Via our guest Mackenzie Eaglen from Midrats yesterday - a reminder of the echo of one leader who decided to take a stand.
The year was 1979. America’s military had emerged from the Vietnam War earlier in the decade and was now facing sizable and significant budget cuts.USS CANISTEO (AO-99) - Warning Noted.
Capt. Tom Shanahan, commanding officer of the USS Canisteo, had just returned from the Mediterranean Sea and was now leading an overhaul of his fleet supply ship. Over the course of 10 months, the crew assigned to the Canisteo gradually disappeared, relocated by the Navy to other assignments. Those personnel cuts eventually left Shanahan with so few men that he couldn’t take his ship to sea.
“Little by little, they stripped us of a lot of the people we had, key people,” Shanahan recounted recently. “By the time we were ready to get underway from the shipyard and go back to Norfolk, we didn’t have enough people. We didn’t have enough people in any of the departments, but mainly we didn’t have enough people in the engine room.”
Shanahan took the bold step of refusing to certify his ship as seaworthy.