Posted by Lex on December 3, 2010
Courtesy of occasional reader pdxjim, the story of a captured Japanese plane that may have helped to change the outcome of the Pacific War:
By lex, on July 6, 2008
Got my last US Navy paycheck deposited on the 30th, gratefully accompanied by my first significant civilian recompense. For a moment there I reflected upon my transitory fortune and considered the advantages of going off like any good sailor on a liberty spree, but no: For everything a time, and to each a purpose. And it isn’t like that mortgage paying itself, is it precious?
No, precious. It most certainly is not.
Got my baby blue retiree ID card on Wednesday. Hit up the personnel support detachment at North Island for to pick up my discharge certificate, and thought to economize on time. It was nigh on 1500 and the ID card clerk seem happily determined to run out the clock on my watch. Two weeks ago I might have sprinkled a little high dudgeon around.
I sit and quietly seethe.
Posted by Lex, on December 5, 2010
Thanks for your service: *
A panel of three flag officers Friday announced their recommendation that Capt. Holly Graf leave the Navy with a general discharge.
Graf showed little emotion as she listened to the findings of the board of inquiry at the Washington Navy Yard: By a vote of 2-1, the board found she had committed misconduct; by unanimous vote, it found she had committed conduct unbecoming of an officer for the maltreatment and cruelty toward her crew as commanding officer of the Yokosuka, Japan-based cruiser Cowpens.
The panel unanimously voted to recommend she be separated from the Navy with a general discharge and be allowed to retire as a captain for completing honorable service “for a period of no less than six months” at that rank.
But not before smearing her wardroom as incompetent, and her ship as the worst on the waterfront.
Thus, a “general discharge” under honorable conditions, without a sufficiently meritorious record to deserve an honorable discharge.
** 04/30/18 Links updated – Ed.
Posted by Lex, on March 6, 2010
By lex, on March 3rd, 2010
Some folks in naval circles wondered why CAPT Holly Graf, late of the USS Cowpens, received admiral’s mast vice court martial for charges of cruelty and assault against her crew. Others have wondered why a CO relieved for cause ought to be posted to the Pentagon for a final tour rather than retiring quietly.
Evan Hanson, a law student with interests in admiralty law, has apparently received a redacted version of the Inspector General’s report on CAPT Graf’s conduct. It’s interesting reading.
Part 1 here.
Update 04-30-18 – the above 2 URLs were gone – new link: (Ed.)
I don’t know that I’ve ever heard of an IG report being publicly released to a blog, of all places.
Update (Lex’s – Ed.) : Time magazine has more on this tale, * and provides some context as well –
Shawn Smith is a retired Navy captain who along with her husband, also a retired Navy captain, applauded their daughter’s decision to join the Navy in 2007 after graduating from Notre Dame on a Navy ROTC scholarship. Erin Smith was “seriously considering” making the Navy a career, like her parents, until she was assigned to the Cowpens. “Her experiences with Captain Graf definitely helped form her decision to do her time and leave the Navy,” her mother says. “I was appalled that this happened, guilty — I think she went into the Navy because of us — and angry, because these kids did not deserve this kind of leadership.”
To further career of one officer, the service permitted her to ruin others.
04-30-18 – Link Updated – Ed.
Posted by Lex, on November 30, 2010
That’s the argument * being made by Navy CAPT Holly Graf, late CO **** of the USS Cowpens, to a panel of flag officers charged with determining whether she ought to be able to complete her naval service:
The civilian attorney for a cruiser skipper fired for cruelty and mistreatment of her crew told a board of inquiry in his opening statement Tuesday that his client had been the victim of a sexist and vengeful wardroom of incompetent officers and an inspector general’s investigation with a foregone conclusion.
Charles Gittins told a panel of three rear admirals at the Washington Navy Yard that Capt. Holly Graf inherited the “worst ship on the waterfront” and a wardroom that was “largely incompetent.” He said that under her command, the cruiser Cowpens was transformed into one of the best ships in the Pacific Fleet. He argued that Graf’s leadership style was stern, but that it was poorly received by men.
“She was direct and harsh towards men, and they weren’t used to it,” he said.
I’m no expert on such panels – thank heavens – but I wonder if pursuing this line of argument opens the defendant’s record to what would be called “discovery” in a criminal trial.
Because from everything I’ve heard *****, that could really be interesting. ***
** 04-30-18 – Dead link – changed (see page 5 on new link) – Ed.
*** 04-30-18 – Link Updated – Ed.
**** 04-30-18 – Original Lex post gone – 01-14-10 Something Of A First (was linked) – Ed.
***** 04-30-18 Original linked Lex post gone – 03-06-10 Early Warning (was linked) – Ed.
Posted by Lex, on November 18, 2010
The Yemeni beach volleyball team recently lost a match at the Asian games, and like losers generally, they sought to explain why:
Organisers of the games in China have hired four cheerleader squads, each made up of eight girls, to entertain fans during breaks in the volleyball action, according to the Tianfu Morning News.
“They had an effect on how we played,” he said. “I think they had something to do with our losing the match.
But Yemen beach volleyballer Adeeb Mahfoudh has now accused the squads of being distracting, and partly to blame for their defeat to Indonesia.
I was sorely tempted to put an “I blame Bush” header on this, but then I said, no: That would be declassé.
Over the years, I have had some great times up at Beale, usually by invitation of our car club. One of our members was in years past a squadron commander of the then-mighty SR-71. Started out in WW2 flying P-38s.
Then we got an invitation to see the inside story – that which wasn’t classified – of their U2s. What a fascinating day that was.
And lately they are flying the UAV Global Hawk – we went up to see that. What a day that was.
Posted by Lex, on July 6, 2008
Joe Wilson had just one nightmare, and yellowcake was its name-o:
The last major remnant of Saddam Hussein’s nuclear program – a huge stockpile of concentrated natural uranium – reached a Canadian port Saturday to complete a secret U.S. operation that included a two-week airlift from Baghdad and a ship voyage crossing two oceans.
The removal of 550 metric tons of “yellowcake” – the seed material for higher-grade nuclear enrichment – was a significant step toward closing the books on Saddam’s nuclear legacy. It also brought relief to U.S. and Iraqi authorities who had worried the cache would reach insurgents or smugglers crossing to Iran to aid its nuclear ambitions.