Archive for the 'Military' Category

Apr 24 2014

Uh excuse me, this is what you said you wanted.

Published by under Military,Navy

Remember in the run up after the Gulf War, when the first big push for dropping the combat exclusion laws started and women just said they "just wanted to be treated like the men".

It seems someone did not get the memo:

Allegations that “sexually explicit humor” and the display of “pornographic images” were allowed — and sometimes encouraged — by the former head of the Blue Angels were just some of the complaints that led to his firing from the No. 2 job at Naval Station Coronado, Calif., the Navy said in a Wednesday news release. Capt. Gregory McWherter led the Navy’s flight demonstration squadron from November 2008 to November 2010 and again from May 2011 to November 2012. He was relieved of his post at Coronado on April 18 because of the initial findings into complaints made regarding his time with the Blue Angels, but the Navy released no details of the allegations at the time. Wednesday’s release says the complaints involved “lewd speech, inappropriate comments and sexually explicit humor … allowed in the workplace and in some cases encouraged by the commanding officer.” Pornographic material also was displayed and shared electronically at the command, the complaint alleges.

Give me a fucking break!

Here is a guy who had squadron command, then held sequential command in one of the most visible public jobs in the Navy, not once, but twice, and then is working as a leader at a base with probably a higher per capita ratio of females than any in the Navy-and he does not know his environment? It's too ludicrous to believe.

Jesus H. Christ, indeed.

The more that gets released the more this looks to me like someone whose nether regions are out of joint-and decided to take out a grudge.

This is how guys interact with each other-and as I discovered to my shock in my final Navy years-women did too.

We won't even get into the fact that NMCI firewalls give you the white screen of death over anything that even smells with the "P" word.

But nonetheless-here we are.

This whole thing stinks. Good thing the complainant did not work at ISIS:

 

 

One response so far

Apr 20 2014

Advancment by IG complaint.

Published by under Military,Navy

In Star Trek's alternate universe, people moved up in the Terran Empire by assassination. Over here in this universe, it appears to be happening via the vehicle of the IG complaint:

News about the Navy’s investigation of former Blue Angels lead pilot Capt. Greg McWherter over alleged misconduct when he commanded the flight demonstration team sparked shock among some who know him and expressions of hope for his exoneration on Friday.

The decision was based on initial findings of an ongoing investigation into recent allegations of misconduct and an inappropriate command climate at the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron (Blue Angels) based at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla,” according to a Navy press release. Vice Adm. William French, commander of Navy Installations Command, made the decision, the Navy said. Thus McWherter has come full circle since a panel of admirals and former Blue Angels officers selected him as they do all aviators named to lead the Blues.

 

If you don't think this whole thing seems more than a little bit fishy, you have not seen the ball since kick-off. McWherter was twice tapped to lead the Blue Angels. And now 18 months later. they firing him? For what exactly? And when did the Navy abandon other less arbitrary means of getting its points across?

This smells oddly like the O.P. Honors case-where,by the way, no one found any real evidence of him doing anything that was really wrong. 

A disgruntled Sailor perhaps? Or someone tied to a certain group that wields disproportional influence in the Navy of today. ( Let the reader form his own conclusions what that means).

Either way-something is not right here.

10 responses so far

Apr 18 2014

Another domino falls……..

Published by under Navy,Uncategorized

They seem to be going after every one. Officers, civilians, CPO's and now Petty Officers:   

SAN DIEGO — A fourth member of the Navy has been charged with conspiracy to commit bribery in a multimillion-dollar scheme involving a Singapore-based defense contractor accused of providing cash, vacations, electronics and prostitutes in exchange for classified information.

“The camera is awesome bro!” Japan-based Petty Officer Dan Layug wrote in an email to the vice president of a military contractor that is included in a complaint unsealed Thursday. “Thanks a lot! Been a while since I had a new gadget!”

