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From time to time...

I rant on about things I know nothing about.  Some would say that that is pretty much the case always…But anyway, this morning I offer an opinion on the loss of confidence in the command qualities of Captain Brett Crozier, USN, leading to his summary relief  as Commanding Office of the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71).

Capt Crozier’s crime was failing to restricting his appeal for the health of his crew to the traditional chain of command.  He apparently shotgunned his missive to a sufficiently wide range of folks that his words ended up in the press.  Translated,  that means his chain of command was embarrassed to find themselves under scrutiny for failing to respond urgently to a rapid spread of the COVID-19  in a very closed environment, putting sailors at risk.  

Commanding officer of a nuclear powered aircraft carrier is an assignment given a carefully selected officer who has proven though past performance that he/she is a candidate for advancement to positions of senior leadership.  To be so named, an officer must have demonstrated significant political acumen in addition to technical and leadership skills.  Thus it is apparent to me that the circumstances that induced Capt Crozier to step into what he had to know was a career fatal move, must have been dire.  I suggest that his initial appeals must have been met with bureaucratic sluggishness to the point where his frustration required a deliberate move to get attention focused on the problem.

To be the commanding officer of a ship is a privilege unique in the world.  There is no equivalent.  That officer has complete and total responsibility for crew and ship. In sacrificing  his career for the well being of his crew, Capt Crozier fulfilled his responsibility.  He should be promoted to a position where he can instill that principle on those he leads.

I am pretty sure George Patton, Dwight Eisenhower, Chester Nimitz, “Bull” Halsey, Karl Doenitz, Yogi Kaufman and Teddy Roosevelt, to name a few, would agree…

Should the Navy relieve an officer who has embarrassed those in authority… ?  Sadly it is not a question of right or wrong.

End rant.

OK one cartoon from a rich harvest:

© Robert Graham 2012