Monday, July 15, 2019

What Use is a Frigate?

Practical experience is a tough teacher.

For well over two decades, we have been told that escorting merchants was "old think" - that it simply is no longer needed.

We have been told that general use frigates were jack of all trades, master of none. Not a useful tool.

We have been told that the tanker wars and the confines of the Persian/Arabian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz and Gulf of Oman told us that we needed a LCS type ship. Everyone will need a LCS type ship.

Behold what reality lay-bare in the last week! Behold the experience that puts the lie to all the pet theories of the Potomac Flotilla and their cadre of rent seekers!
A Royal Navy frigate trained its guns on three Iranian boats seeking to force an oil tanker off its route through the Strait of Hormuz, it emerged today.

The military clash took place late evening, local time, yesterday when three Iranian vessels, believed to be manned by forces from Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard Corps, were spotted speeding towards the BP-operated British Heritage tanker.

They are reported to have ordered it to change course to make it stray out of international waters near the island of Abu Musa as it was heading out of The Gulf....
A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: “Contrary to international law, three Iranian vessels attempted to impede the passage of a commercial vessel, British Heritage, through the Strait of Hormuz.

HMS Montrose was forced to position herself between the Iranian vessels and British Heritage and issue verbal warnings to the Iranian vessels, which then turned away.

“We are concerned by this action and continue to urge the Iranian authorities to deescalate the situation in the region.”
As we've discussed on Midrats, though the USN has foolishly abandoned merchant escort as a duty, it will and must be done. Not just in soft-posturing quasi-confrontations like this, but in a peer fight as well.

Though I don't want to turn this in to a LCS bash, the facts bash LCS just fine themselves, I note that LCS cannot do this mission as well as a frigate, she wasn't designed for it, and would be sub-optimal if asked. Better than nothing, but still. Ironic, being that this is the body of water that helped promote the entire LCS concept at the start, whatever frankenship it later became.

Enough of rehashing that failure of vision, but instead we should ponder which of the FFG(X) fills this requirement.

A quick note about the Type-23 frigate. It is a solid design greatly influenced by the Royal Navy's experience in the Falkland Islands War. HMS MONTROSE (F236) is the 7th of her class of 16. Though only 4,900 tons and a compliment of 185, she is not playing around.
Anti-air missiles:
- 1 × 32-cell Sea Wolf GWS.26 VLS canisters for 32: Sea Wolf (range 1–10 km) or Sea Ceptor missiles (1-25+ km)

Anti-ship missiles:
- 2 × quad Harpoon launchers

Anti-submarine torpedoes:
- 2 × twin 12.75 in (324 mm) Sting Ray torpedo tubes

- 1 × BAE 4.5 inch Mk 8 naval gun
- 2 × 30 mm DS30M Mk2 guns, or, 2 × 30 mm DS30B guns
- 2 × Miniguns
- 4 × General-purpose machine guns
Her big sister is coming over to help out - the RN is a bit thin on numbers (numbers matter) as the international community (read USA) tries to cobble together an international solution to the escort challenge.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

The Once, Past, and Future Strait of Hormuz & Gulf of Oman - on Midrats

From limpet mines on tankers, drone shootdowns, and the HMS Montrose just short of loading grape - the decades long story of Iranian posturing in their near seas continues.

A lot sounds familiar, but the economic and security environment has changed a lot in the four decades.

What is a constant, what has changed, and what should we expect to evolved in one of the most globally important areas of water?

Our guest this Sunday from 5-6pm Eastern to discuss this and more will be returning guest John Keuhn.

Dr. John T. Kuehn is the General William Stofft Chair for Historical Research at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. He retired from the U.S. Navy 2004 at the rank of commander after 23 years of service as a naval flight officer in EP-3s and ES-3s. He authored Agents of Innovation (2008) and co-authored Eyewitness Pacific Theater (2008) with D.M. Giangreco, as well as numerous articles and editorials and was awarded a Moncado Prize from the Society for Military History in 2011.

Join us live if you can, but if you miss the show you can always listen to the archive at Spreaker

If you use iTunes, you can add Midrats to your podcast list simply by clicking the iTunes button at the main showpage - or you can just click here.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Fullbore Friday

This week, a guest post FbF. With permission of the author, I've modified a bit to protect his identity.

A little reminder that legends walk amongst us. No battle is small to those who fight it - and in forgotten places in nearly forgotten times, people give their youth, their life, and their friends so we can live the life we have today.

The least we can do is remember their deeds, and speak their names..

On a small island called Sasevale off New Georgia close to the port and airfield of Munda, the tribal chief informed me there was a US monument on the rather tiny island. I was led to a massive anchor next to a flagpole and plaque (pictured below).

Unfortunately, jungle had overgrown the monument, so it was rather unimpressive, but I was happy to note that its patron, Joe Gunterman was from Waterbury, CT, within driving distance where I lived stateside. Small world indeed.

Upon my return, I googled Joe and found he was still alive and kicking. One cold call later and I had an invitation to his house. As I pulled up, I found him at 93 bounding up the stairs to meet a shipmate and filled with unbridled excitement to describe his ship's small role in the glorious Battle of Munda.

Joe had made a lifelong pursuit of finding the anchor he had ceremoniously set on Sasevale and was well prepared for me, and my wife who joined me for the visit, with maps, charts, ship's logs, books and photographs. I had brought, with a minimum of foresight, a digital tape recorder and my attention...also my wife who was understandably a bigger hit than I.