In another email, Layug asks, “What are the chances of getting the new iPad 3?” according to the complaint. Layug made his initial court appearance Thursday, a day after he was arrested in San Diego. A judge set bail at $100,000 and ordered GPS monitoring if Layug is released, according to a U.S. attorney’s statement. He hasn’t entered a plea, and messages seeking comment from his attorney were not immediately returned.  

"And every time you send me my shipment its just a few cases short!"

"Carrying charges, my boy, carrying charges."

 

2 responses so far

Mar 25 2014

I got nothing.

Published by under Navy

There is lots going on right now-not so much of it good. I have what could be termed a pretty solid case of writers block coupled with what could only be described as "the blues", being depressed and not seeing a good way forward.

When I get in a better frame of mind, I will start writing again-till then, I just have to cry myself to sleep at night.

There are people doing some quality writing however. If you care about the Navy and the direction it is taking, then you owe it to yourself to go and read this long, but well written piece over at the USNI blog.

Then come back here and comment. I for one am not sure bonuses are at the heart of the retention problem. Lack of ability to travel and have fun is.

Your thoughts?

2 responses so far

Feb 25 2014

And the other shoe drops………

Published by under Military,Navy

Nothing will ruin your day like a collision at sea.

Or a grounding.

This business of firing CO's at a drop of a hat is getting out of control. Not every mistake needs to be published by public execution. It might be-that given the chance-he might learn a good deal and be a better commander and officer in the long run.

But we will never know will we?

The commanding officer of the frigate Taylor was fired Tuesday two weeks after his ship ran aground in the Black Sea, where it was standing by in case it was needed to support security at the Winter Olympics.

Cmdr. Dennis Volpe was removed from command of the Mayport, Fla.-based frigate by Capt. Jim Aiken, the head of Task Force 65, “due to loss of confidence in Volpe’s ability to command,” 6th Fleet said in a Tuesday news release.

Taylor ran aground Feb. 12 while preparing to moor in Samsun, Turkey, with no reported injuries. The Navy publicized the incident a week later, during the investigation.

The investigation hasn’t turned up anything egregious, said Navy spokeswoman Lt. Cmdr. Sarah Flaherty, who characterized the incident as a “standard grounding.”

Good thing Chester Nimitz did not have to serve in today's Navy.  

I shudder to think what hell it must be to be in command in today's Navy. If you are male-you start with one strike against you. If you life to have fun and are a liberty hound in port-the count automatically becomes 3-2. Of course if you are female………..

2 responses so far

Feb 03 2014

Traveliing again

On the road again-had a challenging journey yesterday to the other side of the Atlantic. To start with my ICE train to the Frankfurt Airport was going to be delayed by 90 minutes. That was a non starter as it was going to make me late for check in-and my requisite need to "pre-charge" in the lounge. ( The new Lufthansa lounges in the Z terminal of FRA are pretty sweet). Went to the Deutsche Bahn office and got re-routed to an IC train which was taking me to the Frankfurt Main station.

I made it in a ok amount of time-but then using LH's check in kiosks caused a bit of problem when it refused to read my passport. The newest EU immigrant manning the kiosk line-seemed not to grasp the fact that I need to go to a counter where a human could check my passport. Finally got that worked out-and by the grace of God the security line was very short. Landed safely in the lounge.

Then after boarding the plane-saw the change to get an open aisle seat with out someone next to me. Snagged it and figured things were looking up! But I spoke too soon.

The plane required maintenance that delayed us by almost an hour. Now this was a problem because I was hoping to make it time to get in a combat nap at the hotel prior to Super Bowl kickoff. Now I would be lucky to make the kickoff-much less the first quarter.

It turned out ok-made it to my room just as national anthem was being sung. Turns out, of course, I need not have bothered-the game was a Seahawk blowout. They slaughtered the Bronco's, who appeared to have left any offense they had back in Denver.

