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.)

Friday, October 12, 2007

USS Hampton In New Home Port

I just realized I hadn't mentioned USS Hampton's recent move to her new homeport. She arrived in San Diego back on September 18th at the end of a seven month deployment, so her crew should just be getting off post-deployment stand-down now.

I really hope there isn't any bad news coming out about the Hampton or her crew in the very near future.

Staying at PD...

Update 2119 12 Oct: Well, there was bad news for the Hampton. From Navy Times:
The fast attack submarine Hampton, which completed an overseas deployment last month, is under investigation for unspecified reasons, Navy officials said Friday afternoon.
“During a routine review ... conduct of procedures, although found to be safe, fell short of high Navy standards,” Submarine Squadron 11 officials said in a release, provided by spokeswoman Lt. Alli Myrick.
Capt. Chip Jaenichen, squadron commander, ordered an investigation under the Judge Advocate General’s Manual, or JAGMan, after some “issues” surfaced while the submarine and squadron were preparing for a normal end-of-deployment examination, Myrick said...
...Already, one officer and several enlisted sailors have received disciplinary action, Myrick said. No details were available late Friday...
...Hampton will remain in port and not conduct operations until the investigation is completed “and the Navy’s high standards are met” as a precautionary measure, officials said.
“Right now, it’s not leaving the pier, it’s not getting underway,” Myrick said. The submarine also had completed a standdown.
Sounds to me like they got their "keys taken away" by the normal organization that does that sort of thing. Word on the street is that it's pretty ugly.

Staying at PD...

56 Comments:

Anonymous JustADude said...

Also remember to honor the memory of the USS Cole.

10/13/2007 12:22 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joel, you haven't been seeing the wondermous reading that has been generated via zozzzzzz's. There is a big hammer going to be swinging on the engineering department and I expect quite a few to go away.

10/13/2007 1:43 AM

 
Blogger J120 Bowman said...

That boat is bad luck! Right after they became operational out of the shipyard, they had an underway in which they forgot to stow the outboard for a week long underway. Needless to say, they far exceeded the speed limit for it. They figured it out when coming back into port and it was already down when they went to lower it! Oops! I seem to remember a Hampton CO in the mid 90's who had some accusations of crew abuse as well. The Squadron 8 Commodore liked him, so not much happened. CSL didn't agree, and the Commodore's career went south after that!

10/13/2007 7:12 AM

 
Blogger E.P. said...

I agree, it sounds like the keys are gone. I can only imagine the pain.
Stories like this make me glad I'm not a nuke anymore.

10/13/2007 10:35 AM

 
Anonymous mm1(ss) said...

As a Hampton plankowner and former nuke it would be interesting to hear what happened

10/13/2007 3:03 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like the Helena has been relieved of it's duties as the red headed stepchild of CSS11.

Doesn't seem by the timing of it that it was a face to face turnover. Of course it could just be a temporary assignment and we won't know for sure until the Helena gets back from deployment.

10/13/2007 3:56 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if it was anything to do with the youtube post?

10/13/2007 4:18 PM

 
Blogger Bubblehead said...

As far as I've heard, it has nothing to do with the YouTube post; the article says the problems came up during workups for a routine end-of-deployment inspection (that means TRE or ORSE, most likely), and the video wasn't posted until a couple of weeks ago.

10/13/2007 4:21 PM

 
Blogger midwatchcowboy said...

I think this sign applies.

10/15/2007 1:17 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where can i see this YouTube video? ive looked all over YouTube for it.

10/15/2007 5:03 PM

 
Blogger Bubblehead said...

The video being discussed can be found here.

10/16/2007 11:13 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our wardroom got a brief today from the CO, who had breakfast with an admiral yesterday. Apparently NavSea '08 has referred to a division of the engineering folks as a "culture of criminals" (yes, actual words spoken by the CO). Won't say which division, but anyone who's spent time in the engine room is likely to guess correctly.

10/17/2007 8:01 PM

 
Anonymous Former CRA said...

My guess: RL.

10/17/2007 8:23 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah yes, the egg stealers....

10/17/2007 8:41 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I gotta agree with former CRA. When I hear criminals, I think, in the following order, A-gang, M-div, ELT's. I can't imagine A-gang or M-div being able to do anything bad enough to get the keys taken away.

10/18/2007 12:02 PM

 
Anonymous Former CRA said...

I was also former DCA...so I guess they trusted me with ALL the 'criminals.' It would be hard to have your keys taken via A-gang, but the powers that be are treating the diesel and AMR as Rx safety...so I guess if you gaffed that your EDG worked, maybe.
My money is still on RL.

10/18/2007 2:20 PM

 
Anonymous Former CRA said...

I was also a former DCA...so I guess they trusted me with ALL the 'criminals.' It would be hard to have your keys taken via A-gang, but the powers that be are treating the diesel and AMR as Rx safety...so I guess if you gaffed that your EDG worked, maybe.
My money is still on RL.

10/18/2007 2:20 PM

 
Anonymous Former Doc said...

Well if the good reading has been from zozzzzzzzzzz's then you can narrow it down. A-gangers putting amine in the hydrolics (see another Norfolk Boat) didn't cause this much trouble. So it's not A-gang. As for the theroy's of the YOUTUBE video, don't think so. If a CS doing a 1/2 way night dance with the CO didn't make this noise then you can rule that out. Now for M-Div, I may or may not have seen them test the temps of North Pole Seawater by placing body parts (use your imagination) on the MSW Pumps. Other than that and a couple of TDU compacting situations, those guys are are pretty harmless. SO this would narrow it down to just one Division.

Former CRA? Would you also be a good swimmer? Give me a call, my number hasn't changed.

10/18/2007 3:32 PM

 
Anonymous Former DOC said...

LOL, Just watched the YOUTUBE video. That was great!!! With the exception of a 2-3 nukes, those were all forward guys. So not worthy of a zozz msg.

10/18/2007 3:38 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was on the Hampton during this deployment (transferred off shortly before the underway that has recently made them famous). The place was not so much bad luck as it was a culture of hatred towards the upper echelon. Some people were unapproachable and very unreasonable in their expectations (not to mention a huge hippocrite). I can say first hand that people did what they had to do to survive there. Over 70 people got out of submarines for "health reasons" while I was there. But squadron did nothing because we were accomplishing the mission (i.e. going from a 14 month DMP to WestPac deployment in 10 months). I only wish I was free to say more, but suffice it to say they were in no way criminals. Just guys like you and me trying to do the best they could with the cards they were dealt.

