Balcom, Robert, DCC

Damage Controlman
 Service Photo   Service Details
92 kb
View Time Line View Family Time Line
Current Service Status
USN Retired
Current/Last Rank
Chief Petty Officer
Current/Last Primary NEC
DC-4811-Senior Enlisted Damage Control Prog. Management & Training Spec.
Current/Last Rating/NEC Group
Damage Controlman
Primary Unit
1999-2002, DC-4811, Naval Base San Diego (NAVBASE San Diego)
Previously Held NEC
HT-0000-Hull Maintenance Technician
HT-4954-General Maintenance Welder
DC-0000-Damage Controlman
Service Years
1980 - 2002
Official/Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Panama Canal
Persian Excursion
Plank Owner
DC-Damage Controlman
Five Hash Marks

 Official Badges 

US Navy Retired 20

 Unofficial Badges 

Order of the Shellback

  1981-1983, HT-0000, USS Orion (AS-18)

HT-Hull Maintenance Technician

From Month/Year
- / 1981

To Month/Year
- / 1983

USS Orion (AS-18) Unit Page

Petty Officer Second Class

HT-0000-Hull Maintenance Technician


 USS Orion (AS-18) Details

USS Orion (AS-18)
Hull number AS-18

Surface Vessels


Parent Unit

Tender/ Repair Ship

Created/Owned By
Not Specified

Last Updated: Feb 24, 2009
Memories For This Unit

Best Friends
HT2 Dan Peters- (Weld Shop) We used to sign up for tours and also traveled around Sardinia on our own. He was a good guy. One time when I was on USS Shenandoah and we pulled into Fort Lauderdale from GITMO, he was in a rental car waiting. We drove pretty far south, but didn't make it Key West.

HT2 Paul Daniels- (pipe shop) My craziest buddy. We hung out and did all kinds of things together. Early one Sunday morning we were bored so we inflated a surgical glove with oxygen and acetylene and exploeded it by throwing a hot sheetmetal scribe at it. It made a huge boom and got us in a little bit of hot water, which thankfully Chief Meile was able to get us out of. I heard he passed away, but have not been able to confirm it. If so, rest in peace my friend.

HT3 Vince Janowiak- (pipe shop) Still on active daty as a LCDR, I remember Vince as a brand new fireman. He was a good guy, very talented at playing the guitar and singing. I always enjoyed watching Vince play.

HT3 Alvin Tyler- (pipe shop) I know it sounds strange having grown up in Los Angeles county, but Alvin was the first African-American I ever knew. Alvin was a great guy, funny and very nice. Alvin- I didn't appreciate your music back then. I do now.

HT3 Scott Vandehei- (pipe shop) Scott told me that he grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin and that when he was a kid he didn't wear shoes in the summer and only had to bathe on Saturday nights. I'm not sure I believed him, but it made a good story. I enjoyed spending time with Scott and his girlfriend.

HT2 Jeff Earl- (pipe shop) One of my mentors when I arrived aboard the USS Orion as a brand new pushbutton Third Class. He showed me a lot and I am grateful for it.

HT2 Tony Roberts- (pipe shop) Along with Jeff Earl, he took me under his wing and showed me the ropes when I was new onboard. He was from a small town in North Carolina and I always enjoyed reading his hometown newspaper.

HTFN Pat Cary- (pipe shop) From Alabama. He kept talking about this new thing called "MTV" where they played music videos on televison. Of course that was when MTV actually did play music videos instead of the stupid reality shows that they have today.

HT3 Joe Mykut- (pipe shop) Also from Alabama, Joe was a fun guy. He was a funny guy to hang out with.

PH1 Terry Whitter- (photo lab) Terry was a nice guy who showed me quite a bit about taking and developing photos. I am definately better at photography today because of his assistance.

And many, many others. My Orion shipmates were all great guys.

Best Moment
I think they were almost all best moments. Orion was my first ship, and as far as I was concerned it was also the best.


Worst Moment
Standing armed security guard watches and being part of the Personal Reliability Program. I used to hate being the weapons rover and roaming around the torpedo shop and various other areas watching the weapons department guys playing cards when I knew that I was going to be staying up all night after I got off watch and working a hot job. It took me a while to understand the equal importance of both military duties and my job related duties. I guess I must have missed that class in boot camp. I apologize to the weapons guys for all of the abuse I threw your way.

Chain of Command
HTC Joe Meile- The best Chief I ever worked for and the model of the Chief I tried to be. A real stand up guy, Joe took care of business and he also took care of his people.


Other Memories
Assigned to pipe shop and flex hose shop.

When I arrived aboard the ship people lined up and couldn't wait to tell me how bad it was and how they were short timers and getting the hell out of there. Of course with a fifteen month tour we were ALL short timers.

I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into, but ended enjoying myself so much that I decided to extend my tour for another year.

I loved living in Italy and traveling to another country every few months. I think that anybody who was bored on "The Rock" wasn't trying. I wish I had never left.

