USS Fitzgerald Initial Report Released

Discussion in 'Life After the Academy' started by Wishful, Aug 19, 2017.

  1. Wishful

    Wishful "Land of the free, because of the brave..." 5-Year Member

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  2. DesertCaliMom

    DesertCaliMom Member

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  3. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot 5-Year Member

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    When the Fitzgerald incident happened I said there was a severe problem at the O5+ level in the Navy's Pacific forces...got called "unpatriotic."

    I'ma just sip my Lipton over here...
     
  4. unkown1961

    unkown1961 Member

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  5. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot 5-Year Member

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    It's horrifying. Failures of leadership are stealing the lives of men and women. It's unconscionable and people hide behind "be respectful of those who lost their lives in this tragedy" as a way to avoid hard truths. I'll stick with outrage. The Navy needs a house-cleaning in the surface warfare department.
     
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  6. unkown1961

    unkown1961 Member

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    By failure of leadership, are you referring to a lack of training?
     
  7. BTCS/USN

    BTCS/USN Member

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    Lack of training indicates Failure of Leadership. That's one of a leader's primary responsibilities, developing their subordinates.
     
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  8. unkown1961

    unkown1961 Member

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    So even though the Captain is asleep and not at fault for the other ship not being seen, he is still at fault for the crew on deck not being properly trained? (I'm just curious, I have no thoughts on the accident since I have no nautical training other than trying to hike across a stream without getting wet.)
     
  9. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe 5-Year Member

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    That about sums it up.
     
  10. usna1985

    usna1985 10-Year Member

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    General rule of the USN: If you're the CO and something major goes wrong in your command, you're almost certain to be blamed, lose your job, and see your career go down the drain. If not worse. [Lack of proper training is a common theme for the CO, XO, etc. in this type of situation.]

    It may not always be fair, but it is what it is and all COs understand it.
     
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  11. unkown1961

    unkown1961 Member

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    Do the poorly trained crew also get fired?
     
  12. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    A CO is accountable and responsible for everything, good and bad, under his or her command. It's the burden of command, which also brings great joy and satisfaction.
     
  13. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt 5-Year Member

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    Exactly. Said another way: You are responsible for everything your unit does (or fails to do).

    Certainly for the Marines, this applies at even the lowest level of leadership. I certainly saw Officers relieved of command for an accidental discharge by one of their Marines - even when they were not even at the range.

    Sadly, there are also cases - some very public - where the rule was not applied with such clarity. These usually involve very senior officers and are very disturbing to the rank and file who had personally faced the application of the rule by the officer who was now making excuses and disavowing any responsibility.
     
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  14. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot 5-Year Member

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    I was literally about to say that one of the first things you're taught at USMA is "you will be responsible for everything your platoon does or fails to do on the battlefield."

    As Major Anthony Herbert said in Once a Warrior King: "When all the chips are down, when the privates won’t move and the sergeants won’t move and fear has taken over everything, all the responsibility falls on your shoulders. . . . You took the rank, you took the privileges, now you have to pay the dues. You’ve got to stand up and by God lead those men!"

    Rank is a blade that slices both ways.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2017
  15. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Super Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Yes they were. As mentioned CO/XO are responsible for everything, awake or asleep. The OOD was responsible for the ship at the time. They had a many awake who had responsibility on the bridge and in CIC. Nearly everyone who had responsibility in these areas will have their careers ended or severely impacted (as they should).

    I don't know much about this kind of navigation except from my SWO friends. They are all shocked that this happened and believe there was plenty of failure by leadership.
     
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  16. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator 5-Year Member

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    I imagine that this is the reason Chief of Staff John Kelly said, “... and after one week on this job, I believe the best job I ever had was as a sergeant in the Marine Corps.”
     
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  17. Wishful

    Wishful "Land of the free, because of the brave..." 5-Year Member

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    I imagine that there will be new rules & regulations that will mandate the CO or XO 's presence when the ship is in an area which has heavy traffic, for example, as it seems to be the case here & with the McCain incident.
     
  18. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Shouldn't even be a need for such a rule although there may be one promulgated. I would expect a CO to be present on the bridge, overseeing the OOD, when in a dangerous area (shoals, traffic, etc.). I think they call it 'foresight'.
     
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  19. BTCS/USN

    BTCS/USN Member

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    We called that restricted maneuvering if the transit was that narrow, cluttered or had a lack of ability to navigate freely. Regardless, the CO underway usually stays in his inboard cabin (which is usually directly off the bridge) underway and is available 24 hours a day. If there was any doubt by the OOD he should have been the first one shaken awake for clarification. If needed, pass the word Captain to the bridge, over the 1MC. Never sailed under a CO who couldn't or wouldn't beat the echo to the bridge when that was passed.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2017
  20. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Super Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Just like on the Marine Ground side, ship COs have 'wake me up' rules. I had dinner a few weeks ago with a buddy who was recently a CO out of Japan. My room mate from USNA who was a SWO was here all weekend. She broke down the report for me and what she thinks happened based upon that. She is still baffled how they had contact with a commercial ship that large and within a certain distance (can't remember what number she gave) without waking up the CO. Be curious to see what happens with the McCain. She did mention that area it was transiting in was notoriously busy and usually had the CO on the bridge while maneuvering through there.
     
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