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Marvel Strike Force Beginner’s Guide
Last Updated: September 2019
Section 1 - Introduction
Hi everyone. I’m Voltagesauce and I have been playing Marvel Strike Force for about 4 months. I just hit level 70 and my total collection power just reached 1M. I am regularly in the top 10 for my Arena shard. My alliance mates thought I was doing pretty well in my first few months, and they told me I should take a crack at putting together a guide for new members since it is fresh in my mind.
EDIT: I also decided to create a discord server for beginners (or anyone) that wants to ask questions or talk about the game. I'd love for you to stop by:
Section 2 - Why Another Beginner’s Guide?
There are a few reasons I thought it might be worth the time to write up a guide.
- Many available guides are outdated.
- There are many popular content creators with awesome information, but they have been playing for so long that they haven’t gone through the beginning part of this game recently. The game has changed quite a bit since they first started playing.
- I wanted to come at it from a bit of a math perspective, to highlight why I think certain options are the most efficient methods.
Section 3 - Disclaimers
Before we get too far, I want to throw out some disclaimers:
- I am still new to MSF and even this type of mobile game. This is just my perspective, primarily focused on ranking well in Arena, and using those resources to improve my overall roster.
- I don’t have many crazy unique strategies for this beginner’s guide. I am going to recommend a lot of the same stuff you see around the internet. I just want to present something organized and up to date.
- One of the best parts about this game is that it is all about prioritizing and choosing the way you want to play. I want to share some ways I think are effective, but there’s no wrong way to play!
- I can’t stress this enough: get into a solid alliance when you can. Most people are able to find an alliance that is suitable for them on the MSF discord page. There are a ton of resources available in an alliance (both in game resources from Raids and Alliance Wars, but also for advice and strategy). Or if you need help finding any alliance, there is a recruiting channel on the beginners discord i started recently: https://discord.gg/bKAFnJn
Section 4 - Game Basics
The most important and basic resource in Marvel Strike Force is the Campaign Energy. This allows for you to farm most of the other resources and provides commander experience. Commander experience is extremely important early on because it allows you to level up and unlock different aspects of the game. Everyone is going to be able to play the game a different amount, but if you want to be as efficient as possible when playing the game, you want to try to level up as fast as possible.
There are a few ways to do this.
First, you can use all of your Campaign Energy. You get one energy every 5 minutes and the amount of energy you can store increases as you level up. If your energy is full, then you are essentially wasting resources.
You get extra energy refreshes three times a day at preset times. You must log in within two hours of the preset time and claim the energy. These are your main ways of collecting free energy. You can also use cores to refresh your energy and most people recommend using the 50 core energy refreshes daily.
The other way to level up is to complete the daily objectives. Some of my alliance members wish that they had taken objectives more seriously early on.. They feel that they are falling behind some of the players that started at the same time as them.
So why is leveling up so important?
First, it allows you to level and power up your characters higher. Second, many aspects of the game are level dependent. Some will take hours or days to unlock, while some will take months. The following are some of those aspects:
- Alliance War
- Red Stars
- Dark Dimension
Some of these things have more impact on your progress than others, but overall you want to unlock these modes as soon as possible. Most of the modes have rewards that you are not receiving before reaching those levels. Red stars, for example, change your 7 day calendar so that you start receiving 5 red star orbs once a week. The sooner you get there, the sooner you can start getting red stars for your characters and boosting their power.
Section 5 - Alliances
Finding a good alliance as soon as you unlock alliances is so important. As mentioned in the disclaimers, having an alliance can really set you up. It’s important to find an alliance that has a similar mentality to yours. If you want to be free to play, then find a free to play alliance. If you want to be casual, then find an alliance that isn’t going to ask you to go above and beyond. My alliance is casual but active, and it has been perfect for where I’m at. If you have read this far, you’re probably looking for an active alliance. I would look for an alliance on the MSF discord or on one of the content creators discords. And when you are looking for an alliance you will want one that is actively participating in Raids.
You don’t have to find an alliance that always 100% clears the top Raids, but there are a ton of resources rewarded from Raids that can help you catch up. There are many alliances that are willing to take on new players whoare willing to be active and committed to the alliance. It won’t always feel like it at first, but new players can contribute to Raids sooner than expected if they are getting decent rewards. I wouldn’t be where I am at in the game without my alliance taking me in.
