Tuesday, February 07, 2012

CDR Jackson, IGs, & Primary Sources

There will be reading required on your part. Use the head, get a cup of coffee, and then come back. This is serious. It is about a man's reputation of over two-decades in the making, and a wardroom ignored.

Instead of a lot of lengthy commentary on my part, after a short introduction and some pull quotes - I want you to open your mind and come to your own conclusions. Most of you are aware of the following;
The commanding officer of a Navy jet squadron was fired for using sexual language in front of his pilots, especially when drinking, in a case that may stir debate about where the line is drawn for acceptable behavior in a U.S. military that is increasingly intolerant of missteps.

Details of accusations against Cmdr. Jonathan L. Jackson, 43, have emerged in a Navy Inspector General report that led to the EA-6B Prowler squadron leader being relieved of command in December.
I haven't posted on this so far for two reasons - generally speaking I don't like to comment on every CO relief, and second - I thought Lex and his Ready Room did a fine enough job.

Here is what prompted me to weigh in; most people will just read the article, which is in my opinion unbalanced. A smaller cohort will read CDR Jackson's appeal - but - what is not provided are Encl. (1)-(29) in the appeal. That is what interests me.

In his appeal, CDR Jackson refers to them, but without the primary sources to read - they don't have the same impact.

Here is the first thing to do - I want you to read them all. If you want a full PDF for yourself, let me know and I'll email them to you. However ... head on over to Lex's place to read them in full.

For those of you feeling lazy - here are some pull quotes that hopefully will motivate you to read them.
"I was present at the Tahoe Admin on the Fallon NAS detachment in October 2010. ... CDR Jackson's statement (nor any portion of the conversation) was not directed at me, the VAQ-134 female officers, or females in general. His statement was directed at the culture of the Navy; while harsh, it is true."
...
"I believe that some of my interview statements could have been misunderstood or interpreted incorrectly. ... I did not leave the conversation feeling or thinking that CDR Jackson was harassing me or actually believing the females in his squadron were "whores/sluts." ... I feel naive, I trusted the IG Complaint process and suspect now that I was possibly manipulated by a trusted mentor into this situation. Please let me know if there is more I can do. If I need to elaborate or give more info, I will do so. I do not believe that CDR Jackson created a hostile work environment or condoned sexual harassment. I do not wish my opinions of conversations we had outside of work to define or stain CDR Jackson's reputation as the Commanding Officer of VAQ-134."
...
"... I believe that a comment I made in my statement to the EO Investigator has been taken out of context."
...
"As one of the only female officer's under Commander Jackson's command, I have spent countless flight hours, port calls, and detachments in the company of mostly male group. In all my time spent with these men, I have never felt excluded, discriminated against, or disrespected among them."
...
"As a female in the Command I never felt as though I was being singled out because I was a female. He treated me like any other Officer in the Ready Room. As a Hispanic in the command I never felt like I was being singled out due to my race."
...
"A quality to be revered in CDR Jackson's leadership style and personality is his impartiality to members of different sex and race."
...
"... in no way do I feel I was assaulted or sodomized. I don't feel like CDR Jackson was trying to hurt or demean me in any way. ... Throughout cruise XXXXXXX and XXXXXX would talk about how CDR Jackson should go and not be able to lead troops again. XXXXX certainly has had a grudge against CDR Jackson her whole time in the squadron and would have meetings in the Wardroom with XXXXXX documenting everything he did and discussing how they would contact the Inspector General."
...
"While I am not in a position to officially classify or judge the document, it is quite clear that there was a personal agenda, based on a perception of personal performance and relationship with the unit's Commanding Officer as compared to his peers, that prompted the origination of this log. The second item is even more telling in that the complainant did not bring his issues directly before the accused officer in question during the time of the writing the log."
...
"Of the few female officers in the squadron, I know of only one who had an unfavorable opinion of him. This particular individual also openly disliked most of the other officers in the squadron and could be characterized as judgmental, spiteful, and generally unpleasant.
There is a lot more. Read it all.

Second, I want to to read the IG report here. Don't skip - read it all down to the last line of the last page. Finally - read Captain Stephen McInerney, USN (the CAG), statement here - especially paras 4, 7, & 12. The conclusion is the pull quote:
Of any senior Officer in CDR Jackson's immediate or peripheral chains of command, I am uniquely qualified to evaluate, investigate and substantiate the validity of charged made against CDR Jackson. I have belonged to three aircraft communities, including the EA-6B community. I was the commanding officer of the EA-6B/EA-18G FRS for 28 months. I known all the officers involved. I was in constant contact with the VAQ Wing and knew of personnel issues associated with this squadron. I worked closely with CDR Jackson for over 18 months. In addition, I am known for being an exceptionally liberal advocate for diversity in the Navy and for having little patience for "Frat-boy" buffoonery. The Inspector General did not interview me during this investigation. I was not allowed to adjudicate this matter. This lack of trust by my chain of command puzzles me.
That sealed the deal for me. If you have spend a decade or more on active duty, we have all seen good IGs ... and IGs gone wrong. If you have two decades or more in service - especially on certain Staffs - you know that all is not well with the IG process. Is that the case here? Make that decision yourself - read the above as ask, "Is this the Navy we want? Is this the standard? Is this what we have wrought?"
UPDATE: Lex reminded me I have a Scribd account too. Heh.
Encl 1-29 Redacted

135 comments:

John said...

CAG CAPT McInerney is the first person to stand up to this sort of crap.  He should be a hero and make flag and hopefully help change the Navy's present perilous course to one where performance is demanded and rewarded and BS is not tolerated.

We shall see soon enough if those above him have the courage to do the right things, or if they will run from the truth and hide behind the crap that was thrown against CDR Jackson.

We need warriors, and those officers and sailors who put their butts on the line to stand up for CSR Jackson have shown they have the "right stuff." 

The complainant who cannot pass open book NATOPS tests obviously does not.  I would bet that they have been substandard all along but no one dared apply the same standards as everyone else was expected to meet.  As for the perpetually disgruntled Dept Head, sounds like a good candidate for RIF.

It is time for those in the highest ranks to decide if the Navy is a warfighting organization or some sort of Diversity driven jobs program where some animals are more equal than others.

SouthernAP said...

OKay I am going to be the minority, but this CO of VAQ-134 according to the IG report was a danger to fly with. He violated published doctrine. It is in the IG report as charge number 4. He violated Safety Rules! He basically said that flying by the seat of one's pants and the experience of the pilot is more important that NATOPS, PCLS, MIMS and all other published safety doctrine. I am sorry, but that is how someone will get killed. I would also guess that the CAG knew it too, because if one of your fellow skippers is willing to call you out then you have a problem there shipmate with safety. I think that CAG is only trying to defend himself and the good CDR because the IG couldn't support the Safety violations effectively and instead hammered him on the EO/Sex issues. So it was deflection all the way around here. I would also note that if you have some one who can't pass neither an open book or a closed book NATOPS test; that is just a major indication that your treading a fine line to have a class A or B mishap any time soon because of crew resource errors.

b d said...

for the record, he did not "violate published doctrine".  the squadron was given an aircraft with a long standing landing gear problem that created a situation not exactly covered in "published doctrine" (NATOPS).  Flying 30 year old aircraft presents problems like that from time to time.  All of his decisions were fully supported by his admin and operational chains of command, and the aircraft was determined to be unable to fly.  It was craned off the ship until a special team had inspected and worked on it and then it still had issues in its first flight. CAG supported him flying that jet because he knew that only someone with his experience and judgement could handle the problems that the jet was presenting.  That jet will probably not fly anymore, and any and all involved supported the fact that CDR Jackson supported all command and Safety objectives and "doctrine"

SouthernAP said...

Ahh, Lying to his tower rep and to the airboss about the condition of the landing gear when the IPI panel was showing barberpole is not a safety violation? Wow! I would hate to fly with you or take a discrepancy from you or even be up on the roof waiting for you to bring the jet in.

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

This is exactly the Navy that the left and the diversity community desire.   The days of putting up huge illuminated billboards above Tulagi harbor exhorting USN Sailors to kill the enemy are long gone, it just would not be seemly in a Global Force For Good.

b d said...

wtf? Wow, youre awesome.  An abbreviated ball call when paddles has been involved in all of the troubleshooting is hardly lying. you might know that if you read the mishap investigation, but i guess you wouldnt be in on that information. And, wing and LAT training rules allow for both allowing a wing aircraft to fly with lead without a radalt, and for going flying with a skid light provided ample runway and long field gear are available.  And he didnt force them to take it flying but offered them the opportunity to press. read the letters of support from the crews who were in those jets.

b d said...

