A King’s Orders To The U.S. Navy – gCaptain
In the wake of the USS John S. McCain incident. “Every Captain in the whole military industrial complex received multiple emails demanding better ship handling from every officer.” said one pilot.” The USNS xxx’s Master said he got over 20 of them… forwarded and cc’d around the globe, covering everyone’s butt.” Another pilot said “I’ve seen these emails. Some are broad but many contain detailed lists of actions that should be taken by crews. None contain anything that will prevent the next collision at sea.”
Most mariners will shake their heads in disgust at this #C.Y.A. mentality but few will flag them as dangerous. Which they most certainly are.
In the short term, C.Y.A. messages send the clear message that mistakes will not be tolerated. The authors of these emails often believe they are doing good by keeping the men on their toes and focused on the problems at hand. They are partly correct, C.Y.A. messages do narrow a crew’s focus. These signals focus the mind on problems – not solutions – they also induce stress and fear and repress original thought. A watchstander needs to approach heavy traffic with plenty of rest, a clear mind and the ability to engage the problems ahead intuitively… not worried about his career and the possibility of being hit by another ship.
#Intrusive_leadership becomes especially dangerous when dictated by leaders who lack training and experience at the helm of a ship. The Secretary of the Navy is a USMC Aviator. Chief Of Naval Operations, Adm. John Richardson, is a submarine commander. Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Bill Moran, is an aviator. Adm. Scott Swift, the commander of the Navy’s Pacific Fleet and the man selected to fix the problems, is an aviator.
In the wake of the USS Fitzgerald incident the small handful of senior U.S. Navy leaders with shipboard experience, like Adm. Michelle Howard, were not dispatched to Japan – where her indomitable leadership might have found solutions – but to ribbon cutting ceremonies in Europe.
Joseph Konrad éditeur de gCaptain reste en pointe…
Il appelle à la rescousse les grands anciens (directive du 21/01/1941)…
And that person is a man with significant watchstanding experience aboard ships, Admiral Ernest J. King, USN, Commander in Chief of Naval forces in WWII.
7. The corollaries of paragraph 6 are:
(a) adopt the premise that the echelon commanders are competent in their several command echelons unless and until they themselves prove otherwise;
(b) teach them that they are not only expected to be competent for their several command echelons but that it is required of them that they be competent;
(c) train them — by guidance and supervision — to exercise foresight, to think, to judge, to decide and to act for themselves;
(d) stop ‘nursing’ them;
(e) finally, train ourselves to be satisfied with ‘acceptable solutions’ even though they are not “staff solutions or other particular solutions that we ourselves prefer.”