Monday, March 30, 2009

Throw a shoe at SWO culture ...

Didn't we talk about this when I was an ENS, a LT, a .... well .... all the time?
Verbal abuse. Public degradation. Sleep deprivation. Fear. Temperamental outbursts. High school antics. Bullying. These descriptors are more indicative of hazing rituals than meaningful combat training aspiring to build watch team cohesion and capable war-fighters.
Decades later ... and still we are in rinse, repeat mode.

Is this your ship?
One junior officer in Mayport, Fla., explained: “I typically get thrown off the bridge at least once during a watch by a senior officer in some sort of profanity-laced tirade. Most of the time I have no idea what I did to cause the explosion.”
“There’s definitely a SWO culture. Thrive off of getting as little sleep as humanly possible, think Aegis is the greatest thing to happen to the human race, make fun of the folks who ‘don’t get it,’ talk down about the non-watchstanding supply rates, and you’re ‘in.’ It’s a bit like high school. SWOs eat their young. You earn respect for ripping into people and just being generally ‘hard-core.’ ”

“SWOs eat their young. Your job: stay on the good side of the bullies, the feared and unrelenting senior officers on your ship. Avoid being on the receiving end of their wrath. I am ashamed to say that I contributed to this culture to avoid finding myself on the other side of the table. To deal with the bullies, you become a bully. And, if you survive, you wear your SWO pin ‘like a badge of honor.’ ”
If so, why?

One of my spies reminded me of this very interesting article from the 16 MAR NavyTimes by Professor Donnie Horner.

Read it twice.

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