Section 6 - Prioritizing
I like to call this game a “macro level” game. What i mean is that progress is primarily measured in weeks and months, not hours and days. This game is all about choosing which modes and characters to focus on and how long to focus on them. Sometimes, this could mean farming the same characters or gear for months to achieve some goal. I am sure there are a few exceptions, but almost no players are able to power up all of their characters to a competitive level.
I call my approach to prioritizing in this game my Funnel System.
The first funnel is game modes. I think an effective way to play this game is to essentially rank the game modes you want to focus on. Some of the options are Alliance War, Arena, Blitz, Campaigns, Challenges, Enter the Darkness (EtD), Fear the Darkness (FtD), Flash Events, and Raids. There are also special events that show up, but they are hard to plan for. Additionally, not all of these game modes are available when you first start playing.
My top priorities as a beginner have been Arena, Raids and EtD/FtD. I’ll go into why in a bit.
The other funnel I see are the characters and/or teams. At the beginning, I think an effective strategy is to choose a team to focus on and pour all of your resources into them until they are ready for the next level resource. An example would be to use all of your blue ability mats on the defenders until they are all maxed out. Then you choose another team that you are ready to give blue mats to.
For me, this turns into one overall funnel, pour all of a certain level of resource (like ability mats and gear) into my Arena team, and when they are maxed out I can move onto my Raid teams.
Section 7 - Arena
Now I’ll get into why I choose to prioritize the modes the way I did: starting with Arena.
The way Arena works is you are placed in an Arena “shard” with people that start playing the game at the same time as you. So essentially it is an evenly matched race to the top. If you are able to get to the top you can snowball by generating more resources than your competition. Let’s look at how the rewards for Arena work. Each day at a specific time you get rewards based on your finish:
And in graph form:
As you can see, both charts are exponential shaped - meaning the rewards are WAY better the closer to the top you get. Comparing rank 1 versus 51 is 350 cores and 500 Arena credits difference. We will get into what you can use resources for later, but anytime you can generate way more resources than your opponent it’s going to help you. That’s why, for me, it’s important to be as close to the top of Arena as possible.
Now with Arena being my top focus I want to choose a beginner team that can dominate. This is no surprise if you’ve done any searching or read any other guide - the defenders are typically the team that dominates Arena early on. There are currently four defenders: Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Daredevil, and Jessica Jones. The 5th team member is typically Ms. Marvel or Punisher. Punisher synergizes extremely well with Daredevil and has a farmable node way earlier than Ms. Marvel, so that would be my recommendation.
So, why are the defenders so formidable in Arena?
First , they are all “easily farmable.” This means their character shards are available to all players early in the game. Punisher, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist all have nodes early on in the Campaigns. Daredevil is in the Arena store and Luke Cage is in the Blitz store. Second, these characters have a ton of synergy between them. Here are some of the basics that make them strong:
- Daredevil - Great damage with ult and basic, and special is an “anti AOE” because enemies who use AOE abilities will pretty much kill themselves from all the counters
- Iron Fist - Main benefit is sustainability. With his passive, he can heal defenders and city heroes at the start of his turn. His special heals his teammates as well. This makes the defenders hard to kill if you don’t burst them down.
- Jessica Jones - She offers a lot of utility. She provides energy to defenders with her basic and special, which is essential in fights. She also clears negative effects from allies and clears positive effects from enemies.
- Punisher - Insane damage. Has a massive AOE and can counter everytime Daredevil is attacked.
- Luke Cage - He protects the rest of the defenders with taunt and defense up. It took me a while to really understand how powerful some of the buffs and debuffs are. Defense up cuts the incoming damage in half and Luke Cage’s ult last for two turns. His taunt also lasts two turns and allows time for Iron Fist to heal everyone back up.
To reiterate the funnel system I used:I poured anything and everything I could into the defenders. Before anyone else got a blue ability mat, I made sure all my defenders were maxed. I focused all of my blue gear on the defenders until they started needing purple gear. This was to allow me to maximize my rewards from Arena.
A common beginner question is how long to farm defenders. There are many different answers, but I have seen three main philosophies that I will try to explain:
- Since the defenders fall off later in the game it is just worth farming them to about 5* each, getting them to 6664 and getting to a team power level between 120k-150k. This will allow players to get a good start in Arena and start doing some decent Raids.
NOTE: When people say 6664, they mean the basic, special and ultimate abilities are level 6 and the passive is level 4. This is when the purple abilities are maxed out and orange are required.