Also,
It was the complainant who couldnt pass a NATOPS open, closed, and EP exam, not CDR Jackson.  THat is why he was trying to taken the appropriate SAFETY Program measures by giving LT XXX a Human Factors Board. 

SouthernAP said...

So one of the folks who made the complaint couldnt' pass either an open or closed book NATOPs test nor the EP exam. The HFB was right, but it says something about your own  training program and your NATOPS program when you have someone who just graduated from the RAG can't pass the tests; . I will have to read up on CVWP rules for Landing gear issues, but every Prowler outfit that I have been in treats a barberpole as a bonafide emergancy that had everyone going through the PCLs and at times a few maintenance people up looking at the gear as the aircraft does a slow fly by of the ship or even ashore to verify the gear could be in a down and locked condition. The issue with anti-skid is another thing that just tickles my unsafe spidey-sense. Again, nearly every Prowler outfit that I have been in and if my faulty memory serves me right even the CVWP MESM treats an Anti-skid gripe as a downing discrepancy and one where the plane returns to the line for troubleshooting. So again, just because you dodge the bullet here or a bullet there doesn't mean sooner or later it wil catch up with you. As to reading the mishap report; I will have to ding around on MSG traffic tomorrow and find the non-privilaged with all the endorsements and read up on it.

Byron said...

Charles, is this a "devils advocate " position, or do you have an axe to grind? Also, it's one thing to be a maintainer on the ground such as yourself, and another entirely to be the squadron CO with thousands of hours of flight time and nearly as many landings and arrested landings aboard ship who is responsible for husbanding a critical asset to the fleet that is in dire need of and last but not least, not getting any replacements for. This was a judgement call by CDR Jackson, backed up by a mulititude of peope in the chain of command. Last but not least, he gave the aircrew the last call on whether they should try a test flight. That is the kind of condidered judgement that great CO's have to make, whether it be an aviator or a SWO. You don't always guess right 100% of the time, but MUST make the call for the love of the Navy and her needs.

Actus Rhesus said...

I had my own experiences with an IG hearing what they want to hear, same with an investigating officer, and the same with a CID agent who conveniently left out anything I said that described my former boss, the subject of hi inquiry, as the best leader I've ever had and any similar praise.  I one hour convo was summarized in two sentences.  Despite the glowing praise I gave, when asked if he could have committed a certain offense (which was also grossly mischaracterized by the agent, I believed I was being asked about something much less serious than the actual charge)  I stated I would be shocked, it would be extremely out of character and inconsistent with my observations of him as a person and a leader, but I conceded I was not with him 24 hours a day and "anything is possible, but I'd say it's extremely unlikely".  Guess how that got summarized?

which is why from now on if I'm interviewed on anything, I bring my own tape recorder, and preferably another lawyer.

Actus Rhesus said...

also, having now read his response,  I have to comment that the parts of the Navy Regulations prohibiting you from "impugning the motives of others" or making counter allegations are bullshit.

Some times the motive of your attacker are extremely relevant and need to be discussed.

Actus Rhesus said...

motives even.

cdrsalamander said...

SAP,
You're down a secondary rabbit hole. Please read the links then re-engage.

Chap said...

"...<span> I am known for being an exceptionally liberal advocate for diversity in the Navy..."</span>

Guess the zampolit thought differently.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Well, that sure looked like a thorough and impartial investigation, dinnit? 

The interest shown by the IG is really amazing considering it seems to be not entirely consistent regarding COs being abusive, lying about official events/altering logbooks, using foul language, assaulting juniors, and/or creating a hostile work environment.

I mean, CDR Jackson went from complaint to relief in what, four months?  Other lead times to take action on complaints took four years, didn't they? 

Perhaps in the other case I refer to, the Navy didn't want to rent a shipping container to haul all the witness statements back to the office. 

But then, the cynic in me would say that the gender of the complaintant, and the nature of the complaints (she knew enough to also throw in a safety complaint), and perhaps the gender of the CO in the other situation, may have had a small part to play in the adjudication of each of these.    Not like it is a new thing. 


A Navy without a spine.  As useful as a ship without a keel. 

Admiral Harvey, like I said elsewhere, precedent is a difficult thing to un-set.

SWOINATOR said...

Reading the IG report makes me wonder how long I would last in today's Navy.  A few four letter words to get someone's attention and you are relieved for cause for "sexual harassment" or whatever. 

Oh, I supposed I should have put my department up for assault when they said "goodby" to me, before giving me my going away gift?!?  To be honest, it was an honor they thought of me as someone who was a leader, and confortable enough to allow his people liberty.

Sorry to say it... I am glad I am retired and not dealing with the BS.  There is a reason we set the record for the most number of COs relieved.

Sad... just sad,

Boat School Grad said...

<span>As I said...declawed, defanged, neutered.  If this hysterical, ready,fire,aim culture is what you wish to see inculcated by Big Navy then be my guest...enjoy a long career as a naval officer.   The women in the force issue however must be addressed before the USN becomes completely ineffective as a Global Force for Warfare.  And please don't go there with BSG is a knuckle dragging misogynist.  It's not about the capabilities of women.  I've served with some serious ass kickers.  But the male/female dynamic is killing the service and no amount of PPT presentations on how we should all behave will fix it.</span>

P.S. Wallace said...

I did not read the thing, but in general I'm out of the Navy, glad to be out, have no regrets leaving, and don't really recommend the service to anyone unless they already are leaning towards it. Personally, if I was to ever reup I'd try to go Army National Guard or Air Force.

I think "Big Navy" culture is 100% bureaucratic and will do nothing but serve to reduce combat effectiveness if we ever fight a war at sea. That statement is nothing but a "he said, she said", but it's something I believe in, and so I say it.

SWOINATOR said...

The problem is-two fold - the diversity police have empowered the femi-natzis (to coin Rush) and too many incompetent lawyers in the IG.

CAPT "Squeech", CO at TACTRAGRULANT a few years ago, said the first thing we should do when we go to war is shoot all the lawyers, then get on with business.  Sage advice if you ask me.

Guest said...

Not the first person to suggest "first, we kill all the lawyers...."

SouthernAP said...

Cdr,

Will re-assess and re-engage as I said I would be in the minority. I don't have an Axe to grind in this situtation, just the feeling that something on a whole does not jive with this whole situtation. I mean if the so called DH or even this junior LT doen't know how to effectively exercise thier chain of command or even the "informal chain of command" (the one where one can sit with the CAG or even BatGru EW rep and express frustration wtih life) and instead went straight for the IG. Then it means there might be some more going on then just the poort choices as it comes to words and booze. Our community is small enough that even a complaint about the Ready Room atmosphere through either the EW rep at CAG level or BatGru level; it would have not only made it back to CAG or DCAG it would have done the same to the CVWP Commodore who also should be bitching about his chain of command being cut out by the IG. However, CVWP isn't bitching and instead appeared to take the report with a shrug of shoulders accepting what has happened. I think there might be something else going on here besides just the booze and poor word choice issues for the IG to hammer this CO.

Boat School Grad said...

<span>The problem is not the lawyers, but the current navy culture that allows so much antagonism that an army of lawyers naturally enters that equation.</span>

steeljawscribe said...

- and somewhere, Tomás de Torquemada is smiling knowingly...
w/r, SJS

Old Navy said...

Gonna have to back SAP on this one.  I read the IG report back on Lex's site, and didn't like what I saw on the safety side. Cashiering the Skipper on the drinking, cussing, and grab assing charges is absolute BS, but typical of the our new Global Force for Good. However,   one safety incident sticks in my mind--  the CO directing his JO pilot to disregard NATOP's procedures for a bad gear indicator.  I don't know the details,  don't know what the Mishap Investigation found, and don't know the TACAIR perspective (I was a P3 NFO - MC and TACCO), but where I came from, the guy who signed for th aircraft was the Plane Commander and made those type of decisions, regardless of whether the Skipper was onboard or not.  Having the Skipper second guess the Plane Commander in the air is just plain wrong in my book.

