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 15, 2010

When Would You Report Your CO?

An excellent article in the Oct. 18 edition of Navy Times (10/18: now online) provides insight to what led to the DFC last month of CAPT Ronald Gero from command of USS Ohio (SSGN 726)(Blue). I'll post a link when the story gets posted; here are some excerpts:
The arrival of a birthday card in the ship’s mail addressed to Capt. Ronald Murray Gero, who was turning 56, marked the beginning of the end of his command of the guided-missile submarine Ohio.
The card — from a woman, postmarked June 19 from Hawaii — first landed in the hands of a crew member whose job it was to screen the captain’s mail. He opened it, noting that the heart-covered letter was not from the captain’s wife of 32 years...
...An officer was mulling all this over in late August when things came to a head. The training meeting at the Sam Adams Lounge on Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton, Wash., had wrapped up. It seemed, the officer told his colleagues, like their captain was about to use government funds to visit his girlfriend. Other officers agreed. Something had to be done.
If you have access to a Navy Times hardcopy, I highly recommend reading the whole story. Also included is an account of how CAPT Gero supposedly brought his "friend", an active reservist, to a final oral board for Submarine qualification for one of his JOs, and invited her to ask a question. He also apparently called her on his government phone from the bridge during surface transits.

The whole incident brings up a good question for all of us to think about -- at what point would you turn in your CO if you thought he was breaking the rules?

Bell-ringer 1308 15 Oct: Posted without comment, and based on a commenter bringing it up, here's the final scene from The Caine Mutiny:



Update 0812 18 Oct: Here's a link to the Navy Times story.

115 Comments:

Blogger Curt said...

Here is the NavTimes Link:

http://www.navytimes.com/news/2010/10/navy-sub-skipper-firing-101810w/

10/18/2010 5:51 AM

 
Anonymous Gravitas said...

Opinion: this whole thread would have had a very different dynamic if more facts from the article had been known.

The boat's officers reported the CO to SubPac's IG, for instance, who put it to Group Nine to conduct the investigation. All very above-board.

The skipper also comes off, IMHO, as someone - like any one of us at at one point or another - who was confused by his obvious attraction to this woman, but was hardly off-the-rails.

My sense is that the boat's officers had barely enough to report him to the IG based on his job performance...if that. The investigators themselves point out that the main reason for the DFC was truly loss of confidence, not any prosecutable offense.

BTW, were it within my capacity to do so, I'd pursue that yeoman who read and then kept the CO's legal mail in no small way. The mail itself was certainly suspicious, but not damning, and legally its delivery was required to be made to the CO. I'd hang that fucker up by his thumbs.

10/18/2010 7:22 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

String up the yeoman for bringing damning information to light...really?

Sounds like Gravitas has been in the Navy too long - he's focusing more on the process than the substance.

My take, as mentioned by many before: skipper commits some minor (but actionable) infraction and gets sold out because he doesn't have the confidence of the crew. A guy with >15 years of service who didn't realize this could happen was probably too stupid to be a CO anyway.

Another one bites the dust!

10/18/2010 7:59 AM

 
Anonymous Gravitas said...

I'd actually extend that earlier comment regarding the yeoman to the XO...as it's not known which of them (likely one or the other) did not deliver the CO's legal mail. If it were really an evidence issue, he could merely have photographed or photocopied the letter. Something else was going on here.

There was NO actionable offense on the CO's part, other than losing his crew's support and the confidence of his superior officers...no small thing.

Worth re-stating: no adultery charge has been brought up against the skipper, and it seems unlikely that it will be.

Stupid? Yes.
Firable? Obviously.
Deserving of being bullwhipped by Joel's blog participants over offenses he didn't commit? Definitely not.

I'm not proud of this thread's overall trajectory, and would offer the opinion that no one should be.

10/18/2010 8:09 AM

 
Anonymous YNC(SS), USN, Retired said...

I agree with Gravitas regarding the "crew member" and the mail. The man not only opened and read, but kept mail addressed to another person, "as evidence". Was he already a part of an investigating body? Did he have a bone to pick with his Commanding Officer? Was he under orders from one of the ship's officers?

I can only think of two officers on any ship I served on that could get away with giving me an order to capture the Commanding Officer's personal mail. The first would be the Commanding Officer himself, the other would be my immediate superior in the chain of command; the Executive Officer, and he would have to make a pretty strong case. I do believe I'd need a letter signed by him making me part of an investigating body. Any other officer would be reported to the Exec and CO by me.

Was this already an ongoing official investigation that "Navy Times" was not made privy to?

10/18/2010 8:11 AM

 
Anonymous Gravitas said...

IMHO, in fairness to Captain Gero and his wife, Joel should consider deleting this entire thread and restarting it with the real, right, now-electronically-published information.

This sort of public hanging just isn't right, and it only went off half-cocked because of seemingly-damning 'information' that was so incomplete as to throw everyone's suspicions off-balance without the necessary facts to support them.

With the full Navy Times article now availble, my guess is that this would be a much more profound, professional, reality-based, slander-free discussion.

Your call, Joel.

10/18/2010 8:51 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

agree with Gravitas on the mail thief and on deleting the thread out of fairness to Gero. There is much, much LESS to the story than was implied. The original post was worthy of a tabloid in its drooling reveal of what we know now to be empty accusations by a mail thief against a 35-year professional. BTW, Gero came in as enlisted in 1975 and made it to Captain. Not many can claim that kind of career.

10/18/2010 10:05 AM

 
Blogger tennvol said...

After reading the article, I can't say that anyone onboard Ohio did the right thing.

10/18/2010 10:39 AM

 
Anonymous Below Decks Watch said...

one thing that pissed me off during my Navy years, all the god damned adultery (Officers, Enlisted, and the wives too.)

10/18/2010 12:08 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to a reliable source, some of the chiefs on one of my boats had a wife-swapping club while we were in a shipyard.

This was of little consequence to anyone else. The crew certainly did not care since we were on shore duty. No complaints were made by anyone, as the chiefs easily performed their duties as expected.

The great differences between Gero and our goatlocker was Gero's inattentiveness to duties AT SEA were noticed by his wardroom, some of whom felt he compromised their confidence in his ability to command. Once that happens, evidence can always be found (it just takes a little longer in some cases).

