Thursday, December 08, 2011

Diversity Thursday

I want to take a little different tack on this week's DivThu. Flesh out a few things in the foundation.

Like many things twisted out of their original meaning - the goals of (D)iversity started out as a good and needed thing, (d)iversity. There was a time, decades before our newly minted ENS and 2LT were even born, that there was active and real discrimination against some minorities in the Navy - specifically people of sub-Saharan ancestry. That needed to be fixed.

Once all legal & policy barriers were removed and created an playing field of equal opportunity by ending wholesale discrimination; then we needed to keep an eye out for individuals who by acts of commission and omission were still discriminating on a retail level.

Bigots are a cancer to an organization as much as a thief. Cut them out or they will destroy the host.

Then we got lost.

You know the rest of the story - an industry fed by racial animosity, envy, frustration, and grevience-mongering rose to become what they once opposed - organizations who supported by acts of commission and omission, discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, and national origin.

From associating with benign but racialist organizations such as NNOA to outright cancerously racist organizations as La Raza, we joined with the forces of division in pursuit of metrics and happy outbriefs from "accountability reviews."

... and so on.

Most everyone has heard about some of the details of the firing of CDR Etta Jones, USN, former CO of the USS PONCE (LPD-15).

You know what? There is some good from this.
(CDR Etta) Jones was fired by Vice Adm. Harry Harris, then-commander of 6th Fleet, while Ponce was on deployment in the Mediterranean, a day after a command investigation by U.S. Naval Forces Africa was completed. Jones, Harris concluded, “demonstrated poor leadership” and failed “to appropriately investigate, report and hold accountable sailors found involved in hazing incidents.”

The investigator also found evidence that Jones had shown blatant favoritism toward her female officers and used demeaning words and micromanagement that created a hostile work environment aboard the ship. She failed to tell superiors about shipboard hazing in one division and in the most shocking incident, waved a loaded 9mm pistol with its safety off in the same room as two armed sailors during a shipboard security alert before handing it over.
Was her anti-male bigotry the final straw? No. But part of it ... yes. Let's run with that.

There is still part of the honorable and working system in place. This is where our effort should be.

We do have a problem with discrimination. No, no, no - for the moment ignore the official institutional discrimination of the Navy as resident with the Diversity Bullies and their ilk - just ignore them for a moment. Work with me a bit.

As a human institution, we reflect the human condition with all its glory and infamy. The best - and the worst. We have and will have bigots of all stripes, though our actual discrimination problem is small, manageable, and individual.

CDR Jones discriminated openly and blatantly against her male personnel. She was called on it, investigated, and in addition to other issues - VADM Harry Harris, USN held her to account. As. It. Should. Be.

CDR Jones happens to be female - but this doesn't matter. Male-Female; Female-Male. White-Black; Black-White. Asian-"Hispanic"; "Hispanic"-Asian. Any combo is wrong and needs to be stopped.

That is what we should do - not force a Balkanzied, tribalistic mentality on our Navy in pursuit of bad 1970s racial theories that just breeds bigotry by all instead of eliminating bigotry by a very few.

What we did with CDR Jones needs more attention, as this is how you ensure equal opportunity and a meritocracy - remove internal barriers. Educational and cultural barriers before people join the Navy are beyond our control - as they should be. This isn't Prussia after all.

Funny thing about this; as our friend at ILTCOHJ found out in the reports here and here - we seem to have a flag officer who does not get it.
While the ship was in port Bahrain, RDML (Meg) Klein (Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group Five) requested an "all girls" photo and invited all of the female officers to dinner at her home.
(Encl 8, 15, 17, 18, 39)

The male officers were not invited to the dinner at RDML Klein's residence and several felt this to be a distinct professional disadvantage. (Encl 15, 18)
No. In DEC 2011 - that will not do.

Hey - another outgoing question we ask a lot here; will we hold a Flag Officer to the same standard we hold a Commander?

We'll see.

Post Script: I ask that we let CDR Jones pass in peace. Command is a difficult place, and not a place for everyone and every personality type. That doesn't make CDR Jones a bad person, or a bad officer to a certain extent. The pressures and requirements of Command just did not fit her skill set.

Her inability to understand the basics of weapons safety - that is Big Navy's fault for a variety of reasons that is another post on its own ... again.

Her attitude towards her male subordinates - well, look at the example RDML Klein set. Contempt is contempt. Where did RDML Klein get her exclusionary ideas - well - the previous CNO and others encouraged them. Look at their mentoring programs that are racially and s3x specific - we've covered them here in detail.

I like this marker the Navy just set down. It needs follow-through, but it is a good marker.

A nod to CDR Jones; she did leave with class.
“I have apologized to my crew, my mentors, my supporters and my family for the circumstances which resulted in both my [nonjudicial punishment] and my removal from command,” she wrote. She noted the ship’s imminent decommissioning after 40 years of service and said, “For any distraction that my situation has created, I issue a very personal apology to the crew members of the Ponce and it is my hope that the public will not overlook their positive story.”
Yes, her leadership style will have some secondary effects on those on the receiving end, but ... no one was killed.
UPDATE: A member of the front porch who will remain nameless reminded me of something that happened on one of RDML Klein's previous jobs. Hmmmmmm.


AW1 Tim said...

Here is this old airdale's take on who our Navy ought to be recruiting.

In no particular order they are:

Ability to pass the physical exam
Ability to pass a background check weighted towards your desired rate
Be the Best and the Brightest that we can find

Anything else really isn't that important, to my mind. You get these sorts of folks together, provide them with real leadership from both the Petty Officers, Chiefs and Officers, and the Navy will be just fine, thank you very much.

Be honest with your crew. Be up front about living conditions, work schedules, chow, pay and all the other perks and demands. 

I don't really care about tats, piercings, gender, etc anymore. We're either all Americans, or we're something else, and that something else will be the death of our dreams if we don't address it.