Old Navy said...

Whoa there ...this isn't about Lawyers.   This is about the Navy's new culture.... we are a kindler , gentler people now..er, kinda  a GLOBAL FORCE FOR THE GOOD ... (I was going to comment on how gay that sounds, but I guess that's not politically correct either !)  Drinking, cussin' and making off color jokes used to be the glue that held a wardroom together.  We were a team and stuck together,  a form of male bonding that goes back forever. Mix that with some history, and you have a formidable fighting force.   Introduce women into the wardroom, add sensitivity training, push diversity and we now have a group of kindler, gentler , no defect technocrats.  On paper, we operate just fine --- just read all the reports that are generated.  However, I fear the US Navy is becoming a paper tiger , and won't be ready when the bullets fly.

Boat School Grad said...

Great reference!  Can't be much longer before offending CO's are burned at the stake at the Navy Yard.

Andy said...

SAP, first, I agree with Sal that we're looking at secondary issues here and we're going to have to agree to disagree on the NATOPS issue on this one, but then again I've only three EA-6B sorties sprinkled in my logbook(s), so Im willing to say I'm not a Prowler NATOPS savant. But one thing I did pick up over 3100+ hours in the Navy: "Live by NATOPS, die by NATOPS," sometimes there are things that just can't be fixed by blind adherence. As to the ECMO who can't hack it; I think we've all experienced folks who make their gaining Fleet squadron wonder "WTF" and how they ever made it through the RAG becuase they never, ever cut it in the Fleet.  You can mentor them all you want, but you can't fix stupid.

Sal, I'll have an original post later, quoting some of what I said at Lex's that is more on-point.

Boat School Grad said...

<p><span>Perhaps we can turn this downwardly spiraling Navy cultural issue of ready, fire, aim into a small positive by introducing a new phrase into the Navy vernacular.<span>  </span>Something that would honor my friend and classmate CAPT O.P. Honors and signify that another warrior was taken down by the machine.</span>
</p><p><span>CDR Jackson got “Opie’d”.<span>  </span>CDR Jackson got “Honor’ed.” </span>
</p><p><span>Who knows, maybe it will show up in Reef Points in 20 years time when Big Navy finally gets its head out of its ass.</span></p>

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Depends on the CO. 

Some get a somewhat better than even break

Others, not so much.

DeltaBravo said...

You know the odd thing is... women will make jokes and comments to each other that would make you all blush and drop your gin glasses.  I'm not understanding the puritanical BS that happens when they get in the presence of men.  (Says DB who keeps all her jokes in her head... well...most of them...)

DeltaBravo said...

So...now "mentor" = "agent provocateur" ??

Sad.

b d said...

very true.  great point

striker said...

<span>SAP,  
 
 Good choice of words in this situation... "I think there might be something else going on here besides just the booze and poor word choice issues for the IG to hammer this CO." The IG is a result of more than a "conspiracy" of two people, when any command gets to this point, the wheels have come off.  Sounds like this guy hit bottom, in the tragic sense of that word. </span>
<span> 
Read it all over at Lex's - The IG complaint and to some extent, the NJP - That's what we are presented here, chronicles what appears to be a few mishaps, other CVW CO becoming involved to "help",  an over the top letter from CAG, (no dry powder left there), and a absence of letters from his fellow CVW CO's, XO's and others - yes, there's something else going on. That's a lot of "bad luck" in one tour, and not a lot of "good freinds" ... when needed most.</span>

DeltaBravo said...

The unfairness of it all, URR...  that magical lipstick of invincibility.  It keeps real world consequences from raining down on women.  Still looking for a tube of that stuff that will work in the civilian world.  What will these "womyn" do when they're out of the Navy and the rest of the world doesn't scramble in fear at giving out consequences?  Keep it up and the civilian world will view a female in a post-Navy career with much apprehension and suspicion.  They might prefer to hire the ex-con from Statesville instead.  Less trouble in the long run.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Has been so for quite some time. 

Black officer needs black mentor.  Female officer needs female mentor.  Soon, gay officer will need gay mentor. 

BUT....  if white officer wants white mentor, he is RACIST.  If male officer wants male mentor, he is SEXIST.   If straight officer wants straight mentor, he is a HOMOPHOBE. 

You see how it works.

DeltaBravo said...

Oh, great googly moogly.  Even the lawyers are afraid of each other now....

Old Navy said...

DB ...you are absolutely correct, but woe to the man who joins in making similar jokes back. I learned that long ago.
All it takes is one person to complain. I am a lawyer now, and see this all the time ...it is never a woman or a man complaining about comments made by a woman; it is usually a woman complaining about comments made by a man.

Andy said...

SAP, one other observation occured to me, based only on observed experience: It's actually much easier to fire a CO for maintenance issues than you think.  If that and a Ready Room "culture" that can be shown from a Safety Survey to be headed for disaster, can be readily shown (and QA data can't lie) then I've seen RFC's happen more than once.  This kind of effort to relieve for one reason when it's actually something else, I dunno.

Andy said...

Sal, some observations and one Sea Story, apropos to this: [from Lex]: "As a then-active member of the California Bar in 1992, I advised every single person I knew who had been contacted for “interview” by NCIS/DoDIG, etc. regarding the alleged events at Hook ’91 to “dummy-up and lawyer up, now.” That advice still holds. But until we have really senior Navy leadership step forth and say that the policy that heterosexual males are guilty until they prove their innocence beyond a reasonable doubt will no longer apply, this is what will happen. (BTW, the potential for these kinds of events to totally terminate an officer’s career is one of the reasons SNO gave when he lay down his pack last summer on his commissioning path and why he has chosen to be an enlisted soldier)... for all the [members of the Front Porch] herein who are heterosexual males in leadership positions: Under absolutely NO circumstances, ever, in any way, shape or form, should you ever, ever be in the same spaces alone, un-accompanied by a credible witness, with any female subordinate or female member of the Armed Forces or civilian employee of the DOD. You will protect both your careers that way. This is the same in medicine for professionals: Always have a nurse present when seeing members of the opposite sex. Since these policies have been adopted, the claims of inappropriate behavior has plummeted.

Sea Story: TINS, cuz I was there. Once upon a time, an under-performing, slow-to-qualify, "it's-everyone-else's-fault" NFO started keeping a little book listing everyone's else's NATOPS/Safety transgressions, as he saw it.  Our squadron was in turmoil, having had the CO/XO/MO all RFC'd simultaneously. (BuPers lesson-don't send guys qual'd and screened from one community to another, different one for XO/CO tours) Said NFO pops up with his book and tried to throw 5+ of his "peers" to the wolves.  New CO, WWII, Korea, Vietnam aviation vet rolls in (off twilight tour) and is informed of the Holy Transgressions and calls in said NFO, and asks him to bring his book.  CO takes the book, and without opening it, throws into the $%^&-can next to his desk, telling said NFO "If I ever catch you trying to pull crap like that while I'm in command of this squadron, you will be on the next transport out of here for either Diego Garcia or Adak, for an un-accompanied tour.  GTFO." [The five accused were told to get back in the cockpit and continue being hard-charging LT's.  And be sure not to frab-up or he'd keel-haul them]  Said whiner never qual'd, tried to lead a group of crew to refuse to fly a bird and popped up ten years later as...a defense contractor.  Weasels attract weasels, I guess.  As to the five? Three got out after a while and got on with their lives, one retired a CDR and the other a CAPT.  Miscreants all. ;)

DeltaBravo said...

Andy, it seems the problem with this IG investigation is that it doesn't seem to matter if you have credible witnesses or not any longer.  They'll ignore the ones that don't go with the "verdict first, trial later" mentality, if that's what really happened.  And it seems there won't be lessons learned as to whether he was chopped for safety or other things because they've muddied the waters.  So what advice do you give now... credible witnesses being absolutely useless from reading all the comments...

This makes me really sad to read.  (I've heard tell of that notebook crap in other commands.  Not everyone feels like the CO in your story...)

The Usual Suspect said...