The USS ZANE (DMS 14), was serving as a destroyer minesweep during the war and in the prelude to Munda had received orders to drop an Army company on Sasavele. The orders were delivered by a young officer named John F Kennedy to a ship who named Herman Wouk amongst its wardroom. I was blown away by the fact that these two towering figures could have possibly passed so close. Joe, of course, showed me the ships log entry noting JFKs role in delivering the ZANE's secret orders. After delivering the orders, JFK and PT109 departed to destiny while the ZANE concentrated upon her covert mission.

The ZANE moved out, pulling in close to Sasevalle during the dead of night, unsupported and as covert as possible. As they dropped the fires company ashore, they hit reef and ran aground. Luckily, the ZANE remained undetected and as the company moved ashore, they hatched a plan to get off the reef. First, the ZANE jettisoned her depth charges and they were able to reverse off the reef only to hit the aft end on yet more reef less than 100 meters aft of their position and uncharted. Finally, they dropped the anchor I would see years later to escape the reef and remove themselves to a safer position. This maneuver was captured brilliantly by a local islander in the 70s based upon only his knowledge of the island and the prevailing winds. I, and Joe, found it to be quite accurate. I still have the drawing.

Joe and the ZANE remained on station for the duration of the Battle of Munda, which was so extraordinary that multiple men won the Medal of Honor. It was my pleasure to allow Joe one last chance to relive the experience with me. A true hero. I had arrived arrogant of my own role in our recent war and left humbled by a greater man.

Joe passed away a little over a year later:
WATERBURY - Joseph E. Gunterman, 91, of Waterbury, died Thursday, November 27, 2014 at the Vitas Inpatient Unit at St. Mary's Hospital. He was the husband of the late Joyce (Becker) Gunterman to whom he was married to from 1947 until her death in 2009. 
Mr. Gunterman was born in Waterbury May 11, 1923 and was a U.S. Navy Veteran having serving in the South Pacific during World War II. He was stationed on the USS Zane, which was the model for the stories of the novel The Caine Mutiny.

After his military service Mr. Gunterman worked for SNET for forty years. He was also a builder and general contractor building many homes and condominiums in the area. He stayed active buying and selling properties up until his last illness.
Mr. Gunterman is survived by his daughter, Nancy Manoni and her husband Lee of Southington, a granddaughter, Julie Modeen and her husband Andrew of Middlebury, a great grandson, Benjamin, and a sister, Barbara Capozzi of NJ.
Friends are welcome at the Murphy Funeral Home, 115 Willow St. on Monday December 1, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 11 a.m. Entombment will follow in Calvary Queen of Peace Mausoleum.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

NATO in Three Graphs

For those like me who deeply care about the NATO alliance, take some time to read last July's Pew Report if you have not already.

There are three graphs from their data that illustrate well some of the common points we've discussed here through the years.

If you want a good idea who would likely step if the call came, this is a good benchmark. 

This next graph is a good measure of entitlement and inherent free-ridership.

Poland and my people in The Netherlands are both outliers here. Good for them.

...and here is the "put your money where your mouth is" graph. Sadly, the Dutch are failing to do so - but look at Poland.

Poland deserves more of our support and encouragement. 

Much more.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

FREMM Bulks Up

If it means they have to paint the FREMM pink and call the first in class the USS BARACK OBAMA (FFG 62), then so be it.

No shock for the Front Porch here that I've been TEAM FREMM from the start. It is, really, the best choice.

Do what needs to be done. I've already accepted the sub-optimal 57mm main gun in the hope that there will be a Flight II that will put a proper 5" up front - but one step at a time.

Let's do this sooner more than later.
To meet the U.S. Navy’s famously high survivability standards, the FREMM frigate design has had to hit the gym and pack on hundreds of thousands of pounds of muscle in pursuit of wining the Navy’s FFG(X) competition.

U.S. Navy ships are built like linebackers: able to take hit upon hit and stay in the game. But that comes at the cost of extra steel. And in the case of Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri’s FREMM, it meant adding hundreds of tons of steel,
“[The extra steel is] going into scantling, ballistic and frag protection, the way the spaces are laid out: We’re as compliant as a DDG. That’s a lot of steel. The compartmentation, the toughness of the ship, the U.S. requirements that are different from the European ships — we moved around some of that extra space; it gets classified very quickly.”

What hasn’t been compromised has been the modularity of the ship that creates routes for major equipment to be brought in and out of the hull so that replacing, for example, major engine or computer components doesn’t require cutting a hole in the ship, Hunt said.

The berthing compartments are also the same: four- to six-person staterooms with private showers for each room.
The last part there? That should seal the deal for everyone.

Monday, July 08, 2019

Moran’s Defenestration

Back in May, in a rare set up for a smooth transition in an administration characterized by “acting” officials, gapped billets, backlogged confirmations, and general staffing disarray, Admiral Moran was confirmed by the Senate to be the next CNO once Admiral Richardson’s term ended.

And then last night, news broke that he is resigning after 38-years of service.

That is the “what” but not the “so what.” Here’s the “so what.”

What happened has laid bare a deep, structural rot in our Navy that I am not sure … no, I am sure … cannot and will not be fixed with the present civilian leadership we have. As a matter of fact, they are encouraging the rot they were – as part of the present administration’s charter – sent to repair.

Let’s dive in and review the wave tops. I’ve gone through a few drafts over the last 12-hrs after some raging over on twitter, but have waited for more information to come out this AM. The core issues remain the same, so let’s run with them.

First, ignore the conjecture. Ignore the conspiracies (though there is a non-zero chance of all too normal undermining at the 4-star level). Ignore the usual suspects who are pounding on the same little tin-drum agenda they always pound on. This is very simple.

What has happened is another scalp has been handed by those who hold power to the unaccountable Star Chamber and their unsurvivable witch hunts. We have at the highest levels, non-resilient power with clay feet where titanium moral courage is needed.

