Brooks, Roger, PNCS

Personnelman
 
 TWS Ribbon Bar
Life Member
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
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Current Service Status
USN Retired
Current/Last Rank
Senior Chief Petty Officer
Current/Last Primary NEC
PN-2612-Classification Interviewer
Current/Last Rating/NEC Group
Personnelman
Primary Unit
1991-1991, PN-2612, Chief of Naval Personnel (CHNAVPERS)
Previously Held NEC
RM-0000-Radioman
SR-0000-Seaman Recruit
PN-0000-Personnelman
PN-2526-Personnel Administration
PN-9585-Navy Recruiter Canvasser
Service Years
1962 - 1991
Foreign Language(s)
Vietnamese
Official/Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Cold War
Neptune Subpoena
Order of the Shellback
Order of the Golden Dragon
Plank Owner
Voice Edition
PN-Personnelman
Seven Hash Marks


 Ribbon Bar
Surface Warfare Enlisted Badge
Petty Officer in Charge (Small Craft) Badge

 

 Official Badges 

Navy Recruiting Gold Wreath Award (10th) Recruiting Command of Excellence Recruiter Career Counselor

US Navy Retired 30 US Navy Retired 20


 Unofficial Badges 

US Navy Honorable Discharge Order of the Shellback Navy Chief Initiated Navy Chief 100 Yrs 1893-1993

Cold War Medal Order of the Golden Dragon Cold War Veteran Cold War Veteran

SERE Vietnam Veteran 50th Commemoration Vietnam 50th Anniversary Maritime Warfare Excellence Award

Commander, Naval Surface Forces (CNSF) Ship Safety Award Efficiency Excellence Award


 Military Association Memberships
Branch 5Branch 97Tri-State Navy Chiefs Association  TSCPOANavy League of the United States
Post 318Chapter 29USS South Dakota (BB-57) AssociationPost 4726, Three Rivers Post
United States Navy Cruiser Sailors AssociationUSS Wainwright AssociationChapter 959Mobile Riverine Force Association
Swift Boat Sailors Association (SBSA)United States Navy Memorial National Chief Petty Officers AssociationUnited States Naval Institute
Chapter 1NTWS Unit Historian
  1965, Fleet Reserve Association (FRA), Branch 5 (Member) (Norfolk, Virginia) [Verified]1 - Chap. Page
  1965, Fleet Reserve Association (FRA) [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  1966, Fleet Reserve Association (FRA), Branch 97 (Member) (Whidbey Island, Washington) [Verified]2 - Chap. Page
  1972, Fleet Reserve Association (FRA), Branch 86 (Member) (Millington, Tennessee) [Verified]4 - Chap. Page
  1976, Fleet Reserve Association (FRA), Branch 276 (Member) (Omaha, Nebraska) [Verified]3 - Chap. Page
  1988, Tri-State Navy Chiefs Association TSCPOA [Verified]135 - Assoc. Page
  1990, Navy League of the United States [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  1995, American Legion, Post 318 (Life Member) (Brandon, South Dakota) [Verified]5 - Chap. Page
  1995, The Retired Enlisted Association (TREA), Chapter 29 (Vice President) (Rapid City, South Dakota) [Verified]1
  1995, USS South Dakota (BB-57) Association [Verified]55 - Assoc. Page
  1998, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW), Post 4726, Three Rivers Post (Member) (Brandon, South Dakota) [Verified]9 - Chap. Page
  2002, United States Navy Cruiser Sailors Association [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2002, USS Wainwright Association [Verified]3 - Assoc. Page
  2004, Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), Chapter 959 (Member) (Sioux Falls, South Dakota) [Verified]50 - Chap. Page
  2004, Mobile Riverine Force Association [Verified]
  2006, Swift Boat Sailors Association (SBSA) [Verified]
  2007, United States Navy Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2008, Fleet Reserve Association (FRA), Branch 276 (Member) (Omaha, Nebraska) [Verified]3 - Chap. Page
  2008, National Chief Petty Officers Association [Verified]
  2012, United States Naval Institute [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2012, Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Chapter 1 (Member) (Sioux Falls, South Dakota) [Verified]1 - Chap. Page
  2013, NTWS Unit Historian [Verified]

