By lex, on October 26th, 2011
Abusive language, it appears:
The commanding officer of Norfolk Naval Shipyard has been reprimanded for “conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman” and permanently relieved of command.
(The captain) will be reassigned to administrative duties, the Navy said Tuesday.
This is the second such shakeup at the Portsmouth shipyard in just over a year.
(His) removal followed an investigation by the Naval Inspector General into the command climate at the yard and (his) treatment of subordinates, the Navy said.
The discipline was meted out by Vice Adm. Kevin McCoy, commander of Naval Sea Systems Command, or NAVSEA. (The CO’s) treatment of subordinates included abusive language, said Chris Johnson, a NAVSEA spokesman. His removal was “solely associated with leadership behavior,” Johnson said.
I don’t know either the CO involved or his immediate superior in command, but I would hope the removal included more than just “abusive language.” Nobody much loves being flamed on, but shipyard workers used to be made of sterner stuff. And this particular CO had been selected to flag rank from a very small and tight-knit community. He had previously commanded a shipyard in Hawaii, his demeanor in command cannot have been much of a surprise. In fact, this CO was brought into clean up the mess of his predecessor at Norfolk, also relieved for cause. We would expect some rattled china.
But apparently someone got their feelings hurt, and called a hotline. An investigation ensued, as it must. Evidence was marshaled, given, and weighed. The explosive bolts on yet another command pin were actuated. A message has been sent to the commanding officer cohort: Be nice.
Ernie King the five-star chief of naval operations in World War II was said by FDR to have “shaved with a blowtorch” just to get ready for his morning meetings. His daughter countered that the admiral was the most even-tempered man in the Navy; he was always in a rage. His subordinates loathed working for him. But he was an organizational genius, and he sure as hell got the job done.
Obstetricians, somewhat infamously, are said to be rather keen on performing C-section deliveries outside of unambiguous medical necessity: They’ll never get sued for being too cautious, and there’s money to be made under the knife. And all the other OBs are doing it.
It’s possibly true – I emphasize possibly – that a senior flag officer brought evidence of conduct unbecoming in one of his COs might find it easier to cut the offender loose rather than return him to duty, which would then mean wearing him around his own neck as an albatross for the rest of his career.
And all the other flag officers are doing it.