Archive for the 'Feminist Buffoonery' Category

Oct 29 2014

Going too far……..

The S.O. and I had a marvelous time in Austria-and for what it is worth, October is a great time to visit. The mountains are still glorious, there is a little early snow, but for us at least-the weather was nice and we did a lot of hiking. A good extra long weekend for all. Too bad I had to come back and read about this.

SEOUL, South Korea — U.S. Forces Korea has banned servicemembers from buying drinks for workers in “juicy bars,” which have long been suspected of involvement in prostitution and human trafficking.

While the military has maintained a zero-tolerance policy toward prostitution, buying drinks in exchange for female company was not strictly prohibited by USFK. That changed with a new policy letter released to troops on Oct. 15.

“Paying for companionship directly supports human trafficking and is a precursor to prostitution,” USFK commander Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti wrote in announcing the change. “This practice encourages the objectification of women, reinforces sexist attitudes, and is demeaning to all human beings.”

Oh really? What part of, "this is beyond your authority you pompous, moralistic, hypocritical, piece of shit", do you not seem to understand?

On the plus side, SATO travel is expected to be experiencing a record uptick in travel bookings to Thailand and the Philippines, while at the same time, the Army is training more SAVI counselors to deal with expected upsurge in sexual harassment, fraternization and fighting on base that is expected to ensue.

But hey, it makes the feminists happy, so what else really matters?

Give……..me……….a……….fucking…….break.

So, paying a girl for companionship is a sin, eh? I take it that applies also to stateside bars where you buy girls drinks in the hopes of taking her home later.  So, how exactly are they going to enforce this? If a GI is drinking with a girl in the bar are there going to be people looking over his shoulder to see how much he paid and how much change he gets back? Some GIs run a tab on their credit card. Will there be someone inspecting his receipt when he pays up?

I will reiterate a key point I have made time and time again over the years. The law of unintended consequences can be brutal. And this rule will be full of unintended consequences. I expect the bar owners will come up with some alternative business practices, they always do-like buying your drinks at the door and receiving a "receipt good for "X" number of drinks. Or better yet, having you buy songs on the juke box instead-and then get drinks as a "bonus".

This is a continuation of a really disturbing trend among the flag leadership of America's military today. Namely, that they think they can legislate morality with the stroke of a pen-even when the conduct is perfectly legal. ( Even if it is not necessarily advisable). This, quite simply and bluntly, is none of the General's fucking business.

There have to be limits. The idea that one gives up all legal and common sense rights, just because some prick does not want to piss off a bunch of feminist lackeys is astounding. Especially in a world were a guy can suck off another guy in the barracks with impunity, but a straight Airman or Soldier cannot buy a girl a drink or 4 and let her stroke his thigh while she pretends to like him? Jesus H. Christ! One may be concerned about it, sure. But the idea that you have to regulate every thing a guy does off duty is just fucking ridiculous.

And illegal.

As one wag pointed out, "This practice encourages the objectification of women, reinforces sexist attitudes, and is demeaning to all human beings.”-"Is he talking about buying drinks for the juicys or the annual visits by NFL cheerleaders? "

Its a good point. So too is the rather pertinent question of, are you going to ban women buying men drinks in bars? Or stateside going to a Chippendales bars?

The military is not a "moral profession".  I'm sorry, but that is the truth. Regulations should make sense and avoid creating incentives to break them. This stupid rule does not pass that test. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 responses so far

Jul 14 2014

Submitted without comment-but worth your time

Published by under Feminist Buffoonery,Navy

This appeared at  Phib's place a week ago. It is so good and so much a commentary on what is wrong with my once beloved Navy, I had to post it here in it's entirety. Its worth a read-especially where it calls out the survivors of the Uncle Vern's purges during the last decade for their failures. Naval Aviation culture is dying-and when it is gone, people will never know how much fun it once was.

Here now is the post:

"When the Tailhook investigation began, and certain political elements used the incident to bring discredit on Naval Aviation as a whole, and then on the Navy writ large, one is entitled to ask, on behalf of those magnificent performers who have never failed their leaders, where were their leaders?" As Naval Aviation leadership begins to face one of the worst retention crises in its history, readdressing this question, originally posed by former Secretary of the Navy James Webb at the Naval Institute's 122nd Annual Meeting and sixth Annapolis Seminar in 1996, may help explain why some of aviation's best and brightest have decided to leave. 

Naval Aviation leadership is currently struggling with the real threat of not having enough pilots to fly the aircraft on its flight lines, and it's not solely due to cyclic and predictable factors (economy, OPTEMPO). The more insidious problem, going largely unaddressed, is one of trust and confidence; more accurately, the fleet's loss of trust and confidence in its senior leadership. This breakdown in trust has spread well beyond junior officers reaching their first "stay or go" milestones. Large numbers of post-command Commanders are electing to retire, instead of pursuing further promotion and increased retirement benefits. In both cases, officers are saying "no thanks" to generous amounts of money (for some, as much as $125,000), choosing instead to part ways with an organization they competed fiercely to join; one that, at some point, provided tremendous satisfaction.

  The Naval Personnel, Research, Studies and Technology (NPRS&T) group recently conducted a survey of Naval Aviators from the ranks of Lieutenant to Commander. All groups suggested availability of resources and workplace climate should be top priorities for senior leadership. These two factors go a long way towards explaining the larger problem of lost trust. 

The NPRS&T survey solicited open-ended responses and provided selected examples in their summary. With respect to availability of resources, the underlying theme was, "stop asking us to doing more with less." Whether the "less" applies to flight hours, qualified Sailors, or materiel support, squadrons are routinely asked to meet increasingly demanding operational requirements with less of each. Worse, they're being told to do so by flag officers who wear flight jackets adorned with multiple 1000-hour tabs and Centurion patches, symbolizing aviation milestones which have become almost entirely unattainable to today's aviators. Squadrons are regularly sent on 10-month deployments with just-in-time parts delivery, artificial readiness, and aircraft that saw their best days when our flag officers were using them for a BAGEX.

NPRS&T also accepted open-ended responses pertaining to workplace climate.

Many of the ill effects described above spill into this arena, but there are additional issues that must be addressed. Not surprisingly, some of the key words provided in the responses include race, gender, SAPR, micro-management, and GMT. It is also no surprise that the manner in which our leadership has chosen to address these issues also serves to erode trust. 

Many of the cultural and climate issues that are alleged to plague our current force were accepted – nay, fostered – by today's admirals when they were swashbuckling junior officers. We're being asked to undo and "fix" the problems they watched develop.  

We're told to de-glamorize alcohol even as we hear legendary stories about the Miramar O'Club. We're required to complete mind-numbing Trafficking in Persons training, yet hear frequent reminiscences about Subic Bay and Pattaya. We watch good officers publicly shamed and relieved for offenses that the relieving flag officers themselves were guilty of, but in an era absent Facebook and Twitter. We see the fervor surrounding the military's alleged sexual assault crisis, while time and again, our flag officers fail to recognize the 99% of us who find such crimes equally reprehensible. Instead, we're subjected to yet another NKO training to make sure we remember that rape is wrong. And we're conducting this training at the expense of executing our primary mission – flying our aircraft and preparing for war. With this description of our "workplace climate," is it any wonder that Lieutenants and Commanders alike sense an ever-decreasing amount of trust from our leaders? Is it any surprise that talented and highly competitive officers are turning down bonuses and voting with their feet?

 So what's an admiral to do? First, our leadership must stop talking to us like we're suits at an annual shareholder's meeting. Speak to us honestly, frankly, and with words that don't betray your brown shoes. Don't speak to us about best-practices, enterprises, or stake-holders. Remember that we're a sharp and incredibly discerning audience who knows a bad deal when we see it. Stand up and own the problems that you've charged us with fixing. Accountability still matters in this profession. Second, stand up and serve as advocates for the over-whelming majority of us who are doing it right. There is very little faith among us that our leadership will stand up in the face of outside scrutiny to defend any officer who is unfortunate enough to end up on the wrong end of an investigation – for anything. We don't believe you have the ability, or the willingness, to pump the brakes before pulling the trigger.

For many, the professional satisfaction that may come with command at sea just doesn't seem worth the risk of having our careers, reputations, and families drug through the bilges on the basis of allegations. Our leaders are seeing the effects of their "do as I say, not as I did" message manifested in decreased retention, lost trust, and waning esprit de corps. James Webb asked, "Where were their leaders?" Today they are scrambling to piece together financial solutions to problems that can't be monetized – at least not until they can figure out how much our trust is worth."

The survey is here.

 

No responses yet

Jun 07 2014

Because I like beating a dead horse.

This will be my second and hopefully last post on the abomination that is the Harry Harris sponsored assrape investigation into the Blue Angels "command climate". Also known as its more common name, assassination by IG.

There have been wonderful comments made that , "since the events were substantiated as occurring", all objections to the way the investigation was handled and the timing of the complaint are irrelevant. And by implication it is perfectly fine to destroy a good officer's career as a result of one set of time.

I thoroughly reject that contention. And you Navy folks who are voicing it-may rest secure in the knowledge that you have completely sold your souls to Satan. Enjoy life in this brave new world you are creating with its protected classes and diversity bullies run amok.

If you have not read the investigation report, I think you should. It can be found here or here. Sadly, it is clear that the investigation team failed to look at some of the background issues that are also at play in a command like the Blue Angels or for that matter TOPGUN. They are not "normal" commands say that the Captain's VFA squadron was, a tour he did exceptionally well at.

Now perhaps it is because both the Blues and TOPGUN believe their own hype, about having the best of the best, that it sets folks up for the kind of dramas that ultimately created this vendetta by a butthurt subordinate and the subsequent with hunt. Personally, I think Maurice is right and this is a case of someone trying to get even when a selection board did not go her way, and now in the brave new world, the Navy is quite accommodating of this particular type of character assassination. But I think there is insufficient understanding of the group dynamics that are in play in an organization such as the Blue Angels or TOPGUN.

