Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A good day for a trip to the Navy Yard

There are opportunities that come along now and then when an organization gets to put down a marker on accountability and what is acceptable behavior or not.

I think this is one of those times.
A cruiser skipper who was fired for cruelty and mistreatment of her crew will go before a Navy board of inquiry Tuesday that will recommend whether she can continue her Navy service.

Capt. Holly Graf was relieved as commanding officer of the Yokosuka, Japan-based cruiser Cowpens on Jan. 13 after an inspector general’s investigation found problems with her “temperament and demeanor.”

The board will convene at the Washington Navy Yard at 9 a.m. Tuesday under the authority of Naval District Washington. The board is likely to last until Thursday, said Navy spokesman Lt. Justin Cole. The board’s recommendation will be forwarded up through Navy Personnel Command and must be approved by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus.
We'll see.

Susan has a Top 10 for review;
#10. Abandoning a VBSS team while on mission to answer a S/V distress call
#9. Grabbing a Royal Navy LT by the neck and dragging him to a bridge wing. Screaming at him "did you run my F-ing ship aground"
#8. Calling the XO the stupidest MFer she has ever seen.
#7. RHIB at the rail followed by a 30 degree turn (that was fun)
#6. RHIB on the hook in heavy seas, and refusing to raise or release.
#5. Throwing hand held radios at officers and crew.
#4. Getting hammered at softball games, then driving.
#3. Ordering 25kts in the basin coming out of Italy
#2. Fixing the deck log in Italy
#1. After a hurricane sortie, DESRON telling her, NO YOU ARE to return your ship to port immediately
BONUS** Receiving a bronze star for all of her hard work during deployment and not even thanking her crew, the ones who got it for her.
You had me at #9.

Hat tip Grumpy & Mike.

133 comments:

DeltaBravo said...

No.words.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

And if she had been a male skipper?  Any of those top ten would have seen her gone.  Yet, she may be allowed to continue her career in the US Navy. 

Anyone that tries to say that her gender and being chosen as the "flagship female" doesn't have anything to do with her commanding twice despite her incredibly bad record is full of it up to his/her eyeballs. 

From last January.  The comments are fascinating.

AW1 Tim said...

Love to have a DVD of the proceedings. Make for required viewing at every NROTC program and Naval Academy Leadership course.

Susan Katz Keating said...

OMG... Tim... I am soooo sneaking in there with a minicam!

UR Regis: She wouldn't have lasted 6 years as a male. How do you spell "total incompetent?" H-O-L-L-Y.

Anonymous said...

The rewards from pushing "Diversty" over performance.  This officer received preferential treatment every step of her career, and may well skate from this board as well. 

With male genetalia any officer who did anywhere near any of her escapades would have been fired long ago.  At the first offense, with no fear of retribution from those under the spell of "Diversity."

Justice or coverup?  We'll have to wait and see.

AW1 Tim said...

Any bets as to how long after she leaves the Navy that  "The Holly Graf Story"  becomes a made-for-TV movie?   8-)  

Stu said...

Coming up on the Lifetime network, following a very special episode of "Cagney & Lacey".

Anonymous said...

I hope this sort of thing dies off with the Internet age.  It's all too easy for someone to set up an anonymous blog or snap a hidden video.  

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Guest,

"This sort of thing" meaning institutionalized racial and sexual discrimination, proption and protection of incompetence with the lives of US servicemen and women in the balance?

If so, hear, hear.  If not, and you somehow mean that Holly Graf is being unfairly criticized, you have some homework to do.

Vigilis said...

The last thing Navy Secretary Mabus wants to do before assigning women officers to subs late next year is to draw yet more attention to female officer disciplinary problems this year.  Which will attract more adverse publicity for the navy, allowing Graf to continue her Navy service, or discharging her like http://tinyurl.com/2cdfm24" REL="nofollow"> Capt. Lisa Nowak 2 months ago? "

Ray Mabus's mouth already has him on the hook for his infamous quote about his own navy experience four decades ago. He said, "we never left port without leaving a couple of guys behind  http://tinyurl.com/258lnxo" REL="nofollow"> in jail."

It is difficult to guess which "greater good" will inform lawyer Mabus's final decision.

DeltaBravo said...

Dang, Tim!  The very thought makes me want to head to the bunker under the porch to see if there is anything left in the cooler.  Is it noon yet?  Yeah... I'm going there...
Gaah!

Guest said...

All sniping aside.......

Does anyone know why it has taken so long for this to finally occur? I understand legal proceedings these days take time, but this seems like it has taken a while.

Guest said...