The signal it sends to our Navy is cancerous and destructive to the very foundations of our service culture – or what is left of it.

Let’s go to the facts with the following assumption; words mean things. Another assumption; SECNAV Spencer and Admiral Moran are saying exactly what happened. If not, there are larger issues. I will give them the benefit of the doubt as on whole they are both good and honorable men.

First, as reported by Sam LaGrone, SECNAV Spencer;
Adm. Bill Moran recently brought to my attention that over the past two years he maintained a professional relationship with an individual who was held accountable and counseled for failing to meet the values and standards of the Naval profession. While I admire his faithful service and commitment to the Navy, this decision on his part to maintain that relationship has caused me to call his judgment into question. Therefore, today I accepted Adm. Moran’s request to retire.

The current Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. John Richardson, will remain the CNO. I will make my recommendation for a new CNO candidate to the Acting Secretary of Defense.

I have a strong vision for the Department of the Navy — one that includes trust among Sailors, Marines, and Civilians and an urgent resolve by all to live up to the nation’s high standards for our Navy and Marine Corps. Department leadership must reflect that vision, and there must be no doubt we are wholly committed to ensuring a culture and work environment where every person is treated with dignity and respect and free from hostile behavior of any kind.

Adm. Bill Moran has served this country honorably for decades. I am grateful for the years of dedicated service by him and his family.
Now Admiral Moran:
I informed the Secretary of the Navy today that I have decided to decline my appointment as the next Chief of Naval Operations. He has expressed his support.

I made this difficult decision based on an open investigation into the nature of some of my personal email correspondence over the past couple of years and for continuing to maintain a professional relationship with a former staff officer, now retired, who had while in uniform been investigated and held accountable over allegations of inappropriate behavior.

To be clear, my decision to maintain this relationship was in no way an endorsement or tacit approval of this kind of conduct. I understand how toxic it can be to any team when inappropriate behavior goes unrecognized and unchecked. Every Sailor is entitled to serve in an environment free of harassment or intimidation.

As painful as it is to submit my request to retire, I will not be an impediment whatsoever to the important service that you and your families continue to render the nation every day.

I believe in the institution. And I believe I am doing right by it.

Serving in the United States Navy has been a high honor and privilege. For over 38 years, I have drawn so much satisfaction from that service and nothing has made me more proud than to have been a United States Sailor.

I thank President Trump and Secretary Spencer for the opportunity they gave me, and I deeply regret any inconvenience my decision causes them.
So, the core issue here goes back to Chris Servello. If you don’t know the background of the “Naughty Santa” kerfuffle, I’ll let you google it. No CM, not even NJP, just another IG Star Chamber exercise of professional destruction.

This is now the go-nogo point for CNO? Really?

What did Moran do? He worked with a subordinate on and off for over a decade. They had a mentor/mentoree relationship as our Navy has encouraged people to do for decades. As with all long term mentoring relationships, you get to be at least close acquaintances, if not friends. That is how normal humans work.

Mentoring relationships can only properly function if there is a high degree of trust and a feeling of two-way loyalty. Again, this is how normal, healthy relationships work. Part of being a mentor is being there to provide advice and counsel through the good times and the bad. To work through rough patches and plan for a successful path through milestones and obstacles that life will always put in your personal and professional life.

You also need steadfastness. Steadfastness should come naturally to normal, healthy relationships, but it can be difficult for some as life brings enough challenges on its own – to bring the problems of those you mentor just adds to the load you are carrying. It takes men and women of character, and dare I say virtue, to be steadfast with those they mentor when they run in to tough times.

On the other side, there is a not well hidden sickness in our Navy that may be worse than in the general population due to how close you can get to people in the pressure cooker 24/7/365 that is the military; abandonment.

You will never find out faster the character of those you call acquaintances and friends than when you find yourself in any kind of scandal. At the first gust of crisis, the thin, hollow, and poorly anchored are the first to disappear. As the gale increases, more and more break away until sometimes you are alone. Being alone as the world around you swirls out of control is a nightmarish place. If you are the cause of the chaos, it is easy to fall in to self-pity at best, life-threatening depression at worse.

If when you are at your lowest, there are those who are standing there ready to help you recover, then you are a blessed person. They will be the supports that help you and those who count on you to recover and move on. They are the ones that have demonstrated character and are an example of the best personal loyalty has to offer.
By standing with you to help, they do not necessarily ignore or condone what you may have done – what they do is recognize your humanity and the fact that, like them, you are an imperfect being in a fallen world.

They know no one is perfect and life is short. What matters most is what we do for those who need us – especially those who feel they can rely on us in times of trouble.

To abandon those who you led to think could rely on you is a deeply unethical, immoral, and sociopathic act. It goes beyond seeing people as just objects to be used, it places “you” at the center of the universe and your personal comfort and ambition at the center of all you do.

Is that what we want to reward as a Navy? Is that what we want to promote in our leaders? If so, then if the present justifications stand, that is exactly what we are doing.

All Moran did here was to keep in touch with a mentoree who had a very human moment of weakness around the wrong people at the wrong time. That empathy and, yes, loyalty, is what we want in our leaders. If not, we will quickly distill nothing but a leadership that is a carnival of grotesques thoroughly populated with sociopaths, high-functioning autists, and the slippery, calculating types whose drive to power will be littered with destroyed careers, cratering retention, and an abundance of leaks when advantageous to themselves or the agendas they approve of.

For officers of character like Moran, what does it signal? I think Moran tells us; leave. This is an organization that does not desire men and women of character who see their Sailors as people, not objects; who see people has imperfect being of value, not useful block in building temples to their own ambition; who see service to nation as a driver, not using the nation to serve their rapacious egos and feed deep insecurities.