I'm headed for more black joe and some breakfast.  This ought to be a good DivThur thread.  :)

Anonymous said...

With regard to the story of "waving a pistol around" it again shows my belief that the most dangerous thing in the world is a sailor with a small arm - usually a danger to himself/herself if not their immediate friendly neighbors.

Sailors tend to be amazing with big weapons (missiles, torpedoes, etc...) and very bad with small arms.


Redeye80 said...

"...but one was killed."

Really.  Is this how  we will measure command success?  Maybe it should be since the current system is AFU.

cdrsalamander said...

No, no, no.  Guest - that is 180deg out.  The problem is that our Sailors do not have enough time or training with weapons.  That attitude resulted and continues to result is an institutional disgrace.  We consistently put our Sailors in harms way - first hand experienec more than once here - without an ability to defend themselves or their shipmates.  This forces line leaders to "make it happen" by hook and by crook to get their people at least minimally qualified in the weapons they carry.  To take money out of their own pocket to train to a minimial level.  Our Sailors need more training and more range time - not less.

Actus Rhesus said...

I know CDR Jones personally, but at her request, I will refrain from posting a lot of what I otherwise would.  I will, however, say that she has handled the whole ordeal with A LOT of class.  She took her lumps at mast, she didn't try to appeal, she accepted the DFC with dignity, and she remained a Naval Officer even during the BOI.  All of this speaks volumes about her character and is at odds with the picture the IG paints.  (As an aside...I find it interesting when an IG report comes in harshly about, say, CAPT Honors, we all recognize that it's a flawed system that gives undue deference to the "squeaky wheels", but in this case we're willing to take it at 100% face value.)

I think she made some mistakes, but I also think she's been unfairly maligned.  Moreover, how does the Navy square the circle of beating the (D)iversity drum that women and minorities need "mentors" and then DFCing someone for doing just that? 

Finally, to the males arguing "professional disadvantage" because they weren't invited to a dinner...welcome to my fucking world, where I have had to sit by quietly and watch my male counterparts be invited to "men's bowling nights", "movie night", "poker night", "trips to the strip club on liberty" "come over and play X Box" you get the picture.

Am I saying that either is right? No...but seriously.  These are the same people arguing that a female who complains is just a whiner.  Discrimination, even unintended, is real, ugly, and hurts, doesn't it?

cdrsalamander said...

"<span>Moreover, how does the Navy square the circle of beating the (D)iversity drum that women and minorities need "mentors" and then DFCing someone for doing just that?   </span>"

That is part of the problem.  We are self-contradicting. She was only following the lead of others.

Guest 2 said...

What does the CDR's ability to act classy during her board of inquiry tell anybody about anything. Anyone who has seen a Captain's mast or court trial knows that most people are going to shine their shoes, act subordiante, i.e. do everything to show remorse and lessen the punishment.

Mentoring someone doesn't mean inviting an entire gender of people to something while excluding the other. I was a student under RDML Klien (then CAPT) when she was the Commandant of the USNA. She did the same kind of dinners and social functions. You wouldn't believe the scorn that created throughout the "non-invited." 

To your comment about your "f-in world" and not getting invited to things... if the commander of ESG5 (or the CO of a squadron or fill in the blank) invited all the males in that command to a bowling night than I'd agree with you it is wrong.

Come over and play X Box, Poker Night, Bowling...these sound like liberty outings or shore tour get togethers... If a group of friends want to go hang out, they can invite whomever they want to (or not). Sounds like they didn't like your company. Don't throw down the discrimination card unless it truly is. Think anybody wants to be around someone that throws that term around lightly...hell no.. I'd be afraid you'd report me for having a maxim magazine laying on the floor during poker night. 

Actus Rhesus said...

Guest, you don't know me, or the situation. 

But thank you for making a lot of assumptions, and for highlighting what I think is a problem here.  (D)iversity Bulies continue to exist because of people like you who, anytime anyone has a valid complaint of wrong immediately accuses them of being some sort of shrill shrieker who is "overreacting" and "playing a card".   He's an "angry black man".  She's a "femizazi".  But god forbid the shoe be on the other foot!  Godf forbid YOU not get invited to a dinner and now it's "THAT'S SEXISM!".  Maybe they just didn't like YOUR Company.  You diminish valid concerns and refuse to address tehm to the point where leadership comes in and overcompensates. 

Actus Rhesus said...

PS, to give some context, In my recollection...while it was not the CO...a senior male entered office spaces and, in front of the enlisted sailors, invited all the males to a social event.  Then stated that I was not invited because it was a "church thing" for "men only".  This was in front of my petty officers.

I agree that small scale impromptu "hang outs" are one thing.  But when you are entering office spaces and publicly inviting all but one - the one who is the "minority", and then explicitly stating that the person's status is the reason they are not invited...that's a different can of worms entirely. 

But please, continue to tell me that I'm just too sensitive.  It's not like that argument hasn't been irrationally used for the last 60 years or so.

bobble said...

Call her classy if you wish, but I see someone who, even et the end of the line, uses "... the circumstances ..." when the honest phrasing should have been "... my actions, words, and the command climate I had personally and deliberately instituted ...".  Just my two cents.

MR T's Haircut said...

During my time on board ship, I was HAPPY to not have been invited to dinner with the Captain (Now Admiral Winnefeld) ... I didnt have time for it, the Skipper probably didnt have time for it, and I interacted daily with him anyways as one of his TAO's.

The reasons she acted like this is because she could... this could be a case of being told you are exceptional and not to worry too much the, safety net of diversity will get you through the tough times in the White Mans club...

a face palm failure... oh yea... wonder what her by name tracking at the bureau said about her... oh and where was her "mentor"?  of course...

MR T's Haircut said...