<span>All sniping aside.......  
 
Does anyone know why it has taken so long for the board of inquiry to finally occur? I understand legal proceedings these days take time, but this seems like it has taken a while.</span>

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Dunno, but Graf collected ten months of Captain's pay and benefits.  That's about $130,000. Funny, I can't get my travel claim settled.....

bc said...

yes.  it takes "so long" for a BOI because ducks must in a row before ever getting there.  A good quote is something like "the wheels of [military] grind slowly, but they grind surely", or such....

all things considered, with all of the letters of intent/notification, chain of command reviews and responses, the setting up of the calendars of concerned parties, and world events/taksing, this was probably pretty quick

To Sal's "you had me at #9":  Visions of an alternate universe, proper-British stiff upper lip, "I say old-chap, was it you that per chance just happened to run my ship aground, what?"

bc said...

crap, proof read after the fact...."the wheels of [military] justice grind slowy..."

Byron said...

Hey, Guest, you anonymous dimwit, we're the people that show you whats under the rock. We're the ones that let you enjoy the stink of a rotting shipbuilding program. We're the ones that let you see the nightmare of diversity recruiting. You don't like it, don't let the door nob hit you in the ass.

Byron said...

The board should last from 0900 to 0901. Wanna bet she lasted this long so she could retire with 0-6 pay?

Redeye80 said...

<p><span>She could be shown the door as a LCDR as the last grade honorably served & retired.<span>  </span>But that might even be a stretch. But PC reality will set in.</span>
</p><p><span>$1 says she is forced to retire as a CDR. I think she needs more than a year TIG to hold the title for retirement.</span>
</p>

Susan Katz Keating said...

.50 says she is promoted a pay grade and offered her choice of commands plus her own detachments of personal servants.
Oh, wait. That was from her diary....

butch said...

Popcorn for all my firends!

Lobotomized said...

According to her attorney its #1 not her fault and #2 the IG investigation is all lies and sexual discrimination.  Didn't take them long to play that card did it!

http://www.navytimes.com/news/2010/11/navy-graf-board-of-inquiry-cruelty-113010w/

guest said...

RADM Gretchen Herbert
RADM James McManamon
and presiding officer RADM Mark Buzby

UltimaRatioRegis said...

<span>And if she had been a male skipper?  Any of those top ten would have seen her gone.  Yet, she may be allowed to continue her career in the US Navy.   
 
Anyone that tries to say that her gender and being chosen as the "flagship female" doesn't have anything to do with her commanding twice despite her incredibly bad record is full of it up to his/her eyeballs.   
 
From USNI last January.  The comments are fascinating.</span>

Lobotomized said...

Two with Command at sea experience and another with shore command experience.  I'm guessing that none were required to hit their wardroom members during the course of their successful tours.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh...The old "I inherited the worst ship on the waterfront and my wardroom was incompetent" Defense.  It's the same one LCDR Marcus Arnheiter used back in '68 although it didn't so him much good.  I especially like the lawyer's statement that the term "screaming" shows that everyone was biased against her because of her gender.  Any SWO worth his or her salt knows what a "screamer" is and it has nothing to do with gender.  Hopefully the two SWO Flags on the board will remember that.

C-dore 14 said...

Oops...the above post was mine.

SJBill said...

I bet she gets to stay ( I was going to say "I bet she gets off," but thought better about that line).
Why? She's a "two-fer" and she has a serving FO sister. Many Diversity points will be canceled if she's shown the door, and Diversity trumps everything.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Why would you question that approach, Commodore?  It's the same one Obama has taken.  And been given a pass.  I have no reason to think in Roughead's Navy that Graf won't as well. 

C-dore 14 said...

URR, Having served with a couple of "screamers" in my time I'd say that a male officer could get away with a couple of the items on the list without being fired (especially if the Commodore didn't hear about it).  I've seen COs commit about half of these during my sea tours (one of mine threw binoculars instead of coffee cups) although I never saw one lay hands on anyone.  The difference, of course, is that all of these were committed by a single individual during her CDR Command where there should be some observation by the ISIC so that those who can't handle the pressure of command or who abuse their crews can be "culled".  I have no doubt that CAPT Graf prospered because of her gender, her connections, and (probably) because her ISIC lacked the backbone or the curiosity to observe her performance closely and reflect it accurately.

BTW, this is an excellent link, which provides info that I hadn't read before.

C-dore 14 said...

Guest, This has nothing to do with anonymous blogs or cell phone video.  Holly Graf's waterfront reputation as a "screamer" was well known by the time that she was called to account.  Her relief resulted from an IG investigation where those complaints and rumors were substantiated.