10/18/2007 5:26 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also transferred off of the Hampton right before their deployment. I agree wholeheartedly with the comment above. I know they guys who got in trouble, and they're not bad guys. They were trying to make ends meet and keep the boat doing its job in the worst possible command climate. They are the casualties of a bad CO and XO.

10/18/2007 6:53 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey teammates. Fellow ELT here (still in the navy). We all heard what happened and it is quite bad. This is going to be a ripple effect hitting everyone. Standby if you know what i'm saying. I've gotten all my stuff dug through twice already this month.... (P.S. thanks for instantly assuming RL, its nice to be infamous worldwide)

10/18/2007 8:43 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A representative from an "outside agency" asked to speak to an ELT about a bag that was improperly j-sealed...

NR: Can I see your chem-check binder?

ELT: We don't keep that binder anymore. It's stupid.

NR: Well, is there an instruction to support that decision.

ELT: We don't follow procedures on this boat. It seems to just get in the way of doing stuff, sir. Like TLDs... We don't wear those either.

NR: What?!? Where are the TLDs?

ELT: We compacted them all and shot them out the TDU with the liquor bottles and used condomns.

NR: You guys had liquor on board?

ELT: Yes sir. But we kept it all in the RC-Div workbench. And the EDMC wouldn't let us drink during the first half of our watch.

NR: You drank during the second half of your watch?!?!?

ELT: Yes, sir. When I wasn't high.

Hearing this, the monitor called his supervisor, and the squadron commodore was immediately on the boat.

Commodore: MM2, can I see your chem-check binder?

ELT: Sure. Here it is. [It was up to date.]

Commodore: Do you have all of the applicable ship's instructions?

ELT: Absolutely sir. [He pointed to every book that he would ever need.]

Commodore: Where are your TLD's?

ELT: I've got one in the reader, one on my belt, and the others are being worn.

[Sure enough, it all checked out.]

Commodore: Would you mind taking a drug test? I was told you said you drink on watch, and routinely get high.

ELT: No problem, sir. [He went to the corpsman, pissed, and was clean.]

Commodore: I don't understand this. NR told me that you don't keep a chem-check, don't use procedures, don't wear TLD's, drink on watch and get high.

ELT: Yeah, I'll bet the lying son-of-a-b*tch told you I don't know how to j-seal, too.

10/19/2007 10:40 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The NR back & forth is clearly from an ELT, and probably accurate. The poor ELTs have to deal with 08R, which not even the Admiral should have to do. That pain and suffering might explain the generic ELT's desire to never leave the rack.

10/19/2007 9:55 PM

 
Blogger J120 Bowman said...

I think the two "anonymous" postings above are very interesting and show the different frame of reference between the comments of o-gangers (culture of criminals) and enlisted (bad command climate). It sounds like for the true issues to come forward and be dealt with, the wardroom will need to have some cajones and support the crew. Based on the number of CO's releived in the past couple of years for what a lot of us would call BS stuff, if the Hampton has that many underlying issues, I don't see the CO surviving this. He may not be the first to go, but he will probably be the last. So many good leaders out there and it only takes one Capt. Quiggley to screw it up. Maybe more emphasis should be placed on leadership and not the ambiguous, never defined, nuke rating!

10/20/2007 5:55 AM

 
Anonymous Former CRA said...

j120 - I know what you mean, we're quick to label the nukes as 'shady.' But I was on a boat with a very good command climate, CO and Eng were great. As the CRA I still had to keep those guys in line. Not big stuff like Hampton, but the little stuff that snowballs.
Sounds like they had a crooked CRA, and if so, he deserves the brunt of the blame.

10/20/2007 7:30 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First off the hampton has been the go to boat for norfolk for awhile, some other boat doesnt put down there radar mast, exceeds speed and breaks it, who gets to go to sea, the Hampton. As a former ELT from the Hampton I'm pretty sure I know atleast 2 or 3 or those guys and like others have mentioned there arent bad guys, they just went about what they did the wrong way, and sadly its something that ELTs are known for, wether true or not. Hopefully we'll get some more information regarding what happened, i'll beat it'll be from sources other then the mainstream news.

10/22/2007 10:18 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lot's of stirrings at CSS-11 last week. Looks like the press release is out this morning: 1 Officer, 5 Enlisted relieved for failing to perform required testins/inspections and then falsifying CHEM/RADCON records after the fact. The article says NJP was awrded...I'm surprised they let them off with NJP.

10/22/2007 10:29 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

njp will be just the tip of the iceberg. IMO once they find a single deficiency, they start to dig deeper, and the skeletons start appearing.

10/22/2007 12:07 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

j120 bowman, I'm the second anonymous poster that you meantioned, and I'm an O-ganger. I think the only person on that boat who truly believes the "culture of criminals" remark is the CO who said it himself.

10/22/2007 12:32 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nothing ever changes. I'm a retired submariner that has seen it all. I've served on diesel boats, fast attacks, and boomers. I've been in CSS11. I've been in great commands, and also in some that makes my teeth grind just thinking about it. The bottom line is that IF (and I use the word IF because I was not there) something was falsified then those individuals (and NOT their command climate) are responsible. My advice to anyone (including my sons) is to do the right thing every time, and when you screw up, have the character to stand up and say "I blew it", take your punishment like a man, and get on with doing your job knowing that your intentions are back to the straight and narrow.

10/22/2007 12:53 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read all of the comments on the page and for the most part they all seem to be valid. Let me just say that I was there when this happened, I'm not going to say the specifics but I will say that a lot of people felt that their chain of command failed them. This was not a case where the chain of command failed, it was more an ends to a means. On one side the people responsible should have admitted what they did, on the other side I really doubt it would have changed anything.

The one simple reason for this is that the CO never listened. It was always "I'll look into that". Trust me, even if others were informed little would have changed.

Oh, and as for being a boat with bad luck, I thinks it's totally the opposite. Even with all of the hardship we accomplished something that would be hard in a good situation. I hate to see anyone in the crew be written off as just being on a boat with bad luck, the crew, and this is not discounting any of the khakis or blueshirts, were outstanding. Nobody on that boat deserves to be written off as a bad person because of this. It was a wrong decision from a group of people who felt they had nowhere to turn. You can take that to the bank.