Concur on the training of our Sailors needing more.. how is that I can carry a CCW and have the same weapon that the Ships Armory equipped me with for the OOD watches and Anti-terror watch, yet this same Navy wont allow me to carry my weapon on base in my POV? 

cdrsalamander said...

"60 years?"  I thought it was 6,000 ..... :-P

UltimaRatioRegis said...

"<span>..welcome to my fucking world"</span>

About ten years ago, when the "" boom went bust, and my company downsized, two entire departments were eliminated, including mine.  Ten males, four females, and one cross-dresser among the staff being let go.  HR met with all of us, told us the bad news, and sent us on our way.  Well, the ten males, anyway.  The four females and the cross-dresser were invited to be screened by HR to see if they wished to file an EO complaint over the dismissal.

The one female in my group declined.  Three others, and the cross-dresser accepted.  We all got two weeks' severance.  The three women and cross-dresser who filed received an average of six months' severance.  When the discrepancy was raised, we were told that we did not qualify to make an EO complaint, and the one woman who didn't missed her chance.

Welcome to MY "f-ing world".  Save your hurt feelings, AR.

NAnonymous said...

WRT RDML Klein's female photo/dinner, I'm not surprised. When she was the Commandant at USNA during my tenure there, she always seemed to be hosting groups of midshipmen (of the female variety) at her house, possibly on a monthly basis. Although I can't say that I think any of her decisions were based on diversity quotas, the company one keeps (see former Supes known for trying to turn USNA into reverse-discrimination factory) can be indicative of their personal agenda.

NAnonymous said...

Absolutely true. I find it completely ridiculous that I, as an O-3, have had exactly 1 day of official Navy rifle training and 2 days of pistol training (one at the academy and one to qual on the Sig). Thank god for the bit of time that I spent with the Marines at Quantico during summer training. I actually know how to operate an M-16 properly (not necessarily effectively) only because of this.

Adversus Omnes Dissident said...

I can't speak to what she did as an operational naval officer; however, as a staff officer, I have worked with CDR Jones and found her to be competent, personable, straight forward and a team player.  I have heard similar reviews from my friends who have served with her on different staffs.  However, I have also heard horror stories from those who served with the CDR onboard ship.

As Naval Officers, we are expected to take a large role in our own personal and professional development.  We are expected to seek out learning opportunities, read a ton, pursue worthwhile commands and assignments, and constantly self evaluate.  In addition to that, it is the job of our superiors to weigh us as being fit for not only continued service, but potential for increased leadership.  Both of these obviously didn't happen, and the blame rests not only with the CDR.

I can say this, E-5 would have gotten a Big Chicken Dinner and possibly a couple nights in the brig for waving a firearm around at his shipmates.

QSPN said...

Based on then Captain Klein's starving of the mids at USNA while she was the Commandant of Midshipmen, I'm not sure an invitation to her house for dinner is such a good deal.

Actus Rhesus said...

URR, what happened to you is wrong, but are you seriously saying that because something bad happened to you, ONCE, I need to just bite by tongue and suck it up when something wrong happens to me routinely?  How does that fix the problem?

You're answer seems to be "I got discriminated against, so it's okay that you did".  I would argue that NEITHER situation should be happening, and BOTH of us have a right to be pissed when it does.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Jake Holman is spinning in his grave.

Train them.

UltimaRatioRegis said...


You think that a company's policy such as that is an isolated occurrence? 

I got forty thousand reasons to be pissed.  Looking for a job with four grand in your pocket is quite different from looking for a job with forty grand in your pocket.  And it is a hell of a lot more serious than hurt feelings.

ewok40k said...

One thing I admire in Sal - and share with him is his tendency to look at the things without capital letters as in (r)epublican, (d)emocrat, (g)reen or (d)iverse. Taking things in moderation and with grain of salt greatly helps manage things... Is it me that we can add to the Aristotle's thesis that every government eventually devolves into own degeneration, that the same occurs to the ideas over time?

Actus Rhesus said...

I being excluded because of your gender is "Hurt feelings" when it's an XX, but "professionally detrimental" when it's an XY.  And those with "hurt feelings" need to just put on their "big girl panties" while we do something about those evil women's dinners.


UltimaRatioRegis said...

No, AR, you don't see. 

When the discrimination has a major material impact on the ability to pay mortgage, buy food, pay living expenses, it is much more than a matter of a "boys' club" or "girls' club".  

DeltaBravo said...

In the good ol' days The Sea determined whether Viking women were worthy.  No quarter quarter given. 

Competence, the ability to lead EVERYONE and fitness for duty should be the only criteria. 

Anonymous said...

I got into an argument with a co-worker who was a minority female a few years because she wasn't doing her job. Everyone in my company was terrified at that time and again a few weeks later when fired her that regardless of the fact she was mean and incompetent we would be facing a lawsuit. I regularly see federal managers hesitate to do anything that might risk a charge of discrimination by federal employees or contractors. As a white guy, they know that they can fire me without even blinking. It ends up setting far different expectations for behavior and performance. That's why Diversity sucks.

Anonymous said...

That should say "I regularly see federal managers hesitate to do anything that might risk a charge of discrimination by federal employees or contractors who are female or minorities."

Don't get me started on the abuse of the "8a" system in the contracting process....

jerry sandusky said...

ponce wardroom sounds about as much fun as my charity. 

Byron said...

That's extremely bad taste. How about you open up a box of "Shut the Hell Up" and start eating it, jackass?

The Usual Suspect said...

How many careers were killed?  How many good people were left in her wake?

jerry sandusky said...

your internet muscles are no match for than the 1st amendment, vladimir. 

ponce wardroom and 2nd mile were both bad places for young dudes.  bummer you're missing the sarcasm gene. 

vladmir putin said...


Latent Infantry NCO said...

