Navigating a Career
Missionary Ridge

People ask, “What’s with the Army’s Navy?” Ft. Eustis is home to the “Army’s Navy,” where soldiers learn everything from becoming a stevedore to captaining a boat. Donald Topping explained while sailing the York. Tens of millions of dollars have been invested to teach 27 discrete programs to Army troops and Navy SEALS.

Navigating a Career

“We owe a lot of our success to the gaming industry for developing advanced programs that can teach these skills. About 40 percent of the work is on a simulator and 60% is sea time. Graduates come out with skill sets cross matched to that of the US Coast Guard and the mariner world. That way, they can find significant work when they go out in the world.”

Donald is a retired chief warrant officer with an 1100-ton license. To put that in perspective, mine is 100-ton. Photo above is of the Missionary Ridge, from a class of Army transport ships. The real term for the Army’s Navy is the Army Transportation Service, Water Division. Check out the historical video below for details.

Washington’s Tent

Navigating a CareerA replica of George Washington’s tent during the Revolutionary War used to show up behind the Wythe House in Colonial Williamsburg. That lay near the site in October 1781 where he finalized plans for the siege of Yorktown. It took all summer of 2014 to sew the fabric panels. They came as they originally did from Ireland. Items included his portable desk, map of the colonies and outlying tents. His folding bed frame was made by the Joiner Shop in Revolutionary City.

Historian Jerome Greene recounts that Washington actually had two headquarters tents. At Yorktown, they lay”well beyond enemy artillery range,” or 2.5 miles. “Before the sun set, the designated unit areas became dotted with tents of varying sizes. They accommodated between 8 and 16 soldiers. The troops always laid out their camp in order of battle. The quartermaster general always assigned blocs of ground to the various brigade units.”

1766 Plantation House

They live at Bodo Otto

While sailing on a brisk afternoon along the York River, Corrin and Bob Sellen described their historic 1766 plantation house Bodo Otto in Mickelton, New Jersey. Col. Otto was a German surgeon who rose to senior medical officer in the Continental Army. “But he was not George Washington’s surgeon,” Bob clarified. “He had his own private surgeon. We bought the house in 1993 when it was already restored and 95 percent intact. The floor planks, doors, windowpanes, locks, hinges – nearly everything.” The house is on the National Register of Historic Places. We sailed past Little England Plantation on the York, which dates to 1727.

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