Some history. I was at NSAWC when the three weapons schools, CAEWWS, Topgun, and Strike were brought together in the ultimate "shotgun marriage".  The Topgun guys were our "neighbors" so to speak so we got to observe them up close. TOPGUN very much resented the merger and went out of its way to avoid integrating into the rest of the NSAWC organization. Like the Blues, they had their own set of traditions and rituals. They also like the Blues, have a huge set of powerful "alumni". You tinker with the organizations at great peril. The flag officers who ran the larger organization of NSAWC understood this. I remember having a conversation with one, who really felt that his efforts to reign in the outfit was having a direct impact on the way the rest of big Navy worked with him.

In the Blues, how the 8 aviators get along is more than just important, its a foundation on which their life is built. Thus I categorically reject the assumptions made by the investigators that the support officers were shunned. Anybody who has spent any time in Carrier Aviation knows there is a pecking order in the world, and learns to deal with it. After all in the Blues there are still plenty of good deals to be had.

But you are absolutely kidding yourself if you think a new CO can go in there and be an authoritarian from the gitgo. They have had people who tried to do that. They got run out of town on a rail. So the wise person is going to be very mindful of that and try to shape the change he wants subtly and carefully. Also the squadron is on the road a lot-and that creates its own unique challenges. I personally think CAPT McWherter was mindful of that and thus was trying his best to be collegial with his wardroom and foster camaraderie. Remember that? Much of Naval Aviation tradition is  (or was) built on it-and the best squadrons I served in were where the camaraderie was high and so was the interaction between the wardroom.  During my 20 years of flying, based on this criteria outlined in the CPF report, everyone of my CO's, including myself would have been fired. That alone should tell you it's an unreasonable standard.

Does that mean that there were things in hindsight, that could have been done differently? Of course there could have been. But a simple course correction would have sufficed-not a public shaming. I also don't think the incidents that are discussed are as numerous and non-stop as the report makes out. Seems to me there was also a lot of emphasis on the squadron's primary mission of good demonstration flying. And when you have a lot of young men together, the talk will turn to women and girls. And calling someone gay is still a accepted pejorative. It is a fact of life.

It may not have been right, but the Blues will be a unique organization.  It is not, just another squadron. And it never will be. And in making judgments on this case you should keep that in mind.

And for the record. Maxim style shots of women are not pornography-and people who say they are should be horsewhipped. As should subordinates who think it is their duty to "mentor" people of their gender. ( A key warning flag that this was a withchunt, mentioned in the investigation).

For those people, Professor Van Kreveld would like a chat with you.

3 responses so far

Feb 12 2014

Mandatory Training…..

Over at Esquire's political blog, LTC Robert Bateman has been buying into the entire-"all military men are rapists" theme.  Now, I, for one, am sick of hearing it. A) Because its not true and B) its disguising yet another hidden feminist agenda. Fortunately for us all- ROK Drop is still on the case. 

This just confirms to me how these AP writers are interested in sensationalism and not journalism.  Each case stands on its own facts which leads to its own outcome.  Just because a person is accused of sexual assault does not mean that they should automatically be convicted and receive the same sentence as someone else who was convicted.  You have to look at the facts of each case that was presented at trial which the AP writers did not provide.  Did the first case come down to just a he said said case where the accuser was drunk and changed her story multiple times?  While the second case the accuser never changed his story and maybe even had a witness to help confirm the crime?  I don’t know, but it is facts like this that help the legal system get convictions while other cases do not lead to convictions.

The AP writers also suggest in the article that the fact that accusers are not cooperating with authorities shows that they do not have confidence in the system.  They make this statement with no evidence of course.  I could just as easily make the claim that these were false rape accusations that were made with no evidence.  And if anyone thinks that servicemembers do not make false rape accusations think again:

After which, in his usual thorough style-he proceeds to debunk the AP myths.

Additionally the AP writers make a big deal about how few cases in Japan are tried by court martials and instead handled with non-judicial punishment.  Could that be because of the heavy alcohol consumption and people piled together in the barracks on Okinawa leads to a lot of the drunken he said, she said cases that are notoriously difficult to prosecute?  So instead of going to court martial with little chance to convict due to lack of evidence are the commanders offering the non-judicial punishment route to convict them on something?  Could that be why a high number of people are supposedly convicted of sex in the barracks and adultery?  Once again I do not know and the AP writers do not provide evidence otherwise.  However, McClatchy already looked into this issue and found that the military if anything is over prosecuting service members for sexual assault.

Follow the links and read the rest for yourself. I stand by the statement I made a long time ago. THE MILITARY DOES NOT HAVE A SEXUAL ASSAULT epidemic. It has a rate that is probably lower than that of a comparably sized and aged segment of the civilian population.  It has a buyer's remorse problem and a political correctness problem-by not sticking to its standards and demanding that everyone live by them, male or female. And it has a huge problem with creating policies that place men and women together, encouraging service members to date each other-with the usual hilarity that subsequently ensues. This is the world you said you wanted when began the great experiment-well, welcome to it.

Unfortunately however, we here at Far East Cynic HQ have been notified that we are required, because of failure to understand the gravity of the problem, to take some required training-and they are taking attendance. This has been de riguer since that fun little party at the Vegas Hilton some 20+ years ago. So sit down and make sure you get your name on the sign in sheet.

Now get trained!

 

Danger Zone!

No responses yet

Jan 14 2014

Who needs a sabbatical?

Well it’s been two years since I have right royally pissed off the feminist lobby, and it is January and I am cold. So it is probably a good time to jump back into the pool and piss them off again.

Navy Times had a recent article up discussing the idea of sabbaticals, and how they could “help retain women in ranks”. After all, a military career is hard and all, and it is increasingly getting in the way of having it all:

Across the military services, leaders are experimenting with programs that will give valued officers and enlisted troops, men and women, the incentive to stay. Also, as the Pentagon moves to bring women into more jobs closer to the combat zone, military officials believe it is crucial to keep mid-career female officers in the services so they can mentor those on the front lines.

 

“We have innovative things we’re trying to retain women in the service,” said Vice Adm. Mark Ferguson, vice chief of naval operations. “It’s about creating the personnel policies that enable someone to say it’s Navy and family, instead of Navy or family.”

 

In other words, the Navy wants to create a “mommy track”. For what reason, I have no real idea, but it appears they do.

I’ll pause a moment so that you can throw up, and then, scratch your head and utter a cheery, “WTF?!?!”

It seems to me they are not getting the point here.  But I will explain why in a minute. For now, lets remember how hard it is for a service woman to “have it all” shall we?

In October, Katherine left the service and moved from Camp Lejeune to California to be with her fiancé. It was a difficult decision, but in the end, she said, she chose stability.

“For women to have a family and a career, it’s just extremely difficult. And, being in the military, it is extra sacrifice, you have deployments, you have workups, and it just makes it that much more challenging,” she said. “The Marine Corps is a lifestyle, it’s not a job. You dress it, you eat it, you breathe it, you live it. For me, I want to focus on getting married.”

So far, Sarah has chosen to stay in. “I love being a Marine, I love the people I work with,” she said. But not long ago, Rachel said she also is weighing similar issues.

It’s not an uncommon dilemma. More often than men in the military, women choose their family over service.

 

Here is a news flash madam, yes it is about choices, and when you chose to enter the service you made a choice to deal with these complexities. It’s pretty lousy to get in, decide you don’t like the rules of the game and then instead of coping with them, decide it’s better to change the rules and the playing field.

At the risk of being branded with the “M” word-I will remind you that there were reasons that society evolved into the roles for men and women to play in it. Now I will grant you that those roles are changing and society has to change too-but it seems to me that this goes a bit too far.

First of all, its rather discriminatory towards those men (and women) who are not a part of a dual service couple. (Which is a whole another bad trend that is going on-the service has incentives that encourage Sailors to marry Sailors, but we will set that aside for this discussion). A lot of people cannot afford to lose one year’s earnings (or two) especially if there is a stay at home spouse-or young children to raise. They would probably like a year off too-but they can’t afford one.

Second, the logic here is completely faulty.  Especially this idea that you have to have women to mentor women. I thought the services were supposed to be gender neutral. So isn’t that what you have a chain of command for? Isn’t that what you have standards of professional conduct for? Is that not why the Navy is firing so many men?

As it is, there is far too much of this “women networking with other women“ going on with results that are predictably geared to undermine the chain of command. I’ve written about it before-and we have seen far too many Navy Times headlines that have been predicated by mentors “encouraging” actions that have resulted in disaster.

Furthermore the hand of time stops for no one-and the DOPMA wall is still out there, and you can’t tell me that there are not some tradeoffs that get made in the advancement world when you elect this course. For one thing you are changing year groups-and the dynamics of who you are competing with may change dramatically and not for the better.

The Navy is not, and cannot be, a “family friendly” employer. That does not mean, however, that men and women cannot find a balance and raise a family. But it does involve choices and these choices are sometimes hard ones. I hate to remind folks this-but having to make those choices is not the Navy’s fault. When one chooses to enter a Navy career, you are making a statement as either a man or a woman: You want to do something hard and career worthy. That women are the only ones who can have children is a biological fact-not a hindrance the Navy created. If later on downstream a woman decides that she would rather get out and have a family, that’s a choice for her to make. Literally millions of women make it every year. But please, spare me the flack about the idea that the Navy somehow needs to make “accommodations” for the increasing numbers of women in its ranks. It belies the original reason the women said they wanted to serve-to have the same opportunities as men. Well making choices about family and career is an opportunity.

But it’s unfair, men with a stay at home wife don’t have to make that choice!” BS.  I would remind you that there are choices that are being made by the other family-not the least of which is getting by on a lot less money than the dual service couple. “You make choices and you live with them”.

