This week saw the two most senior Admirals make a cringe-enducing departure from our Navy.
First out of the box was Admiral Roughead. I understand a few days before FRI AM you have a few things to do ... but really; this is how you do it?
Next was Admiral Mullen.
Speaking at Alumni Hall the other night as part of the Forrestal Lecture Series, there are a couple of things that if I were a MIDN would make my head tilt a tad.
He said that five years out of the Naval Academy, he took command of the gasoline tanker USS Noxubee. Months later, he let the ship strike a buoy.1. As CNO and before, ADM Mullen was part of the leadership that removed almost all opportunities for any Junior Officer to command anything - much less at the 5-year mark. Our junior officers are never given the chance, except for a very few, to ever learn early - nope - we'll see you at CDR Command with little time on the bridge/flight hours and then hammer you when you demonstrate your lack of experience in your warfare fundamentals.
He has also been at the leadership of a culture that destroy careers at any slight infraction. There is no recovery. The system is on such a zero-defect hair trigger that we have had to reverse decisions to relieve COs ... years late and careers unrecoverable.
Pointing those things out doesn't encourage MIDN - it just points out that you left the system worse than you found it.
Now this head scratcher.
"We in the military must remain apolitical - stay out of politics," Mullen said.Two things. 1. Though I was on the same side as he was in the DADT debate - Admiral Mullen was totally political in the process to the point of questioning people's honor who were opposed to repeal. See that grin on his face to below - that is politics. There are other examples, but I'll stick with that.
"I see too many militaries that are badly politicized - that would be the end of us as a country, and of us as a military."
2. What does he think the whole-hog effort of his and Roughead's support for the Cultural Marxist socio-political Diversity Industry is? Few things are more political than the intentional support of sectarianism. If they spent half as much effort to supporting shipbuilding programs and maintenance of existing systems - perhaps we would be in better shape. Everyone.
"We all have to recognize that we have to cinch up our belts, and we haven't done that in a decade," he said of military spending.Who was at the helm for the budget-busting development of DDG-1000, LPD-17, & LCS - creating the lost decade of shipbuilding? Ummmmm, you.
Admirals Roughead and Mullen have dedicated the balance of their lives to the service of their nation and did the best they could as they saw it. A nation and its people should always respect that service - I do. That doesn't mean that they should not be held accountable for their actions - just like they hold COs of ships responsible for theirs. Their lack of self-reflection almost requires it.
What messages do they send to the MIDN heading out the door? Depends on the MIDN, I presume. The ones I have heard from; not impressed.
UPDATE: In case you wonder why the MIDN used that hat on the photoshop. Click here.
Best keep up with you'se memes.