G-man said...

My bet is on PROMOTE HER TO FLAG!!!  We now reward incompetence, so why not add in a little idiocy and flaming assholery?  Give her a fine staff, and heck we'll be missing the old Joe Sestak days.

But I'm hoping that a 0901 a LCDR walks out the door and out of the Navy.  It deserves better.

Jay said...

URR -- except in Pres Obama's case -- those are the facts.

anon said...

Her sister is one of the most powerful mothers in the military.

<span><span>http://www.workingmother.com/BestCompanies/most-powerful-moms/2010/06/most-powerful-moms-in-the-military-in-pictures?page=0%2C4</span></span>

Jay said...

Before anyone continues to run their yaps about how quickly a male CO with the same issues would have lasted -- I had a CO who was a known screamer.  Ugly tour.  His second at-sea command.  This story, unfortunately, isn't all that uncommon. That would have been at least a six-year stint (first command as a CDR -- 2 years, or 18 months...), 2 year shore tour, and then CO of my ship.  He prob honed that skill as an XO prior to that.  So, likely close to 6-8 years a known screamer.....and was selected for CAPT at the end of his second sea command.  

The wardroom was loathe to complain outside the command.   20 years ago -- we didn't have the means to electronically connect & compare notes with others outside the command.   It seems to be less common these days -- mostly due to an insistence on not having/maintaining a poor command climate -- and the willingness to fire folks for it (See ADM Mullen's firing of VADM Sestak when ADM Mullen became CNO -- I think in his first week on the job -- might even have been first workday...) and to state the reasons for the firing.  

My bet is she retires very quickly.  At CAPT?  Perhaps.   Should the reasons above be reason to bust her down to CDR?  I am not so sure, but we'll see.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Sure Jay.  Sure.  "Facts". 

Guest said...

I served under Graf for nearly 18 months. What you have read is true. She needs to go, NOW!!
I suspect she will be retired as an O6.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Oy vey. 

Gotten into the mushrooms again, Jay?  "Screamer" is the least of it, or did you miss the list?

She had special consideration and was shown favoritism because of her gender.  Don't thnk so?  Ask the COs of Port Royal, Hartford, or Greenville.

Anonymous said...

http://navycaptain-therealnavy.blogspot.com/2010/01/number-two-in-our-countdown-is-captain.html


Here's another great site with well over 300 comments about the HAG. Some of the actual crew from both ships in question made comments here.

ShawnP said...

Or lack of leadership course...............

Anonymous said...

Hey's here's more...

http://www.neptunuslex.com/

Skippy-san said...

I think folks need to remember what this is. It is a show cause board-one that only judges on retention in the Navy or not. I think it can make a recommendation on grade to retire at-but since Graf probably meets time in grade requirements to retire as an O-6, that is hte rank she will retire at. Show cause boards are mandatory anytime an officer goes to mast-as she did.

I'm betting they vote to retain, but that she will retire soon after. And I'll be she soon is a GS-15 thereafter. If I'm wrong, I'll buy Phib a beer.

Salty Gator said...

a naval officer would have resigned in disgrace already.  You have been thrown out of your command by an Inspector General report, DAYS before you would have already changed command.  HOLY COW.  that is like executing a cancer patient who is terminally ill.  a message was sent.  unfortunately, CAPT Graff did not receive it.  Some women in the upper ranks of the military do not view themselves as expendable.  They should.  We are ALL expendable.  If we are not, then we have not done a proper job of training our subordinates, and shame on us.  Diversity teaches us that only white male christian heterosexuals are expendable, and that is why it is so cancerous.

Salty Gator said...

before you piss all over me for saying "some women", know that I have chosen my words very carefully after much experience witnessing who gets junior officer "please stay Navy" counseling and who gets a limp wristed handshake from their female flags.  And I have heard their arguments.

Salty Gator said...

and as a former VBSS boarding officer, you had me at 10.

C-dore 14 said...

Jay, At the risk of being accused of "running my yap" I have to say that to deny that CAPT Graf's gender played a role in her advancement is being somewhat naive, although I'd say lack of documentation by her reporting seniors in her FITREPs and influential "patrons" probably played a role too.  I'm more concerned about how (or why) her shortcomings were missed or overlooked by her ISIC during her CDR Command.  Here we have an officer with poor seamanship skills, a hair-trigger temper, and who appears profoundly uncomfortable with command at sea; yet goes on to major command at sea.  Not having her FITREPs we don't know what the DESRON CDR wrote or if he was unaware of her flaws but it's hard to see how he wouldn't have been.  

