Not the first time…

I’ve seen this crap before on a Navy ship…

The probe exposes how personal distrust led the officer of the deck, Lt. j.g. Sarah Coppock, to avoid communicating with the destroyer’s electronic nerve center — the combat information center, or CIC — while the Fitzgerald tried to cross a shipping superhighway.

This is so far beyond the pale as to be unbelievable! That ship channel is one of the busiest in the world, I think in the top five. It’s not as bad as Singapore, but close. They NEEDED every asset available for safe navigation through there. I’ve been through there in the daytime and was thanking my lucky stars I went aviation rather that SWO.

The RADM Fort report on the USS Fitzgerald incident is damning, make no bones about it. The entire chain of command, all the way up to C7F was complicit in driving the OPTEMPO/PERSTEMPO to and past the breaking point to meet ‘required’ evolutions. More specifically, CO/XO who were derelict in their duties (not supporting bridge/watch teams), lack of training, broken equipment, lack of qualified operators, etc. All in the ‘interests’ of getting that check in the block, rather than standing up and saying no, we need to stop and take a training stand down, or no, we are not able to conduct the mission due to equipment status.

Full article, HERE from Navy Times.

Now the incident I had was only a couple of years after the Holly Graf debacle, HERE. We were actually in a meeting with the admiral when the JAG came and got him to go relieve her. That was an interesting day…

This ‘catfight’ between the OOD and the CIC officer is sadly reminiscent of one that happened on another Navy ship in 7th Fleet when we were running testing out there. I had a female reserve LT (SWO) on this particular DDG during the ops, and we were using their CIC and helicopter to ‘prosecute’ the target. After multiple failures, I started directing the ship’s helo from my location and we got repeated hits on the target.

After the exercise, I met with the LT I’d put on the ship. As it turned out, that instance was a three way pissing contest between two female officers, one the OOD, another the CIC watch officer, and a female E-6 ASW specialist. According to the reserved LT, at one point there was literally a screaming match on the internal ASW circuit as the E-6 tried to get the ship to turn into the wind to launch the helo on our cueing, with the OOD refusing because she had ‘other’ things to do. Apparently when the CICWO got involved, it went even further downhill, the ship systems lost contact due to lack of maneuvering, and the helo was never launched.

The ‘reason’ according to what the reserve LT found out was that the CICWO’s E-6 female had been higher rated than the OOD’s E-6 female in the enlisted rankings. She said point blank she had outbriefed with the CO and told him what she’d seen/heard and the CO had shaken his head, saying it would be addressed. It apparently was, as the next trip out there, I met with the CO, and he remarked that the ‘situation’ had been resolved by transferring one of the female officers.

I’m not saying men don’t get in pissing contests, but they are usually resolved MUCH more quickly, at a lower level, when the CPO mess takes them out for a ‘quiet’ talk on the fantail and don’t involve hazarding the ship or jeopardizing mission success.. If they tried that with the female officers (and have), the women scream sexism or harassment and the CPOs get in trouble.


Not the first time… — 36 Comments

  1. Women have no place in combat units or ships. At all.

    Admit support from the rear/shore? Sure, women have a higher tolerance for drudgery. Intelligence work? Just fine, sometimes better than men.

    Combat? Not at all. Women have neither the physical nor social capabilities built in. Rare exceptions to the rule are exactly that. And men do not act rationally in the presence of women, so even the exceptions generally cause more problems than they are worth.

    • Having been to Israel and interacted with the IDF, Israeli Defense Force, I would think the IDF would disagree with your assessment of women in combat

      • I was told, by Israeli’s I knew, that females were removed from direct combat positions due to the enemy’s (Arab) response to fighting them. It energized them to unseen heights of effort to win. Mostly they refused to give up when in battle against them, and the result of this attitude was deemed unfavourable to the IDF in wartime. If your opponent won’t give up or run away, you are in for a difficult time, as you are then forced to entirely destroy them in place.

  2. I saw similar situations at my police department. I noted that two men could hate each other and still work together. The same was true for male supervisor/subordinate relationships. Men could work with or for women they disliked and women could work for or with men they disliked. But get a combo of female supervisor and female subordinate without friendship and lookout! It was especially bad when two or three female subordinates disliked their immediate female supervisor.
    Talk about disrupting operations! I can only imagine the effect on a Naval vessel.
    I’m sure some will read this and brand me as sexist or worse. I am only reporting what I personally witnessed but I suspect it it holds true in one place it may be true for all.

