Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Liberty - not very liberating

Our Navy is somewhat unique in how it treats time-off (off duty hours = liberty) for its service members. We've taken a punish (restrictions on liberty) the 'whole' for the actions of the few (or even one). This process has not worked, is not working and will not work. Realists (Sailors) understand this. Somehow, senior officers do not.

I can recall the liberty rules for Commander, SEVENTH Fleet (C7F) Staff embarked aboard USS BLUE RIDGE (LCC-19) in the mid 1990s. Due to 'liberty incidents', we (all of us - E1 to O6) were required to have a 'liberty buddy' to leave the ship. And, we were required to return to the ship with the same 'liberty buddy' we left with. We had a USMC Colonel (Bill Wesley) who challenged the C7F Chief of Staff (CoS) and said that it was Colonel Wesley's view that this rule could not possibly apply to anyone on the staff above E3. The CoS assured the Colonel that it applied to All Hands. The Colonel simply said "Bullsh*t" and walked off the ship alone. As a Lieutenant Commander at the time, I either found a 'buddy' or simply remained on the ship. I had much more to worry about with regard to my future career than did the Colonel.

You can read about other Sailors' opinions at NAVY TIMES.


Anonymous said...

I woulda made Colonel Bill Wesley MY liberty buddy:-)

Captain - Special Duty Cryptology said...

I would have loved to have him as a buddy. He didn't hang out with the JOs.