I read all the materials as assigned.  A critical reading of the IGI report reveals a few things.  <span>First</span>, it was a shallow investigation that barely scratched the surface of the issues at hand.  No depth usually indicates a presupposed outcome. <span>Second</span>, the nature of the individual interviews are more a summary than a statement that would usually be taken in a case like this one.  <span>Third</span>, it appears that the IG did not take motive into consideration.  You have one party who is keeping a log for two years based on an imagined slight that exists only in his head.  He actively seeks out co-conspirators.  You have the unsat ECMO who has failed all tests regarding her area of "expertise" - the totality of the circumstances have to be taken into consideration when investigating this case.  Please take a look at the signature page at the end of the IG report - do you think that there could be a bias?

CDR Jackson has a loyal following within his squadron.  I find it hard to imagine that those people would risk their careers to protect his without a certainty of his integrity and intent.  Poor choice of analogy should not be a career ender or the basis for an IG investigation.  People should not have to be on egg shells all the time.  Nobody is perfect and nobody has a right to expect such.  He appears to not have a pattern of the alleged behaviors.  Even an AF officer has crossed over to defend him.  The recollections of those coming to his defense are similar enough to be true and not concocted.  The assault charge is over-reach and just plain stupid.  That leaves us with the EEO charge.  I guess the ladies that did the investigation and signed off on it say it is true, because it exists in the mind of the accusers.  You know, the "perception is reality" thing.  Well, I guess if you think everybody is out to get you because you are (<span>fill in the blank</span>), then you are not paranoid, you must be right.  The negative behaviors attributed to CDR Jackson would not be isolated.  The IGI needed to go back through his past billets to see if this was a pattern.  That was not done. 

If I had conducted such a sloppy investigation - I have done several EEO types - I would have been investigated myself.  This was clearly an agenda driven affair by the IGI with a predetermined conclusion.  When you investigate any type of complaint, you cannot sympathize with any of the parties involved.  You have to get the facts, complete statements, and the historical background.  This was not done.  These type of investigations have a McMillenesque quality to them...the leading questions, the summarization of statements, making the facts fit the predetermined conclusion.

SouthernAP said...

Okay. I have put feelers out and have seen some stuff that wasn't in the released sources. <span>So I am offically eating crow pie</span>. It appears on a whole that the good CDR Jackson was dealing with a "Lt. Keefer type" in his ready room. So the "victim" kept a log and was actively trying to torpedo a man who was worked to right a listing ship. The CDR did so. It appears that this disgruntled pair of officers who initated the hate were basically throwing everything in the pot and throwing it against the wall to see what would stick. That is what it appears to be the issue with regards to the safety issues and that is why the IG found them baseless. <span>So I do apologize</span>. I still think there is something totally wrong with the way the IG went about thier business and I think that the open source stuff is opening the door for conflicting information and questions. So again I do apologize, just on intial review I jumped on something to explain why some of this EO issues weren't handled at lower levels and didn't think the whole process through.

Samie said...

Somebody needs to do IGI on those responsible for this investigation.  The whole thing is both sad and pathetic.

striker said...

"CDR Jackson has a loyal following within his squadron.  I find it hard to imagine that those people would risk their careers to protect his without a certainty of his integrity and intent." 

For some reason, that loyal following within his squadron appears to be only partial representation at the LT/O-3 level, save one DH and then CAG -  As correctly stated, it appears the risk to the other's careers to protect his was "too high" and many more have determined, not worth the cost in this case, unfortunate.

Byron said...

And every flag above a 1 star and every 0-6 who's never held an operational command

Dave Foster said...

All diversitarians are equal but some diversitarians are more equal (& credible) than others.  The CAG is, firstly, suspect for what he is and his professed or actual diversitariansim does not fully remove the hetero white male stain.

All the docs over at Lex are worth the read; kudos to Lex & Sal.

cdrsalamander said...

Perhaps he thought at first they would shoot him last. Now that he has seen the elephant, perhaps we will hear more from his as this gets legs ... well, I hope it gets legs.

Andy said...

DB, good question.  If you show up at your "interview" with your own legal representative, you'd be surprised how reluctant most investigators get about selectivly reporting what you've said to them.  Something about legal repercussions on one's own career and all that. :-D

Andy said...

SAP, you're a stand-up guy, er, person. ;) First round's on me, when 'ere we meet.

ASWOJoe said...

With good reason DB, they know their own capabilities.

GBS said...

<span><span>Based on only having the IG investigation available, I wasn't sure what to think.  My experience is that most COs ration their personal time in the Admin, and don't spontaneously engage in public discussions about things that could even be remotely considered controversial.  That doesn't mean CDR Jackson was necessarily out of line, but perhaps had trouble in certain circumstances realizing when he should stay quiet. </span></span> <span><span></span></span>
<span><span>The letters supporting CDR Jackson are far more compelling than the IG investigation.  Considered together, the investigation appears targeted toward a predetermined outcome, and contains at least as much gossip, hearsay, and mischaracterization compared to any direct evidence of misconduct.  The bypassing of CAG, and the rushed Admiral's Mast coming shortly before the scheduled change of command all smack of a system looking for a quick end rather than due process. I wonder if CDR Jackson contemplated a request for court-martial?</span></span>
<span><span></span></span> <span><span>Although I found some of the aviation discussion disturbing, I reminded myself that the individual conducting the IG investigation wasn't even a Naval Officer, much less a Naval Aviator.  Context is everything, and that's why aviation mishap and JAG investigations are done by people qualified to interpret what they discover.  Further, if the investigation covering the alleged sexual harassment was so flawed, why should we attach any significance to a discussion of aviation-related accusations that were found to be unsubstantiated?</span></span>

Boat School Grad said...

Testify Sista!

Byron said...

Uh...because the career of a fine officer and a gentleman was ruined by innuendo and witchhunt?

GBS said...

Byron...I agree with what you say, but to what part of my post do you refer?

SouthernAP said...

Andy,

If your every in the Puget Sound Region I know of a couple of good bars to trade drink chips and stories of "There I was..."; I would also hazard based on your icon that we have probably crossed paths with some similar people in our time on this earth in the NavAir community.

Andy said...

SAP, that may be true and I may find myself near KNUW next year, I'll post something here.  And anything anyone who claims to know me says is a damnable lie. And no, I don't owe them money. 8-)

YNSN said...

21st Century munity?  

cdrsalamander said...

Putsch might be closer.

Elf said...

I'm not Navy, but UCMJ needs an overhaul.  It's been about 60 years, and we live in a much more politicized environment now.

SouthernAP said...

Ahh, but there is a danger there. Interestingly enough I would rather have the UCMJ then any civil law for anything. Simply because if I have to stand in front of a JAG for a crime; I have a metric butt tonnage of protection afforded in the UCMJ then it appears out in the civil courts. Just compare and contrast the UCMJ and Manuals for Court Martial (the link is to the 08 edition) and compare it to any of your local laws. There are similarities but rules of evidence are harder, rules for testimony are harder and finally the chance to arrive at a trial makes it harder for a person to be wrongly convicted. That is why for example you have seen various situtation like the Hadidathia Marines get off or only a select few get in trouble with a few of the other "war crimes" trials.

DeltaBravo said...

The takeaway I get from this is:  If you are a man, do not try to "mentor" women under your command.  Do not advise them the negative ways in which their actions may be perceived.  Stand by in silence so you aren't accused of creating a hostile environment.  Then wait for accusations of favoritism and discrimination because you did not counsel them or advise them.  By refusing to mentor them you created a hostile environment.  You cannot win

Secondly, do not attempt to do anything to build esprit de corps with those under your command in the off hours.  No good will come of trying to talk to them in off hours.  Anything you say can and will be used against you and you may be accused of creating a hostile environment.  Years after the fact  If you don't invite everyone, however, you may later be accused of excluding some people from social gatherings and creating a hostile environment.   

In short, damned if you do, damned if you don't.

SouthernAP said...

Andy,

I may not be up real close to KNUW for much longer. I am getting ready to go to USS Backyard and probably be over at KRNT or KPAE doing a job with aircraft there. I will take your word that you don't owe anyone cash. The folks I know were guys like Kimo, Cooter, Boxman, and some of the others in Devils, Phoneix, Rustlers, Boomers, Warhorse and Milestone aircraft radio call signs.

Actus Rhesus said...

DB,

I'm sure you recall a post not long ago about what can only be called JAG Corps Scapegoat FLAILEX 2011?

Let's just say I'm very familiar with the facts of that case, and JAGs are, in my book, divided into two categories...the OPLAW types that are generally fine officers, great mentors, and solid patriots who advise the operators and further the Navy's mission, and the rest.  Most of "the rest" can be found in the beltway, and there's that joke about 100 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean...