10/22/2007 2:31 PM

 
Blogger Mathteacher said...

Heard about the Hampton on CNN today, went looking and found this site.
As for her being bad luck. That is a crock. It was a great boat and had many successes. Cannot name too many boats that are not pushed to its limits now-a-days. Every boat has its oh-shits, like the outboard. And by the way it was already restricted use (very restricted use) due to an unrelated problem and was not known to be lowered, I found it lowered on my first tour after the maneuvering watch, not when we were pulling back in (It is amazing how stories grow).

It was a great crew back then. Half of the chief's quarters went on to the officer ranks and many of the PO1's made chief. The crew did some awesome things when it needed to. That was over ten years ago though.

As for what happened to RL div there is no excuse. The fact it has happened on other boats in the past ten years stresses the fact there is no excuse. Supervisory involvement from eng, edmc, eoow, ews, and slew of other initials should have caught this. The LELT and CRA need to study chemistry on an oiler. The other ELT's need to find themselves more junior and learning the right way to do things with lots of new supervision.

10/22/2007 6:31 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm just glad i wasn't there....I imigine that even the knuckledraggers will have this crap following them around for A LONG TIME TO COME

10/22/2007 6:36 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On behalf of all the fellas at COMCIVSURFLT I would like to welcome out bubblehead friends to that wild and wacky World of GUNDECKING!!!!!

What's th big deal? It's probably no worse than gundecking the Lube/Oil report on the FLT units. And that get's done regularly, with the JO's intimate knowledge!


As the old salt saying goes:

"If it can be Gundecked...DO IT!!!"

10/23/2007 4:22 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Culture of Criminals"??

Hell of a CO to work for! What a guy!!

I hope that the JO's in his wardroom take care to "direct" his career in the path that it deserves. Sure would love to know who that idiot is so I can keep a keen eye on his future career when he rolls around my 'hood (DoD).

Reminds me of an ex-CO's, who took my young JO ass aside for a one-on-one ass chewing when I questioned the concept of issuing ESWS pins to sailors that had started/finished the quals in less than 10 days!

That's right, 10 days!!

Needless to say after snitiching to the right persons, my short-timer self eagerly punched out to civilian, while the ex-CO's next (and final) command before mandatory retirement was an NROTC unit.

That's how you take care of a*****e Commanding Officers!!!

10/23/2007 4:51 AM

 
Anonymous JRusn said...

Just to let you guys know, the pain is on it's way, on both coasts. Rumblings of this already had important people asking questions at the "land based training facility" in New York where I work. Rumor on the street here is that it has something to do with an analysis that takes 2 hours to perform. ELT's and CRA's will know what I mean.

This will be worse than that TLD burning fiasco that happened last year. I'm sure they (being NAVSEA 08) will start some hardcore digging everywhere.

Of course, with all the rumors and inside jokes about 'shady' ELTs that I've heard since I got into the program more than 8 years ago, I'm surprised no one investigated us ELT's before hand.

On the other hand, a good LELT would not let this happen. He knows what needs to get done. I'll leave it at that.

10/23/2007 7:50 AM

 
Anonymous MoonovermyHAM-e said...

As a "player" on board, I've been lucky to dodge the "S*^t-slinging" going on. However, no matter whose house you go to, if you lift the edge of any carpet y ou will find some dirt. Now if you take the carpet up beat the hell out of it, and shampoo it you will get the carpet clean as new. That is whats happening on board. Lifting of every carpet. The end result will be a boat and crew that EVERYONE will want to set their standards to. So thank you for the upgrade, painfull as it is! Pass the KY please!!!!

10/23/2007 11:52 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a former hampton player it was down hill after mad mike left. others tried but they didnt have the kahoonas he had. i would say when a co( mr Lov) volunteers your boat for every mission so he can try to grasp the bird, it wears the crew down. when u get back from a 6 month dep, turn around do another 3 mon dep, then dmp, then tell the crew pack up were going west(then i hear of a west pack dep). a person can continue to make the right decisions daily, but when you drop that on anybody your give a sh*t level is gone. Let me tell you one thing you always have a choice and there is life after the navy

10/24/2007 5:20 AM

 
Blogger EmanT2 said...

I agree with the above comment, sometimes you just have to man-up and admit you made a mistake. Unfortunately, I had the privilige of crapping up my face years ago at Windsor. The only reason I kept my NEC was because I owned up to my mistake.

I find it hard to believe these guys "forgot" to do a sample for an entire year. They were blowing this off for so long they forgot the right way to do their job or they somehow didn't know they had to do the analysis. Of course, when the feces hits the fan, the CRA sings like a canary about everything. Yes, this will have a ripple effect, but the Atlantic boats will suffer twice as much as our Pacific buddys.

Oh and another thing... Bad Luck Boat, please. It could never be as bad as BLDG 597.

10/24/2007 9:26 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The crew of the Hampton are a great crew. They have some very poor leadership. I retired off the Hampton and I know for a fact, as others have stated here, that the CO is worthless and the XO that transfered while the boat was deployed was even worse. There is no excuse for what the individuals did, but sometimes you have to scream very loud to get some help. This may have been there way of screaming. No one cared when the boat was in Norfolk and losing a couple people a month due to mental issues due to the boat meeting the the schedule for getting out of the shipyard. Alot of good saliors got out due to the poor leadership, this includes officers and enlisted.

As for the rest of the crew of Hampton that is having to suffer due to a couple individual keep your heads up, this will all blow over.

10/24/2007 8:39 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no excuse for what was happened but the upper chain needs to take a long look in the mirror. I have to agree about the "GIVE A CRAP LEVEL". Here is one example of the CO's leadership there. On a certain holiday during the first part of Nov(which was on a friday), the Command had a working day, with GMT. The crew cleaned and work most of the morning. When it came to GMT time, the CO came to talk to us. He said "I didn't realize today was a holiday until i tried calling some people and nobody answered the phone." So he gives his little talk and then the COB gets up to take muster for GMT. As the COB is calling out names, you heard "DING DING HAMPTON DEPARTING". This was a Federal Holiday and we were at work. There were other times when saturdays/holidays were workdays and the whole crew was there except him. You can't beat your crew down and you not be there with them step by step. I could go on for hours about the command climate(C0/XO) that was there.

10/24/2007 10:40 PM

 
Anonymous Black Knight of Retention Prevention said...

ORSE comes on board and is doing the interviews...

