Thursday, March 3, 2011

Third Navy Commanding Officer Fired in 2011

Having completed just two months in command, Commander Nathan Borchers, USS STOUT, was fired by Vice Admiral Harry Harris, Commander SIXTH Fleet for loss of confidence. Eight other members of his crew were also removed from USS STOUT, including the Command Master Chief. 

He is the third Navy CO fired in 2011.  Captain Opie Honors (USS ENTERPRISE) was the first and Captain Rex Guinn (NRLO Japan) was the second.

Commander Nathan Borchers is a native of Sidney, Nebraska and graduated in 1993 with a Bachelors degree in Physics from the University of Nebraska. Upon graduation and commissioning as an Ensign, he completed the Naval Nuclear Power training program.

Commander Borchers’ first sea duty was aboard USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN 69) where he served as the Reactor Mechanical Division Officer and Chemistry and Radiological Controls Assistant. His next tour was in USS MITSCHER (DDG 57) where he served as Assistant Operations Officer and Training Officer.  These tours included two deployments to the Adriatic Sea in support of NATO operations.

Following his Division Officer tours, Commander Borchers served as the Plant Evaluation Officer at the Nuclear Power Training Unit on Charleston, South Carolina. During this tour he received a Masters in Mathematics from the University of Charleston.

After successful completion of Department Head School, Commander Borchers served as the Combat Systems Officer in USS KAUFFMAN (FFG 59). This tour included a deployment to the Arabian Gulf conducting Maritime Interception Operations in support of United Nations resolutions.  Next, he served aboard USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65) as the Main Propulsion Assistant during Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom.  Commander Borchers also served as Executive Officer onboard USS STETHEM (DDG 63) as part of the Navy’s Forward Deployed Naval Forces in Japan.

Commander Borchers’ second shore tour was on the Joint Staff, J-8, where he served as an Action Officer in the Force Application Division.

Commander Borchers has been awarded The Admiral Ben Moreell award for Logistics Excellence by the Navy League of America and the Admiral James L. Holloway III leadership award by the Stennis Center. Personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal (4) and the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal (5).


Rubber Ducky said...

It really helps if the CO walks the ship - takes "a daily turn about decks" - and knows what's going on in his crew, afloat and ashore. I understand this guy wasn't in the job very long (3 months?). From discussions in other blogs I get the picture of a guy who parachuted in, didn't dig deep enough to know he had a sick crew, and blithely stayed above the fray. And part of his firing was for sandbagging his ISIC; that's usually a bad idea.

The surface navy does work on command-quality issues all the time, but it also has saddled itself with lock-step tour lengths and a system with command-opportunity as the primary driver. That means that there're a lot more new kids in command each year than would be in a system that factored in command performance in deciding tour length for COs, giving the good ones a bonus year or two.

Anonymous said...

Would be nice to get a little more background on this. Per the Virginian-Pilot newspaper, the CO has been onboard since December. He and the CMC were removed over concerns about “a pervasive pattern of unprofessional behavior in overseas ports and a substandard command climate.”

Although anything can happen, seems this type of behavior wouldn't develop in a three-to-four month period. Must have been something brewing over a longer period of time.

What am I missing?

Anonymous said...

Also removed from the ship was another officer, six chiefs and a petty officer. So it seems there was a failure of leadership up and down the CoC.

Anonymous said...

The USS Stout (DDG 55) according to the following link has been in severe trouble for at least 2 years. Having been aboard for only two months it would appear that Commander Nathan Borchers was lead piped with this command tour.

Around 6 or 7 Chiefs including the CMC were also removed from the ship at the same time. Looks like the Navy has very serious problems to overcome.


Anonymous said...

Including the ship's CTTC.

Rick T. said...

Ok, what's not said here is that most of the senior leadership on this ship were sexually involved with themselves and other members of the crew. I do not know if the CO was involved, but if not, he should have been aware. You cannot keep these things secret althought the Navy tries hard.

Anybody who wonders why a highly trained CO is fired after two months after an otherwise stellar career should go ahead and make this assumption - it is the unspoken truth about our Navy today.