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On a serious note, James Fallows has been running an excellent series of articles about the use of Sergeant First Class Cory Remsburg. "About the service and sacrifice of this brave man and other men and women like him, we cannot say enough." But as Fallows points out-ALL of us should be outraged that he had to make TEN deployments to the various hellholes America has chosen to fight its war without end in. Furhtermore, there is a dichotomy of purpose when you have the architects of a failed policy somehow applauding him-while failing to do the things that might have prevented his suffering in the first place.

The vast majority of us play no part whatsoever in these prolonged overseas campaigns; people like Sgt. Remsburg go out on 10 deployments; we rousingly cheer their courage and will; and then we move on. Last month I mentioned that the most memorable book I read in 2013 was Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, by Ben Fountain. It's about a group of U.S. soldiers who barely survive a terrible encounter in Iraq, and then are paraded around in a halftime tribute at a big Dallas Cowboys game. The crowd at Cowboys Stadium cheers in very much the way the Capitol audience did last night—then they get back to watching the game.

 

Later Fallows examines the implications in clearer detail.

There was another moment in the speech that I think will look worse in the long view. It was the emotionally charged ending, the tribute to the obviously courageous and grievously wounded Sergeant Cory Remsburg.

The moment was powerful human and political drama; it reflected deserved credit and gratitude on Remsburg and his family; and as I wrote earlier today, I think it was entirely sincere on the president's part, as a similar tribute would have been from his predecessor George W. Bush. With the significant difference that Bush initiated the wars these men and women have fought in, and Obama has been winding them down. And so the most favorable reading of the moment, as John Cassidy has argued, is that the president was trying to dramatize to the rest of the government the human cost of the open-ended wars many of them have egged on.

But I don't think that's how it came across to most of the Congress, or was processed by the commentariat. This was not presented as a "never again" moment; it was a "this is America's finest!" moment—which Cory Remsburg himself, and with his family, certainly is. (Also see Peter Beinart on this point.) For America as a whole, the episode did not show us at our finest. In the earlier item, I tried to explain why these few minutes will reflect badly on us and our times when our children's children view them years from now. Since the explanation was buried at the end of a long post, I repeat it at the end of this one.

A Congress that by default is pressuring the country toward war, most recently with Iran, and that would not dream of enacting either a special tax or any kind of enforced or shared service to sustain these wars, gives a prolonged, deserved ovation for a person who has dedicated his all to the country. Tears well up in many eyes; the cheering persists; the admiration for this young man is profound. Then everyone moves right on.

Years from now, people can play this clip and see something about the culture of our times. It's a moment of which only the Remsburg family will be proud. 

 

His long exploration of the historical allusions is also worth a read.

Lunch is over-gotta get back to work. Hope it does not snow tonight.

 

6 responses so far

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

Dec 13 2013

In trying to do good, they just do more harm.

As promised, I am taking this opportunity to offer my thoughts on some provisions of the 2014 Defense Bill that should make anyone with any military experience at all, just a little bit nervous. ( If not downright upset.)

First the good parts ( I guess). The bill revamps the Sodomy section of the UCMJ. Repeal of DADT made this pretty much mandatory for obvious reasons. Consensual Sodomy is now just fine and is not punishable under the UCMJ.  Non consensual sodomy however is still a violation.  So be careful out there, if you go "knocking at the back door" and your GF does not like it, you could be heading to mast. ;-(

In my opinion they should have just done away the Sodomy article all together, along with the one on adultery.  When you have created the convoluted mess that we have,  where you have Sailors dating Sailors and all other craziness-its just unreasonable to have a UCMJ that has a completely unworkable and unenforceable morals provision. These were normally "pile on charges anyway"-and so they should be done away with. So should the one about prostitution IMHO, but I know the do-gooders will never allow that to happen.

