Navy wont let me herp!!!

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axeman2729
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Navy wont let me herp!!!

Post by axeman2729 » May 14th, 2015, 5:23 am

ok so yesterday was my monthly Delayed Entry Program meeting for the navy and I had to speak with the chief. he was telling me what I can and cannot do til I ship in august and me being a dumby asked if I was still allowed to herp. he said no...... :cry: any ideas of what I can do instead?

MCHerper
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Re: Navy wont let me herp!!!

Post by MCHerper » May 14th, 2015, 5:31 am

Are you allowed to go "bird watching" and do some "nature photography" along the way? :D

Seriously, what is his reasoning? To someone who does not understand field herping, I always present it as akin to bird watching, but I am observing and photographing reptiles and amphibians. Also, you were recently involved in an educational program for kids, correct? Tell him that what you do in the field, you also occasionally deliver in an educational capacity.

What do you think the key words were about your description that set him off?

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axeman2729
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Re: Navy wont let me herp!!!

Post by axeman2729 » May 14th, 2015, 8:27 am

i think its because hes worried ill get bit and the bite will get infected or something and I think telling him If im still allowed to catch snakes set him off hahah

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BillMcGighan
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Re: Navy wont let me herp!!!

Post by BillMcGighan » May 14th, 2015, 9:11 am

Rule #1 in the military when dealing with a E-6 and above:
Ask forgiveness, not permission.

He just doesn't want to do the paper work if your boot camp entry has to be delayed.


Sub-rule:
if you do have to ask permission on anything cerebral, ask a low grade officer.


Go birdwatching.

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InfantryVeteran
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Re: Navy wont let me herp!!!

Post by InfantryVeteran » May 14th, 2015, 10:53 am

What they don't know isn't going to hurt them. Just be careful.

When I was stationed at Ft. Lewis, WA while in the army, my 1st sgt forbade me from messing with animals. I didn't follow those instructions and went on a western wa camping trip near Ellensburg. While there, I caught 2 garter snakes and both bit me. My left hand swelled up 3 sizes and I when I got back to post, I had to go on profile because I couldn't do push ups. I got in a lot of trouble.

The story doesn't end there however. A week later during 1st formation, our 1st sgt walked out in front of the company and looked like he got the crap kicked out of him. His left I was cut and black. Come to find out, his wife's cat was sleeping on the couch and he snuck up to it and screamed at it. It freaked out and tore him up. Haha I never got messed with after that.

Like the others have said, it's better to ask for forgiveness that begging for permission.

Wise

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mtratcliffe
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Re: Navy wont let me herp!!!

Post by mtratcliffe » May 14th, 2015, 2:56 pm

The Navy cannot forbid you from participating in a hobby so long as it does not violate any laws or iimpede your ability to serve. By all means, go herping, but to be on the safe side, don't handle any snakes or move any Snapping Turtles. They never have to know.

And once you are on active duty, no one really cares what you do on your off-time so long as you are staying out of trouble. I road cruise on the base I live on all the time and have never had any issues.

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chris_mcmartin
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Re: Navy wont let me herp!!!

Post by chris_mcmartin » May 14th, 2015, 3:10 pm

mtratcliffe wrote:The Navy cannot forbid you from participating in a hobby so long as it does not violate any laws or iimpede your ability to serve. By all means, go herping, but to be on the safe side, don't handle any snakes or move any Snapping Turtles. They never have to know.

And once you are on active duty, no one really cares what you do on your off-time so long as you are staying out of trouble. I road cruise on the base I live on all the time and have never had any issues.
The various services may differ in the "nobody cares" aspect. The Air Force has a Form 29B, at least in Air Education and Training Command (i.e. "newbies"), which addresses potentially hazardous off-duty activities. I think everyone under age 26 was required to fill one out (I guess they determined that by that age, you probably accumulated enough experience/judgment) if they planned on doing things like scuba diving, skydiving, off-road four-wheeling, etc. I always filled one out--can't remember exactly how I worded it, but I basically had to discuss it with my boss (again, someone older who arguably could ask you whether you had a game plan for dealing with the unexpected), and wear and use appropriate protective gear (hooks, gaiters, etc.).

It's basically a CYA form. The risk you run in not filling out such forms is that should your service require one, and you don't fill it out, if you get injured/killed the service may do something called a "Line of Duty Determination" which means they won't pay for your medical bills (if injured) our pay out your SGLI to your beneficiaries (if killed). It's rumored this also covers things like not wearing your seatbelt when in a vehicle, not wearing a helmet when riding a motorcycle (even if your state permits this), and so on.



