Archive for the ‘Navy Greenshirt’ Category

My Major Life Work

Tuesday, May 8th, 2018

Another assignment in my “Personal Legacy” writing course was to describe my major life work, followed by the advice I would give a young person seeking a career. Here’s what I wrote:

My major life work is being a leader. It’s an unlikely calling for a bashful farm girl who didn’t talk to people and who feared speaking in class. I fell into this role; it was never one of my dreams or expectations. Even after becoming a U.S. Navy officer, I didn’t see myself as a leader, only as someone doing my best to advance in my naval career. (more…)

A Branching Point in My Life

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018

I recently took a “Personal Legacy” writing course, in which our lives were compared to trees with numerous branches. We were assigned to write about a branching point that changed our lives. This is what I wrote:

The major branching point of my life occurred in 1972, when I joined the US Navy after college, instead of becoming a schoolteacher. I had grown up with the dream of teaching in one-room country schools, much like the one where I spent my childhood. By the time I enrolled in college, South Dakota had passed a law requiring all schools to be part of 12-year districts. This mandated closing rural schools that taught grades 1-8. We sold our country schoolhouse at auction in 1969. (more…)

Speech at Navy Memorial — April 4, 2009

Monday, April 27th, 2009

lone-sailor-1988Good afternoon, I am retired Navy Captain Diane Diekman, and my relationship with the Navy Memorial goes back to the time when the Lone Sailor was standing all by himself outside. My greatest day here at the Navy Memorial was my retirement ceremony in 2004. I’d always had a dream of having a retirement ceremony with full dress uniform, with swords and large medals. And it worked out that way. Everybody dressed up for me that day. And if it wasn’t for the Navy, I would be a bashful schoolteacher somewhere in South Dakota, I’m sure. (more…)

Trading Skills

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

Today I attended a Mary Kay training session conducted by a multimillionaire national sales director (NSD). She spoke on mental attitude and how we become what we think about. Although I’d never heard of her, I could see why the others had excitedly waited for her visit. She was knowledgeable and motivating and responded well to the rock star treatment.

My goal for two years as a Mary Kay independent beauty consultant has been to qualify as a sales director, and most of the “red jackets” in the room shared the same goal. The NSD’s talk focused on how we could make it happen. (more…)

Underway with USS Independence

Friday, February 29th, 2008

Originally printed in the Clear Lake Courier — July 16, 1997

From USS Boxer (LHD 4), a new ship on its first deployment, I went to USS Independence (CV 62), the oldest ship in the Navy. Too large to tie up at the pier the Boxer had used a week earlier, it anchored several miles off the coast of downtown Singapore.

USS Independence (more…)

Hard Lessons

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

[Excerpt from Navy Greenshirt]

I had completed almost two years of a tour in a Navy training squadron, and my current job assignment was that of assistant maintenance officer (AMO). When the maintenance officer (MO) went on leave, I ran the Maintenance Department and thoroughly enjoyed my two weeks in charge. Everything went smoothly and I didn’t look forward to the MO’s return. (more…)

Chapter 1: “Captain, United States Navy, Arriving”

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

With goggles pulled tightly across my face, I waited for the signal to step out onto the USS Independence flight deck.

Five men and I stood in the tiny entranceway of the aircraft carrier’s “island,” a seven-story superstructure that towered over the flight deck. My helmet muffled the engine roar outside the metal bulkhead.

I wore the standard flight deck outfit of khaki pants, black leather flight boots and long-sleeved knit jersey covered by a life vest. Flight deck jerseys vary in color according to function, and mine identified me as a maintenance officer, a “greenshirt.” (more…)

Table of Contents

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

Navy Greenshirt: A Leader Made, Not Born

Chapter 1 “Captain, United States Navy, Arriving”

Chapter 2 Maintenance Officer School

Chapter 3 The Professionals of VT-23 (more…)

No More Four in the Morning

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

[Excerpt from Navy Greenshirt]


Before going to Japan, I had called Faron Young, and we’d held a long enjoyable conversation. As always, he had an opinion on everything and didn’t care how people reacted to his comments and actions. I enjoyed his wonderful sense of humor.


He said he’d stopped smoking–again. (He had stopped smoking and drinking when Clarice and I visited him in 1992.) He told me he realized he needed to do something when breathing became so difficult he couldn’t walk the length of his house.


Now he felt better and could vacuum floors and walk to the end of the driveway. (more…)