"<span>Discrimination, even unintended, is real, ugly, and hurts, doesn't it?" </span>

I disagree with the premise that unintentional discrimination even exists. It's a made up, oxymoron, catch all clause to provide air cover for the diversity agenda. It's the only way you can dumb down enforcement and prevent logic from entering the picture.

"<span> you don't know me"</span>

Bit of advice: If you want to appear like a reasonable person and win people to your point of view, don't ever accuse them of being ignorant of the truth simply because they haven't had the pleasure of your acquaintance. Bad form.

Thirdly, the activity is really not what is important  (notwithstanding the fact the "dinner" in all of modern western military officer culture has a DECIDEDLY professional connotation.) It is the who and the why that is really the crux of the matter. When a UNIT COMMANDER extends an invitation to his/her OWN subordinates, he/she does so as the commander whether he/she wants to or not. Such is the burden of command. When a COMMANDER excludes a subordinate for any reason, I'd say the exclusion message is imminently clear, wouldn't you? Proving that exclusion is due to your brand of wedding tackle is a different challenge and one best solved by ASKING the sonofagun yourself - for a whole host of reasons.

 If you are a serving member of the US military and you actually consider yourself to be discriminated against, why haven't you taken action? Is it because you don't actually consider it professionally damaging discrimination or because it was done by your peers of their own social perogative and not your commander?

Byron said...

Fast Eddie Fishburne, he of the pithy comments, is not nearly as invisible as he thinks he is.


Latent Infantry NCO said...

The day the cutlass came off the ready racks was the beginning of the end. Wouldn't a monkey's fist of marlin spikes be a great mace, though? Deck apes should be the CQB prima donnas of the world again, not SEALS.

Spade said...

There are plenty of single sex religious organizations. I belong to one. My wife belongs to another. I don't get invited to those. Are you saying you should get to interfere with other people's religious activities?

Perhaps the officer's explanation was to, well, explain to you why you weren't invited. As in "I'm not inviting you not because I hate your annoying guts but because this is a men's only religious organization. And I didn't want to just blow you off and not say why."

Kristen said...

The illustration that you used is perfect.

Actus Rhesus said...


while I agree with much of what you said, I don't think it's unreasonable to point out that a person who makes assumptions about what I, personally, might do, does not know me, and therefore is speculating.

As to your last question, I learned very early on in my career that it's simply not worth it to try and do anything abou the "soft" discrimination, because unless you have a smoking gun, nothing gets done.  No one who values their career is going to come right out and say that they don't want a woman or a minority around, but there are plenty of other ways to get the message across.  And that's the problem.  We do have issues with individual bigots, but people who attempt to raise attention to them are branded "uppity" "angry" and "overly sensitive".  (In fairness in part due to invalid complaints brought by people who were under the false belief that "shitty worker" is a protected class) Then, when the CMEO surveys come out, people vent their frustrations, and then the (D)iversity bullies come in to "fix" the problem - which doesn't actually fix it, and instead makes it worse because all of those antiquated attitudes and off-handed remarks are all too oftentimes inadvertently reinforced and the cycle just repeats.  I hate people assuming that I got where I did because of gender just as much as I hate being dismissed and undermined because of it.  I think the (D)iversity solutions are wrong, but I also think it's not wise to ignore the issues that created the (D)iversity bullies in the first place.  I think those problems relate more to individuals than institutions, but there are too many who don't seem to want to acknowledge that these individuals are out there at all.

@ Spade.  Nice straw man.  No, I don't want to interfere with someone's free exercise of religion.  However, did that invite need to be given in the workspaces, in public, in front of my subordinates? with the added tag "ha ha, it's men only"? Last I checked we all have personal e-mails for that sort of thing.

Actus Rhesus said...


the ad hominem attacks and personal digs are really amusing.  It's telling that daring to point out the hypocricy of crying foul at a women's only gathering (which you'll note I never said I agreed with) while ignoring the fact that male only events go on every day, or just assuming that in those cases it had to be because the female was just "annoying" or "bad company" or would file an EEO complaint if she saw a Maxim, etc. etc. inspires such vitrol.

MR T's Haircut said...

I think this strand illustrates in all it's glory, why we have separate potties for boys and girls..

UltimaRatioRegis said...

I thought it was cuz boys left the seat up.

Latent Infantry NCO said...

AR - No, saying "you don't know me" is not reasonable. It is assinine and always makes the speaker appear weak and cornered. Out of pure self interest, you should never use the phrase again unless confronted by a pack of Star Trek re-enactors.

There is no ad hominem towards you in this thread that I can see, from me or Spade. Your positions are just...out there. Do you expect NNOA event invitations to be communicated silently also or is it ok to verbalize them in the office? Please. Scrutinize your motives here.

I personally had a promotion held up for reasons that were never clearly expressed. That SNCO and I didn't share the same demographic column and to be honest, that is what I wrote it off as. Within a month, I was TAD in a different command and the first thing the SNCO there said was "You are overdue for promotion. What happened?" All the shame, embarassment and self doubt welled up in me but I told him the truth: " I don't know. You'll have to ask Msgt XXX." That bastard picked up the phone and called him right then too. With me standing there. "Why hasn't Lcpl LINCO been promoted? Uha. Uhaa....I see. And you didn't counsel him on that and get it his SRB? Just sat on it, huh? Well, we don't do that crap here. Good bye." Then he hung up the phone and told me to get some chevrons from the PX and press my cammi's. My DOR was the next day. (My return from TAD was similiar to the opening credits of Chariots of Fire.)

Would you be suprised if I told you that both SNCO's were the same demographic? So much for my assumptions about discrimination, huh? The difference is I would have taken a bullet for one guy. The other, well, I would have gladly called a corpsman for him.

Some leaders are buttheads. Some are bigots. There is a difference.