- Take all of the defenders to 6* and invest some t4 (orange) ability mats for power levels between 150k-180kish. The main purpose of getting the defenders to 6* is to be able to start EtD.
- Farm the defenders completely to 7*. Depending on gear levels and how many T4 ability mats a player uses the defenders can be anywhere between 180k and 300k. The main purpose of farming to 7* is to be able to complete the 7th tier of Block Party. I’ll talk about these modes (EtD and Block Party) more in depth later.
Ultimately, I chose option 2. I wanted to be able to start EtD as fast as possible, but wanted to focus on some other areas of my roster instead of taking them all the way to 7*. My defenders are about 175k.
Once I was happy with where my defenders were at for Arena, I decided to choose my next team. My thought process was to choose a legendary that would be my key character for my next Arena team. The three main options for new players are Nick Fury, Magneto and Starlord. Because legendary events are sporadic, my recommendation would be to choose one of these legendaries and farm them even if I don’t know when the event will come back. Ultimately, I decided to go straight for Starlord. I thought his requirements were pretty easy and liked that I could use him for a lot of other game modes. I made sure I had the requirements completed as soon as I could and the event ended up coming 2-3 months earlier than “predicted”, which worked out well for me. I think a lot of people in my Arena shard missed him on this go because they were waiting until later to farm for him. I am still using my Starlord team in Arena and they can punch up at least 80-90k on the defenders in my shard.
Section 8 - Raids
the next mode I chose to focus on was Raids. The great part about focusing on the defenders first for Arena is that they are also one of the best Raid teams in the game. It’s basically two birds with one stone (and maybe more). Raids are important because you earn rewards for completing nodes. Depending on how far your alliance gets into the Raid, you get Raid credits, gear, ability mats, gold, character shards, and more. Similar to the defenders, I liked using a Starlord team for Raids because with the right characters they are the best Raid team in the game. I was able to get Minnerva and Vision (no Thanos yet) and I can pretty much complete a whole U6 Raid lane at about 175k power.
Section 9 - Dark Dimension (EtD and FtD)
The last of my main priorities have been EtD and FtD. These are called “end game” content, but I think with some planning can be completed earlier on. EtD requires 5 characters at 6* yellow stars or higher. I decided to farm my defenders straight to 6* so that I could start this mode as soon as possible. There are no downsides to play this mode everyday, but it may take a while. As I am writing this, I am still finishing up my first run of EtD. The benefits of EtD are some gold and mega orbs, but when you complete it you get a ton of orange gear, which helps set you up for FtD.
FtD requires 5 characters at gear level 13. There are a ton of resources about which characters to use for FtD, but I think it makes sense to choose characters that you are already working on. I am planning on using at least Minnerva, Groot and Starlord because it will allow me to do FtD, but also benefit my Arena and Raid teams. If you choose to focus on Magneto for your Arena team then Magneto, Jugg or Pyro could make sense for FtD. Similarly, if you focus on Nick Fury on your team then Fury and SS would make sense. And the main reason for rushing to complete FtD is Ultron. You don’t have to look hard to find everyone calling Ultron the best character in the game. Here are a few quotes from my alliance mates about Ultron:
“Ultron is always like F your synergy enemy team” in regards to reliability beating any team in Blitz with a non-synergy Ultron team
“You can literally put any 4 characters on to a team with Ultron and win”
“His Ultron won us that last war”
“I can’t wait for you guys to unlock Ultron. His impact to your roster is just so impressive”
“Minnerva is the best character in the game (aside from Ultron)”
I think you get the point: people love Ultron, and he can contribute in all modes of the game. That is why I am trying to focus on EtD and then FtD, so I can use Ultron in my Arena team.
One of the main things to consider with FtD is that to get characters to gear level 13 you need 12 specific Superior Unique items (for example Minnerva uses Superior Gamma Radiation). They can be found in the Main Supplies, War Supplies and Orange War Orbs. They are very hard to farm and don’t show up in the stores until level 65. I would recommend buying uniques you might want as soon as you start hitting level 65. It is very heavily RNG reliant and can cause a lot of frustration looking for the specific uniques you need.
Section 10 - Campaigns
The Campaigns are probably my next focus. The nice thing about the Campaigns is that the Heroes and Nexus can be completed by a solid defenders team and the Cosmic can be completed with a Guardians team. I still have not completed the Villains Campaign and just started focusing on the mystic Campaign. Sometimes you have to put a little bit into your teams so that you can get to a node with specific character shards or gear, but overall I don’t feel these are as important as Arena or Raids.