Does any sub CO deserve a public hanging? No! And this bolg has certainly not become a hanging despite a some wild speculation and moral outrage.

Too many questions are still unanswered to give Gero a fair hearing on this blog perhaps, but we form a better appreciation for the difficulty of command in a highly sophisticated technical environment.

As an aside, what usually happens now to the other woman (the resrve intelligence officer's) navy career? Finis?

Rex

10/18/2010 12:47 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This freshly in: it's regrettably not just the Navy that has its infidelity/integrity/adultery issues.

10/18/2010 1:01 PM

 
Anonymous 3383 said...

I can't think of any situation where I would've been able to ever see anything actionable done by my CO, but the Engineering Dept. on my cruiser rarely saw him at all (the zeroes would in the wardroom, and during topside watches, of course).

But in an fleet where a sailor can be fined, reduced in rate, and restricted to the ship for using batteries that had been tossed into the trash after failing a PMS check for his Walkman, I support holding COs to a higher standard. Just because "everybody does it" does not excuse misusing or misappropriating government property.

I don't know the situation, but this thread makes me wonder if anyone tried to tell CAPT Graf privately that she may have wanted to examine her behavior. Would retaliation be considered as a possible outcome?

10/18/2010 1:52 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My only previous comment was 10/16/2010 5:13 PM. After reading the entire Navy Times story online after it was released today I would like to withdraw my previous comment. Graf went off the reservation the full Navy Times story is more damning than the original excerpt lead me to believe. I know nothing about Graf other than the news article.

10/18/2010 2:20 PM

 
Anonymous Sheesh said...

You mean "Gero"...not "Graf," bonehead.

The 3383's comments were regarding another skimmer that had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with this thread's subject matter...Captain Holly Graf, screamer extraordinaire.

10/18/2010 2:42 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Rex
what usually happens now to the other woman - Finis?

No, she is really good looking
she can apply for sub duty.

10/18/2010 3:29 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joel,
I agree with the comments above: you should considering deleting ALL comments made before the Navy Times article was available electronically in its entirety.

The report concluded that the CO likely didn't have sex? Thus there was no adultery and certainly no violation of the UCMJ, other than a general display of bad judgement, etc...

Again, in the interest of fairness and an honorable man's reputation and privacy, I would delete the above comments prior to the release of the article. They were all made based on an assumption of a crime/event (adultery) that likely did NOT happen.

10/18/2010 4:13 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well for those who wish to delete the post you should have read first articulated second. Libel can be an awful thing. Bottom line is the YN new exactly what he was doing. He opened up a piece of mail and said holy crap! Now it's too late to stuff it back in the envelope so the next best thing is to hold on to it. The WR stepped waaaay over their bounds for the given situation and they should be brought to mast. The skipper obviously has eroded "good order and discipline" As those of you who have been involved with an IG investigation know; they just point it out and wait for the report. They do not can only "recommend" action.

10/18/2010 5:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree w/ anon @1700. This article has been on the street for a week and anyone could have read the full text before making accusations! Don't give the pansies a chance to withdraw comments based on ignorance. Let's keep this thread going and see "When would you report your CO?"

10/18/2010 5:07 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd go after the XO - I can't remember his name at this time...

If he was doing his job, he'd tell the CO after the first night of the 3 hr delay of returning a phone call or after the "Sub Dolphin Board" after the other CO left after 15 minutes...YOU HAVE TO TELL THE CO WHEN HE'S BEING AN ASS!!!

Typical of the current XO crop....and the SCC training pipeline.

10/18/2010 6:24 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went to him for a lot of my PNEO interviews. He answered his phone a lot while I drew.

10/18/2010 7:38 PM

 
Anonymous YNC(SS), USN, Retired said...

Folks, I do believe Captain Gero needs to be cut some slack. I've never heard of the man until recently, but there you have it. It's clear that I probably don'tknow enough, but "Caine Mutiny" does ring a bell.It may be that our Navy has become too politically correct. From what I have read in the last couple of years, maybe I should start thinking about defending myself. You guys seem to be too busy cutting one-another's throats.

10/18/2010 8:05 PM

 
Blogger Vigilis said...

Again, YNC(SS), USN, Retired seems to be dead on target.

10/18/2010 8:36 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the original post was slanted and misleading (deliberate?) and spawned all kinds of speculation that likely would not have been written if the whole story were known. The question of when to report CO was lost in the salacious details of the NON-affair. It appears to me that Capt Gero was fairly treated in the investigation and all involved will live with the consequences of their own actions - so it seems the system does work appropriately. Report away, my friends, but be prepared to live with the results.

10/18/2010 9:22 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shame on the wardroom and the Yeoman on the Ohio Blue crew. You have risked the security of this country on hearsay evidence. Gero was relieved due to the Admiral knowing that the wardroom had lost faith and confiedence in their CO. The 1120s on this ship are a bunch of backstabbers, definitely not shipmates.
Hopefully every major commander that performs an inspection on your ship makes you pay for your cowardness!!

10/19/2010 12:11 AM

 
Anonymous SubIconoclast said...

Wow, lotta defenders of CO incompetence on this board.

Nice to know that earning the confidence of your officers and crew isn't a priority for some submariners. Maybe that explains the poor leadership you find wearing about 1 in 10 command pins over the right pocket these days...

For those serving today, it should come as no surprise to find yet another example of a narcissist CO displaying an overdeveloped sense of personal entitlement and underdeveloped sense of personal responsibility. "Blaming the juniors" has become TTP for the marginal COs that came from the bottom of the late 80s, early 90s YG 'barrel.' Gero isn't from their cohort, but the rabid defense of his right to demonstrate poor leadership sounds familiar.

10/19/2010 3:26 AM

 
Blogger Curt said...

Wow, what a great thread.

Best arguments I've read in a long time. Thanks, Shipmates.

Again - Ship, Shipmate, Self????

Miller Time (CANX)??

btw: The word verification, below, for this post is "hosub" HA!

