Thursday, December 09, 2010

Are the CO & XO on the same sheet?

Ummm .... errrr ..... it sure sounds like it.
The commander of a mine countermeasures ship crew was fired Wednesday for fraternizing with a female officer — his executive officer.

Lt. Cmdr. James Rushton, who commanded MCM Crew Constant aboard the ship Chief, was relieved of command “due to misconduct” following an investigation by his boss, Capt. Robert Hospodar, commodore of Mine Countermeasures Squadron 2 in San Diego, Naval Surface Forces spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Jason Salata said Thursday.

Rushton appeared at mast to face charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice of violating a lawful general order and conduct unbecoming an officer. Hospodar found that Rushton “violated the Navy’s fraternization policy by engaging in an unduly familiar relationship with a subordinate female member of his crew,” Salata said.

Hospodar on Wednesday also fired that crew member, Lt. Cmdr. Anne Laird, who has been serving as the XO, for “misconduct.”
When I think about some of my CO/XO combos ... well ... shivereekungh.

Dude.
UPDATE: It looks like as the 2nd and 3rd reports come in this will turn out to be very much along the lines of "sad" than worthy of Jerry Springer. An additional layer of sad is how this broke. The press releases put out there a waddling, quacking, billed bird - no shock that everyone said, "Hey - a duck!"

Pretty good chance that this won't be a duck - but more of a Gallinule than anything else. Either way - a loss for people, families, and our Navy. At least no one was killed.

122 comments:

Byron said...

And another set of command pins self detonate... you know, a lot of officers would do just about anything to get that prized command pin and it's amazing how many of them lose that precious device just because they can't keep their zipper shut. In love with her/him? CAN'T IT WAIT 18 MONTHS YOU FREAKIN' IDIOT?

Anonymous said...

<span>"When I think about some of my CO/XO combos ... well ... shivereekungh."  Well thank YOU very much for the several involuntary mental images the will require a case brain bleach to get rid of.
</span>

LT B said...

I wonder how she looked.  I mean to sh!t on your career like that and dip your wic w/ your XO.  Something also to look forward to after the repeal of DADT.  We have a bit of a break from THAT thank goodness.

sid said...

Glad to see the whole mees with women at sea issues have been resolved (after 35 years)...just in time for the end of DADT.

Where does warfighting fit into the priorities mix?

sid said...

First think I thought too.

and...

Testosterone- The World's Most Dangerous Drug!

Redeye80 said...

What were they thinking? I guess they didn't!

OldCavLt said...

So.... it wasn't the mines that sunk him... it was his torpedo?

LT B said...

Yeah, we will keep lying.  Go home people, nothing to see here.

squid said...

Anyone have pics of the XO?

I always want to know if the chick is hot before I pass judgement on the guy.

xformed said...

I'm sure there's a pun in here somewhere...beyond "the same sheet," which is a great headliner.

I'm wondering, as the XO, I make sure everything was working, but it sounds like she took that a little too literally.

Brings a whole new wonderment of the XO reporting into the CO after taking 8 o' clocks, huh?  Who's "all secure" now?

xformed said...

Probably "CBDR" then CBIR, rinse repeat...

FbL said...

Ditto.  I ask myself the same question everytime I read a story like this.  Every time.  *shaking head*

Boat School Grad said...

Please tell me she's not a USNA grad....Please?

Were either of these idiots married to someone else?

Simply being "relieved" does not send a strong enough message.

WWJPJD?

sid said...

This is sad to watch...

What a change a year makes.

sid said...

Here is her NPS thesis

sid said...

No pic, but she gets a mention in here for CO/XO fleet up....

xformed said...

Yes, particularly when you got to the family "dynasty" photo near the end.

Gonna be some 'splainin' to do.

The Usual Suspect said...

She is a USNA 2000 grad.

The Usual Suspect said...

Did you see the ship's motto..."Wood is Life"...

The Usual Suspect said...

He submitted his NPS thesis in June 2006 and she submitted hers Dec 2006

The Usual Suspect said...

You think she was one of those 4-10's?

sid said...

Can't say he exhibited a useful translation of "dissausion" at the tactical level...


To those who may be newcomers to "the porch" who think we are being too salacious now.

Just wait.

CDR Salamander said...

Indications are that he is a shipmate and they have a kid.  Sad all the way around ... but ....

This is a lesson.

The Usual Suspect said...

One active "ping"

DM05 said...

Clicking "wait" was not what I expected. Arghhhhhhhhhhh!

Vigilis said...

The ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS accompanying her thesis (see paragraph 2 on page 15/67) is going to disappoint you.

Vigilis said...

