Geography…a lost art.

16 Sep

Let me just put this out there…

California has never, not even once, been bordered by the Atlantic Ocean. Here’s the proof:

I know, it’s a radical concept and one worthy of reflection. So I’ll give you a moment.

Let me know when you’re done….

Ok, so this is why I even bring this up is because of what I do for the Navy. I’m a Congressional Liaison. Fancy title, huh? Basically it means that I read a lot of Naval policy and formal inquiries from Congress to the Navy. I ensure that appropriate responses are provided to the right people in a (relatively) timely fashion.

So here’s how this whole thing works (an example):

Sailor write his Congressman/woman complaining about XX (whether it’s promotion, unfair treatment, divorcee not getting spousal support payments – whatever). Sailor lives in California. And is attached to any ship – other than an Aircraft Carrier – in California. So the Congressman’s office sends the complaint to the Office of Legislative Affairs who gives it to the Navy Congressional Liaison’s office (all in the Washington DC Metro Area) and then the Director, Navy Staff’s office sends it to my Command and then it ends up on my desk. So I read it and after muddling through the poor grammar, lack of punctuation and obscure request (usually ‘Life’s Not Fair….make it fair just for me!), I realize that my Command, located on the Atlantic Coast doesn’t give two shits about what’s going on in California because CPF (Commander, Pacific Fleet) will care.

I’ve tried to explain it to my counterparts up in DC that if the Atlantic Ocean touches it, my Command will usually care. And if the PACIFIC Ocean touches it, Pacific Fleet will usually care. There are exceptions to every rule but I was trying to keep it simple and therefore would be easily retained. This, however, has resulted in EPIC FAIL. I just got something across my desk that is so not in my Command’s purvew, it’d be like asking the Air Force to drive tanks.

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