Friday, December 03, 2010

... and there she goes

Via David Larter at Navy Times, Captain Graf, USN has been invited to join those who once served.
A panel of three flag officers Friday announced their recommendation that Capt. Holly Graf leave the Navy with a general discharge.

Graf showed little emotion as she listened to the findings of the board of inquiry at the Washington Navy Yard: By a vote of 2-1, the board found she had committed misconduct; by unanimous vote, it found she had committed conduct unbecoming of an officer for the maltreatment and cruelty toward her crew as commanding officer of the Yokosuka, Japan-based cruiser Cowpens.

The panel unanimously voted to recommend she be separated from the Navy with a general discharge and be allowed to retire as a captain for completing honorable service “for a period of no less than six months” at that rank.
Fair considering everything swirling around. Neither side of the argument will be totally happy, which probably means the panel did their job well.

Hat tip Alex.

54 comments:

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

HUZZAH!

Charley A. said...

General discharge, but under what conditions?

Andy said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHJoj9IqeKg

QMC(SS) said...

Probably doesn't matter, really.  Message sent.  The Navy is washing its hands of her.

OldCavLt said...

Well, I suppose keelhauling was out of the question?

Jasper said...

At least Capt. Bligh will no longer disgrace the fine traditions and legacy of the Navy but where is the accountability of the adult supervision and other persons who rubber stamped, tolerated, ignored, overlooked and empowered her blatant failed leadership to abuse at least two crews of Sailors under her charge?

LT B said...

hmm how is she not happy?  She is retiring at O6?  Doesn't suck for her.  What did she want another command?  Not on her life.

Byron said...

Good riddance to bad rubbish...

Marine6 said...

I thought that retirement was supposed to be "at the last rank in which the retiree satisfactorily served." One finds it very difficult to comprehend how ANY of her service as an O-6 could be termed satisfactory. 

But it seems that she has always been held to different standards that the rest of us.

xformed said...

For that matter, it sounds like service at any paygrade (Reading the other Navy guy's blog (of about 300+ comments, from shipmates and subordinated well represented.  She was a mean person back at USNA by a few comments, and many along the way as a DH, XO and CDR Command.

Maybe retire as a Midn 4/c?

The Usual Suspect said...

Thank God and Greyhound she's gone.

Grandpa Bluewater said...

Read out loud by the Commodore from the USS Anymouse (XXxxx) CO's endorsement to a "Command Retention and blah blah Climate Survey, 1986:

 'Survey Item 3 "There is a perception in the wardroom and CPO mess that misbehavior committed by Officers and CPO's will be relatively severely and swiftly punished, when the same behavior in junior enlisted would result in informal verbal counseling and extra duty, at most.  CO's remarks: The perception is accurate."

Accompanying verbal remark by Commodore: "Damn fine Skipper, that Charley".'

It went without saying that the Commodore's policy on misbehavior by Commanding Officers in his Squadron was the same, in spades.

Old school.

The officer in question will be cashiered. This is as it should be. For her rank, in my mind, a BCD and a bust would have been in order, but that was the Commodore's call in my mind. It is best not to complain when higher is more merciful than warranted while eliminating the on site problem. Some day one may need mercy as well, if not for this dog's breakfast on a charge sheet.

This will happen again, and the gender of the CO doesn't matter, the offense was intolerable. 

Next time, perhaps going old school might not be a bad thing. 

DM05 said...

USNA, CO, Golden Girl, then General Discharge - that will leave a mark. No worries though with 0-6 retirement pay. She'll find the next gig - the sisterhood and admiralty are there to break the fall.

Too bad the BSM wasn't torn away and given to the crew.

Redeye80 said...

<p><span>So for one of the board members, cruelty and maltreatment are not considered misconduct.<span>  </span>What is his definition? Do you have permanently disable? Maim? Kill someone due to incompetence? Conduct unbecoming of an officer is considered satisfactory service for an O-6? <span> </span>Flag Officer logic, never understood that.</span>
</p><p><span>So, she will get to carry the title of Captain into retirement.<span>  </span>Based on my rough calculation it cost her $18,000 per year in retirement pay.<span>  </span>But don’t cry for her, she will still get about $65,000 before taxes in retirement.<span>  </span>Compare that to a Master Chief retiring at 30 years with $55,000. Ain’t fair or right!</span></p>

DC said...

Graf is  still one of my betters. She will get over 60K a year and never mind the wreckage of all the possible careers she trashed. I'm an E6 who never ruined anybody. She will be saluted and welcomed into the finest clubs as a Navy Captain. I get odd looks for not making Chief.  So Captain Graf wins.

I feel more for the honorable O3's and O4's who won't get a pension.

Free the Non Rates!

xbradtc said...

Under honorable, I guess. IIRC, only a court martial can discharge under Less Than Honorable. 

I'll go look it up.

Casey Tompkins said...

From what I've read, she must have at at least one highly-senior mentor to get her this far. It is not unlikely said mentor was still in her corner, behind the scenes.

As a wise man once said "It's nice to be the King (er) Admiral."