 Countries Deployed To or Visited

TWENTY-ONE YEARS OF SHIPS AND SHORE ASSIGNMENTS

Svalbard Spain United States of America Antarctica South Georgia Falkland Islands Bolivia Peru Ecuador Colombia Venezuela Guyana Suriname French Guiana Brazil Paraguay Uruguay Argentina Chile Greenland Canada United States of America United States of America Israel Jordan Cyprus Qatar United Arab Emirates Oman Yemen Saudia Arabia Iraq Afghanistan Turkmenistan Iran Syria Singapore China Mongolia Papua New Guinea Brunei Indonesia Malaysia Malaysia Tiawan Philippines Vietnam Cambodia Laos Thailand Burma Bangladesh Sri Lanka India Bhutan Nepal Pakistan Afghanistan Turkmenistan Tajikistan Kyrgyzstan Uzbekistan Japan North Korea South Korea Russia Kazakhstan Russia Montenegro Portugal Azerbaijan Armenia Georgia Ukraine Moldova Belarus Romania Bulgaria Macedonia Serbia Bosonia & Herzegovina Turkey Greece Albania Croatia Hungary Slovakia Slovenia Malta Spain Portugal Spain France Italy Italy Austria Switzerland Belgium France Ireland United Kingdom Norway Sweden Finland Estonia Latvia Lithuania Russia Poland Czech Republic Germany Denmark The Netherlands Iceland El Salvador Guatemala Panama Costa Rica Nicaragua Honduras Belize Mexico Trinidad & Tobago Puerto Rico Dominican Republic Haiti Jamaica The Bahamas Cuba Vanuatu Australia Solomon Islands Fiji New Caledonia New Zealand Eritrea Ethiopia Djibouti Somalia Kenya Uganda Tanzania Rwanda Burundi Madagascar Namibia Botswana South Africa Lesotho Swaziland Zimbabwe Mozambique Malawi Zambia Angola Democratic Repbulic of Congo Republic of Congo Gabon Equatorial Guinea Central African Republic Cameroon Nigeria Togo Ghana Burkina Fassu Cote d'Ivoire Liberia Sierra Leone Guinea Guinea Bissau The Gambia Senegal Mali Mauritania Niger Western Sahara Sudan Chad Egypt Libya Tunisia Morocco Algeria


ArubaArgentinaBermudaBahamas, TheBrazilCubaDominican RepublicFranceGreeceItalyJapanJamaicaMidway IslandsNetherlands AntillesPuerto RicoSpainTrinidad and TobagoTurkeyTaiwanUnited StatesUruguayBritish Virgin IslandsVietnamVirgin Islands

TWENTY-ONE YEARS OF SHIPS AND LAND ASSIGNMENT

 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
Click here to see Training
  1962, Recruit Training (San Diego, CA), 031
 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS)RTC (Cadre/Faculty Staff) San Diego, CAAdvancement Schools and CoursesUSS Amphion (AR-13)
USS Georgetown (AG-165)School Assignments - StaffUSS Georgetown (AGTR-2)USS Towhee (AGS-28)
Naval Air Station Whidbey IslandSERE SchoolUSS Gallup (PG-85)Coastal Surveillance Force (TF-115)
Mobile Advanced Tactical Support Base SEA FLOAT (MATSB)VP-19 Big RedNaval Air Technical Training Command (Staff), Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training (Staff)USS Wainwright (CG-28)
Recruiter Training Orientation CourseNavy Recruiting District Omaha, NE, Commander Naval Recruiting Command (CNRC)Naval Reserve Forces CommandUS Navy
  1962-1962, Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS)
  1962-1962, SR-0000, HQ, RTC (Cadre/Faculty Staff) San Diego, CA
  1962-1962, RM-0000, (RM) Radioman A School
  1962-1963, PN-0000, USS Amphion (AR-13)
  1962-1963, PN-0000, USS Georgetown (AG-165)
  1963-1963, PN-0000, General Shipboard Fire Fighting Course
  1963-1964, PN-0000, USS Georgetown (AGTR-2)
  1965-1966, PN-0000, USS Towhee (AGS-28)
  1966-1969, PN-0000, Naval Air Station Whidbey Island
  1969-1969, PN-2612, (PN) Personnelman C School
  1969-1969, PN-0000, SERE School
  1969-1969, PN-2612, Small Unit Leaders Support Arms Orientation Course
  1969-1969, PN-0000, Defense Language Institute Vietnamese Course
  1969-1969, PN-2526, USS Gallup (PG-85)
  1969-1970, PN-2612, Coastal Surveillance Force (TF-115)