Well, there is nothing wrong with a sabbatical.” No, there probably isn’t-except when you frame it as a way to “retain women”-and allow them to not have to make hard choices, then you are laying bare the hypocrisy behind the idea –and providing an clear inkling of the double standard that will be enforced in its execution. Why not fix the root problem, which is the Navy’s trying to shove 100lbs into a 50lb career bag, and revise DOPMA, to slow down promotion flow points, and allow officers to serve longer . Maybe give every officer a good 2 year break when he or she attends a civilian university to get a Masters Degree. (It could also have the added benefit of exposing these folks to parts of America that don’t normally see military folks). Bring back some of the “good deal" tours as well.

To pay Phibian a compliment for a change, he’s right when he says, “Again, this isn't harmless. In the zero sum game that is selection, support, promotion, and award – special treatment based on [Gender] is discrimination. It also puts in a perverse incentive to lie, cheat, steal, and to tolerate those among you who do.” In essence you are getting to the heart of what all us nay-sayers said many years ago when we began the great experiment, you will fundamentally change the institution in ways that will ultimately destroy the things that made it worth serving in. The PAO hoopla about these sabbaticals and the idea that somehow the Navy has to get to a 50-50 gender split is just crazy. This is not a corporation-it’s a fighting force. You don't always get everything you want-and you cannot have it all. "You make choices and you live with them." We would do well to remember that.

I used to give dual service couples advice, that I thought at the time made sense and I still do. The powers that be did not like it very much and told me not to pass it on. I ignored them. Basically for a dual service couple-you have to decide who will be CNO and who won't be. In other words you have to decide whose career will come first-and then stick to that strategy. If you both want to be successful you will be childless and or lonely. It does not matter if its the man or the woman-but you have to choose. I still think its a useful thing to ponder-and I've met many dual service couples who follow exactly that course. It works-but evidently CDR Steinem doesn't want to hear it.

2 responses so far

Aug 03 2013

No axe to grind here!

Published by under Feminist Buffoonery,Navy

In the July Naval Institute Proceedings, there was an article by RDML Martha Herb and RDML Tony Kurta about the "epidemic" of sexual harassment sweeping the Navy.  It's an interesting read-if only for the fact that it well highlights how the services themselves have been co-opted by the feminists and special interests. I can give you the executive summary in a nutshell: The military is full of rapists, the warrior culture and ethos is to blame, and the heroic feminists can only fix the problem by bringing more women into the Navy.

There is so much that is cringe worthy in the contents of this article that its hard to know where to begin in making an objective criticism and refutation of most of the author's points. I guess the best place to start is with their assertion of the size of the problem:

We have a problem. We know we have a problem, yet we are not taking action that is bold and decisive enough to right the ship. Sexual assault and sexual harassment are significantly degrading our operational readiness. More than 10,000 men and women reported they have been victims of unwanted sexual contact in the past 12 months. Most victims are young, enlisted women from 18 to 24. However, it is not just a female issue. Both men and women have been victims, and all too often the perpetrators are other sailors or military personnel. 1 The sexual-assault official reporting rate remains relatively constant. Yet despite all we have done to date, the gap between incidents reported by survey and official reports underlines the magnitude of the problem (see Figure 1). 2 As for sexual harassment, both reports and substantiated incidents are increasing (see Figure 2). We must solve this issue.

Literally thousands and thousands are being groped as we speak!

Except, of course, the statistics they are basing their assumptions on are based on flawed statistical premises-as was pointed out briefly here, and in a lot more depth over at ROK Drop. Specifically the military is lumping dissimilar data together in order to overly dramatize the issue-and distort the real picture. And as GI Korea points out well, that makes it quite hard for decision makers to understand just how nuanced the real picture is.

The authors don't come out and say it-but they do cite it in their footnotes-that they base their conclusions on the flawed 2012 DOD study on Sexual Harassment.  If you follow the link to ROK Drop-you will discover exactly why the report is flawed, as well as the statistical slights of the hand used within it to substantiate the overall conclusion-excessively demagogued-by folks both within and outside the military.

 I will let others speculate on what their political agendas are, but I can clearly show that they are inaccurately portraying the results from the report.  You can read the full report here.  What is even more troubling to me is that I expect special interests and politicians to be demagogues, but the media is so poor now a days they do not even bother to read reports like this to determine what the special interests are saying is even true. They just mindlessly report what they are told without doing any critical fact checking. Because of all the sensational claims in the media I decided to go ahead and read the report for myself.

It would appear that the Proceedings, once a respected publication, but now more of a party line distribution node, is guilty of the accusation in the last sentence.

What's wrong with the numbers? Lets let GI Korea explain further:

The media has also been real good at sensationalizing how the 26,000 number is up from 19,000 in 2010. However, what they will not tell you is that this number is down significantly from 2006:

The WGRA is designed so that the results accurately represent the Active Duty force.  The design allows the Department to use weighted counts of survey respondents and Military Service end strength on record with DMDC to roughly estimate the number of victims of sexual assault in the years for which data is available. Estimates derived from the rates of USC in the 2012 WGRA suggest that there may have been approximately 26,000 Service members who experienced some form of USC in the year prior to being surveyed. This estimate suggests that there may have been approximately 7,000 more Service members who experienced some kind of USC in 2012 than in 2010, but also suggests that there may have been approximately 11,000 fewer Service members who experienced some form of USC in 2012 than there were in 2006.  [Page 12]

So all those sensational headlines that people are reading today in the media could easily have said “Military Sexual Assaults Decline by 30% in the Past 6 Years”. Good luck getting anyone in the media to print that though because the sensationalist headlines of today draw viewers to their networks which reporting this issue with proper context would not do.  This is just further evidence that news today is just ‘infotainment’ not really meant to inform people.

The big jump in numbers also should cause people to question why is there such a huge jump in numbers up and down in the past 6 years? I have already provided a possible partial answer to this by the expanded definition of unwanted sexual contact used in the survey. Another partial reason could be how the surveys were administered.  Were people in each year asked the same questions?  The biggest reason though could be the fact that the military grew in size substantially between 2006-2012.  In response to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan the military grew by nearly 100,000 troops during that time period. The active duty military in 2005 had a total end strength 1,378,014.  In 2011 the active duty end strength was 1,468364 service members.  With an increase in force size like that is it any wonder why there was more incidents reported in this survey in 2012? With the expected force reductions coming up in the next few years this number should naturally go down just because statistically there is less people in the military to have a USC committed against them. This is all important context that I have seen no one in the media provide in regards to the 26,000 number. If the people in the media sensationalizing this number actually read the report and actually followed military issues they would quickly come to this realization like I did.

I think it is also useful to compare this number to civilian rates of USC.  Colleges where young students are piled on top of each other in the dorms and drink a lot of alcohol is I think the closest civilian environment that is similar to living in military barracks.  Here is an excerpt from the report that discusses sexual assault on college campuses:

For the estimated 673,000 U.S. civilian college-aged women who experienced nonconsensual vaginal, oral, or anal penetration, only about 77,395 (11.5 percent) indicated they reported it to the police.69 The definition of sexual assault used in this college sample refers to penetrating crimes only. Consequently, it captures fewer crimes than the DoD definition of sexual assault, which encompasses both penetrating and non-penetrating sexual offenses, and attempts to commit these offenses. (Page 53)

So how much higher would the college number be if touching someone’s thigh was defined as unwanted sexual contact like it was in the Pentagon survey? I can guarantee there would be a extremely huge number that would come out of such a survey. (emphasis mine-SS)  So why aren’t the politicians demanding that the Secretary of Education conduct such a survey and demand special laws and courts for people who commit sexual assault on college campuses?

Go over and read the rest. The bottom line is, as I have mentioned repeatedly before, is that the military does not have a statistically significant problem, especially when compared to a similar sized and aged civilian cohort.

It is interesting though, that the Proceedings authors chose to not to mention the issue of "buyers remorse"  and false accusations:

Notice how abusive sexual contact was added to the definition of sexual assault so people who grab someone’s butt is now equated with serial rapists. Considering the expansion of the definition to include such a broad amount of crimes why should anyone be surprised the number of sexual assaults reported has increased? The special interests basically helped passed laws to ensure an increase in numbers and then bash the Pentagon when they did rise. This expansion in the definition accounted for in FY2012 a 35% increase in sexual assaults reported:………

So out of that 3,374 report number that is often used in the media it gets reduced all the way down to 880 people that it was determined should be court martialed for a sexual assault crime.  Remember this a sexual assault using the expanded definition. So how many of these 880 actually committed a sexual assault using the old definition? I could not determine that number from the report because the crimes the 880 people were convicted of were not broken down into separate categories which I found odd.  Based on the majority of unrestricted reports being touching incidents I would not be surprised if the majority convicted were for touching crimes.  So how were these 880 punished? Well the report did have a chart that showed the punishment these service members received: – See more at: http://rokdrop.com/2013/05/20/how-the-special-interests-are-sensationalizing-the-military-sexual-assault-issue-and-i-have-the-facts-to-prove-it/#sthash.F7ibMQYn.dpuf…………

So from that 3,374 number we now down to 238 convicted in a court martial in 2012.  You will sometimes hear the special interests demagogue this number as well by inferring that a whole bunch of servicemembers are getting away with rape.  However, as this posting shows not everyone is punished by a court martial, some of the cases get tried the following year, and a large number are baseless cases or acquittals.  This is all context that the special interests will not provide.  Something else to keep in mind that the above excerpt shows is that anyone convicted of a sexual assault is now automatically discharged.  So how many soldiers with multiple deployments and suffering from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) will now receive automatic discharges after getting drunk and inappropriately touching someone and thus lose all their medical benefits?  I am not saying these soldiers should not be held responsible for what they did, but should they be out on the street with a bad conduct discharge with no health care benefits for touching someone inappropriately? ………..

Something that everyone in the media except the Washington Times has missed is that for the 880 servicemembers that were convicted for sexual assault related crimes, there were 363 unfounded or baseless sexual assault accusations.

