Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Monday, March 27, 2006

USS Columbus Hazing Update

[Update 0631 17 Apr: I have another update with much more information here.]

Another post at the Military Life blog for the Kitsap Sun discusses the allegations made of hazing aboard USS Columbus (SSN 762) while in the shipyard for DMP:

"No charges have been filed, but three USS Columbus crew members are in pre-trial custody and a fourth is under investigation in connection with alleged assault on the submarine...
"...No other information is available from the Navy until any charges result from the inquiry, according to Navy public affairs."

Unfortunately (or fortunately) I have to play "Sergeant Schultz" on this one. Don't expect to see any posts from me defending the alleged perpetrators, though.


Blogger bitterbadfish said...

Apparently, some of you do not know or have not experienced what life is like on a fast attack sub in the shipyard. The fact the it took this kid several months to bring these incidents up and then went to officials instead of going to senior officers at the Command suggest that this kid is lying or the Command is not trusted enough such that an individual can bring up problems like this. My guess is that this kid just wants off the boat and doesn't care how at this point. If you find this hard to believe or think I am full of it, you apparently have not been on a fast attack sub in a shipyard environment. Also, to the blogger blaming the crew and suggesting that it is somewhat incompetent, I challenge you to try to be a submariner that actually works during one of these availabilities (a.k.a. a nuke and not some slack coner). You are obviously a coner or an officer and do not have a true appreciation of exactly what goes on back aft. I'm sure that there some of the accused did give this kid some grief as he was trying to make it through his qualifications; however, are we trying to raise and qualify a bunch of pansies? If you can't handle the joking that goes on in the subforce, then you should be removed from the situation, not those that have handled it and have actually experienced the environment. I know this kid had problems throughout his quals and is just using these incidents as a way to get out. I believe he is a coward and refuses to take responsibility for his actions and misfortunes. Unfortunately, the Navy cradles these people in an effort to make everyone equal and feel better about themselves. WAKE UP AMERICA! INDECISION AND BLAMING EVERYONE ELSE IS AN EPIDEMIC THAT NEEDS TO BE DEALT WITH. Believe the facts when they are finally released and not the media's hype - they're trying to sell newspapers and air time.

4/18/2006 4:39 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cannot disagree more. I served on the Columbus, in 3 shipyard availabilities, and I was a nuke. I fully agree that the shipyard periods were among the most miserable times in my entinre life. It was awful. The long hours of thankless, endless bullshit never ended. However, what these guys did is inexcusable. I assume from reading the news clips that they are more than likely A-gangers, sorry guys, but if the shoe fits.... Lighting someone on fire is reprehensible. Even more deplorable, pointing a loaded weapon at a shipmate cannot be forgiven.

Nubs that slack during their quals have frustrated everyone. We treated them like crap, but would any respectable submariner jeopardize their life? why not just leave them to burn in an onboard fire? I cannot imagine anything that, even the biggest piece of crap on the boat, can do to deserve this.

I think we all know what happened. the shipyard life is hard. Sailors got frustrated, wanted to blow off some steam, and things went way to far. Now things are spiraling out of control, leading to lies and cover-ups. What happened was not mild joking or taping someone up. It could have been deadly.

Submariners are supposed to be the elite of the Navy. Nukes are the elite of the submarine force. this demands a proffesional work ethic and behavior at all times. Anyone who has ever serves in the engine room an a fast attack boat knows what i am talking about. I think we have all gotten carried away on a spec-op or during a shipyard upkeep, but that doesn't mean it was right.

Being a nuke on a fast attack boat is the smartest decision I have ever made. I have alot of pride in what we did and I have alot of fond memories ( and some not so fond), but the line needs to be drawn somewhere. When it comes to endangering someone else, there should be no tolerance.

The atmosphere on that boat was poisonous 8 years ago, and it sounds like it is now. Everyone who fries for this had it coming, from the captain on down. I wouldn't lose any sleep over watching every goldbelt on board forced into retirement. They create the mood and setting of the boat, and whether you want to admitt it or not, they allowed it to happen.

4/18/2006 12:27 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a former Engineering Department Qualification Officer (actually a senior blue shirt) on a Fast and Black in the late 80's. I call the actions of this crew (if true) criminal. My Eng found that we needed a better qual rate and appointed me the EDQO, with the authority to do what it took to maintain a 110% qual rate on nubs.
This was not an easy task for Staff Scrape Up E6 who had never seen a down angle before he reported to the boat during ORSE workups and had the nerve to tell the CO and the rest of the ORSE drill team " Captain your watchstanders are unproffessional and display none of the formality normally associated with qualified Navy Nucs". Within minutes my name was mud aft of the "tunnel", but I had a detailed critique of watchstander defiencies that the Eng saw so he appointed me as the first EDQO in our squadron. Although i was also a nub in addition to my own quals I was remorsless in tracking down and correctin "dinks" and even sentenced myself to the boat when I fell behind. Hated and despised i routinely assigned extra duty inport and in the worst cases kicked dinks out of the barracks to live onboard (no worse punishment can be had on weekly ops). Harrasement from peers goes a long way, but an informed command team taking action is the best way to deal with these situations. If a guy actually pulled a loaded weapon at a shipmate (how did he get permission to load anyway) he needs some serious brig time and a Big Chicken Dinner. The type of command structure that urns over the important role of qualifications to "mess deck justice" is highly questionable.

PPS I found my years as an overworked RCLPO, EDQO, and Ships Drill Coordinator to be the most satisfying in my 35 years as a Naval and Civillian NUC. God Bless Fast Attack.

7/05/2006 3:36 PM


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