  1969-1970, PN-2612, Mobile Advanced Tactical Support Base SEA FLOAT (MATSB)
  1970-1971, PN-2612, VP-19 Big Red
  1971-1971, PN-2612, Career Counselor School
  1971-1972, PN-2612, (PN) Personnelman C School
  1972-1976, PN-2612, NATTC (Staff) Millington, TN, Naval Air Technical Training Command (Staff)
  1973-1973, PN-2612, Corrections Counselor School
  1976-1976, PN-2612, Military Customs Inspector Training Course
  1976-1979, PN-2612, USS Wainwright (CG-28)
  1979-1979, PN-9585, Recruiter Training Orientation Course
  1979-1983, PN-0000, Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS)
  1979-1983, PN-2612, Navy Recruiting District Omaha, NE, Commander Naval Recruiting Command (CNRC)
  1983-1991, PN-2612, Chief of Naval Reserve New Orleans (CNAVRES), HQs - Chief Naval Reserve Force
  1991-1991, PN-2612, Chief of Naval Personnel (CHNAVPERS)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1962-1962 Cold War Event - Cuban Blockade5
  1962-1962 Cold War Event - Cuban Blockade4
  1969-1969 Operation Stable Door4
  1969-1970 Operation Game Warden5
  1969-1970 Operation Market Time4
  1969-1970 Vietnam War/Vietnam Winter-Spring 1970 Campaign4
 Military Association Memberships
Branch 5Branch 97Tri-State Navy Chiefs Association  TSCPOANavy League of the United States
Post 318Chapter 29USS South Dakota (BB-57) AssociationPost 4726, Three Rivers Post
United States Navy Cruiser Sailors AssociationUSS Wainwright AssociationChapter 959Mobile Riverine Force Association
Swift Boat Sailors Association (SBSA)United States Navy Memorial National Chief Petty Officers AssociationUnited States Naval Institute
Chapter 1NTWS Unit Historian
  1965, Fleet Reserve Association (FRA), Branch 5 (Member) (Norfolk, Virginia) [Verified]1 - Chap. Page
  1965, Fleet Reserve Association (FRA) [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  1966, Fleet Reserve Association (FRA), Branch 97 (Member) (Whidbey Island, Washington) [Verified]2 - Chap. Page
  1972, Fleet Reserve Association (FRA), Branch 86 (Member) (Millington, Tennessee) [Verified]4 - Chap. Page
  1976, Fleet Reserve Association (FRA), Branch 276 (Member) (Omaha, Nebraska) [Verified]3 - Chap. Page
  1988, Tri-State Navy Chiefs Association TSCPOA [Verified]135 - Assoc. Page
  1990, Navy League of the United States [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  1995, American Legion, Post 318 (Life Member) (Brandon, South Dakota) [Verified]5 - Chap. Page
  1995, The Retired Enlisted Association (TREA), Chapter 29 (Vice President) (Rapid City, South Dakota) [Verified]1
  1995, USS South Dakota (BB-57) Association [Verified]55 - Assoc. Page
  1998, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW), Post 4726, Three Rivers Post (Member) (Brandon, South Dakota) [Verified]9 - Chap. Page
  2002, United States Navy Cruiser Sailors Association [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2002, USS Wainwright Association [Verified]3 - Assoc. Page
  2004, Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), Chapter 959 (Member) (Sioux Falls, South Dakota) [Verified]50 - Chap. Page
  2004, Mobile Riverine Force Association [Verified]
  2006, Swift Boat Sailors Association (SBSA) [Verified]
  2007, United States Navy Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2008, Fleet Reserve Association (FRA), Branch 276 (Member) (Omaha, Nebraska) [Verified]3 - Chap. Page
  2008, National Chief Petty Officers Association [Verified]
  2012, United States Naval Institute [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2012, Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Chapter 1 (Member) (Sioux Falls, South Dakota) [Verified]1 - Chap. Page
  2013, NTWS Unit Historian [Verified]