ShawnP said...

Will she ever do the right thing by her Sailors and apoligize for her regins of terror? Probably not so she is no better than the scum that ran to Canada in the Vietnam War. Yes she served but not honorably in my honest opinion.

AW1 Tim said...

Let's see if that actually happens. There are likely to be appeals, and it seems that POTUS has been handing out pardons lately, so who knows how he might feel about all of this.
Still, it's a decision.

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

How sad that she wasn't served a Big Chicken Dinner as her retirement meal.

Anonymous said...

The Navy needs to do one more thing and that is take away her SWO pin, show the world that she is not welcome in the community!

Grumpy Old Ham said...

Interesting juxtaposition of CAPT (soon-to-be-ret) Graf's story on the Navy Times site with this week's cover story of an MACS (SW) who will be the subject of an Article 32 hearing for assaults on junior sailors.  I wonder if this board's recommendation will play into said Art 32 hearing...?

I'm with DC -- what about all the careers this officer ruined?  She will still (apparently) receive the full benefits of a retired O-6, while presumably dozens of valuable officers and CPO/PO's had their ability to contribute cut short without any recourse.  Life ain't fair, but hopefully karma will be served on CAPT (soon-to-be-ret) Graf.

C-dore 14 said...

GOH, That's my feeling about this.  The practical impact for her is a single word in a block on her DD 214 and the slim possibility that she won't receive some GI Bill education benefits that she probably wouldn't have used anyway.  Maybe she won't get the certificate signed with the POTUS' "auto-pen".

Since most of this is symbolic, I like Guest's idea of revoking her SWO pin.  I saw it done once before to another "special person" (and prolific "Proceedings" contributor) who drove his DD aground, beat the ship up for several hours working her free, and then limped back to NORVA trying to cover his "six" with tersely worded Unit SITREPs.  He transferred to the USNR as a CDR afterwards since he was 5 years short of retirement elligibility.

C-dore 14 said...

Jay, Re: your comment on the earlier Holly Graf post, I know that CO well.  We served together as DHs in an FFG for a year and a half and were classmates at SOSMRC/PCO school.  Although we weren't close he was a good guy socially and on shore duty but could be moody at times while on sea duty.  He was a career engineer and somewhat uncomfortable in ship-handling/tactical situations.

Grandpa Bluewater said...

Make that a Big Chicken Dinner to go. Hold the USN (ret).

pk said...

perhaps the mentor should look to the maintainence of his/her/its reputation after this mess.

C

Grandpa Bluewater said...

'Taint likely that mentor ever met her in their entire lives, since today.

Jay said...

C-Dore, "moody at times while on sea duty". As we close out 2010, you get Understatement of the Year! :-) At the time, I prob didn't recognize the uncomfortableness...perhaps by spreading it around...he masked it. Interesting... Come to think of it, hosting at his house, affable, totally at ease...makes sense, no stress. (The JOs were confused by what we thought was a Jekyll/Hyde act...)

Jay said...

Discussing her fate with post-command SWO CAPT at work yesterday wrt in our earlier at sea days, this would have stayed "inside the lifelines" - he noted back then, Navy didn't seem to care about lost training costs of the folks tyrants drove out, or at least convinced otherwise decent folks to find another career.

Wouldn't offsetting a pension to recoup same be an interesting idea?

C-dore 14 said...

Jay, Although I worked for a world class screamer, the worst CO I ever had never raised his voice.  He didn't trust his wardroom and didn't like to make decisions.  When a Div Off went up with an issue he was sent back to get the DH and eventually they both went back to get the Chief who would tell him the same thing that the Div Off had told him in the first place.  Nobody ever qualified.  I qualified as a SWO under his predecessor and was the last guy to do so for over a year and a half.  The CDOs ultimately were port and starboard before he qualified a third one (everyone else was in 6 sections).  He sat on FITREPs so long (didn't like the one-on-one discussions) that ultimately BUPERS sent out an O-6 to tell him to submit them ASAP.  He selected for O-6 and ultimately screened for major command, the only "justice" being that it was an Amphib and not the CG he so desperately wanted.

Guess there are different types of tyranny.

Redeye80 said...

Aviators do it all the time. Pull her SWO pin.

Skippy-san said...

Without a court martial a BCD is impossible to obtain. She went to mast-which is an administrative process and there fore unable to award a BCD. The board cannot change that-short of bringing charges and an Art 32. I douobt the ability was there to win that at trial.

Skippy-san said...

Do the math again-it is closer to 72K before taxes at current rates.

Grandpa Bluewater said...

Skippy:  You are correct. Big Chicken Dinner with a side of No Pension, not on the menu.  Too bad.  At least at knock off, the trash was off.  The damage and the stain, well, it's costly.

Steeljaw said...

