Dec 11 2012

The cycle of mistakes

I have been keeping in touch with friends in Japan, listening to them tell all about the complete stupidity of VADM Swift:


While the specific recommendations that were developed as part of the summit are reviewed, additional, temporary measures will remain in place in addition to the U.S. Forces Japan curfew, an 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. liberty curfew for all U.S. service members in Japan. These Navy specific additional measures include: the consumption of alcohol is prohibited from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. for all 7th Fleet assigned personnel in order to ensure all Sailors will be better able to meet the curfew requirements in Japan and all Sailors with any alcohol-related incidents within the last 3 years be placed on Class “C” liberty risk status which administratively curtails their ability to take liberty off of a U.S. installation..



Suffice it to say there are a lot of upset people. And their should be. These rules are , for one thing,  completely unenforceable-which, as I was taught early on generally makes a rule a bad one. Swift is fooling himself if he thinks that it is going to reduce liberty incidents-and it certainly is not going to prevent the consumption of alcohol after 10 PM.

Lets look at the smart persons strategy to beat this little measure, shall we?

1) Move off base. Preferably far off base and away from other Americans. Just about all of the southern Kanto plain is within a 30 minute train ride of Yokosuka, or Atsugi. Better to have a long commute in order to have some privacy over one's private life.

2) Stock up early. On cash and on beer. Lay in a good supply from the exchange and use some of the cheap supermarkets and 7-11's to keep it topped off.

3) Get an answering machine with phone forwarding. Never, Never, Never answer your phone-let it go straight to voice mail and call back as needed.

4). Learn Japanese and start going farther afield. Plenty of great bars away from Roppongi. Most with "Stay or Rest" hotels nearby. Bring cash-and don't go back to the ship till after 6AM. Talk to your buddies in Korea who have been avoiding "courtesy patrols" for years. Japan offers ten times the options that Korea does.

5) Write your Congressman and tell him-in strongest possible terms that the 7th Fleet commander has lost his mind. Then next week write him again.

6)For those of you with a Japanese girlfriend-submit a request chit making your girlfriend's apartment an approved overnight location. If they turn you down-submit another one. This has the added bonus of pissing off the American female Sailors who hate the fact that so many of their male counterparts ignore them and go after nice looking Japanese tuna.

7)Remind any khaki in sight-that his children enjoy more privileges and a later curfew than he does.

8) Non Seventh Fleet Commands should refuse to be dictated to by Seventh Fleet. This has the two fold affect of showing the powers that be that the restrictions are unnecessary-and it creates friction with the prisoners assigned to Seventh Fleet units. That kind of pushback led to easing of these stupid restrictions before and will again.

9) Take lots of 5 day leaves to Thailand. If they insist you take a buddy, get a friend to go-and then stay at hotels on the opposite ends of Sukhumvit.

Seriously, it strikes me as just an arrogant course of action. This is not acceptable in a home port. No commander could legally get away with it in Guam, San Diego, Puerto Rico or even Norfolk. Yokosuka may be on Japanese soil-but it is first and foremost a homeport. Treating it as a liberty port is not only a basic violation of the Sailors rights and American law-its unsound policy.

Oh and as an extra added benefit-better train some more rape facilitators. Because you will have more sexual incidents in the barracks and the ship. When you want it bad, you get it bad.

Clearly VADM Swift is being poorly served by his advisors-more importantly is being clearly misled about what the Japanese really want and expect. What most folks fail to realize is that most of the "outrage" by the Japanese is feigned-to produce a reaction among fellow Japanese and not with Americans. Like noise complaints-the real agenda is about squeezing the Japanese government-especially when it comes to Okinawa. I am surprised that Swift and company cannot understand that.

What the Japanese do want of Americans-is to have serious criminal offenders, like the guys accused of the Okinawa rape ( who incidentally were NOT Seventh Fleet Sailors), turned over to the Japanese criminal justice system. And for the good of the people who don't get in trouble ; the 98% of Americans assigned there-they probably should be.

Willard got this wrong in 2003, They got it wrong in 2005 and again in 2008. They are still getting it wrong. If you want your Sailors to behave like adults treat them like adults-and stop meddling in their personal lives.

Look! I'm smarter than a three star……..

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15 responses so far

15 Responses to “The cycle of mistakes”

  1. chefantwonon 11 Dec 2012 at 8:49 pm

    You forget that overreaction is the buzz word of the military. They were looking at the Korean model and how it "works". Although staying out after curfew is pretty damn easy. (Hotel anyone?) I don't yet understand how our leaders still have no F'ng clue as to how to treat the troops. It's very simple, treat them like adults, and if they screw up, punish that one or those few who are doing their damn best to screw things up for everyone. That "be a buddy" deal only works on small units, not large ones.

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  2. Curtison 11 Dec 2012 at 11:15 pm

    It was the measureless contempt of the leaders for the followers that helped turn me into a pro from Dover. I felt sorry for the guys in the navy that had to eat that shit from their admirals raw. It makes me happy that I served in MIDEASTFOR and FIFTHFLT and sometimes THIRDFLT but never for 7th or the other shitty fleets.

