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Through the Front Door! by Jim Kuebelbeck Electronics School - Part 1 We all have different life experiences on our journeys here on this earth, and it is these experiences which ultimately make us who we are. Some years ago, I served in the U.S. Navy as an “Aviation Electronics Technician” stationed on the Naval Air Station in Brunswick, Georgia. My main assignment was to analyze problems with, and sub- sequently repair, complex aviation electronics equipment. One particular airman from the squadron personnel office would often walk through my shop and be amazed at the electronic equipment I happened to be working on. He was a likable young airman and, because of his almost daily visits, we came to know each other quite well. On one of his visits he told me he'd give “anything” to be able to do what I was doing, rather than work in the personnel office upstairs. He asked if I thought he could go to one of the Navy's aviation electronics schools. He had recently asked his personnel officer if it might be possible, but was told it couldn't be done. Glenn Lane (one of the survivors of the attack on the USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii) happened to be our chief electronics officer at the time. I met with Glenn in his office and asked if it might be possible to transfer to a different Naval Air Station to go to another technical school. He said to me, “There is no way in h--l I'm going to approve that. We need you here in this electronics shop. If I had a few more guys like you, we could run this whole d--n operation by ourselves!” (I hoped no one else was listening, because his office door was partially open.) He probably wished he hadn't said it, after I told him I wasn't asking about myself, but was asking about a young airman who worked in the personnel office upstairs. After giving it some thought he said, “Oh, it might be possible to make that happen, but it would be a real hassle, because first of all, it would have to be approved by the personnel officer, and then he'd have to go through a lot of paperwork and red tape besides. Not only that, right now I know they're shorthanded up there in the personnel office. Does this kid really want to do this?” I told Glenn the guy was definitely serious about it, and had told me he didn't want to spend the rest of his time in the Navy “pushing papers” around some stuffy office somewhere. Glenn said, “Well, if he's really that serious about it, tell him to come and talk to me, and I'll see what I can do, if that's really what he wants to do, but the downside to this is he'd have to pass a bunch of qualification tests before such a transfer would even be considered. Do you think he could pass those tests?” I told Glenn I thought he could. Then Glenn added, “Does he know if he did get to go to electronics school and then flunk out, he'd immediately be assigned FFA [for fleet assignment] which means he could be sent anywhere the Navy chooses? He'd probably end up on some d--n tin can Navy destroyer bouncing around the ocean somewhere. Maybe that'd be a lot worse than working in a personnel office! Not everyone who goes to that school graduates, you know. I have your records here, and out of the 337 who started classes at the time you went to the electronics school in Memphis, [Tennessee], only 37 gradu- ated! That's about one out of ten, and you happened to be one of them, and that's probably why you're here in this electronics shop! Anyway, you can tell him to come and see me and I'll talk to him.” Some days later, this young airman came into the electronics shop, all smiles. Glenn had talked to the person- ne l o ff i ce r, and t he t r ans f e r was approved (under the condition he pass all the entrance exams). He then asked me if I had any suggestions about what to study before he took the qualification tests. I thought I might actually be able to help him, because after I originally passed the aptitude and qualification tests before being sent to the advanced Av i a t i on E l ec t r on i c s Schoo l s i n Kuebelbeck cont’d on page 32. 25 WorldWide Drilling Resource ® MAY 2020