*Edited to correct age and lead agency for the form

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chris_mcmartin
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Re: Navy wont let me herp!!!

Post by chris_mcmartin » May 14th, 2015, 3:15 pm

The NAVY didn't forbid you, one guy (who is not going to be your supervisor) said you can't.

Your plan of action should be to find a Navy discussion forum and ask if there is a form required for Hazardous Activities off-duty...ask in the context of skydiving, scuba, private pilot flying, etc. as examples, so you don't needlessly tip anyone off who may be in your future unit of assignment. 8-)

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mtratcliffe
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Re: Navy wont let me herp!!!

Post by mtratcliffe » May 14th, 2015, 3:51 pm

In regards to hazardous activities, I'm in the AF myself and am familiar with having to fill them out. I would say that the only time herping would ever approach that category is if you plan on handling hots (hopefully with a snake hook and not your hands). Herping is a lot less dangerous than an activity like boating or hunting, and those activities do not require having a form filled out prior to engaging in them.

Easiest way around this is to say you like nature photography if someone inquires about your hobby, or just don't tell people you plan on going out looking for snakes. I guarantee you that there is not a single NCO or Officer out there who stays up late at night wondering if one of their troops is going to get bit by a snake that night. It's always a good rule of thumb to not volunteer more information than you really need to.

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Re: Navy wont let me herp!!!

Post by chris_mcmartin » May 14th, 2015, 5:27 pm

mtratcliffe wrote:Herping is a lot less dangerous than an activity like boating or hunting,
Specific situation-dependent for each of those activities, of course. ;)
and those activities do not require having a form filled out prior to engaging in them.
They USED to...but it looks like they don't any more. My experience with said form was over 10 years ago. I just looked up the 29B and it turns out they changed it in 2006 from a "hazardous activities" form to a "predeparture safety briefing" form, intended to make sure you when you go on leave you don't drive too far without rest stops, don't drink and drive, wear a sweater if it's cold, and other things that grown people SHOULD be able to figure out for themselves. :?

But, having seen what kind of buffoonery grown-up military personnel can get into, I can halfway understand why they make people fill out forms like that!
:lol:

Not knowing what kind of handholding the Navy may require, I still think it's a good idea to poke around anonymously on some of the myriad forums out there and get the "scuttlebutt" (to use a nautical term).



EDIT: I'm not arguing the utility of such forms/procedures, just saying that if such forms/procedures exist, they need to be followed, and when axeman makes Admiral he can stop the madness for all concerned. 8-)

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klawnskale
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Re: Navy wont let me herp!!!

Post by klawnskale » May 14th, 2015, 5:35 pm

I guess where you are stationed would also be a factor. Here in Southern California, military personnel at Edwards Air Force Base, China Lake and Fort Irwin run into herps on an almost regular basis (Desert Tortoises, Mojave Rattlesnakes, Sidewinders, etc…) on base with good regularity. So the herping would become incidental and not intentional ;) :thumb: Especially when you are training. So Location! Location! Location! Ask for a transfer to a base like the ones mentioned above or Camp Pendleton, Eglin or Nellis as well. I guess herp friendly Navy bases would be a bit harder to find

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axeman2729
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Re: Navy wont let me herp!!!

Post by axeman2729 » May 14th, 2015, 6:35 pm

I'm going to be stationed at great lakes for boot camp and then Pensacola for a school don't know after tht. Also I will most certainly poke around different navy forums and ask. And to be honest what really ticked me off was my chief told me verbatim that the only good snake is a dead one....

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Curtis Hart
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Re: Navy wont let me herp!!!

Post by Curtis Hart » May 14th, 2015, 7:49 pm

I have never been in the military. I do come from a rural area with a high incidence of military recruiting. What I've heard prebootcamp, is they will LIE to you, so ignore your recruiter's warnings on legal activities (do no do drugs or drink and drive). They are only out for themselves. They want their bonus for getting you to boot camp. You can go to your meetings and refuse to do what they say, and they will only tell you not to come, so as not to let the other recruits know they don't have to listen to them yet. So herp all you want now. As soon as you get on the bus to Great Lakes, they own you. Play the game, get through, and excel.

Again, no military experience, just what I've heard. Best of luck,


Curtis

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Re: Navy wont let me herp!!!