Actus Rhesus said...

fair enough,  but I still disagree that, when someone who has never met me makes an incorrect assumption about what I would or would not do in a given circumstance, it's not appropriate to remind them that they, in fact, know nothing about me and shouldn't assume that I would file an EEO complaint for seeing a *gasp* Maxim. It's ridiculous, insulting, and a straw man. "You're just a hyper sensitive female!"

As to office invites, all I ask, is that if everyone in the room is invited except ONE person, then perhaps issuing the invite in their presence and then joking about how they can't come is not the type of behavior that fosters a good work environment, especially when done in front of the sailors.  (And for the record, I don't like the [insert special group here] invites going out on all hands either, and am very proud that my black female LCPO is one of the strongest voices in my command's CPO mess about getting rid of ALL of the X history month celebrations and replacing them with all hands events without an ethnic "theme")

However, my point in all of this is that a. Discrimination is bad.  Full stop.  Period.  b. (Diversity) bullies foster discrimination whether they mean to or not and c. that while we can all agree the (D)iversity bullies are wrong, there are reasons why, misguided as they are, people feel the need for them to exist.  I've experienced it personally.  Not from every command or every leader, hell not even from most of them, but enough to make me cognizant that no matter what I do, or how well I perform, some people do not want me around, and to say it's because I'm "bad company" or "annoying" is presumptive, dismissinve, and insulting.  I give the invite example as one of many.  It's not the best example, sure.  There are other examples I could use, but they would be dead giveaways as to who I am.  Sal has my e-mail.  If you'd like to discuss this offline, I'd be happy to.

James said...

Yea but its better for guys if you leave the seat up but do we complain when we pee all over the seat? Nooo we clean it up and go back to bed. Or we look before going.

Jesus people ya'll take life to seriously.

PS. I'm having a get together over at my house later. Its just going to be me and some buddies....oh and a couple of chicks named Chastity and Faith their dancers we have prayer meetings and drink some beers. Ya'll are wlecome to come!

Oh don't forget to bring plenty of singles for tips and beer an stuff. 

Old Grunt said...

<p><span><span><span>Something in this discussion is missing. If the Admiral was a male and invited only male officers, there would be an EEO complaint of sexual discrimination as well as a major investigation by big Navy. With it being a female admiral inviting only female officers, it becomes "mentoring" instead of discrimination and sets up a double-standard and ends the discussion.<span>  </span></span></span></span>
</p><p><span><span><span>Take the time and go to the posted link that takes you to the diversity folks at Navy Personnel Command (NPC) and go to “Affinity Groups.”<span>  </span>…..“An affinity group is a group who have a natural attraction to one another, know one another's strengths and weaknesses, provide support to each other, and often work in the same field or organization.” <span> </span>“Service members electing to join frequently do so because they share common background, cultural or formative experiences.” “Affinity groups provide opportunities to develop mentoring relationships with someone of a similar background” <span> </span>“There are many affinity groups around the country with respected charters. The pages listed on the left have links to a number of (groups), but do not contain an exhaustive list.”</span></span></span>
</p><p><span><span><span>Look at the links. “Affinity Group” hides racially or gender discriminating groups within lists including professional military affiliation groups (engineers, divers, SWOs, submariners, pilots, etc) that are gender and race neutral.<span>  </span>I.E., it’s OK to have a girl’s club or a Black or Hispanics club. Now, do the “stink test. “ Substitute “Male,” or “White;” what you come up with would be attacked by the “diversity engineers” as sexist and racially discriminating (in the bad way). <span> </span>Heads would roll. Clearly double standards. The most criminal things is that by NPC linking to these sites the Navy is de facto validating and approving gender and racially discriminating organizations and policy. How do we stop such silliness?</span></span></span></p>

James said...

Feminist hammer: Only works against Males of western values. May or may not work upon those of different colors depending upon user. Do not use Hammer of feminism on Islamist.

WARNING:Self Discovery and Logical thinking after use of Hammer are not recommended this can lead to uncomfortable realizations and consequences.

James said...

JUST remembered! I heard a story once about a group of women who wore caps that said "WOLF". Turns out they ment "We Only Like Females". Seems they only invited women out too.

Can't remember what happened to them......were they called sexist, prejudiced, bigots and kicked out of trhe navy?

sigh:and no i'm not pointing fingers at Ms. Klein

Warrant Diver said...

James I've told that WOLF story a lot, because I was on that ship...USS VULCAN AR-5...the WOLF brigade was run out of the MAA shack, the Chief MAA was a female and head of the pack. She was a good MAA, too. WOLF was embroidered on the back of their ballcaps. Most of the MAAs were females (not all were in the WOLFpack, though) but you saw it throughout the ship in various shops. Before a Med deployment, the Chief MAA was removed from the ship when she was found co-habitating with a junior WOLFpack member. Tenders were always a difficult place to maintain good order and discipline.

happy gilmore said...

No wonder our ships are failing insurv.  We have a port engineer flexing his internet muscles instead of fixing said ships.   

I'm sorry you were abused, Byron.  Hope the name calling fills the hole. 

James said...

If she was a good MAA its a shame she couldn't keep her priorities straight.

PS. Were they hot?....are there video's?

butch said...

sorry to burst your bubble ...

oh, and I denounce myself.

LCDR Black said...

   The firearms charge, is a tough one for me.  I am thoroughly disgusted at the level of training the Navy offers.  We are completely incapable of actually defending our ships.  I am around a lot of sailors with firearms now and it is interesting watching the difference in culture and our consistent view of the complete and total risk aversion of the Navy wrt this issue.  As URR has pointed out, it just takes training.  If we are to go after a ship's CO for the lack of training wrt firearms, shouldn't we go after the Navy leadership for fostering this sissy culture afraid of weapons?  I am not saying we should not hold the E5 or O5 accountable, but also we need to look at our culture and ask some no $h!t honest questions of the leadership and where we are going.  We have become considerably less proficient at our jobs.

DM05 said...