<span>The ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS accompanying her thesis (see paragraph 2 on page 15/67) is going to disappoint you.</span>

Stu said...

Where does warfighting fit in?  

We don't do that anymore.

Anonymous said...

CMC - Tell the XO I want to see her in my stateroom...All of her!

Anonymous said...

For the co/xo it was sad reading their acknowlegements para in each thesis to see that they were married to other people and both had minor children.  How to screw it all up.

xformed said...

Stu;

You may have answered your own question...if you meditate on it a bit...

ewok40k said...

WW2, British patrol deep inside Italian lines catches a camp full of women and half-clad Italian soldiers, who promptly surrender. Brit commander fumes, "What is this mess, military or brothel"? One Italian jumps up: "Si, si, boredello militare!"

G-man said...

Too bad.  From my ocean engineering background her thesis was pretty good.  As my good friend and preacher says "you gotta realize you are one dumb decision away from losing it all".  Both of these lost. And I'm betting neither thinks a little easing on the sheets was worth it.

Grandpa Bluewater said...

The Army used to teach,  possibly off the printed curriculum, that the species evolved as a hunting and gathering band. One of the side effects is that the highly competent hunting leader (typically male) has a different imprinting role/effect on the the male and female young adults, which is gender specific.

The young men instinctively try to emulate. The young women instinctively try to mate. Either can be encouraged or discouraged. The easiest way to discourage the young female is to lose the status of hunting leader. So the allure vanishes at change of command. He would have gotten uglier as a staffie. Fast.

Or so the theory goes. Me? I dunno. My guess is hormonally driven simian behaviors will be present in a mix of hormonally charged vigorous and vital malesand females in an isolated group. Or, plan to deal with a lot of monkey business on a small ship with a mixed crew.

Coming to a submarine near you. Explosive bolt intiation  on the command pin and all. 

Grumpy Old Ham said...

Something struck me as odd while reading LCDR Rushton's thesis title page...he received a baccalaurate degree in 2004, yet was already a LT in 2006 and a LCDR in 2010?  He's either one hell of a fast burner, or was commissioned years prior to receiving the BS degree which I assume (?!?) indicates he was/is an LDO.  I'll admit I don't completely understand the LDO process as Uncle Sam's Animal Farm doesn't really have an equivalent program.

Grumpy Old Ham said...

There's something to be said for going with the flow of human nature, rather than fighting it at every turn and pretending the problems aren't there... ;)

Grumpy Old Ham said...

<span>There's something to be said for going with the flow of human nature, rather than fighting it at every turn and pretending the resulting problems aren't there... ;) </span>

cdrsalamander said...

"<span>The easiest way to discourage the young female is to lose the status of hunting leader. So the allure vanishes at change of command. He would have gotten uglier as a staffie. Fast.  </span>"

That theory has been tested via observation and validated over and over by this fella over two decades.  So easy to see - as long as you are not involved.  Those involved though - they have no idea how obvious it is.

Forget looks or personality - when you boil it down, power has sexy written all over it.  We are, afterall, just upper-paleolithic hunter gathers who learned to take better care of themselves.

Good, secure leaders know this.  Others, well, we are all weak.  We are all fallen - some just forget that and make a wrong decision.  Good people can fall victim to their human weakness.  Methinks this is the case here.

Stu said...

Sin makes you stupid.

Stu said...

It is a lesson, but for whom?  Certainly individuals.  How about for the Navy?

LT B said...

Stu,
   And the Navy said, "Huh?  What?  What do you mean there is a lesson here?  Right, um, COs and XOs should not sleep together.  No spooning allowed, right?"  =-O  

The Navy is clueless because they have chosen to ignore their lying eyes.  Chosen to lie about the crap that is going on at sea, and will continue to lie when we open up the repeal of DADT and further go down the me me me meme.

LBG said...

Money and power have been attracting women for centuries.  Why does the WNY not understand this?  Just look at Trump.  Would he pull the women he does w/o having oodles of money and/or power?  Please.  If my "leaders" don't understand this, then they truly are idiots.  The fact that they can not tell the politicians the truth means that they may also be cowards too. Surprise surprise 

Navy Suppo said...

I'm sure there are some interesting stories of how this info became public knowledge...that is if they were naive enough to believe that they could keep something like this secret.  Another sure-fire case of "the stupid shall be punished" or the Navy's version of the Darwin Awards for immediate career extinguishment.  Sadly the USN was willing to trust command of a warship to these two clowns.  UFB!

Anonymous said...

Nice to see the Diversity bullies have time and money to do a discriminatory sexist publication "Network" just for women.  There never was, and never will be anything like that for men.  Gays? Probably within a year.

Stu said...