Now here is the list of bad things, and it is long ( the ones I vehemently disagree with are highlighted in yellow).:

Sexual Assault and Prevention

  • Extends specified crime victims’ rights to victims of UCMJ offenses.
  • Amends Article 60, UCMJ, to limit the authority of court-martial convening authorities to modify the findings and sentence of courts-martial.
  • Requires that victims be afforded an opportunity to submit matters for consideration by a convening authority before the convening authority takes action on the findings and sentence of a court-martial and limits convening authority consideration to matters considered at trial.
  • Amends Article 32, UCMJ, to change Article 32 proceedings from an investigation to a preliminary hearing normally conducted by a judge advocate to determine whether there is probable cause to prosecute a case.
  • Eliminates the five-year statute of limitations on prosecutions for certain sex-related offenses under the UCMJ.
  • Requires interviews of victims of sex-related offenses to be conducted in the presence of trial counsel, victim’s counsel, or a Sexual Assault Victim Advocate if requested by the victim.
  • Limits jurisdiction over specified sex-related offenses to trial by general court-martial and requires a minimum sentence of Dishonorable Discharge or Dismissal for conviction of these offenses.
  • Repeals the offense of consensual sodomy under the UCMJ.
  • Removes the character and military service of an accused from factors a commander should consider in deciding how to dispose of any offense.
  • Prohibits retaliation against service members for reporting a criminal offense.
  • Prohibits enlisting or commissioning in the military of individuals convicted of certain felony sex-related offenses.
  • Requires the Coast Guard to issue regulations requiring timely action on requests for transfer or reassignment by sexual assault victims.
  • Provides for temporary administrative reassignment or removal of service members accused of committing specified sex offenses.
  • Enhances protections for military whistleblowers.
  • Requires DOD IG investigation of allegations of retaliatory personnel actions for reporting certain sexual offenses.
  • Requires a Special Victims’ Counsel program in each service to provide legal counsel to victims of sexual assault.
  • Requires service secretaries to track compliance of commanding officers in conducting command climate assessments.
  • Requires DOD to retain for 50 years certain forms filed in connection with reports of sexual assault involving service members.
  • Requires timely access to Sexual Assault Response Coordinators by members of the National Guard and Reserves who are victims of sexual assault.
  • Requires the Secretary of Defense to report on the adequacy of training, qualifications, and experience of individuals with sexual assault prevention and response duties.
  • Requires assignment of at least one full-time sexual assault nurse examiner to military medical treatment facilities that have a 24-hour emergency room.
  • Assigns additional responsibilities to the DOD Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office.
  • Assigns additional tasks to the Response Systems Panel and to the Judicial Review Panel established to review matters involving sexual assaults in the military.
  • Requires the Response Systems Panel to submit its report no later one year after its first meeting on its review of systems used to investigate, prosecute, and adjudicate sexual assault crimes.
  • Requires review of practices of military criminal investigative organizations, including the determination of whether an offense is founded.
  • Requires Secretary of Defense to identify common core elements that must be included in sexual assault prevention and response training.
  • Requires Secretary of Defense to report to Congress on the progress made in developing and implementing a comprehensive policy on the retention of and access to evidence and records relating to sexual assaults involving service members.
  • Requires Secretary of Defense to review the role of the Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity in sexual harassment cases.
  • Requires enhanced protections for prospective service members and new service members during entry level processing and training.
  • Requires commanding officers to immediately refer reports of sexual offenses involving service members in their command to the appropriate military criminal investigation organization for investigation.
  • Requires a written report be provided to senior officers within eight days of an unrestricted report of sexual assault to ensure necessary care and support for the victim and timely investigation of the offense.
  • Requires review by the service secretary of a convening authority’s decision not to prosecute certain charges of sexual offenses when the staff judge advocate recommends prosecution, and review by a superior general court-martial convening authority when the staff judge advocate recommends against prosecution.
  • Requires that court-martial convictions, non-judicial punishment, or administrative action for sex-related offenses be noted in the service member’s personnel records and requires that commanders review the history of substantiated sexual offenses of service members assigned to their commands.
  • Requires military service academies to provide training and education on prevention of sexual assault within 14 days of arrival of new cadets and midshipmen and annually thereafter.
  • Requires that service members be notified that they can answer no to the question about consulting with a mental health professional on the Questionnaire for National Security Positions (Standard Form 86) if the consultation relates to the service member being a victim of a sexual assault.
  • Expresses the sense of Congress that commanders are responsible for establishing a healthy command climate where victims can report criminal activity, including sexual assault, without fear of retaliation, and that failure to maintain such a climate is an appropriate basis for relief from command.
  • Expresses the sense of Congress that charges of rape, sexual assault, forcible sodomy, or attempts to commit these offenses, should be prosecuted by court-martial rather than non-judicial punishment or administrative action.
  • Expresses the sense of Congress that discharges in lieu of court-martial should be used very sparingly for service members who are charged with rape, sexual assault, forcible sodomy, or attempts to commit these offenses, and that victims should be consulted about the discharge of the service member whenever possible