At this moment in time, what has our Navy lost? We have lost one of the most anticipated leaders rising to CNO I have seen in my adult life.

Moran was the right man at the right time for CNO. Full stop.

As we go in to the Terrible 20s where budgetary knowledge will by key in getting the most of every dime after two lost decades of acquisition malpractice, the Flag Officer who knows the budget process better than any is gone. A 38-years investment in leadership development, gone. A good man who cares about Sailors and the long term health of our Navy, gone.

Worse, a message to our fleet is clear and bright; we want sociopaths. Mentoring is only transactional.

We have punished virtue and will reap a bitter harvest.

Lastly, I have to say the advice I took myself and told anyone who would listen after Tailhook holds true.
1. Never live on base.
2. There is no such thing as a Navy social event, they are work events.
3. Never have more than 1-drink per hour at a Navy social event. Better yet, only have one drink, none if you can.
4. Show up on time and leave early.
5. When deployed, be exceptionally careful who is on your liberty crew. The smaller the better, and if possible, if you are a male do not include a female who has a DOD ID. If you have a female on your liberty crew, see #2-4 above and perform a filtering iteration of this bullet. Spin off a single sex sub-group NLT 2100 or two drinks, whichever comes first.

As for mentoring? Do the right thing, and if things go sideways - let others publish and be damned.

Who knows, perhaps you will work for someone who is willing to look the harpy commissariat in the face and tell them to pack sand. Perhaps when it is your time in the barrel, you will have the support by your superiors that you would give to your subordinates. It is a gamble, but one at the end of the day you can look yourself in the mirror and be content with.

I am willing to make this bet; Admiral Moran will have no problem looking himself in the mirror in the AM. He did the right thing. Chris should not feel bad, he’s gone through enough and this isn’t on him in the slightest.

There are a lot of people who should be haunted by shame, and if they are not, then those who know them need to be aware of the type of person they are working with and act accordingly.

What a waste. What a huge loss for our Navy. What a huge loss for our nation.

Pray for peace, as I don’t see this type of institutional character having what is needed for war.

Thursday, July 04, 2019

Words Have Meaning

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

LCS 2.0

Is a simple port visit a win for LCS?

I think it is.

Thoughts over at USNIBlog ... and no, I was not drinking when I wrote it.

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Double-Pumping Truman: I Thought we Weren't Doing this Anymore?

Maybe it is just me, but in the self-reflection that the Navy community underwent after the horrible summer of 2017 and the growing realization of issues revolving from undermanned and under-maintained ships, that we were going to do a better job of not "shooting up the horse" by burning out sea-duty Sailors and the ships they serve on.

Already down the memory hole?

Via Megan Eckstein at USNINews, in part;
USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) and its carrier strike group are getting ready for another deployment overseas, after completing a two-part deployment last year.

... likely this fall.

USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) would have been the next carrier to head out from the East Coast under previous plans, USNI News understands, but its maintenance availability ran 19 months – more than triple the planned six-month maintenance availability the Navy planned to conduct. USNI News confirmed that the Truman CSG is heading out for its second deployment in the place of the IKE CSG, which will still have to go through its whole training cycle after wrapping up its maintenance and conducting post-maintenance sea trials in early April.

Four sources familar with the planning told to USNI News that the Truman CSG is prepping for this double-pump deployment, which will take place during the strike group’s “sustainment phase” in the Optimized Fleet Response Plan (OFPR) readiness generation model and will not delay the ship from conducting maintenance of its own. The sustainment phase reserves time for the ships to keep their readiness up through home-based training activities or larger exercises in case they are called upon to surge forward or deploy for other reasons.

The Truman Strike Group last year departed in April, returned home in July for a working homeport visit, and then departed again from September to December. Rather than conducting operations in the Middle East, the carrier strike group conducted flight operations north of the Arctic Circle for the first time since the Cold War, operated in Norwegian waters during the Trident Juncture 2018 exercise, and patrolled the Mediterranean Sea.
There will always be a reason to ask more. The USN has a culture of, "can do." It is up to senior leadership to say, "no."

Instead of underlining a new era, it appears we are simply regressing to the mean.

This also calls in to question those who have stated that we have enough carriers that we can not refuel the TRUMAN next decade. 

A lost opportunity resulting in another stew of mixed messaging floating in a bed of cynicism.

Monday, July 01, 2019

Vice Adm. Thomas Moore, USN Goes Salamander on Corrosion

David Larter remains the town crier for the most critical long-term crisis in our Navy, corrosion prevention. Here and elsewhere, we beat the drum with him - and good people with important jobs are starting to speak out. Excellent! 
“Corrosion is one of the big things if we want to keep the ships around for 40-45 years; we have to do what is necessary on the corrosion side of things,” Moore said. “I don’t have the exact numbers, but we are spending $10 billion on our ship depot maintenance. And I’m guessing that several billion of that is corrosion-related, so it’s a significant portion of the budget.

“We have to stay on top of it. We have to be willing to do the work necessary to limit corrosion on the ship. And it’s not just at the depot. It’s in intermediate maintenance and its with ship’s force. We have to recognize that this is a law-of-physics thing and stay on top of it.”
When you do the regression analysis, here is the hard truth of one of the largest variables with a relatively inelastic demand curve; manpower.

For a couple of decades the wrong people have been running our manpower reviews with the wrong charter; efficiency. While important, efficiency should never get 51% of the vote over effectiveness.

The Transformationalists and their manpower lackeys have had their day in the sun. They have been measured and found wanting.

The dramatic slide in corrosion control is, at least, being discussed in open at the very highest levels. Great - now let's do something about it.