As I said before-the quality of the data matters, and the authors of the Proceedings article are ignoring that statistical reality in promoting a certain agenda.

What is that agenda, you may ask, and shouldn't you be concerned about sexual assault? To answer the second question first, of course one should be concerned about sexual assault. But one should also understand exactly what the cause and effects of certain policy decisions are. Phrased a better way-perhaps the Navy would be better served if the authors understood their customer base a tad bit better;

One of our challenges is that leadership does not intimately understand the society from which sailors join the Navy. Our youngest service members communicate differently, see people differently, and have different standards of behavior—particularly concerning sexual conduct—than do most who are in leadership roles. Despite attempts to instill new standards during accession training, this societal culture and “traditional” Navy culture collide. The results? While not scientific, this article’s coauthors have observed or heard the following anecdotal evidence during the past few years:

• “Pursuit of the Battle E” means sleeping with an enlisted female.

• Female mid-grade leaders advise their female sailors when they complain about sexism and sexual harassment, “It’s a man’s world and that’s the way it is, just get used to it.”

• Port visits are for letting off steam. Drinking and sex (among both men and women) can be pursued with available shipmates.

The last two statements are the most noteworthy. The first is just an acknowledgement of fact. Today's Naval leadership does not understand the complications and higher administrative overhead of mixed gender units-and even if they did- would not propose the right policy solutions.

The second statement is an overstatement. The term is more of a witty joke than an actual objective. Most officers are well aware of how dangerous and stupid it is. And for those actually do sleep with enlisted-there is already a system in place to deal with the infraction.

And the third statement is, like the first one, a common sense recognition of the fact that "being treated the same as men" was initially what the drive to end the combat exclusion was all about. So why be surprised when the type of people who are drawn to military service ( both male and female)-sensual, excitement driven, type A personalities-are who they are?

Except, of course,  we know that the stated objective of "just being treated like the men",  is not true. What the feminists really wanted was to ensure the men and the institution they served in, were changed to be treated like the women-and to ensure that whatever advancement of women occurred, took place at breakneck speed. The results of the last two decades are replete with proof of this.

Inside the article,  the authors occasionally let the mask slip and their real intentions be shown: "Our job and challenge as leaders is to change the outcome of this culture clash and create the new Navy culture." This reinforces a tired old shibboleth, namely Navy before 1994=bad. Nothing of greatness was accomplished by the previously primarily male Navy. Navy after 1994=good. As one who served in both Navies, I take objection to that idea.

And here's another shibboleth: "Approximately 24 percent of the target population is eligible to serve, and overall propensity to do so hovers in the low double digits. 4 We need the young women of America if we are to remain the premiere global maritime force. Females represent a large piece of our talent pool, officer and enlisted. Their tendency to serve is about half that of males, and we cannot afford to write off any talent"

This is dog whistle speak for: " We can't let the ratio of women to men fall out to  where it naturally would fall out ( at about 15-18%), we have to create quotas and other tools of the professional diversity industry to create a 50-50 split. Child rearing and other societal issues / distinctions between the roles of men and women in American society be damned". It is simply not a true statement as recruiting during the 80's would attest to. Furthermore-the whole 24% thing is a misstatement too. The bottom line is the military is smaller now. And the population to recruiting from is bigger than 20+ years ago.

And finally,  as for statement 4:  like it or not, dear Naval Leaders, port visits are for getting drunk and letting off steam-and, as it turns out, women are just as good at it as men are. However thanks to other, pretty stupid decisions , you, the Naval Leadership,  have foreclosed the market on other outlets that don't involve sex with one's shipmates. Then, when the Sailors start looking with more interest in their fellow crew members, one is shocked, shocked, that they would look in that direction.

 No matter how many curfews you impose, no matter how many COM-REL projects you force upon them, you won't change basic facts of human nature. "Wars and lechery, nothing else holds the fashion"

This is what people 18-24 do.( and folks a lot older do as well. ;-)   ) Learn to live with it. You created this mess with your ideas of the "Star Trek" navy-when it is impossible for such a thing to exist. Here's an unpopular notion: the problem is not that Sailors are dating, having sex or drinking. Its who they are dating, having sex with or drinking with.  And right now, you have a situation that encourages Sailors to date other Sailors.

The solutions the authors propose to solve the "widespread problem"? In a nutshell: 1) encourage advancement through assassination and 2) expand the role of the thought police.

According to policy, we handle these complaints the same way we treat those about equal opportunity, and we encourage sailors to handle them using the informal resolution system. If that is unable to resolve the issue, a formal complaint process is available. Instead, any event along the entire behavior continuum should be reported as a restricted or unrestricted report, investigated formally, and adjudicated in the same manner as are sexual assaults (see Figure 3). This would tremendously simplify the process for the victim. There would be no more having to decide whether it was harassment or assault, or whether to use the informal or formal complaint process. Granted, it would require more investigative and adjudication resources (primarily from NCIS and judge advocates general, respectively). But the Navy always applies resources to readiness and safety issues.

 

 In other words-make everything a criminal case. Yep, that's a real great idea, make every Sailor view his / her shipmate as a potential knife in the back. That goes a long way from sending the message that we trust our commanders to exercise leadership. Furthermore, it creates a level of institutional paranoia that makes it virtually assured that the rate of false accusations will increase-just the opposite of what the two RDML's claim they want. It conveniently ignores the changes that have taken place in the Navy over the last 20 years. There are already plenty of avenues for women in the military to report sexual assaults and/or harassment.

Now the problem at this point, is that when one tries to argue for more sanity in the the Navy as it tackles sexual issues,  the proponents of the over hyped figures, have also succeeded in virtually making it impossible to raise a rationale voice in opposition.  The simple truth, however,  is that there needs to be more voices raised in dissent against the railroading of service members-not less.The types of "solutions" that are being proposed to these issues-are fatal to the ethos of the military, and are also not in keeping with a justice proceeding that is supposed to be based on a principle of "innocent until proven guilty". Sorry Martha-but for a man in today's military, being accused of sexual assault is an exercise in just the opposite. One is guilty and it takes moving heaven and earth to prove that one is innocent. That's what needs to change-not the overall "culture".

Which brings me to the second so-called solution: More thought police practicing that ill advised and poorly thought out idea of "intrusive leadership". Intrusive = abusive. The is a way to keep your finger on the pulse of your Sailors without demanding that they submit every detail of their private life to inspection. It requires a plugged in and empowered Chief's mess for one thing, and communication up and down the chain of command. Most of the current crop of Officers have not gotten past the "intrusive" part and its to the detriment of the Navy as a whole. This is just another legacy of Uncle Vern's five years of mis-mangement as CNO.  Furthermore it also sends a wonderful hidden message-we say we trust you Sailors,  but we really don't. We want you to conform to a rigid bureaucratic code that has absolutely zero to do with a warfighting spirit-and everything to do with making the military just another PC office place.

I'll say it again: "The Military is NOT a moral profession. It may be honorable and needed-but it is not, by any stretch of the imagination, “moral”. An organization whose fundamental purpose is the mass murder of one’s fellow human beings, no matter how necessary in the pursuit of the national defense, is not “moral”. And in recent years, the military particularly jumped off the moral high ground when it became perfectly comfortable with pictures like this one, or this one too." 

In summary I will close with my steadfast belief.  There is no moral crisis in the Navy.  Nor is there a rampant deluge of sexual harassment or assault. The average naval officer or Sailor is getting up each morning and going to work on time, pays his bills, takes care of his family, serve his country-and maybe just maybe-desires to have a good time once in a while, while doing so. Its not an unreasonable expectation on his or her part.  The military justice system does not need to be turned outside in-except for the lone possibility of removing the parts that are obsolete and / or for issues for which "crimes" do not now exist in American civil law. ( And before anyone asks-I am not talking about rules about fraternization. I am talking about the sodomy and adultery provisions). The tools are all in place to deal with bonafide cases of assault.  There are already sufficient remedies in place-there is absolutely  no reason to add to them.

Here's an idea though-how about backing up your Commanding Officers? How about leaving them alone and let them run their commands as they see fit? ( Something one didn't do in the case of JP Honors by the way).

How about scoping the problem correctly? As has been pointed out in careful analysis of the "numbers" they are not near as high as people say they are.

How about incentivizing the behavior you want-and treat Sailors like grown ups? When you treat them like adults they will behave like adults. Too often-as is evidenced in 7th fleet, they are treated like children.  Adults in our society get to make choices;  good ones and bad ones. So long as they show up to work on time, you can't influence much else.  Do away with the myriad of personnel policies you have right now that literally encourage Sailors to date other Sailors. A big part of the problem as it currently exists is that folks don't know the limits of when dating ends and "other things" begin. Zero dating policies might not pass the "legal test"-but they do help to drive home the idea of discretion.

While you are at it-how about not undercutting the authority of LPO's and CPO's? Contrary to popular belief,  most men and women know real sexual harassment when they see it. Like bad pornography, one may not be able to verbally define it-but they know what it is. And most are well equipped to deal with it-if you senior officers would just let them.

Those who say there is a "rape culture" are just lying,  pure and simple. The military takes sexual assaults very seriously and anyone claiming otherwise is out of touch with today’s military culture.  Which by the way,  Admiral Herb, does not need a wholesale changing.

Casual observers—those who have never served in a fully integrated ship’s company—seem convinced that men and women can serve together in ships with utter disregard for one another’s sex. That sounds ridiculous, because it is. It only sounds sensible to people so determined to make something work that they are able to discount fundamental human nature. Simply put, you cannot put men and women in a small box, send them away for extended periods of isolated time, and expect them not to interact with one another. They’re like magnets being put into a box and shaken—they stick. It is what has kept our species going for 250,000 years.

2 responses so far

Jun 21 2013

Not understanding what was said…..

One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.

Bertrand Russell


Recently, there has been a video that has gone viral in military blogging circles and elsewhere, showing the Chief of Staff of the Australian Army, Lieutenant General David Morrison, making tough talk on the issue of sexual harassment in the Australian Army.

