Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Troll Under the Bridge

If you read my original post about screamer COs, it seems that things have changed:
The commanding officer of the Yokosuka, Japan-based cruiser Cowpens was relieved of duty Wednesday after being punished for “cruelty and maltreatment” during her time in charge, the Navy announced. In an unusual move, she is being permitted to continue on to an assignment in the Pentagon.

Capt. Holly Graf was brought before an admiral’s mast with Rear Adm. Kevin Donegan, the commander of Carrier Strike Group 5, after an inspector general’s investigation found problems with her “temperament and demeanor vis-a-vis her subordinates,” said Cmdr. Jeff Davis, a spokesman for 7th Fleet.
Back in the day, it would have taken something close to actions akin to a wartime atrocity for a CO to have been fired for making life difficult for his subordinates.

More to the point of the current issue, allowing a fired ship's captain to continue onto the next duty station is pretty frakking rare. I saw a few folk relieved for cause, from division officers to commanding officers, and all of them were stashed into no-load jobs while the Navy determined what to do with them. Captain Graf has to have one hell of a rabbi watching out over her, or she has some really special skill set that they need in Ft. Fumble. I'm not assuming that she is getting special treatment because of her gender, but if she is, that would really piss me off. I agree with the writers of the USNI blog, this needs to be explained and fast.



Anonymous said...

USNI blog coming up to temperature nicely. Time for CNO to man the 22JS.

steve osc/ret

PhysioProf said...

If someone is poorly suited for the role of CO due to some particular personality trait, it does make sense to at least try to make use of whatever other good traits that they have that presumably allowed them to achieve a CO position in the first place, no?

Ruckus said...

From personal experience and with no comment on this particular capt I'd say once an asshole in command always an asshole in command.
And as it seems like it takes an unusual amount of assholynes to be relieved in the first place, what makes that level go back down to acceptable levels once a career is interrupted?

Comrade E.B. Misfit said...

Ruckus, I know. I served under a DH as a DivO; he and I got into routine screaming matches. He wanted to intimidate me and I knew more about my job than he did, so it didn't work. At the time, I was part of the Zero Retention Team, so I had nothing to lose.

Funny, though, about six weeks before I got out, I met a guy who was a DH on a ship where my old DH had just finished up a tour as XO. "Asshole" doesn't even begin to describe his tenure in the job. I'm surprised nobody fucked with his car.

Ruckus said...

How do you know no one fucked with him off ship? My feeling is that the usual suspects accused of total asshollieness would never let anyone know that some one got the better of them. That's a big part of the problem in the first place. So unless his car blew up or caught on fire when he started it he might have been able to hide the prank.

Comrade E.B. Misfit said...

Ruckus, by "fucking with his car", I was thinking of the level of "turn key, car go `boom'!" level, not just minor shit such as slashing his tires or keying the doors.

Ruckus said...

I see that you mean real hard core assholyness if you expected someone to blow or fire up his car.
The destroyer flotilla commander on the ship I was on in Charleston was swept out of the way and given command of an LPH in Long Beach. I got to serve on that as well. (I do lead a charmed life.)Any way it was rumored that he was such an asshat that the admirals just wanted to get him as far away as possible. He proved them correct as to his assholyness. He instituted a little answer to anyone who showed up even 30 seconds late when the ship was in the yard. He had the gangplank pulled every morning at 8 sharp. If you were not onboard you got 3 days B&W with all of your section mates having to stand the watch over you in the brig. I got out about then so I don't know how much worse it got.

Frank Van Haste said...

Dear Miss Fit:

I'm late in getting caught up here...but re: "one hell of a rabbi", well, her big sister is an Admiral.

(from what I've read, the Adm. is a totally squared away officer that everyone speaks well of.)



stephen said...

You can find good background on this issue at:

Interesting postings ICW Capt. Graf. etc.

Also TIME magazine has story (3 pages).

I don't think a rabbi is going to help......

Charles Pergiel said...

So I am following links and I come across this page

There is a picture and some ranting. What I would like to know, from someone who's been out there, whether it looks like those two ships are in any danger of collision.

Comrade Misfit said...


I don't think there was much of a risk of collision. 300' is a tad close, but warships in my day did formation steaming at 500' intervals.