    • I had a retail job once in which a female manager was crazy and got fired for fudging the time cards to look good with corporate. Her replacement, also female, was good and got better; we had been friends before and I respect her. She told me that one very good female employee quit and several were on the verge of quitting over their treatment by manager #1; #2 asked me if I had noticed that treatment (I had) and whether it was getting to me, too. I said that with me she alternated between almost charming and nasty, but that I did my job, didn’t bite on the niceness and didn’t think the nastiness bothered me as much as it had the women since men (at least straight men – I told you #2 and I were friends, I know I can trust her) get good at shining women on and saying “yes dear.”

      She cracked up.

      • We had issues at the PD I worked for with female single cops purposely trying to break up happily married male cops with their spouses.

        That, and the inability to fire corrupt and inept female cops because diversity and other garbage. So the c&i fc’s would keep getting slowly promoted and pushed into non-essential positions, like admin and personnel, where they would spread their toxicity.

        Now, I served with several really great females. But the bitchy evil females were always the ones who seemed to rise quickly.

  3. Great post and article. Only now I have the “witch is dead” song stuck in my head……sigh

  4. I am glad I got out of the Navy when I did (1994). Just before they started integrating females into the AW rating (aircrew).

  5. I had heard there were problems on the ships that led to these collisions, but had no idea they were this bad – the Navy is seriously underfunded and it is clear that it’s higher ups are NOT focused on fixing the problem.

  6. Back in the late Seventies While in the Army working as the Air traffic Control Tower chief at Maurice Rose Army airfield (Frankfurt FRG) We had a similar situation we had three female Radar Air traffic controller two were e-4 and one was a fresh out of school private. Well the two senior ones took a dislike to the third and she was transferred to My Tower where she was not trained as a tower controller. She Literally would twink out (we called it) she would literally stop what she was doing look at you blink a couple of times and completely forget what she was doing, what helicopter she was talking to and where it was. it was interesting working with her. Luckily we were helicopters only and under Frankfurt international Airport’s control zone. We averaged 50-100 aircraft movements in an 11 hour day. Except for reforger when #rd armored division and Fifth Corp HQ were in charge. Then we went up to 300-400 movements in a 5.5 hour shift. So it go fun. We did NOT let her on the microphone during Reforger.

  7. All Hail outside politics, political correctness and diversity in the military. Better yet, Going to Hell is he military with outside politics, political correctness and diversity.

  8. And I thought things were bad, back in the ’70s. This ain’t funny, and people have already died. What the blue blazes is wrong with these people??

  9. All- I see I’m not the only one that has had those experiences… Sigh… We were the first Navy Squadron to deploy with female enlisteds in 1976, and had NO problems, matter of fact one AT2 concealed her pregnancy, because she didn’t want to cause problems in the shop, but the lack of problems was the CO! He’d had an all hands prior to deployment and basically said words to the effect that, “While there were men, women, whites, blacks, Hispanics, Filipinos, etc. in the squadron, he didn’t care if you were pink, purple or green with polka dots. He looked at everyone as Navy Blue and EVERYONE would be treated equally. And we all took those words to heart, worked as a team, and got everyone home safe. The one female officer (AIO), went on to become a Vice Admiral.

    • Old FO, had a Chief back in early 70’s said the same thing and added “Male, female or don’t know, If you can do your job, welcome to my Navy, my ship and my division If you can’t do your job, get the F’&# off my ship and out of my Navy!

  10. There was so much fail in that, and other, reports.

    Failing the rules of the road? Shiphandling 101. Failure to follow the CO’s standing orders? Failing to communicate? Radar sets inoperative in a sea channel? Watchstanders not qualified and unfamiliar with the interface (That might have been the McCain)?

    I came out of the Submarine fleet, ’84-’93. I can’t even conceive of a control party making 1 of these mistakes without someone pointing it out immediately, let alone all of them.

  11. Back in the mid 60’s in the USAF we did not have Females on pure SAC bases (other than Nurses in the Hospital). I do not think they could have handled the grind of maintaining B’52’s & KC-135’s. ON the Flight Line it was very hot, very cold, plenty of heavy equipment to load, install, & change-out. No time for quibbling, or pissing & moaning. We worked hard, but smoothly, & kept those Big Bombers ready to go to Russia at a moments notice.

  12. Let us not overlook the damage Rep. Patricia Schroeder did to Navy aviation during her rampage against Tailhook. I know of at least 3 aviators who resigned their commissions rather than get “Schrodered.”
    I take great comfort in the knowledge that when she meet her maker He’s going to strap her to the great steam catapult in the sky and launch her ass to Hell.

  13. Clayton- THAT is on both the CO and those above him. Getting the mission done overrode safety and common sense.

    Old Woody- I remember that, two cousins in SAC at Barksdale.