Sean said...

A question for the Aviators - just exactly how do you fail an OPEN BOOK exam?

The Nuke in me finds it hard to believe that anyone could fail an OPEN BOOK exam unless the exam is timed and you are not familiar with the source material in order to get enough answers down in time to pass.

Or am I missing something here?  I would like more information on how you could possibly fail an OPEN BOOK test before I pass judgement.  Does this happen frequently??

Andy said...

Sean, the Airdales here are asking the same question.

Anonymous said...

He couldn't refuse mast because he was underway. This is why the timing of the IG report is questioned by the CAG.

blixtnedslag said...

Sal, completed the required reading. great point to the other site, interesting perspectives and discussions.   One could and probably did, reasonably conclude - this Jackson guy has an alcohol problem, among others, and CAG chose poorly as an "EP" player, perhaps why, and leading to, the chain of command not trusting CAG to "adjudicate the matter".

Lex said...

The IG deliberately waited until the commander was at sea. At sea, he didn't have the right to refuse NJP.

Anonymous said...

Blix are you flipping kidding me? Tell me you are joking

LazyChop said...

Twice in my career I have been accused of either racism or sexism by under-performing Sailors who either didn't like their poor (and well-deserved) eval, or in the other case a recommendation I made at a Capt's Mast (3rd time in one deployment for that Sailor!) that the Sailor should be administrately separated due to pattern of misbehavior/failure to adapt. Neither resulted in an IG, but both complaints were properly forwarded up the COC to the Triad IAW policy, with CMC and CMEO advised.

Both times my CO/XO (as well as the CMC and CMEO) found the accusations to be unsubstantiated in any sense, and backed me up. Why? I had documentation, and it was pretty obvious that the complaints were BS. Counseling chits, divo notebook notes regarding conversations, etc (most not written by me, by the way) were reviewed. The last question my CO asked me on the matter was "How can you be sexist when the EP's you recommended this cycle from your Dept are both female, and you always speak so highly of [one MP female Sailor]?" It was prima facie evidence of BS from a Sailor who was habitually late, unable to complete most of her assigned PQS, and did terrible work despite seemingly endless training. Unbeknownst to me up to that conversation, I was not the first victim of a false accusation from that Sailor. I had all sorts of stuff showing that I had attempted to give that Sailor every tool possible to succeed. Said Sailor was committed to an involuntary psychiatric review at a later command.

As for the "racism" charge, my COC reviewed documents as well, but also took into account the informal statements by my LPO, Chief, CMC (who happened to be the same race as the Sailor in question) who all uniformly said "LT LazyChop isn't racist. This guy's just a dirtbag." If anything, it was a case of dirtbagism. I guess I'm just prejudiced against people who refuse to do their job, disrespect their LPO and Chief regularly, and consistently get in trouble with folks outside the Dept. The Sailor had no specific accusations - just generally saying that I wouldn't have said those things at Mast if I wasn't racist. Um, ok. CMC actually thought the whole affair was so ludicrous that it was hilarious - and his comments at Mast were more or less the same as mine.

My personal experiences have maintained the glimmer of faith I have that responsible leaders in the Navy will not fail to back up their folks when they spot BS coming from people who are throwing out accusations to see what sticks, hoping desperately to save their own skin. Perhaps, however, I have just been lucky in having good COs.

That said, I refuse to conduct close-door or one-on-one counseling/eval debriefs/mentorship with any female Sailors or Officers without someone else present - either my Chief, or another JO. No matter what, even if they are my most awesome, A+ star, #1 EP Sailor. Sad that things have to be that way, but "better safe than sorry," I suppose. 

LazyChop said...

A: By not ever having opened the NATOPS, reviewed PCLs, studied anything, paid attention in training, or even done some simple chair-flying.

(Fun fact: Most tests at the Supply Corps BQC are open-book (including searchable PDFs), and people still fail them. And get caught cheating at them. I could never wrap my mind around that one.)

LazyChop said...

Or the Caine Mutiny, but in a bizarro world where Capt Queeg is actually liked and respected by everyone except LT Keefer.

LazyChop said...

Is that even possible? It sounds like you're trying to divide by 0 here.

LazyChop said...

Comedy option: Your representation works at a different IG office.

LazyChop said...

Bingo - this wouldn't have gone far in a Court Martial.

Lurker said...

The SECNAV can turn anything over...with enough interest and media attention, of course.

LT B said...

We had a reserve unit deploy to Guam.  The female filed a complaint that she was it was a hostile environment as the men never invited her out with us when we all got together.  Well, at the time, we were all single, so, well, we were chasing women.  She was not an assett in such indeavors.  Some are, some aren't, she was not, so she was not invited to come w/ us.  Additionally, she was gaming the system wrt the PRT so she just was not liked much.  I had a JAG LT say he NEVER EVER EVER befriends females in uniform.  He talks to them about work and then walks away.  He said he has seen way too many clients deal w/ crap.  He does not trust them.  That is the hostile environment of the US Navy.  Good job DC navy.  Good job.

LT B said...

I think they just "fixed" the UCMJ.  Sodimy and beastiality are now legal.  AR, did that get passed on the last military budget signed out this year?

Minority Sailor said...

Wow - you guys are basically saying the Admiral and the IG is jacked up. I could not disagree more. The Admiral did the right thing. IGs of this type are taken under oath AND the conversations are usually recorded. I seriously doubt the IG did not have the evidence to come to the conclusion she came up with. Was completely shocked that CAG n his letter would whine about him not having authority over the case. Plus I am shocked he would play the blame game and slam the LT. If CAG was really in tune this CO would have been corrected a while back.

As for the LT ... I would check the facts that CAG alludes to. If she was that bad then why not FNAEB her? I bet you there is more there than meets the eye. I bet you her official record at the FRS has her as a quality player. One must wonder why would a player degrade in the fleet. Could the command climate limit her performance? On that same subject ... what type of community has a business practice of the detailer ASKING the CO if he wants a female in his command? That just does not sound right.

Bottom line a CO crossed the line on multiple occasions and it took the Battle Group Admiral to come in and resolve the situation. I would not be surprise if the XO and CAG had some counseling on this matter from the Admiral as well. I truly feel for the LT and the LCDR that the CO slams in his letter of appeal. When a popular (albeit bad) CO is fired, I seriously doubt anyone associated with the firing of ever having a fair chance to move on. I will maintain faith with Big Navy. After reading everything I am not surprise at the outcome. But I am disappointed in how CAG and the former CO handled the appeal. As for the appeal - I guess we can assume it was turned down since it was filed in December and now it is February..

MS

USAF Mike said...

Screeching idiots (Conservative Family First types on one side, PETA on the other) got that provision removed from the most recent NDAA, so Art 125 is still on the books.  The whole thing was a stupid tempest in a teapot because bestiality would still be illegal under a whole host of UCMJ Articles, and consensual sodomy has been legal ever since the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces developed the tripartite test in U.S. v Marcum to determine whether or not to apply Lawrence v. Texas (basically you can only apply Art 125 to homosexual relations if it was non-consensual or if there is a compelling military interest...officer/enlisted, superior/subordinate, etc.)

LT B said...

Cool, so it is ok to love your dog, and still not ok to LOVE your dog!  :)

arkhangelsk said...

As a civilian, I do not find the defenses too convincing. Something like half of them basically say nothing more than insisting that CMDR Jackson was a nice guy. One guy even admitted he wasn't there but nevertheless interpreted the hearsay he heard in a favorable way. Real objective, these people.

Any victim of bullying can quickly tell you how useless such testimony is. In fact, Jackson probably indeed does treat most of the squadron nicely. But not necessarily Complainer, which is where it counts.

As for the AF women, I can believe her or I can believe she's backpedalling. There could be 3 reasons for this:
1) The more benign reason is that she underestimated the punishment he will receive, and so is now trying to reverse the damage by soft-soaping the statement without completely overwriting her previous statement. This has been known to happen.
2) Subtle Pressure. Yes, she's Air Force and the complaint is on the Navy, BUT that does not mean she's immune. Now every male would look at her with a thought that "When is she going to sell ME down the river". She could be trying to defuse that.

b d said...

must be nice living in your world of illusion.  tell me.  what color is the sky there?