ORSE member... MM3 Johnson, what is 2+2?
MM3 Johnson.. 4 or 5, somethin' like that.

Orse member... EM2 Prat, what is 2+2?
EM2 Prat... you want root mean square or peak to peak?

Orse member... ET3 Wiggins, what is 2+2?
ET3 Wiggins... 4, +/- 0.000315386

Orse member... MM2/ELT Buchannan, what is 2+2?
MM2/ELT Buchannan... pulls out slide rule, calculator, nomographs and a butt load of log/log graph paper... "what do you want it to be, sir?"

10/30/2007 9:56 AM

 
Blogger anonymous said...

Well, apparently, I know several people that have posted on this blog. I actually found this blog when I was to trying to find a boat phone number, that a future employer can use to call some references for me. I was also on the Hampton,as a nuc, and I left right before the underway which all of this happened on. I still keep in touch with people there, and I have heard my own version of what happened. To answer a few questions that you all may have, the chemistry issue was just the beginning. Turns out the officer that was asigned as the investigating officer for the chemistry problem had a few issues of his own. He was also in charge of some things in radio that were highly classified, and he personally had gaffed them off, so he felt guilty investigating someone else for the same type of thing that he was doing. So, he fessed up to the CO about his own wrong doing. Then, at his admirals mast, he said that every program on the boat was screwed up, and he gave them names of people. He wasn't going down alone, he took a lot of people with him. That was when all h*ll broke loose. That was when the investigation left RL div and spread to the rest of the department. This boat has a lot of good guys on it that have been through h*ll and back. But since we always found a way to get the job done, the 70 people that we lost to psych and various other "medical" conditions were overlooked by external organizations. We even had a COB that "quit". He walked off the boat and went to squadron and said he couldn't take it any more. After a week they kicked him back down to the boat to finish his tour. I am glad that I am not there anymore but my heart goes out to all of my friends that are still there. Good luck to you all and remember, there IS life after the Navy. PAPERCLIP.

10/31/2007 10:44 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having been an ELT,LELT,and EWS for 12 years, I know this is not a surprise. Whether it was boiler water levels every half hour or "walking the dog", any man will get complacent after doing the same thing a thousand times with the same result. But, knowing where and when to take shortcuts was the key. Nothing like a new ERUL gaffing logs on a shutdown 10k. I remember lots of midnight recopying to save somebodies $%#. But when it came to a true casualty, everybody "balled up"

I can remember a time when the powers that be ran a surprise fire drill in the goat locker at 9 at night during movie call. That fire would have been out in 30 seconds, but since the offgoing ERS did not go get the ERUL hose, we all got hammered.
If you want people, especially submariners, to be 4.0, oops, I mean 5.0, then treat them like it.

I have managed after 6 years of being out to forget the bad memories, and keep the good, and I wouldnt trade my sub time for anything.

Anybody remember:
paper clip-(on dungaree pocket)
People
Against
People
Ever
Reenlisting,
Civilians
Live
In
Peace

pointer (from a drill prop)- (on zipper of poopy suit)

Penniless
Overworked
Individual
Never
To
Ever
Reenlist

anymore I cant remember

11/02/2007 12:32 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The investigating team needs to look at all the people that left the boat in the past three years. I'm talking about people to got out of the Navy, transfer to another boat, and transfer to shore duty. That is where you will find all the B.S. that got covered up. How about those command surveys that we took. I'm sure the chiefs and officers changed them so the boat wouldn't look bad. I must be great to be a CPO or officer. You get "fired" vice masted. The difference, the CPO or officers gets the same pay to be a d**k at another command.

11/06/2007 6:48 AM

 
Blogger quikned said...

Wow... Looks like I posted this comment in the wrong blog previoulsy. This is where it goes.

It's been a while since I've discussed any sub-talk with former colleagues but I I ran across this post couldn't resisit.

It is interesting to hear some straight talk from all different levels here. Good to see that not all of you are "YES" men.

My background is:
Assigned to USS Hampton in May 1995 and was assigned as EO, AEng, RCA, and ultimately ASCO... and departed prior to the 1999 Med Deployment. Interestingly enough I served as ASCO under none other than Cmdr Michael Portland... and I was also onboard and closely associated with his new releiving officer Cmdr William Houston.

I don't have much good to say about my Navy experiences. As all of us know who have been there, submarine life is hard all by itself. When you throw in ridiculous requirements and unnecessary "un"-executables and top that off with unconditional bureaucracy, poor leadership and zero motivational goals... it leads to utter gloom and despair. The people above you can ruin your career and the people below you can ruin your career. This situation is proof of that.

I had some good times on the USS Hampton, but I can attribute some of the worst times in my life to Cmdr Michael Portland. As one person put it above... "it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy". How true.
The Navy states publicly that the crew "lost confidence in his leadership ability". That is becasue Cmdr Michael Portland is not a "leader". Dictators are not leaders. Pins and medals and awards don't make you a "leader". I can't tell you how many times I have thought about my past Navy days and with disdain over this one individual and wondered if "karma" would ever catch up to him. Now I know the answer. He may have not done anything specifically wrong with regards to the gundecking of the logs... but I can guess that the erroneous log taking probably stems from a much larger problem... poor moral. If anyone reads this blog and is/was a member of the USS Hampton under Cmdr Portland, I would certainly like to know the status of the ship's moral at the times up to and during this incident. Only the best leaders will have a crew who "protect" their leader. No one was interested in protecting Cmdr Portland... not even by doing a simple daily primary sample. Leadership can be a fine line at a times, but it is my assessment that Cmdr Portalnd is definitely on the wrong side of that line and his crews final dismal performance is a result. Sure, sure... he has won the Battle E and numerous other awards... but at what cost? I assert that he probably drove his crew into the ground like a tyrant to get there... to make himself look good. Something had to break. I'm just surprised that it didn't happen sooner. The Navy is one of the few places where self-serving individuals such as Cmdr Portland can succeed by accumulating medals and awards without anyone knowing the true story behind it all. (I belive Sadaam Hussein and Edi Amin also had a chest full of medals... but that doesn't mean they were doing a good job).

Interestingly enough, I had the true privelege of witnessing "true leadership" shortly after Cmdr Portland's departure from the USS Hampton (I went from the WORST to the BEST). Former USS Hampton CO, Mike Matthes, and the current releiving CO of the USS Hampton, Cmdr William Houston, are born leaders who the Navy needs many more of. The USS Hampton propsered under their command. I have no doubt that the crew of the USS Hampton will soon find a "light at the end of the tunnel" with Cmdr Houston as their leader.

