Coleman, Gary, Sgt

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Current Service Status
USAF Veteran
Current/Last Rank
Current/Last Primary AFSC/MOS
70230-Apprentice Administrative Specialist
Current/Last AFSC Group
Primary Unit
2008-2008, US Navy (USN)
Service Years
1977 - 1982

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 Additional Information
What are you doing now:
I joined the Navy in 1982 as a Cryptologic Technician Interpretive (CTI). I went to the Defense Language Institute (DLI) in Monterey, CA and studied Serbo Croatian followed by Russian. I think the equivalent AFSC's  in the Air Force are 1n373A and 1N373E.  I spent 16 years as an enlisted Sailor serving in Turkey, Spain, England and Maryland. I rode a lot of ships and submarines,. I got to fly into Bosnia with the Marines in 1995 to give a lift home to USAF Capt Scott O'Grady. I served with the French providing language support to the UNPROFOR troops in Sarajevo. And I got to ride a few NATO submarines too.

I advanced to Chief Petty Officer    (E-7) in 1996. In 1998 I was selected for a commission through the Limited Duty Officer (LDO) program. LDO's don't go through OCS, but are directly commissioned as Ensigns in the regular Navy. I did a tour in Korea, six years back in Maryland riding boats and deploying, and then transferred to Naples, Italy in 2005.I retired in 2010 as a  Lieutenant Commander (O-4) with 29 t years of total active service.

I'm now working for DoD in the UK as a civilian.  I love what I'm doing and I love the UK. 

It's been a great ride so far!

By the way, the Limited Duty Officer/Chief Warrant Officer (LDO/CWO) program is one of the best things about the Navy.  We make up about 15 percent of the Navy's officer corps.  Mustangs are selected based on our experience and performance.  We don't go to OCS, but instead go directly to the fleet.   We are the "reality check" to the wardroom.  We don't play the political games, but rather we're expected to speak our minds without much hemming and hawing.

The term "Limited Duty Officer" is a misnomer, because we are Line Officers, and can be assigned anywhere the Navy needs us.  The only thing "limited" about us is that we remain operational - in other words we don't get to attend the War College, or go be White House protocol bubbas, or anything else where you have to drink with your pinkie extended.

Oh, and like the Army (oh God, I'm about to say something nice about the Army) - but like the Army, the Navy has discovered that Warrant Officers can fly aircraft.  What a concept, eh?

I'm not sure why the Air Force did away with its CWO's, and I think if they instituted a program similar to the Navy's LDO/CWO program it would only benefit the mission.  Just my two cents' worth there.

Check out my page on Navy TWS via the link on the AF TWS home page.
Other Comments:
I joined the Ohio Air National Guard in 1977 as I was finishing my Freshman year at Ohio University. I was an AFROTC cadet, and the Air Guard recruiter came to our detachment and got a bunch of us to sign up. We all flew down together on the Air Adjutant's C-121.

Unfortunately for me, the doctors soon discovered that I had the eyesight of nearsighted bat, and they tried to medically discharge me. I fought it, staying in the 3731 PERPRON (casual squadron) for about six months. I finally managed to convince the medical board that I wasn't planning on flying any airplanes, and that I was going in to be an admin clerk (the only thing they'l let us ROTC kids sign up for, since they expected us all to leave the Guard in a couple of years when we got commissioned).

I spent about five years with the 121st Tactical Fighter Wing, working in the Public Affairs Office. It was a lot of fun, and it helped supplement my college education.  Ohio paid college tuition for Guardsmen, which was a huge help to me.

I ended up dropping out of ROTC because of my eyesight. I stayed in college and was a pretty lackluster student. I did the five-year plan and in 1981 I got my BA in Government - just barely. After finding no work befitting a man of my education - all the ditch digger positions were filled - I tried to enlist in the regular Air Force, but they wanted to make me wait a year before I could go on active duty. A man has to eat, so I went shopping with the other services and ended up in the Navy.

Although I was only a part-timer in the Air Force, I come from an Air Force family. My dad is a retired SMSgt. My older brother is a retired Lt Col and my younger brother a retired MSgt. I'm proud of my Air Force heritage and don't take any guff about it from my Squid brothers and sisters.

Ribbons include both my ANG and Navy awards.
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 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1977, Basic Military Training (Lackland AFB, TX), 3723/630
  1977, Basic Military Training (Lackland AFB, TX), 3711/577
 Unit Assignments
AFROTC Det 650 Ohio UniversityOhio Air National Guard121st Tactical Fighter WingDefense Language Institute West (DLI West)
US Navy (USN)US Army (USA)SUSLAK, Senior U S Liaison Officer
  1976-1979, AFROTC Det 650 Ohio University
  1977-1982, 70230, Ohio Air National Guard
  1978-1982, 70230, 121st Tactical Fighter Wing
  1982-1984, Defense Language Institute West (DLI West)
  1982-Present, US Navy (USN)
  1984-1984, Goodfellow Air Force Base
  1985-1986, US Navy (USN)
  1987-1990, US Army (USA)
  1990-1993, US Navy (USN)
  1993-1996, US Navy (USN)
  1996-1998, US Army (USA)
  1998-1999, SUSLAK, Senior U S Liaison Officer
  1999-2005, US Army (USA)
  2005-2008, US Navy (USN)
  2008-2008, US Navy (USN)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1992-1996 Operation Provide Promise (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
  1995-1995 Operation Joint Endeavor (IFOR)
  2003-2003 Consolidation I (2001-06)
 Colleges Attended 
Ohio University
  1976-1981, Ohio University
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