A Message from the Gunny

Ladies and gentlemen,

Welcome to the pages at GunnyRet Consulting, LLC! Over time I will be adding resources to the page for your use. I want to encourage the registered members to interact and support one another in a safe and enjoyable way.

As we all know, Veterans and military spouses have amazing resilience and motivation to succeed, and one of the main things I heard in my last job was Veterans would often ask how they can help their brothers and sisters and their military families.

Please keep that theme prevalent in your discussions.  Honor and support each other without being judgmental.  Remember that nothing contained in this site, is intended to be a substitute for licensed healthcare, or legal, or financial advice.

To get to the pages contained in the actual site, click on the “Home” link.

Again, welcome aboard!

Gunny McGown

#NavyWomenMakingHistory – A Message from CNO and Mrs. Gilday

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday and Mrs. Linda Gilday

It’s a busy time with the Coronavirus and stressful as well, but my wife, Linda, and I want to take this opportunity to recognize the countless women who serve in the U.S. Navy – active and reserve, uniform and civilian – as well as those who serve as military spouses on the front lines at home.

These are challenging times right now for all of us, but there is no doubt that women have, and will continue to make history in exciting ways. As March comes to an end, we want to recognize Women’s History Month as well as the amazing work being done by so many. Each of us is making history in some small way right now.

The Navy is full of trailblazers who paved a way for the more than 67,000 women who serve as part of our active force today. These spouses, mothers, daughters, sisters, and coworkers serve in every rank – from seaman to admiral… and in most every job – from naval aviators to deep-sea divers. Right now there are female doctors, nurses, and corpsmen deployed aboard the USNS Mercy and Comfort as part of the Navy’s broader response to the coronavirus epidemic. There are also many women who are acting at home as nurses to their own families.

Thousands of women also serve our Navy team as military spouses, supportive family members, government civilians and reservists. We know the sacrifices you are making and what you bring to the Navy team. While some receive public recognition, many do not. And we encourage ALL Navy leaders to take note of these accomplishments!

To the women who forged ahead and broke through that glass ceiling – thank you.  And to the women who serve selflessly with little fanfare day-in and day-out – we appreciate all that you do.

We all have important roles to play in service to the Navy, and to our Nation. Your work matters – whether it’s at home, in an office or aboard ships at sea… It matters, and we thank you. We also would love to see your amazing stories right now – so join our conversation at: #NavyWomenMakingHistory.
We will see you out in the Fleet!


COVID-19 Navy Update: CNO and MCPON Message to the Fleet

CNO: Shipmates, it’s the 30th of March, 2020. MCPON Smith and I wanted to provide you and your families an update on COVID-19. During this extraordinary time, what remains constant are our top three priorities: taking care of you and your families, being mission ready, and supporting the whole-of-government effort.

This past week, we’ve seen a rise in numbers who have tested positive for the coronavirus throughout the Fleet. We continue to take this threat very seriously and are working aggressively to keep Sailors healthy, as well as to prevent further spread of the virus.

CNO: We have to think, act, and operate differently right now to both protect Sailors and to remain mission ready. This is not business as usual. That is why many commanders have implemented a 14-day fast cruise for units preparing to get underway, which will conduct important training evolutions, exercises, or deployments.
MCPON: Additionally, we have implemented a 14-day restricted-movement policy for new recruits at RTC. And the entire RTC staff will also remain on base for up to 90 days, to minimize potential spread of the virus.
CNO: We are also supporting the whole-of-government approach in many ways. USNS Mercy arrived in Los Angeles last Friday, and USNS Comfort arrived in New York City this morning. We also deployed two expeditionary medical teams: one to Dallas, Texas, and the other to New Orleans.
MCPON: 2,200 Navy medical professionals are on board these ships, which will serve as referral hospitals for non-COVID-19 patients. Another 1,000 medical personnel are awaiting orders to be deployed.
CNO: In this fight, our Navy medical team is on the front line – fighting to care and treat the American people. Other Sailors from our Reserve and Engineering communities may join the coronavirus fight soon. You all have our thanks and our gratitude.
MCPON: People are the lifeblood of the Navy – and we are counting on every Sailor to take this outbreak seriously.