10/19/2010 3:46 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm witht TENNVOL here. No one comes out looking good. It sounds like the CO was letting his budding middle age crisis remoance get the best of him. If he really wasn't answering calls, did the XO confront him on it? It's not implicitly clear but he should have. XO certainly should have colluded witth the wardroom, he should have taken it to the Commodore. Keeping someone's personal mail, federal crime. Just think if it was reversed, CO keeping Third Classes' mail. Holy firestorm there batman. Qual board in the Hickam Officer's club? Last titme I did one, we actually asked questions like the settings for an ADCAP, which last time I check was in a Secret pub. Where was the wardroom backup saying this wasn't right? There is enough crap flying that everyone looks bad.

10/19/2010 5:06 AM

 
Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

A little perspective here, fellow sea lawyers. DFCs happen at a fairly regular rate. Sometimes it's a grounding or a collision (when Chuck Griffiths was ComSubPac, he put out a message to his boats that said 'the next CO who bends a periscope will be fired.') But those DFCs that aren't related to operations usually have the kind of sad and tawdry elements found in this one.

As Charlie White once said when he was SubPac N-3, 'Command is easy ... if you don't plumber it up.' This guy plumbered it up. It was his fault and his alone.

If you believe that dumb guys do dumb things, well, higher authority looked at the dumb things Gero did and concluded that he was too dumb to command a warship. End of story.

10/19/2010 5:17 AM

 
Blogger DDM said...

Is it possible that CAPT Gero's crew behaved just like this article? Rumors leading to assumptions. Assumptions leading to noticing things to support your assumptions. Pretty soon the mission gets challenged because many of the key players spend their time collecting data points vice focusing on their job.

We don't know if the XO or COB had a chat with him that gave him the opportunity to recognize what the crew perceived. My guess is the XO tried to cover for the CO until he had enough. In the end no matter how you shine it and package it, it's still a turd created by the CO.

WRT XOs. I had two COs DFC (One DUI, One "loss of confidence" due to adulterous behavior that the crew discovered). Neither XO went on to command and neither were slouches. Coincidence? For the conspiracy theorists neither were USNA grads.

10/19/2010 6:42 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

having served under Gero (he was my XO), I can confidently state he would never had put his ship or crew at risk, for anything. One of the most stand up naval officers I have ever served with. And I do not have a lot of those type experiences or accolades to throw around from my time in the navy, trust me, if you knew me you would agree. That man did more for me in a one minute phone call (when I was wrongly shorted on my paycheck one week before Christmas, 3 weeks before my wedding), merely because I was one of his crew, and I said I needed help, than any other person ever did for me, ever. I am not one to simply praise every military person just because they serve. There are a lot of jerks, and self serving a*ssholes in the Navy, in it for themselves, just like the real world, and Gero was not one of them. He might have been demanding, but he was all Navy, former enlisted, turned officer. I am deeply saddened to see and end to his career. I'm also deeply concerned at the actions of the wardroom here. While we do not have, or most likely will never know all 3 sides to the story, I support the Commodores actions given the climate aboard a nuclear warship. There is a lot of blame to go around here. I hope there are consequences for the YN, and wardroom, even if not official. I am not surprised the Navy Times published this story, never was real journalism anyway. As for the comments of this blog, I will continue to be a fan of your blog, you seem like someone I would be friends with, but like mentioned above, there are a lot of a*holes out there.

10/19/2010 8:06 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops just a slip of the tongue, or the typing fingers in this case. Graf, Gero. Thinking of the subject 'disgraced Navy captains' and the fingers somehow typed the other one's name. Should have been Gero of course.

10/19/2010 8:43 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

News Flash!!!!

EVERYONE IS A BIGOT IN THEIR OWN WAY!
Whether it is racial, sexual, gender, animal, football, baseball or whatever. Everyone has some hatred for something! Just depends on the subject and severity.

I hate the Dallas Cowboys and love the Pittsburgh Steelers! Does that make be a bigot of Texas???

Don't get so self righteous! What I am waiting for once the military recognizes gay marraige is how long before they recognize polygamy! Then my second wife can have benfit coverage also!

10/19/2010 9:28 AM

 
Anonymous It's Finally Here said...

***GOOD NEWS*** (obviously...off-topic):

Early voting polls are OPEN people...!!!

VOTE - it'll put a great big 'ol smile on your face!

10/19/2010 9:44 AM

 
Anonymous Witness said...

Worked for 6 commanding officers during my Navy days, and the closest I ever came to witnessing a CO become DFC'd was the 2nd to last, who was relieved early in an excruciating overhaul...as was the Engineer.

How did the CO handle his career obviously coming to a not-so-bright close?

At the change-of-command, he surprised everyone in the crowd by spending his entire monologue giving a sincere and obviously heart-felt tribute to his wife, who was of course reduced to tears and smiles at the end of his speech...when he simply walked off the stage and took her on his arm, and left.

And that's a no-shitter. A very tough act to follow, it was.

Some people get what's important in life...and some don't. We all have the opportunity to figure it out, even after we've managed to "plumber it up."

10/19/2010 9:54 AM

 
Anonymous Tao Te Ching said...

PREVENTING A FALL

...........................................Honor and shame
.......................................are the same as fear.
.......................................Fortune and disaster
........................................are the same for all.

...............What is said of honor and shame is this:
..............................Whether absent or present,
......................they are inseparable from the fear
......................................that they give rise to.

...........What is said of fortune and disaster is this:
...............................they can befall any person.

........................By the accident of good fortune
......................one may rule the world for a time.
..................................But by the virtue of love
...........................................one lives forever.

10/19/2010 10:20 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The question of when to report CO was lost in the salacious details of the NON-affair.

Based on the activities described, the time spent together AND the smooch covered card, there is no way the NON-affair was not consummated.

10/19/2010 12:52 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous at 12:32: READ THE FULL ARTICLE. Investigation showed there was likely NO ADULTERY.
You think you know better than those who investigated?

10/19/2010 1:37 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon @12:52: Are you Joel?

10/19/2010 1:39 PM

 
Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

A splendid old quotation from Mrs Patrick Campbell: "Does it really matter what these affectionate people do — so long as they don’t do it in the streets and frighten the horses!"

Gero frightened the horses.

