Friday, August 13, 2010

USS Gunston Hall's new Chain of Command is under construction

The USS Gunston Hall's webmaster is busy today reconstructing the chain of command page for the ship's official website. USS Gunston Hall's commanding officer, Commander Fred Wilhelm, was fired this week following Admiral's Mast. The CO was charged with with sexual harassment, maltreatment of a subordinate, simple assault, conduct unbecoming an officer, drunk and disorderly conduct and use of indecent language.

The XO was charged with dereliction of duty, while the CMC was charged with dereliction of duty, sexual harassment and simple assault. The XO and CMC had been relieved on schedule while the investigation was taking place.

That's a lot of bad stuff happening on a single ship. Worse yet is that it was perpetrated by the three senior most leaders of the ship. There's a lesson in leadership there for us but the Navy is not going to give us enough information to develop a proper lesson plan.

In thinking about this case, seems we take Sailors to Court-Martial for lessor offenses.

Commander Wilhelm was the ELEVENTH Commanding Officer fired this year. Last year the Navy publicly announced 15 CO firings.

CMDCM(SS) Wayne Owings, the former CMC, had been well thought of by senior Navy leadership. He sat the FY-08 ACTIVE-DUTY SENIOR CHIEF PETTY OFFICER SELECTION BOARD MEMBERSHIP as a member.

20 comments:

Gunston Hall Sailor said...

The three of them are a disgrace to our Navy. Good riddence.

Sean Heritage said...

Once again proving that failure is a choice.

Anonymous said...

Captain Lambert,

I see that the impervious system of the present military has found another Commanding Officer and Executive Officer at fault along with the senior enlisted person of the command. These folks probably failed to observe the ordained rules of the present administration, very likely these guilty individuals were Caucasian and not of the preferred status that is presently in favor of those of higher authority.
The Navy and Military superiors of all services have made a clear choice to give preference to individuals of minority status and some perverted individuals. I am afraid that I can no longer support the Military and Naval ideology. Even though I spent most of my productive life in the United States Navy, It makes me very sad to see what I consider to be a constant degradation of the service’s.

Very Respectfully,
Navyman834

Let me add a note to the findings of whoever generated this wording on this post. The senior enlisted man CMDCM(SS), Wayne Owings is not the third senior member or the ships complement, every officer on board that ship or Warrant officer is senior to this enlisted individual. He may have acted as though he was the senior to other officers, but in fact he was not.

Captain - Special Duty Cryptology said...

In today's Navy, the CMC is an essential member of the leadership triad. While he/she may not be the third most senior person on the ship, the CMC wields nearly as much authority as the XO/CO, particularly with the enlisted Sailors. Yes, all of the officers are senior to the CMC but the CO/XO/CMC make up the leadership triad.

hahaha said...

I read in another article that the CO was also convicted of tickling and poking subordinates. I guess that means no more tickle fights. The Navy is really going downhill.

DieselTech said...

Before I start, You are absolutely correct on the Leadership triad. CO/XO/CMC . Officers rank is officially above the CMC, but no one really argues with 20+ years of experience. As far as all of their behavior on deployment, all I can say is "Childish". The CO was getting completely and utterly intoxicated. I personally saw 2 of the three leadership crawling up the brow on their hands and knees missing articles of clothing. Multiple times! As far as the sexual harassment on the ship, it was ship wide and nothing was ever done about it unless it was junior personnel. E-4 and below getting sent to mast for being seen kissing out in town, while the CO and CMC were groping and fondling JO's. This leadership will certainly leave a black mark on some people's opinions of Naval leadership, but it's not typical. There are some really excellent mentors and leaders in this organization, unfortunately it takes weeding out the bad ones to find them.
Want a little bit of irony the reporters aren't telling you, the CO that relieved Wilhelm, is a dear friend of his and has been for some 15 years. How do you think that crew is really doing now??

Captain - Special Duty Cryptology said...

DieselTech

Appreciate your candor. I think we've seen it all before. On a drive through Honolulu in the 1980s, my wife and I picked up the CO/XO of Antietam and brought them back to their ship. I don't know how they ever made it across the QDeck but thankfully they had the sense not to drink and drive. I can see the CO/XO at Captain's Mast giving some E-6 or below ABSOLUTE HELL for doing the same thing. I hate it.

stephen said...

Paying now for what was tolerated long ago...

Once again the many sacrificed for the few.

Somewhere, someplace, sometime ago, someone senior decided to look the other way.

Anonymous said...

All incredible...shameful really, in any day and age!