Yes, people are expensive, yet so is having much of your battleforce looking like that 55 Buick in the cow pasture off of GA HWY 82 since 1978 with the pine tree growing out of the trunk.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Countering China in the South China Sea with Hunter Stires - on Midrats

China will continue to expand its holdings and presence in the South China Sea and the first and second island chain as long as it can and does not face pressure to do otherwise.

They have an unmatched shipbuilding program to expand not just their traditional navy, but their coast guard and maritime paramilitary fleets.

To discuss these and related topics this Sunday from 5-6pm Eastern will be returning guest, Hunter Stires.

As a starting point for our discussion, we'll review the major points in his US Naval Institute General Prize Essay Contest winning essay, The South China Sea Needs a 'COIN' Toss and related recent works.

Hunter Stires is a fellow with the John B. Hattendorf Center for Maritime Historical Research at the U.S. Naval War College. His focus centers on maritime strategy and logistics in the Western Pacific. Hunter is the winner of the U.S. Naval Institute’s 2018 General Prize Essay Contest, with his winning entry published as “The South China Sea Needs a ‘COIN’ Toss” in the May 2019 issue of Proceedings alongside a companion piece, “Why We Defend Free Seas.” His article “’They Were Playing Chicken:’ The U.S. Asiatic Fleet’s Gray-Zone Deterrence Campaign against Japan, 1937-40,” is featured in the Summer 2019 issue of the Naval War College Review. He is an Associate at Central Gulf Lines, a division of SEACOR Holdings Inc., and is a graduate of Columbia University.

Join us live if you can, but if you miss the show you can always listen to the archive at Spreaker

If you use iTunes, you can add Midrats to your podcast list simply by clicking the iTunes button at the main showpage - or you can just click here.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Fullbore Friday

You are flying an obsolete platform by this time of the war. Patrolling a relatively quiet sector of a body of water more than a bit out of the action.

You're not out of the fight by any means ... but the headlines, eyes, and best platforms are elsewhere. You have your aircraft, you have your crew, you have your mission - and that is more than enough.

It is the height of summer in the far North Atlantic. Almost nothing but day light all day. Hours and hours of grey ocean - like it had been for days, weeks, months and countless hours before ... and then;
Late in the day on 24 June 1944, Hornell’s Canso was at the end of a 12-hour patrol over the North Atlantic when the German submarine U-1225 was sighted on the surface approximately 120 miles north of the Shetland Islands. As the aircraft made its attack run, heavy and accurate anti-aircraft fire from the U-boat crippled the starboard engine and started a fire on the starboard wing. With great determination and skill, Hornell held the vibrating Canso on course and delivered his four depth charges on target, sinking the submarine. Shortly thereafter the starboard engine fell out of the wing, forcing Flight Lieutenant Hornell to ditch the aircraft, by now a flaming wreck, in the heavy seas. With only one dinghy serviceable, for several hours the eight members of the crew had to take turns holding on to the life-raft’s side while immersed in the icy water. Although the dinghy was spotted by a Consolidated Catalina flying boat from No. 333 (Norwegian) Squadron, RAF five hours after Hornell had ditched, for the next 16 hours rescue attempts were frustrated by high seas and malfunctioning equipment. Two of the crew eventually died of exposure. At one point, Flight Lieutenant Hornell had to be restrained by his comrades when, though at the end of his own strength and about to go blind, he proposed to swim to an airborne lifeboat that had been dropped. Finally, after 21 hours, a rescue launch arrived to pick up the survivors, but all attempts to revive Hornell failed, and he died of exposure.
His plane; his mission; his crew.
Flight Lieutenant Hornell was the first member of the RCAF to be awarded the Victoria Cross.

“Flight Lieutenant Hornell was captain and first pilot of a twin-engined amphibian aircraft engaged on an anti-submarine patrol in northern waters. The patrol had lasted for some hours when a fully-surfaced U-boat was sighted, travelling at high speed on the port beam. Flight Lieutenant Hornell at once turned to the attack.

The U-boat altered course. The aircraft had been seen and there could be no surprise. The U-boat opened up with anti-aircraft fire which became increasingly fierce and accurate.

At a range of 1,200 yards, the front guns of the aircraft replied; then its starboard guns jammed, leaving only one gun effective. Hits were obtained on and around the conning-tower of the U-boat, but the aircraft was itself hit, two large holes appearing in the starboard wing.

Ignoring the enemy’s fire, Flight Lieutenant Hornell carefully manoeuvred for the attack. Oil was pouring from his starboard engine, which was, by this time, on fire, as was the starboard wing; and the petrol tanks were endangered. Meanwhile, the aircraft was hit again and again by the U-boat’s guns. Holed in many places, it was vibrating violently and very difficult to control.

Nevertheless, the captain decided to press home his attack, knowing that with every moment the chances of escape for him and his gallant crew would grow more slender. He brought his aircraft down very low and released his depth charges in a perfect straddle. The bows of the U-boat were lifted out of the water; it sank and the crew were seen in the sea.

Flight Lieutenant Hornell contrived, by superhuman efforts at the controls, to gain a little height. The fire in the starboard wing had grown more intense and the vibration had increased. Then the burning engine fell off. The plight of aircraft and crew was now desperate. With the utmost coolness, the captain took his aircraft into wind and, despite the manifold dangers, brought it safely down on the heavy swell. Badly damaged and blazing furiously, the aircraft rapidly settled.

After ordeal by fire came ordeal by water. There was only one serviceable dinghy and this could not hold all the crew. So they took turns in the water, holding on to the sides. Once, the dinghy capsized in the rough seas and was righted only with great difficulty. Two of the crew succumbed from exposure.