10/19/2010 2:15 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Back to the original question - tho many great pookas poked at here --

I was XO on a ship where an incredibly similar situation occurred. YN brought me a piece of mail which clearly indicated CO fooling around, which had been suspected for awhile. Addressed to the CO by title.

Good order and discipline? there's something to that if the crew has lost confidence in the integrity of the CO, which had happened. Indicators included bizarre phone calls made and received including from the bridge (a' la Gero), TAD executed for spurious purposes with rendezvous (as reported by others at the distant end), and the skipper generally nowhere near the ship or wardroom during port visits, but seen with bimbos under his arm out in town. He clearly thought it cool and there were probably a few single 18 yr olds who agreed but the bulk of the crew IMHO was not impressed.

So this letter arrives and it's in my hands. He's my 2nd CO and I've already screened for command, but we're about to be CO and CDO, on deployment, together. I turned to two trusted mentors at CSP and said I felt I needed to do something to at least bring it to his attention, the corrosive behavior now a discussion point among the crew and my own confidence in his integrity not too high.

I also felt some obligation to act with integrity in the eyes of my YN who had brought me the letter, ashen faced, and who would definitely, sometime in the future, tell what he had seen.

2x CSP O6s discuss with Uncle Al and they all want to fire him. I asked for a chance to discuss with him, ask that he stop the behavior, recognize what the crew thought about it all, and if he was going to screw around, don't use the boat.

It was a different sub force than today, I think. I was the one that brought the issue forward, and I was allowed to bring the issue to a head with the CO, albeit with top cover.

Long story short - unsatisfying conclusion in the short run... he denied it all, but stopped using the boat. He did disappear even more during WESTPAC Pvsts, though he was occasionally seen with bimbos out in town, and became an even heavier drinker.

He tried to be quite vindictive but I'm still in, and several years later it ended for him at Admiral's mast, for TAD and adultery issues.

My point is good order and discipline absolutely start with the CO, his example, and his personal integrity. I'm not just a theoretical boy scout about this, after 3 yrs in command and some time watching others, nothing else matters as much. I made sure the YN got promoted (he later went to NR), and sleep well at night.

Sad, a little, about the outcome for Murray Gero but refer to the time-tested title at the very top of the page, Joel has it right.

10/19/2010 2:20 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Back to the original question - tho many great pookas poked at here --

I was XO on a ship where an incredibly similar situation occurred. YN brought me a piece of mail which clearly indicated CO fooling around, which had been suspected for awhile. Addressed to the CO by title.

Good order and discipline? there's something to that if the crew has lost confidence in the integrity of the CO, which had happened. Indicators included bizarre phone calls made and received including from the bridge (a' la Gero), TAD executed for spurious purposes with rendezvous (as reported by others at the distant end), and the skipper generally nowhere near the ship or wardroom during port visits, but seen with bimbos under his arm out in town. He clearly thought it cool and there were probably a few single 18 yr olds who agreed but the bulk of the crew IMHO was not impressed.

So this letter arrives and it's in my hands. He's my 2nd CO and I've already screened for command, but we're about to be CO and CDO, on deployment, together. I turned to two trusted mentors at CSP and said I felt I needed to do something to at least bring it to his attention, the corrosive behavior now a discussion point among the crew and my own confidence in his integrity not too high.

I also felt some obligation to act with integrity in the eyes of my YN who had brought me the letter, ashen faced, and who would definitely, sometime in the future, tell what he had seen.

10/19/2010 2:21 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2x CSP O6s discuss with Uncle Al and they all want to fire him. I asked for a chance to discuss with him, ask that he stop the behavior, recognize what the crew thought about it all, and if he was going to screw around, don't use the boat.

It was a different sub force than today, I think. I was the one that brought the issue forward, and I was allowed to bring the issue to a head with the CO, albeit with top cover.

Long story short - unsatisfying conclusion in the short run... he denied it all, but stopped using the boat. He did disappear even more during WESTPAC Pvsts, though he was occasionally seen with bimbos out in town, and became an even heavier drinker.

He tried to be quite vindictive but I'm still in, and several years later it ended for him at Admiral's mast, for TAD and adultery issues.

My point is good order and discipline absolutely start with the CO, his example, and his personal integrity. I'm not just a theoretical boy scout about this, after 3 yrs in command and some time watching others, nothing else matters as much.

Sad, a little, about the outcome for Murray Gero but refer to the time-tested title at the very top of the page, Joel has it right.

10/19/2010 2:22 PM

 
Anonymous And The Answer Is said...

@2:22pm Anon former XO and current CO:

OK. All well and good, and good on ya' as well...and I sincerely mean that.

But what did you do with the letter addressed to the CO?

10/19/2010 2:35 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After I talked to him about it, I gave it to him.
He knew it had been read off the ship, and I didn't want anything more to do with it.

10/19/2010 2:52 PM

 
Anonymous And The Answer Is said...

Very nicely done, skipper. I'd give you a 4.0 for all of your efforts.

And thanks for weighing in on this...from all of us.

BZ

10/19/2010 2:55 PM

 
Anonymous Submarine Yeoman said...

Why are so many people on here trashing the yeoman? I am the leading yeoman on a SSGN submarine and I can tell you I would have done the same thing.

It is the standard procedure on a submarine to open all mail that is addressed to the co by title vice by name due to the significant amount of crap that comes in the mail. I am also responsible (and held legally responsible) for all the travel funds for the command.

If a letter came in the mail that called into question the Commanding Officer's integrity and specifically suggested that he was abusing the travel program I would feel morally obligated to at least bring it to my XO's attention (expecting that it was dealt with at a level above the CO's).

Some people seem to be suggesting that maybe it should have been overlooked because it was just adultery, but that is a slippery slope if I have ever seen one. Who gets to decide which articles of the UCMJ are enforced and which ones are ignored? And let's not forget the situation here... we are not talking about anyone in the navy, we are talking about the Commanding Officer of a Nuclear Submarine, a man that is held to a higher standard, and rightly so.

Lets say that it was swept under the rug. Few months pass by and rumor gets out (cause we are all submariners here and know that would eventually happen) but nobody acts on it. Then the YN3 (who knows about it) starts messing around with a female personnelman at PSD and his wife finds out and all of a sudden it’s a big deal. The CO deals with it appropriately and the YN3 is starts screaming out to everyone that his CO is doing it to, whats the big deal?