 Remembrance Profiles -  17 Sailors Remembered
  • Propst, Floyd Dean, PO1

 Tributes from Members  
Tribute posted by White, Charles (Randy), EM2 254
 Photo Album   (More...


Reflections on SCPO Brooks's US Navy Service
 
 Reflections On My Service
 
PLEASE DESCRIBE WHO OR WHAT INFLUENCED YOUR DECISION TO JOIN THE NAVY.
After I graduated from high school in 1961, I wanted to take a trip to California to see my high school friend John Owens. I convinced my Dad to let me go alone. When he said yes, I was on my way by bus to Los Angeles. I spent two
Roger Brooks (PNCS Brooks Initiated 16 Jan, 1976), PNCS - Please describe who or what influenced your decision to join the Navy.
Roger Brooks HSchool Grad 1961
weeks with John, his brother and mother. This was my first trip away from home on my own. We spent the days at the beach or riding around on the Good Humor Truck that John drove selling ice cream to kids. This was different in that I traveled half way across the country to see my friend, and I liked the idea of being on my own. I had turned eighteen in January just before graduating from high school. After I returned from California, I went back to work at the grain elevator in Alliance. I could see no future in what I was doing. Can you imagine standing in front of a stoner machine, over which beans poured from a bin, watching for a black bean or two mixed among the white beans pouring across the machine, taking the black ones and placing them in a jar? Ugh!

There was nowhere to go but the Navy. This begs the question WHY the Navy? I could not afford to go to college so I went looking for the Navy Recruiter. My Dad had been in the Navy and so had a couple of his brothers. I thought that sounded pretty good, and I had gotten a taste of some travel away from home, which appealed to me. Now, the Navy Recruiter came to town only about once every two weeks or so. Once I found out when he would be in town next, I sat myself down by the parking meter in front of the Post Office where he would park his car that served as his office, when he arrived. I told the recruiter that "I wanted to get out of town as soon as I could. I explained I needed only a few weeks to get my affairs in order and I would be ready to go," this was in October 1961. The Recruiter asked "if the 4th of January 1962 would work, I said "yes;" we completed the necessary forms, I signed them and that was that. Well, almost! I went to the store where Mom worked and walked up the stairs to her office. She took one look at me and asked, "When do you leave?" I could never pull anything over on her. She always seemed to know what I had done or was going to do.

The next thing was to tell my father what I had done. This was without a doubt the toughest thing I ever had to tell him. When I did he said, "What are you going to do if I won't let you join?" The fact that I was eighteen made it a mute point, and after a short discussion, he decided that because I had made the decision all on my own he would stand behind me.