Good luck to all of them.

PS: I agree with the above post. Who is the the Navy's HR representative? I mean c'mon... primary chemical analysis is all about looking for trends... yet the Navy (NR and SUBLANT SUBPAC, etc..) is overlooking the biggest trend of all and it is staring them right in the face... EVERYONE IS LEAVING.
Can someone please survey the "outgoing" personnel and determine the true "source" of the departures. My money (in this particular case) is the poor CO/XO leadership. Poke a dog too many times and you'll get bit. Cmdr Portland.. you just got bit. It's about time...

11/06/2007 2:16 PM

 
Blogger quikned said...

Wow... It's been a while since I've discussed any sub-talk with former colleagues but I I ran across this post couldn't resisit.

It is interesting to hear some straight talk from all different levels here. Good to see that not all of you are "YES" men.

My background is:
Assigned to USS Hampton in May 1995 and was assigned as EO, AEng, RCA, and ultimately ASCO... and departed prior to the 1999 Med Deployment. Interestingly enough I served as ASCO under none other than Cmdr Michael Portland... and I was also onboard and closely associated with his new releiving officer Cmdr William Houston.

I don't have much good to say about my Navy experiences. As all of us know who have been there, submarine life is hard all by itself. When you throw in ridiculous requirements and unnecessary "un"-executables and top that off with unconditional bureaucracy, poor leadership and zero motivational goals... it leads to utter gloom and despair. The people above you can ruin your career and the people below you can ruin your career. This situation is proof of that.

I had some good times on the USS Hampton, but I can attribute some of the worst times in my life to Cmdr Michael Portland. As one person put it above... "it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy". How true.
The Navy states publicly that the crew "lost confidence in his leadership ability". That is becasue Cmdr Michael Portland is not a "leader". Dictators are not leaders. Pins and medals and awards don't make you a "leader". I can't tell you how many times I have thought about my past Navy days and with disdain over this one individual and wondered if "karma" would ever catch up to him. Now I know the answer. He may have not done anything specifically wrong with regards to the gundecking of the logs... but I can guess that the erroneous log taking probably stems from a much larger problem... poor moral. If anyone reads this blog and is/was a member of the USS Hampton under Cmdr Portland, I would certainly like to know the status of the ship's moral at the times up to and during this incident. Only the best leaders will have a crew who "protect" their leader. No one was interested in protecting Cmdr Portland... not even by doing a simple daily primary sample. Leadership can be a fine line at a times, but it is my assessment that Cmdr Portalnd is definitely on the wrong side of that line and his crews final dismal performance is a result. Sure, sure... he has won the Battle E and numerous other awards... but at what cost? I assert that he probably drove his crew into the ground like a tyrant to get there... to make himself look good. Something had to break. I'm just surprised that it didn't happen sooner. The Navy is one of the few places where self-serving individuals such as Cmdr Portland can succeed by accumulating medals and awards without anyone knowing the true story behind it all. (I belive Sadaam Hussein and Edi Amin also had a chest full of medals... but that doesn't mean they were doing a good job).

Interestingly enough, I had the true privelege of witnessing "true leadership" shortly after Cmdr Portland's departure from the USS Hampton (I went from the WORST to the BEST). Former USS Hampton CO, Mike Matthes, and the current releiving CO of the USS Hampton, Cmdr William Houston, are born leaders who the Navy needs many more of. The USS Hampton propsered under their command. I have no doubt that the crew of the USS Hampton will soon find a "light at the end of the tunnel" with Cmdr Houston as their leader.

Good luck to all of them.

PS: I agre with the post above. Where is the Navy's HR department?
Primary Chemical Analysis is all about looking for trends.. and the Navy (NR, SUBLANY, SUBPAC, etc..) is overlooking the biggest trend of all... and it is staring them right in the face... PEOPLE ARE LEAVING.
Can someone please survey the "departing" people in the Navy and determine the source of the mass exodus? My bet (in this particular case) is that it is due to the poor CO/XO leadership. If you poke a dog too many times you're gonna get bit. Cmdr Portland, you just got bit... and it's about time.

11/06/2007 2:20 PM

 
Blogger quikned said...

Looks like I posted this in the wrong location before. it def goes here...

Wow... It's been a while since I've discussed any sub-talk with former colleagues but I I ran across this post couldn't resisit.

It is interesting to hear some straight talk from all different levels here. Good to see that not all of you are "YES" men.

My background is:
Assigned to USS Hampton in May 1995 and was assigned as EO, AEng, RCA, and ultimately ASCO... and departed prior to the 1999 Med Deployment. Interestingly enough I served as ASCO under none other than Cmdr Michael Portland... and I was also onboard and closely associated with his new releiving officer Cmdr William Houston.

I don't have much good to say about my Navy experiences. As all of us know who have been there, submarine life is hard all by itself. When you throw in ridiculous requirements and unnecessary "un"-executables and top that off with unconditional bureaucracy, poor leadership and zero motivational goals... it leads to utter gloom and despair. The people above you can ruin your career and the people below you can ruin your career. This situation is proof of that.

I had some good times on the USS Hampton, but I can attribute some of the worst times in my life to Cmdr Michael Portland. As one person put it above... "it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy". How true.
The Navy states publicly that the crew "lost confidence in his leadership ability". That is becasue Cmdr Michael Portland is not a "leader". Dictators are not leaders. Pins and medals and awards don't make you a "leader". I can't tell you how many times I have thought about my past Navy days and with disdain over this one individual and wondered if "karma" would ever catch up to him. Now I know the answer. He may have not done anything specifically wrong with regards to the gundecking of the logs... but I can guess that the erroneous log taking probably stems from a much larger problem... poor moral. If anyone reads this blog and is/was a member of the USS Hampton under Cmdr Portland, I would certainly like to know the status of the ship's moral at the times up to and during this incident. Only the best leaders will have a crew who "protect" their leader. No one was interested in protecting Cmdr Portland... not even by doing a simple daily primary sample. Leadership can be a fine line at a times, but it is my assessment that Cmdr Portalnd is definitely on the wrong side of that line and his crews final dismal performance is a result. Sure, sure... he has won the Battle E and numerous other awards... but at what cost? I assert that he probably drove his crew into the ground like a tyrant to get there... to make himself look good. Something had to break. I'm just surprised that it didn't happen sooner. The Navy is one of the few places where self-serving individuals such as Cmdr Portland can succeed by accumulating medals and awards without anyone knowing the true story behind it all. (I belive Sadaam Hussein and Edi Amin also had a chest full of medals... but that doesn't mean they were doing a good job).