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  3. Mauriceon 11 Dec 2012 at 11:28 pm

    In the latest message, those prohibitive liberty restrictions are in effect throughout the whole AOR except for Guam.  However, in Guam, commands still have the responsiblity to enforce Divisional, Departmental, and Command recalls if they have liberty incidents.
    So going to Thailand probably will not get you out of it.  I wonder will a CO deny a leave chit and FP travel request to Thailand or Singapore for someone knowing that they are going there to just beat the system.  Remember, non-Filipino servicemembers can't really travel to the PI for vacations unless you have relatives and fill out the intrusive FP forms stating where you will be staying, etc.
    If I were still in, I could make Guam work for me, along with a side trip to Saipan.
    In regards to your suggestion #6, that can be very dangerous.  What I have been seeing is that JN women who think they "know" the system have been using the "I'll call Security on you.." if they get into fights with their husbands/boyfriends.  I once saw a young lady (a "Honch" type if you know what I mean) force a guy she was with to leave a bar and go home with her.  They were outside arguing about leaving, and I heard her utter the magic words "I'll go get SP" to him and his argument got shut down and they left.  So you have to be very careful with #6.  My SO told me that there is a web site that a lot of JN women look at to get information at what they are supposedly "entitled" to.  I had to inform her that the information she is getting was incorrect.  When I was on active duty I had to deal with those same personnel issues, and the advice they were giving was 180 out from what really happens.  I am sure you have had the same dealings in your time over here with those issues and know what I am talking about.
    Also for #4, there have been some reports of J-police phoning Security when they see military looking personnel out.  They even have issued a number for police to contact USFJ in case they need to report.  I will see if I can find that article and pass it to you, but that just goes to show how much the upper chain really supports the troops.
    In my humble opinion, I think this is greatly over the top, but the brass is in too deep now.  Here's why:
    1.  The rape case.  Notice how there hasn't been too much more news on this case.  From what I am hearing from some (probably just rumor) is that the woman in question was not a "Japanese" but was a Chinese "massagie" girl.  Not that assualt is right no matter what the race, but living here in Japan, I have noticed that if an American does something to a Japanese, it will stay in the news for a long time, and in each step of the trial process it is news.  Only when the person is either a) sex worker b)non-resident alien does the news and media and the people loose interest.  Something about not wanting to show the under classes here in Japan.
    2.  NK rocket launch.  SInce they were able to shoot one off that flew over Okinawa, and the disputes with SK and China over the SCS and other issues, the powers that be in Japan will keep a lid on the anti US sentiment until they need to deflect from their own bumblings.

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  4. Skippy-sanon 12 Dec 2012 at 2:00 am

    Maurice, you bring up some great points. The whole FP thing is another area where people should be pissed off-and I would submit is of questionable legality under Amerian law.If I had not met the S.O. ( sigh) I would have eventually decided to go chase Filipina's-and I would have had to grovel to get permission to travel and date. That's just wrong.

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  5. Skippy-sanon 12 Dec 2012 at 2:04 am

    On second thought maybe filling out the FP forms would be less trouble than dealing with the SO. 🙁

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  6. Mauriceon 12 Dec 2012 at 4:55 am

    THe FP plan was put in place I think for that exact reason.  Looking at what went on with Petraus and Gen Allen, and the fallout from that whole issue, I can imagine that some "yenta" who was some Gen/Adm wife decided instead of taking care of home, decided to get into everyone else's business and press their hubby to make it so that no one can go anywhere and meet the "Kelley's" of the world. 
    I feel bad for those guys who are coming from CONUS on deployment and now they can't do anything but go and paint some orphanage or build a playground, and then must be back on the ship by 2300.  Why bother sitting in Main Control in port and starboard, if you can't even stay over night in Pattaya.

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  7. Richardon 12 Dec 2012 at 10:00 am

    Oi vey….my last year in Korea i taught American soldiers GED and CLEP courses. Many were Billy Bob from the set of Deliverance or "urban" youth from Detroit or Philly…they NEVER stopped complaining. They had three squares a day, booze, drugs and a lady friend at very reasonable cost. No matter…everybody BUT them were f*cked up…
    I have zero empathy for the whiners, after all the military NOW is voluntary. Don't like it ? then move on…
    Reminds me of what Ferenbach (sp?) said of the American soldier that  served in Korea. They joined the military for every reason known to man EXCEPT to fight.