While we recognize some new COVID-19 policies place a burden on you and your families, these actions must be taken to ensure your safety and also to maintain mission readiness.

To families and loved ones at home, thank you for your support and understanding. This is a hard time, and we could not do this without you.
CNO: I’ll end with this: As military professionals, we prepare daily to deal with adversity, uncertainty and conflict. Our Sailors and their families are resilient. We know you will set an example for your friends, for your neighbors and in your local communities on how to make personal sacrifices in service of the collective good. So stay safe, Shipmates. Americans depend on us for security. And we will not let them down.

USNS Mercy, USNS Comfort: 2020 COVID-19 Deployment

This is the U.S. Navy blog site for the 2020 deployment of Navy hospital ships USNS Mercy (T-AH-19) and USNS Comfort (T-AH-20) to provide medical support to Americans in regions significantly affected by the COVID-19 virus pandemic. Navy medical professionals on both ships will assist local health care providers by offering care to persons who do not have the virus, freeing local hospitals and clinics to treat COVID-19 patients.

Visit here frequently to see the latest video content, imagery, news articles and other information about these ships and their Navy crew members as they serve Americans during this deployment.


The operation is led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, in coordination with U.S. Northern Command, Military Sealift Command and the U.S. Navy. The Navy is committed to providing Defense Support of Civil Authorities by increasing medical capacity and collaboration for medical assistance in two areas of the country that have seen tremendous impact from the coronabvirus pandemic.


News Releases

March 24, 2020: Navy Reserve Arrives to Support USNS Mercy

March 18, 2020 – Hospital Ships, Other DOD Assets Prepare for Coronavirus Response

Supporting Content

DVIDS Resources (Video, Imagery, Additional Reporting)

USNS Mercy Photo Gallery

USNS Comfort Photo Gallery

Historical Perspective

Answering the Call: Stateside Deployments of U.S. Navy Hospital Ships

More Resources

U.S. Navy COVID-19 Response

Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED)

U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM)

Military Sealift Command

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

DOD releases overseas stop movement order in response to COVID-19

Building upon previously enacted movement restrictions governing foreign travel, permanent change of station moves, temporary duty and personal leave, this stop movement order will also impact exercises, deployments, redeployments and other global force management activities. Approximately 90,000 Service Members slated to deploy or redeploy over the next 60 days will likely be impacted by this stop movement order.

Answering the Call: Stateside Deployments of U.S. Navy Hospital Ships

By André B. Sobocinski, Historian, BUMED

On March 18, President Trump announced Navy hospital ships USNS Mercy (T-AH-19) and Comfort (T-AH-20) were to be activated and deployed stateside to serve as referral centers for non-COVID-19 patients. The longest-serving hospital ships in continuous operation in our history, Mercy and Comfort have long captured the public’s imagination due to their vast medical capabilities as floating hospitals. But in the storied history of our hospital ships, stateside deployments during global pandemics remain unchartered waters.

Hospital ships have played pivotal roles in naval operations since the early days of our Republic. During the Barbary Wars, Commodore Edward Preble ordered that USS Intrepid be used as a hospital ship. The reconfiguration of this former bomb-ketch in 1803 marks the standard for almost all hospital ships used thereafter. To date, only USS Relief (AH-1) was built from the keel up to serve as a hospital ship. All other ships—including USNS Mercy and USNS Comfort—were converted from other uses whether as super tankers, troop transports or passenger liners.

Hospital ward aboard USS Relief (AH-1) in the 1920s. (BUMED Archives, 09-5066-183)

Floating Ambulance

Whether it is the USS Red Rover transporting patients up the Mississippi to Mound Island in the Civil War or USS Solace (AH-5) taking wounded Marines from Iwo Jima to Guam hospital, ships have long served in the capacity of ambulance ships.

During the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918, Comfort (AH-3) and Mercy (AH-4) were each briefly stationed in New York where they took care of overflow patients from the Third Naval District before returning to the fleet and sailing across the Atlantic. Along with USS Solace (AH-2), these ships ferried thousands of wounded and sick (including virulent cases of the flu) back to stateside facilities.

