I don't keep in touch with my ex-service buddies. It's been a hell of a long time and we all change.
So it was with a little sadness that I learned of the passing, last year, of CAPT Guy R. Campbell, III, USN, ret.
Captain Campbell was one of the captains whose crews would have followed him into Hell, without hesitation. When I knew him, he had relieved a captain whose crew would have cheerfully sent him to Hell. He believed in mentoring and training his crews, not in chewing them out. An expression of mild disappointment from him would be devastating, as the person receiving it knew that they had let down the Old Man.
One weekend in home port, his ship was open to the public for topside tours. Unbeknownst to him, his kids (ranging from teenagers to pre-teens) took the public tour. When the sailor giving the tour pointed out the Captain's Gig and explained its function, one of the kids giggled and told a sibling: "That's Daddy's boat." The sailor giving the tour overheard that and told the OOD after the tour group left. The OOD told the CDO, who passed it along to the XO. Captain Campbell went to the sailor's workspace the next work day and apologized for what his kids did. He sure as hell didn't need to do that, but word of it spread through the waterfront like wildfire. That's just one example of why he was beloved by his crews.
Captain Campbell was not one of those captains who would step on his crews in order to please his bosses' in-port horseshit. To him, the welfare of his crew was all, for he knew that if his crew had his back, there was nothing that both they and his ship couldn't do.
Fair wins and following seas, Captain.
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