Yes, things were different 20 years ago although I can give the example of a DDG CO in the late '80s who was relieved for abusing his crew (not to mention the CO of MILIUS who was fired in the mid-90s for pushing his helmsman).  As for your guy, I'd bet he was entirely different ashore than he was in command.  Sounds like he and I were contemporaries...care to name him?

C-dore 14 said...

Skippy, Think that you're on target.

C-dore 14 said...

Salty, One of the complaints against Arnheiter was leaving his boarding party in the ship's boat while he took the ship off to do something else.

C-dore 14 said...

Salty, Hate to disagree but it's not just the women.  I've known several male officers over the years who had been DFC'd as COs yet tried to resurrect their careers.  

UltimaRatioRegis said...

C-dore, curious...  how many of those male officers went to the cause boards and were retained?

Skippy-san said...

Again-its important to remember the why of this. A DFC does not get you a show cause board-going to mast done. An officer can be detached for cause without going to Mast.

That said-most Show Cause boards vote to retain in my expierence.

Skippy-san said...

<span>Again-its important to remember the why of this. A DFC does not get you a show cause board-going to mast does. An officer can be detached for cause without going to Mast.  
 
That said-most Show Cause boards vote to retain in my expierence.</span>

C-dore 14 said...

URR, None of the ones who came to mind when I wrote this but, as Skippy correctly points out, not every DFC has a Mast associated with it.  Most of these guys were "special people" who felt the Navy couldn't get along without their unique staff skills and tried to salvage their careers ashore after the collision or grounding.  None succeeded.

C-dore 14 said...

URR, Let me add that "back in the day" the assumption was that being relieved would cause enough disgrace so that the officer would realize that their career was over and would "retire when eligible".  That's not always the case any more.  

xformed said...

With Holly the Crusader against MALE CHAUVANISM!  You know, giving them what they've been giving women since the beginning of time...in her opinion, and that of her defense council.

ICC said...

I think Ms. Graf needs to the asshole Rating Self Exam (ARSE)... http://electricpulp.com/guykawasaki/arse/ .  I imagine she would score very high.
Asshole Rating Self-Exam (ARSE)

drevil said...

About time

Had my fill of drunks and petty Gods while on AD in the 70's and 80's.  Hope she gets a bust out of this.

Concure with you guys.  This was allowed to happen.  Do not particularly care why.

And will the CNO order a review of every eval on she did on the COWPENS?  Every mast?  I doubt it.  The Navy does have the integrety or guts to fix the wrongs done here. or elsewhere.

drevil said...

Another point-  What did she get a Bronze Starr for anyway?  Deploying and shooting missiles. 

Wasn't that her job?

Compare that to some grunt on patrol in the 'Stan. 

LT B said...

Please, did she express an affinity for Battleships? Clearly no need for GQ. O:-)

UltimaRatioRegis said...

"<span>Compare that to some grunt on patrol in the 'Stan."</span>

Doing so makes me too angry....

C-dore 14 said...

Being the "glass half full" kinda guy that I am, CAPT Graf's case does show that some progress is being made.  She was relieved, went to Admiral's Mast, and is now before a "show cause" board.  Quite a change from the first couple of female COs who received "accelerated relief" (rather than DFCs) from commands where they were not doing well.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Apparently not.  Shame isn't in the vocabulary of this "lady", it seems.

LT B said...

Yes sir bit took a great hue and cry from the ranks before the bow wake of horrible PR forced navy high command to eliminate her from her next job. I think the blogosphere was the big motivator there.

RANDY said...

Ref: BONUS**  , seen the USCG do somewhat the same with a LTJG in Auke Bay , AK , mid 80s  after two groundings. 

Anonymous said...

Contractor, not Civil Service.  We've got standards.

Skippy-san said...

Commodore-not all firings are criminal. I happen to know one carrier CO who got fired as a scapegoating measure, so that the blame would stop with him. He stayed in the Navy-took on some pretty thankless jobs and retired at 30 years.

C-dore 14 said...

Skippy, Won't argue with you there.  Other than collisions or groundings, a lot of SWO DFCs tend to be the result of poor judgement on the part of the CO or "loss of confidence" due to repeated inspection failures or poor material readiness.

Skippy-san said...

There is only one problem with that defense. In a place like Yokosuka-everybody knows everybody else. Cowpens had a good reputation till she showed up. Once she took over-it went down hill fast, and the waterfront knew it.

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

10 alone is enough for me.  She is a disgrace.  Take her out, and throw her to the otters.

Southern Air Pirate said...