<span>Yup, pretty much.  </span>
<span> </span>
<span>I actually have broken service.  And when I put in my resignation letter while working at the Pentagon, I had to make an office call with ADM Natter to discuss.  Standard stuff.<span>  </span>Well we of course talked about the sentiments put forth in my letter, which discussed increasing time away from home given my growing family, my perception that the Navy wasn’t serious about procurement given the dwindling numbers of ships in the inventory and my dissatisfaction with the increasing political correctness to include women on ships and the fact that the decision was made without any discussion.<span>  </span></span>
<span> </span>
<span> </span>
<p><span><span>On the latter issue, he asked to me explain my thoughts.<span>  </span>I pointed out to him that his having gone to the Naval Academy put him into a guys only environment.<span>  </span>On the other hand, I went to the University of Maryland (GWU NROTC) and experience life in a coed environment to include dormitories where men and women fornicated to no end.<span>  </span>I further pointed out that I even engaged in such activities, which I now regret, and that even with my religious convictions as a conviction I still found a way to justify my sin in order to “score.” (As I said above, sin makes you stupid.)<span>  </span>So, given I didn’t even listen to God when I should have, I don’t think it reasonable to believe that our Sailors (to include officers) are going to follow such rules from their immediate superior, their commander, the CNO or even the President of the United States.<span>  </span>It’s going to happen and it is bad for warfighting readiness.<span>  </span>I just assume eliminate the option.<span>  </span></span></span>
</p>

Lobotomized said...

<span><darkhelmet>Druish princesses are often attracted to money, and power, and I have BOTH, and YOU KNOW IT!<darkhelmet></darkhelmet></darkhelmet></span>

I learned all I needed to be a CO in middle school by watching SPACEBALLS!

All funniness aside, this is a hard one to watch.  She was a hard charger as a mid and fast tracking as a SWO.  IMHO she didn't play any of the sexual politics games that I have seen other females play. She is my classmate and married to a classmate and has/had a wonderful family.  I'm guessing the pressures of being a dual mil family, getting ready for command etc was probably probably putting some serious strain on a her personal relationships and she made some unfortunate connection with the only person she felt she could actually talk to in her command.  Now being that XO/CO is a pretty "lonely" position anyway and that they are male/female - human nature overcame professionalism and the result is that two careers and families are destroyed.

The Navy takes great measure in attempting to police natural behavior with preventative policy.  Such as requiring extra motorcycle training, not allowing E-3 and below overnight liberty in foreign ports etc.  However - though we once had policy in place to protect from this situation - we integrated ships anyway and the Navy hasn't been the same since.  LT B is correct - the Navy failed this experiment but the truth shall never be admitted despite the obvious evidence.  

Stu said...

<span><span>Yup, pretty much.  </span> 
<span> </span>  
<span>I actually have broken service.  And when I put in my resignation letter while working at the Pentagon, I had to make an office call with ADM Natter to discuss.  Standard stuff.<span>  </span>Well we of course talked about the sentiments put forth in my letter, which discussed increasing time away from home given my growing family, my perception that the Navy wasn’t serious about procurement given the dwindling numbers of ships in the inventory and my dissatisfaction with the increasing political correctness to include women on ships and the fact that the decision was made without any discussion.<span>  </span></span> 
<span> </span>  
<span> </span>  


<span><span>On the latter issue, he asked to me explain my thoughts.<span>  </span>I pointed out to him that his having gone to the Naval Academy put him into a guys only environment.<span>  </span>On the other hand, I went to the University of Maryland (GWU NROTC) and experience life in a coed environment to include dormitories where men and women fornicated to no end.<span>  </span>I further pointed out that I even engaged in such activities, which I now regret, and that even with my religious convictions as a conviction I still found a way to justify my sin in order to “score.” (As I said above, sin makes you stupid.)<span>  </span>So, given I didn’t even listen to God when I should have, I don’t think it reasonable to believe that our Sailors (to include officers) are going to follow such rules from their immediate superior, their commander, the CNO or even the President of the United States.<span>  </span>It’s going to happen and it is bad for warfighting readiness.<span>  </span>I just assume eliminate the option.<span>  </span></span></span> 
One of the few times I saw him speechless. 
</span>

BostonMaggie said...

Gee, any chance we could wait for some more facts before assuming outright adultery?  You know frat covers other stuff.  I am not defending frat or quarelling with the decision to fire these two.  *Something* certainly happened.  But whatever that something was, it's bad enough without making it more than it was. 

You don't know what it was and many are rushing to make it as sordid as possible. 

A mistake was made and the proof of how bad will be in whether or not it was career ending.  It may not be.

BostonMaggie said...

Do you know LCDR Rushton?  Who are you to label him a clown?  Never made a mistake of your own have you?