An airborne lifeboat was dropped to them but fell some 500 yards down wind. The men struggled vainly to reach it and Flight Lieutenant Hornell, who throughout had encouraged them by his cheerfulness and inspiring leadership, proposed to swim to it, through he was nearly exhausted. He was with difficulty restrained. The survivors were finally rescued after they had been in the water for 21 hours. By this time Flight Lieutenant Hornell was blinded and completely exhausted. He died shortly after being picked up.

Flight Lieutenant Hornell had completed 60 operational missions, involving 600 hours’ flying. He well knew the danger and difficulties attending attacks on submarines. By pressing home a skilful and successful attack against fierce opposition, with his aircraft in a precarious condition, and by fortifying and encouraging his comrades in the subsequent ordeal, this officer displayed valour and devotion to duty of the highest order.”
What a man.


A note on U-1225. She was a snorkel equipped Type IX/C40 U-boat. Her Skipper was 30-yr old Oberleutnant zur See Ernst Sauerberg. He took command on 12 June, eight days before deployment and 12 days before she was sunk. This was the boat's first war patrol. She was sunk on day 5.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

On LCS Manning, Even The Atlantic Goes Salamander

The worst conceit of the many in the LCS program was its manning construct. There is a decade and a half of LCS bashing on this blog, so I won't bore regular readers rehashing it - new folks can click the LCS-tag to review on their own.

The last half-decade you have seen some people try to mitigate the original sin of "Optimal Manning," but there is only so much you can do when something is baked in to the design.

Now and then we bring out LCS to gibbet it as an example to others, and at least here, it may start to have a little bit of a "doesn't everyone know by now" vibe, but we can't really stop. Every year, new leaders come online who may not fully understand the fail. They need to know what happened so when they find themselves working on a new program, they won't repeat the mistakes of the old.

When you read outside the traditional maritime natsec press, you realize that our failures are starting to leak out, and whole new sections of the population are only now discovering what we have known here since the first few years of this century.

The latest example is a very detailed and broad reaching article at The Atlantic by Jerry Useem. I have a few quibbles with some of his prose, but this is very deserving of your time - if you are an OG member of the Front Porch or someone wet behind the ears.

Give it a read. Here are a few pullquotes;
Can a few brilliant, quick-thinking generalists really replace a fleet of specialists? Is the value of true expertise in serious decline?
To ask the question is to answer it ... and I think at least for our Navy we're starting to see that we drifted too far. Expertise is starting to have a comeback.

Nice review of the hubris that was injected right in to the veins early on in the program.
“I think when the Navy started off, they had a really good plan,” Paul Francis, of the Government Accountability Office, told the Senate in 2016. “They were going to build two ships, experimental ships.” But in 2005, having assured itself that “optimal manning works,” the Navy decided to skip the experimentation and move straight to construction. From this point on, whenever the Navy tried to study the feasibility of minimal manning, its analysis was colored by the fact that—on these ships, at least—it had to work. Dozens of littoral combat ships were on their way. The Giffords was the 10th to deploy.
The cult of personality. Suppression and outright persecution of contrary opinion. The "make it happen" mentality begat the horrible record of LCS to date. No other warship class has commissioned so many ships for so many years that have done do little as the LCS.

Should a fire break out, Butler said, he would become a “boundaryman” and work to stop the spread of smoke to other compartments—a job that, on another ship, would be supervised by a full-time damage-control specialist. The LCS has only two of these—which is one reason it has a “survivability” rating of 1, the lowest score possible. If the ship is critically struck, crew members are expected to simply abandon ship and escape. Traditionalists hate the idea.
Expected? More like don't have a choice.

Nice comical vignette that really needs no more commentary from me;
Butler wasn’t the only character to reappear in different form. During an all-hands meeting—the smallness of the group exaggerated by the large size of the flight deck they stood on—someone pointed to the figure strolling in from stage right. It was one of the two boatswain’s mates who had been overseeing the line-handlers that morning. He had swapped his blue coveralls for head-to-toe green camo, and was walking back and forth, appearing to survey the upper deck of the ship. Such costume changes gave the whole ship the feel of a small theater troupe in which the actor playing the prince’s cousin also plays the apothecary, the friar, and Messenger No. 2.
Look at that scattering of uniforms in the headline pic of the article I copied above. Just silly.
Yet the limitations of curious, fluidly intelligent groups of generalists quickly become apparent in the real world. The devaluation of expertise opens up ample room for different sorts of mistakes—and sometimes creates a kind of helplessness.

Aboard littoral combat ships, the crew lacks the expertise to carry out some important tasks, and instead has to rely on civilian help. A malfunctioning crane on board one LCS, for example, meant that the crew had to summon an expert to solve the problem, and then had to wait four days for him to arrive.
A tired, burned out crew that with each passing week has less and less capability as things break they cannot fix. It barely works in peace. In war? Forget it.

This is what everyone was screaming 15 years ago;
the Navy’s initial, full-throttle approach to minimal manning—and are an object lesson on the dangers of embracing any radical concept without thinking hard enough about the downsides.
The fact new people are still pointing this out is nice validation, but a shame it even has to happen.

Better late than never ... maybe.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

The Pirates of the ... Gulf of Guinea

Probably not the most popular attraction as Disney World ... but a good topic for discussion over at USNIBlog this Wednesday.

Come by and pay us a visit.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Orwell's China

This has got to be one of the most soul-sucking, scary things I have seen in awhile.

The Chinese Communist re-education camps for Uyghurs is almost unbelievable. Even the Soviets were not this obtuse.

This is what all that cheap stuff made in China is supporting.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Weak Knees and Clay Feet at the US Army War College

How can an organization full of people who engage in actual combat show so little spine in the face of the absolute worst organizations in out country? 

Why do we surrender to the heckler's veto?

