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View Poll Results: If I was in charge of the Navy I'd discipline Captain Honors
Slap him on the wrist and tell him to get better joke writer 8 15.09%
Relieve him of command 19 35.85%
Court Martial him 2 3.77%
Discipline the Captain and/or Admirals who also knew about the videos 19 35.85%
Other 11 20.75%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 53. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-06-2011, 09:49 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by ls99 View Post
While Captain Honors has been dismissed, the Army seems to be losing officers voluntarily.

The article claims highest priority on conforming, rather than innovating as prime reasons. While no mention is made of PC, I suspect that is very important part of the conforming requirement. Unlikely that a departing officer would discuss that, since in a civilian j*b PC is at least as important as in uniform.

I like the description by the Germans during WWII. The Americans are unpredictable, they don't conform to their own doctrine.

Contrast that with today's company or battalion grade officer's behavior.

Why Our Best Officers Are Leaving - Magazine - The Atlantic

A quote from the article: “On average, the best officers got out; the worst officers got out.”

I think it probably has always been that way. It certainly was the case when I served in the early 1980's
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Old 01-06-2011, 11:15 PM   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
A quote from the article: “On average, the best officers got out; the worst officers got out.”

I think it probably has always been that way. It certainly was the case when I served in the early 1980's

I guess the obvious question is should it be that way? Considering the very high standards for getting into the academies, and the generally high standards for getting ROTC scholarships, it seems to me that armed service are starting with a sufficient raw talent to retain the best and brightest and seem them promoted to generals and admirals. A system that promotes you based primarily on length of services isn't a good one to get the superstars in the military.

To the military's credit they do seem to a do a decent job in weeding out the incompetents, and the up and out policy does ensure that simply serving your time doesn't mean you'll end up a General.

On the other hand compared to most civil service jobs and especially things like teaching the services seem to be light years ahead of encouraging meritocracy.
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Old 01-06-2011, 11:36 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
A quote from the article: “On average, the best officers got out; the worst officers got out.”

I think it probably has always been that way. It certainly was the case when I served in the early 1980's


Very similar kind of quote back when I was in a major accounting firm... the smart got out, the dumb were kicked out...




(OK.. softball for some comment on which one I was )
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Old 01-07-2011, 08:25 AM   #84
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A quote from the article: “On average, the best officers got out; the worst officers got out.”

I think it probably has always been that way. It certainly was the case when I served in the early 1980's
I noticed that line.

What that leaves is the average. Then the average still has the bell curve, so there are still excellent and dismal left.

Hey where is Jack Welch when you need him?
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Old 01-07-2011, 08:30 AM   #85
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..............Hey where is Jack Welch when you need him?
Probably on a vacation holiday paid for by GE that he "negotiated" as part of his package.
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Old 01-07-2011, 11:08 AM   #86
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I have to be very careful with what I´m going to say....

My father, long passed away, was a Vice-Admiral, and a democrat in times where in Spain to be one was not only foolhardy, but risky too. Certainly not an asset regarding due promotion. In fact, he was passed over twice before getting there.

Had he done something like this officer, he would have been sacked. Even in current times, never mind boosting the morale of the troops....

And, no matter how much I loved him, and that I did (he had a great self-deprecating sense of humour), I would have been ashamed of him as an officer and as a gentleman. And his role model as a father would have been somewhat harmed, too.

I hope I haven´t offended any one of you with this post.

BTW I voted Discipline him and those who knew and did nothing.
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Old 01-07-2011, 02:33 PM   #87
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Even in current times, never mind boosting the morale of the troops....
I think the Spanish Navy has a different culture. In the late 70's I was on loan for a short stint at a company making submarine profiling/ident systems based on acoustics.

Had a visitor from the Spanish navy, a potential buyer for several units, some high ranking commandante.

He had at least two assistants follow him around, at each elbow, one taking prodigious notes, one holding an ashtray for the commandante's cigar ashes. Then there were maybe five other officers several feet behind him.

It was quiet a show.
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:06 PM   #88
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Peggy Noonan weighs in with an interesting column today.

Quote:
But it's a great mistake when you are in a leadership position to want to be like everyone else. Because that, actually, is not your job. Your job is to be better, and to set standards that those below you have to reach to meet. And you have to do this even when it's hard, even when you know you yourself don't quite meet the standards you represent.
A captain has to be a captain. He can't make videos referencing masturbation and oral sex. He has to uphold values even though he finds them antique, he has to represent virtues he may not in fact possess, he has to be, in his person, someone sailors aspire to be.