Short said...

If you actually read the IG report and the letters of support written for CDR Jackson, you can see that there are numerous occasions where statements are taken out of context, or flat out twisted to arrive at a pre-ordained conclusion. 

CAG McInerney was my first Fleet CO.  Our Ready Room, by coincidence and not design, was so diverse that I'm surprised it wasn't used for stock footage by Big Navy.  Everyone was treated the same, mentored the same and evaluated based on their ability.  He was an absolutely phenomenal Skipper.  His selection as a CAG up'd Big Navy's stock for me.  Based on this case, I should have sold said stock immediately after.

It was Captain McInerney's place, as CDR Jackson's immediate superior, to be involved in this process.  If Big Navy is stating that it no longer trusts its operational leaders to act in such a capacity, then we should damn well expect someone to call them on it.  Disagreeing with the CoC on how this plays out is not whining or disloyalty.  It proposes a greater faith in our Navy; the possibility that someone in authority may recognize the injustice done to CDR Jackson and seek to restore his reputation.

As for the LT's official record at the FRS...the EA6B FRS is a decent place to learn the basics of the EA6B.  It is not a great place to evaluate how an NFO will function around the boat for cyclic ops, or as a SEAD lead for a multi-plane strike.  Further, VAQ-134 had recently transitioned from being an expeditionary squadron (deploying to expeditionary airfields) to a boat squadron.  Flying around the boat is generally more challenging, and would reveal weaknesses in what may have been a previously passable ECMO.  Like you, I have not seen the LT's official record.  I do not need to to evaluate the performance of Fleet aircrew that tube their EP, Open and Closed book exams on a unit eval. 

CO's attitudes towards conducting a FNAEB or FNFOEB go a few different ways.  There is the "We can't fire them if we haven't done enough to fix them" approach, the "I'd love to fire them but I don't have the documentation going back a year before I even checked into the squadron that the board will look for" approach, and finally, the "Every squadron has its cross to bear, and she's ours."

I don't know what your story is, or why you are so ready to buy the party line in the face of incontrovertible facts to the contrary.  I've probably spent a lot of time responding to someone who didn't bother to compare the letters of support against the IG report to see how the IG massaged the statements to support the charges.  If you're trolling, nice job.   

b d said...

phenomenal isnt it?  yes, it is that simple.  Pretty much writes the story doesnt it?

b d said...

<span>
<span>i hope that you do also realize that the IG investigation should still only be treated as "alleged information".  since CDR Jackson was not allowed to defend himself with legal counsel, there is no more proof that he said those things than there is proof that he did not say those things.  You can read in the report.  Some of the things that were allegedly said were not even first hand quotes from the complainants, and as for substantiation from witnesses? there is ZERO consistency.  there is also ZERO aknowledgement to the possibility that the complainants could be personally motivated. </span></span>
<span><span>there is no civilian equivalent to CO's Mast. CDR Jackson's lawyer would have killed this case were it allowed to happen at NJP, which is why the chain of command made sure that would not happen.  CAG makes that case explicitly.  the only "investigative" work done on this investigation was to find out when CDR Jackson was going to be deployed so he could not defend himself.  to think otherwise is foolish  </span></span>

b d said...

you are as delusional and misguided as minority sailor

m d said...

<span>
<p>or those aviator types who have raised flags about the safety climate of VAQ-134, I can give you a little background. The “gear jet” in question was given to the Garudas after extensive ISR team work following a previous mishap from another squadron. suffice to say the work was incomplete, or perhaps the jet was bent beyond repair. the instance in question (with CDR Jackson in the jet) happened during blue water ops with no divert available. according to all witnesses, it appeared down and locked, but in such instances, there are only so many tricks you can try and NATOPs did not cover this specific issue. they had covered all areas and needed to land the jet before fuel would become a major issue. tower rep, CAG, and all aboard USS boat decided in concert to land the jet last and they did. unfortunately the gear did collapse. all members of the chain of command demanded answers and a plan of action for the aircraft. Another team came to the boat to inspect it and the jet was craned off the ship. after additional extensive work, the team assured that the jet was fixed. It was not, suffered a collapsed gear on the next available flight, and will probably never fly again. Such is the life of CO’s and CAG’s who are forced to accept tired iron. The mishap report expressly states this
The “issue” with CDR Jackson telling the aircrew that they would be able to go flying with the skid light was perfectly legal within CVWP core SOP. with 12,000 feet of runway, and long field gear, aircrew do not even abort with an anti-skid light. The crew was not forced, but did not fly, and there was ZERO retribution. but make no mistake, the suggestion was not at all in violation of NATOPs, or core SOP.
</p><p>Bottom line is this; The IG investigation mentions all of these “safety/NATOPs violations” as accused by the complainants (who were not even in the jets in question), but when it comes time to discuss the details, they say “under privileged information”. This is a classic example of displaying smoke where there is no fire.
</p></span>

arkhangelsk said...

Oh well, I knew I'm on the upslope as I posted that comment, given the population here.

Personally motivated? It is possible to make such a complaint without being personally motivated? The only difference is whether the personal motivation is justified.

On a credibility basis, here's how I see it. IG Complaint = Career Suicide, no matter the reason and whatever the outcome. Further IG Complainer's Supports = Career Suicide if it leaks. There is nothing to be gained from knowingly making up a false complaint.

In comparison, careerwise, it'll be a good thing to show "loyalty" by defending the CO, no matter what. Even if the CO goes anyway, the other COs will see you are a "team player".

Thus, any testimony in SUPPORT of the complaint is arguably against interest and such testimony gets a higher credibility rating. It won't make it to "Beyond Reasonable Doubt", but "Preponderance of (Credible) Evidence" is quite possible.

arkhangelsk said...

If you are referring to the whole "shame walk" thing, then I'll say that if Jackson believes Complainer needs a little mentoring about her new boyfriend, the doctrinally correct move is AFAIK to mention the problem to the senior female and let them handle it. It both covers his butt and is likely to work better than discussing the whole problem in public.

As for the 2nd one, I can only say whether for example in the whole Poking incident Jackson gave 30 milliseconds of thought to just leaving the sleeper alone? It is off-duty after all and he may just be feeling a little tired.

LazyChop said...

The world where Admirals are infallible, IG reports are the benchmark for investigations, and EEO complaints are handled apolitically!

blixtnedslag said...

nice ad hominem response, b d, classic... and revealing.

Steel City said...

LT B hit the nail on the head on his comment on never befriending a female in uniform.  Bingo...that was my unstated policy my entire career.  Cordial yes, work associate and teammate yes, friend that I would ever divulge anything personal to...never.  And I mean never even consider it for a second.  I would never, ever even contemplate engaging any female in uniform, junior, peer, senior with a "walk of shame" like discussion.  Nothing good could ever come out of that discussion, regardless of whether there were valid points.

The same general rule applies to extreme intake of alcohol by someone in a command position.  The wise just don't do it...ever, no exceptions...when in command.  In that state people do or say things that a) they wouldn't say or do otherwise, or b) are interpretted differently because of their known alcohol-fueled state of mind.  This doesn't excuse a good commander from being unfairly rail-roaded but it does serve as one more lesson (as if we don't have enough already) of what not to do while in command.

cdrsalamander said...

MS;
"<span>I bet you there is more there than meets the eye.</span>" There is - and there is a good chance it will come out. From the emails I have received from those who know the professional background of the LCDR and LT - I don't think you will like the "more."

Minority Sailor said...

Of course they will e-mail you. But when it came time for them to testify under oath what did they do? Its hard to lie when that tape recorder is on. But it is easy to slander someone after the fact to be accepted. Its takes a lot of courage to do the right thing which is not popular. Did any of them stand up for big Navy when the CO crossed the line? No! They thought what the CO was doing was 'cool'. The CO forgot that he is no longer 'one of the boys'. Being CO means it can be lonely at the top. They don't dare challenge the Flag so they are going after the people they believe lodge the complaint. How weak!

LT B said...

arkhangelsk,
   As a target of a false complaint, I can tell you there are different motivations for each one.  I can also tell you that they do not end up in career suicide.  When you are a protected class, you are protected.  What ends that protection is a bright shiny light on the whole incident.  It doesn't mend the wound, it doesn't fix the career of the guilty until proven innocent, but it does show the over all trend.

cdrsalamander said...