The RDML sounds like a real agenda driven piece of work. Perhaps there's an (alledgedly humorous) video she did for the crew as an XO somewhere?

LCDR Black said...

   Please tell me that you did not choose Cher's daughter, um son, or whatever Chaz is now to dance since shim was just on dancing w/ the stars.  :)   I prefer Bubbles.  She was kind enough to tell me that was not her real name.  I was aghast w/ surprise. :)

LCDR Black said...

I wrote on this above, but I am embarrassed by Naval weapons training.  Sure, SEALs, EOD and the Bees get training.  Some SW rates and officers get to go to VBSS school, MAs get to shoot, but all in all, we are super weak in weapons proficiency.  I am not afraid of my vehicle and shouldn't be afraid of my firearm.  They are both tools w/ specific designs and uses.  Training matters.

LCDR Black said...

Sometimes it is "Like" or "Lick" YMMV.  I had to deal w/ female on female sexual harassment on the Cable.  They broke up the lesbian ring on there, where one of the LDO ring leaders was quietly removed and not disciplined.  AWESOME! 

Guest 2 said...

AR---I based my assumption on you from the post that you made. "Welcome to my fucking life" makes you sound like every corner you turn you are faced with some kind of bigot trying to demean you. It sounds uber-sensitive. Your last post I agree with on a social skills's not very nice to exclude people especially in public, but it is not discrimination.

I like hanging with the guys, I like doing guy is not because I am bigoted that I don't invite girls over to play poker and have a beer , or invite girls to come help me work on my is because I relate to and enjoy the company of men when I'm doing "guy things."  Same reason I don't expect my wife to invite me to go see a movie with her girlfriends, or to go with them for a ladies night out. They don't want me there. They might like me or they might not like me, but in that instance they don't want my company.

If I had volunteered for a job where I would be working with a large majority of females I wouldn't expect too many invites to hang out...and I wouldn't feel slighted when I didn't get them. I'd make male friends outside of work.  I'm guessing you volunteered to join the Navy, and you shouldn't be surprised that 20-30 something aged guys want to hang out with other guys. 

The point I was making about a Maxim magazine is that if you appear so sensitive about discrimination on an online blog that people notice, what would happen in real life when I invited you to a poker night. Everyone would be uptight and watching their words to make sure that even the semblence of offensiveness didn't cross their lips. Being uptight isn't fun. Hence based on your first post I wouldn't invite you. 

I wasn't trying to personally attack you or make guesses on what you are like, but wanted to point out how your words came across and to let you know it is not discrimination if I exclude you from an invite. If I was in your COC and invited everyone but you, then yes, but anything

Naval_Historian said...

Roger that. I have never understood the almost complete lack of understanding of What It Takes to build and maintain firearms competence in Big Navy.

The Army has USAMU; Marksmen can spend a career in the Army shooting.
The Marines have Red and Gold Rifle and Pistol teams; Shore duty with a UIC and hard billets.

USNST (US Navy Shooting Team) is a collateral duty, and shooters competing at Fleet Forces Lant and Pac shoot on no-cost orders.
"Gun quals" generally consist of a bookfull of PQS signatures and busting 50-100 primers. Rinse and repeat next year.

For the peanut gallery, marksmanship is a perishable skill that must be built and maintained. What good is acing INSURV, OPPE (?), the Wing/CNAL program inspection, CWTPI, or whatever if your Sailors are clueless with the arm they carry on watch when the jihadis come? I just wonder what would have happened with a Distinguished Marksman or 2 (or even a GM/FC/OS/BM or 2 chasing leg points) on the USS Cole's SSDF.

Latent Infantry NCO said...

Dang but you sure do have the passive-aggressive thing down pat. (<-----actual ad hominem statement, fyi). You put words in people's mouths, too. You do yourself disservice not seeing that. <additional>

Take it "offline"? Please. You expect me to get suckered into an L shaped ambush whistling Dixie just like that? Heck, I can see the wires from here, ma'am.</additional>

Naval_Historian said...

Bees get training. Hm. I am reminded of one time I started meandering through the voodoo of long range marksmanship; throat erosion, mirage, wind doping, freebore and things of that sort with Bees and they were simply agape at my level of knowledge. To Big Navy, shooting is a hobby and for a few it's a qual. Like 3M for skimmers or PC or firefighting for us aviation types. The Bees may get training, but they don't get much. Thought: rather than griping, why not try to educate our Brown Wearing Folks? Chasing rifle/pistol leg points should be seen as building vital skills, not as a "scamming" way to get paid to play at a hobby.

Chris G. said...

Discrimination aside, you make an excellent point that many of us are willing to give CAPT Honors a pass, but buy the JAGMAN on CDR Jones.

Apples and oranges; I reconcile my opinion by inferring that she was a 1st-tour CO who was in over her head, to put it mildly, while CAPT Honors had several successful tours behind him. And experience has shown me that things are different in the gator world...usually the bozos in SWOS had "USS MAKIN ISLAND" or "USS CLEVELAND" on their desks, while they tried to figure out how to crack the code on a mo-board. I can't speak for the CVN world (never been u/w on one), but senior aviators I know seem to have it together in most respects.

As I said, though, thank you for making me at least think about how two DFC's are perceived differently.

As far as the shabby treatment you've received from your shipmates, that's too bad; but hey...that's life.

LCDR Black said...

As an illustration.  I "learned to shoot" from the Navy on NKO.  BTW, before deploying, I needed only 80% to pass that "class" but needed 100% to pass the trafficing in persons training before I was allowed to go to a country where they rape boys and animals.  Pathetic.

Adversus Omnes Dissident said...