BostonMaggie said...

Sin is God's call boyo and you don't know that it even occurred.

Frat is the Navy's call and that's all you do know.

BostonMaggie said...

And this anecdote is relevant because??????

Stu said...

I'm fairly confident adultery did occur, missy.  And if it didn't, I'll be happy to state publicly that I was wrong.  But let's just say we've seen this played out countless times. 

Stu said...

He was relieved of command and she lost her chance.  At worst, they will be cashiered out.  At best, it's a "soft kill."

Lobotomized said...

Maggie - you are correct that Frat does cover more than just sex.  It means UNDULY FAMILIAR relationship.  In other words - they were friendlier to each other than they should have been to the point where it could possibly undermine the appearance of fairness/favoritism etc.  Can two males have a non-sexual unduly familiar relationship - absolutely but difficult to prove unless they are sharing family christmas' or starting a business together.  At some point - the relationship between these two officers became sexually charged - even if for an instant.  At that moment the rumors would start, and the appearance of an impartial chain of command is gone.

Whether they shared a bottle of wine at a candle light dinner, got drunk with the crew and hugged or were caught nekid in the CO's stateroom would have all been the same.  History tells us that typically CO's get relieved for having sex which is why everyone goes down that road - if it did not happen thats great the only thing that will happen will be their jobs lost and not their marriages.  I for one will be glad of that and am happy because I know her and her husband.

The facts will never be revealed as officers are entitled to the privilege of their rank so unless their commanding officer spills the beans, nobody will know except them.  I'm willing to guess that their careers are over because with the 10-15% selection rates for CDR command, any blemish of any kind are killers.  I'm also expecting selection rates for CDR are going to plummet starting this year with the shuffling of year groups etc.

Bottom line is that it shows the failure of the Navy to successfully integrate women onto ships. 

Chet said...

Brother, I hope you have decided to teach. Your words are spot on. If more people admitted that humans are humans, we'd be better off. Sadly, we not only deny our Creator, but we deny our plumbing as well.

It's not hard to understand. If I take a box of 1 3/4 NPT male and female pipe fittings, put em in a metal box and agitate it for 6 months, I am going to have some unplanned hookups (pun fully intended). Currently, the entire DOD recognizes those hook ups as detrimental to good order. But, we continue to dump the fittings in the same box and expect them to behave differently. Why? What benefit do we receive?

As I posted in the past, even the most ardent diversity clowns won't tell you that an all female or all gay military would be better than an all straight male one. According to their logic, such a militaries could only be equal at best (leaving aside arguments to the contrary). If that is the case, what strategic benefit do we receive for an all inclusive military? None. But, what is the cost for an all inclusive military? The hard costs are measured in dual heads and berthing etc. Easily quantified and universally explained away.  But the soft costs of lost commands (like this one), lost officers, lost families, lost junior enlisted (disillusioned with the leadership that punished them for the same behavior) are impossible to calculate.  

But, the day will come (as it always does) when countries are reckoned for their poor military strategies. And then, we will be reminded again that there is no "right and wrong" in military strategy. There is only victory and defeat. God help us and the men and women who will willingly pay the price when that day comes.

BostonMaggie said...

Well of course, since it's happened before, it happened this time.

I'm fairly certain that you haven't a leg to stand on as far as being fairly certain unless you were there.

BostonMaggie said...

Well of course, since it's happened before, it happened this time.

I'm fairly certain that you haven't a leg to stand on as far as being fairly certain unless you were there.

BostonMaggie said...

@Lobotomized -

"Bottom line is that it shows the failure of the Navy to successfully integrate women onto ships."

If frat can occur between two males, what does that show the failure of?

Salty Gator said...

Maggie:  ability to successfully implement the ban on homosexuality / legislate intelligence.

Salty Gator said...

I have it on authority that "relations" were involved.

Brings new meaning to the phrase "BOHICA." (Bend Over Here It Comes Again)

"CHENG, CO told me last night that we're going to get extended."
"BOHICA moment, huh ma'am?"
"CHENG...HOW DID YOU KNOW?!"

Navy Suppo said...

Not anywhere near the nature of this, especially when I served at sea, and was personally responsible for the lives and well being of the crew of a Navy warship.  If one is so inclined to participate in this behavior, just do us (Navy community) all a favor and never accept command. 

Chet said...

<p><span>What happend between the two is utterly irrelevant Maggie. Outright adultery couldn't make it any worse or sordid than it already is, namely: the ship lost their captain and XO and the squadron lost their chief staff officer all on the same day. The Navy also lost two officers they deemed fit for command who will never command again. No telling how many junior officers or enlisted this affected, especially folks who were thinking about shipping over. Morale and efficiency? Gone. Combat effective ship? Not now.</span>
</p><p><span></span>
</p><p><span>As for what happened to precipitate this, it doesn't matter. What does matter is that the squadron CO decided that beheading the command of one of his ships was the correct action to take because of it. That is the "proof of how bad" it actually is.</span></p>

anon said...