Interestingly enough, I had the true privelege of witnessing "true leadership" shortly after Cmdr Portland's departure from the USS Hampton (I went from the WORST to the BEST). Former USS Hampton CO, Mike Matthes, and the current releiving CO of the USS Hampton, Cmdr William Houston, are born leaders who the Navy needs many more of. The USS Hampton propsered under their command. I have no doubt that the crew of the USS Hampton will soon find a "light at the end of the tunnel" with Cmdr Houston as their leader.

Good luck to all of them.

PS: I agre with the post above. Where is the Navy's HR department?
Primary Chemical Analysis is all about looking for trends.. and the Navy (NR, SUBLANY, SUBPAC, etc..) is overlooking the biggest trend of all... and it is staring them right in the face... PEOPLE ARE LEAVING.
Can someone please survey the "departing" people in the Navy and determine the source of the mass exodus? My bet (in this particular case) is that it is due to the poor CO/XO leadership. If you poke a dog too many times you're gonna get bit. Cmdr Portland, you just got bit... and it's about time.

11/06/2007 2:21 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am retired submariner, and I have thought long and hard about the recent events surrounding the brouhaha in question. Let’s face it, the issues here did not just “pop up” on the Hampton,…they have evolved across the service, and were shaped and honed over many, many years. I observed the very same disturbing symptoms in the years leading up to my retirement in 1997, and to my own shame, I never did anything about it. The Navy did not just “catch” this problem, as so many of you have already pointed out – the Navy was forced to stare into the harsh light of day, and come face-to-face with an ongoing problem that has plagued the submarine service for years. I believe someone,…an individual of great strength and courage has stepped up and taken a bullet for “the home team”. And now, the sub service must clean house and take care of our own.

In the military, we give medals of honor to men and women who have thrown themselves in harm's way to selflessly give their lives for the security of others,...and they most certainly deserve that honor. Yet, when someone who possesses the ethical and moral convictions to say that “enough is enough”, and tells the truth about the ills that plague our service, they are vilified for it and never recognized for the strength of their convictions and their selfless behavior. In fact, that are attacked for the path they have chosen.

This situation is not about a squadron, a ship, its crew, the skipper or a single individual. This is about the US nuclear submarine service, which has a rich and deep tradition that harkens back to the earliest days of a man that embodied the essence of integrity, morals, ethics and standards that were so difficult for others to understand. This is a man that the Navy did not promote him beyond the rank of Captain - Congress did. His name was Hyman Rickover, and he was the father of the modern nuclear Navy. Admiral Rickover's personal qualities were so profound and so pure,...that the military-industrial structure that he interfaced with absolutely struggled with his requirements for perfection. It was not only his demand for perfection in the ships we sailed,...it was his demand that every sailor embody a higher conviction and commitment that could not be found anywhere else. He wanted to know that each individual would willingly give their lives to protect our nation - and there was no compromise,...no quarter.

For reasons that I will never be able to comprehend or discern,...the sub service has broken down and compromised itself. Officers and enlisted alike have conducted themselves in a way that has damaged the integrity of a branch of the US Navy that has been referred to as the "tip of the spear". In the process, these same dedicated people have privately struggled with who they are,...and have questioned their own actions. While I am certainly not positive of my supposition, I believe that a single person (or a few persons) started the dominoes to fall. For too long, the submarine service has needed someone brave enough and strong enough to bring all of this to light,…and I think that someone threw himself on the grenade for those who still serve beneath the waves. I believe that someone’s actions and choices embodied the spirit of Hyman Rickover. He would have been proud to call this lone soul "shipmate", and Rickover would have steadfastly stood side-by-side with him if he had to face the court,....because he knew he was fighting for everything that Rickover stood for,...and everything that defined the service. I believe this individual’s actions will positively impact the lives of countless sailors who serve our nation in the nuclear submarine force,...and I hope those responsible will help to return a once proud service to its roots.

Whomever you are, thank you for your dedication,...thank you for your service,....and thank you for taking a bullet,....you honor us all.

11/10/2007 11:40 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am retired submariner, and I have thought long and hard about the recent events surrounding the brouhaha in question. Let’s face it, the issues here did not just “pop up” on the Hampton,…they have evolved across the service, and were shaped and honed over many, many years. I observed the very same disturbing symptoms in the years leading up to my retirement in 1997, and to my own shame, I never did anything about it. The Navy did not just “catch” this problem, as so many of you have already pointed out – the Navy was forced to stare into the harsh light of day, and come face-to-face with an ongoing problem that has plagued the submarine service for years. I believe someone,…an individual of great strength and courage has stepped up and taken a bullet for “the home team”. And now, the sub service must clean house and take care of our own.

In the military, we give medals of honor to men and women who have thrown themselves in harm's way to selflessly give their lives for the security of others,...and they most certainly deserve that honor. Yet, when someone who possesses the ethical and moral convictions to say that “enough is enough”, and tells the truth about the ills that plague our service, they are vilified for it and never recognized for the strength of their convictions and their selfless behavior. In fact, that are attacked for the path they have chosen.

This situation is not about a squadron, a ship, its crew, the skipper or a single individual. This is about the US nuclear submarine service, which has a rich and deep tradition that harkens back to the earliest days of a man that embodied the essence of integrity, morals, ethics and standards that were so difficult for others to understand. This is a man that the Navy did not promote him beyond the rank of Captain - Congress did. His name was Hyman Rickover, and he was the father of the modern nuclear Navy. Admiral Rickover's personal qualities were so profound and so pure,...that the military-industrial structure that he interfaced with absolutely struggled with his requirements for perfection. It was not only his demand for perfection in the ships we sailed,...it was his demand that every sailor embody a higher conviction and commitment that could not be found anywhere else. He wanted to know that each individual would willingly give their lives to protect our nation - and there was no compromise,...no quarter.