A lot of people have been impressed by this video with his plain spokeness and tough talk. I am not in the least impressed-and see this video in a much different light.

Just more pap for the masses.

A cheery “Fuck you mate”-would appear to be required in reply.

There is nothing new here-save for his actual endorsement of the long held feminist ideal, namely criminalizing speech which runs counter to the party line. That has been the stated and unstated objective in the American military as well, especially as the years have passed and women have proven “indispensable” to the service of the Armed Forces. As this blog has proven repeatedly in many posts over the past 7 years-it’s complete and utter nonsense. It would appear that Gen Morrison through either active coercion or actual belief,  has bought into the myth as well.

Now I do not know the details of the Australian case, but I think without knowing exactly what occurred, the world-and the Australian military,  might not want to be in such haste to condemn the rest of the service for the bad acts of a few people. Yet as in the United States that appears to be exactly what is taking place.

There are legitimate policy arguments that still need to be held about the social revolution that has engulfed the armed forces of the Western Nations, policy discussions on fairness, affects on readiness, and over all common sense of many of the decisions that are being made in the service of the diversity industry that I know is present in the United States and appears to be in place in Australia. Some very knowledgeable and brave individuals have spoken out on these policy issues and taken a contrarian view, namely that of that every societal change comes at a cost to the society making it. Expanded roles of women in the military do have a cost and if the last 20 years have proven anything, it is that the administrative overhead of running a mixed gender force is huge. And it will continue to be greater than that involved in a single gender outfit.

Now to hold that point of view is not the same as endorsing misconduct. It would appear that the Australian offenders violated the cardinal rule of existence in today’s brave new world: 1) Know your environment and 2) never conduct conversations with your female co-workers that are not strictly limited to required professional matters. As a gun owner would say, “treat every gun as if it was loaded.” The adage applies to male / female interactions in the work place. “Always, always, always, be on your guard-and watch what you say or do.”  The consequences of failure to do so-appear almost weekly on the cover of Navy Times.

It is a cold day in hell when I agree with Wall Street journalist James Taranto, but the snowballs appear to be being tossed around in the infernal regions today. Taranto has pointed out the complete hypocrisy with which our elected leadership is behaving with respect to empowering our military leadership to deal with the issue of sexual harassment in the ranks:

In March, President Obama nominated Gen. Helms to serve as vice commander of the Air Force Space Command. But Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat who sits on the Armed Services Committee, has placed a "permanent hold" on the nomination.

At issue is the general's decision in February 2012 to grant clemency to an officer under her command. Capt. Matthew Herrera had been convicted by a court-martial of aggravated sexual assault. Ms. McCaskill said earlier this month that the clemency decision "sent a damaging message to survivors of sexual assault who are seeking justice in the military justice system."

To describe the accuser in the Herrera case as a "survivor" is more than a little histrionic. The trial was a he-said/she-said dispute between Capt. Herrera and a female second lieutenant about a drunken October 2009 sexual advance in the back seat of a moving car. The accuser testified that she fell asleep, then awoke to find her pants undone and Capt. Herrera touching her genitals. He testified that she was awake, undid her own pants, and responded to his touching by resting her head on his shoulder………

It's fair to say that Capt. Herrera seems to have a tendency toward sexual recklessness. Perhaps that makes him unsuitable to serve as an officer in the U.S. Air Force. But his accusers acted recklessly too. The presumption that reckless men are criminals while reckless women are victims makes a mockery of any notion that the sexes are equal.

More important, Sen. McCaskill's blocking of Gen. Helms's nomination makes a mockery of basic principles of justice. As the general observed in her memo: "Capt Herrera's conviction should not rest on [the accuser's] view of her victimization, but on the law and convincing evidence, consistent with the standards afforded any American who finds him/herself on trial for a crime of this severity."

On Friday the House passed a defense bill that would strip commanders of the authority to grant clemency. That would be a mistake. The Herrera case demonstrates that the authority offers crucial protection for the accused.

Military officers and lawmakers alike swear an oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States." In the case of Matthew Herrera, Gen. Helms lived up to that commitment. Will Sen. McCaskill?

 

The point he makes is exactly the same one I made a few weeks back. These steps to deprive convening authorities of their discretion in court martial cases is dangerous-and full of unforeseen consequences. The recently passed action by Congress requiring minimum sentences and the inability of a convening authority to overturn a sexual harassment case,  doubly so.  They are stupid restrictions, passed in a knee-jerk fashion. And worse yet will be unevenly applied. Have a penis? Get fucked at the drive through.  Have a vagina? Here, take a tissue and lie down on the fainting couch-and let me pencil you in for your interview on “The View”.

Let me say it again, there is a difference between misconduct and sincere opposition to poorly thought out and poorly implemented policy. The former is just stupid, the latter is noble and something that happens not nearly enough in our military today. And that,  Gen Morrison,  is where your smooth sounding speech just falls apart. There are people who care too much about the proud traditions of the service, to see it sacrificed all too quickly on the altar of political correctness.

 

3 responses so far

May 29 2013

And they say it like its a bad thing………….

Duffleblog has a nice little post up on the graduation speech that the Academy graduates should have heard:

ANNAPOLIS, MD — From a podium in the United States Naval Academy’s storied Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, President Barack Obama offered hearty congratulations and a bit of advice to an exultant field of 1047 graduates about to take their first step into lives of substance abuse, scandal, and despair.

 

 

 

“Today – in this single, fleeting moment – we all are just so proud you,” the president said in his commencement address. “Remember this, because it’s probably all downhill from here.”

Citing countless reports of adultery, alcoholism, rape, and dumbfounding incompetence discovered in the military’s officer corps, Obama painted a candid picture of what the nation’s best and brightest could look forward to upon entering the fleet as Navy ensigns and Marine Corps second lieutenants.

“Let’s face it,” the president told the expectant young officers. “The few of you that will be any good at your job at all will get out. The rest of you will be pushed through a broken promotion system that rewards mindless compliance with outdated standards over anything even vaguely resembling conscious human thought. As you rise through the ranks, you’ll receive awards and honors you don’t deserve and develop a wildly inflated sense of self, until finally you arrive in a position to grossly abuse the power and people in your charge. Give yourselves a round of applause.”


 

Just stirs your heart doesn't it?

And then came the part where SECNAV gave some practical life advice:

Oh, and to the 80 percent of you fools who will be married in the next month, a heartfelt Mazel Tov,” Mabus added. “Enjoy it while it lasts.”

“Frankly, if last year’s figures were any indication, an overwhelming number of you are headed for broken hearts and drawn-out custody battles – which makes sense when you consider the frequent deployments, dollar handjobs in Guam, and the fact that you’ve basically been prisoners on this campus for the last four years and have developed no social skills to speak of whatsoever.”

After reciting the oath of office, amid cheers from family and friends, the proud disasters-to-be filed across the stage to receive their diplomas and shake hands with their Commander-in-Chief.

 

But Bruce Dern already told us this 34 years ago:

One response so far

May 10 2013

The Professor would like a word, please.

Speaking of things that are degrading to women, back in January,  Martin Van Creveld published a fine article in Small Wars Journal. In it he makes the point that got RDML Gaouette fired, namely that there is a double standard existing in today's military-and its one where one gender is in fact devalued-but its men that are being devalued, NOT women.

Last not least, as figures from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan show, relative to their number military women are 90 percent less likely to be killed than military men. In other militaries around the world, incidentally, women’s share among the casualties is much lower still. Uniformed women, in other words, are not pulling their weight. Whether this is because public opinion will not stand for large numbers of dead servicewomen or because the women themselves have found a thousand ways to avoid going where the bullets are is immaterial. Probably both factors play a role. Instead of fighting, women get all the cushy jobs. For anyone who serves in the military, or whose livelihood depends on public approval, the prevailing climate of political correctness makes it impossible to mention the problem even in a whisper. Obviously, though, it is bound to have some effects on the morale of male personnel.

Van Creveld makes a key point about the thought processes behind the feminization of today's readiness. If you view the military as just another large corporation (in fact the largest American corporation) than increasing numbers of women in the force is just a reflection of the trend in society. So too are the large numbers of men unemployed and losing opportunity due to the reduced total numbers and increased numbers in the work force. Which is fine if you support the "corporate" point of view. On the other hand, " If the reason for having armed forces is to guarantee national security, then [having large numbers of women] the answer is clearly no."

As I have pointed out repeatedly in this space, discussions about women in uniform rarely deal with the true issues at hand and instead tend to focus on ideas of "fairness" and "opportunity"-when in fact the execution of wars in defense of the country is not a fair premise, and in a proper world would not exist at all.

So, it might do you well to understand the Professor's key point about what the "transformation" of our military force has wrought. You asked for it, you got it. Welcome to the world mediocrity built.

Looking back, clearly what we see is two long-term processes running in parallel. The first is the decline of U.S. armed forces (as well as all other Western ones, but that is not our topic here). The second is their growing feminization. Critics will object that, even as they were being downsized, the forces went through one qualitative improvement after another. In particular, the so-called “Revolution in Military Affairs” is supposed to have increased their fighting power many times over. That, however, is an illusion. To realize this, all one has to do is look at Afghanistan. Over there, “illiterate” tribesmen—not, take note, tribeswomen—are right now about to force the U.S. to withdraw its troops after a decade of effort in which they achieved hardly anything.

Are the two processes linked? You bet they are. Consider a work by two female professors, Barbara F. Reskin and Patricia A. Roos, with the title Job Queues, Gender Queues. First published in 1990, it has since been quoted no fewer than 1,274 times. As they and countless other researchers, both male and female, have shown, over time the more women that join any organization, and the more important the role they play in that organization, the more its prestige declines in the eyes of both men and women. (emphasis mine) Loss of prestige leads to diminishing economic rewards; diminishing economic rewards lead to loss of prestige. As any number of historical examples has shown, the outcome is a vicious cycle. Can anybody put forward a reason why the U.S. military should be an exception to the rule?

