The Navy’s problems over the last several years have done little to change the average American’s view of the service, according to an internal Navy survey reviewed last week by USNI News. Read More
Tag Archives: Proceedings
Retired Submarine Commander Sues Navy to Release USS Thresher Investigation
A retired nuclear submarine commander filed suit against the Navy to gain access to records classified for more than a half-century after the sinking of USS Thresher (SSN-593) – the Navy’s worst nuclear submarine disaster. Read More
Ensign Keeps New Year’s Day Rhyming Deck Log Tradition Alive
According to almost a century of Navy tradition, the year’s first deck log entry on a U.S. warship must be written in rhyme. The tradition is a tricky one since the entry must still include all the required information about a ship’s location, propulsion and operations. Read More
Appreciation: Former Proceedings Editor Robert Timberg Dies at 76
Robert Timberg, U.S. Naval Academy Class of 1964, journalist, author and former Editor-in-Chief of Proceedings died on Tuesday of respiratory failure. He was 76. Read More
Arleigh Burke Destroyer at 25
The following is a July 1991 piece from Proceedings on the new Arleigh Burke-class of guided missile destroyers from the commander’s perspective with the original title, “Arleigh Burke is Back.” Today, July 4, 2016, is the 25th anniversary of the ship’s commissioning. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary Vice Adm. Morgan penned a new piece on the destroyer in the current issue of Proceedings. Read More
NFL Pro Bowl QB Eddie LeBaron and the Marines
The following is a column by former Marine and NFL player Eddie LeBaron that ran in the October, 2009 issue of Proceedingswith the original title Two Dreams Came True. LeBaron — the first quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys — died on Wednesday in Stockton, Calif. He was 85. Read More
The ‘Nightmare’ Night USS Houston Went Down
The following is a first person account of the 1942 Battles of Java and Sunda Strait. The work was published in the February 1949 issue of Proceedings as, “The Galloping Ghost.” The text is presented unaltered and includes language some could find offensive.
On the night of February 28, 1942, the U.S.S. Houston, Admiral Tommy Hart’s former Asiatic flagship, vanished without a trace somewhere off the Northwest coast of Java. The mystery of the Houston remained complete until the war ended and small groups of survivors were discovered in Japs prisoner of war camps, scattered from the island of Java through the Malay Peninsula, the jungles of Burma and Thailand, and northward to the Islands of Japan. Read More
Oceans: Putting up the ‘Keep Out’ Signs
Proceedings, January 2013
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are designated sites found throughout the World Ocean that are set aside for special protection and management. They conserve and protect sensitive ecosystems as well as cultural history. Governments ranging from the national to the local levels have established MPAs in almost every coastal nation in the world.
The United Nations Law of the Sea Treaty (UNCLOS) gives signatory coastal states a 200-mile wide Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). This includes a 12-mile-wide territorial sea where those countries have full sovereign rights. Beyond that point, states have quasi-sovereign rights to regulate almost all activities out to their 200-mile boundary. Thus coastal states have clear authority to establish MPAs within their EEZs. However, at present most are located within territorial waters. Read More
This Time, It’s Different
Proceedings, January 2013
A close observer of defense-spending trends takes a look at dollars and sense and the looming budget challenges in the Pentagon.
Defense-budget headlines of late have concentrated on sequestration, as hand-wringing increased about the so-called fiscal cliff. Most coverage has focused on defense officials predicting dire consequences for the Department of Defense (DOD), or industry officials warning of job losses and collapse of certain technology sectors and associated businesses. The U.S. Naval Institute recently hosted Defense Forum Washington with a program titled “The Fiscal Cliff: What Does This Mean for Defense and National Security?” The conference focused on sequestration and its impacts. Speakers and panelists offered different perspectives on impact, ranging from disaster to a mere “pothole,” and on occurrence from irresponsible to a fait accompli that should happen to provoke fundamental changes in DOD.
Cause for Alarm
The Navy’s future leaders should go to General Quarters with so many commanding officers being in the headlines lately.
A young submariner once wrote, “It is integrity that bonds the crew of a submarine so tightly together that when faced with any circumstance, each individual can trust his shipmate to meet the needs of the moment.” This anonymous sailor went on to make the comparison between integrity in professional conduct and the physical integrity of a ship. 1 It seems that officers in today’s Navy need to extend this analogy to address integrity in personal conduct.
Now-retired Vice Admiral Thomas Kilcline brought the issue of personal integrity to the fore in 2010 through a concept called “The Whole Sailor.” 2 Unfortunately, the rate of personal misconduct, specifically among commanding officers (COs), has only increased. In the Summer 2012 Naval War College Review , Navy Captain Mark Light sought to bring attention to integrity problems at the command level through an analysis of COs who were “detached for cause (DFC)” from 1999 to 2010. He pointed out that in 2010, 13 DFCs were due to personal misconduct, compared with a total of 29 in the prededing decade. Since that analysis concluded in 2010, 25 COs (not counting the most recent incident involving the command of the USS Vandegrift [FFG-48]) have been fired for integrity related incidents. 3 Whether or not these numbers represent a real deterioration of integrity among COs—or just heavier focus on personal conduct from senior leadership—a seemingly never-ending stream of embarrassing headlines (“Submarine commander sunk after allegedly faking death to end affair”) and a desensitized tone from the public (“Navy Skippers: The Gift that Keeps on Giving”) are unquestionably cause for alarm. 4
To be fair, senior Navy leaders have not hesitated in taking immediate action. For one, the Navy has been forthright regarding the behavior of its COs. It is easy to find articles about COs being fired for personal misconduct, but it is difficult to find credible instances of the Navy covering up such behavior. Meanwhile, strict new requirements for screening potential commanders, such as written tests, oral boards, and even reviews from peers and subordinates, are being enacted throughout the Fleet. 5 Clearly, the Navy is willing to fight to preserve the standards to which it holds its COs.