Sorry guys, it's on you as officers to demand that your Sailors be trained properly.  While we can argue about the allotment of ammunition, there is nothing that says you can't conduct CQB training,  combatives, gun retention and employment, and limited force on force training.  Schools are out there that teach this.  I know, I sent my guys there. I also developed a kick-ass training team which would act as our shipboard QRF--regardless of duty section, they would always respond to security alerts and lead the teams.  On duty days we would conduct significant training, not just required B.S. security alert drills.  We did chalk talk of our PPRs, walk throughs, crawl throughs, and then run throughs / drills.  We cross trained every SAT/BAF/RF team member in the DC plates: they learned the ship. We had primary, secondary, tertiary comms protocols.  But most importantly, we taught them how to keep their technique simple, and trained to it over and over again.

Actus Rhesus said...

Guest 2,

no, not hardly.  Sal can verify, right now I work in probably one of the most testosterone filled communities you can find, and I've had no issues at all with any of them.  But there are commands that are not so good.  I don't expect people to walk on eggshells, but I do expect my entire department, including people with input on my FITREP to not, in front of my enlisted sailors, joke about how I am the only one not invited to an event because of my gender.  There were other things about this command that, as stated below, created the context that this was not just poor social skills but something much different.  Unfortunately a lot of that history, I don't want to post on the internets because it's pretty specific and would moot the idea of a quasi-anonymous screename.  However, as this is a topic that's important to me, and you seem to have gotten the wrong impression of me as a person (perhaps in part due to poor choices of words on my part) ask Sal for my e-mail.  I'd be happy to fill you in.

The bottom line here is, yes.  I knew what I signed up for.  I don't expect special mentors.  I know that birds of a feather will flock together.  And I know that sometimes I will hear one of my sailors say something dumb because sometimes boys say dumb things and that's that.  And right now, and at other times in my career, I've had very good command climates where race, gender etc. simply did not matter. And then in other places, not so much.  When your male LCPO is on his own initiative pulling you aside and telling you "Ma'am, I think they're discriminating against you" and recommending that you start a paper trail (which has happened to me) there is a problem, and my issue with this thread is that many of the people who are quick to cry foul when the discriminator is a female (which I do not condone) refuse to acknowledge that there are males who do the same thing.  Instead the female is "overly sensitive".  It's a double standard, and as long as people refuse to acknowledge discrimination against minorities exists at al, the (D)iversity industry will continue to overcompensate with discrimination of its own.

Actus Rhesus said...

not at all.  I'd actually like to continue the conversation, but there are facts I'm not comfortable posting online.  If you want a background check, ask Sal.

Actus Rhesus said...


I make no opinion on whether or not the DFC was proper, as she is a friend and that makes me biased, but even through that I think she made some substantial errors.  My qualm is with the more "personal attacks".  I've seen a lot of these IGs in the course of my job, and I don't have a lot of faith in the system.  It's unnecessarily adverserial, gives significantly more weight to the one person complaining than the 20 people saying "I don't know what she/he's talking about" and they are generally out with an agenda in mind.  Or, on the contrary, there can be a ton of people saying "there's a problem here" but because there is no smoking gun and the target is a favored son/daughter or the end result would be politically insensitive, the allegation is "unsubstantiated".  A lot of the personal stuff just doesn't sound like her and I question its accuracy on those specific points.  I'll put out the same offer I put out abive...if you want to discuss this off thread, ask sal for my e-mail...I'll give you some examples, but again, posting here would negate the use of an online handle.  But there are reasons why I think the way I do.

As for the poor treatment...again, hit my up on e-mail and I'll give you the full data dump.  I've seen some things that will make your head spin.  But, I've also been at commands, like the one I'm at now, with superb leadership and great mentors, of both genders.  I don't think that "everyone is a bigot".  I don't even think "most people" are bigots.  But they are out there, and it's frustrating when people don't seem willing to acknowledge it, but then cry foul when the shoe's on the other foot, especially when the whole reason the misguided (D)iversity industry exists is to compensate for the former.  Rather than treating hte sympotms (and poorly at that) we should be aaddressing the cause, but too many people don't want to admit the cause exists.

Actus Rhesus said...

Response to UPDATE:

Priceless.  Reminds me of the recent mandatory DADT repeal training.  I was sitting with a buddy, and the questions being asked were so insipid, stereotypical, and stupid that the 45 minute training was now going 2 hours and counting.  Finally my friend just blurted out: These questions are all asinine.  You're asking about how to integrate stereotypes of gay sailors, not how to integrate actual sailors.  They're already here.  Just treat them like sailors.  It would be like if we were desegregating the fleet and you put your hand up and asked if the galley had to serve fried chicken, watermelon, and grape soda from now on. 

To which I responded that that actually sounded like a pretty good lunch.  The training ended shortly thereafter.

Warrant Diver said...


no, none were hot and this was 1990, so no videos. Some were good sailors, the CMAA was very good. This was pre DADT and it was common knowledge in the COC about her sexual orientation and no one cared because she was damn good. But when the WOLF hats started making their appearances and these women started using their positions as MAAs to harass non-WOLFs (effectively they were trying to recruit heterosexual women into their group) the complaints began and the COC started acting.

DeltaBravo said...

Along with corn on the cob, potato salad (with bacon) and baked beans.  Now you're making me hungry, AR.

LT L said...

"<span>Post Script: I ask that we let CDR Jones pass in peace. Command is a difficult place, and not a place for everyone and every personality type. That doesn't make CDR Jones a bad person, or a bad officer to a certain extent. The pressures and requirements of Command just did not fit her skill set."</span>

As someone who hadCDR (then LT) Jones as an NROTC instructor, I must respectfully disagree – she was a rather bad person. The repeted tendency of the Navy to promote people like her to command was the number one reason why I left the service.

– LT L

UltimaRatioRegis said...

"<span> Rather than treating hte sympotms (and poorly at that) we should be aaddressing the cause, but too many people don't want to admit the cause exists."</span>

Let me take that up with DACOMITS.  Oh, wait....

cdrsalamander said...

