Pain is Weakness Leaving the Body

I joined Navy Warfare Development Command as an embedded contractor in 1998, commissioning the Newport, RI office of Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc.

The organization was a collection of very tactical O-5/O-6 Navy and Marine officers: attack submariners, SEALs, Infantry, destroyermen. My kind of people…

The initial series of assignments were to conduct “Fleet Battle Experiments” examining a number of operational and tactical operation theories and analyzing the results. These necessitated being embedded in the forces during the conduct of the experiments.

So, being embedded, and an active health enthusiast, including SCUBA and running, I melded with the team, including their PT, despite being twenty years older.

So we proceeded, including TAD trips to a number of exotic locations, doing the requisite PT at each one.

Bahrain was one, as I recall. We ran as a bunch along the beach, and later were reprimanded… Hey, just a bunch of Marines doing their thing, what’s the harm?

One fellow was kidding me about being an old man. I looked him in the eye: “Oh, yeh? Want to run a marathon?”

Well, he was an O-6 Navy captain and the overall head of the organization, and had made this comment, and heard my reply, in public…

So we trained for and ran the Ocean State Marathon November 11, 1999 together step by step:

in nine minutes less than five hours:

So I was affirmed as a member of the team.

Other tours ensued visiting (and doing Marine PT) in exotic places.

A tour aboard USS Mount Whitney (fondly called Mt. Wonderful) gave a host of memories:

Algiers, September 1999:

Naples, September 1999:

Gaeta, April 2004:

One of our tasks was to to head up a cadre of Marine officers in developing what the Commandant wanted: an Expeditionary Force that could deliver a Marine brigade with all its people and gear anywhere in the world at forty knots.

The project head was LTCOL John Mangold as I recall. LTCOL Lou Sposato was the logistician. This was in 2003-2004.

So we continued PT and gym work.

One day at the gym, doing my usual thing, I passed out. Plunk.

No harm, revived, checked out, released, to Colonel Mangold. Diagnosis: over exertion, hypoglycemia.

He then presented me with this shirt:

I have worn it with pride ever since. It is my gym shirt.


Oh, the project? We briefed Commander Fleet Forces Command, the Chief of Naval Operations, and the Commandant of the Marine Corps. (Well, not “we”, rather I did, personally). They thought the report was great.

But too expensive.

Oh well…