Post by jamezevanz » May 14th, 2015, 10:36 pm

Previous comment about begging forgiveness rather than asking permission is spot on. Dont get bit or injured or arrested and you won't be needing to beg forgiveness anyway. And really, if you're a reasonably cautious and ethical Herper, none of those things should happen anyway. And also, as mentioned, recruiters are filling a quota under immense pressure. Some will resort to less than ethical means to do it. Others are simply being pragmatic. This guy just doesn't want his recruits getting themselves hurt doing something stupid before he can put them on the bus to Great Lakes. Given the number of recruits who can't hold it together long enough to even get to boot camp, I don't blame him one bit for erring on the side of caution. 90% of being a leader in the Navy, in my experience, was being forced to babysit grown men and women who should be able to take care of themselves but demonstrate otherwise. Unfortunately this often adversely affects those who can.

Not only was I able to herp in the navy (when deployment and duty schedules permitted) I wrote up my participation in NAFHA and contributions to the HERP database as community service, which added "points" to my professional evaluations. It's all in how you sell it. You tell your boss you like to play with deadly snakes on the weekend, they're going to tell you to cut it out. Tell your employer you're promoting the Navy's positive image by actively contributing to conservation and research, they'll pat you on the back and say "He's a real go getter." This is an important lesson to learn early on -- not only in dealing with the Navy (and bosses in general) but also portraying our hobby in a positive light.

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Re: Navy wont let me herp!!!

Post by BillMcGighan » May 15th, 2015, 5:28 am

Wise
The story doesn't end there however. A week later during 1st formation, our 1st sgt walked out in front of the company and looked like he got the crap kicked out of him. His left I was cut and black. Come to find out, his wife's cat was sleeping on the couch and he snuck up to it and screamed at it. It freaked out and tore him up. Haha I never got messed with after that.
That’s too funny



Chris
It's basically a CYA form. The risk you run in not filling out such forms is that should your service require one, and you don't fill it out, if you get injured/killed the service may do something called a "Line of Duty Determination" which means they won't pay for your medical bills (if injured) our pay out your SGLI to your beneficiaries (if killed).
This sounds very feasible; insurance controls the world!


I found this:
OPNAVINST 5100.25C 13 Aug 2013

http://doni.daps.dla.mil/Directives/050 ... 00.25C.pdf

What I gleaned out of it is that they are targeting certain known activities that have a higher risk, asking naval members to have training certification and Personal protective equipment (PPE), plus a base commander can add activities that may be local issues.



From OPNAVINST 5100.25C 13 Aug 2013 8 (9)
Examples of high risk activities include: skydiving; rock and mountain climbing; cliff diving; self contained underwater breathing apparatus (scuba) diving; target, skeet and trap shooting; hunting; bull riding; racing motorized vehicles; boating; boxing; bungee jumping; air ballooning; motorcycle riding; and parasailing. This list is not all inclusive and commanders, based on their judgment, may determine other recreational activities are high risk.


As mtratcliffe said, herping would actually be a low risk activity if hots are not mentioned.
And his best advice:
Easiest way around this is to say you like nature photography if someone inquires about your hobby, or just don't tell people you plan on going out looking for snakes. I guarantee you that there is not a single NCO or Officer out there who stays up late at night wondering if one of their troops is going to get bit by a snake that night. It's always a good rule of thumb to not volunteer more information than you really need to.

There are also some naval risk assessment guides on the internet:

http://www.public.navy.mil/comnavsafece ... tools.aspx

It has some interesting Risk Assessment Code (RAC) tables.



In short, your life will be very controlled through your introductory training (boot camp, MOS training, etc.) but once assigned a duty station (maybe even on a ship cruise) you’ll be able to take advantage of new places, experiences, herps, etc.



My examples, though dated:
In boot camp (Parris Island), on a field exercise, I caught my first 6 lined Racerunner.
Infantry training (Camp Lejeune), my first Eastern King.
San Diego - comm training, my first Cal king, Rosy Boa, etc.
Vietnam, too many to mention, some of which are in the NMAH collection.
Quantico, for me, had miles of ranges and forests and a host of herps that kept me busy in spare time.


You just grab and growl where you can, and keep a low profile about what your doing!

Good luck.

Keep in touch with us all.

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Re: Navy wont let me herp!!!

Post by chris_mcmartin » May 15th, 2015, 6:11 pm

The more I think about this situation, the more I wish to reiterate you should be as forthcoming as possible when you talk to your bosses at your first assignment--not only because it's the right thing to do, or because you want to ensure your benefits remain in place, but also because telling people that you're just going birding, or not really doing what you're going to do (nothing wrong with looking for reptiles and amphibians) does not present a favorable perception of what herpers are like, for LE and others who read these boards.

:thumb:

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