Recommendations from the Navy Times Editorial includes the suggestion that "The Navy can do three things to try to solve this problem:
■ Use shame as a deterrent. A 2007 Fleet Forces Command Inspector General report on command firings recommended wider public release of basic facts relating to these cases, so that examples could be made of officers who flouted the rules or made egregious errors. The idea was dismissed at the time as “not warranted.” It should be implemented today.
■ Show the total officer to command screening boards. The officers who select future COs get plenty of official information, including fitness reports and assignment histories, on every candidate. What they don’t get to see is how this officer is viewed by his peers and subordinates. Full 360-degree peer reviews would provide a clearer picture than anything else as to how an officer will be viewed by subordinates if given the chance to command.
■ Lengthen command tours. The opportunity to take command is a privilege, reserved for the most capable officers. Longer tours would reduce the number of commanding officers needed, raising the bar for getting selected, and allowing boards to more thoroughly scrutinize candidates.
The Navy’s record on commanding officers isn’t bad. But it could be (much) better. It’s time to reassess and improve the commanding officer selection process, to ensure only those most worthy get the opportunity."
Admiral Robert Natter says, "You can't make exceptions with people in authority, especially for commanding officers. Occasionally, I could make an exception for young seamen because the ramifications of their actions are totally different. You expect young kids to get in trouble. But not someone responsible for 300 people."