During the next couple of months, I had two dates with Mary and told her what I had done. I told her that we had only known each other a very short while and that I was not going to ask her to wait for me. I gave her class ring back to her so I would not loose it; she kept mine. This started a four-year courtship that ended in marriage in September 1966. That is a story for later. On the fourth of January, I said good-bye to my family, boarded a bus and was taken to Denver where I was processed and enlisted in the United States Navy for what I planned at the time to be just a four-year enlistment. Go figure!!
WHETHER YOU WERE IN THE SERVICE FOR SEVERAL YEARS OR AS A CAREER, PLEASE DESCRIBE THE DIRECTION OR PATH YOU TOOK. WHAT WAS YOUR REASON FOR LEAVING?
I enlisted in January 1962 and attended Recruit Training at Naval Recruit Training Command, San Diego. From Boot Camp, I was assigned to Radioman "A" School in Norfolk. I never could master it's and dah's so I was assigned to the USS Amphion (AR-13), a Fleet Repair Ship, as a
Roger Brooks (PNCS Brooks Initiated 16 Jan, 1976), PNCS - Whether you were in the service for several years or as a career, please describe the direction or path you took. What was your reason for leaving?
BOOT CAMP GRADUATION
Personnelman striker (on the job training). I qualified for the Personnelman rating and was promoted to Personnelman 3rd Class. My next assignment was pre-commissioning crew for the USS Georgetown (AG-165), an Auxilary ship which was later re-designated to USS Georgetown (AGTR-2) a technical research ship. While a member of the Georgetown crew I attended the General Shipboard Firefighting School in Norfolk, VA. From 1965 to 1966 I was assigned to the USS Towhee (AGS-28) a geographical survey ship, out of Norfolk, VA.

My first shore duty since boot camp was 1966 thru 1969 at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, WA; where I was promoted to Personnelman 2nd Class. The worst moment at NAS Whidbey was when I received my orders to Vietnam. En route to Vietnam, I attended Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape School at Warner Springs just outside of San Diego, CA where I was promoted to Personnelman 1st Class.

Then on to Defense Language Institute (West) for Vietnamese Language Training at Coronado, CA with a short stop at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, CA for Small Unit Leaders Support Arms Orientation Course.

Finally arriving in Vietnam, I was assigned to Commander Coastal Surveillance Force Vietnam (CTF-115) Cam Ranh Bay and Mobile Advanced Tactical Support Base SEA FLOAT (MATSB) on the Chu Lon River. Both CTF-115 and MATSB are also known as part of "the Brown Water Navy".

Leaving Vietnam in 1970 I was assigned to Patrol Squadron 19 (VP-19) at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan. After six months the squadron completed it WESTPAC deployment and returned to NAS Moffett Field, CA in 1971.

My next assignment, in 1972, was to Naval Air Technical Training Center, Millington, TN with a delay to Advance Personnelman C School in San Diego. In 1976 it was time for sea duty again. With a stop for Military Customs Inspectors School, where I received my "hat" being promoted to Personnelman Chief, I reported to aboard USS Wainwright (CG-28), a Belknap-class destroyer leader, home port Charleston, SC.

After a Mediterranean Deployment and other Atlantic ventures at sea, in 1979 I received orders to Recruiter Training Orientation with follow-on orders to Commander Naval Recruiting Command (CNRC), NRD Omaha, NE. While assigned to CNRC I was also stationed at Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS/AAFES) in Sioux Falls, SD and promoted to Senior Chief Personnelman.

In February 1983 I was transferred to the U.S. Navy Fleet Reserve with 21 years and 1 month of active Naval Service. Finally, being transferred to the Fleet Reserve-Retired list in August 1991.
IF YOU PARTICIPATED IN ANY MILITARY OPERATIONS, INCLUDING COMBAT, HUMANITARIAN AND PEACEKEEPING OPERATIONS, PLEASE DESCRIBE THOSE WHICH MADE A LASTING IMPACT ON YOU AND, IF LIFE-CHANGING, IN WHAT WAY?
My trip to Sea Float "Tran Hung Dao III" was on board the USS Gallup a high-speed patrol craft that could travel at speeds of some 45 knots approximately 60mph, through the water. The trip from Cam Ran Bay to Sea Float was a fast one. As we started
Roger Brooks (PNCS Brooks Initiated 16 Jan, 1976), PNCS - If you participated in any military operations, including combat, humanitarian and peacekeeping operations, please describe those which made a lasting impact on you and, if life-changing, in what way?
USS Gallup
up the Cua Lon River towards Sea Float, the CO announced: "General Quarters" (Battle Stations) for all Hands. Being a passenger I figured I would only observe. Not so! I was put into a twin M-60 machine gun mount to man in case we were ambushed. We literally flew up the river. We left such a rooster tail (wake) that nearly all the small Vietnamese boats we roared passed were swamped. We arrived at Sea float with no action encountered. Going down the River in the LCM. Every morning the Commander would make the Utility Boat assignments; on one of these mornings, I was assigned as a boat captain for the Landing Craft (M) LCM. I was to take the LCM, my crew, one Seaman as Boat Coxswain, one Fireman as Engineer and one Gunners Mate Second Class who carried one Grenade Launcher, our only firepower beyond our M-16s and a 12 gauge shotgun I got hold of. What was our cargo? We were carrying four tons of C-4 explosives, to be delivered to the Landing Ship (LST) at the mouth of the river. We were to spend the night and return the following day. We left early, with an escort of two heavily armed Swift boats, and visions of hot food, a hot shower, clean sheets and a bed for one night. Not so for me anyway.