Yea but the BSV is a gimmie now a days amongst the O-4 and above for certain situtations. Remember the Bronze Star itself at least in the Army is a gimmie at the same level as a Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal. The valor portion is only added when inside a hostile fire zone. So, yes she did get a BS for doing her job while in a hostile fire zone.

DM05 said...

Although nautical history is riddled with tempermental and nutty leaders, the effect on crew and ship is still horrendously negative. Personally, I vote Menopause as a contributing factor, plus some psych makeup that should have been distilled properly by reporting seniors as, say, a LT/LCDR. Still, she's got to go, and leave the Bronze Star behind please.

Lobotomized said...

Pirate is correct and you have to remember the history of the Bronze Star.  It was not originally a valor award but designed to be a ground pounders equivalent to the Air Medal.  We have two flavors of Bronze Star and three flavors of Air Medal.  Not sure what the SWO/Submariner criteria for an officer to get a Bronze Star but Air Medal points are acquired for every sortie in a "combat zone".  That means all the air force guys flying rubber dog poo into Bahgdad are earning air medal points along with whatever airwing is flying in country.

Not defending her in particular but the awards system is what it is and its probably the standard EOT award for an 06 that shot missiles.

leesea said...

Scott no otters around WNY how about crabs?~ more fitting somehow

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

I know it's lions that are traditionally what you throw people to, but otter's mouths are smaller, so it takes longer, which is OK with me.  Crabs are even smaller, so it would take still longer yet.  Please, by all means, use crabs.

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

I dunno, using a .50 on her seems a bit drastic. I would be satisfied if she is just fed to the crabs.

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

I'll leave the door unlocked.

LT B said...

I think being a groomed female and trying to gloss over her glaring inadequacies is the criteria for the Bronze Star.  Crapping on her crew like that and not even giving them credit for her being lauded means she should have that gimme removed.  Pathetic. 

I got a NARMY Intel officer that spent well over a year in Iraq, broke up an IED ring, rescued a guy from his convoy from a burning HUMVEE and the Navy denied his Army written BS w/ V.  The fact that a ship's captain gets a BS for just shooting missiles disgusts me.  Hell, even the VBSS crews are in more danger than her or that sub captain to get it.  We have more than enough geedunk medals, I hate what we have done to the Bronze Star.

LT B said...

True and ALL the JOs talk on the waterfront and I bet as much recidivism as you have in Yoko by the troops that love the Japanese/W. Pac life (Skippy knows nothing about this :)  .) I bet all were avoiding the Cowpens while she was there.  So her actions have ramifications off the ship as well.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Roger that, LT B.  If it ain't a gimme for the Sgt acting Platoon Sergeant (because the SSgt is wounded) who leads half a dozen patrols in two days, all of which engage the enemy and all of which lead to significant kills, then this Feminazi incompetent jackass should have hers pulled. 

Grumpy Old Ham said...

Depends on the contractor...some of us have standards, too!

(Note to Phib:  for the record, the IP address from which this comment is posted does not accurately reflect my current employer... :) )

Grumpy Old Ham said...

<span>unfortunately, CAPT Graff did not receive it</span>

did not receive it, or did not want to receive it...?   Telling the Empress she's naked produces no effect if she truly believes she is swathed in the finest clothes, mirrors be damned.

Skippy-san said...

You are right about that. (Besides what's not to like about Japan? :-P ). The word was out quickly and people were avoiding Cowpens.

Skippy-san said...

She had menopause for eight years?

Grandpa Bluewater said...

If reports are accurate,  more like 20+.

Susan Katz Keating said...

From her days at USNA, from what I'm told...

Susan Katz Keating said...

*beams*

Susan Katz Keating said...

Her crew got it for her. They did the work; she got the medal.

Susan Katz Keating said...

I meant a .50 bet. I didn't want to wager a full $1 8-)

Susan Katz Keating said...

Stu! I've missed you over at my place!

Mark Matis said...

She's a Preferrred Species.  Why would ANYONE think that ANYTHING negative will be done to her?

LT B said...

As is usually the case.  Part of that whole teamwork thing is that the team works together and even will be happy and take pride in the senior getting the award IF the credit is laid upon them and shared with them.  None of us go to sea/deployment/dirka dirka stan alone.  All of us are working with people toward a common goal.  Credit awarded should be credit shared.  Especially if you are the CO.

Redeye80 said...

Isn't a NUC or MUC more appropriate for the ship than a personal award for the skipper?  WTFO?

Redeye80 said...

Is see where Capt Graf retained the services of Charles Gittens.  My original bet stands.  Retired at O-5.