- See more at: http://www.levin.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release/sasc-leaders-reach-agreement-with-house-counterparts-on-defense-authorization#sthash.dRN9gYPf.dpuf

Just about all of this is bad-really bad. By undermining the Convening Authoritiy's ability to exercise his responsibility under the UCMJ, you are going to make sure a lot of innocent folks get railroaded.

Most military sexual assault cases are not clear cut. Its not some guy just grabbing a girl, throwing her down and raping her in the closet. Rather they are primarily "buyer's remorse"  types of cases where both parties have probably made some bad decisions, under the influence of love, lust, and / or alcohol-and the issue of consent is most often times not clear cut.

What these changes do is make sure that every case, EVERY case of alleged sexual harassment, will be tried at the highest possible level. Even when the facts of the case don't warrant it. Furthermore, it also raises the possibility that someone who does something clearly wrong will get away with it scot free. Court Martials are Courts. Rules of evidence and cross examination apply-and trust me, defense attorneys will do their best to drag the victim through the mud and make her look like a bigger tramp than Delilah. That is their job. These cases are difficult, and it comes as a surprise to no one who understands the nature of the crime that sometimes getting to guilty beyond a reasonable doubt simply cannot be done. To remove this authority from the chain of command lets commanders off the hook and decreases options for securing justice for victims. I am not a lawyer-but it seems a commander has more authority under a murder charge than on a sexual assault one. In what universe does that make sense?

And I'll be blunt. Not everyone of these "he said, she said" cases needs to go to court martial. In many cases-where it is not a full blown rape or even felony sexual assault, the commander may in fact need to punish both parties. These laws make one sex out to be a preferred class. Guess which one? I'll give you a hint, its not the one with a penis.

Which of course, is what the Congress people want. They want to ensure that folks walk around afraid and on eggshells-while they do nothing about the underlying causes, which set people up for failure to begin with. This why I continue to bridle at these calls that the "military needs to change its culture". Um no. You need to understand the problem you create by putting men and women together in large quantities to begin with. The military culture is just fine.

These trouble makers just want to show they "are doing something". Oh you are doing something all right-something really stupid.

This is a bad business. If you claim to say you want to hold commanders accountable, then you HAVE to provide them the tools they need to do their jobs properly. These provisions do not do that.

 

One response so far

Nov 23 2013

Time to burn the tapes?

Published by under Navy

Every time you turn around-the rather rotund Malaysian claims another victim:

The alleged Pacific fleet swindler known as "Fat Leonard" made his first court appearance in San Diego on Thursday to hear formal charges against him that include conspiring with Navy officers on port contracts worth more than $200 million and bribing them with cash, prostitutes and Lady Gaga tickets.

A U.S. magistrate judge issued a conditional ruling Thursday that would allow Leonard Glenn "Fat Leonard" Francis to be released on $1 million bail.

Judge Jan Adler attached to his ruling a list of stringent restrictions, including that Francis not only be monitored by GPS but must rent a San Diego apartment with surveillance cameras and alarms on the windows, and hire an independent, 24-hour security guard who would alert authorities if he tried to flee.