My LCM lost an engine in route to the river mouth. We lost one engine about 1400 (2 p.m.) hours and were continuing on with one engine at a much slower pace, while the engineer tried to repair the other. I knew that low tide would be a problem at the mouth of the river. By the time we reached the mouth of the river, the tide was going out and we ran up on a mud bar, bringing us to a complete stop. The flat bottom of the boat did not cut through the mud like our escorts, the Swifties, that continued on to the LST. Our escort left us in the mud. My engineer was finally able to get both engines running while we sat for four hours waiting for the tide to come in so we could make headway through the mud. We finally reached the LST just after dark, and as I climbed aboard the LST, I was met with a message to return on the next boat to Sea Float. So much for the hot food, hot shower, and clean sheets I road one of the Swift boats back to Sea Float that night. (See citation below)
OF ALL YOUR DUTY STATIONS OR ASSIGNMENTS, WHICH ONE DO YOU HAVE FONDEST MEMORIES OF AND WHY? WHICH WAS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE?
Worst Moment: I knew something was wrong when I reported aboard USS TOWHEE. We had a most unusual crew. Nearly all of them had been in some kind of trouble of sorts. The Executive Officer was showing an officer how to dress properly in uniform when I reported to him
Roger Brooks (PNCS Brooks Initiated 16 Jan, 1976), PNCS - Of all your duty stations or assignments, which one do you have fondest memories of and why? Which was your least favorite?
USS TOWHEE (WORST) USS GEORGETOWN (BEST)
for duty. As the year progressed the only Chief Petty Officer we had went absent without leave (AWOL). Then there was one man who tried to sink the ship, twice. We sent him off to the brig. I really began to worry about the ship, when one day, while the ship was approaching an anchorage to drop anchor, the order was given to "let go the anchor," and when the Boatswain hit the pelican hook with the hammer, instead of the anchor chain running out from the anchor chain locker, the anchor fell off the end of the chain and went to the bottom. We overshot the anchorage and ran aground. We had to be pulled off by a tug. They even let us deploy, read on. When we were deployed the ship would pitch and roll so bad i had to wear a seat belt in the chair in front of the radar when on watch. We always had water sloshing around in our birthing compartment because the watertight hatch was not very water tight.

Best Moment: RESCUE AT SEA: On May 3, 1964, the USS GEORGETOWN came across ten men, two women and two children, ages ten and eight, in two small boats. They were trying to escape from Cuba and were willing to try anything. Pictured are Cubans rescued from boats at sea. Their boats were sunk because they were a navigation hazard. After being at sea for eighteen hours, they were brought safely aboard the GEORGETOWN and later taken to Key West, Florida, Best Moment RESCUE AT SEA: On May 3, 1964, the USS GEORGETOWN came across ten men, two women and two children, ages ten and eight, in two small boats. They were trying to escape from Cuba and were willing to try anything. Pictured are Cubans rescued from boats at sea. Their boats were sunk because they were a navigation hazard. After being at sea for eighteen hours, they were brought safely aboard the GEORGETOWN and later taken to Key West, Florida. [1]
FROM YOUR ENTIRE MILITARY SERVICE, DESCRIBE ANY MEMORIES YOU STILL REFLECT BACK ON TO THIS DAY.
RESCUE AT SEA: On May 3, 1964, the USS GEORGETOWN came across ten men, two women and two children, ages ten and eight, in two small boats. They were trying to escape from Cuba and were willing to try anything.

Pictured are Cubans rescued from boats at sea. Their
Roger Brooks (PNCS Brooks Initiated 16 Jan, 1976), PNCS - From your entire military service, describe any memories you still reflect back on to this day.
Mr. and Mrs. Humberto Camejo
boats were sunk because they were a navigation hazard. After being at sea for eighteen hours, they were brought safely aboard the USS Georgetown and later taken to Key West, Florida.

I received the following message on May 12, 2009: From Humberto Camejo, Date: 5/12/2009 12:33:14 AM: To: (email addresses edited out); - On May 2, 1964, my father, Humberto Camejo and 13 of his fellow country men and friends fled Cuba in search of freedom. A day later on May 3, 1964, he was rescued and brought aboard the USS Georgetown and on May 10th arrived in Key West. Today, on May 11, 2009, forty-five years and a day later, my father wept as he saw the pictures of himself the day he always spoke about; had they not have been rescued he fears what would have happened to them. I have attached a picture of him from that day, he is the first one on the left. I have also attached a picture of my father and my mother. My brother, sister, and myself thank you for giving us the opportunity to fulfill their dream of living our lives with dignity and freedom. It was truly a blessing to see the pictures and read your stories online. Please feel free to contact either myself Eileen Camejo at (edited out) or my father, Humberto Camejo at (edited out). We would love to hear from you. Sincerely, The Camejo Family. [1]
WHAT PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENTS ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF FROM YOUR MILITARY CAREER?
COMMANDER, UNITED STATES NAVAL FORCES VIETNAM: The Secretary of the Navy takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Commendation Medal to ROGER BROOKS PERSONNELMAN FIRST CLASS UNITED STATES NAVY for service as set forth in the following CITATION:

