Monday, October 27, 2014

CO Relieved

Another CO has been relieved.  As reported by Navy Times website (1),

"A week after the Philippine media reported that the destroyer Stethem had run over a small canoe near Subic Bay, the ship’s skipper has been fired."

"According to Philippine media reports, the unlit canoe crossed Stethem’s course around 8:36 p.m. The boat’s occupants dove into the ocean to avoid the collision and were rescued uninjured by Stethem’s crew."

An unlit canoe?  At night?  That’s grounds for relief?  Wow, that’s got to have a chilling effect on ship captains.


  1. first it was US marine killing a philipine national, now canoe.. is this some kind of CYA move by US navy ?

    1. Sadly, that was my very first thought...need to show Philippines that we hold our people "accountable."

  2. I am not sure if this is something that dates back to "Iron men and Wooden Ships"; at min, the message that it sends is that we are a Zero Defect Navy.

    Running a ship aground or hitting another ship is not something we just want to shrug off, but it appears that either event almost always results in a CO being relieved. I can not be convinced that each and every one of these events warranted relief. I would posture to say that most did not.

    I understand ultimate responsibility, but even the most conscienence and capable CO can not be on the bridge 24/7. How about investigating the circumstances and then making the determination as to the proper assurances and training in place, as well as, proper oversight and procedure followed.

    Because an individual, other than the CO, made a mistake or had a lapse in judgement, we flush 15-20 yrs of investment down the tube and send this CO to a desk job?

    I also understand that everything in the Navy is not fair, but perhaps we should rethink the criteria surrounding these types of removals, instead of being spring loaded to "loss of confidence". Airplanes crash and have mid-air collisions, not every Squadron CO gets relieved because of this.

    Zero-defect and no discussion reliefs send the wrong message to send and no way to run an organization.

  3. the CO of vincennes who shot down iranian civilian airliner , didnt he got commendation for the incident instead of demotion ?

    1. The Vincennes was involved in a running gun battle with Iranian small craft at the time. Read the book:
      Storm Center: The USS Vincennes and Iran Air Flight 655: A Personal Account of Tragedy and Terrorism for a detailed account of this. Chief Torpedoman

  4. Unfortunately I beleive this trend is even more damaging. I see it as a manifestation of control freaks run rampant. The idea that we can control everything, every minute in all situations is a delusional damaging attitude. Warfare is unpredictable and out of control, even in the most successful battles. If we train everyone to think that control is always possible, there is going to be one BIG group think shock when combat hits.

    I would not want to go in to combat with the current Navy, I want to wait for the second wave (survivors and new folks) that can shake off the illusion of control.


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