But with Gittens on the hunt, no telling what will happen.  First shot was she inherited a bad ship with an incompetant wardroom.  She was hard on the khakis but good to the bluejackets.

Redeye80 said...

BTW whatever happend to retiring for the good of the service?

Jay said...

C-dore -- Sure -- get my e-mail from CDR S -- he should have it -- I don't want to rat out a former CO on a blog -- poor form.  However, I would interested to see if you had crossed paths, 32nd street isn't that big...

Byron said...

I hope to God she doesn't show up at my place. She's liable to find out what an "industrial accident" is...

C-dore 14 said...

Jay, Will do...although it sounds like your guy would deserve getting ratted out.  BTW, the pattern you describe is almost identical to that of the DDG CO I mention.  MSO Command, 3 years ashore (needed a 4th look to screen), and then the DDG.  Unfortunately during sea trials he test-fired his guns in a no fire area off Japan near a Japanese Coast Guard cutter.  It was during the investigation of that incident that his other "eccentricities" became known and the wheels came off.

C-dore 14 said...

RedEye, Guys like Gittins keep throwing stuff at the wall in hopes something will stick.  BTW, think we've all known COs who were liked by the crew but who treated their wardroom like Plebes.  However, from what I've read I don't think that was the case here.

Lobotomized said...

I think the awards system in general is crap and one of the reasons why she got a BS.  There is no standardization between the services for their actual criteria and we have institutionalized them by making "standard EOT awards" for X or Y billet/grade.

ShawnP said...

Never served with RADM Buzby but had friends who did on the Carney and had good things to say about him. She will get a fair hearing and have her say. She will get something she never gave her crews it appears.

Redeye80 said...

Oh, I think she was probably as close to the wicked witch of the west.  But sometimes those in charge refused to see those fault even when they are obvious.

As far as Gittens is concerned, she is just getting her money's worth.

Stu said...

Far cry from my grandfather who got his Bronze Star for sinking two u-boats during WWII from his PBY.

DM05 said...

For a small percentage, peri/Menopause can go on forever. Personal experience unfortunately...

The Usual Suspect said...

I thought you had to have double x chromosomes to be able to go through menopause.

Anonymous said...

Civil Service has standards?  The only GS standard I've seen is that it's nearly impossible to fire anyone.

Anonymous said...

Byron, impressive honor and integrity as always.

LT Rusty said...

You know, here's my question ... did Lynn Acheson ever get a command?  And if not, then why did Graf get one instead?

Jay said...

Ratting out someone long since retired serves no purpose. Too much of that here as it is. He did get a CAPT at-sea command, I suspect retired after that. Competence was never a question. Effect on morale certainly was. Glad to see the Navy addressing those issues, sea change since 20 years ago...and for the better.

Jay said...

Yawn...URR, sometimes just better not to comment on what you don't know, or you just end up looking...oh, never mind...

Jay said...

C-Dore - how much can an ISIC really observe? I recall the Commodore on board 2-3x over 2 years, once while underway, but you can believe the CO was all smiles during the visits. I know the first XO wouldn't have said anything, the 2nd XO was useless. I doubt any of the wardroom would have complained. I don't recall any morale surveys. Some other bad performing current COs are being looked at, so the word is getting off the ships finally, and to those who can/should check into them.

Curtis said...

Blue Jackets Manual will tell you that the Bronze Star is awarded in war time in lieu of the Meritorious Service Medal.  It's how CENTCOM staff in Florida got BSM out of ODS without ever leaving Florida.  I think it's been policy since WWII.  The V distinguishes combat awards for valor from meritorious awards.  I wouldn't climb the tree to denigrate the awards since it is the way it is and one follows the 1650 for submissions and approvals.  The navy crapped on the land side guys working with the army ashore and then demanded that all personal awards go through the navy chain of command which crapped on non-officer awards at 'approved' commands.  A lot of the navy simply went around the navy chain and let it flow from Joint Commands without regard to navy 'concerns' about medal multiplication.  Where it failed the army was usually happy to entertain awards of the airman's friend, the DMSM in lieu of Bronze Star.

Skippy-san said...

Jay-an ISIC can observe only so much directly. However, and this where the CPO mess is critical, he can have a network of observers / informants who will get him information.  Chiefs talk to their fellow chiefs and the word gets out. I would submit, the good ISIC's can use that route through their Master Chief (s).

Southern Air Pirate said...