Section 11 - Flash Events
As of now there are three flash events that show up sporadically, but more often than legendary events:
Block Party - Requires 5 City Heroes and earns ability materials. The main reason for getting defenders up to 7* is to complete the last tier of block party. That gives you 150 T4 (orange) ability mats each time the event runs.
Payday - Requires 5 Mercenary characters and earns gold.
Relic Hunt - Requires 5 Hand characters and earns Advanced Basic Catalysts (required with purple gear).
I will probably prioritize getting 5 city heroes up to 7* to start earning the T4 abilities. I don’t have many teams that are leveled high enough for T4 abilities, so I decided it would be okay to wait and focus on farming for FtD and other things.
The other two modes I have been viewing more as secondary priorities and I will only invest resources when I am close to the next tier level. . Some of my alliance members think it would be worth putting more resources into mercenary characters for the gold. Gold is one of the most scarce resources in the game, so that may be something I choose to focus on soon.
Section 12 - Blitz
These next three game modes could pretty much be in any order. As of now, I mostly just use whatever characters I have to Blitz. The same teams that are good in Arena and Raids are good for Blitz. I just focus on hitting the milestones for every character since I would be unable to grind for a top 1500 spot with my roster anyway. The reason I choose to list Blitz first is because it is important to keep character power levels as close as possible. There are times I have powered up a character to make them fit with a new Blitz squad.
There are some really good Blitz guides out there that I would recommend checking out that explain how to Blitz effectively. The rewards from this game mode are very important to roster progression.
Section 13 - Alliance War
I don’t think I have ever put a resource into a character specifically for alliance war. Although I am planning to get Invisible Women when her first event comes around, so that may change in the future. Similar to Blitz, a lot of the teams that are good for Arena and Raids work well in war. I typically put my Raid teams on defense since they have sustain and use everyone else for attack.
A general rule of thumb is that teams that have short cooldowns and healing can be decent on defense. Teams with long cooldowns and quick burst are better on attack.
Section 14 - Challenges
Similar to war, I just use whatever characters are my highest power and see if I can complete the next tier. There is no downside to trying the next tier and losing, so I just try them when I think I might have the chance. The difference in most tier levels seems small enough to me to not make them a priority.
Section 15 - Special Events
These are typically Campaign Events for a new character and require certain traits to progress in the Campaign. They seem to be announced a week or two in advance so they are hard to plan for. New characters don’t normally become farmable for a few months (or indefinitely), so these events can be very helpful. It may be worth using some resources to get through the Campaigns if necessary. They also have helpful resources as a reward for beating each “Hard” Campaign node for the first time. An example of an event coming up is a Campaign for Graviton that requires Hero Controller characters.
Section 16 - Game Resources
Now I want to get into what to do with all the resources generated from the game modes. Each mode rewards you with different resources, so I will go through each one.
Cores - We talk about this in the Arena game mode. My recommendation would be to use cores for energy refreshes, and sometimes node refreshes. A common recommendation you will see on the internet is to use all of your 50 core energy refreshes every day. Depending where I finish in Arena I will sometimes even do some 100 core energy refreshes. If I am farming a character and want to speed up the process I will also sometimes refresh the node for 50 cores. This can be useful to finish a farm for a legendary event or for a character to enter EtD. The last thing I would recommend (if you have to) is to refresh the main store looking for the orange superior unique gear that you need for FtD.
Arena Credits - With Arena credits you have to choose specific toons to farm. There is no character orb. My recommendation would be to start with Daredevil and work him to wherever you want to stop the defenders. Next, would be to focus on a toon that can help you get your first legendary. For me, that was getting Drax to 5*. But this could also be Jugg. This is really going to vary for each player, but I would choose a character that is going to help you meet your next goal and just focus on them. I just finished up getting Vulture to 5* for the Invisible Women event. To give you an example of a prioritization choice I have to make - I am choosing my next farm between Mordo for Phoenix, Shield Security for FtD and Ironman event, or Deadpool for the Mercenary Flash Event.
Raid Credits - To maintain a well balanced roster I highly recommend using Raid credits for Raid orbs (900 credits) instead of specific character shards (1400 credits). An important distinction to make is that Raid orbs provide 9 character shards, while specific characters are just 5 shards. Some other people argue to use Raid credits on purple gear, but so far I have focused primarily on character shards.
