Mutiny on the Cowpens....a modern Captain Bligh?

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by sprog, Mar 5, 2010.

  1. sprog

    sprog Member

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    http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1969602,00.html

    This may have already been posted on here; however, I just found it today and thought it was interesting. I have read some of the various blogs that address this, and most of the sailors (officer and enlisted) on the USS Cowpens who made comments had nothing nice to say about Capt. Graf.

    Thought this might make for a good discussion.

    FYI-There was no mutiny ( I just titled the thread that way to evoke the memory of the Bounty).
     
  2. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    Queeg not Bligh. Queeg had command problems Bligh was just mean. But a h**l of a sailor. Open boat to Australia! Who had the keys to the strawberries? A bad commander is a bad commander, man or woman. Served under some great ones and had some real martinets. It comes with the territory.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2010
  3. sprog

    sprog Member

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    Agreed, gender has no role in this. I was posting more to get comments on her egregious behavior while in command. Really, I was hoping to get some comments on this as an example of horribly bad leadership.
     
  4. sprog

    sprog Member

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    I think Queeg is a more appropriate label too.
     
  5. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    I'm following three threads on this at two different boards, one of them being "the other place".

    What's the FIRST thing a mom jumped on? That it was a woman. :rolleyes:
     
  6. xchefmike

    xchefmike Member

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    I hope that you are not talking about the "mom" who used to be a former banned poster from this board. It is so sad that person has nothing else to do than keep rising from the "dead" as a new screen name just to keep bashing away with everyone. HE is so sad.
     
  7. sprog

    sprog Member

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  8. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    I guess that justice finally caught up with Capt Graf. Everybody who has been in the military for awhile has seen flamers that moved on from trashing one unit to a higher command and doing it again before somebody finally brings them down in flames. The tragedy is that they usually trash some really good junior officers and NCO's in the process who just say the hell with this and bail out. I can recall a guy who was a Bn Cdr in Korea in the early 80s who was an absolute tyrant- the company commanders in that Bn would go back to their hooches and leave the lights off just so he couldn't hunt them and jerk them around some more. He finally got relieved of Bde Cmd in the 101st but only after a couple of field grade officers (one was a SAMS grad) went to the Div Cdr and turned in their resignations which started an IG investigation and a relief for cause. The Majors were still gone but it finally caught up to him . Captain Graf sounds like an officer who either was:
    A. a smart staff officer but utterly unsuited for command (and I have definitely seen instances where a good staff officer just can not learn to be a good commander and is totally different when in that position. They get command because no command equals no promotion and they have a mentor who wants them promoted- The downside of up or out. )
    B. a self interested jerk who saw command as being all about the commander rather than the unit.
    Take your pick- it's too bad that the Cowpens and apparently the Winston Churchill before that had to suffer thru her before somebody in Command finally figured it out.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2010
  9. sprog

    sprog Member

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    On a side note, is there an HMS Winston Churchill out there? Seems that would be more appropriate. Not that there is anything wrong with honoring this great statesman with a US Navy ship (I think his mother was American...was he a dual citizen maybe?). Ironic that he had no patience for tyrants, yet the CO on his namesake ship was one. Glad she has been removed from command.
     
  10. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Oh dear. I see we are mixing up our forums.
    I think this is the post to which you are referring:
    Read it again.....
    NOT the FIRST thing at all. The fact that she is female is the first thing you noticed. NOT that she was abusive and a bad leader. Maybe it's more acceptable to be an abusive bad leader if you are male.

    So, why all the attention from Time? Maybe it was a slow news day at Time. Maybe a Time editor has a relative who served under her. Maybe a female Captain swearing at a male enlisted sailor is more dispicable than a male Captain soliciting oral sex.
    5 other Navy Captains have been fired since January. The article in Time would have been more balanced if they had included this.