The facts as they stand - CO/XO fired.  No need for speculation.  Just admiration for the Navy's ability to clean house swiftly, when needed.  And it was much needed in this case.  CO apologized to all of us on Sailor Bob.

anon said...

Sin is God's call.  But He's let us all know what it is.  Let's call it a sin!!  It is.

prschoef said...

God, how bringing religion into an obvious UCMJ or NavRegs case like this muddies clear waters!

Stu said...

It muddies it just as much when the issue is murder. 

Stu said...

<span>BostonMaggie said...</span>
<span>Well of course, since it's happened before, it happened this time.  
--------------------</span>
<span>Indeed, technically you are correct.</span>
<span>I'm sure they simply were very close friends that just did everything together and such a tight friendship was either envied or misunderstood by the crew.  Makes sense given the mulititude of girl/guy strictly platonic relationships out there, especially while on deployment far away from home.</span>
<span></span>
<span>Or alternatively, they drank too much while on liberty and did something stupid.  </span>
<span></span>
<span>Ummmm.....I vote for the latter.  Lex parsimoniae.</span>
<span></span>
<span>As an aside, I saw Rushton's apology on SailorBob and commend it.  He doesn't seem to be dodging responsibility.</span>

sid said...

I seem to remember he has commented on this or another navblog using his own name...

Would think he's a standup guy who got caught up in the wrong web...much of which was his own making.

35 years on, and this stuff is still happening.

Sure am glad this crew has been able to help.

ewok40k said...

It is the same kind of mess for everyone involved... embarassing and mission-killing.
One thing has crossed my mind, why there has not been at least DARPA inquiry into creating long-working sexual drive depressants - maybe implants - for the military? It isn't like the problems were created yesterday, and it would certainly increase efficiency of the crews. Plus it would reduce the rate of sex-related crimes in the military overall.

ShawnP said...

Maggie most of us are Dirty Old Squids..............so you know how our tickers tick.

James said...

There are depressants that you can use. They give em to rapist in some cases.

Problem. Men who have been given these are basically depressed and unmotivated.

You cannot change human nature.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

"<span>Men who have been given these are basically depressed and unmotivated."</span>

Yeah, but I heard the VA is hiring....

SCPO said...

So...Are you saying that a degree defines a leader?  

James said...

Maggie,

Men might be dumb as a brick to some things but remember. As far as nature is conserned were walking sperm despensers. When we get to know people day in and day out if you start to act like you got some...and it can be as easy to notice as hip move a little more to glances to well lots of stuff....well know.

On a ship between two unmarried lower class sailors its one thing and in a navy at peace might not be really dammaging. In war......it can kill crews and missions..and countries.

One of the reasons many disagree with allowing gays to serve openly including me is for the same reason. Gain the disiplene to keep it zipped up, shut up and forgotten about for awhile.

Part of the damn problem of our society in my opinion. Not enough self restraint an to much forgiveness and coddling.

LT B said...

We all make mistakes and despite my feelings about the Navy's inability to be honest about humans and the natural inclination to procreate I truly hope they can move on and find their place and pick up the pieces. I wish the Navy would learn from this but I am cynical and doubt that intelligence and common sense will win over politics and careerism.

ewok40k said...

there should be at least a try to overcome such "side effects"... imho worth some effort, from the pregnancy leaves avoided to the lessened footprint of foreign basing, to any potential Mata Hari scenarios

xformed said...

The first DD to deploy with a co-ed crew had 6 couples form in the Wardroom.  All married, but to others back stateside.  COs attitude was "Not on my ship (but what happens beyond the gunwales...well, not my call)!"

Brow goes down, race to the nearest hotels....

Also:  One Ensign received her SWO Pin just a few months after coming aboard, and just at Change of Command time...CNO requires 12 months sea duty...and I knew a peer who had all his PQS done in 6 months...and cooled his heels for 6 more before getting a pin.

Even further back, had two female 3/c mids one summer, while I was but a naive CHENG, having just come out of ROH and was in GTMO, also as SWO and standing TAO and ECCTT observer (kinda focused on work, I was).  One day, enroute NORVA, guy were joking about the Deck Dept bragging about bagging those 2....but my guys said jokes on Deck...we beat them to it.  Mid 80s.

Hormones....keeps humans around, keeps messing us up while we're here.

xformed said...