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  8. Skippy-sanon 12 Dec 2012 at 10:59 am

    I don't know about you-but I joined the Navy for only two reasons: to fly and to see the world. Fighting was never part of that equation, except as a necessary tradeoff to play with the toys I wanted to play with.
    Nonetheless-there is a legitamate bitch here. One of the worst trends that occured after 9-11 was the adoption by flag officers of the idea that they had the right to interfere in the private lives of their Sailors, and more importantly the idea that there was no more dividing line between one's professional and private life. In my early days that line was clear and respected. So long as your private life stayed private and did not affect your professional life-no one minded much except the occasional bible thumping CO (like the one I had on my first cruise). It will continue to get worse until Sailors push back hard enough-just short of outright going on strike-to make the leadership think twice about being stupid. Suspect it will be like the 70's again with some people getting hurt in the process.
    Reason for this is simple-the presence of women in units. When they got in and realized how sexually charged the male world was, like everything else feminists touch they sought to reshape it.

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  9. Mauriceon 12 Dec 2012 at 6:21 pm

     It will continue to get worse until Sailors push back hard enough-just short of outright going on strike
    That may be what it is coming to.  My command's Christmas party attendance so far has very low numbers of people indicating that they will attend, and I come from a large command.  Why bother to go someplace when you have to have a mandatory "bed check."

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  10. Richardon 12 Dec 2012 at 9:43 pm

    Ypu know this..when Task Force Smith arrived in Korea, one of the most ill-prepared units in Japan at the time and THAT is saying something, they were not prepared in mind and spirit to face the North Koreans.
    Had they joined the military with the expectation that they would see combat one would have thoguhtthey would have made sure they were prepared. To fight in the mud.
    Most sailors, at least AFTER WW2 had no expectation of fighting any nation, except the Soviet Union that could fight them on the high seas…Except pilots of course.
    I don't know how it was or is in Japan, but I know that every time I went to Itaewon there was trouble. A:WAYS some drunk Grunt trying to duke it out with some Korean ":ajushee"…So, you're Korean and you witness this big oaf, drunk, a "guest" in your country, they and their big noses and loud talk and smell and they are attacking one of your countryman or manhandling one of YOUR women(though I understand most of the bar girls are from the Phillipines) you think you might be pissed?

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  11. Mauriceon 12 Dec 2012 at 11:59 pm

    @ Richard:  Not only was Task Force Smith not prepared to fight, but pretty much the rest of the occupation Army that was in Japan at the time.  A lot of it they tried to blame on some of the last segregated troops, but that was proven not all to be true.  Those guys that came over from Japan did no better than the troops that were there and some that came later.
    I guess you have never been to Waikiki during one of the RIMPAC exercises, when navies from Korea and Japan visit.  Belive it or not, there is shore patrol strolling through the streets from all services making sure that rowdy sailors and turned over quickly.  Though it seems, the Aussies would do more damage.
    As far as the "smell" in Korea, I think on my worst "funky day" I smelt better than any public Korean toilet I have ever been into.  A good book to read is called "In the Shadows of the Camp Towns" and it talks about the camptowns that set up around the US bases.  Yes there was prostitution going on, but what I think is the bigger crime is what the Koreans thought of their own countrywomen who happened to work there.  They were castigated as beneath regular Korean women, and they faced rampant discrimination.  Even while those same people who decried them were making money off their taxes from the incomes that they were generating.  Same thing to what happened in Japan after WWII and the "pan pan" girls.  They were looked down on in disgust, but they were needed to help bring hard currency into the economy.
    I guess what really gets me on my anti-Korean rant is that I understand that it's their country.  If they don't want us there fine.  But then be prepared to do your own fighting.  I think of the football player Hines Ward, who is half Black and Korean.  His mother moved to the US and basically couldn't go back since she had a mixed race child, and she knew what he would face.  They just recently started letting mixed race Koreans join the military.  But Hines Ward went on to play football with the Steelers and won the Superbowl MVP.  Now, when he went back to visit he was a "proud Korean" according to them.  At least he had the stones to visit an orphanage of mixed children and stated the obvious on the discrimination that they face from their fellow countrymen.
    Bottom Line:  I think if SK were overrun by NK, good riddance to them.

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  12. Richardon 13 Dec 2012 at 9:41 am

    Thanks for your comment. Actually spent 4 years in Korea during the 70's, three as a Peace Corps Volunteer so at least from those bygone days i KNEW Korea quite well, language, culture,history.
    No doubt that 2.5inch bazookas were no match for T-34 tanks of the Norks and  it is true that all 4 divisions THEN stationed in Japan were very poor troops and that blame goes to the very top. Including Truman.
    I mentioned the experience i had with mixed race children on the Marmots Hole, ala the Koreans reaction to children of GIs…and you are correct with your opinion in that regard.

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  13. Granton 13 Dec 2012 at 11:11 am

    We definately did not join the service for TriCare according to our leaders in Washington, DC.  I do remember standing in line on pay days to buy drink chits from the club NCOIC in the '60s though.  Happy hour was 5 cents, but what the heck, I only got paid $68.00 a month as I remember.       

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  14. Allenon 19 Mar 2013 at 11:28 pm

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  15. Skippy-sanon 20 Mar 2013 at 12:02 am

    The spell checker begs to differ……

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