What I am trying to say is that the CO of a ship is responsible for enforcing the rules, all of them. That he is in an extraordinary position of ultimate responsibility and integrity and that part of that means that he has to be flawless in his ability to do the right thing. If not, that he has no right filling the position of a Commanding Officer.

The Leading Yeoman is also in a position of high responsibility, as the legal and personnel officer for the command. Money is issued based on his say so and travel claims are paid because he says that it was authorized. He is supposed to uphold standards and make sure that he is backing up the command on all matters. I say that we should be applauding the people involved for doing the right thing when it must have been hard to do, when they probably were afraid of reprisal. For showing the honor, courage and commitment to do the right thing.

10/19/2010 3:09 PM

 
Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

Two points from the XO posting just above:

1. Sea daddies are good to have - someone off the boat and able to look with cold eyes at a troubled situation.

2. The initial reaction of higher authority was right. Your CO should have been fired then, not years later.

10/19/2010 3:11 PM

 
Anonymous And The Answer Is said...

YN guy:

A not altogether bad (or wrong) assumption others are making here is that the YN kept the letter to himself.

More likely, the YN took it to the XO, who sat on it...but that be my own sense of right & wrong kicking in.

In any case, the bitchfest is over the letter not being delivered to the CO in a forthright fashion, with no bullshit, such as the above XO/CO related.

Witholding personal mail breaks federal law...and two wrongs don't make a right.

Going to an XO is the right thing to do, and that's what you say you'd have done. Good...and ultimately the end of story in a good way.

If on the outside chance (in my opinion) the YN actually kept the letter to himself and only revealed it once the investigation broke out, I'd be one to drop an anvil on him for a gross misjudgement of his paygrade, as well as flat out breaking the law. Perhaps just a severe dressing down and/or service record entry/letter or reprimand, but "Thank you" would not be the end of that conversation.

10/19/2010 3:25 PM

 
Anonymous YNC(SS), USN, Retired said...

Submarine Yeoman, you're on the mark regarding envelopes addressed to Commanding Officer, USS BOAT. The initial inference was that the envelope was addressed to Captain A. B. Sea, USS BOAT. And, a "crew member" opened it, read it, and kept it as evidence.

In the case of the letter addressed to Commanding Officer, I agree with you 100%. Open it, screen the contents for action, take it to the Exec like the rest of the mail; and of course I would wait until the Exec was actually present so I could hand it to him for what it was. Ball's in Exec's court.

And yes, that bond of trust and confidence must be kept intact. The responsibilities you have now are no different than days gone by.

Smooth Sailin' brother.

10/19/2010 3:46 PM

 
Blogger Vigilis said...

According to Rubber Ducky, the disposition of CAPT. Gero's command has been consistent with DCFs through the years. That is well, but the quote by Mrs Patrick Campbell was disconcerting considering the finding of no adultery by Gero (still, there was loss of confidence).

There is an appearance (as in The Caine Mutiny) that someone was out to get Gero. The yeoman was only following his orders.

One DH, however, may have been implementing the navy's submarine sensitivity program, which requires establishing a gender-neutral environment prior to assignment of the first women.

What is gender-neutral? Look at it like this: If Capt Gero had developed the same fondness for a female submariner under his command as he did for the reserve intelligence officer girlfriend, we would all hate to be on that boat. The navy has been tightening down preemptively. Can you blame them?

The ideal enforcers of gender-neutral sensitivity are USNA graduates. The casualties are any unwary COs and below who are more like the red-blooded submarine heroes of an earlier era than today's USNA graduates have been conditioned to behave.

The problem I have is that gender-neutral may not have been an accurate description of discipline effecting USNA's female students.

As with Capt. Graf, we may find out a better description was actually gender-favored.

Just saying.

10/19/2010 4:11 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to say that having finally read the article in Navy Times I am underwhelmed. I am trying to figure out what exactly he did to get fired and about the only thing that sticks in my craw is the incident of bringing a non-submarine person to a qual board and then allowing that person to ask a question.....WTF??? Talk about something highly inappropriate that the XO should have stopped.

The rest of the stuff is standard adultery crap, which according to the investigation was never consumated. So he lost his command and did not even get a happy ending!

My second CO was a raging screamer of an alcoholic who should have never been allow anywhere near a ballistic missile submarine (I swear he would have signed off on targeting in the Western Hemisphere...). And he had a child mail order bride from the PI...

He ended his career the night he got publicly drunk and someone dropped a dime on him with the local sheriff. But until that his behavior was much worse than anything I have read about this guy and there was never any talk of my second CO being relieved for cause.

I guess times really have changed.

10/19/2010 7:33 PM

 
Anonymous I HATE VIGILIS said...

vigilis, you're a fucking moron. Why does it always come back to this fucking USNA and women on submarines conspiracy theory. DO US ALL A FAVOR AND STFU!!!!!

10/19/2010 8:16 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am trying to figure out what exactly he did to get fired and about the only thing that sticks in my craw is the incident of bringing a non-submarine person to a qual board and then allowing that person to ask a question.....WTF??? Talk about something highly inappropriate that the XO should have stopped.

Yes, AND...it is honestly that kind of dorked, off-kilter thinking and behavior that tends to go hand-in-glove with adulterers.

I'm not saying - as others have charged, without evidence - that Gero did have a 'happy ending.' But in my decades of life experience as an adult, I have seen in pretty much every case that adulterers get funky-weird.

Call it unconscious fracturing of their mind or whatever you want, but again - to my experience - adulterers do strange, oddball stuff like lying when they have absolutely no reason to. It's as though they get in a knee-jerk mode of not telling the truth, and lie without any conscious intention or self-control.

Beyond that, I have no interest in going into any psych mumbo-jumbo, but I've seen this "gone squirrelly" behavior enough with adulterers to feel the need to point it out. In a very real way, they do sort of lose their minds.

10/19/2010 9:35 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Way off topic but when did a T-Hull become an O6 command again?

Does it mean that an O5 could complete his command tour on an SSBN and later come back to the same boat for major command?

Is it an SSGN thing?