Welcome to the brave new world. To hell with it!

Warning notice: I am leaving comments on. However if someone spirals down the same rat hole we went through last year-and refuses to discuss issues but instead engages in personal attacks, your comment will be deleted immediately.

4 responses so far

Jan 24 2013

The brave new world.

Can we finally do away with DACOWITS now?

Since everyone can do everything-why are they needed? Except of course, its not about equality at all.

Its about reshaping the service into an image it never should have.

But such is the way society is changing.

I consider myself pretty open minded-but on the issue of women serving in combat, in squadrons, on ships, in submarines,  in the military in general, I shall never change my mind.  These changes come at a cost to American society-and they in the end,  demean women. It is not about doing what's right-its about careerism, and wanting to slant the table so that the tables of 10,000 years get turned 180 degrees around.

Secretary Panetta, Professor Van Creveld would like to have a word with you:

4141F05E81L._SS500_

 

This, so you can understand the implications of what you did today.

And for the hypocrites in the Navy who whine and cry about all the guys getting fired for "morals" violations-just wait. The world you supposedly wished for has come true.

And no Mr. Ruiz, I do not apologize for writing this post about this time last year. I was right then-and I am right now. I will go on believing what I believe as long as I live. 

This-This is the world you have created. Enjoy it. 

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There is no free ride and no matter what the benefit-we pay a cost as a society as the role of women as the civilizers of American society is destroyed.

 

All I can say is that I am glad I got to serve with men, when it was a man's thing to do.

4 responses so far

Dec 27 2012

Misleading Conclusions

I normally do not post about contentious issues during the holiday break, preferring instead to have innocuous fun with Beer and Babes, or comics, or life in the promised land of Japan. However I came across and article that is simply so egregiously wrong-that fisking it just cannot wait until after the beginning of the New Year.
Several months ago, Navy CAPT Mark Light-formerly a C-2 pilot and now a faculty member at the Army War College,  published an article that purports to be a scholarly analysis of the Navy’s recent rise CO firings compared to its historic averages of some 20 years ago. Notice I used the word “purports” because,  quite simply,  this article is not an effective analysis at all, scholarly or otherwise. Rather it is just another venue by which the Navy’s leadership is seeking to absolve itself of any responsibility for creating an environment that placed CO’s increasingly in the hands of temptation. It provides the patently absurd and convenient explanation that somehow the “problem” with the Navy’s CO’s comes down to flaws in “character”. And by absolving the civilian and flag leadership of any responsibility whatsoever, he comes down with the tired old trope of a solution that obviously the screening process is at fault for not finding these so called “character flaws” and avoiding promoting these supposedly “amoral” officers to positions of increased responsibility and authority. It was a bullshit conclusion when I first wrote about it here, here, and here.
Since the argument has been had before-and your time at Christmas is precious I will give you my responses up front. I’ll then take some time to look at the conclusions that CAPT Light came up with-and then moved his analysis around to support.
1) The Military is NOT a moral profession. It may be honorable and needed-but it not by any stretch of the imagination “moral”. An organization whose fundamental purpose is the mass murder of one’s fellow human beings, no matter how necessary in the pursuit of the national defense, is not “moral”. And in recent years, the military particularly jumped off the moral high ground when it became perfectly comfortable with pictures like this one, or this one too.
Oh, and before any goes overboard and says that I am simply exposing myself as a “homophobic bigot”, trust me I am not. I simply am setting the precondition that: once having accepted a postulate that what one does sexually doesn’t matter; then it is quite hypocritical to all of a sudden decide that punishing some sexual behavior is OK-while letting others go. Phrased another way: “How many adultery convictions or UCMJ cases will you see for any gay service personnel when gay marriage becomes legal in the majority of the states?” It’s a trick question-the answer is zero.
But you sure see a lot of dismissals of heterosexuals now don’t we?
Which leads to conclusion number 2:
2) Conclusion one is not-“in any way shape or form-saying that there should not be rules and regulations. There have to be rules and regulations. I've been clear that there are redlines that cannot be crossed. But let’s define those lines in a more clear and practical way, shall we? Especially when you have the "diverse" institution you have now. How about , in a Navy where "morality"-at least as defined by the UCMJ-is now a relative term anyway- ( or am I just imagining that a homosexual Sailor, by definition of the word "homosexual" is violating the Sodomy statute ( as well as great number of male v female Sailors.)-why not go back to the old tried and true method to gauge Naval regulations. Namely, "what type of behavior really gets in the way of readiness.". And I am talking about real readiness here-not someone’s fantasy of readiness.
 
I’ve said it before and I will keep saying it again: “There is no moral or “character”  crisis in the Navy.  The average naval officer or Sailor is getting up each morning and going to work on time, pays his bills, takes care of his family, serve his country-and maybe just maybe-desires to have a good time once in a while, while doing so. It’s not an unreasonable expectation on his or her part.”
Which brings me to my final conclusion, again an oldie but goodie:
3)Want to stop firing so many CO's? Instead of mucking up a screening process that is not generally broken, why not stop being so obsessed with who and what they do off duty? There are civilian laws to deal with what happens outside the gate, the Navy doesn't need to add to them.
 
CAPT Light appears to disagree with this sentiment. He makes a series of statements that, to put it mildly, are not supported by the data he analyzed. Let’s take a quick glance at some of the most glaring, shall we?
The problem is not mixed-gender crews. Of the forty-two personal CO DFCs in this study, twenty (48 percent) involved sexual misconduct. Fewer than half involved COs of shipboard commands. Of those, one involved a relationship
between a submarine CO and an officer in the Army—clearly not a product of integrated crews. The propensity for sexual misconduct is obviously widespread, but not because men and women deploy together. Whether on a ship with a
mixed crew or ashore, commanding officers must keep their relationships in line with the provisions of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the Manual for Courts-Martial prohibiting adultery and fraternization.31 Failure to do so (like
any other misconduct) is a violation not only of the law but of the character that each commanding officer is entrusted with maintaining.
 
Oh really? Then how exactly do you explain some of the more spectacular cases in recent years? His example of the submarine CO is particularly flawed since it does not take into account the fact that submarines are just now going co-ed and only a certain class of submarine is doing so. He also fails to note that in a least three cases that I can think of –the CO was not relieved for sex he had, but for sex his subordinates were having. Or, as in the case of CDR Jackson, literal “sexual assassination” by a disgruntled female subordinate over the mere implication of sexual misconduct. If he had been in an all male wardroom he would have finished his command tour covered in glory. Same with CAPT Honors and “XO Movie Night”. His only crime was trying to motivate his mixed gender crew. ( That case in particular highlights what is wrong with CAPT Light’s argument).
Clearly, Mark Light is writing form the idea that mixed gender crews are just hunky dory as a starting point. Then,  shaping the facts to meet his preconception. Did he come that conclusion on his own? Or is he just parroting Navy diversity propaganda? I’ll also repeat my question, “Now that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is gone, will we see adultery as a means of sacking homosexual officers?”. I’m not holding my breath waiting for the answer-we already know its “no”. Since its “no’-can’t a case be made for dumping the adultery clause from the UCMJ? I think there is.
And then there is this:
Our system needs improvement. Many of the CO’s fired for personal misconduct should never have been selected for command. Nine of the dismissals for cause cited in this study were due to alcohol-related incidents, and it is likely that previous supervisors of these officers were aware of their propensity to drink. At least sixteen DFCs were for inappropriate relationships, and while some of them may have been difficult to foresee, in many cases signs were likely present that should have been addressed.
 
That’s rich. And who exactly will be the determiner of who drinks too much?  The Navy’s AA obsessed treatment mafia? Bible Thumping, tee-totalers? The Navy’s own version of temperance leaguers. What CAPT Light probably considers drinking too much-I consider a mere appetizer before the main course. Besides its probably true that if a guy gets to the stage where he has a “screen worthy” record and is a drinker-he probably also has a sizeable record of showing up on time and getting something done as well.
How much a man drinks is his own business. Period,  end of statement. So long as he shows up on time-it should remain so. Yes there are drunks and playboys who get through "the process"-I'm proud to call some of them friends of mine. What you probably don't remember very well-is that they also flew airplanes, drove ships, and guided submarines through destroyer screens from time to time. Many of them did it quite well, as a matter of fact. More than a few of them were somehow still able to inspire loyalty among their squadron mates. Furthermore-for the most part, and the record pretty well shows this, generally most of them cared for their units and cared for them very deeply. What they didn't care for-in the slightest-was someone else’s twisted and sick view that they had to toe the line- in the way of an idea of what is "moral" and what is not.
There are people who get through the screening process that have no business doing so. Here is a news flash Mark-they will continue to do so. Oral Boards and written tests won't solve that.-you will just get people who test well. The selection board is a human process-a compromise-that like it or not sometimes makes mistakes. In fact I submit to you that "new" processes will actually get you more bullies, especially if they are female. That is why you have other tools-including firing people. You guys claim you wanted this world, well welcome to it.
Which comes to a final point CAPT Light makes:
Few familiar with the Navy over the past twenty years are likely to dispute the point that actions once overlooked are today grounds for DFC. Is it right that the standards have changed? Yes, because the mission of today’s Navy demands tighter standards. Captain Eyer notes that he drew his examples from the years of the Cold War;the mission of the Navy then was to be prepared to defeat the Soviets at sea and maintain freedom of navigation around the world. Today, the Navy’s missions go far beyond those objectives in complexity, including engagement, partnership, security, and unprecedented levels of deterrence. Modern technology, instant communications, and a twenty-four-hour news day are among the tools the Navy uses to leverage its global presence in support of those missions. But that same technology vastly increases the potential strategic impact of lapses in integrity by our ship captains and squadron commanders.
 