Protected sources have it on good authority no hook up(s) involved.  Bad judgement, yes.  I'm sure the back and front channels will have it come out, with time, as such things do.

But BEAT ARMY!  (and that's not bad judgement!)

QMC(SW)(ret) said...

Anyone know how these MCM crews work? What is "Crew Constant"?

BostonMaggie said...

@Stu, If you saw the apology, then you should have seen the denial of adultery.  So unless you want to call him a liar, this is the part where you publically declare you were wrong. 

@anon No sin occurred.  An infraction of UCMJ occurred and it's being dealt.

Guess I should work on being more clear when I am writing with sarcasm.  I was being sarcastic when I mentioned "Sin is God's call."  My point being "sin" has nothing to do with this.  A - Because I believe LCDR Rushton's statement. B - because this is a Navy matter, period.  Religion should not enter into it.

I was also being sarcastic when I said "<span>Well of course, since it's happened before, it happened this time."  Rushton and Laird don't deserve to be prejudged.  I don't care if a hundred other frat accusations are about actual adultery, until I know differently I won't assume that's what happened when the frat charge comes up.  And in this particular case, the gentleman has denied it.  </span>

BostonMaggie said...

"If one is so inclined to participate in this behavior"

Do you imagine that they planned for this to happen?

I am not saying this isn't bad.  No where have I defended their actions.  I am simply saying there is no need to *assume* adultery until it's confessed to or proven.  It's bad enough/

BostonMaggie said...

@Chet, I agree it's bad no matter to what extent it occurred, I am objecting to the outright assumption that it was adultery and the beating they are taking over something they condemn them for facts in evidence.  People unfairly prejudging them has made it relevant to me.

@anon, if you saw what was on SailorBob, then you know why I am objecting to the charge of adultery in this thread.

@Sid, he is a standup guy.

@Shawn, there are those in this very thread that will vouch for how utterly bawdy I am in the proper venue....I have made URR blush and will do it again.  I know and love men in general and Sailors in particular.  This is not me objecting to "Dirty Old Squids".  I would not change that if I could.  This is about my objection to the rush to judgement.  The unfair snarky remarks at other's expense.  If it were proved/confessed to adultery...I would not have a word to say.  But it's not.  It's frat and that's wrong enough all by itself and you can criticize THAT until the cows come home and be perfectly right in doing so.

BostonMaggie said...

Again, just because it has occurred in the past, does not mean it occurs in every case. 

In this case it has been denied.  It has been denied by a stand-up guy who is manning up under the charge.  No whining.  No excuses.

I will take him at his word.

BostonMaggie said...

"I have it on authority that "relations" were involved."

Well don't take any stock tips from that authority.  Because they couldn't know any more than the rests of us unless they were there.  And the CO is denying that.

Stu said...

I saw no denial of adultery in his apology.  And you can get all worked up over the assumption of such but given they are of equal rank and given it is common for CO and XO to be seen together and socialize and given they are man and woman the assumption is absolutely understandable and should be expected.  

Stu said...

Maggie,
Did you ever consider that he might be denying it to save his marriage?

BostonMaggie said...

Nope.  I don't accuse people of lying until they give me reason to. 

Anonymous said...

Whats wrong with the old man banging his ho?  Give him a medal and promote him at the earliest opportunity....Discharge her for conduct unbecoming.....she can work the streets and make big bucks as the whore she is.....

Stu said...

No one has accused anyone of lying.  Fact remains that most of such incidents involve sex.  Only natural to conclude this is another.  Again, such might not be the case here.  But for you to get all sanctimonious that people have made such a conclusion is off.

Salty Gator said...

Chill out, Francis

cdrsalamander said...

For the sake of their marriages, I hope that is very true. Having your career blow up on you is one thing - having your marriage in the frag pattern is another.  Careers come and go - a good marriage is a rare thing and more valuable than anything that gathers a paycheck.

Anonymous said...

Thats why they put women on ships.  Every Department needs a duty Ho........

C-dore 14 said...

When I originally read this post I was going to put in a snarky comment of some type but then reconsidered.  As other comments below indicate there may be more to this story than meets the eye.

Once again, the Navy has done itself no favors by characterizing LCDR Rushton's relief as due to "...an unduly familiar relationship..." a phrase often used to euphemistically describe a relationship that is sexual in nature.  If that is not the case, let me ask what constitutes "undue familiarity" between CO and XO?  I know if I was in either position today I'd be curious about what the standards are.