Let's talk about an organization we have not discussed much lately - the German American Bund ... oh wait, I'm sorry - C.A.I.R. - the organization described as an an “unindicted co-conspirator" in the first World Trade Center attack by the Department of Justice.

Let's go to Raymond Ibrahim for his summary;
The US Army War College (USAWC) has just surrendered to the demands of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) — an “unindicted co-conspirator,” to quote the US Department of Justice, in the largest terror-funding case in American history, and a designated “terrorist organization” in nations such as the UAE.
The June 19, 2019 planned lecture on my book, Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West at the US Army War College (USAWC) in Carlisle Barracks was canceled due to a CAIR-induced hysteria that focused on presenting me — a native Arabic speaker of Egyptian/Middle Eastern descent — as a “racist” and “white nationalist” who is out to incite American soldiers to murder Muslims.
Although the USAWC claims that the event has been “postponed” — and that CAIR’s smear campaign had nothing to do with its decision — what really happened, along with the troubling lessons learned along the way, follow.
You need to read the whole thing - especially C.A.I.R.'s offer to "help."

Hey new active SECDEF and former Army Secretary - get hold of your organization.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Small Boats and Daring Men: with CDR BJ Armstrong, USN - on Midrats

Punitive expeditions, retaliatory strikes, raiding, hitting pirate camps, attacking enemy ships in the dark of night, striking enemy facilities & resources on shore and other forms of irregular naval warfare - sound new, transformational?

No. They've been with the US Navy from day-1.

Join us this Sunday from 5-6pm Eastern with returning guest BJ Armstrong to discuss his latest book, Small Boats and Daring Men: Maritime Raiding, Irregular Warfare, and the Early American Navy.

CDR Benjamin "BJ" Armstrong is an Assistant Professor of War Studies and Naval History at the U.S. Naval Academy. A former search and rescue and special warfare helicopter pilot, he earned his PhD at King's College London and is the author or editor of three books, including his most recent "Small Boats and Daring Men: Maritime Raiding, Irregular Warfare and the Early American Navy."

Join us live if you can, but if you miss the show you can always listen to the archive at Spreaker

If you use iTunes, you can add Midrats to your podcast list simply by clicking the iTunes button at the main showpage - or you can just click here.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Fullbore Friday

So, like WWII submarines?

This fits for a very good find from reader Steve - it's all so Fullbore, I can't pick just one.

All the submarine reports Historic Naval Ship Association from S-11 to USS Diablo.
At the end of each war patrol of WW II, submarine commanders created a report on the patrol. These reports were used as the raw material to inform intelligence, improve tactics, evaluate commanders, etc. During WW II, over 1,550 patrol reports containing approximately 63,000 pages were generated. During the 1970s these were photographed and reproduced on microfilm to make them more easly accessible and easily reproduced (approx. 250 rolls). During 2008 a copy of this microfilm was scanned into digital format (110 GB), and in 2009 it was made available online here (14 GB).

These war patrol reports were written during a deadly, bitterly fought war. Please note that there may be some references to enemy forces that may be offensive in today's context.
Treat yourself here. Oh, and if you find any of those terrible Politically Incorrect comments, please report them in comments. Sadly, I couldn't find any.

First posted March 2009.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Cooling’s Last Stand

What will you do when they come for you? How will you prove a negative? 

When the accusation is made fact by proclamation – will you defend yourself?

As I have said before, no one can survive an IG. For the vast majority of leaders, all it takes is that one person or cabal to shout, “J'Accuse!” – and you will find yourself in a Kafkaesque sideshow.

You will have everything thrown at you, some are real, some only partially true, and some seem to be made from whole cloth.

Where do people find themselves in trouble? Each story is slightly different, but there are known danger areas, and unknown danger areas. Sometimes people forget or don’t believe known danger areas – soft, coddled civilian culture vs. a deployed service culture is one – but the unknown ones can be the most dangerous. 

You don’t know the personality mix brewing at your new location – often for years – that the person you relieved was just lucky enough to not inflame. You don’t know who you may have made an enemy of. You don’t know who might want to raise their position by taking you down. You don’t know who out there just might like to watch the world burn. 

If you have low emotional intelligence, you can get yourself in a lot of trouble.

One thing you need to know is that for any leader, from LPO to General Officer – one day the IG Bell may ring for thee. If you have done anything in life, you will know because you have people who do not like you. If you are lucky, they will either face you like an adult or ineffectively just try to passive-aggressively use process and influence to undermine you like a child. If you are unlucky, they will go all Leroy Jenkins on you to the IG Hotline, and then the IG Star Chamber begins.

How do you respond? Will any response be good enough when as the IG was being done, you’ve already had two FITREP cycles and a selection board pass you by?

Having seen this movie one to many times, I think the following advice remains solid.
1) Lawyer up.
2) Once (1) is done, do not go gentle into that good night.

I give you the case of Brig. Gen. Norm Cooling, USMC as the latest example.

Read the full thing from Gina Harkins, but here are the meaty bits in the case in destroying a man;
The Senate Armed Services Committee complaint detailed six instances of alleged disparaging or inappropriate treatment from Cooling, a career infantry officer and Naval Academy graduate.

During the course of the IG's investigation, witnesses described four more examples.

One of the first complaints took place about five months after Neller testified before Congress following the March 2017 Marines United scandal, in which more than 50,000 social media users shared nude photos of female troops without permission. More than 100 troops faced courts-martial or administrative punishment for participating, and Neller called the problem "a perversion in our culture."

Witnesses told investigators that Cooling disputed Neller's claim while hosting a breakfast for congressional fellows.

"I keep telling CMC to stop saying this," one witness recalled Cooling saying. "Our culture is fine."