Thanks

10/19/2010 10:25 PM

 
Blogger Vigilis said...

anon @ 10/19/2010 8:16 PM

"Why does it always come back to this f[_____] USNA and women on submarines conspiracy theory.[?]"

Think I have explained the USNA connection to women on subs in much better detail than you ask your question.

But, just in case, let me ask you:
Why does it always come back to this USNA and women on submarines conspiracy theory? Answer: Because examples have appeared repetitively this year.

Please stop pretending you were ever a genius, adult male, or a submariner. Just take your prescribed medicine(s), go to bed and feel better. Adults will post the heavy stuff that seems too difficult for you.

Or, you can prove our suspicion that you never heard of the Free Speech Clause in the First Amendment.

10/19/2010 10:34 PM

 
Anonymous Jungle Jim said...

As high and mighty as submariners are about so many things, I'm honestly shocked that so many people are willing to carry water for CAPT Gero. 3 Things to me are pretty obvious:

1) For those of you who think this phenomenon is isolated to the Navy, think again, the CEO of HP was recently fired for a situation that is at least kind of similar, and he "commanded" probably 50 times as many people at a company worth probably 10 times the value of the Ohio. Though, obviously, this does not hold true at all companies.

2) Does anybody REALLY think he did not sleep with this girl, or at least try to? Sure, the report may not have any evidence, and I'm sure he said that he did not. She may have said that she didn't either... but come on, really? He's taking sketchy travel to go see her and she's writing love notes, but he's just too devoted to his family? Something stinks with that one...

3) All CO's should know: take care of your crew and they'll take care of you. If you're a raging dickhead there's going to be a lot of guys just waiting and praying for you to fall. I've never met CAPT Gero and know nothing about him personally, but the fact that the Wardroom was willing to throw him overboard shows a lot about what kind of leader he was on the Ohio.

4) The crew owes the CO only what he's earned. Nothing more, nothing less. The idea that the crew should turn a blind eye for the CO is extremely odd to me. I'm certain that if some other crew member was misappropriating ship's funds, the CO would most likely take a stripe, not offer him a warning. What one earth has he done to earn different treatment? You know how it pisses you off when a cop is going like 80 mph with his lights on to blow through a red light because he wants to get home from work? Yeah... that.

10/19/2010 11:36 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ 10/19 1025 pm:

It's just a SSGN thing; each of the crews is a Major Command with an O-6 on their second command tour. SSBN's are still O-5's.

10/20/2010 3:58 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Jungle Jim: In your own HP example, the CEO didn't bag the marketing lady by anyone's account, including HP's no-slouch investigators.

So get off your "I know better" high-horse. It just makes you look bad, and it's the same kind of National Enquirer mindset that put this whole thread in the ditch from the get-go.

We all know what opinions are 'like.'

10/20/2010 6:26 AM

 
Anonymous Jungle Jim said...

anon:

In this example, the Navy investigators are also claiming that CAPT Gero did not bag his lady... I fail to see the difference? Both were still shit-canned despite the fact that they didn't consummate.

10/20/2010 6:42 AM

 
Anonymous Jungle Jim said...

by the way, I used the term "fact" loosely. perhaps I should have said, despite the fact that there is no concrete evidence that they actually had sex.

10/20/2010 6:43 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was referring to your entire item #2 rant, if that was somehow unclear.

10/20/2010 6:49 AM

 
Blogger tennvol said...

@Jungle Jim: You HP CEO analogy was a poor choice. Mark Hurd was given $34.6 million to leave, and his career is not over. He was named co-president of Oracle 1 month later.

10/20/2010 8:24 AM

 
Anonymous knownukes said...

Here's an interesting social experiment:

Pick a random CO from each squadron and send him a love note. Since we operate on the "Guilty till proven less guilty" standard nowadays, I wonder how many careers could be ruined?

10/20/2010 8:29 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thankfully, that wouldn't hold up to even the lamest investigation.

Gero was hiding this relationship from his wife, and without any good explanation. Not a slam-dunk conviction because that...but he certainly gets no points on the scoreboard for that kind of behavior. Not for his team at least.

10/20/2010 8:50 AM

 
Blogger ETCS(SS/SW) said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10/20/2010 9:16 AM

 
Blogger ETCS(SS/SW) said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10/20/2010 9:17 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ETCS(SS/SW): I and many others agree with your position regarding women on U.S. nuclear submarines, but IMHO this is simply "a bad idea whose time has come."

If you allow gays on submarines (a history-making work in-progress), then women almost certainly need to be there to balance the equation.

Politics over military-readiness? Yes. For the time-being.

With many years of submarine service very thankfully in my rear-view mirror, there's no way I personally wouldn't resign my commission if gays were okay but women were not.

But both are very political topics which Joel has decided not to discuss here. Call that choice censuring, or call it a head-in-the-sand approach, or call it a welcome relief...it is what it is.

10/20/2010 9:30 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I experienced much the same situation as Capt. Gero, with much the same outcome. And to this day I regret my actions.

Here’s my story:
My crew and I had recently returned from a challenging patrol which included an extended refit, an NTPI, and ORSE. Turnover went smooth and the flight back to CONUS was uneventful. A Christmas party was planned at one of the crewmember’s homes, and I was invited. There was a mix of officers and enlisted present. There were also some young ladies, probably brought in from the Grotto, Dialtone, or other Route 12 pubs. As the night progressed and the Wild Turkey bottles emptied, events began to get really fuzzy. I do remember standing in the kitchen, actually leaning against a counter in the kitchen, discussing politics and religion with one of the Route 12 girls. Beyond that, the night became too blurry.

The next morning I awoke with this really ugly (and smelly) Route 12 girl at my side. Somehow I had made it home. And somehow she had made it to my home also. I looked at her and asked, “Who the fu#k are you?”, “Where is your car?”, and “How soon can you get the hell out of here?”. She replied that her car was down at the Grotto parking lot and could I give her a lift?

Two weeks (or so) later I started feeling a burning sensation and a bit of dripping. Sure enough the Doc (Nativio) diagnosed the clapping STDs.

At that point I know I got the clap, I know it came from a truly disgusting female, and I have no recall of the enjoyment in attaining those two trophies.

