Friday, May 7, 2010

Affirmative Action Navy

"Not only was this a possible naval disaster, but it was also a diplomatic one as well: the navigator was an officer in the British Royal Navy, a billet unique to the Churchill. ... Newly arrived Navy chaplain Maurice Kaprow could not believe what he was seeing and hearing. 'Someone came up to me and said,' "We've run aground--she's finished",' he recalls. ... As it turned out, one of the ship's propellers had broken. But seven years later, Kaprow still cannot fathom which was worse: that US sailors were openly heckling a captain or that the captain seemed to deserve it. ... [Holly] Graf was relieved of duty in January, after nearly two year on the Cowpens, for 'cruelty and maltreatment' of her crew, according to a blistering Navy inspector general's report obtained by TIME. ... The saga of Holly Graf [HG] suggests the Navy had long ignored warning signs about her suitability for command. And while news of her spectacular fall instantly raised questions about institutional sexism, the lesson may be the opposite, as he case highlights how the Navy has pushed to integrate women into its war-fighting fleet. [HG] had dreamed of skippering a Navy vessel ever since her high school days in Simsbury, Conn. ... After she graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1985, colleagues sensed that Graf was on a fast track to flag rank. ... She earned a bronze star during the Iraq war (along with the Legion of Merit, Defense Meretorious Service Medal and two Meretorious Medals). ... If the Navy had warning signs about Graf after her time on the Curtis Wilbur, it didn't seem to pay them any heed. Instead, in 2003, Graf made US Navy history by becoming the first female commander of a destroyer, the Churchill .... Morale was the lowest he had ever encountered on any vessel. Kaprow says he tried to talk to Graf about her leadership style. ... But his complaints, like those made by [Kirk] Benson and others, produced no apparent change in Graf's demeanor and did not slow her rise. ... The [HG] saga has left the Navy facing two uncomfortable questions: Would the Navy have relieved a man for the erros Graf committed? And if Graf's command style was so toxic, how did the Navy miss it in the first place? ... A better explanation is that the Navy failed to move on Graf earlier not in spite of her gender but because of it", Mark Thompson at Time, 15 March 2010, link:

Shades of Army Major Hassan. This is your affirmative action Navy at work, see my 29 July 2009 post:

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Once again... form over substance...

Navy style...

Ubu said...

I seriously thought about enlisting after 9-11, until an old friend and retired officer told me a stark truth about myself, and my likely trajectory in the US military. He told me that if I ever saw combat, there was a 50/50 chance I'd be brought up on charges, court-martialed, and sentenced to prison within the first year. He was adamant that I not join and I didn't; in hindsight, I'm sure he was right. Reading this, I know he was right. Dodged a bullet there.

Independent Accountant said...

Ubu:
George Patton or Chester Nimitz would not recognize today's US military.

IA

Bartender Cabbie said...

Sherman and Sheridan would not be able to serve in today's military either. Not sure if I myself would be interested in service. I did my time but in today's PC society (which is obviously infecting our military), I would not be comfortable.

Independent Accountant said...

BC:
No argument here. George McCllelan might have been able to serve in today's US Army. Maybe. Thank you for your service.

IA