City, Travel, Town, Explore, Master Diver, US Army

A Master of His Craft

Master Diver
Julius Green, Jr., Chief Warrant Officer 3, First African American Master Diver in the US Army. (photo courtesy of US Army, 1962)

Acheiving the impossible during a time when opportunties for African American soliders were too few.  Julius Green, Jr., Chief Warrant Officer 3, Retired after serving twenty-three years of active duty in the US Army.  Mr. Green was the first African American to  become a Master Diver  in the history of the Army and the second in US Military history.

Mr. Green shares his experiences and knowledge of the military and what it takes to become a diver  as he lectures at various private and public events.

“It was hard, but not impossible,” said Green. “You have to overcome a lot of obstacles and always remember the mission.”

Mr. Green is also a member of the Men’s Breakfast Club that meets every week to discuss issues in the community with other members and city officials. The Men’s Breakfast Club award yearly scholarships to deserving high school graduates in the area.

“He always gives a lot of himself to educate and mentor young men in the community,” said Mr. Bryant, another member of the Breakfast Club.


City, Travel, Town, Explore, Military, Navy, retirement, Suffolk

Life after Military Service


This piece is a follow-up on Twenty Two Years of Service discussed on February 18, 2018.   (photo courtesy of the Norfolk Naval Base)

Norfolk- Retired Navy Chief Petty Officer Bryant works in his new position as Senior Logistics Manager as a civilian. Since retirement, he has taken a month off to spend time with family and friends while acclimating back to civilian life.

“The transition from military to civilian life was not difficult for me,” said Mr. Bryant.” I was thankful to find employment in the same field as my military job.”

While military life is very structured and discipline, some men, and women may find the transition to be somewhat difficult after discharge from the service.

The military understands the challenges veterans may face in returning to civilian life and the workforce.

The Armed Forces developed a Transition Assistance Program Workshop (TAP) for all members of the service that are due to discharge within 180 days of separation. The three-day workshop offers assistance with job searches, resumes, and financial services if needed.

“My husband had a smooth transition and was prepared for retirement,” said Laura Bryant. He was on shore duty for the last two years of active duty that allowed his work schedule to be nine to five. So the children and I had become accustomed to having him home.”

The Department of Veteran’s Affairs offers all men and women of the Armed Services transition assistance. For more information contact your local VA Office for services that you may be entitled to.


City, Travel, Town, Explore, Military

Twenty-Two Years of Service

DSC_0069.jpgChief Petty Officer receives flag during Retirement Ceremony.

A Retirement Service for the men and women of the United States Military is an honorable last performance of Duty and well deserved.

Naval Retirement Ceremony has a long-standing tradition of presenting the Retiree with a Shadow Box. It incorporates all of the service member’s accomplishments, displayed with Medals, Ribbons, and Insignia well-earned throughout the Retiree’s years of service. In the center of the Shadow Box is a replica of the American Flag folded into triangles as a remembrance of the commitment to the country that it represents.

For twenty-two years, this Chief Petty Officer has “Stood Watch” for his shipmates and now his tour of service has ended. Standing Watch has a significant two-fold meaning in the military. On the sea, it means to maintain a safe and secure ship and on land to keep your fellow sailors safe with the same high standards. He has officially retired and transitioning from military to civilian.

When asked what he will miss the most about the Navy he replied, “The comrade of my fellow sailors.”

During the ceremony, the Flag was prepared for presentation. As it was folded in the traditional triangles and handed off to the Flag Presenters that were standing one behind the other for the salute and passing to the next in line. The last Presenter then saluted and passed “Old Glory” to the Company Commander. The final pass was from the Company Commander to the Chief Petty Officer.

The final part of the Ceremony, Chief Petty Officer requested permission from the Company Commander to go ashore. Permission granted, the Bell Ringer rings the bell twice with the Retiree giving the final salute to his shipmates and the last piping of side is given.

The Ceremony ends with the Chief Petty Officer walking the red carpet symbolizing leaving the ship for the last time as military and transitioning to civilian life.