For reasons that I will never be able to comprehend or discern,...the sub service has broken down and compromised itself. Officers and enlisted alike have conducted themselves in a way that has damaged the integrity of a branch of the US Navy that has been referred to as the "tip of the spear". In the process, these same dedicated people have privately struggled with who they are,...and have questioned their own actions. While I am certainly not positive of my supposition, I believe that a single person (or a few persons) started the dominoes to fall. For too long, the submarine service has needed someone brave enough and strong enough to bring all of this to light,…and I think that someone threw himself on the grenade for those who still serve beneath the waves. I believe that someone’s actions and choices embodied the spirit of Hyman Rickover. He would have been proud to call this lone soul "shipmate", and Rickover would have steadfastly stood side-by-side with him if he had to face the court,....because he knew he was fighting for everything that Rickover stood for,...and everything that defined the service. I believe this individual’s actions will positively impact the lives of countless sailors who serve our nation in the nuclear submarine force,...and I hope those responsible will help to return a once proud service to its roots.

Whomever you are, thank you for your dedication,...thank you for your service,....and thank you for taking a bullet,....you honor us all.

11/10/2007 11:42 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am retired submariner, and I have thought long and hard about the recent events surrounding the brouhaha in question. Let’s face it, the issues here did not just “pop up” on the Hampton,…they have evolved across the service, and were shaped and honed over many, many years. I observed the very same disturbing symptoms in the years leading up to my retirement in 1997, and to my own shame, I never did anything about it. The Navy did not just “catch” this problem, as so many of you have already pointed out – the Navy was forced to stare into the harsh light of day, and come face-to-face with an ongoing problem that has plagued the submarine service for years. I believe someone,…an individual of great strength and courage has stepped up and taken a bullet for “the home team”. And now, the sub service must clean house and take care of our own.

In the military, we give medals of honor to men and women who have thrown themselves in harm's way to selflessly give their lives for the security of others,...and they most certainly deserve that honor. Yet, when someone who possesses the ethical and moral convictions to say that “enough is enough”, and tells the truth about the ills that plague our service, they are vilified for it and never recognized for the strength of their convictions and their selfless behavior. In fact, that are attacked for the path they have chosen.

This situation is not about a squadron, a ship, its crew, the skipper or a single individual. This is about the US nuclear submarine service, which has a rich and deep tradition that harkens back to the earliest days of a man that embodied the essence of integrity, morals, ethics and standards that were so difficult for others to understand. This is a man that the Navy did not promote him beyond the rank of Captain - Congress did. His name was Hyman Rickover, and he was the father of the modern nuclear Navy. Admiral Rickover's personal qualities were so profound and so pure,...that the military-industrial structure that he interfaced with absolutely struggled with his requirements for perfection. It was not only his demand for perfection in the ships we sailed,...it was his demand that every sailor embody a higher conviction and commitment that could not be found anywhere else. He wanted to know that each individual would willingly give their lives to protect our nation - and there was no compromise,...no quarter.

For reasons that I will never be able to comprehend or discern,...the sub service has broken down and compromised itself. Officers and enlisted alike have conducted themselves in a way that has damaged the integrity of a branch of the US Navy that has been referred to as the "tip of the spear". In the process, these same dedicated people have privately struggled with who they are,...and have questioned their own actions. While I am certainly not positive of my supposition, I believe that a single person (or a few persons) started the dominoes to fall. For too long, the submarine service has needed someone brave enough and strong enough to bring all of this to light,…and I think that someone threw himself on the grenade for those who still serve beneath the waves. I believe that someone’s actions and choices embodied the spirit of Hyman Rickover. He would have been proud to call this lone soul "shipmate", and Rickover would have steadfastly stood side-by-side with him if he had to face the court,....because he knew he was fighting for everything that Rickover stood for,...and everything that defined the service. I believe this individual’s actions will positively impact the lives of countless sailors who serve our nation in the nuclear submarine force,...and I hope those responsible will help to return a once proud service to its roots.

Whomever you are, thank you for your dedication,...thank you for your service,....and thank you for taking a bullet,....you honor us all.

11/10/2007 11:48 AM

 
Blogger Mark said...

I am retired submariner, and I have thought long and hard about the recent events surrounding the brouhaha in question. Let’s face it, the issues here did not just “pop up” on the Hampton,…they have evolved across the service, and were shaped and honed over many, many years. I observed the very same disturbing symptoms in the years leading up to my retirement in 1997, and to my own shame, I never did anything about it. The Navy did not just “catch” this problem, as so many of you have already pointed out – the Navy was forced to stare into the harsh light of day, and come face-to-face with an ongoing problem that has plagued the submarine service for years. I believe someone,…an individual of great strength and courage has stepped up and taken a bullet for “the home team”. And now, the sub service must clean house and take care of our own.

In the military, we give medals of honor to men and women who have thrown themselves in harm's way to selflessly give their lives for the security of others,...and they most certainly deserve that honor. Yet, when someone who possesses the ethical and moral convictions to say that “enough is enough”, and tells the truth about the ills that plague our service, they are vilified for it and never recognized for the strength of their convictions and their selfless behavior. In fact, that are attacked for the path they have chosen.

This situation is not about a squadron, a ship, its crew, the skipper or a single individual. This is about the US nuclear submarine service, which has a rich and deep tradition that harkens back to the earliest days of a man that embodied the essence of integrity, morals, ethics and standards that were so difficult for others to understand. This is a man that the Navy did not promote him beyond the rank of Captain - Congress did. His name was Hyman Rickover, and he was the father of the modern nuclear Navy. Admiral Rickover's personal qualities were so profound and so pure,...that the military-industrial structure that he interfaced with absolutely struggled with his requirements for perfection. It was not only his demand for perfection in the ships we sailed,...it was his demand that every sailor embody a higher conviction and commitment that could not be found anywhere else. He wanted to know that each individual would willingly give their lives to protect our nation - and there was no compromise,...no quarter.

For reasons that I will never be able to comprehend or discern,...the sub service has broken down and compromised itself. Officers and enlisted alike have conducted themselves in a way that has damaged the integrity of a branch of the US Navy that has been referred to as the "tip of the spear". In the process, these same dedicated people have privately struggled with who they are,...and have questioned their own actions. While I am certainly not positive of my supposition, I believe that a single person (or a few persons) started the dominoes to fall. For too long, the submarine service has needed someone brave enough and strong enough to bring all of this to light,…and I think that someone threw himself on the grenade for those who still serve beneath the waves. I believe that someone’s actions and choices embodied the spirit of Hyman Rickover. He would have been proud to call this lone soul "shipmate", and Rickover would have steadfastly stood side-by-side with him if he had to face the court,....because he knew he was fighting for everything that Rickover stood for,...and everything that defined the service. I believe this individual’s actions will positively impact the lives of countless sailors who serve our nation in the nuclear submarine force,...and I hope those responsible will help to return a once proud service to its roots.

