I'll answer just about any question as long as it is moderately serious. Also, I will not answer questions regarding anything that is classified on the base.

Will provide proof of my ID Card if nessecary.

Edit: about to head for my shift. Since I only have wifi in my room, ill check for comments during lunch in maybe 4-5 hours from now.

Comments: 134 • Responses: 34  • Date: 

Andscott6713 karma

Do you ever think that the base will be closed? Are there still major issues that we just don't hear about from mainstream sources? What are your personal feelings on the political firestorm that has historically surrounded the base? Thanks!!

GTMOHM29 karma

Unknown to the public. There are two parts of the base. The actual Naval Base itself and the Prison, which is called the JTF. When people talk about closing the base, they are usually referencing the JTF.

The base is actually quite large! I was told we have approximately 5500 military personnel and foreign nationals working here. The base is a major control point for US military operations in the Caribbean and South America. It also the oldest US base on foreign soil! The base has stood the test of time so far, I doubt it will close anytime soon.

In regards to major issues, I actually haven't heard of any during my time here. The command is very relaxed and its small enough where almost everyone knows everyone.

In regards to the politics of the base. I assume you are referencing the JTF. I partially disagree on the way we treat the prisoners with indefinite detainment. Legally in the US, a person can only be detained for up to 48 hours. I think it's ridiculous that these people are treated differently. In my opinion, they have a right to a fair trial with evidence provided just like every other person to pass through the American legal system. I'm a strong believer in innocent until proven guilty.

Andscott678 karma

Wow, there's a lot of stuff I wasn't aware of! Very interesting... Thanks for your thoughtful response!

GTMOHM3 karma

I had to stop myself from rambling but I can tell you a lot about a lot of things.

Bosworth27 karma

This was a while ago, but when I was in the Navy, my ship used to go there for "refresher training," or REFTRA. REFTRA is where a ship that's been out of action for a while (e.g., lengthy shipyard overhaul periods, new construction, etc.), has to go play war for 4-6 weeks, sometimes even longer.

We were rarely allowed ashore, except maybe to pick up supplies, mail or go to the Naval Hospital there. Mostly we anchored out, waited for the Fleet Training Coordinators to board, get underway and go to battle stations for about 12 to 15 hours a day...every day. We'd pull back in to anchorage, catch up on all the work we didn't get to do because we were at General Quarters all damn day, and maybe...if we were lucky enough to be not on watch, nap for a couple of hours. Then, take the FTC guys on at 05:30, get underway again and repeat.

I think we only had to drill half-days on Sundays. Although I'm honestly not sure. It was all pretty much a blur to me.

I remember GITMO being hot, uncomfortable, and not very appealing to look at. I think I went ashore once or twice there to help the postal clerks pick up mail. I went to pick someone up at the hospital once. The base seemed kind of nice, but nothing I'd want to hang out at for long periods of time. There were worse places to be (Diego Garcia comes to mind). But I was happy to sail away once we completed REFTRA.

TL;DR - GITMO had very negative connotations to most sailors LONG before they started hoarding prisoners there.

GTMOHM3 karma

How long ago were you in?

ryancarp313 karma

Do you like it when people tell you "thank you for your service"?

GTMOHM13 karma

Honestly. I do and I don't.

I've been in for 7 months now. GTMO is my first duty station after Bootcamp (RTC) and A-school.

I like the fact that people are willing to approach me and thank me for the courage I have to leave my friends and family behind to serve our country.

I don't like that I don't know how to reply to the comment and usually have to explain to them that im thankful but I'm still working on how to reply.

Edit: another fun little piece of info. I've noticed that at least 85% of the time. The people thanking me are usually older people (40+).

DutchCaptaine-32 karma

Why should people thank you? You decided to join army, if you die... Well you knew the risks.

Nobody thanks a welder, but if he dies at 40 from the hazardous fumes there won't be shots fired.

So no clue why someone in military deserves more respect than someone else.

GTMOHM8 karma

I honestly don't care if people thank me. I've always been a very humble and modest person and having people thank me makes me a bit uncomfortable. I honestly don't believe that I'm doing anything that great. Now, if I was like a Purple Heart recipient, I could understand.

There is a risk in any course one chooses to follow but this one is substantially dangerous as at any time, you may have to give your life to protect the ideals of our society. There's risks to be captured, killed, mortally wounded and so on.

So when people thank me. I like to think they aren't thanking me for enlisting, but because I'm willing to lay down my life at any given time to defend our countries ideals of freedom and justice for all.

DriedUpSquid12 karma

Shouldn't you be holding sweepers instead of being on Reddit?