"For meritorious service, while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in
Roger Brooks (PNCS Brooks Initiated 16 Jan, 1976), PNCS - What professional achievements are you most proud of from your military career?
Combat V on Navy Commendation Medal
armed conflict against the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong communist aggressors in the Republic of Vietnam from October 1969 to September 1970. While serving as Commodore's Writer with Commander Coastal Surveillance Force and Commander Coastal Flotilla One, Petty Officer BROOKS performed his duties in an exemplary manner. In providing overall direction and supervisory effort to the Administrative Section of a large and very active staff, he demonstrated a great capacity for work and outstanding leadership ability. In December 1969, he volunteered to assume the highly responsible position as' Administrative Assistant to Operation SEA FLOAT. In that capacity, he was responsible for the administrative matters pertaining to the operation and its two hundred personnel. In addition, he voluntarily assisted in the handling of ammunition in order to rearm helicopters which were placing strikes against enemy forces. He also assisted in the handling of wounded personnel brought back to SEA FLOAT for treatment and medical evacuation. Throughout his tour, he performed his duties under the imminent threat of enemy terrorist squads and main force units. Petty Officer BROOKS' professionalism, initiative and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service." The Combat Distinguishing Device is authorized. For the Secretary of the Navy Vice Admiral, U. S. Navy Commander U. S. Naval Forces, Vietnam
OF ALL THE MEDALS, AWARDS, FORMAL PRESENTATIONS AND QUALIFICATION BADGES YOU RECEIVED, OR OTHER MEMORABILIA, WHICH ONE IS THE MOST MEANINGFUL TO YOU AND WHY?
Roger Brooks (PNCS Brooks Initiated 16 Jan, 1976), PNCS - Of all the medals, awards, formal presentations and qualification badges you received, or other memorabilia, which one is the most meaningful to you and why?
Pinning on CPO Anchors
INITIATED BY CHOICE/PROUD OF TRADITION My advancement to Chief Petty Officer. In short, it can be summed up by a portion of the Chief Petty Officers Creed: It is now required that you become the fount of wisdom, the ambassador of good will, the authority (sometimes the "buffer") in personnel relations, the technical adviser and finally the example militarily, professionally and otherwise that your juniors look up to; that they strive to emulate and one day become! "ASK THE CHIEF!" the timeless phrase that rings throughout the United States Navy. YOU ARE NOW THAT CHIEF!!!!!
WHICH INDIVIDUAL(S) FROM YOUR TIME IN THE MILITARY STAND OUT AS HAVING THE MOST POSITIVE IMPACT ON YOU AND WHY?
Upon reporting for duty in USS Amphion, I was assigned to "X" Division and was issued a footlocker and a half size sea bag to use when going ashore on liberty. We slept in a hammock and had a locker that measured two feet by two feet by two feet,
Roger Brooks (PNCS Brooks Initiated 16 Jan, 1976), PNCS - Which individual(s) from your time in the military stand out as having the most positive impact on you and why?
Being Promoted to Third Class
hence the footlocker and half sea bag. It was here that I first met Personnelman Chief Petty Officer Wayland. He turned out to be my mentor for the career I was about to embark on. I went into his personnel office and told him I wanted to work in his office and learn how to be a personnelman too. He said to me, "in due time, maybe! First, there was the matter of my three months assignment to mess cooking, kitchen duty or compartment cleaning. What's your choice?" I chose the compartment cleaner job and ended up as the compartment cleaner for the Chief Petty Officers' Mess (dining room) and sleeping area. I learned it was easy to get things done early in the day, and then I would have "open gangway" liberty. I could come and go, to and from the ship on liberty, as I wanted. The USS Amphion was a repair ship and spent most of its time in port in Norfolk, Virginia, where I could have gone ashore daily. Instead, I chose to go to the personnel office and asked to be allowed to practice my typing and started learning the job of being a Personnelman. By the time I finished my compartment cleaning duties (three months), I was ready to go to work. Chief Wayland gave me that opportunity, and when advancement exam time came I took the exam for Personnelman Third Class and made it the first try. My career in the Navy was now laid out before me. I knew what I wanted to be and that was to make Chief Personnelman just like Chief Wayland.
LIST THE NAMES OF OLD FRIENDS YOU SERVED WITH, AT WHICH LOCATIONS, AND RECOUNT WHAT YOU REMEMBER MOST ABOUT THEM. INDICATE THOSE YOU ARE ALREADY IN TOUCH WITH AND THOSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO MAKE CONTACT WITH.
Roger Brooks (PNCS Brooks Initiated 16 Jan, 1976), PNCS - List the names of old friends you served with, at which locations, and recount what you remember most about them. Indicate those you are already in touch with and those you would like to make contact with.
Sam tossing the Kaber
On board the USS AMPHION I met Seaman Sam Mc Kay. He and I became very good friends. We would hitch hick to his Home in Kernersville, NC and spend the weekend. His Father was a Preacher and very much Scotch. Dring one the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games my wife and I were made an honorary member of the McKay Clam. He has pasted away,
CAN YOU RECOUNT A PARTICULAR INCIDENT FROM YOUR SERVICE, WHICH MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE BEEN FUNNY AT THE TIME, BUT STILL MAKES YOU LAUGH?
Roger Brooks (PNCS Brooks Initiated 16 Jan, 1976), PNCS - Can you recount a particular incident from your service, which may or may not have been funny at the time, but still makes you laugh?
Swim Call
July 17, 1977, we had Swim Call! Where is the bottom? We were anchored in 60 fathoms of water (360 feet). The weather was out of this world and the Mediterranean Sea was very blue and very warm and very inviting. In order to hold swim call, we had to put a small boat in the water with armed men because of sharks. We put nets over the side so we could climb up once in the water. There were two men who dove into the water and nearly drown and had to be pulled in by the lifeguards. When asked what had happened both said they thought the water was not that deep and that they thought they could touch the bottom like in a swimming pool. After a great day of swimming, we were again underway at 1930 hours.
WHAT PROFESSION DID YOU FOLLOW AFTER YOUR MILITARY SERVICE AND WHAT ARE YOU DOING NOW? IF YOU ARE CURRENTLY SERVING, WHAT IS YOUR PRESENT OCCUPATIONAL SPECIALTY?
After nearly twenty-two years in the Navy, I was now a civilian, what was I to do? I was hired by Modern Woodmen of America and sold the insurance plans they offered to their members from February 1983-1992. Their home office was out of Rock Island, Illinois. During those nine
Roger Brooks (PNCS Brooks Initiated 16 Jan, 1976), PNCS - What profession did you follow after your military service and what are you doing now? If you are currently serving, what is your present occupational specialty?
Being sworen in to the South Dakota House of Representatives
years, I did manage to qualify for and win trips to Hilton Head Island in 1985 for my family. The following year I won a trip to Nashville, Tennessee. While I was working for Modern Woodmen of America. I became involved in and served in the South Dakota Fraternal Congress, 1987-1989. I held the office of First Vice President, 1987-1988 and President, 1988-1989. The South Dakota Fraternal Congress became very involved in the Centennial celebration for the State of South Dakota and I, in my position, became familiar with a lot of the members of state government and was able to take the family to the Centennial Celebration at the state capitol in Pierre, South Dakota. It turned out to be one fantastic party with the introduction of each attendee and their escort as they came down the large stare case into the rotunda of the South Dakota State capitol.