Go back and read that statement again. And then, if you want to call yourself a “warfighter”,  bend over and gag on it. Its crap-and it’s the same kind of nonsense that gives us slogans like “Global Force for Good”. Mark, you are wrong-100% so. The mission of the Navy has not changed and it has not changed since the beginning of the century. The mission the United States Navy is to project power-ashore and afloat- and to be prepared to defeat any Navy at sea. In peacetime, it is to project the visible appearance of that power in lands far away from the United States.
Sadly, there is no going back to the better days of yesteryear. CAPT Eyer was correct when he notes that in throwing out sensible distinctions we created the grounds of our own problems.
Casual observers—those who have never served in a fully integrated ship’s company—seem convinced that men and women can serve together in ships with utter disregard for one another’s sex. That sounds ridiculous, because it is. It only sounds sensible to people so determined to make something work that they are able to discount fundamental human nature. Simply put, you cannot put men and women in a small box, send them away for extended periods of isolated time, and expect them not to interact with one another. They’re like magnets being put into a box and shaken—they stick. It is what has kept our species going for 250,000 years.
 
As I said, there is no going back-and society is changing in what it values. Younger folks in the Navy today are not as upset about the social changes that have occurred as are “old timers” such as myself. That trend will continue into the future. Fine. The brave new world is here, the one our witless flags in the 1990’s said they wanted. Everything that the skeptics said would happen, has happened. You can’t change that now.
What the Navy can do, and should do now-is adapt its so called “ethics” views to the reality that is today’s society. That offends a lot of people I know-but don’t kid yourself, the Navy is not, in anyway, shape, or form a “moral profession”. It is however an unfortunately necessary one. So take that practicality on board and make rules based on common sense and reality. Bring back the “wall” between one’s professional and one’s private life. And so long as the private life does not intrude on the professional one-leave the personal one alone.  The Navy's focus should be on avoiding problems for the Navy-while encouraging Sailors to avoid problems for themselves. As I pointed out in this earlier post-there are practical ways to that. They just are not Mark Light’s ways.

7 responses so far

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……..

15 responses so far

Jun 16 2012

Navy Times Fails Again.

The word for the day is: "pussification". It would seem Navy Times enjoys it. Other, more rational members among us-not so much.

When I saw this cover, I wanted to just reach through the screen and strangle somebody.  Of course, as it turned out-the cover picture was nothing. What really should make anyone's head explode are the new "solutions" to the Command Screening process.

And for the record-I qualify on on two of the three-no one will ever accuse me of being a bully-so I think I know a thing or two about drinking and chasing tail- and the exercise of command there with. Plus to be honest, if Navy Times thinks today's crop qualifies as true drunkards, they clearly have set the bar so low, they would not know a real drunk if it rammed them in their back bumper.

Which, come to think of it, might be a good thing to have happen to more than a couple of Navy Times editors-and more than a couple of the witless flags who continue to propose these stupid ideas. Furthermore, glaring headlines like this one-exaggerate what is really a minor problem.

Yes there are drunks and playboys who get through "the process"-I'm proud to call some of them friends of mine. What you probably don't remember very well-is that they also flew airplanes, drove ships, and guided submarines through destroyer screens from time to time. Many of them did it quite well,  as a matter of fact. More than a few of them were somehow still able to inspire loyalty among their squadron mates. Or has that basic fundamental part of the Navy service escaped Greenert, now that he has a lineal number of 001?

Furthermore-for the most part, and the record pretty well shows this,  generally most of them cared for their units and cared for them very deeply. What they didn't care for-in the slightest-was your twisted and sick view that they had to toe in the way of an idea of what is "moral" and what is not.

Or does the prospect of the blatant hypocrisy of your position-is  itsomething you can clearly ignore. Especially for every firing that you do have-you have probably about three more acts-that are not-and will never be detected. When you have a Navy where a guy can fuck another guy in the ass, married or single,  with our blessing-but a guy can't fuck a woman with a condom without getting axed-you lost the moral high ground a long time ago.

Want to stop firing so many CO's? Instead of mucking up a screening process that is not generally broken, why not stop being so obsessed with who and what they do off duty? There are civilian laws to deal with what happens outside the gate, the Navy doesn't need to add to them.

And whatever you do-for God's sake-stop trying to pretend that the Navy is somehow "a moral profession". By definition, it is not. An organization whose root purpose is to execute-in the aggregate-the mass murder of literally thousands of one's fellow human beings is not, by any rational definition of the term "moral". No matter how much it accomplishes as a "global force good.

Now that preceding sentence is not-in any way shape or form-saying that there should not be rules and regulations. There have to be rules and regulations. I've been clear that there are redlines that cannot be crossed. But lets define those lines in a more clear and practical way, shall we?  Especially when you have the "diverse" institution you have now. How about , in a Navy where "morality"-at least as defined by the UCMJ-is now a relative term anyway. ( or am I just imagining that a homosexual Sailor, by definition of the word "homosexual" is violating the Sodomy statute ( as well as great number of male v female Sailors. ;-)   )-why not go back to the old tried and true method to gage Naval regulations. Namely, "what type of behavior really gets in the way".

A man a lot smarter than me wrote:


Then, after 1989 and the Soviet Union’s collapse, the Navy fell into an unchallenged peace so profound that we could reflect deeply on topics considered to have been trivial in the past. Our best minds were turned loose to busily pursue previously “other” issues, while the government tried to find a new global strategy to inform our military’s mission. Then, this rising tide was immeasurably spurred by the 1991 “Tailhook” debacle, which set the stage for dramatic social change. We had no enemies except, it seems, ourselves. Overnight, everything was on the table.

So has the metric for success as a commanding officer changed since the 1980s? Certainly. Mission accomplishment took a distant back seat to myriad other considerations because we could suddenly afford it. Has the “standard,” which the CNO assured us in August will continue to be enforced, changed? No. But when you change the variables, new results are assured.

The so-called zero-defects mentality that emerged in the mid-1990s greatly expanded what might be measured against the unchanging standard of perfection. Beginning in the 1990s, a DUI became a death penalty for officers seeking command. You could be a superb warrior, but if your Sailor was arrested in Japan, you were humiliated. COs were scourged if they didn’t meet unrealistic retention goals. An overweight captain was doomed, regardless of any other consideration. What changed was what, on any given day, would be measured against the standard of perfection.

While no electronic records related to CO firings exist before 2000, the San Diego Union Tribune has quoted sources in the Naval Personnel Command saying “nearly every commander fired 50 years ago got into trouble for running the ship aground or hitting a pier.”

Mission accomplishment got the standard of perfection applied to it in the past. Not so much today. According to the same source, “changing social standards mean more wires to trip over.” Indeed, there are captains in command now who have professionally survived collisions at sea and failures to pass major inspections. Those are metrics against which we are currently not willing to fully apply the standard, for whatever reason.

But we are absolutely willing to apply the standard of perfection when it comes to a captain’s handling of his mixed-gender crew. ( Skippy comment-somehow the word "hers" never quite gets the same attention, celebrated female firings notwithstanding)

Now that same author goes on to note that there are people who get through the screening process that have no business doing so.Here is a news flash-they will continue to do so.  Oral Boards and written tests won't solve that.-you will just get people who test well.  The selection board is a human process-a compromise-that like it or not sometimes makes mistakes. In fact I submit to you that this "new"  process will actually get you more bullies, especially if they are female. That is why you have other tools-including firing people.

How about trying a solution that they tried 30+ years ago? Keep people doing their primary warfare specialty ( flying, sailing, submarining) for the entirety of their sea tours till they reach the time to screen for command.  Have community leaders who brief the records and let community reputation have more meaning in the selection process than JPME, Diversity awareness or DC tours. There is no substitute for experience-the career path laid before our folks today does not put a premium on that. You have folks showing up to Department head tours with barely 1400 hours-when I went to my department head tour I had almost 2700 ( And yes its true I was a whore for flight time-if you were not flying, what was the point of being in the Navy after all?). Thanks to IA's, disassociated tours and other workarounds for nonexistent problems, quite simply you are not "saving" enough in the experience bank so that when people do assume command the don't have that experience to draw on. Three tours of three years flying, floating or submerging should be the minimum-not the exception. 

On other thing I think needs to be looked at seriously, is having the Navy admit it was wrong to want younger commanding officers. Move promotion control points from O1-O6 back by at least a year. The goal is to have more folks showing up to their first operational units at the rank they should be, Ensigns; and in the process buy some more time to get those three sea tours of three years done-and get the post graduate degree they will need.

And while you are pointing fingers-why not point more than a couple of fingers at those who created this situation in the first place?

Casual observers—those who have never served in a fully integrated ship’s company—seem convinced that men and women can serve together in ships with utter disregard for one another’s sex. That sounds ridiculous, because it is. It only sounds sensible to people so determined to make something work that they are able to discount fundamental human nature. Simply put, you cannot put men and women in a small box, send them away for extended periods of isolated time, and expect them not to interact with one another. They’re like magnets being put into a box and shaken—they stick. It is what has kept our species going for 250,000 years.

There are two possible outcomes here. First, we can continue to enforce the standard, ratcheting up the pressure on captains and ships to asymptomatic levels. At least a standard is set and enforced, and the CNO himself has said that “you’re not going to change the standard, just because the number may be getting high.” A scorched-earth policy is supportable as long as it is consistently applied without passion or favoritism. There will be losses, but those losses will grow to be accepted, just as collision and grounding are now.

The second, more likely scenario is that the Navy will grow weary of these embarrassments and find another path. While that may seem inconsistent (and it is), it is also more realistic. Time has a way of altering perception, and this hemorrhaging of COs makes us look embarrassingly unprofessional.

Cause and Effect

Given the trend in 2010 and liberally counting commissioned cruisers, destroyers, frigates, and amphibs at 150 units, that means that 4 percent of ship captains will have been fired. That is not 1 percent. More telling, if one only includes mixed-gender crews in the calculus, it is certain that the numbers are even more glaring.