MS,
You have to be invited to play; and in any event - did you actually read Encl 1-29?  You need to.  Seriously ... you should hold your fire on this one until you take the time to fully inform yourself ... you are unknowingly putting yourself in shoal water. Look at the chart ..... 

UltimaRatioRegis said...

blix,

Please, please go learn the definition of an "ad hominem" attack.

TheMightyQ said...

Unfortunately, it doesn't matter if he was actually at sea or not.  As the CDR belongs to an at-sea command, he has no right to court-martial.  He can request one, but his senior is not required to grant one. As long as he belongs to anyone who wears the Command at Sea device, he's at the mercy of his chain of command as far as that goes.  Now the fact that his CAG was denied the ability to participate in the process is a travesty, but that is a separate issue.

Anonymous said...

Q,
Not accurate. He could have refused mast if not on the boat. Cag's point is that the timing of the ig report delivery to the csg calls the integrity of the whole process into question.

GBS said...

Lex,

Although NJP can be imposed and there is no right to a court-martial, the accused can still make the request.  I also think it would tend the bolster the argument for the NJP appeal.  IF we know all there is to know, this case looks like a loser at trial.

GBS said...

I spent all my time in S-3s, and anti-skid was "required" for all flights, but usually with the caveat of whether or not there was a wet runway.  Depending on the individual squadron SOP, it was either a CO or pilot waiverable MESL item.  In any event, my experience only saw aircrew lobbying the CO to release an aircraft with a questionable this or that.  I NEVER saw or even heard of anyone refusing to take an aircraft with a faulty but waiverable component if the CO granted approval.

m d said...

youre right.  it was probably unfair of me to make an uninformed analysis of your character. Could we be in agreement that it may not be wise to do that?
perhaps if someone followed you around for 2.5 years and took notes on everything you said ON and OFF duty, maybe you would not be reflected upon favorably? and by what standards?  in today's Navy if you say that you have had more than 3 drinks a week you are considered to have a drinkng problem.  
lets not forget that most of these "inappopriate comments" occurred while off duty, (port calls) which by today's OPTEMPO is a very,very small percentage of the squadron's time for this squadron during this timeframe. 
But i have no idea what you would do to blow off steam in a heavily deployed, highly stressful combat support environment, so I would not venture to guess what you would do...

Old Navy said...

Thanks MD .. your information, and comments from SAP below ..tell "the rest of the story".  

m d said...

yeah. way more is being made of this than required. 
He gave them an out, they didnt want to take it, and everyone (minus 1) moved on after discussing the pros and cons.  Kind of a real life application of ORM principles and an indication of a working Safety Program. Call it adult behavior if you are in to that kind of thing 

Old Navy said...

Chop..sometimes the sytem works. I recall a young Airman in my squadron ..female and minority, who was a classic case of "failure to adapt." She marched to her own drummer, and her eval reflected it.  It wasn't until she was written up and demanded a courts martial, that the Skipper asked me to call her old NROTC Unit (she had left after about 3 1/2 years) and get some background.  We were deployed at the time, but I called the NROTC unit and got hold of a Marine Capt. who knew her well... I felt fully vindicated when what he said was almost word for word what I had written in the eval.  

Last I heard, she had sent a letter to her Congressman to say she was being held in the brig against her will.  We of course received a Congressional Inquiry, and I suggested to the Skipper that we simply respond with a one line "Dear Congressman XX  , Most people are held in the brig against their will." but we played the game and sent a long summary of our Airman's transgressions.   (If Cdr Sal is ever looking for good Blog fodder,  Congressional Inquiry's would be fun !)

Grandpa Bluewater said...

Back in the day, if you had a family with money and connections, you could buy your way off of a war galley's rowers' bench after the Inquisition put you there. It didn't come cheap.

The more things change...

m d said...

Ark,
Not trying to gang up, but trying to plead my case for some civilian context to this matter;
LCDR X already had his career "killed" which is a subjective definition.  a Commanding Officer is forced to make very tough decisions on a daily basis. One of those, regarding the LCDR level, is to "pick" 1 person to replace his job out of a possible list of as many as 5-10.  This decision is not made lightly, but it is guaranteed to leave someone disgruntled.  LCDR X was one of those ones not chosen, although one could also argue that he might have been fine with the support and paperwork that he was given.  But, life isnt always fair...

If you say that personal motivation can be a given, what about "retribution" as personal motivation? In regards to EEO and IG, it is an arrow in the sling that only a few have, but lets not deny that it can be used for retribution or say even that it hasnt in the past.  And i have seen it used as a threat as well as something that has worked for personal gain. THAT IS NOT WHAT THE SYSTEM IS DESIGNED FOR. Taking Off duty second hand quotes out of context out of 2.5 years of following your boss around and "waiting to see if you get the number 1 ticket" Would you promote that type of person if you knew that was happening?  CDR obviously did not know, but it appears he made the right choice.  At what point does exhorting those below you to "join in on the IG bandwagon" and take down your CO while all the while expecting to be the number 1 DH become sedition?

If EEO/IG process can be used as retribution, then there is no support for the commanding officer making those difficult choices and his input is no longer credible. hardly optimum for a squadron conducting combat operations.  we still believe that the organization has priority over the individual, especially when there are those in peril on the ground and units are chartered to provide that support.  I think that concept used to be important. But these things dont happen in a vacuum. It takes hard work and leadership and prioritization of tasks at hand.

GBS said...

It takes conscious disregard.  Given enough time, I could hand YOU a NATOPS manual and open book test and you'd probably pass.

Sean said...

Thanks.  I thought as much but figured I would ask in case I was missing something since I was not an Aviator.

Short said...

I'm writing another comment because I want this travesty to stay on our radars, and I don't know how I can help make that happen.  The impact of relieving CDR Jackson based on a flawed investigation and in clear violation of the IG's own operating proceedings goes far beyond the Garuda's hangar.  This case has disabused a large number of officers of the idea that loyalty in the Navy is a two way street, and has many wondering whether or not command is a worthy goal if it can be lost based on rumor and conjecture.  LTs and LCDRs don't "revolt"; they just decide to leave, and we are losing a number of talented officers, who having completed multiple combat deployments are unwilling to deal with the backbiting and mickey mouse pc bullshit that seems to be integral to life in the Navy.

Whidbey is a small base, and VAQ a relatively small community.  The identity of the DH who orchestrated this sham was known by most of his peers shortly after CDR Jackson was relieved of command.  Most guys who are described as being mediocre in the jet and having a shitty work ethic would be happy to grab a #2.  Timing and self-promotion reportedly got him as far as his DH tour, but at least he won't be going any further...or at least the last ounce of faith I have in the Navy is telling me he won't screen for command.

x T said...

kind of justifies CDR Jackson's decision to not give the LCDR the #1, doesnt it? Makes you wonder what the good LCDR would have done with his 2.5 year "quote log" if he had gotten the #1 ticket?

At what point does using your DH status to recruit others into IG investigations become "an act of sedition".  There were other JO's who didnt take the bait, methinks.

Too bad that more people do not know that the football was deflated when it was handed to CDR Jackson.  I think that in spite of the DH in question, he was able to resurrect the squadron.  Must say a lot about the DH's abilities as MO that when all was said and done, the troops showed more support for the departed Skipper.  Football sure looks deflated now, though. The Admiral brought them full circle.  

LT B said...

This is the result of Balkanizing the US Navy.  This is what diversity, protection has given us.  I say again.  Set in clear language what the goal is.  Hold ALL to that standard, help those that are trying but need it.  Failure to reach the standard means you are out and others get promoted.  By standard, I mean operational and professional capability, not the PC standard.  We have entered the second decade of the 21st century.  We are coming up on 50 yrs since we had segregation.  We have leveled, then tilted the playing field the other direction over that time.  It is time now to let people succeed and/or fail on their own merits.  Yes, sometimes there will be issues, but let's not make it institutionally driven.  Remember, the younger sailors have largely been working/playing in a multi culti environment for most of their lives.  Do not play favorites, recruit the best you can from all over, bring them in, traing them, give them a mission to be proud of and support, train and equip them to perform that mission.  Let all succeed w/o prejudice, protection or favoritism and the Navy will be good to go.  This silliness is not a postive thing.  If your IG is not honestly looking at issues, then you have lost one of your checks to the system. 