Adler also stayed his decision pending a review from a U.S. district judge. It was unclear when that would happen.

Francis, 49, head of the Glenn Defense Marine Asia ship servicing firm operating out of Singapore, was arrested in September in San Diego in a sting operation by San Diego authorities and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

While Francis was in court, another Navy officer was caught up in the widening contracting scandal involving connections to GDMA. The Navy announced Thursday that Capt. David Haas, 45, deputy commander of Coastal Riverine Group 1 in Imperial Beach, Calif., had been suspended while his alleged connections to Francis were being investigated.

"The decision to re-assign Haas was made based upon allegations in connection with an ongoing NCIS (NCIS) investigation into Glenn Defense Marine," the Navy said in a statement. Coastal Riverine Group 1 is in charge of port and harbor security in San Diego. 

In addition to Haas, two admirals, a captain, two commanders and an NCIS agent are also under investigation in the scandal that allegedly involved Francis paying for information on the movements of Navy ships that could be serviced by his firm, which has won contracts from the Navy worth more than $200 million since 2009.

"According to the allegations in this case, a number of officials were willing to sacrifice their integrity and millions of taxpayer dollars for personal gratification," Laura Duffy, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California, said in court papers.

This thing just keeps getting bigger and bigger. My apologies for not posting sooner-but my trip last week was a really busy one. No time or energy at the end of each day. Back home just long enough to do laundry then out the door again. ;-)

One response so far

Nov 10 2013

Upping the ante…..

Published by under Navy

They just can't let a good deal alone-so much for that receiving agent job in Utapao. :-(   

True strory. GDMA had a guy employed to take care of cargo and pax deliveries at Utapao. Guy worked from his cell phone, was a retired Marine, who made sure aircrews got the things they needed like food, fuel, and lodging. ( Hookers were not on the menu-you had to buy those on your own. ;-)   ) By all accounts he had a really good time and life.

But not any more. As I predicted and as reported here by JR Random, there are more than two sacrificial lambs involved here:

Two flag officers have been added to the growing list of Navy officials allegedly connected to a large-scale bribery scheme in Asia.

The Navy announced late Friday that Vice Adm. Ted “Twig” Branch, director of Naval Intelligence, and Rear Adm. Bruce Loveless, director of Intelligence Operations, are under investigation for “inappropriate conduct” stemming from their relationships with Singapore-based Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd. and its CEO Leonard Francis, a larger-than-life character well known in Navy circles and nicknamed “Fat Leonard.” These are the highest-ranking officials to have been linked in the ongoing investigation. More fallout is expected.

“The allegations against Admirals Branch and Loveless involve inappropriate conduct prior to their current assignments and flag officer rank,” said Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Navy’s chief of information, in an emailed statement. “There is no indication, nor do the allegations suggest, that in either case there was any breach of classified information.” In light of the investigation, however, the Navy has suspended the flag officers’ access to classified materials.

Holy cow. This can't be good-especially since Ted Branch was a CVN CO at one time-and worked in Operations at CPF.  I think this thing is going to continue to grow at an exponential rate………..

 

6 responses so far

Sep 18 2013

Another good deal gone fleeting……

For those that do not know, Singapore-based Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd., has long had a "lock" on the business of providing husbanding services to Navy ships in Asia. It's quite a lucrative business and is also known as a good deal for retiring supply officers who might want to stay in Asia. 

Or at least it was until yesterday:

SAN DIEGO — A Navy commander, a Naval criminal investigator and a defense contractor have been charged with conspiracy in a bribery scheme to gain millions in international port contracts, federal prosecutors said.

Leonard Francis was arrested this week in San Diego, Cmdr. Michael Misiewicz was arrested in Colorado, and NCIS Supervisory Special Agent John Beliveau II was arrested in Virginia, the U.S. attorney’s office said in a statement Tuesday night. Each faces up to five years in prison if convicted of conspiracy to commit bribery.