In practice a CO and XO should have a closer relationship than anyone else aboard.  Good COs use their XO as a final sounding board before enacting policy or taking action.  Likewise, the XO shouldn't be reluctant to approach his/her CO on any topic.  Do they "hit the beach" together?  Well, they did in my day and nobody thought anything of it.  However, the superior/subordinate relationship remains in place regardless.  Professionals recognize that (think of what will happen when your Plebe Year roommate makes Flag and you don't).  If it was "Jim" and "Anne" back on the ship then we have an issue.  But without more info the relief seems somewhat arbitrary and we fall back on rumor and innuendo.  And all of this, of course, begs the larger question of how COs and XOs of different genders will deal with their relationship...something that I doubt that the Navy has provided much guidance on. 

Hopefully, this incident will become a case study at PCO/PXO school where they are (hopefully) less concerned about the niceties of the Privacy Act.  If not, the Big Navy has once again let down its leadership.

C-dore 14 said...

xformed, Somewhat off topic but I used to tell my JOs that they could have all the PQS books in the world signed off but unless I felt comfortable with their judgement enough to let them stand the mid-watch while I was asleep in my cabin they'd never qualify.  Fortunately I only had to take that step with one of my JOs.

Actus Rhesus said...

Yep. All the problems with those damned women at sea. No problems at all with the co's abuse of position. Just blame eve.

BostonMaggie said...

LOL!  "Sanctimonious"???  You can't be serious.  Talk to the hand, Stu.  You can't be reasoned with and you couldn't be more wrong about what you "know".

Actus Rhesus said...

Classy.

cdrsalamander said...

AR, I think I'll leave his comment there just to demonstrate the fact that, yes, people like that do exist.

SubGuy said...

Well asked C-dore!  When I was XO, I think the CO and I were about as good of friends as he was capable of having.  When I was CO, my XO and I were very good friends.  We hung out together in foreign ports...our wives were buddies...we listened to the same music and Rush.  I have a hard time thinking about how this could be "unduly familiar" without proceeding to a step sexual in nature?

Southern Air Pirate said...

Sort of like the Blue/Gold crews of the SSBN's. So there is a crew that is home doing training, doing work around the squadron spaces, and in general doing work that is required ashore. While the other crew is taking MCM out and running it around on the water. They then come back and swap. The Mine warfare bubbas were a test plan by CNO Clark to empower his Sea Power 21 plan with better time at home for sailors by using the same sort of thing for the rest of the small boys. It didn't work well and the war killed the plan.

Skippy-san said...

If sex is not involved-it is hard for me to see how two LCDR's are "unduly familiar".

Actus Rhesus said...

I'm going to agree with Boston Maggie on this one. All too often I have seen members of our esteemed wardrooms go from zero to kindergarten (i.e. Oh my god he talked to a girl! Now they're getting married!) I myself faced similar allegations once based solely on the fact that a member of my team and I ate dinner at the DFAC together more than once in the same week. (ignoring the fact we were working the same project and would break for dinner together, then return to work) Luckily I had senior leadership sensible enough to tell the gossiping yentas to knock it off and recognize the situation for what it was: two coworkers who got along well and needed a dinner buddy. I want more facts before I judge. And I really want to move past this sophomoric notion that anytime a man and woman interact it's some sort of foreplay.

Actus Rhesus said...

Lobo- let me give you some examples: department head is constantly going to dinner/lunch/ various social functions with two of his officers, but does not invite others. Whenever an invited officer and a non invited disagree, he sides with the invited one. The invited ones also always fare better on fitreps despite objective markers of performance. This is frat. Another example: a different department head becomes friends with a wardroom spouse. They pt together, are constantly inviting each other over for dinner and the department head often gossips and complains about other members of the wardroom to both the spouse and the officer. Also frat. No sex in either scenario but both led to major morale issues wherein people felt they were at a professional disadvantage because of the personal relationships. It happens. A lot.

andrewdb said...

Sid - don't make me post pictures of what happens pier-side when a ship comes back today.  Those straight couples aren't just shaking hands.

andrewdb said...

AR - the anti-frat brief the Army uses is mostly about "the perception of impartiality" and how to not lose that.  You are spot on. It isn't all about sex, it whether the leader can be trusted to be fair to all the subordinates.

Stu said...

Yes, sanctimonious.  The "talk to the hand" comment is but icing on the the cake.  

Here is what we know...

They were relieved for an unduly familiar relationship which most of the time involves sex.
They were CO and XO.  CO and XO almost always do things together socially.  Has been the case in every wardroom I have been in.  So just being together or being "close" isn't the issue.
They are man and woman.
By the words of LCDR Rushton, this centers around a one time incident in Bahrain.  So it involves a liberty incident while on deployment.

Reasonable is coming to the conclusion that involved sex.  Can that conclusion be wrong?  Of course.  But to scoff at such a conclusion would be someone who has not reasoning whatsoever.  