Let’s get a little into the math on the orbs versus shards. Since this is a beginners guide we will talk about taking a character from 0 shards to 5*. 5* is a good number to focus on because that’s when legendaries can be unlocked. To get from 0 to 5* requires 310 character shards. So for example, to get rocket raccoon from 0 to 310 shards by only buying his character shards would cost 86800 Raid credits. For that same amount of Raid credits we can open 96 Raid orbs. And with 96 Raid orbs we would be getting 864 shards, or 554 MORE shards than buying specific character shards.
You may be thinking, what if you just want a few characters? With 14 characters currently in the Raid store, every Raid orb should net us approximately 0.643 shards per character on average. So by opening 96 Raid orbs, we get a little over 60 shards per character instead of 310 for one. Ultimately, that is your decision. It is clearly faster to farm directly for one character. However, you are putting yourself behind on farming all the other characters. As of now Hand Sentry, Killmonger, Kree Oracle, Mercenary Soldier (not very good), Mysterio, Ravager Stitcher (not very good), Rocket Raccoon, Ronan, Sabretooth, Shield Trooper can all be used for the unlocking legendaries or in the flash events. Also, war machine is on one of the top war teams called Power Armor and is found in the orbs.
Overall, you get much, much more value out of the Raid orbs if you don’t mind slower farms. There may be times that you want to farm specific characters, but I would highly recommend Raid orbs for having a well rounded team with access to many of the legendaries and flash events.
Blitz Credits - My philosophy here is very similar for the Raid orbs, but I will run through the math so you have the context to make your own decision. Again let’s talk about taking a character from 0 shards to 5*. We can buy Blitz orbs (350 credits) or specific character shards (500 credits). Unlike Raid credits, instead of 4 additional character shards the Blitz orbs give gold. So to get a character to 5* from 0 shards would cost 31000 Blitz credits. For that same amount of Blitz credits we can open 88 Blitz orbs. With 88 Blitz orbs we would be getting 440 shards, or 120 more shards than buying specific character shards. It is also worth mentioning that you would get on average about 400k gold from the 88 Blitz orbs.
It comes down to a similar decision as the Raid credits. You can get to a character faster by going straight there, but you are missing out on shards and gold by not buying orbs. Take a look at who is in this store. As of now, Gamora, Kree Royal Guard, Luke Cage, Mantis, Mercenary Riot Guard, Ravager Boomer, Rhino, Spiderman, and Spiderman Miles all can contribute to unlocking a legendary or in a flash event.
Note - In a controversial move, Rescue was only added to the Blitz orb, so orbs need to be opened to farm her. She is also typically on the power armor team.
War Credits - War credits are more similar to the Arena credits. There is no orbs with character shards at this time. I farmed Pyro to 5* and then focused the rest of my credits on orange superior unique items. I would just recommend choosing a goal and sticking with it here.
Elite War Credits - Because the orange superior unique items are tough to find and the holdup for many players starting FtD, I would recommend saving up 1000 elite war credits for the Orange Gear War Orbs.
Elite Red Star Credits - Another aspect of the game I haven’t talked about are Red Stars. They are a controversial topic, and I am just going to stick with the math between Elite 4 Star Orbs (5000 credits) versus Promotion Credits (1,000). I will compare this by looking at the upgrade between 3RS and 4RS. To upgrade a character to 4RS with promotion credits you need to already have the character at 3RS and then the cost is 50 promotion credits or 50,000 elite red star credits. With those 50,000 elite red star credits we could have gotten 10 Elite 4 star orbs, which guarantee a 4RS or higher. So, for the price of getting one 3RS character to 4RS, we could have gotten 10 characters (could be duplicates) up to 4RS. Additionally, they could have gotten up to 4RS from any star level below.
This is a prioritization question. If there is a character that you use in every game mode every day then maybe it is worth it to you, but I just wanted to show some of the numbers so you can make the decision.
Section 17 - Community Resources
This game can be really fun because there is no right way to play the game. It also means that there are a lot of different opinions, and luckily, people are willing to share their thoughts. Here are some helpful ideas for different resources I have used:
- Reddit - Lots of different opinions and frequented by the devs
- Discord - There is an MSF discord that has a ton of different topics.
- Content Creators - Primarily on youtube, twitch, or discord. I’m happy to share some of my favorites if you are interested.