And if that ain’t the pot calling the kettle black, I don’t know what is…….

Mulligan

10/20/2010 11:47 AM

 
Anonymous Jungle Jim said...

Tennvol:

Don't shed too many tears for CAPT Gero.

1) He still will get his retirement (a severance, if you will)
2) his career is not really "over", he's not getting kicked out of the Navy.
3) If he does choose to retire, there is still plenty of employment opportunities outside of the Navy for him. Take your pick of disgraced CO's, they all are employed in government positions, contractors, or are still in the Navy.

I guess you could argue that now he will not screen for flag officer, but that's not guaranteed anyway. It's not even necessarily likely, the funnel narrows pretty tight there anyway.

All in all, he tried to lie to go visit his "close personal friend" that he spoke to in "hushed tones" about things that "his bosses wouldn't approve of". Miraculously the travel request was not approved AFTER the the wardroom called the IG.

Whether or not he had sex with her I think is probably the least important thing here. It seems to me that he didn't commit a potential crime only because somebody noted his travel request as fishy and stopped it before it was approved....

And therefore, we should just let him skate, right?

10/20/2010 12:03 PM

 
Anonymous Got Vote said...

And therefore, we should just let him skate, right?

You mean, just like one former Commander-In-Chief, President Bill Clinton, for splorting on one of his subordinates in the White House whose thong underwear and "cigar holder" caught his attention...?

Right, wrong, or indifferent, adultery is not a crime insofar as the U.S. criminal justice system is concerned. It is a violation of the UCMJ...at least so long as until it isn't, or if your rank is high enough, or if your politics are correct enough.

This may all become ancient history once the Adulterers of America (or similar) gain sufficient lobbying power to create new "laws" -- no doubt with substantial membership amongst today's so-called 'servants of the people' inside the Beltway.

10/20/2010 12:34 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember obeying the west of 180 rule when stationed on the west coast, and its equivalent east coast rule when stationed east.

Having said that, he wasn't being discreet. And his activities weren't west of 180. DADT applies to affairs as well as other activities.

Had an engineer I worked for once, a frocked LCDR, pop positive for marijuana. Several people knew, many others suspected, but no one turned him in. Random testing got him. Would I have turned him in? Yes. But I was oblivious to the signs. I thought he was an alcholic. Alchoholics either straighten up, or eventually screw up. Hopefully, before they hit command positions. People above them should be noting their problem; it's usually obvious enough that people below shouldn't have to point it out.

Never had one as a CO, but two as XO's.

10/20/2010 2:59 PM

 
Anonymous Callin' B.S. said...

@2:59PM Anon:

DADT applies to homosexuality only...not heterosexual "affairs."

Where'd you get that bullshit? Self-created on the fly?

10/20/2010 3:24 PM

 
Blogger Bubblehead said...

@Anonymous 0930 10/20 said:

"But both are very political topics which Joel has decided not to discuss here. Call that choice censuring, or call it a head-in-the-sand approach, or call it a welcome relief...it is what it is."

We've had threads discussing those issues, in depth. I just don't want every damned thread being hijacked by people who seem consumed with nothing else. As I said earlier, if someone wants to start a blog where people who want to can discuss those issues, I'll link to it.

10/20/2010 3:33 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From that Anon:

The ETC(SS/SW) posted a link to his blog re. the women on U.S. nuclear submarines issue. Did you delete his posts, Joel, or did he...?

No matter. I do get it. The bottom line is that these issues (gays and women) are hot, overly emotional political issues, and the sub force members...God bless 'em every one...will simply have to make-do with whatever gets shoved down their throats.

It's not like airing the issue out here solves anything, and I've noted how both sides of the argument tend to fall into idiotic name-calling pretty quickly ("homophobic," "bigot," "faggot," etc.) rather than respectfully air the issues out.

Last but not least, we all served or are serving in the military...not "the politics." They need us there more than they know, but I for one am more than happy to stay on my side of the fence.

You can't fix stupid.

10/20/2010 4:06 PM

 
Blogger Bubblehead said...

When I delete posts, I put in a comment that I deleted posts. When it says, as those ones do, that they were "deleted by author", it means that the author of those posts deleted them.

10/20/2010 5:11 PM

 
Blogger ETCS(SS/SW) said...

Joel did not delete my posts. I deleted my posts because I was having Internet connection problems. It seems that Anon @ 0930 responded when one of the posts was up for a short period. I have no problems with Joel in the way he chooses to run his blog. As for my original post, the first half was specifically to the point of the thread's title. The second part did concern women in submarines. I chose to respond since someone else earlier used the term.
ETCS

10/20/2010 5:31 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I once again argue that we should delete all posts made before the electronic version of the full story was available.

This was a non-affair affair and the speculation prior to the Navy Times e-article is uninformed by facts and a bit slanderous.

10/20/2010 5:48 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ron... is that you?

10/20/2010 7:51 PM

 
Anonymous Wise Guy said...

It occurs to me that one way (the only way?) an intelligent, submariner-worthy conversation about DADT or women on submarines could happen here one day is this simple rule: those who feel they have something important to say are not allowed to put words in the other person's mouth or call them names.

If someone breaks the rules, their comment gets deleted.

Might actually make for an enlightening conversation...something that we certainly haven't seen from the likes of those inside the D.C. Beltway in a very long time.

10/21/2010 8:58 AM

 
Blogger Bubblehead said...

Here's the link that ETCS had put up.

As far as deleting the previous posts, I've thought about it, and think that a reader going through the thread will recognize what was going on. However, if someone from CAPT Gero's family wants me to (fearing it would keep him from getting a civilian job), I certainly will. (Actually, in that case, I'd probably just hide all the comments.)

10/21/2010 9:00 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you have your request from a family member - take off the posts before the e-article was published.

10/21/2010 11:12 AM

 
Blogger Bubblehead said...

Deleting the comments before the entire article was available online.

10/21/2010 11:16 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good on ya', Joel.

10/21/2010 11:40 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To bad Joel cares more about how Gero's family feels then Gero feels, he might still be in command!

Since the IG can only report the "facts" them saying there is no proof of an affair is not proof there wasn't. Since I imagine only the two of them were involved in any such activities it is unlikely "proof" will ever exist.

