Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Sailor misconduct characterized as a 'disease'
If it is in fact a disease, the Navy's cure all of punishing the whole for the acts of the few is not close to a remedy for curing misconduct.
Recalling the restrictions on personal liberty imposed during my time on the staff of the Commander, U.S. SEVENTH Fleet aboard USS BLUE RIDGE (LCC-19) , the entire crew and staff (E-1 to O6) were governed by the identical restrictions after a number of liberty incidents. In foreign ports we were not allowed to leave the ship alone. Everyone on board had to depart with a 'buddy' and had to return to the ship with the same 'buddy'. If your 'buddy' didn't want to return to the ship, you were stuck in town overnight.
None of this made sense to anyone and our favorite Marine on the staff confronted our well meaning Chief of Staff and said, "When you issued this directive, I was under the impression it applied to E-4 and below. There is no way this could apply to an E5 or an O5, it just doesn't make sense." The Chief of Staff assured the Colonel that the policy applied "across the board." It was many months before the policy was eased. I always left the ship with a buddy. The Colonel always left the ship alone as a matter of principle. I think the Chief of Staff was okay with that.
Don't punish the whole when you know who the 'at risk' individuals are. Be sensible. Imposing archaic and unreasonable rules on high performing Sailors just doesn't make sense. Our leadership can do better than that.