what the Navy needs of your ship, and the crew  are all things you CAN’T change.  
Here is a list of tips to make that dismal deployment into a bearable or even an awesome event.

Make a List
 I have been on many deployments and you would not believe the amount of people unprepared for an inevitable deployment.   Just spending some time to make a list of stuff you will need can make preparing for a deployment much smoother.
Things to have on the list; 
-Clothes- You will be hitting ports so know what the dress code will be Polo shirts and non-holly pants nothing to baggy and no drug related stuff is a safe bet.  Also you might want to bring a suit every deployment I have been on has had at least one tour or event that required a suit.
-Tissue paper- The ship has some single-ply TP.  So unless you like your tissues dissipating in your hand this is a hot commodity on deployment   
-Prescriptions-  Most of the time you will have to do this through your command medical but make sure it is setup.
-Shower and bath supplies- The ship store has shampoo and bath stuff but probably not your brand. So get that so you can enjoy your normal stuff.
-Battery powered Shaver- In the morning and when you hit a port is a busy time for the head being able to shave in your birthing will lower your stress just a little.
-Passport- 99% of the time you will not need a passport but that one you miss out on Oktoberfest in Germany will have you kicking yourself for years or if you have a family emergency you may not be able to fly through some countries back.
-Power of Attorney- I bet you have heard this time and again bet this could save you a lot of trouble.
-Laundry Soap- Liquid tends to get on everything powder gets everywhere the best I have used are the 3-in-1 washer dryer sheets they stay just keep them in a Ziploc bag and no mess not powder everywhere.
-Electronic Adaptors- Plugs change from country to county.  get power adaptors so you can plug in your stuff.
-Computer- The Ship will rocks things will fall and so many computers will get smash on deployment.  Bring a cheap light laptop if you break it you can replace it cheaper.  You could even bring a Tablet they do most everything you could need and are so much better for watching movies you your rack (Just get a case that could save it in a fall).
-Headphones- I don’t care what kind you like be it $200 head phones they will stop working so have at least one set on standby.

You will have many nights and days that you just need to break free of the routine days.  So how will you do that? What do you have that can get you out of a funk? Think about what you like and what you can do on deployment to relieve stress.  Here is a list of “Underway Getaways”;
-Movies- As simple as it sounds find some time to watch a movie be it in the ships lounge or in your rack this is a quick getaway that is easy to do.
-Go to the Gym- You have little time to yourself  but getting to the gym an even 30 min can interrupt the monotony of ship life for just a little bit and you look that much more fine for the next port.
-Games- Be it computer, tablet or even board games sitting down and just enjoying yourself can make the deployment that much better.
-Order stuff Online- Buy some stuff for yourself shopping on Amazon or other online stores passes time and the wait for it to get to the ship will help pass even more time
-Command Programs- Being involved in MWR, FCPOA, JEA or even the Cultural Committee actually can pass time and have an added perk for your Eval.

Set Goals
 Having goals is good for everything from school to sports and even for deployments.  Set a few that you can complete on deployment some easy and some challenging.  As you achieve your goals you can set bigger goals and soon your home.  Here is a list a some easy and some hard goals you could set;
-Get Qualified- Every rate has them we all hate them you know what I am talking about PQS’s.  All joking aside just setting the goal of doing 3 or 4 PQS’s a month could get you a step over everyone and will pass the time to. 
-Get your Pin- Okay so this is the same as quals but getting a pin on deployment is way more easy then in port everyone is on the ship they are not going anywhere so get  it done.
-Lose Weight- Set an amount you want to lose by the week or even month.  This will pass time and make you feel better.
-Advancement- You probably will be out over an exam or two so make time to study and set a goal to advance.
-School- Online classes or even possibly your ship will offer some instructor led courses but you should try to get a couple hours of school. 
-Port Visit- You don’t have to find the first bar 500 ft away from the ship and get plastered. Set some goals on places to see, miles to walk, foods to eat.  Have fun in the port you have a chance to see the world so do it.
-Learn a Language- I know this could go under school but how cool would it be to be able to ask for your foods in the native tongue add on that people there will respect you more can make a port visit that much better.  

You can’t change many things about your deployment, but having the right stuff and knowing what to do with your time can make the long 6 to 10 months in a floating metal box less stressful and even a Good experience. If you need help on a Deployment or getting ready for a deployment ask for help a good LPO is always willing to help of email me.
Are there more things that you do to make Deployments NOT SUCK please post them in the comments bellow. If you liked this post please follow and share.


  1. This was very helpful! Thank You

    1. No problem, I'm glad I could help. I appreciate you letting me know it was helpful I've gotten almost 80k visits and only a few thanks.

  2. Great post- It's been surprisingly difficult to find information on what gear/items/toiletries/etc for our sailor to bring. Also trying to figure out the best sleeping bag for him that is lightweight and warm. I'm guessing care packages should include refills of laundry soap, shampoo, lotions, razors, etc? I'm a gearhead but sailor is rather overly minimalist w 1 set of workout clothes and 1 set of civilian clothes. not enough.


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