Reminds me of CNA study on 6th Fleet Liberty Incidents that I saw once.  It concluded that the majority involve E-4 and below, after midnight and with booze.  Any reasonable Sailor would come to the same conclusion without a buttload of analysis.  

Grandpa Bluewater said...

So true. No matter how many stripes you sew on the sleeves of that double breasted suit, it's going to gather dust in a back bedroom closet soon enough. It won't look up from the chair in the recovery room and say "Welcome back, I missed you, you had me worried for a while. Where does it hurt? It won't sit there waiting with eyes that tell the Nurses that "visiting hours" do not apply in her case.

Priorities. What's the most important thing in your life? Not the Navy. And definitely not some strange, no matter what the pheromones are screaming to the lizard brain.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the chief found a used rubber...

Actus Rhesus said...

well...let's see...the ucmj provision on frat predates the presence of women in integrated units...so unless frat was completely redundant with sodomy, it would seem there are a whole host of ways in which you can commit frat without bumping uglies.

Skippy-san said...

Frat is also predicated on pay grade differences.

Redeye80 said...

Yup, Sal they do exist.  They are all around.  Just like the A-7 guys who wore T-shirts saying "women were property", but that it was almost 20 years ago.  I guess it shows how far we have come.  These people are probably the same ones who have problems with race and religion as well.

Unfortunately, we do not have the will to rid ourselves of such attitudes.  If we had the will, we should show those who don't get it the door, much like we have done with drug use.

Grandpa Bluewater said...

Madame R:

Two centuries ago, some things were just not mentioned. Except in the equivalent of the Table of Maximum Punishments, and even then obliquely.  Since fraternization was an offense, mixed crews are not the issue (or a necessity, either.)

Frat leads to the perception of special treatment and favoritism, arousing jealousy and rage among those not included. When seen at the top, it spreads. Others try to avail themselves of sponsors or pets. Sooner or later, crimes of passion follow unwanted advances. Best to nip it in the bud.

Rape, murder, or unexplained unwitnessed persons overboard in the dark are messy and hard to clean up. Talk to a JAG guy in his cups some time.

Or watch one of those "Hollywood Confidential" history shows on TV. Or read a history of Rome.

LifeoftheMind said...

Is the Navy naming a ship after Bill Clinton?

Actus Rhesus said...

or position. 

WCOG said...

Any reason to believe the "War on Sex" will be any more successful than the War on Drugs, especially when everyone is an addict?

I know the Navy and the armed forces in general must have different rules from civilian life and that this sort of personal interaction could in theory jeapordize lives or the mission (though I don't really have any idea how an *ultra* close relationship between CO and XO would stop them sweeping mines effectively except perhaps in setting a "bad" example) but this relief seems like a huge waste of two very talented officers. People here are acting like this is a victory for truth, justice and the American way when in reality, the Navy appears to have lost an asset. And this at a time when MCMs could be urgently needed any day now.

I don't know any of the specifics but we need to ask ourselves: did it absolutely need to happen this way? Is the navy overreacting again like it did when it relieved that XO awhile back for *not* ratting out his own CO? Maybe I'm being a wuss but I think sometimes justice goes too far.

Curtis said...

That was the school I grew up in.  PQS meant nothing at all if the CO had no confidence and if he did have confidence, lack of PQS sign offs meant nothing at all come board.  One's first watch as OOD (F) was the midwatch.

William Powell said...

It is a sad state of affairs (no pun intended), but when you pit human behavior against institutional behavior, nature is going to win most often.  Placing hundreds of men and women together in close, stressful circumstances then asking them to avoid what comes naturally because it is against regulations is pretty much an exercise in futility.  Men and women CAN work together, but there is always going to be a certain percentage of "sexual fallout."  Since Congress controls whether men and women are going to be serving together, the services should come up with some sort of middle ground between ignoring what goes on and hammering transgressors.  Relationships happen!

Curtis said...

It's funny,

I could swear that there were women officers on Ardent and Dextrous in Bahrain in 1996.

LT B said...

I'm good w/ that, but "DFAC?"  Please, you have spent too much time around Air Force personnel.  :)

LT B said...

Yeah, but the CO/XO relationship is always quite close.  You add a long standing friendship and comfort level, it is not bad if it is two males, but then you have male/female the nattering rumor mongers can make it more than it is.  The Navy, with their tendency to knee jerk may make it even worse.  Tough call on this.  As I said before I hope they can focus and move on cleanly from this. 

Actus Rhesus said...

Army actually. ;)

Phil said...

http://swampland.blogs.time.com/2010/12/14/navy-fires-top-two-officers-for-being-unduly-familiar-while-commanding-warship/

The least they could have done was credit the blog...lots of comments from this page...