Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The United States Navy

“There is no black Navy, no white Navy—just one Navy—the United States Navy.”

Admiral Elmo R.Zumwalt Jr. USNA ’43,
“Equal Opportunity in the Navy”(1970)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Captain Lambert,

I have been retired from the Navy for more years than I served, I retired in 1978. There have always been changes to attitudes and performance requirements since the Navy was first formed and probably as many changes have evolved since the Chiefs birthday 116 years ago than all the years before that. In my time there were a number of radical changes that affected Navy leadership and in particular the status of the CPO in the Navy, Admiral Zumwalt wanted to be the Sailors friend and had the power to implement many changes that severely fractured the standard of the Chain of Command that we as Sailors had known since we first entered the Navy. The Admiral would take up any complaint that a Sailor had, and that complaint did not have to proceed through the Chain of Command, an enlisted man could voice his opinion to the Admiral and a Z-Gram might result from that conversation, which the Admiral invited. The end result of these conversations was the reduction of what enlisted Sailors and the CNO referred to as chicken regulations; like not being able to wear the working uniform ashore, which was dungarees at the time. No liberty cards required, no line handling except in dungarees, no changing out of the dungaree uniform after working hours, and shifting to the uniform of the day. Let Sailors grow beards and sideburns and longer hair. There were 60 some Z Grams each one extending some liberal thing to mostly the enlisted Sailors of the Navy at that time. There were many changes to the routine that a Sailor had been required to observe before that time. Many of these changes took away from the authority of the Officers and CPO’s, the Admiral evidently did not know that he was violating the Chain of Command, as it had been established more than 150 years before that time, and the Navy suffered due to that for many years. The Navy is still trying to repair that damage when the MCPO of the Navy has to say such things to CPO’s as Sailor up, or other phrases such as that. Then tell them they are doing fine, BUT, that is not the word he used, but it is what he implied.

Most of the Z Grams in my opinion were nothing but fancy dressing and if one would check today I would expect that they would find 99% of them are not in effect today, I would expect the reason for that would be that they were nothing but fancy dressing. And a Navy should exist on good order and discipline as it had previously. I am not saying that Admiral Zumwalt did every thing wrong but he did not assist the Navy a great deal toward achieving its ultimate objective of security of our country and the high seas of the world.

Captain the following is some of your words from; “I Like The Cut Of his Jib!!”
As a petty officer, I never spoke to my division officer; there was never a need. My leading petty
officer was the beginning and the chief was the end of the chain of command forme and the other Sailors in our division. Things have changed too much. Today it is not uncommon for Sailors of nearly every paygrade to approach officers to ask for one thing or another. Stop!
Send them back to their chief.

The foregoing problem was perpetrated by the CNO in his drive to achieve what he felt were the goals of the Navy. It will probably be another 50 years before the Navy gains complete recovery from those policies.

Very Respectfully,