Well, yes and no. 
As part of the FNAEB/FNFOEB process, the option is there, but rarely used.  During a 2-year stint as the AIRLANT FNAEB/FNFOEB coordinator (the joys of collateral duties and being the junior O-4 in an office filled with post-command O-5's *DONT_KNOW* ) I handled close to 200 boards and of that group, only two ended up with a recommendaiton of "B2 - terminate flight status and revoke the right to wear wings" - and that was for some pretty egregious conduct not only in the air, but in the proceedings afterwards (never, <span>ever</span>, lie to the board).  Even Dorsey, who shot down an RF-4 "by mistake" didn't get his wings pulled. 
w/r, SJS

Redeye80 said...

Neither did the gent in the EA-6B who caught the tram cable.

It happens and is rare but what a better case to set the example.  She should be marched to the gate, stripped of all decorations, have her sword broken in half, then escorted off the property.

Redeye80 said...

You are correct but the board has the ability to retire someone at the last grade of honorable service.  In this case, could have been Midn 4/C.

Redeye80 said...

She should be under high3. 2 years O-5 at 24, 1 O-6 at 26.  Rough guess.

C-dore 14 said...

This "shoe" saw two aviators get their wings pulled.  This first was a classmate who lost his as an LT after a series of incidents in the early '70s.  The second was one of my LAMPS Det pilots who was removed by his squadron CO during our pre-deployment work ups.  Last straw for him was arguing with the aircraft commander while on short final.

Skippy-san said...

True, but as a USNA grad she will get credit for her midshipman time- same as I got credit for my summer cruises. That will boost her time in service .

cdrsalamander said...

Ditto what SJS said.  There is a lot of give when an officer is clear, direct, honest, and steps up to take it like a man/woman.

If you lie, cheat, steal, or intentionally put other in danger to protect yourself though either physically or professionally - then woe be unto you.

As it should be.

That being said - I have seen external influence in boards due to political and "other" issues.  In this case though, I think the system worked within a standard deviation of "well."

The basics are in play.  Be honest, don't make excuses, don't blame others.  At best - CAPT Graf went 1 for 3.  

pk said...

not anymore as barnnicles in proper position are in short supply.

C

Grumpy Old Ham said...

<span>Guess there are different types of tyranny.</span>

Indeed.  I think I would rather work for a screamer, where at least you have some idea of where you stand, than for an indecisive leader or a backstabbing SOB who's all smiles and sunshine until it's time to write the paper...

Redeye80 said...

Academy time does not count for retirement purposes. That went away back in the 70s, I think. If you were prior enlisted, it only counted as longevity for pay purposes.

Redeye80 said...

Academy time does not count for retirement purposes. That went away back in the 70s, I think. If you were prior enlisted, it only counted as longevity for pay purposes.

Skippy-san said...

Well, when I retired I got credit for all three of my summer cruises-which gave me almost an additional 4.5 months of service. Only thing I can think would be different is that I was enlisted in the Naval Reserve as a part of the NROTC program.

C-dore 14 said...

Skippy, Being a Midn, USNR instead of Midn, USN is the difference.  If I remember correctly the service clock for my former enlisted classmates stopped the day they took the oath at USNA.  

Since I retired at 30 years I didn't pay any attention to any of this but later a high school classmate who'd been commissioned through NROTC and stayed in the reserves made the same comment as you about cruises counting for service time.

Salty Gator said...

The only justice being that it was an amphib?  Really, Sir?  I'm surprised to hear you say that and to even think that the amphib community would accept someone like that.  He seems perfectly groomed for modern day cruiser command.  He would have successfully put Port Royal on the rocks quicker than her last skipper.

Salty Gator said...

not true.  I have met two people who somehow found some loophole to argue academy time to count towards their retirement.  sickened me to hear about it, but still true.

Bubba Bob said...

Pardons are part of our system of government.  Article 2, section 2 of the constitution, the part that makes the President the Commander in Chief of the Navy, gives the President the pardon power.

It is the obligation of the President to issue Pardons.  Does everything have to be partisan?    

C-dore 14 said...

Salty, My apologies to you and the amphib community but, unfortunately he commanded an LPD for two years in the early '80s.  Back in the '70s and early '80s being sent to an amphib for something other than a split DH tour (or an aviator "deep draft" command) was not considered a good thing for a SWO.  Things started changing around that time as SWOs started specializing within the community.

My comments weren't intended to slander the community but rather to indicate that he was upset with the orders (although not so much as to turn them down).

sid said...

Used to be too that many amphibs were skippered by aviators on their deep draft tour...

C-dore 14 said...

sid, My point exactly.  Things were very different back then.  Not sure folks today know that at one time few SWOs went into the Amphibious community voluntarily.  A few of my Destroyer School classmates started on amphibs and were happy to have worked their way out of the community (most had been through a 3 month DD familiarization assignment before they started DESCOL).  Most DH billets were filled by warrants and LDOs and it wasn't until the late '70s that they started sending DH School grads to amphibs after their CRUDES DH tour (I was originally slated as CHENG on an LST after my FFG tour).  By the mid-80s the community development plan that we know today came into being and folks would specialize in a specific category of ship from day one. 

Redeye80 said...

Report them!  No statute of limitations, they are still committing fraud!