If a CO is not on his toes his entire tour he ought to be. He MUST set the absolute moral standard for the Wardroom and the crew to follow. Otherwise, the entire ship will follow his lead down that slippery slope. Hearing about CO's crawling up the brow is truly sad.

Future CO's should consider a few things in order to ensure success. One such thing would be to refrain from drinking altogether, or at least refrain from ever getting drunk. This is a small sacrifice to pay for the relatively short tour of a CO.

They must also remember that it is lonely at the top. They can't be anyone's best friend, drinking buddy, or other. He must isolate himself to some extent, from both the Wardroom and the crew. Yes, it is lonely at the top. But there is a reason for that.

Commanding a ship is a privilege few in the Navy will ever enjoy. To throw it all away over some booze or an inappropriate relationship is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

I'm not familiar with the particulars of these incidents and in no way do I condon drinking to the point of incapacitation but, to suggest that someone should completely refrain from drinking for 18 months seems extreme. Should SECDEF refrain from drinking, or your pastor, or each LCPO???? Modeling responsible consumption of alcohol is something every leader should be able to do.

Anonymous said...

CMC Owings eas the sorriest Chief I ever served with. The comments that came out of his mouth about female Sailors were disgusting. I am not suprised to see what has come of this. It is a real shame when mothers and fathers end their daughters out in the world to serve their country with honor and they fall victim to what is essentially an older sexual predator. This would never be tolerated in our schools and universities but somehow onboard a US Navy ship it has become the norm.

OS1 Bohica said...

Served onboard Gunston Hall late
90's...Was my first ship w/ a female crew...sure, we had to change a few things to accomodate, but we had fraternization issues then too. The CO then was a known drinker but he kept it under control more than these knuckleheads...Our Ops Boss at the time was sent away for alchol problems, so it sounds like nothing new, but how it got so crazy there is mystifing...sounds like nobody wanted to "makes waves"

Anonymous said...

I know this is an old post, but I have served with all 3 of the people listed. The Gunston Hall, while a good place to meet friends, was littered with garbage for upper management and they were a big reason why I decided to get out of the Navy after 8 years (5 of which was on the Gunston Hall). Almost everyone drinks onboard (and I have plenty of pictures of it too), but most can handle themselves. When I first checked onboard, CDR Wilhelm was the XO and we had a great CMC. CDR Wilhelm was a pretty quiet and nice guy. CMC Owings on the other hand... But with rank less than that of an E7, you have to just tolerate what the upper chain does. Hypocrites.

Anonymous said...

I served aboard this great ship during Desert Storm and we had a Marine officer end up in the Medical ward because he was so drunk. The next day he was before the CO of his unit and was punished it for it. It is such a shame to see a CO and CMC fall from grace this way.

Anonymous said...

I feel it's a mistake for those who knew nothing of the incidents to comment. There are many that believe that members of the military should NEVER curse, drink or get tattoos. Some of those were onboard, on their first sea duty tour and filed complaints. I did not witness each incident, but I do know there are two sides, and that the XO successfully appealed his verdict.

Anonymous said...

And the CO was guilty as charged.

Unknown said...

Okay, I served under all three and can clarify they were all garbage. The XO wasn't by any means a good officer, but I don't believe he was as bad as the other two. He just refused to report on what he knew was going on. He had it in him to be a good officer but was too scared to step up I suppose. The CMC was a tremendous hypocrite and along with Wilhelm, a pretty big pervert. I personally saw how he groped junior enlisted out on liberty and their uncomfortable expressions. It wasn't until one of them was under some heat over some petty stuff that she stepped up, and it opened up a massive can of worms. This is only the half of it. What you don't know about is the entire chief's mess that was doing the same stuff. Can't get em all I suppose.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I served under all three and can clarify they were all garbage. The XO wasn't by any means a good officer, but I don't believe he was as bad as the other two. He just refused to report on what he knew was going on. He had it in him to be a good officer but was too scared to step up I suppose. The CMC was a tremendous hypocrite and along with Wilhelm, a pretty big pervert. I personally saw how he groped junior enlisted out on liberty and their uncomfortable expressions. It wasn't until one of them was under some heat over some petty stuff that she stepped up, and it opened up a massive can of worms. This is only the half of it. What you don't know about is the entire chief's mess that was doing the same stuff. Can't get em all I suppose.

Unknown said...

I served with the little fat bastard when he was the XO of the ship from 02,04 and guess what he was sexually harassing junior enlisted then. So happy something was done about him and thankful I left before he became the CO!

Unknown said...

I served with the little fat bastard when he was the XO of the ship from 02,04 and guess what he was sexually harassing junior enlisted then. So happy something was done about him and thankful I left before he became the CO!