USS Comfort (AH-3) serving as ambulance ship, ca. 1918 (BUMED Archives, 14-0058-003)

Station Hospitals

Throughout 19th and early 20th centuries, a host of Navy ships was sent around the country to serve as “station hospitals” for burgeoning naval bases.

From the 1850s until the early 1860s, supply ships USS Warren and later USS Independence operated in this capacity at Mare Island, California, until shore facilities were constructed. Decades later, the Navy employed the former gunboat USS Nipsic at the Puget Sound Navy Yard, where it served as a predecessor to Naval Hospital Bremerton (Puget Sound). And from 1953 until 1957, the hospital ship USS Haven (AH-12) served as a station hospital at Long Beach, California, supporting medical activities in the Eleventh Naval District.

USS Nipsic at the Puget Sound Naval Station, Bremerton, Washington, while serving as a station hospital. (U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph, NH 44601)

Humanitarian Measures

Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HADR) operations have long been the clarion call for hospital ships. In March 1933, following the devastating earthquake that hit Long Beach, USS Relief (AH-1) sent teams of physicians and Hospital Corpsmen ashore to assist in treatment of casualties. Some 66 years later, following the Loma Prieta Earthquake of October 1989, USNS Mercy—then moored in Oakland—provided food and shelter for hundreds of victims of the disaster.

Since 2001, USNS Comfort and USNS Mercy have taken part in some 19 HADR missions, from Continuing Promise to Unified Assistance, and treated over 550,000 patients. But of these missions, only two were stateside deployments.

Following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Comfort deployed to the Gulf Coast where she treated 1,258 patients at Pascagoula, Mississippi, and New Orleans. Years earlier, she was sent to New York City following the attacks on Sept. 11.

Originally envisioned as a floating trauma hospital for the victims of the Twin Towers’ collapse, the ship’s mission changed when it became clear there were not the large numbers of injured expected. Vice Adm. Michael Cowan, Navy surgeon general in 2001, recalled that New York’s Emergency Management Office stated the city was being overwhelmed with the requirements of humanity. “The island didn’t have facilities to support the firemen and rescuers and police digging through the rubble and sleeping on the hood of their engines,” Cowan said. “They were becoming dirty, going without water as they worked in harsh environments. NYC requested the Comfort to provide humanitarian services; as the ‘Comfort Inn,’ which could be docked close to the site.”

From Sept. 14 to Oct. 1, Comfort provided hot meals, showers, a berth, a change of clean clothes to about a 1,000 relief workers a day from its temporary home at Pier 92 in Manhattan.


When commissioned on Dec. 28, 1920, Relief (AH-1) could boast the same amenities as the most modern hospitals at the time—large corridors and elevators for transporting patients, and fully equipped surgical operating rooms, wards, galleys, pantries, wash rooms, laboratories, dispensaries, as well as a sterilizing/disinfecting room—all with “sanitary” tiled flooring.

USNS Mercy and USNS Comfort are no different in this regard and are comparable to some of the largest trauma hospitals in the United States. Each ship contains 12 fully equipped operating rooms, a bed capacity of 1,000 and can boast of digital radiological services, medical laboratories, full-serve pharmacies, blood banks, medical equipment repair shops, prosthetics and physical therapy.

Emblazoned with nine red crosses and stretching 894 feet in length (the size of three football fields) Mercy and Comfort remain powerful symbols of medical care and hope during the darkest times.  


Annual Reports of the Surgeon General of the U.S. Navy for the Fiscal Year 1919. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1919.

Cowan, Michael, Oral History conducted with (Session conducted by A.B. Sobocinski and D.V. Ginn on September 12, 2013). BUMED Oral History Archives.

Hospital Ships Fact File. U.S. Navy. Retrieved from:

Johnson, Lucius. “The Story of Our Hospital Ships.” The Red Cross Courier. July 1937.

Massman, Emory A. Hospital Ships of World War II. An Illustrated Reference. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & CO., Inc, Publishers, 1999.