Thursday, July 1, 2010

Number 10 - Loss of confidence in his ability to command

Capt. William Kiestler, commanding officer of Norfolk Naval Shipyard was fired on 30 June 2010. Vice Adm. Kevin McCoy, commander of Naval Sea Systems Command, cited a loss of confidence in Kiestler’s ability to command.

Captain Kiestler failed to ensure critical maintenance work was being performed according to procedure and loss of situational awareness with respect to the status of ongoing submarine projects.

Considering the state of Navy materiel readiness these days, we should expect to see more of this.


Anonymous said...

Three posts ago you said the Navy can't operate its equipment and now you say they can't maintain or repair it. What can the Navy do? I'm curious.

Anonymous said...

We can play football at the D1 level.

Anonymous said...

Although the CO is ultimately responsible, his people should also share the blame, XO/DEPT heads/CMC/LCPO and LPO's should be going right along with him. We are in the "I" will not get in trouble instead of we will not get in trouble, the "we" ensures the team concept and success, not failure.

Anonymous said...

We are over halfway through the year and now have had 10...yes 10 major and minor Commanding Officers relieved for cause. From everything from a "loss of confidence to command," a command climate where senior enlisted leadership was forced to take "time outs" in angle irons on the ship and CO's who just couldn't keep their sexual peccadillos to themselves...from "fooling around with the help" or going out in town looking for prostitutes.

I would argue that the problem we are having is not WHO we are selecting for milestones and command, but HOW. I recently commented on a blog piece on this sight where the FITREP and Selection Board system is beyond broken. These fired CO's are the result of that broken FITREP and selection board system.

The plurality of senior Navy leaders that are selected for promotion and command are competent and are good for our commands, our people and our Navy, but the ten people that have been fired this year and the CO's and OIC's that have been fired in previous years are the folks that "fell through the cracks" of this broken system. These fired CO's most likely had problems earlier in their career that were not properly and honestly documented by their CO's and Reporting Seniors in FITREPs. Most likely, these RS's and CO's "gamed" the system.

If... and I say IF the system of selecting these folks for promotion and milestone assignments has worked properly, I seriously doubt we would be reading about the "Navy's Shame" on the front pages of Navy Times in increasing numbers.

I would also argue that the "top talent" that didn't get selected for milestones and promotion and ended up on the cutting room floor, that talent was/is now being wasted in BS jobs at a "terminal paygrade" or is being utilized and being handsomely paid for in the private sector.

We MUST get away from gaming the system on FITREPS, ending the "zero defect" mentality of evaluating our officers on FITREPS and selection boards and begin a culture of "truth in advertising" and "quality content" for evaulation and selection. If we do not, the trend of fired CO's will continue from now into infinity.

My 0.02.

Anonymous said...

Talk about being set up to fail. How could this guy succeed with the current state of Navy maintenance?

Anonymous said...

The number of COs relieved for cause already this year is a concern. However, consideration has to be given to the number of CO positions in the Navy and how many officers have successful command assignments. I'm confident the "good" percentage will far outweigh the "bad" percentage.

Again, it isn't to say the failure rate is tolerable. It isn't. But no one has been talking about the Navy-wide success rate. Glass half full?

This also isn't to say that "My 0.02" doesn't have valid points. There always is room for improving the FITREP and command selection processes. It could be that such improvements would lead to detecting whatever character flaws that result in these types of relievings. We'll never know.

As for being set up for failure, no one can hide behind the overall state of Navy readiness. COs have a duty to carry out the command's mission. There are processes for addressing / reporting inabilities. It appears this CO didn't have the proper processes in place / enforced that would keep him informed so he could take the appropriate action -- "...failed to ensure critical maintenance work was being performed according to procedure and loss of situational awareness with respect to the status of ongoing submarine projects."