An email seeking comment from an NCIS spokesman wasn’t immediately returned Tuesday evening.

Francis, a Malaysian national who lives in Singapore, is the president and CEO of Singapore-based Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd., which has had “husbanding” contracts for Navy ships at ports worldwide for 25 years. The contracts — one of which was worth up to $125 million — involve providing services for ships and submarines in port, such as providing tugboats, security and transportation, paying customs fees, supplying food, fuel and water, and removing trash.

Prosecutors contend that Francis conspired to bribe the other men with luxury travel, prostitutes and gifts in exchange for information that allowed him to overcharge on port contracts by millions of dollars.

Could this be a potential business or job opportunity for mois?cool

7 responses so far

Aug 29 2013

Oh Happy Day!

Published by under Navy

It seems the Navy is on a roll correcting Uncle Vern's mistakes. This really pleases me.

In 2003, The f*cking P-3 mafia-after 4 long years of lies and deception, took over not just their own staff-but that of our own hardworking wing staff of aviators and logisticians. I'll spare you the details, but in the run up to CFWP being absorbed by a P-3 admiral-I had the opportunity to witness not just one, but three flag officers lie to the fleet commander. Not just shade the truth a little bit-but tell outright and bold faced lies.

The result was, a staff merger that never should have happened.

Now the Navy is fixing it. Thanks be to God.

The Navy announced the following flag changes Aug. 20:

 

Fleet billets


Job title: Director, Maritime Headquarters, Fleet Forces Command.Change: O-8 to O-7.


Job title: Commander, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command.Change: O-8 to O-7.


Job title: Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance 5th/7th Fleet,.Change: O-7 to O-6.


Job title: Deputy Commander, Naval Special Warfare Command.Change: O-7 to O-6.


Job title: Deputy Commander, Fleet Cyber Command/Deputy Commander, 10th Fleet. Change: O-7 to O-6.


Job titles: Commander, Office of Naval Intelligence and Director, National Maritime Intelligence Integration Office. Change: Merge. Pay grade is O-8.


Job title: Commander, Submarine Group 2. Change: O-7 job eliminated.

Job title: Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 5, Manama, Bahrain. Change: O-7 job eliminated.

A great day for the FDNF! The P-3 guys never had any business being there-and to tell the truth, it was all about a building, nothing more. Now get your lazy asses back up to Misawa!

No responses yet

Aug 25 2013

Finally correcting a big mistake

Published by under Navy

The Navy appears to finally have come to its senses and dropped the flying warrant officer program. Couldn't come a day too soon. The idea was a mistake from the start.

The Navy has permanently grounded its 6-year-old Flying Warrant Officer Program, saying that though successful at turning enlisted sailors into aviators, the needs of the service have changed. Moreover, the long-term impact of keeping it going would hurt both the people and the service The 49 fliers created by this enlisted-to-officer program — both pilots and naval flight officers — will continue to fly, most likely as commissioned officers, though the service is giving them options.

As I told several of my Sailors at the time the program was created, the flying warrant officer idea sounds good on paper-but in reality it was a pig in a poke. Because it was limited to only certain communities, and because it had no defined career path-something that was done on purpose to make the program seem cheaper than it really was-it was in a good position to put these warrant officers in the same position as the Aviation Duty Officers of the early 1990's,

Can I say I told you so now?

What the Navy should have done, if it was serious about giving rising young enlisted stars a chance at flying, was to revive the Flying LDO program. Access folks from the E-6 ranks as flying LDO's. Revive the old career path which would have had them commissioned, complete flight training over a couple of years, do a fleet flying tour followed by one in the training command-then get them on CVN's filling ship's company billets as payback. This in turn would have had the added affect of keeping URL aviators from having to be derailed into these non productive excursions in pain-and perhaps allowed them to get a better amount of operational flying experience by completing a CAT1A tour as a senior LT or LCDR wannabe. In subsequent tours the Flying LDO's could have gone back to training command and to air stations with the option of , when they made O-5, filling CVN Dept head jobs like Air Boss etc. That would be assuming there were any still around who had not retired at the 20 year point.