Skippy-san,

I think it is all but gone now, but also the classic sea daddy/rabbi system as well. I heard of a few incidents where a "casual" slip of the tongue by a JO or two via a letter or even trading beers in the club or at a family picnic lead to a few squadron CO's (or even a couple of guys that just finished thier DH tour, but for the good of the service was being shown the door out nicely) being called back to an early shore tour at someplace within CNAL or COMMATWINGLANT. Which was usually a busy work office until thier retirement paperwork went through.

Byron said...

If I was born as ugly as she is, I'd be permanently pissed off as she is...

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Jay,

Seems you intentionally ignore the many dozens of comments on a number of blogs from crew members that served under your lovely Captain.

Not surprising, considering the definition you apply to the word "fact".

Byron said...

Gosh, Guest (and Jay) you know I'm just a lowly drunken, slovenly ill-mannered yardbird. I most certaintly don't have the same morals and character traits that elite liberals like yourselves have...

LT B said...

Not impossible.  There are steps to do it.  The problem is you have to have upper management back you as you push the paperwork though.  That said, I've seen senior Naval officers fall short of support for a GS firing.  It is not always the civies. 

LT B said...

I served on an FFG that went from first to worst on the water front.  The incoming CO was smart, but destroyed morale.  DESRON knew.  I had a good friend on staff that said that she watched several DESRON blow up over that CO.  Dude still made captain and had 2 investigations launched on him by an RMCS and DH LT.  The wardroom and chief's mess was firmly against the CO for all he did and tried like hell to shield the junior enlisted from the BS.  I don't know how one gets groomed, but clearly, some are.

Curtis said...

Commodore,

You mean them right?  MSO's from 87-89.  West Coast.  I remember finding the green  record book in my 3 drawers when I reported aboard ESTEEM in the Gulf which was pledged to faithfully describe the shit leadership the JORM had on that boat when I wasn't there.  Each of the JO's in the previous rotations would hand write descriptions of the idiocy and madness of both the CO and XO in their rotation "to be used in their pending courts martial."  Obviously, it never came to that.  Esteem was my 4th ship and second FDNF to the Gulf.  It was also my very first with a reamer and screamer.  I had heard of these creatures and did not understand the suppine gutlessness of people that worked for such.  After a really really bad day in the minefield me and the CO had words in his cabin following 8 O'clocks.  He screamed and reamed and I grabbed the two fingers he used to thump me on the chest bent them way back and assured him that I'd kill him if he touched me again.  What made the day very bad was his gutless cowardice and he and I both knew it.  Sucker was ordered to award me a NAVCOM for my actions that day which still didn't prevent him from getting awarded a BSM for his EOT after I rotated off.  Mine was signed by Jeremiah.  It took a while to show up.

I will say one name.  Teddy Kaye.  He had 6 of his crew report to the psych ward at Balboa one week.  The SURFPAC Force Master Pussy showed up and was run off by Teddy before he could really sit down and talk to the CPO mess and find out why so many of the crew preferred psych lockup to getting underway on Constant.

Curtis said...

s'why we used to watch 12 O'clock High during LMET.  I dare say they can't show that movie anymore.  Too cruel; too mean.  Had a film library of over 900 films and then we got Caine Mutiny, the Trial and the skipper went nuts to make sure he confiscated that one before it could be screened.

Anonymous said...

Thank God.  It's why the deckhouse stays on the hull.

Grandpa Bluewater said...

Byron, that was me. Something wrong with my bloody computer today - most likely damn literal keyboard. /Gramps

Jay said...

Oh, URR...lol   -- I am not ignoring anything.  I understand the raw emotions of the folks who served under her.  I have worked for a screamer/reamer before -- and he was likely given command (3 separate ones) because -- he got results.  He never crossed the big  line (never hit anyone), but I suspect -- that unless the ISIC really knew how bad she was (and you don't have proof of that -- unless the ISIC wants to say something -- all else is conjecture) -- that she may have been in her 2nd command because nothing really bad -- things that get COs fired in one quick hurry (fail to get underway repeatedly due to materiel lack of readiness, crappy INSURV or other inspection scores, fail to launch weapons when necessary, very public [read -- outside the ship] incidents, etc.) happened on her watch.

The list published here is...a list.  There are glaring safety issues.  But a pithy listing -- without the details -- is just more of the typical blog/bumpersticker.  The safety issues and #4 bug me the most.  However, if nothing was officially reported re: same, for a quite a while, then....it wasn't reported.  Doesn't make any of it right -- it just took a while to get noticed and fixed.  I am sure RADM Buzby & his folks have the facts. 

C-dore 14 said...

Curtis, Actually I was thinking of guys in their CDR commands during that time frame (although the name Ted Kaye rings a bell with me for some reason).  I had an East Coast command at the time and the only West Coast MSO COs I knew were two guys who went through PCO school with me.  