You forgot Mac & Cheese, RC Cola and Moonpies.  A side dish with Vienna Sausages in a ring around a pile of those little, sweet green pickles would be nice to.  Oh, Mama Salamander will be bringing a plate or two of deviled eggs.  I will bring my classic collard greens (plently of rep pepper & cooked with  smoked ham hock, natch) and a pot of turnip green soup with pork (as if there is any other kind) sausage.  Kristen will bring two gallons of sweet tea and one gallon unsweet.

Nom, nom, nom.  I need a nap just thinking about that.  Burp.

Latent Infantry NCO said...

AR - You know and I know that going offline won't change the fact that neither of us will give up any ground. I'll grant you that you have either been a victim of or a witness to actual career damaging discrimination. No one is arguing that such exists. The examples you offered up are decidedly not, in my book, however. If you actually thought it was, you have taken action, not only to protect yourself, but more importantly to protect your shipmates and your Navy, right? If that didn't happen and you left the cancer for another sailor to fall victim to, then I'm not interested in hearing how it would make you a pariah and unpromotable - I just don't care.

 My comments may seem needlessly blunt and overly reductive but it's doubtful Cdr Etta would maintained consciousness with her pistol stunt in "my f'in world" and no one would have batted an eye. Not getting invited to a church meeting doesn't seem "damaging" at all when grunts regularly hold "mens only" church services in a frikkin hole simply to make a last attempt at reconciliation with their maker before going out again - I don't hear complaints from the Uniformed Office Workers of America about not getting invited to those. 

Magically, combat environments allow people of all kinds to mercilessly hack on each other for all kinds of sexual, physical, and racial reasons, verbally and otherwise. Yet, somehow, when the bolts slam home, everyone is capable of getting over it. The idea there is an ENTIRE office Stateside that examines feelings and punishing folks for being jerks instead of figuring out a better way to treat a sucking chest wound is somehow......alien. The rest of the military can blithely dismiss that as "testosterone talk". But for some, it's just reality.

 Yeah, my empathy generator is FUBAR but I can't fix it. 

Grandpa Bluewater said...

You forgot the johnny cake and hoppin john.

cdrsalamander said...

Gramps ... you made me do it.

DeltaBravo said...

And peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream for dessert.  Someday we're gonna all have to get together and do a Salamander picnic.

Kristen said...

Kristen?  California Kristen?  We don't do sweet tea 'round here.  Kristen will have to be true to her roots and bring a fabulous guacamole dip with tortilla chips, and some nice chardonnay.  Cheers!

James said...

:(  is disapointed. All tea must be sweet tea. Deviled eggs is a MUST. Cornbread baked beans, mac&cheese, BBQ, Fried chicken, chicken salad, some coolaid to mix it up (grape and tropical punch ONLY), oh so much food to get! little time.

And in the morning......BISCUITS AND GRAVY!!!!!!!!!

Buddy of mine was a firefighter on base here. Well one day he made biscuits and gravy. This one guy said "Wow that sure was some good Rolls and sauce" which the cook replied straight faced....."and you'll never eat it again if you ever call it that again".

James said...

Government, the only group of people who would try to use a 20lb sledge hammer to drive in a roofing nail.

James said...

So what is it the navy see's in them and what can be dont to stop it because the navy obviously has no intention of changing.

Kristen said...

All right, James, if you're going to fuss about it I'll look up a recipe and bring the sweet tea.  In exchange, you are going to have to try my guacamole and tell me that you love it no matter what you really think.

James said...

LOL sure!

Grumpy Old Ham said...

Kristen, native Californians can (and do) love to learn sweet tea.  I'm thinking sweet-sun tea would be the best of both worlds.  I may have to try that next spring.

Then again, I've never much liked guacamole or even avocados.  Maybe I really wasn't born in SoCal after all... =-O

Gospace said...

 "But when the WOLF hats started making their appearances and these women started using their positions as MAAs to harass non-WOLFs "

IOW, she wasn't a good MAA.  If this started to come out in the open, you can bet that there was other non-appropriate behavior going on prior to this occurring.  Behavior that was either ignored by or hidden from the command.  Becasue she was a "good MAA".

IMHO, she appears to be a master manipulator.  I've met many of them through the years, in both Navy life and CIVLANT.  In the most extreme cases you read about them in the headlines.  "Gee, my sweet kindly next door neighbor sure didn't act like a mass murderer..."

Gospace said...

Agree.  More training.  I often tell people that to qualify with the shotgun at my final sea command that I had to shoot from the fantail and hit the ocean.  After I explain what a fantail is, they laugh and think I'm joking.  But I'm not.

LCDR Black said...

I don't know about that AOD.  I have no budget, so have no real say in what I can send my guys to.  Getting them to any training, outside of our normal pipeline is awfully hard to pay for/schedule.  I will take any and all advice and means to do that. 

LCDR Black said...

Yes, but not just long range marksmanship.  I have learned a lot from the Bees with whom I am training.  They are a great asset for sanity check and discussion of protection and convoy operations.  I would like to hope that some of the Sailors will be able to shoot a wee bit. 

LCDR Black said...

They needed an in port OOD so they qualified me the same way w/ the M9.  I looked at them like they were freaking nuts.  I was so thoroughly embarrased by the level of training, I started paying to go to shooting schools.  It really made a difference. 

Naval_Historian said...

Sir: Long range marksmanship forces the fundamentals; breath control, sight alignment, trigger control. If you can shoot a clean at 300, 25 yards is no problem. To my mind, all this CQB is putting the cart before the horse. We need to train in good old-fashioned MARKSMANSHIP before we start playing SWAT.

WTF said...

Hangar 1000 at NAS Jax used to have a dental clinic when it was fully stocked with VP squadrons.  It has since been re-allocated to the diversity gang.  I present:

My hat-tip goes to MOSA

cdrsalamander said...

... and there is your P-3 joke of the week.