Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Pain on Bainbridge

Task & Purpose has posted this story about USS Bainbridge. The CO, Command Master Chief, and former XO have been relieved and a number of others are under the gun. Possible lessons learned:
  • No, don't store fireworks improperly aboard ship (or use MWR funds to acquire them)
  • Or use the RHIB small boat to secretly bring the fireworks aboard
  • Or have a regular for-money poker game in the wardroom
  • Or retain on board a pregnant officer who should have been transferred
  • Or permit personnel to buy "no-shave chits" permitting hair-regulation deviations on patrol
  • Or accelerate following underway replenishment before gear has been stowed
Mast, anyone?

1 comment:

  1. I've been studying commanding officer reliefs for at least ten years. I've read most of the actual investigations in that time. I've read the investigation concerning USS Bainbridge. While the news article, and your blog post, focus on some details there is one thing I will categorically state:

    These guys were not fired for gambling, or fireworks, or no-shave chits, or ship driving, or a pregnant officer. They were fired because when presented with clear feedback, when questioned about the legality or propriety of an incident, they acted poorly.

    Rather than stop and consult a Navy publication, or even do a simple Google search, both the executive officer and commanding office rrelied on tribal myth, folklore, or "we did it before so it must be OK." When their subordinates said "Hey boss, this is against the rules" these two officers - encharged with the safe operation of a billion dollar warship and over 300 men and women never stopped to think.

    This indiference to forceful back up, combined with the lack of a questioning attitude in general, is something endemic in our culture and has been for a long time. It is something we need to fix.

    Instead the Navy, like the press and like the blogs, will focus on no-shave chits, gambling, and just following the rules because they are the rules.


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