GTMOHM5 karma

Nope. Field day isn't until tomorrow

heaventhereisnobeer8 karma

Field Day =/= sweepers, Shipmate.

GTMOHM4 karma

It's the closest thing we have here. :(

Ringerace9 karma

How's life out there? There's a possibility I'll be stationed out there for 372 days, so I'd like an idea on it. Not Navy but Army, but I'd doubt there would be a huge difference at GTMO.

GTMOHM9 karma

The Internet is slow ass satellite internet, but you get used to it. The NEX is decently sized and has just about everything you need. Everything has to come in via ship. So, mail does take a little while.

It's a really small community. Literally everyone knows everyone. It's actually not that bad, I don't mind it here. The bay is beautiful. I went swimming in it recently and it's clear turquoise water and you can see straight to the bottom and it's all just white sand.

There's also big ass iguanas everywhere. They don't really do much besides chill in the sun and lay in the road and impede traffic.

shaunc9 karma

Are you allowed to leave base, and if so, is there much at all to do? As military personnel, have the recently improved diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba had any impact on you?

GTMOHM17 karma

We are allowed to leave base. It just has to be via plane to anywhere besides Cuba. However, with the U.S.-Cuba relations improving. It is likely that during my time here, the embargo could end and I might be able to travel Cuba!

Quizzelbuck6 karma

Is there like... even a door or a gate going out to cuba? Like... hows that handled? If it even exists, does any one remember where the keys to the gate are?

GTMOHM8 karma

I haven't gone all the way to the perimeter as the base is decently large. However, I'm pretty sure the gate is guarded by Marines and the Cuban military. I think maybe it's similar to the whole DMZ thing in Korea.

ShaunRemo-13 karma

Why on earth did you think this AMA would be "special" if the only interesting aspect is something you haven't experienced, basically this is "I have a job that my superiors wanted to promote AMA"

"yeah my job is really fun, I am having the best of times, no human rights violations here as we all think that is bad ;)"

GTMOHM18 karma

I apologize that this didn't live up to your hopes, dreams and aspirations. I decided to do this AMA with the thought "well, how many people have ever gotten to talk to someone who currently lives in GTMO?"

If the thread doesn't interest you or it's not what you expected, then go to a different thread and move on. I appreciate you taking the time to berate my idea of entertaining people, to what I feel is, a very unique AMA.

ShaunRemo-4 karma

Your answers have been exactly the same as anyone on any other base and any of the interesting aspect you simply don't know.

GTMOHM3 karma

Some things I am generally not allowed to talk about since it may be classified or violate HIPPA.

Sorry if that bothers you. But the other people reading this thread seem to be quite entertained with the given answers so far.

Archon_9th4 karma

Have you ever recieved a code red?

GTMOHM7 karma

You can't handle the truth.

Calebthedragon4 karma

My cousin's GF was just sent there recently I think. It also sounds like she may have a similar role like yours too. Anyway, how long have you been stationed there? When you come back to the states you're able to bring Cuban Cigars right?

GTMOHM2 karma

It'd be cool if I knew who she was, if she's in the Navy and she's a corpsman. It's highly likely that I have worked with her on a day to day basis or just spoken with her randomly.

Shiloh86863 karma

Are you allowed to be doing this AMA? If so, thanks for doing it. If not, thanks for doing it anyway.

My question is: has GTMO done anything for April Fools' Day?

GTMOHM3 karma

I don't know if I'm allowed to or not. Assuming I don't release any classified info of anything pertinent to operation security. Then it should be fine to my knowledge.

And to answer your question, nothing happened on April Fools. :(

chanceux233 karma

Did you order the code red?

GTMOHM9 karma


chanceux231 karma

Love it.

All the best for your time at the base, keep safe and make the most of the experience and return safely to your family

GTMOHM1 karma

That movie is actually older than me. I was born in 96.

And I've never seen the full movie, only the good parts. Time to see if there's a way to rent it on base or some shit.

dashcam4life2 karma

I recently read that the Base CO was relieved for adultery and possibly even a murder suspect--what has come of this? Was that guy (Christopher Tur) murdered? What's your take on the whole event?

GTMOHM2 karma

I honestly don't know much. I arrived just after this all happened.

Ethellin2 karma

You picked a real shitty rate for advancement, how does that make you feel?

GTMOHM3 karma

I originally wanted to be an MA but I was able to do at MEPS was HM, CTT, SWCC and Undes.

TheStabbyCyclist2 karma

So I just checked out GITMO on Google maps out of curiosity, and realized that there are basically two separate parts of the base on either side of the bay. Looks like there is a ferry between them? Do you have any idea how that works?