Whomever you are, thank you for your dedication,...thank you for your service,....and thank you for taking a bullet,....you honor us all.

11/10/2007 11:49 AM

 
Anonymous em2(su) said...

I am a former Hampton kid who managed to return to dry land in just about 7 months. I was a quick study and was close to finishing ship and Eng quals when I made it off.
I'm one of the mental seps often referred to in this blog. I'm likely seen by most here (and most in the Navy) as a $^!#bag, because I didn't finish my whole torturous obligation. And, I understand that, because before my everything fell apart, I thought the same thing about people like me.
That being said, I really have two observations:
1) It's laughable that anyone thinks "today's Navy" is any different than the Navy of 10 years ago or 30 years ago or whatever. Any sailor or former sailor worth his poopy suit will attest that, when the pencil-pushers weren't listening, you can hear crusty chiefs (who knew their jobs and with whom most anyone who worked with them would trust his life) talk about gaffing logs, rigging repairs, and doing all sorts of crazy things while on watch. Today's Navy is not a whole lot different from this. It's just a fact of life: if you spend 10 out of every 12 months stranded at sea in a self-sustaining time capsule, separated from the people you love, and sharing everything from racks to communicable diseases with people you hate, you start not to really care about whether all the numbers add up--especially when they never really match what the books tell you they should be to begin with. I can't defend anyone who fakes logs. My advice would've been to just fess up to the oversight, give up a chevron and a month’s pay, and move forward. But, we can't ignore the harsh reality that the "sub surface" Navy (probably the whole Navy, but this is from my own personal experience) treats its sailors as less than human.
2) Command climate probably had part to do with it. I can say from my own experience that even if you have a good CO, if your LPO's and Division Chiefs don't give a crap about your quality of life, you're screwed without the CO ever having a chance to help you. I'd bet as much as anything (as has already been alluded to), the root cause of things like this is simply a Squadron that seeks to wring as much out of a few good sailors as it can before those guys break or are transferred off. I spent 5 out of my 7 months aboard Hampton at sea either filling in for another boat who couldn't cut it or pretending to be a war-machine to impress outsiders.
Of course, my troubles started when my marriage fell apart. Now, I'm not ignorant enough to blame the Navy for my marrying a woman who couldn't keep her legs closed. My problem stems from the fact that when I asked for some time to try to work things out at home, I was laughed at and made fun of and instantly sent back out to sea for a month and a half, only to come back to an empty house while my wife moved in with her boyfriend.
The Navy is made up of ships and boats and planes and shore commands, but none of these is worth squat without people to run them. If the Navy put even half as much effort and concern toward the maintenance of its most valued equipment (its people) as it does it's machinery and precious image, maybe it would look more like the well-oiled machine it constantly tries to present itself as.

P.S.- Anyone who was on board Hampton from March 2004 to October 2004 who is interested in catching up with a fleabag, you can email me @ Rolbell77@yahoo.com.

11/27/2007 1:28 PM

 
Anonymous em2(su) said...

I am a former Hampton kid who managed to return to dry land in just about 7 months. I was a quick study and was close to finishing ship and Eng quals when I made it off.
I'm one of the mental seps often referred to in this blog. I'm likely seen by most here (and most in the Navy) as a $^!#bag, because I didn't finish my whole torturous obligation. And, I understand that, because before my everything fell apart, I thought the same thing about people like me.
That being said, I really have two observations:
1) It's laughable that anyone thinks "today's Navy" is any different than the Navy of 10 years ago or 30 years ago or whatever. Any sailor or former sailor worth his poopy suit will attest that, when the pencil-pushers weren't listening, you can hear crusty chiefs (who knew their jobs and with whom most anyone who worked with them would trust his life) talk about gaffing logs, rigging repairs, and doing all sorts of crazy things while on watch. Today's Navy is not a whole lot different from this. It's just a fact of life: if you spend 10 out of every 12 months stranded at sea in a self-sustaining time capsule, separated from the people you love, and sharing everything from racks to communicable diseases with people you hate, you start not to really care about whether all the numbers add up--especially when they never really match what the books tell you they should be to begin with. I can't defend anyone who fakes logs. My advice would've been to just fess up to the oversight, give up a chevron and a month’s pay, and move forward. But, we can't ignore the harsh reality that the "sub surface" Navy (probably the whole Navy, but this is from my own personal experience) treats its sailors as less than human.
2) Command climate probably had part to do with it. I can say from my own experience that even if you have a good CO, if your LPO's and Division Chiefs don't give a crap about your quality of life, you're screwed without the CO ever having a chance to help you. I'd bet as much as anything (as has already been alluded to), the root cause of things like this is simply a Squadron that seeks to wring as much out of a few good sailors as it can before those guys break or are transferred off. I spent 5 out of my 7 months aboard Hampton at sea either filling in for another boat who couldn't cut it or pretending to be a war-machine to impress outsiders.
Of course, my troubles started when my marriage fell apart. Now, I'm not ignorant enough to blame the Navy for my marrying a woman who couldn't keep her legs closed. My problem stems from the fact that when I asked for some time to try to work things out at home, I was laughed at and made fun of and instantly sent back out to sea for a month and a half, only to come back to an empty house while my wife moved in with her boyfriend.
The Navy is made up of ships and boats and planes and shore commands, but none of these is worth squat without people to run them. If the Navy put even half as much effort and concern toward the maintenance of its most valued equipment (its people) as it does it's machinery and precious image, maybe it would look more like the well-oiled machine it constantly tries to present itself as.

P.S.- Anyone who was on board Hampton from March 2004 to October 2004 who is interested in catching up with a fleabag, you can email me @ Rolbell77@yahoo.com.

11/27/2007 1:29 PM

 
Anonymous Knick said...

So strange I dug this up after all these years. If anyone is ever interested in hearing what went on even slightly, I was there. All I'll say right now is completed a standown = complete B.S. The nerve of them to have extended us multiple times to past 7 months only to call people back to the boat from all across the country quite a bit early really astounds me. And of course the Navy times edits that part of the story out. That was a mess of a time. Great new CO though.

5/24/2010 4:30 PM

 

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