Which was kind of the point. It filled a need for the Navy -getting disassociated sea tours filled-and in trade given these guys a boatload of flying experience they could turn around and use in a "second" career if they chose to. And as I said it might have freed up URL's to fill other important Navy needs instead of exiling the folks who lost in the FITREP 500 during their command tours.

What was really bad about the flying CWO program was that it created a class of "second class citizens" in aviation wardrooms. Since the Hornet community could not trouble itself to take any, only P-3's and Helo's, it further segregated the folks from the whole of Naval Aviation. I find it especially ironic since Hornet guys are always the biggest whiners about having to have a ground job on top of their flying. I said then and I will say it now. If all you want to do is fly then fine-you don't have to be commissioned officer. But don't kid your self-your primary duty is to be an officer. Flying is just an important collateral duty. But the reason you are a commissioned officer is to the "ground job"-and take care of your Sailors.

It would have been better for the Navy to have stayed the course-accessing more commissioned officers than to have gone down this rathole.

What happened, however, is after 2002, the unrestricted line aviation accessions dropped as the Navy embarked on a drawdown that continued to last year. By the time the flying warrant pilot program kicked off in 2006, accessions had dropped by 300. “We’re bringing in 300 less officers and when you projected that inventory out 10 years, it’s the exact opposite,” Whitehead said. “Now we’re looking at hopefully even making enough O-4’s to even fill out department head billets. The problem has effectively reversed.”

And the Navy knew this at the time it started the program.

Hopefully the Navy will realize it has a better solution on its plate-and when and if it does return to an enlisted flying accession, it will bring back the Flying LDO  program. Fill those ship's company billets!

4 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

Jul 17 2013

I’ll believe it when I actually see it.

Published by under Military

Seems we have heard this song played before:

JACKSONVILLE, FLA. — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Tuesday he has ordered 20 percent “across the top” budget cuts for his Pentagon staff and that of his top brass.

The reductions, which he did not spell out in detail, are for the 2015-19 period. They will apply to his office, that of the Joint Chief’s chairman and also the Pentagon headquarters offices of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps.

It is one element of a broader effort by the Pentagon to adjust to forced spending reductions that already have resulted in the furloughing of civilian workers. Hagel said he believed Pentagon headquarters staff must share in the sacrifices.

Long time readers here no that I have no love for the fact that the Navy has more flag officers than ships. In fact I got into a bit of a dust up with a current active duty type who felt compelled to defend the current bloat of flag officers. I stand by my conclusions then and now.

The problem is that the flags get pretty defensive-and every flag officer believes that his billet is important, and could not be possibly filled by a non flag of a lower pay grade. Flag Officers also like their perks-they travel at will, not bothered by reductions in TAD money ( they simply screw the people working for them out of the money), and they like status and prestige. They will dig in , having their staffs generate a 100 PPT slides showing how the position has to be a flag officer, for "parity" with the other services.

I know this from first hand experience watching our own little , well functioning staff subsumed into the hoary monster that is a P-3 flag staff. Not that the P-3 guys need a flag in Japan, but "all the other task forces are flag officers" was the rage back in 2003. It will happen again.

I am with those that believe that our staff overhead is far too great. And much as it might pain me personally, the time has come for DOD to mercilessly go after staffs-starting with the COCOMS. Because you have to start at the top, bigger 4 star staffs make for bigger three star staffs and so on, and so forth. I am of a mind set that even the COCOM model has out lived it's usefulness-and that it might be better to fold them into a stateside reorganized Joint Staff. Just have forward deployed Joint Task Forces under the command of an already existing three star. This serves two effects :1) it holds numbers down and 2) In theory ( not necessarily in fact) would force a better coordination and understanding of issues at the Joint Staff level.

Can't be any worse than what we have now.

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