Minority Sailor said...

So where is the outrage from the Prowler Commodore? How about fellow CO's in the Air Wing? Surely if the course of action taken by the Admiral was so outragious their honor, courage, and commitment would have them fallen on their sword for this "great CO". Or perhaps they know he did indeed crossed the line with his actions. From the accounts in the blog people claim that at best, both the DH (and I am assuming he is a minority) and the female LT were average players. Their motivation and performance has been attacked as a distractor to the real issue of the CO being held to account for acting like a frat boy when he should be upholding the highest of standards.

In my opinion the CO was let down. He was let down by his XO and CMC if they did not try to reign him in. He was let down by is CAG if he knew of his behavior and turned a blind eye. He was let down by his peers (fellow CO's) if they ever saw him or heard of him going over te top and not pulling him aside and saying, "Dude ... this does not look good."

That being said I am sure those that loved this guy will bend over backwards now to ensure the LT and LCDR now go thru hell for some form of twisted justice. I hope not but history shows otherwise. Finally, we will never know all the facts but I will have faith that an experienced IG will not make things up and that a well seasoned Battle Group Admiral is wise enough to see a flawed investigation before making a final call.

cdrsalamander said...

MS,
You assume you know a lot about what his fellow COs think.  You don't. 

cdrsalamander said...

<p>xT,
</p><p>Here is what you do. At every Captains call, every Commodore's call, every Admiral's call - bring it up. Ask the hard questions.  Be calm, be respectful, be full of facts. As nothing can really be done by anyone having less than 3 stars - then perhaps it is best to leave the Captains and Commodores alone.  Find out when the CNO is coming next.  He almost always asks for questions.  Get in front of him.  Ditto for CPF - hold him accountable for his IG. How many degrees of separation are you from someone in the media? Get in touch with them. Do you or someone you know have a college acquaintance in journalism? They are always looking for projects that have a mix of government incompetence, botched investigations, and good people caught in a Kafkaesque situation.
</p>

steeljawscribe said...

"Such is the life of CO’s and CAG’s who are forced to accept tired iron."
No truer words - been there as Maint Div O, MO and CO...it ain't fun and every day I thanked God for the troops I had working for me keeping these things flying.

w/r, SJS

x T said...

Lots of folks in the JO Jungle have the required ammo up here.  unfortunately "up here" connotes a seperation between air bases and Flags who come trolling through making themselves available.  Also connotes that said JO's will not be on deployment.  More of a rarity these days.  Great points, and certainly there might be time for some hard hitting questions come flag panel at the Tailhook Convention.  FInding a 3 star willing to take the shots might be the long pole.

T_S_D said...

There is a difference between Administrative Control and ISIC.  That is a fact that even a Shoddy department head should know. 

You talk about "crossing the line" like you know more than has been revealed here, or is it just the case that you are surprised in the lack of support for the 2 marginal players making the accusations.  If you have any more information, feel free to share.

And where do you get to judge about "honor, courage, commitment"? It doesnt sound like you have experience in Command to make that distinction. maybe if you had, you would think differently.

I tihnk most of this group is in agreement that the Navy works best when people value the organization over the individual.  This is not a support group.  There is a mission here.  For the "individuals in question?" They would have fell on their sword sooner or later. Lets hope they will be prevented from doing any more damage in the future. Who knows what they have done in the past.

The real tragedy here is the distraction to the mission of supporting troops on the ground right now, which is what VAQ-134 should be focused on doing.  If you want to talk about Honor, Courage, Commitment, then focus on the mission  

TSD said...

The 'mariginal' DH was awarded multiple awards in the Prowler community over the years. He is hardly 'marginal'.

NAVY said...

Gents, do any of you even know this DH???? He is not mediocre, he is not marginal, he is not average. He was selected to become a patch wearer, taught at the school house, and was selected to be one of a very small group to be a training officer. We was awarded multiple awards at the annual Prowler awards dinners. These awards are extremely hard to achieve and only the best of the community receive them.

I don't agree with everything that happened, but calling this guy less that stellar is completely wrong.

T_S_D / m d / etc said...

You're right.  He had a farly decent reputation in the community. except for that one time he got sent back to the FRS for refresher training due "marginal performance" during his first fleet tour.

But perhaps his competition had a better reputation?  At any rate, perhaps he still had a shot at command? he wouldnt have been the first DH ever to not get a #1 fitrep.  life is tough...

Even if he did have a decent reputation, he became instantly marginal with the aforementioned shenanigans.  Maybe his best punishment should be a shot at command with someone below him trying to torpedo him.  my definition of "sedition" looks a lot like what I have read from the IG report. 

do you really want to continue this? I dont...

C-dore 14 said...

@MS, You tend to have more faith in the IG than I do.  Maybe things are different now but in my experience these guys tended to not to be lawyers but O-6 line officers who had failed to screen for major command (with the baggage that entails).  3 of the 4 IG investigation that I was associated with (fortunately not as a "principal") during my last 5 years in the service seemed more focused on finding someone to hang rather than getting to the truth in an accusation.

As for the CSG commander, this investigation hit his desk about a month into the assignment.

cdrsalamander said...

C-14. Look at the last page of the IG.  Look for the rank of the two people signing it.  Wait ....

C-dore 14 said...

@CDR S, Well, I guess that I was wrong about the "fail to screen" O-6s.  Just when you think that things couldn't be any worse...

Short said...

...or the time he nearly ran a jet out of gas in Iraq.  Or the word of anyone who ever had to hear him lecture at the Weapons School.  Or any of the other JOs who picked up the work load while he picked up the credit.  Other than that, stellar rep.

Anonymous said...

I wish I could sympathize with Spaulding. It seems there was a love/hate relationship in the ready room. Many of the actions made may seem little to many but a commanding officer should set himself to higher standard. Clearly squadrons will always have some struggling aviators. In many cases, there are reasons behind it. If the lt felt ousted, she may have lost the will to continue and felt she had other choice. Out of 20 aircrew, one was fneab'd a year ago, another was on the road to a fneab, a dh fealt he was being treated poorly, two IGs filed, a mishap, a skipper having two AOMs to influence the opinions (my unit didn't have a AOM when the other two VAQ CO's got fired), aircrew opting out of admins because of the alcohol and behavior, another Cvw JO commenting about Spauldings behavior, and even the endorsements were littered with comments about a divided squadron. It's a mess.

Spaulding had a responsibility to fix it, not bully officers around because of his rank and position.

Short said...

I know him.  I thought he was a nice guy, but a poor instructor. Without a doubt he was in the bottom third of the talent pool there.  And about 40 percent of his year group are patch wearers.  Some good guys get selected to be Training Officers, some guys roll into the job for timing.  And a strong enough write up can even make a turd sandwich sound good.  The concensus at the Rock from former squadronmates was that he was a decent guy who was average on a good day in the jet and fairly lazy.

T_S_D / m d / etc said...

After the sedition of his DH tour, you can change the "is" in your comment to "Was".  marginalized himself by his acts and torpedoed himself on his own accord.  Had a great future even without a #1 ticket until he decided it was his job to think for "big Navy" about CO's "crossing the line". No one person is bigger than the group and that wasnt his job or decision to make. The unsubstantiated EO complaint should have clued him in.

If he had spent more time focusing on combat readiness, health and welfare of his troops, and performance in the aircraft instead of following the CO around with a quote log and trying to walk JO's through IG processes, maybe he would have gotten the #1 fitrep. 

Anonymous said...

Still very interesting his former boss, CVWP, didn't go to bat for him. Six months and a small community gets three skippers fired. All three had similar personalities. All three were brought up in the same era. All three lost their job.

3/14 skippers in one year. This is staggering. At a minimum, it indicates a flaw in how these officers were trained to act and behave in social settings.

Anonymous said...

That officer in question was never sent back to the FRS for refresher training. I think you have your facts mixed up.

Anonymous said...

You definitely have your facts wrong on this one.

Anonymous said...

I know the LCDR you are referring to and your facts here are absolutely incorrect. I would bet you can't get a single JO from the weapon school to agree with your statement.

Anonymous said...

There was another minority officer at 135 who was sent back to the FRS but not the LCDR you are referring to. Unless you want to lump allow protien together, you should make sure your data is correct.

Anonymous said...

Damn auto correct...lol. " unless you want to lump all minority officers together..."