Here is the latest in new DoN leadership flameouts. DoN apparently beat its record of futility with more leadership failures this year than last, according to Navy Times’ stats.

7 Responses to “Navy Times – Two [more] skippers fired for alleged misconduct”

  1. Zachary Spilman says:

    The more I think about this, the more I feel that this isn’t a sign of things gone wrong, it’s a sign of things going right.

    For instance: http://nation.time.com/2012/10/29/generally-mediocre/

    In World War II, it was expected that a certain percentage of generals would fail and be sacked, and so the occasional relief was seen as evidence that the system was working as expected.

  2. Mike "No Man" Navarre says:

    I would agree if these guys were sacked for incompetence or inability. But they are getting canned for misconduct and things like failing to keep their pants firmly buckled at the waist. That seems like az failure of the leadership ethos and arrogance.

  3. Christopher Mathews says:

    I don’t have a Navy background, so I can’t comment on DON’s difficulties … other than to say, on behalf of DAF alumni everywhere: been there, done that, got the headlines, and grateful to let someone else have the spotlight.  See, e.g., Fiscus, Murphy, et al.

    Also, I truly enjoyed this line from the Navy Times article:  “For Williams, the firing is a blemish on a highlight-filled career.”  Ya think? 

  4. Zachary Spilman says:

    I would agree if these guys were sacked for incompetence or inability. But they are getting canned for misconduct and things like failing to keep their pants firmly buckled at the waist.

    You’re right (though I recall at least a few proficiency-related firings over the past year), and you make a good point. The consequences of a military leader’s immorality pale in comparison to the consequences of his technical and tactical incompetence.

  5. Mike "No Man" Navarre says:

    Good point Zee, so this year and last are a mixed bag.  The miscounduct stuff is just pushing us past “normal.” But you have to wonder why there’s been so much senior officer misconduct lately.  A similar and relatively newsworthy incident I think also occurred recently with a former Army officer . . . .

  6. SFC V says:

     It’s easy to fire someone for even minor misconduct but getting rid of them for incompetence is tough at least from my experience in the Army.  It requires a great deal of effort on the part of leaders to build a reocrd and prove that they were given the oportunity to correct their deficiencies and failed to do so.

          

  7. Some Army Guy says:

    SFC V — The standard for firing a commander in the Army is that you have lost faith in his/her ability to command.  Frankly, that’s a very low standard that is easy to meet.

    The problem is that we (commanders, often abetted by JAs) are too soft and scared to stand up for this.  Senior leaders (the GOs who have final approval authority) won’t show the courage to support their lower level commanders who want to fire another commander. 

    Unfortunately, our commanders are too risk-averse — and I think they’re that way partly because their legal advisors have helped raise a generation of leaders who believe we need a stack of counseling statements before we can fire that commander.