Friends call me Cpt Ron! Fortunate enough to be born a military brat, I lived in several states and spent 3 years in Japan before I was 10.

This planted in my young spirit a desire for adventure. While some would look on moving as an unpleasant reality, I found myself anticipating these moves even though I knew I would miss all the friends I made.

After all this world travel, my parents decided Biloxi, Mississippi would be our home, and I've been here ever since, except for a brief stint in the US Army (82nd Airborne) and different places I traveled while working offshore.

As a young man coming from a military family, I wanted to get some military experience, and decided to go into the US Army. Since it was determined that I was "mechanically inclined", I was given the choice to become a welder or machinist. Having learned how to weld in high school, I chose the machinist route.

After the army, I worked at several local welder jobs, until one afternoon, while having a beer at our local bar, I started a casual conversation with the man next to me. Little did I know how my life would change from that point on. He described how his work took him offshore to an oil rig drilling platform where he was a crane operator, worked for 14 days out of the month, and took home more money than what I was used to making.

He shared with me that his company was looking for a welder to work offshore Brazil and gave me a name and number to contact. I called the next day and, after about a 30-minute conversation, was hired sight unseen as an offshore rig welder.

Up until then, my only experience was in structural welding. How I pulled this off is explained in a later chapter. If you call yourself a "welder", you can either weld it or you can't! I wasn't an immediate expert, but I was able to get the job done and completed the 28-day hitch without any major problems. The years I spent in the offshore oil rig industry were hard but very satisfying. Fortunately for you, I discovered that sharing my experiences and knowledge with other offshore job seekers was a great way for me to pay it forward. I haven't looked back since.