Never underestimate your enemy - and NEVER underestimate your Sailors.
Below is a quote from an email sent from a regular reader who is a newly minted 3rd Class Petty Officer. I have kept him and his ship anon, so no one has been put on report. It is good to know what they see and what they think. There are plenty of responses to his questions one could make about conflicting priorities, but.... he asks the right questions. It is all focused on the correct targets; the ship, the mission, his Shipmates - how to make all of them ready for what they are being paid for - what their nations expects - victory.
I was frocked yesterday while we were still u/w. It was an intense straight 8 hour PO Indoc session. Not much was skipped over according to the binder they gave us. Excep, the true spirit of what it seems to be when one leads is completely lost on most PO's. When we were covering the chapter devoted to what a leader is, but there was no sense of spirit in the PO1 giving the lecture. I can appreciate we were all on Day 7 of an intense u/w (no one got over 6 hours the entire time, 4 GQ drills, constant Flight Quarters which lasted till taps, the trawler taking on water, etc). But, still, in only though what I have read about what men become capable of in trying times, and what it means to inspire I think I have a good sense of what it really means to lead others into harms way. You can help but talk with greater spirit when it comes to leadership. Many 1st's seem completely devoid.You know a h311 of a lot. Keep it up.....and congrats Petty Officer. If you want to impact your ship now, lead your team better than all the rest - others will follow by your example.
One other thing that I brought up to our CO via the suggestion box but he shot down quickly: during our GQ drills everyone dicks around. No one takes it seriously.
I gave the suggestion to some sort of distinction being given to the DCRL which performs the best in the DCTT's eyes.
I guess I worded it wrong because like I said... in two sentences which included "That's an easy one, we already do that." Maybe it was the phrase I used: "create a culture of friendly competition" which made him say that. I don't know.
What worries me is the amount of damage that the C-802 or the SS-N-22/27 or a torpedo (the story you wove of the New Orleans really struck a cord with me) can inflict on our ship... It took 3 days to save the Cole, over a day the Samuel B. Roberts of the Tanker War's. Yet, GQ is done in 3 hours.
Battle Stations = 12 constant hours.
Real life shipboard GQ = 3 hours, 1 1/2 of which is standing around waiting. 1/2hr of which is "Stop the clock. Re-stow all gear." One locker takes care of de-watering, another one de-smokes, another puts out ONE class Alpha/Bravo/ -OR- Charlie fire, which is out in 15min. If we walk through a fire boundary with no SCBA on... well we are casualties which the Doc's don't even respond to... They have ONE man down somewhere in the ship. Never have I heard of a Class Delta Fire called, you think we might have one with all the (edited) we have on board?
Why are there no 24 hour GQ drills... does not even have to be u/w... it shouldn't actually... But still, it has taken well over 24hours to save a ship more than once is recent history. Does it not behoove us to make sure that our khaki knows how to rotate personnel properly to make sure constant effort by all hands rotating can be maintained? Who aside of some bad ass DCmen knows how to patch a hole in the bulkhead when your out of everything? How many DCmen have faced such a thing?
I don't know... I'm barely a 3rd class.... what do I know.