GTMOHM6 karma

The leeward side of the base (west side) has the airport. The Windward side has everything else on the base.

That's to my knowledge at least.

214b1 karma

Hi, I'm curious about the assisted living facility. Are the people living there Cubans who used to work for the U.S. at Gitmo, back when they had host country laborers? Or are these people who somehow escaped Cuba and made their way to Gitmo? Just curious to know how one becomes a resident at this facility.

GTMOHM1 karma

I'm not all to sure as I've never asked. It seems like most of them all came here to escape communism. If assume they all just did odd jobs and worked on base until they became old enough for retirement.

SatelliteofLouvre1 karma

What is your role at the base?

GTMOHM9 karma

I'm a hospital corpsman who works in the Naval Hospital. I am actually assigned to work in the only Department of Defense Assisted Living Facility! It's the only one like it in the world and its job is to help tend to all the old Cubans who sided with the U.S. during the days of Castro and all that.

The patients have some pretty crazy stories as to what drove them to leave everything behind and side with the USA.

kidiowa4 karma

Do they still have the huge crabs and lizards down there? Spent 4 months down there in 1994, i remember the heat, the gym/track, lizards/buzzards/crabs, and going golfing with a piece of astroturf.

you a quad zero?

GTMOHM4 karma

Yes I am quad zero. Also, the iguanas are still here. They're big as fuck. Here's T-pain, the local barracks iguana.


TheStabbyCyclist1 karma

Also, how'd you feel when you found out you got orders to GITMO?

GTMOHM4 karma

Well, they were number 5 on my list. I originally wanted to be 8404 (corpsman with the marines) but they have me 0000 orders to NAVHOSP GTMO.

I didn't really mind. I'm happy as it is a once in a lifetime experience to come here. A lot of my friends were telling me to waterboard people and shit lol.

TheStabbyCyclist1 karma

Seems like every HM wants to go FMF. Pretty funny when they end up as a lab tech or dental assistant.

GTMOHM2 karma

Because it's probably one of the most prestigious jobs you can do as a corpsman. I joined the Navy instead of the Marines specifically with the hopes of being an 8404.

FilmNoirOdy1 karma

Have you or anyone you worked with witnessed torture?

GTMOHM4 karma

Not personally no. It's kind of a taboo subject. If someone works at JTF, you don't talk to them about what goes on there.

Badassnametaken0 karma

Do you have contact with the prisoners? Or do you hole up in the JTF most of the time?

GTMOHM4 karma

I've actually never been to the JTF. It's mostly Army stationed there.

mangoriot-1 karma

Do you have a water board?

GTMOHM15 karma

A water board isn't an object. Water boarding is an act. A terrible one at that. My friends and I fucked around once and tried it. Absolutely horrible, I only lasted 3-4 seconds.

LoonyDranconian2 karma

Do you have a boogie board, for the beaches?

GTMOHM1 karma

Lol no. The beaches here aren't that great. It's the mouth of the bay that's the best.

metacarbon-2 karma

How do you deal with the fact that there are innocent men being held in GTMO, such as the British detainee Shaker Aamer? He's been cleared for release twice, by two administrations. He's been there for 13 years, and has endured torture. How do you feel about these things?

GTMOHM2 karma

I wasn't aware of that. If he's British, I'd assume the British government would stand up for him. That's not really my area to comment as I don't know much about the situation.

FuckBigots4-4 karma

have you participated in torturing the inmates or are you just that guy who stands out side the door while it happens?

Also do you feel disturbed in anyway knowing you're job is to maintain a human rights violation factory?

GTMOHM1 karma

I actually do the complete opposite working in the DoD's only assisted living facility helping tend to all the old ass Cubans who stood by the U.S. against the communist regime in Cuba during the days of Batista and Castro.

[deleted]-12 karma


GTMOHM6 karma

Well I have an ex-girlfriend from high school who was half Lebanese. Does that count?

parco-molo-27 karma

Why do you work for a bunch of sociopaths? Are you a sociopath?

GTMOHM6 karma

Actually during my senior year of high school, my best friend and I took psychopathy tests and mine came out 79% likely and his came out 85% likely.

parco-molo-39 karma

Utterly unsurprising. And we're supposed to respect soldiers why? Fuck you and your kind.

GTMOHM17 karma

Thanks for your support stranger.

I'm just one person, I don't not represent the entire United States military. Also, I'm not a soldier. I'm a sailor.

Army - Soldier Navy - Sailor Air Force - Airman Marine Corps - Marine

It's pretty simple stuff.