Aninteresting follow-up piece by Kate Wiltrout today in the Virginian Pilot, here, on the LCDR Sean Kearns court-martial, coverage here.  If you’ll recall LCDR Kearns, the XOI of the USS SAN ANTONIO, faced a court-martial after one of his sailors died during small boat ops.  LCDR Kearns was acquitted after presenting evidence that the ship went to sea without critical operations manuals and procedures, including small boat launch procedures. 

The story quotes Fleet Forces Commander ADM John Harvey about the case.  His comments discuss the responsibility of leadership in “less than ideal circumstances.  Here is one statement:

The absolute responsibility that you have is the Navy’s greatest strength because it gives you the ability to command. And with that responsibility comes the accountability that ensures command is worth something, and worthy of those we lead.

Worth a read.

6 Responses to “USS SAN ANTONIO Post Script”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I can’t recall any instance of a convening authority doing an interview like this immediately after a court-martial, and certainly after an acquittal. Doesn’t seem like a very good idea. But, he generally seems to have avoided any land mines in his comments.

  2. Charles Gittins says:

    How about some accountability for the Flag officers that sent the ship to sea knowing that it was not really ready? COs can only do so much — they are subject to orders and this CO and his team were constantly telling their chain of command about the problems with this ship. Where is the accountability for the Flags? Or does the accountability chain stop at the CO? A court of inquiry on the defects of this class of ship would be pretty interesting spectacle.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Sadly, that’ll never happen. Shit only seems to roll downhill; never sticks at the top.

  4. Anon. says:

    From what I’ve read in the coverage of this case, the defense team did a great job turning the government’s theory on its head to expose the absurdity of the charge. Perhaps someone who has knowledge of all the facts will be kind enough to post why any judge advocate believed there was PC to support the allegation. An unnecessary death, while tragic, is not PC (take note Grand Forks AFB as you drive down Aquittal Avenue).

  5. Anonymous says:

    Maybe Wuterich should go with this same defense! He didn’t have his Platoon Commander’s Tactical Notebook in Haditha; so we should actually be prosecuting the MEF CG. Hell, an IGs investigation ought to be initiated to see how many people don’t have their PCTN. Because everyone refers to them everytime they go on a mission.

  6. Anon. says:

    Or Acquittal Avenue in North Dakota. I was derelict in my spelling. :)