Another witness said Cooling called Neller "totally wrong." Troops serving as congressional fellows, who work with members of Congress for about a year on Capitol Hill, said they were concerned about getting mixed messages from Marine leaders. They weren't sure what position to take back to their assigned members of Congress, the report states.

Cooling told the investigators that, since he didn't violate a specific standard when he made the comments, the analysis should be removed from the final report. They disagreed.

About six weeks later, Cooling was found to have told Senate staff members that opening combat roles to women impacted the men because "women were physically inferior" forcing male troops to "pick up the slack."

Men were also having "a difficult time adjusting to open combat roles because they can no longer refer to certain rifle parts as female body parts," witnesses recounted him as saying.

While a Senate staffer who was at the meeting declined to cooperate with the investigation, two witnesses corroborated the story, the report states.

"When BGen Cooling told the Senate staff member in the presence of two [Office of Legislative Affairs] subordinates that opening combat roles to women impacted men negatively because women were physically inferior to men, and made the comment about rifle parts and female body parts, BGen Cooling created a negative work environment by disparaging and devaluing women," investigators wrote.

In another breakfast with congressional fellows that December, Cooling said he believed women "make naturally better schedulers or secretaries," the report states. The general told investigators he meant the remark as a compliment.

"I did not say or infer that women could not do something well or that they could not do other things equally well," Cooling said, adding that he holds the positions of congressional schedulers and Marine Corps executive assistants and staff secretaries in high regard.

"I now clearly recognize that this may be a generational communication issue and/or one that is perceived by some in a political context," he added.

Investigators substantiated that claim as another example of Cooling devaluing women.

That same month, Cooling's deputy was speaking with a noncommissioned officer who wanted to become a Marine pilot. Cooling, who overheard the conversation, told the woman he'd rather "his daughter work in a brothel than be a female Marine pilot," according to the investigation.

Cooling's deputy told the NCO the next day that the general's comment was inappropriate and that it had been addressed.

"Here's a young impressionable kid," the deputy told investigators. "She and I are having a great conversation about the opportunities that exist for her in the Marine Corps ... and it ends with a turd in the punch bowl."

Cooling told investigators he wouldn't have told the joke again, according to the report.

"I'm an infantryman ... ground combat guy just poking fun at our pilots," he said. "I love pilots, and they know it."

He then went on to tell investigators the woman could not have found his remark demeaning because she was not offended, bullied or humiliated by it, the report states.

"We disagree," the investigators wrote.
The month before he was suspended, witnesses said they heard the general yell down the hall that he was going to castrate a Marine if he found out he'd been withholding budget information from him.

While the general officer told investigators he didn't recall making the comment, they stood by their findings.

"When BGen Cooling threatened to castrate a subordinate, he created a negative work environment by failing to show dignity and respect for his subordinate to whom he directed the comment as well as those who heard it," they wrote.

He was also found to have called another staff member a "bad officer" when she failed to secure a visit between the assistant commandant and a congresswoman. Cooling, witnesses told investigators, threatened he'd "jump out of the f---ing window" if other personnel performed that poorly.

The officer's failure to set up the meeting was a mistake, Cooling told investigators, though he denied raising his voice or saying he'd jump out the window.

"It doesn't take much for people to interpret what you're doing as being yelled at or screamed at when you're at this grade," Cooling said in the report. "And I understand that; I'm an emphatic person but, to me, yelling or screaming means raising your voice, and I don't -- I don't remember raising my voice."

Investigators found that Cooling's staff considered him "an equal opportunity offender who demeaned, bullied and humiliated male and female subordinates," they wrote.

One witness said Cooling's leadership was ineffective. He wasn't a motivator, rather "just killing the weakest in the herd," they said.

"I never saw any unfairness or unequal treatment," the witness added. "I thought he treated everybody [all genders] in different ways but just as bad."

But Cooling had a responsibility of treating subordinates with dignity and being a positive influence, investigators wrote. Instead, he humiliated them or spread rumors that could damage reputations.

"We determined that BGen Cooling conducted himself in a less than exemplary manner in his treatment of subordinates or in comments that devalued women on seven occasions during his [seven] month and 17 day tenure at OLA," the investigators wrote.

Cooling is one of at least eight officers investigated over allegations of improper behavior toward women.
The investigators are not objectively investigating – they are being subjective manner police. 

The only thing it looks like Cooling is guilty of is assuming civilians work at the same level as infantrymen who have spent most of the last two decades at war. May have been a bit of a jerk - but if that is the standard, line up the buses as a lot of people need to leave DC today. 

That was yesterday. It appears that Cooling had an, “enough of this BS” moment.

From today’s reporting from Gina;
"At no time during my seven months in the Office of Legislative Affairs, nor at any other time during my 33-year career, have I ever negatively singled out anyone for anything other than their job performance," Cooling told

"I inadvertently offended some through random remarks that were taken in a different context other than I intended," Cooling said. "... Had I been less demanding or willing to compromise standards, these allegations -- which surfaced only during the promotion confirmation process -- would have never emerged."

"But I did not account for the politically charged environment in which it (the office) operates," he added.
What politics is he talking about? This is all you really need to know. There seems to be two standards - and it isn't Cooling who has the split;
"We determined that BGen Cooling conducted himself in a less than exemplary manner in his treatment of subordinates or in comments that devalued women on seven occasions during his [seven]-month and 17-day tenure at OLA," the investigators wrote.
This tells me a lot about him as a man.
As Cooling awaits his fate, he said he remains grateful for the opportunity to serve with Marines.

"It has been my life, and I could not have asked or hoped for a better one," he said.
OK USMC, over to you.

Do the right thing.
Leaders are currently reviewing the report and will take appropriate action in light of the substantiated misconduct, Maj. Brian Block, a Marine spokesman at the Pentagon, said this week.