    Stretch-That too, and Schroeder was instrumental in the Women In the Navy (WIN) BS too…

  14. Everything that y’all have stated is why I hated working in a crew that was largely female or for a female supervisor. We were there to do a job, not to be part of some pre-pubescent clique. God, I’m glad I’m retired.

  15. Being an old fogey from the Cold War era, the idea of women in combat units (Army and Marines) chills me. The physical demands alone is a disqualifier.

    Navy? Don’t know but videos of crews servicing anti-aircraft and larger weapons make me doubt many females, however motivated, could do it. How strong do you need to be to operate a fire hose? Close a door on a listing ship? Etc.

  16. It has always seemed to me, as a woman, that the IDF (which does have women in combat roles and working well) is a telling aberration, as is the role of women in the British and Soviet armed forces in WWII. The IDF is fundamentally a defensive force, as were the others.
    The US military is fundamentally offensive. (I know, War on Terror yada yada, but there is no true, psychologically immediate threat to the ‘homeland’). Let us be honest on that. We are fighting offensive wars against ‘possible’ threats. ISIS has yet to blow up our actual homes. A standing army is a warning against a possible threat.
    Women are defensive, men offensive. This is no bad thing. But it does mean that women in a standing army are not going to work well.

    • Another XX chromosome here, and I agree. The IDF is in a survival fight. That’s a different mindset than the US military. I also suspect that the IDF has 0 patience for cat-fights and similar.

      Women in the medical field? Oh yes. Some support positions, intel analysis, those things? Absolutely. Combat positions? No, just no. Not unless they meet ALL the physical requirements the men do AND they are treated exactly the same as men and held to the same conduct standards. So pretty much still no.

      (There’s a good reason why the character of Elizabeth von Sarmas didn’t want any other women in the Imperial military.)

  17. Recovering SWO here; we can lay this at the feet of Patsy Schroeder and her ilk who have multiplied in the ensuing years. I will cite my “exception proving the rule” I knew ONE female SWO I’d gladly serve with, and sleep soundly if she had the Deck -and had a few males who had me sleeping in my kapok.
    I escaped the Fleet before it went coed. I have always thought that if you want women in ships, fine; give them one, all female crew from CO to jack o the dust. See how they fare, THEN talk about it.
    I hated most of my time in the Surface Navy, but bad as it was, it wasn’t near what RADM Ford’s report shows. Absolute travesty and the chain of command all the way up should stand trial for manslaughter.

  18. We got our first female as I was EOSing. The breifing was basically ” We know you’re a line company, but now there are females so you fuckers better not display any of that toxic masculinity that makes our enemies fear you or else.”

    Fuck them and Gillette.

    Females in an infantry battalion are like screen doors on a submarine, culturally. And I’ve served with some solid female Marines. I just don’t want to go to the field or war with them.

  19. Reason 1 gazillion and 1 why women should NOT be in combat. Our brains work differently. We take things personal. There’s no having a disagreement and going out for a beer together afterwards.

  20. “resolved by transferring one of the female officers.”
    Sent the problem elsewhere.
    Short term, short-sighted resolution.
    Nobody learned anything.

  21. I had my 20+ all in by 1975, so I never even saw a female anywhere but in the sickbay ashore! Granted, there were WAVES in finance/personnel offices but not out there at the pointy end of the stick!
    Navy has gone to hell in my opinion. We all still wore dungarees and chambray shirts to work in and then came the baggy pullover shitty looking and wearing ‘new’ uniforms! So glad when I made E7 and didn’t have to wear that crap anymore!

  22. OldNFO, question for you.

    How bad would it have been, career wise, for the ship CO to come aboard, look at the state of affairs, and flat out tell his CO ‘We are not ready for prime time; list of issues attached.’?

  23. Toast,
    I’ll weigh-in. Admittedly my Fleet time was 80’s, but I have been paying attention. The Squadron Commodore (used to be referred to as “ISIC” – Immediate Senior in Chain-of-command) would likely have told him “Tough. STFU and do what I tell you” with the CO’s FitRep being “#5 of 5” if he didn’t outright get fired.
    it COULD be you’d have a boss who’s back you up the chain but they were rare 30 years ago.

  24. I will note that I have seen a destroyer CO get away with something like that. Again, back in the early 80’s our Skipper did a urinalysis sweep and we were unable to get underway for a month owing to lack of qualified personnel. This status was properly reported up the chain -all the way to NMCC.
    That was then. I doubt it would be supported now. That CO went on to further command and retired with four stripes.