My Photos For This Duty Station
USS Orion (AS-18) with USS Paul (FF-1080) and USS Connole (FF-1056) alongside
USS Orion (AS-18) Pipe Shop 1981
USS Orion (AS-18)  off Monte Carlo, Monaco
R1 Division USS Orion (AS-18) 1982
208 Members Also There at Same Time
USS Orion (AS-18)

Barbour, Moses, PO2, (1978-1982) HT HT-0000 Petty Officer Second Class
Bernard, Bruce, PO2, (1979-1983) HT HT-0000 Petty Officer Second Class
Haselhuhn, William, PO2, (1981-1986) HT HT-0000 Petty Officer Second Class
Herrera, John, PO2, (1978-1982) HT HT-0000 Petty Officer Second Class
Leonhart, Scott, PO2, (1977-1981) HT HT-0000 Petty Officer Second Class
Martin, Paul, PO2, (1976-2008) HT HT-0000 Petty Officer Second Class
Licon, Manuel, PO3, (1980-1987) HT HT-0000 Petty Officer Third Class
Torkelson, Kenny, PO2, (1981-1987) HT HT-0000 Petty Officer Third Class
Wellington, Robert, PO1, (1980-1997) HT HT-0000 Fireman
Hull, Darrell, CPO, (1965-1985) HT HT-9502 Chief Petty Officer
Grisham, Larry, CPO, (1969-1990) HT HT-4956 Petty Officer First Class
Shaw, Jr., Charles, PO1, (1977-1995) HT HT-4956 Petty Officer First Class
Boyles, Michael, CPO, (1977-1997) HT HT-4943 Petty Officer Second Class
Crapps, Michael, PO2, (1978-1982) HT HT-9593 Petty Officer Second Class
Lint, Robert, PO1, (1977-1997) HT HT-4935 Petty Officer Second Class
McHale, Randy, PO1, (1976-1991) HT HT-4955 Petty Officer Second Class
Brown, Glenn, PO2, (1981-1988) HT HT-9593 Petty Officer Third Class
Thompson, Thermond, PO1, (1978-1994) HT HT-4953 Petty Officer Third Class
Waldecker, Robert, PO1, (1978-1995) HT HT-9593 Petty Officer Third Class
Foster, Dennis, LT, (1966-1987) OFF 641X Lieutenant
Gill, Bruce, LCDR, (1961-1989) OFF 613X Lieutenant
Henry, Rich, LT, (1963-1988) OFF 626X Lieutenant
Hughes, Richard, LT, (1978-1982) OFF 220X Lieutenant
Misisco, David, CAPT, (1981-2008) OFF 230X Lieutenant Junior Grade
Parsons, Thomas, LCDR, (1963-1993) OFF 651X Lieutenant Junior Grade
Wojtuniak, Joe, LCDR, (1971-1995) OFF 626X Lieutenant Junior Grade
Harpst, Mathew, CDR, (1980-2005) OFF 310X Ensign
Johnson, Craig, LT, (1968-1988) OFF 626X Ensign
Borrelli, Richard, CPO, (1966-1989) EN EN-9502 Chief Petty Officer
Bostic, Thomas, CPO, (1961-1983) SK SK-0000 Chief Petty Officer
CRENSHAW, JAMES, SCPO, (1963-1985) RM RM-2319 Chief Petty Officer
Davis, Edward, CPO, (1964-1985) SK SK-2821 Chief Petty Officer
Davis, Roy, CPO, (1965-1984) SM SM-0000 Chief Petty Officer
Drexler, Robert, MCPO, (1970-1992) MM MM-4294 Chief Petty Officer
Gauthier, Frank, CPO, (1969-1989) DC DC-0000 Chief Petty Officer
Guy, Douglas joe, CPO, (1966-1987) RM RM-0000 Chief Petty Officer
Hewitt, Robert, CPO, (1977-1999) ET ET-1588 Chief Petty Officer
Ryan, Brian, SCPO, (1973-1994) MM MM-4283 Chief Petty Officer
Searfino, Michael, CPO, (1973-1996) IM IM-1820 Chief Petty Officer
Vance, William, CPO, (1970-1992) 00 9512 Chief Petty Officer
Abernathy, Charles, PO1, (1979-2002) IM IM-1820 Petty Officer First Class
Brochu, John, SCPO, (1977-1997) MM MM-3395 Petty Officer First Class
Eldridge, Frederick, PO1, (1981-1990) EM EM-4673 Petty Officer First Class
Fletcher, Robert, PO1, (1977-1988) MM MM-0000 Petty Officer First Class
Frei, Karl, PO1, (1978-1998) MR MR-9517 Petty Officer First Class
Fusco, Bruce, PO1, (1971-1985) BM BM-0000 Petty Officer First Class
Geraci, Robert, PO1, (1979-1989) DC DC-0000 Petty Officer First Class
Gregory, Dex, SCPO, (1978-2000) SK SK-0000 Petty Officer First Class
Henderson, James, PO1, (1981-1993) EN EN-9502 Petty Officer First Class
Jacobs, Martin, PO1, (1974-1994) DP DP-2755 Petty Officer First Class
Lindstrom, Jerry, PO1, (1969-1994) OM OM-1918 Petty Officer First Class
Madsen, Kevin, PO1, (1977-1985) MM MM-3376 Petty Officer First Class
Mateo, Clodomiro L, PO1, (1981-2001) ET ET-1431 Petty Officer First Class
Merrill, Harold T, LT, (1972-1996) MA MA-0000 Petty Officer First Class
Munker, Herb, CWO4, (1972-2000) ML ML-5201 Petty Officer First Class
Neighbors, Kenneth, PO1, (1967-1988) SK SK-0000 Petty Officer First Class
Paul, Robert, PO1, (1974-1992) DT DT-8703 Petty Officer First Class
Simon, Richard, PO1, (1964-1986) RM RM-2321 Petty Officer First Class
Sims, Kenneth, PO1, (1972-1991) SK SK-2821 Petty Officer First Class

Copyright Inc 2003-2011