It is also got me interested in seeing the King's Speech.
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Old 01-07-2011, 10:11 PM   #89
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I guess the obvious question is should it be that way? Considering the very high standards for getting into the academies, and the generally high standards for getting ROTC scholarships, it seems to me that armed service are starting with a sufficient raw talent to retain the best and brightest and seem them promoted to generals and admirals. A system that promotes you based primarily on length of services isn't a good one to get the superstars in the military.
Funny thing about those service academy standards-- they're driven by the size of the crowd trying to get in, and none of the criteria are very good at measuring persistence (or obstinacy). The best indicator whether a plebe will make it through the four years is whether or not that plebe attended the one-week "try it" session after their junior year of high school. Of course, seeing how you're going to be treated during plebe year and then deciding to show up for it anyway is certainly a great indicator of "persistence", not so much of brainpower or common sense.

USNA measures "leadership potential" by Boy Scouting's Eagle Scout and varsity sports team captain (I had neither), but it's expected that the leadership skills can be taught as well as inherited. Provided, of course, that the service academy itself has good leaders.

Congressional nominating committees for service academies are largely populated by... service academy graduates. My spouse and I were shocked at how many shipmates we met on the nominating committees of Hawaii's congressmen. My daughter (at the time considering a service academy) was disgusted.

As for retention, most officers get out of the Navy because they were always intending to get out after their commitment. Some aren't certain whether to stay or go but decide to get out because the "bad" is far worse than the "good" is good-- many of these join the Reserves or National Guard. A few get out because they never really understood how bad "bad" can be. A very few are asked to leave.

The retention decision has been extensively studied by the military, sociologists, and contractors like RAND. The only factor reliably correlated with retention has been money. (I resemble that remark.) There's a smaller correlation with the economy-- in a crappy economy, retention tends to not drop.

The advancement & promotion statistics above E-6 and above O-4 are pretty tough. I haven't studied the numbers lately but I'll guesstimate that O-4 to O-5 is about 70%, O-5 to O-6 about 40%, and O-6 to O-7 about 10%. If you start with 100 bright O-4s, all capable of doing their job and their boss' job, then only two or three of them will pin on stars. And if you think that's harsh, in most of the Navy's enlisted specialties it's far easier to make O-5 than it is to make E-8. But SECDEF Gates is proposing to cut a hundred or so flag billets, so maybe someday the admirals will be almost as good as the senior chiefs. Nah, maybe not so much.

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To the military's credit they do seem to a do a decent job in weeding out the incompetents, and the up and out policy does ensure that simply serving your time doesn't mean you'll end up a General.
On the other hand compared to most civil service jobs and especially things like teaching the services seem to be light years ahead of encouraging meritocracy.
When the military historians write about the 1990s, I think they'll write about the power of computer processing to crunch all the data that's been there for decades. In the Navy's case, the fitness reporting system (FITREPs) were changed from a letter scale to a 1.0-5.0 scale for the equivalent of a GPA. Even more significantly, the grades that your COs assigned on their subordinates' FITREPs were also recorded. This gave the BUPERS computers, for the first time, the ability to distinguish between the "hard" graders and the "easy" graders. FITREP inflation still exists, but now the computer system can immediately see whether your personal FITREP GPA is above or below all the other GPAs handed out by your CO. When the system was first introduced in 1997 it led to great wailing and moaning and gnashing of teeth because nobody could get away with nothin' any longer, and some of our seniors had spent decades developing their little FITREP-ranking tricks.

Back in the early 1990s when a CO was relieved, the assignment officer was literally sorting through index-card files to identify the relief. By the end of the millennium, when the BUPERS computer was asked to spit out a list of all the O-6s who are screened for carrier command, it did so by GPA and command history. Today it can even show who was doing the grading, because some graders have better reputations than others. ("Whoa, if Schmuckatelli thinks this guy is good enough then that's good enough for me. But I don't think Schmeckelski over here could train any of his officers to fight their way out of a wet paper bag.") Again, for every guy like Honors who comes to (or who is brought to) the attention of the media, there are about 20 other officers who would love to take his place... and who are probably "good enough" to do so.
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Old 01-07-2011, 10:37 PM   #90
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Peggy Noonan weighs in with an interesting column today.




It is also got me interested in seeing the King's Speech.
I think Ms. Noonan "gets it". Brava.
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Old 01-08-2011, 01:00 AM   #91
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I watched the video. I was not offended. I was not on the cruise, have never served under Capt Honors, and don't really know what type of officer he is. I do know there were two type of officers I served under, one you would do anything he ask because he ask, the other because you were scared not to. These two types have been typified by Gen Bradley and Gen Patton in WWII. Both got the job done, but it was a hell of a lot more 'fun' under Bradley.

I don't believe in judging someone with out all the facts, and I certainly don't think we have them in this situation.
A few of us have a military aviation background as did Capt Honors specifically flying fighters. I noted he had flown 85 combat missions, some I suspect downtown Bagdad, 700 carrier landings many at night, and attended the very prestigious Test Pilot School. I wonder if he had more of a Gen Robin Olds persona vs that of a "shoe clerk" mentality.
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