I enter politics: During my first campaign for public office, I was ask to be the driver of the Ground Command Car for the President Bush visit to South Dakota in 1992. All of the new candidates were allowed to be in a special location during a rally at a farm in Humboldt, South Dakota. We were to be right down in front of the Candidate in hopes we would be seen on Television. The Secrete Service had cleared us all, and I was home watching TV when the phone rang. There was a Secret Service Agent on the phone wanting more information from me. I was then told to report earlier than original and to report to a special room at the Ramkota Hotel. I did so and was then informed that I would be driving the Ground Command Car in the Presidents motorcade. The vehicle I drove was the number five car in the caravan. I had the Ground Boss, Press Secretary Atwater, the Backup Doctor and Mechanic. This ended my chance to get on TV, so to speak because, I had to remain with my vehicle until the rally was over.

In 1992, I took out a petition to run for the office of State Representative for Legislative District TEN in the state of South Dakota. I was told, at that time, by the chairman of the Minnehaha County Republican Party that there would be no way I could get elected. He told me that no one knew who I was and that name recognition was the only way I would ever get elected. What the chairman did not know, was that before I took out the petition, I had spoken to twelve people who I thought were able to help me decide whether I should run for office and whether they thought I could win. In the course of the first campaign, I knocked on every door in the entire district, and I was elected to office in November 1992 (4587 votes). I was reelected in 1994 (4850 votes), in 1996 (5756 votes) and in 1998 (5602 votes). I served eight years from January 1993 through December 2000. The one piece of advice that I took to heart was that I should campaign by telling everyone I spoke to who I was, and what I would do if elected. I was never to speak poorly of my opponent. I served as a member of the South Dakota house of representatives as a legislator for the tenth legislative district of South Dakota. I was elected in November 1992 and reelected three times serving eight years. While in the office I served on the House agriculture and natural resources committee for eight years and as chairman two years, and served on the House education committee for eight years and as vice chairman two years. I was a member of the national conference of state legislatures (incl) and served as a member of their legislative study group on chemical weapons. I also served as a member of the editorial board for "state line Midwest" published monthly by the Midwestern legislative conference of the council of state governments. And he served as a member of the executive board of directors for the Southeastern council of governments (SECPG).
WHAT MILITARY ASSOCIATIONS ARE YOU A MEMBER OF, IF ANY? WHAT SPECIFIC BENEFITS DO YOU DERIVE FROM YOUR MEMBERSHIPS?
Roger Brooks (PNCS Brooks Initiated 16 Jan, 1976), PNCS - What military associations are you a member of, if any? What specific benefits do you derive from your memberships?
Veteran Associations I am a member of
Fleet Reserve Association, Branch 276, Omaha, NE; Life Member, Past President, Past Secretary, Past Treasurer, Past Board of Directors. Tri-State Navy Chief Petty Officers Association; Past President, Past Treasurer, Past Vice President, Past Recorder, Honored Veteran of 1998 Sioux Falls Veterans Council; Former member, Adviser, Adjutant. American Legion Post 318, Brandon, SD; Life Member, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4726 Brandon, SD, Life Member, Post Commander 1999 to 2001, All-State Commanders Team 2001; The Retired Enlisted Association member at large; Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 959 Sioux Falls, SD, Life Member, Vice President. I am a firm believer in that numbers do count. When the Congress and Senate look at the total of veterans belonging to an association, the numbers count. I have taken training and become qualified as a Veterans Service Officer for the FRA and have since helped several veterans get in the VA system and help them find the information they need for their VA claims.
IN WHAT WAYS HAS SERVING IN THE MILITARY INFLUENCED THE WAY YOU HAVE APPROACHED YOUR LIFE AND YOUR CAREER? WHAT DO YOU MISS MOST ABOUT YOUR TIME IN THE SERVICE?
I have written a book entitled "How I Earned My PhD in Life" and in the Forward of my book I try to explain what it is meant to do? The definition means, before, or to be in the lead. I guess then, I shall try and lead you into
Roger Brooks (PNCS Brooks Initiated 16 Jan, 1976), PNCS - In what ways has serving in the military influenced the way you have approached your life and your career? What do you miss most about your time in the service?
ROGER BROOKS VP OF BRANDON CITY COUNCIL
this answer so you, the reader, might have a better understanding of what I am trying to accomplish. I once read an article, in one of the many Veterans magazines that I receive, which stated the number of Veterans who were telling "their" story was dwindling. I thought, so what; then I read on, who it asked, will tell the real story? The history books try, but they cannot bring the personal side of what this Veteran thinks or feels about what he has been through. I gave this a lot of thought, and I realized that my children, their children, and their children would not really know their Father, Grandfather or their Great Grandfather for who he really was. They would not know how I felt about my years growing up, my years spent in military service, and the years bringing up my own family.

In this book, I have tried to relate some of these things, in the hope that you the reader will have a better understanding of my life and what it stood for. My children and grandchildren will never know what it is to grow up without a computer, the internet, digital camera, cell phone, compact disk (CD) player or Game Boy. They will never experience what it is like to have no electricity or to have no running water inside the house. TV is part of everyday life today, but I recall when I saw it for the first time in the early 1950's. Technology has advanced so fast since I was in school, that no one reading this book will probably remember the one room school houses; I attended school in one of these while living in Nebraska. There was no electricity, no water, no indoor plumbing (bathroom), no telephone of any type, and no computers with internet access. In a nutshell, the book covers my entire life and because of my military service I have been able to accumulate a tremendous amount of experience which has allowed me to be a leader in just about every phase of my life. As my profile shows, I have been in involved with people from day one. I have been able to work through just about any situation that has presented itself. I grew up with a very demanding father and the four boys were expected to work alongside the other men and we did, from them time we were able to ride a horse and work cattle (age 6). The military was the natural course. Once I was in and by the end of the first year, I knew I was there to stay.
BASED ON YOUR OWN EXPERIENCES, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO THOSE WHO HAVE RECENTLY JOINED THE NAVY?
Roger Brooks (PNCS Brooks Initiated 16 Jan, 1976), PNCS - Based on your own experiences, what advice would you give to those who have recently joined the Navy?
GOING TO THE NAVY BALL
Stay in for the long haul and retire. Advance as far as you can. Take all the courses offered and any others you can get your hands on. Both my wife Mary and I have now fully retired and the benefits of MediCare and Tri-Care For life make it totally worth your first career in life.
IN WHAT WAYS HAS TOGETHERWESERVED.COM HELPED YOU REMEMBER YOUR MILITARY SERVICE AND THE FRIENDS YOU SERVED WITH.
Roger Brooks (PNCS Brooks Initiated 16 Jan, 1976), PNCS - In what ways has TogetherWeServed.com helped you remember your military service and the friends you served with.
TWS and the US Navy
When I give someone my card and ask them to check out Togetherweserved.com, I explain to them that there is NO OTHER all inclusive WEBSITE that can provide an immediate connection with former shipmates as can Togetherweserved.com. The minute you enter your duty station and the dates you were there you can see all those in the database that were there during the same period. I have not found any website that provides many links to Veteran information as Togetherweserved.com does. Using the guest window to look at other services has been great as well. Togetherweserved.com is one great way to get the word out when something needs to be put out to all.

DS 6/14/17

1 These reflections were completed with the assistance of Diane (TWS Admin) Short, SA

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