    This is also an example of poor leadership:

    Here are the other examples of poor leadership in the Navy:
    CO of Naval Weapons Station Charleston, S.C., after he was arrested Jan. 26 on a charge of solicitation of prostitution.

    The Head of Naval Support Activity North Potomac on Feb. 12 following nonjudicial punishment. Sources told Navy Times the NJP involved fraternization with junior Navy personnel.

    The commanding officer of the Norfolk, Va.-based destroyer Truxtun, was relieved for having an inappropriate relationship with a female officer in his command, according to a Navy statement

    Skipper at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla., was formally fired Wednesday after a brief investigation into “inappropriate conduct,” Navy officials said.

    PS - xchefmike - you can calm down now. :wink:
     
  11. sprog

    sprog Member

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    It probably did make Time because she is a woman. News media organizations are pretty much always going to look for something unique and distinctive like that. Face it, the story is juicier to readers than it would be if she was a guy. Unfair? Yes. Such is life in print media in the age of 24-hour news coverage.

    Regardless of the motivations behind Time's decision to cover the story, it certainly does illustrate incredibly bad leadership on the part of Capt. Graf. I think it opens up the broader issue of the problems with nepotism at all levels in the military. Her gender really has nothing to do with her lack of fitness for command, as she was obviously the favorite of people senior to her who wanted her promoted. I ran into this in the USAF. We had one Colonel who was very nice, but was dumber than a box of hammers when it came to missile operations. That person was someone's favorite, and ended up with a star after leaving Minot. At least the Colonel didn't have a raging personality disorder like Capt. Graf does.

    The actions of the male officers you describe are bad too. Bad leadership is bad leadership, regardless of gender. Unfortunately, we don't yet live in a world where the media will not seek to make distinctions based on race, gender, sexual orientation, or whatever in reporting a story. Those distinctions sell magazines.
     
  12. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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  13. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    I am wondering why the continuing drumbeat of publicity on this particular relief for cause? This officer while clearly unfit to command- was relieved after the IG and the chain of command investigated and substantiated charges against the officer. While Capt Graf's actions were a gross example of lousy leadership - she was relieved! What else would you have the Navy do? Commanders get relieved in all the services - some that have made the news lately include the battalion commander of 2/508 Abn in Afghanistan; the commander of the Medium Endurance Cutter Escanaba in Boston etc... Captain Graf clearly should never have been in command but she is hardly alone in that category-There are obvious incompetents who slip thru the cracks to major command; there are egotistical jerks who have always managed to shine when it was important to look good even if it meant taking credit for others work or hiding their dirt; there are moral oil slicks who keep it hidden until they get in command. The system isn't perfect in any service and anyone who has spent time in any service has seen examples.
    How does someone get selected for command who is so ill suited?Because commanders have favorites ; because they are as susceptible as anyone else to flattery or toadyism; and often because as Gen Gary Luck used to say- the commander's view is sometimes like looking down at camouflage netting-at the ground level they are just a net and don't hide much but from the air looking down- they cover a lot- that is, while peers and subordinates know how much of what goes on may be a facade or taking credit for the work of others, it's not always so easy for a senior commander to see the same thing. So occassionally a real lemon gets picked.
    The relief of this CO should have been just another event with a 30 minute half life unless you were a crew member on this ship. I can understand Time- they see an opportunity to sell their magazines- plenty of others on internet forums and blogs just want to climb on their soapbox and make this into some kind of universal judgement against women in the military -as if there weren't plenty of male commanders relieved. This is a judgement on a crummy commander- nothing more.
     
  14. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    Who got banned? :confused:

    What for? :confused:

    I always miss the good stuff. :rolleyes:
     
  15. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    That is a GREAT analogy.

    Perhaps, but I don't recall hearing of a CO being relieved for such a repeated pattern of blatant harassment before.
     
  16. Maximus

    Maximus Member

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    He's probably talking about mombee.
     
  17. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    Ooooooooooohhhhh!

    So it IS him, eh? :rolleyes:
     

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