I enlisted into the Navy using the delayed entry in December 1976 and went on active duty in September 1977. I joined the Navy in order to get the Vietnam Era GI Bill before it expired at the end of 1976.
My first tour was at Aviation Intermediate Maintenance Department (AIMD) located at NAS Cecil Field then I went to VA-145 at NAS Whidbey Island working with the A-6 aircraft. I got out of the Navy as an AO2 then eight months later came back in and went to NAS Jacksonville as a legal hold Master-At-Arms. My next stop was NAS Oceana where I worked on A-6 aircraft at VA-55, VA-36, and Medium Attack Weapons School (MAWSLANT) where I was promoted to AOC in September 1988. Next I went back to VA-36 as the shop Chief. I was promoted to Chief Warrant Officer while at VA-36 in October 1992.
My first Gunner tour was as the Air Gunner on CVN-71 then I was the Weapons Officer at NAS Kingsville. Next tours were working with F-18 aircraft at VFA-97 at NAS Lemoore and VFA-87 at NAS Oceana. Transferring to NAS Pensacola, I was an instructor at Aviation Ordnance Officer Career Progression (AOOCP) School. I went back to F-18s with VFA-146 at NAS Lemoore. My final tour was AIMD/Fleet Readiness Center South East (FRCSE) at NAS Jacksonville where I retired as a CWO5 in January 2009.
Over my career, I was involved in combat operations near Libya, Bosnia, operations Desert Storm, Southern Watch, Deny Flight, Desert Fox, Deliberate Force, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom.
I now work at Logistic Services International (LSI) as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) developing training courseware. I started at LSI working with the F-35 program, moved to the V-22 program, and now work with the HH60W Combat Rescue Helicopters. My company bought the old AIMD at NAS Cecil Field, so I started working and will finish in the same building.
Mike Snider CWO5 (Ret)