The end of the Cold War set the stage for a wide-open-to-change era in the Navy. Certainly, the first key change, post-Tailhook, took place when CNO Admiral Frank Kelso mandated that women go to sea in our combatants. Then, in 2000, CNO Admiral Vern Clark (a SWO) decided that a major effort needed to be undertaken to create the resources necessary to remediate 50 years’ worth of underfunding in the Navy’s real-property accounts. The strategy chosen to effect this effort was to increasingly model Navy practices on more “efficient” industrial models and practices—change upon change, leading to unanticipated effects. One of those is that our surface fleet is in trouble. Another—and one that was certainly unanticipated—is that our captains are failing to handle the challenge presented by mixed-gender crews.

In the end, it all comes down, as Vice Admiral Balisle suggested, to causes and their unanticipated effects. It may seem like an excellent, timely, or even an unavoidable idea to integrate a ship. It may be the right time to integrate a submarine. It might even be the time, as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Admiral Mike Mullen (another SWO) suggests, to do away with the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. But to do so without the full and conscious awareness that there will be a cost, potentially high, at a variety of levels, is to abdicate responsibility.

No responses yet

Mar 31 2012

A serious rant

Only one day left in the month to get in a post on March Madness. Not basketball, but the Madness known as Women's History month. Yes, Yes, that oh so special time of the year when we get to celebrate the history that women want us to know about, while white washing the details they would rather just not see printed in the paper. Which is designed to be translated into its real meaning:

“Setting the bar for historical achievement so low-than any average everyday achievement for either a man or a woman becomes ‘historic’ if it is done by a woman”

You can quote me on that if you wish.

Oh and I guess after recent experience-we should get the usual disclaimers out the way first. I don't give a rat's ass if your daughter is a Naval Aviator, an engineer, CEO of a  multi-billion dollar firm, or for that matter the first woman to eventually walk on the moon. Nor do I care if your husband is supportive of what you want to do. These are my feelings and thoughts, these are issues that need to be discussed-not swept under the rug, and I'll write about them. If you think that gives you a carte blanche to go after me-I've got a message for you.

 

So, as is my custom in March- I intend to use this little missive to write about something that got me really peeved the moment I read it and heard it.The source of my anger? This little headline in Navy Times:

Getting Personal: Naval Air Forces plans character-building workshops.

(It appears the article is behind Navy Times firewall so I can't send you a link-but the article is on Page 18 of the April 02, 2012 issue.)

Starting this spring the Navy's  air wings, squadrons, and aircraft carriers will take a moment to stop and delve into some real life, but awkward scenarios in a move the top commander hopes will tamp down personal misconduct and misbehavior.

Naval Air Forces will roll out its new "Character and Integrity" program, developed by a contracted consultant and organized in the "train the trainer" format. Each training workshop will provide group discussions and include a video message from VADM Allen Myers.

" The real intent is to improve decision making skills  and give our people interventional strategies so that we do not adversely impact our readiness as war fighters because of character- related and integrity -related incidents, " said Cmdr Pauline Storum, a Naval Air Forces spokeswoman.. Top leaders "heard….we don't have a tool to help our people make better decisions."

I'll pause while you throw up now.

If that last paragraph, does not make naval veterans angry-very angry, then I think you have not been paying attention recently. Or have just given up, and acknowledged the fact that every thing the nay sayers said back in the bad old days about the great experiment has come true with a vengeance. 

So by implication, the generations of officers that fought the war in Vietnam, lived through 70's, gave rise to the 600 ship Navy and fought Desert Storm and Desert Shield were unprincipled, bastards with "no character?"-No character indeed because after a long at sea period they went ashore and got a little unwrapped, and part of that getting unwrapped might have included a tryst or two with the local female population? Bullshit!

But so many people are getting fired!

Yes they are. But as I pointed out before its as much about today's environment and the lack of consistency in application of standards that contributes to those firings-as well as an interconnected world that intrudes on things that quite simply: are none of Al Myers-or the rest of flag counterparts business.

I'll say it again: "The "moral character" of our force (whatever the hell that means) is just fine. 99% of our Sailors do the right thing-every time, all the time when it comes to the particulars of their profession. For the other 1% there are already sufficient remedies in place-there is absolutely no reason to add to them."    

And of course, later in the article-the familiar old canard of Tailhook gets trotted out. THAT Navy was killed a long time ago-by stupid Politically Correct actions like this one. ( And for what its worth-THAT Navy was a hell of lot more fun than this one.)  And just as full of "character"-where character had a clearly defined professional basis and less of a personal one. of course it was Tailhook that led the Navy down the path that made it think that its leadership had as much of right to tell you how to live your personal life as well your professional one. ( P.S." the true story behind the sensational Tailhook Scandal and how Paula Coughlin was anything but innocent"-but 8 million dollars works wonders.)

What should be an insult to anyone's "integrity" however-is that the Navy has to outsource this training to an outside firm, with several folks who just happen to be "friends of a friend of friend".  That should strike more than just me as odd and particularly insulting-the institution and to our Sailors.

But today's Sailors don't have the time.

Really? They don't have the time to do their central job as officers and chief petty officers? Lead their Sailors?   Yea-I think that would get in the way of all the diversity training that needs to be accomplished.  And it certainly would get in the way of IG's throwing people under the bus. Give me a fucking break. Hey Al-how much did this little ( probably non competitively bid) contract cost the US Navy? How much-probably a fair amount I think.

So what does all this have to do with Women's History month, you ask? Good question-and it really doesn't- save for one major thing. The primary argument against gender integration was the amount of problems it would create by having men and women live together in close quarters in a profession that prizes companionship to a  large degree. Add to that- long series of events that closed the doors on other more discrete and non threatening means of releasing that tension concurrently ensued-and you should not be surprised at the result.  The Star Trek Navy doesn't exist. And it never will. 

There is no moral crisis in the Navy. The average naval officer or Sailor is getting up each morning and going to work on time, pays his bills, takes care of his family, serve his country-and maybe just maybe-desires to have a good time once in a while, while doing so. Its not an unreasonable expectation on his or her part.

I wonder if there will be a module in the course about how its bad to stab your contemporaries in the back. That always denoted a certain lack of integrity-right Al?

4 responses so far

Jan 26 2012

Gotta show a gash.

Published by under Feminist Buffoonery

That less than polite statement was one I heard during the middle of the 90’s from a fellow Navy person. His rather blunt point was that AFN- or any other military mouthpiece had to show a woman doing just about any military job; regardless of the actual demographics of that particular MOS or Designator. It was one of the dirty little secrets of the Navy’s PAO world-that they had accepted the subliminal mission of serving as an active advocate for the feminist mission. When the speaker said this particular phrase-the PAO effort to preach the feminist gospel had probably been underway for over 15 years, if not longer.

If you don’t believe me-go back and look around the Navy.mil website. For every picture of an individual-there will be at least 50% (or more of them) female. And the papers and TV have gone out of their way to trumpet any number of female “firsts”.

Even when they didn’t merit notice whatsoever.

Gotta show a gash. Anywhere and anyway you can. This is rule number one at AFN and in the PAO community in general.

Crude way to say it? For sure. But 100% accurate.

Long time readers of this blog will know that I am not exactly a fan of the repeal of the combat exclusion laws, nor the aggressive thrust undertaken by the services-having broken down that obstacle-to recruiting to a designated quota or percentage (30% by the previous CNO’s sellout embrace of the diversity mantra) of women in the service. I am, however, a realist and I do accept the reality that it is the world we live in today. Women will continue to serve and be advanced within our military, our nation as a whole—unwittingly IMHO-has agreed to accept the costs that come with that course of action.

So it was with a certain degree of resignation- that I was greeted to this picture on my Facebook page. Courtesy of the Tigertail Ombudsman, there was a whole series of photos outline the courageous act of scheduling an all female crew for a mission over Afghanistan.

From left to right, Air Control Officer Lt. Nydia Williams, Radar Operator Lt. j.g. Ashley Ellison, Plane Commander Lt. Cmdr. Tara Refo, Pilot Lt. Ashley Ruic, 

and Mission Commander Lt. Cmdr. Brandy Jackson, all assigned to Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 125 pose for a photo before flying

the first all-female-crewed combat mission in an E-2C Hawkeye aboard Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70).

 

 

Voluminous coverage in Navy Times and Navy.Mil guaranteed to follow. Hallelujah-the greatest thing since sliced bread! Hallelujah brother-we have seen the light!

Except of course its not the first all female mission. Perhaps for the E-2 community, although I remain convinced that we had our female pilots fly together back in 1996 and several other squadrons had done similar things in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.

The PAO beast would have surely demanded it. After all-its been years since they already broke the barrier of a non qualified female aviator being nominated to command a carrier battle group. This is old news-if anything it shows the E-2 community has been behind the times.

All kidding (sic) aside-this really should have been a non-event. Not worthy of so much of a mention in the SDO’s log book-much less blazing headlines. If the Navy was really true to its rhetoric-this would have been just another day at sea among many days at sea-enduring mind numbing drudgery punctuated by a isolated moments of excitement.

After all, isn’t what the women said they wanted? “We just want to be treated just like the men!

Except of course we know that is not true. What they really wanted was to ensure the men and the institution they served in, were changed to be treated like the women-and to ensure that whatever advancement of women occurred, took place at breakneck speed. I mean literally hundreds of thousands of combat hours have been flown by five guys without so much as a whisper in the news media-save for when there is a mishap or someone gets fired for giving into the instincts God gave him.

But this. This-is something different. 5.2 hours of flight time to be emblazoned in the history books. A banner day among banner days for the E-2 community!

Excuse me while I sneeze-Horseshit!

I’ll say it again. Gender should not be a scheduling criteria-and if it happens that the dice roll to have five women flying together, that should be a non-event. Just another day at the office. It’s what we signed up for-and oh by the way women have been flying at sea from carriers for almost 20 years.

Old news-except for how it supports the Navy’s ever growing business of institutionalized racism and sexism, known as Diversity.

A burning devil to take them!

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