- Infographics - These seem to be really popular for this game as an easy to read and use tool. There are great ones for the uniques, FtD recommended teams, and essential T4 abilities for different teams as some examples.
- Msf.gg - Has a ton of different information about characters and gear.
- Your alliance - Self explanatory, but my alliance uses discord and pins a lot of helpful information in the channel
Section 18 - Conclusions
This game is all about prioritizing and planning ahead. My recommendation to new players is to focus on Arena. If you do well in Arena then you can use the cores you earn from that mode to help you out in all other aspects of the game. The easiest team to do well with in Arena is the Defenders (with punisher AKA Punfenders) and then switch gears to a Shield Team with Fury, Brotherhood team with Magneto, or Guardians/Minnerva Tech team with Starlord. I think Starlord is the easiest legendary to farm for because 3 of the required characters are in the Blitz store. Speaking of the Blitz store, if you want to have a well rounded roster then I highly recommend buying the Blitz and Raid orbs. They provide much more value than buying individual character shards. This will allow you to obtain more legendaries and progress further into flash events and special events.
Ultimately, this game is fun because everyone plays it differently. This guide is aimed towards beginners hoping to get themselves off to a good start by having a well rounded roster. I am sure there are other approaches to playing this game efficiently, but I feel that I have set myself up well, and I have a lot of choices of what I can focus on next.
EDIT: If you enjoyed the guide, have questions, or just want to talk about the game more come stop by a new discord server for beginners:
- Focus on Arena
- Get Defenders
- Put all resources into defenders and stop at 5*, 6* or 7* depending on preference
- Choose first legendary - Fury, Magneto or SL (SL seems easiest and best to me)
- Put all resources into legendary focused team - Shield, Brotherhood, or Guardians/Technerva
- Do Raids
- Farm superior uniques for gear level 13
- Beat FtD and get Ultron
I recently reconnected with an old friend that I met years ago and we talked about life and how things have panned out. They were going to join the Navy and decided not to at the time. Their comment was that they wished they had joined the Navy and not chose to do things the “hard way.” This is a theme I have heard from my friends and family over the years. That some how joining the military makes things easier?Let’s talk about my time in the Navy. Over 20 years. I was stationed on 5 ships (USS John Young DD-973, USS Lake Champlain CG-57, USS Bataan LHD-5, USS Boxer LHD-4, USS New Orleans LPD-18), did 10 deployments with only one being six months long (the rest were 8-9 months long) and spent some not so always fun time in a very hot and sandy spot. I was stationed in Portland, OR (semi-successful recruiting tour),San Diego, Ca, Newport, RI (amazingly successful Officer Training and Teaching Tour) and Norfolk, VA. I’ve been to Guam (x2), Puerto Rico (x2), Barbados, San Lucas, Peru, South Korea, Hong Kong (x2), Australia (x4), Oman, Jordan, Mubai (x100000000), Singapore (x2), Germany, Bali, Sri Lanka, India (EW), Thailand, Malaysia, Djibouti (i still snicker when I say that), Kuwait, Israel, Turkey, Malta, Spain, France, Italy, Portugal, Mexico, Canada, Afghanistan, Iraq, Qatar, Dubai (x100000000000), Bahrain (x200000000000) and all over the US (I’m sure I am forgetting places). I’ve met SO MANY people from SO MANY places. I have had the ability to touch so many lives for the better (I hope). Made life long friendships with people that I know I would never have had the chance to have without the Navy. Worked on 3 different missile systems, a 5 inch gun system, 5 different radar systems and my pride and join 1 BAD bum (sorry for the language Mom) 20mm Gatling Gun system. I taught Naval Warfare tactics, ship handling, Small Arms Marksmanship and A MILLION other topics to new and old Sailors. I learned how to tell you the electrical resistance of a circuit (though I think my brain would hurt from that today). I learned how to accurately place ordinance on target, on time (Warheads on Foreheads). I’ve been shot at (believe it or not on more than one occasion). I was involved in several VERY pivotal and historical events (they even made a movie about one, but I can’t talk about it “I am the Captain now.”) Saw some SUPER COOL poop (sorry for the language Mom). Blew some poop up (LOTS OF poop) (SORRY FOR THE LANGUAGE FOR REAL MOM). Probably have fired more rounds down range than most Sailors. A sparrow tattoo on a Sailor equals 5000 nautical miles, I recently did the math (because ya know, need more ink) and I need 26 sparrows.... I’ve been on every single continent except Antarctica. I’ve been colder than I ever want to be ever again (-45) and hotter than I ever want to be (145). I have drank more Rip-It’s than I ever want to admit. Eatin food from SO MANY cultures. Drank so much that I thought my liver was literally going