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To the MILIUS Family, as I finish my tour as MILIUS' commanding officer, it is both a sad and happy time for me to be leaving this great ship, sad because I am leaving behind a fantastic crew and command who will always have a special place in my heart, and happy because I can look at all we've accomplished with a tremendous amount of pride. Since I took command of MILIUS in April last year, the time has flown. Looking back, it's easy to see how. Since I took command we successfully passed a major material inspection called INSURV, completed an eight month independent deployment to the Arabian Gulf where we filled duties as a Ballistic Missile Defense unit, in addition to accomplishing countless other tasks from a theater security cooperation exercise with the Qatari, small boat operations, over 400 helicopter landings with Army, Air Force, and Navy units, conducted over 27 boarding's, completed ten port visits overseas without a single liberty incident, hosted a reception for the US Ambassador to the United Arab Eremites, and filled our duties as Ballistic Missile Defense Commander. In addition to these achievements, we completed two family day cruises, one tiger cruise, basic phase training certification, did workups with the Abraham Lincoln Strike group during the Composite Training Exercise, completed several ammunition on loads and offloads, and represented the Navy during San Francisco Fleet Week as the only ship without a liberty incident, and we gave tours, marched in a parade and hosted a reception during Santa Barbara Navy Week. We did all of these things, plus countless other achievements, always getting the job done and surpassing the standards for maintenance selfsustainment and operational readiness. MILIUS always accomplished our job, every time, no matter what the task was. While I could write about individual Sailors or group of Sailors and their accomplishments, everything from fantastic photographs, to keeping SPY Enhanced when on station, to the countless pinhole leaks welded on deployment, to the higher than average advancement rates, and so many more achievements, but I believe on a ship her success or failure is based on the actions of every Sailor on board and I am immeasurably proud of each Sailor that makes up the MILIUS team. My success is because of each and every one of them. A ship is a complex machine and every Sailor and every job onboard is critical. And regardless of the challenge or long work hours my crew always got the job done. Some of the things that I wanted to pass on to the crew and believe I succeeded at was the belief that you always come home from deployment with the ship in better condition than when you left. That you never accept anything that is broken or dirty. That this job is hard and demanding but it can still be fun. That balance in life by taking time off when you can makes you more effective when you are on. While I had a vision of what I wanted to accomplish I could not have done it without every one of my Sailors. You can be proud of each of them, they are the best Sailors in the Navy. It is with a great deal of pride in my ship and her crew that I turn over and reluctantly give up what is without a doubt the best job in the Navy on the best ship in the Navy. Making decisions, being in charge of a destroyer, working with my officers and crew has been incredibly satisfying. I love my Navy, I love my crew and I love this ship, but it is time to hand things off, and I know Steve Shedd will take care of her. Sincerely, CDR Nikki Bufkin




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Dear MILIUS Family and Friends, It has been a distinct pleasure serving as XO aboard MILIUS for the past 18 months and I'm very excited to take Command of the ship on November 2nd. Over the past year and half, Lauren and I have been amazed at the high caliber of Sailors aboard MILIUS and the dedication and resiliency of the spouses. We have left you behind each underway to singlehandedly fill the role of parent, plumber, on-call nurse, electrician, coach, tutor and a slew of other things within the family. It is indeed far more difficult to be on the home front when we go out to sea. Thank you for your continued support for your Sailor and the Ship. Our upcoming extended yard period is certainly at the fore-front of my priorities. This will be a challenging period in all respects including complete move-off to a berthing barge, numerous installations and upgrades and extensive certifications and training coming out of the yards next summer. My goal is to take a steady-strain approach over the next 9 months in order to set ourselves up for a smooth transition from yard maintenance to sea going operations. I will explain more of this in detail in the December newsletter. Of particular note, and weve advertised this aboard ship for several weeks now, we are shutting down the ships galley on 12 November in preparations for the yard period. This mean all Sailors will need to bring their own meals to work. Sailors E-9 and below will receive over 300 dollars a month in COMRATs for meals. Plan your shopping accordingly. Sail Safe! CDR Shedd



Hello MILIUS Families! Welcome to FALL. Many things will be changing for your Sailor over the next few weeks. We have our Change of Command in November then we enter an Extended Maintenance Availability. What does that mean to you? First, our galley will be closing so our Sailors will either have to bring their lunch or buy their lunch while at work. Many of our command organizations will have food sales during lunch to provide food but also raise funds for future command events. Working hours will be long and safety will be a primary concern. Most Sailors will have to take buses from 32 nd Street to the BAE ship yard and back to their cars so being on time will be very important. However, we will be in San Diego for the holidays again this year and will have more opportunity to spend with our families then in the last two years. As we move toward Thanksgiving we need to remember what we are thankful for. We made a successful eight month deployment and brought everyone back safe. Thank you for all you do for our Sailors and have a Happy Thanksgiving! Sincerely, CMC
A big BRAVO ZULU to the following Sailors on their recent Reenlistments, Advancement, and Awards:


Reenlistments QM2 Hall Navy & Marine Corps Commendation Medal LT Robert Franklin

Greetings, MILIUS Crew, Family & Friends, Hi I am NC1 Gutierrez your new Command Career Counselor. This is my third ship previously stationed on a carrier and LHD and first time on a DDG. I am from Texas Go TEXANS and I love traveling and BBQ. MILIUS Sailors: My door is always open if you want to discuss career counselor related items. If there is anything that you want to sit down and get in depth about please email me at so we can schedule an appt or I can answer via email. In late November the Navy Wide Advancement Exams are projected to post for E4-E6. Results will post Navy Advancement Center via NKO and you will also receive official notification from your Chain of Command. We hope to have record number of advancements this cycle. Sailors please check my Career Counselor board on the mess decks regularly for any new or important information. Family and Friends: If you have any questions, please ask your Sailor and I look forward to assisting you. Sincerely, NC1 (SW/AW) D. Gutierrez



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Happy Birthday and Anniversary to all!!

November 2nd Change of Command to CDR Steve Shedd November 3 Daylight Savings Ends November 6 Election Day November 5 14 Last underway before yard period November 11 Veterans Day November 22 Thanksgiving Day

Happy Thanks Giving to everyone!!!

* Annotates in-port, away from home port Blue highlighted boxes annotate underway periods



Ombudsman Info: OMB Phone 619.417.9980 Careline 619.338.1754
Sacrifices are made both by active duty military and their families, but there are also great benefits military family members experience that civilian counterparts can only dream about. Here are some ways to make the most out of the time your spouse serves in the military! Embrace adventure. One of the hardest aspects of military life is a sense of not being in control. After all, someone else decides where you will be stationed, the hours your spouse will work, and even in many cases, which specific house or apartment you will live in. This can lead to a sense of despair or a sense of excitement. It's all a matter of perspective. For instance, if moving someplace you're not excited about, get a travel book on the area and read up on the fun and interesting things you can do. When you move into a particular housing unit, rather than feel a sense of being stuck, have a sense of purpose for being in that particular place at that particular time. Perhaps there are people in the same housing area who need a friend or someone to encourage them. Choose to be that person. Take advantage of freebies and programs. There are many things available for military and their families that are either free, or lower cost than in the civilian world. As a first time mother with my son, I signed up for support services that were available through the military. That meant that I had extra encouragement and care during my pregnancy, someone who knew the ropes and could tell me who I needed to contact for various things, someone to visit me in the hospital, someone to visit me after I had the baby to make sure I was doing okay, etc. Again, this was a free program; all I had to do was sign up for it. I also participated in numerous programs through the ASYMCA. Express gratitude. Military life, like any life, has its ups and downs. I'll admit that it wasn't fun to have my husband called into work at 3:00 in the morning on his day off with his previous command. It wasn't fun to be separated, and have to deal with red tape that is often a part of any government endeavor. Some military personnel and their families choose to focus on and complain about the difficulties. Whether your experience as a military spouse is positive or negative is largely up to you and dont forget your Ombudsman team is here to help! Know how to complain graciously and effectively. There are times when as a military spouse legitimate complaints need to be voiced. Thankfully, there are mechanisms in place to deal with them appropriately. For instance, in the military medical system, there are patient advocacy contacts. Use it, and other options for voicing complaints when needed. At the same time, be kind and gracious. If you call up and go off like a loose cannon, the person on the phone or at the desk will likely think you're ex-



Ombudsman Memo Cont:

aggerating, but if you maintain your composure and speak kindly, graciously, and factually, you'll likely be heard and responded to in a professional manner. Enjoy the local culture, whether home or abroad. Find out what your area has to offer, and take advantage of it. Don't leave a location with a lot of regrets for places that you didn't visit and fun things you didn't bother doing. Once you leave a location, you may not return, so embrace everything that particular location has to offer while you are there. Be a quality person. One article I read talked about how awful military spouses are. Are there awful military spouses? Sure, there are awful people anywhere you go. But there are also great people anywhere you go. One way to connect with quality people is to be a quality person yourself. As a quality person, you will attract other quality people and will hardly notice the less desirable types. Nurture your marriage. Any marriage takes work to be successful, and military marriages often experience stresses that civilian marriages don't. So what to do? Make your marriage a high priority! Choose to invest in it regularly. Think of fun ways to stay in touch when separated and make the most of times when you are together. Make a commitment to the marriage for the long haul. When you're tempted to throw in the towel, instead choose to redouble your efforts to make the marriage work. Take advantage of low cost military child care options so you can go out alone when your spouse is home. And don't forget to take advantage of counseling services which are provided free of charge when needed. Do this sooner rather than later when problems begin to crop up so that they can be more easily dealt with. Get spiritual nourishment. The military is obviously open to people of all religious faiths, or for that matter, those of no religious faith. It's up to you whether or not you embrace spirituality, but those who do have a whole other support system available to them. The religious community can provide a whole other source of friendship, encouragement, and counsel and support when needed. Have a life outside of the military. Although the military has a lot of wonderful things to offer, so does the world outside of the military base. Embrace a set of friends who are not connected with the military and whose perspective might be different than yours. Sure, they may not understand everything you go through as a military spouse, but they will help you to have a focus that is more well rounded and healthy. You have the power to make the decision based on your attitudes and actions. be excellent if you make the right choices. It's up to you! Your Command Ombudsman Team, Teresa and Jeri It can




Daylight Savings Ends at 2:00 am, Sunday Morning on November 4th. Remember to set your clocks back and enjoy getting an extra hour of sleep!!

Election Day is here again! No matter if your voting Republican or Democratic. GET OUT, VOTE, MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD! Election Day is November 6th!!

A Veterans Day Parade will be held Monday November 12th at 11:00 am in Downtown San Diego on Pacific Hwy South from Grape St to W Harbor Rd. For more details, go to



By LTJG David Gardner

After a relaxing and much deserved post-deployment stand down, MILIUS Sailors returned to work on October 11th to begin preparations for a brief underway period in the Southern California operating area . The October 17th underway was MILIUS first since returning from an eight month, Middle Eastern deployment. The crew brushed up on several shipboard evolutions, including helicopter deck landing qualifications (DLQs), combat scenarios, damage control drills, and seamanship training. MILIUS sailed again on October 22nd to Seal Beach, CA, near Los Angeles, for ammunition offload. The five day evolution allowed the command to return unspent ammunition from deployment to a shore based storage facility, one of many events necessary in preparing the ship for an upcoming drydock maintenance period. MILIUS remained pier side for the offload, giving the crew an opportunity to enjoy evening liberty in the area. Following the offload, MILIUS welcomed friends and family members aboard to ride the ship back to San Diego. The family day cruise gave the 86 participants an opportunity to experience life at sea and witness various demonstrations and evolutions that occur underway. This month, MILIUS also welcomed aboard her new Executive Officer, Lieutenant Commander Michael Rak. LCDR Rak is a 1997 graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and holds a masters degree in National Security Affairs from the Naval Postgraduate School. LCDR Raks previous assignments include tours onboard USS Cape St. George (CG 71), USS Elrod (FFG 55), USS Mustin (DDG 89) and USS San Jacinto (CG 56). He recently completed a tour at U.S. Joint Forces Command in the Resources, Requirements, and Analysis Directorate. His personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (4), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2), and various other unit and campaign awards to include five Battle Efficiency Awards. He was a 1999 recipient of the Atlantic Fleet Junior Officer Ship Handling Award.
If you have questions, comments or suggestions for MILIUS FRONTLINE NEWS, please email the Public Affairs Officer at Also, please check the Facebook page and contact our Ombudsmen for more information!



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Resources & Information Naval Base San Diego FFSC (619) 556-7404 or (866) 923-6478 American Red Cross (877) 272-7337 Military OneSource (800) 342-9647 FOCUS (619) 556-6075 NBSD Legal (619) 556-2211 Tri-West Healthcare Alliance (888) 874-9378 TRICARE Dental Program (800) 866-8499 NMCRS (619) 238-1587/88 USO Downtown Center (619) 235-6503 Naval Base Chapel (619) 556-2658 Armed Services YMCA (858) 751-5755 Child Development Center (619) 556-8491 Operation Home front (866) 424-5210 211 Sitter city Women, Infant, & Children (WIC ) Program (800) 500-6411 Monthly Bread Ministries & Monthly FREE Food Ministries (858)688-5015 Bring your ID card, bags to carry food items. Please contact them for locations and times. We have plenty of other resources for you from Healthy Military Families and Toddler Time to Furniture and Used Items to Websites and Re Sale Goods Items. Call the Ombudsman for more details.