The DDG CO I was referring to had his MSO command (in lieu of an XO tour) in the early 80s and was ranked "Below the Pack".  He went ashore where he became invaluable and screened for CDR command on the last look (having a retired O-10 for a father probably didn't hurt either).  His short-comings manifested themselves in his DDG command and he retired as a CDR.

C-dore 14 said...

Jay, Speaking from experience on both sides of the relationship, it depends on the ISIC.  A good one makes a point of getting aboard the ships frequently especially while they're underway.  That way they're used to your presence and your being there isn't a "special occasion" that everyone's geared up for.  You don't need anyone to tell you anything directly...you just sit on the bridge and wander around and watch what's going on.  It becomes clear pretty quickly as to what (for lack of a better term) the "command climate" is.  

As Skippy correctly points out a good ISIC uses his staff to get a sense of what's going on.  The Chiefs are good and so are the DHs (who do you think the ships' DHs spend their time with?).  The trick is to "flush" the staff out of the offices or off the flagship to get the pulse of what's going on.  Also in the smaller homeports like Mayport, Yoko, and Pearl, it's pretty much common knowledge what the COs are like and which ships have poor morale. 

Anonymous said...

Commander Acheson presently commands good ship GONZALEZ.

C-dore 14 said...

Jay, Let me add that #2 on the list (fixing the deck log) is probably the most important and (if true) shows something of her character.  It's something I never saw done in 16 years of sea duty going back to the days when the QMOW wrote the "rough log" and the JOOW drafted the smooth log for the OOD's signature.

CS2(SW/AW) Theopolis said...

True, Commander Acheson took over for Commander Brian Fort last August.
Commander Fort (soon to make 06) is the type of officer whom you WANT to go to sea with. He just got his first MAJCOM and he's the type of leader that us junior enlisted underlings can trust and be proud of.

The GONZALEZ being my first ship, I have to say I'm still proud of her. I went on to my first shoar tour about a month before Commander Fort made his transfer, so I know nothing of Commander Acheson.  Mr. Rusty, please tell me she's not another CAPT Graf in the making.
If the GONZALEZ gets d**ked up by an inept captain, I'm gonna be madder than hell. I keep up with a couple of guys who are still aboard and I've heard nothing bad, but I just hope all stays well on a consistent basis. Can the Navy afford another Lady Commander Queeg in this decade?

CS2(SW/AW) Theopolis

Jay said...

Since there are no details "fixing the deck log" could mean many things.  The list doesn't provide necessary context.  (however, some of the actions -- are damning enough, that context isn't necessary, they stand alone...)

Google last CO of USS ACADIA.

drevil said...

My  two cents-I was on MSO's (late 70's to early 80's).  We called the Esteem the NO-STEAM because the damn thing was bolted to the pier.  CO of the ship had a full time PAO in the form of his JO's.  He later went on to command an FFG7 out of FL and wound up getting releived for poor maint. on board his ship-major CASREPS, never moved.  Sure looked good though.

Another MSO CO was DFC'd in Seattle.  Made the front page of the Seattle Times (the entire bottom half).  The follow on went like this:  Cap Winebarger calls CNO-WTF over.  CNO calls CINCPAC-WTF over.  A few days later, Senior O6 from CINCPACFLT shows up with O5 JAG.  A few weeks later Deputy NAVSURFPAC shows up in area. Admiral's mast, DFC. etc.  ISIC of CO retires vice going to major shore command.

Problem was no one wanted to do anything about this guy as he was FRONT-RUNNER from the MOD SQUAD.  Despite numerous compalints form officers and enlisted to the ISIC and others, including dropping a report chit on the CO, all every one did was cover up for his ass.  The COMNAVSURFPAC investigation was a coverup and a joke and you had better believe the retalation was something bad.  This started from the time this guy reported on board until he was DFC'd.  Everyone officer and enlisted was subject to his drunken rages.

Did anyone get an apology from higher ups? NO.  Were any appraisals etc. reveiwed? NO.  Were subordinated careers damaged or ruined by this guy? YES.    I don' think that ship had a SWO designator awarded for over 4 years, much less any ESWS.

The Navy then and now continues to lack the the guts and integrity do the right thing when it puts someone like this guy or Capt. Graff in charge. 

LT Rusty said...

I couldn't be happier, Guest.  Thanks.

She deserves it.

LT Rusty said...

CDR Acheson is as good an officer as you're ever likely to find, CS2.  I'd sail anywhere under her command, no questions asked.

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