I retired in 1985, before many of you were old enough to even consider joining up. It's a different Navy now than it was when I enlisted in 1965. Back then tradition meant something and we wore uniforms that made us look like sailors, not Marines. While the new NWU is a good looking uniform, it takes away some of the distinction of being in the Navy. And don't get me started on the new service uniform with the khaki shirt. Nothing like watering down some of the distinction of making Chief... I say go back to the uniforms of the 1960's: Jumpers and bell bottomed trousers, dungarees, white hats and pea coats.
On the subject of the NAM: Not to take anything away from you as I'm sure you were a fine Petty Officer, but it's my opinion the awarding of the NAM is excessive. Getting one used to mean a sailor was something special, but now everyone has one, including some non-rated personnel.
Back on our original topic, not all bases have large Public Affairs Offices. Last week I had the opportunity to participate in a group photocall at NAF El Centro. We had the opportunity to shoot a Blue Angels practice and some routine training operations. Right from the edge of the runway... The PAO at El Centro is a civilian with minimal staff and no MCs. She has to borrow from other departments when she needs personnel. When we were there she had an AZ, an AK and AME helping her with the 40+ people in our group.