to come out of my body, been drunk on beaches in Bali by 10am. I have done so many amazing things that I can’t believe I had the chance to do, swam in every ocean, been a poly wog and then a Golden Shellback (Sailors will understand), eaten chow that I was unsure of what it was, and drank the darkest coffee you’ve ever seen in your life that I’m pretty sure equated to cocaine in a cup. I have a stack of ribbons and medals and certificates in pretty padded folders and a set of anchors that show all the deeds I have excelled at over the years.Now those are some of the great things, lets talk perspective and reality. I was in Boot Camp when my adopted Grandma passed away, “A” School when my Uncle Dan passed away, on deployment when my Grandpa passed away, on deployment when my Grandma passed away, unable to take leave when my Uncle Ron passed away and I never got to say “Good Bye” to any of them... I have been in (I know this will be a surprise to some of you) TWO failed marriages, both of which ended when I found out they cheated on me (though I am pretty sure both said that I was the one that cheated). I missed COUNTLESS anniversaries which led me to understand why they had cheated. My last marriage lasted almost 5 years, of which I did the math, I was only home for 2 of. I missed so many birthdays and landmarks in the family that I have no idea of.... I have no real relationship with (except to be a source of money) 2 children that I fought for years with their mother to try to have a relationship with. Which at this point now I am just waiting for them to come to me. I never owned a house of my own because I was never sure of where I would go next and whether I would stay somewhere. As a result of the above I tend to place myself in a self imposed isolation from those I care about due to the fact that, well, to be truthfully honest, I don’t even think I know how to be in a family anymore. I have clinical depression that I battle with almost daily and went to years of therapy for. I have clinical anxiety, bordering on PTSD as a result of things that have happened to me in my past. I have been an E4 twice and and E5 twice because of toxic and garbage leadership (though in the end I owned my mistakes and they made me a better leader for it, they still have not owned theirs). I stayed in to try to ensure the same bullshit I went through professionally and personally didn’t happen or could be prevented. I have just now started to get my finances in order to even think about maybe buying my own home hopefully in the next 10 years, due to years of being too nice to an Ex that I was till living my life for still up to about 4 years ago. I have spent more time feeling more lonely than I would like to admit, even when I was in a room full of folks. I’ve decorated fake Christmas trees in my workshops and watched while the “kids” I worked with celebrated New Years in hanger bays thousands of miles from home. Taken Sailors duty on Christmas Day, New Years Eve/Day and Valentines Day, because NONE of those holidays mean a damn thing to me anymore. When leaving for my deployment in 2010 I was given a counseling for not “manning the rails” to say “good bye,” to San Diego with the rest of my division in our dress uniforms. And not counseled when I gave my response as to why, by screaming at the top of lungs at a senior petty officer that I didn’t do so because everyone had family and friends on the pier and my family that I hadn’t told anyone but a close friend wasn’t because I was legally separated from weren’t there. I watched horrified while a Sailor shot himself on watch while I was the Chief of the Guard (that still haunts me). I have felt guilt to this day for putting a young kid in the US Navy in 2003 who was killed in a small village in Afghanistan in 2007. I have spent more time in my life with walls around my heart and soul than not, as a result. I am a suicide attempt and ideation survivor. I am a loner for the most part, have always been, probably always will be. It tends to lend to be the easier path.In the end, remember this, we ALL have a hard life. It is all a matter of perspective. Am I going to be okay? I don’t know, I would like to thinks so. As a result of much of the bullshit (sorry once again for the language Mom) that has occurred in my life I have found that those that I tend to let into my life, tend to be attached to me somehow or some way for the long haul. I have always said that NO MATTER WHAT, if you need help, put your pride on a shelf and ask me for it and you KNOW I will be there for you.Remember it is not about materialistic things or money that makes you successful, it is how you learn from life. Or IF you learn from life and life experiences. Telling those that you love, that you love them, hugging them when you see them (not just a hand shake necessarily). Always keeping an open line of communication or trying to talk to those you care about. These things are most important in life. Grow together, stay connected, we have each other. These are the important things in life.
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