Thursday, July 07, 2016

Today's Navy

Six months ago or so there was a scandal in the Navy during which it was mentioned that the Captain of a ship was in a night club on shore, drinking with members of his crew. I thought that was part of the scandal, but it turned out that it was being mentioned in defense of the Captain; as an illustration of the crew’s esteem for him.

I was shocked to discover that drinking with the crew ashore by any officer, let alone the Captain, had become common practice in the Navy, and wondered how any kind of command structure or atmosphere of good discipline could possibly be maintained in the face of such behavior.

Turns out, apparently, that it pretty much cannot. One crew, for instance, forgot to put oil in the ship’s main propulsion reduction gears, disabling the ship for almost a year. Then we have Navy gunboats in hostile waters off Iran who were not mounting half their weapons because they didn't want to have to clean them. Those same boats left port three hours late because they could not start their engines, and then were picked up by the Iranians because their engines broke down again.

Now a Navy SEAL is the victim of homicide in training, and it turns out that he was taking medication for asthma and had an abnormality in his heart which contributed to his death. How does a guy with asthma and a potentially fatal cardiac abnormality get accepted for SEAL training?

I used to have momentary regrets from time to time that I did not stay in the Navy and make it a career, but I have not had such a feeling for quite a while. I mostly feel like I “dodged a bullet” so to speak.

1 comment:

  1. I can't imagine how officer - enlisted fraternization could be anything but bad. As far as the mishpas with maintenanance & performance listed, where were the officers then? And the chiefs? Were there no new assholes ripped or any consequences? And the SEAL guy - training accidents happen, yes. Although, hopefully planning will minimize this. But that level of a unit with medically compromised people? WTF is that?

    Your 'dodging a bullet' is 30 years too late, sir. Yours was not the "new Navy", so to speak.