All that said - if you compromise your integrity and lose the respect of those under your command then you are of zero worth. It applies to all levels of the chain of command. The moment those under you are so distracted by your personal life that they question your judgment is the moment you are no longer an effective leader.

10/21/2010 12:14 PM

 
Anonymous Gravitas said...

Personal lives matter a great deal.

Everyone gets 'distracted' by their personal life at some point(s) in their naval service. At appropriate points, one's personal life arguably takes top priority...otherwise, what are we all fighting for? Wall Street? Capitalism? Even the Constitution, which routinely gets interpreted according to the political winds of the day?

Hopefully, most of the 'distractions' of one's personal life are largely very well-managed by the time a man has enough history to be a commanding officer.

Gero's failure, despite his seniority, was stupidity, i.e. being "unwittingly self-destructive." His ego and misplaced values destroyed the better man he was clearly capable of being.

That his family is still intact speaks volumes about who he really is...and it's not the ego-monster that splattered his career.

Best of luck to the new, and yet soon-to-be-former, Captain Gero and his family. Life is what you choose to make it.

10/21/2010 12:29 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow...very disappointed in your deletions. Although a lot of the comments were just the usual drivel, many were good, pertinent, and not tied to the time of the article.

I know Murray (not Ron as some think) and he was a good CO his first tour. However, this event is clearly improper...and the facts in the latest article are exactly what you would expect to hear. Murray messed around big time and got caught...BT AR.

Deleting comments en masse (not the individual butt-head ones) cheapens your blog immensely. Sorry Joel, but I don't support you on this one at all.

A Flag Reader

10/21/2010 12:36 PM

 
Blogger ETCS(SS/SW) said...

@ Joel - Thanks for reposting my link.

@ Anon 10/20 0930 - I appreciate your comments.

@ Wise Guy 0858
- "an intelligent, submariner-worthy conversation" -- now there's an interesting concept.

Here's the first half of my deleted post from 10/20 @ 0916:

~~~ BEGIN ~~~
Would I ever turn in my CO?

Yes, but he/she would have to be certifiably off-the-rocker for that to happen. I am sure I would not be the only one to notice, so there would be some synergy to take whatever action needed.

~~~
A lot of people here are saying the CO should have been approached directly by his crew. In an ideal world, that would have happened. The CO would have graciously acknowledged the concerns of the crew and made appropriate course corrections. In the real world, the crew's careers are in the hands of the commanding officer. It is understanable to be hesitant approaching your CO to bring concerns of this nature to them. Your career lies in balance. In my opinion, the only person that is in a position to do this is the XO.

~~~
At one point, Gero lost "focus of his mission" during an important transit, an investigation found. This one item alone is sufficient to DFC. If you can't depend on your CO to keep the focus on the mission, then you make it difficult for everyone else, if not dangerous.

~~~
"The card was never delivered. Instead, a crew member kept it as evidence." This was absolutely wrong unless the crewmember was a member of an official investigation with specific authorization to keep mail addressed to the CO. If there was no official investigation in progress then the YN and anyone else involved in touching the card should be hung up by their thumbs and punished accordingly.

~~~
Since the issue of women in submarines has finally reared its ugly head, I now provide my thoughts on this aspect.
Captain Gero simply proves my point as do other commanding officers detached for cause for 'inappropriate personal relationships'.

...[The remainder of my original post was concerned with the women-in-submarines issue in general and was not specific to the title of this thread.]


ETCS

10/21/2010 12:48 PM

 
Anonymous Gravitas said...

@12:36PM Flag Reader:

Have to disagree with you on this one, Admiral. I am certain that Joel did the right thing by deleting the un-informed comments the preceded the e-article's release.

Joel's TSSBP blog lives or dies by statements of unvarnished truth. We can all disagree on how to interpret the facts...the truth...but without this being commonly shared, the group splinters just like poorly-choosing Murray Gero's earlier psyche.

I live in a cosmopolitan, well-informed major city, but the closest publicly available copy of the Navy Times - something I stopped lining the catbox with many years ago - is probably 15 miles away on the other side of town at the NROTC unit. Many to most of Joel's readers probably fall in the same category.

Joel's mistake (we all make 'em, and so I say that without judgement, but the sequence of events speaks for itself) was allowing comments before the e-article was available to ALL of his readers. I doubt he'll do that again.

On a lighter note...the blog is free: things don't get much cheaper than that.

Last but not least, God bless ya' for being on active duty these days, Admiral...in today's hyper-political environment, I do not envy you. Now, as to the COs of the Virgina class boats...that's a whole other thing...

10/21/2010 1:47 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>Last but not least, God bless ya' for being on active duty these days, Admiral...in today's hyper-political environment, I do not envy you. Now, as to the COs of the Virgina class boats...that's a whole other thing...

Gravitas,

We will have to agree to disagree. Murray's actions were contrary to the DOD, Navy and Submarine Forces policies on good order and discipline.

I am retired with 2 stars, so have at me. I disagree with gays in the military, women on subs (until a sub is designed to accept them!) and diversity at USNA.

I PITY the COs, XOs, and COBs that have to deal with each of these issues. Mates of mine on skimmers that dealt with the women said that it doubled their mast time and tripled their CO request mast time based on harassment.

Happy I am "fully" retired and just hunting and fishing!

RFO

10/21/2010 2:50 PM

 
Anonymous Xenocles said...

I'm okay with mine being deleted, since they were exclusively in response to a troll I ought not to have fed.

10/21/2010 3:10 PM

 
Anonymous Gravitas said...

I am retired with 2 stars, so have at me. I disagree with gays in the military, women on subs (until a sub is designed to accept them!) and diversity at USNA.

I PITY the COs, XOs, and COBs that have to deal with each of these issues. Mates of mine on skimmers that dealt with the women said that it doubled their mast time and tripled their CO request mast time based on harassment.



Well said, well put, Admiral.

We'd probably disagree on what beer to drink with the crab cakes at Annapolis-area seafood restaurants, but not much else. There'll be no 'having at' from my vantage point.

There actually was once a reason to have women in the Navy, but Big Navy's sailboat does a bad job of tacking and changing its course, even when the winds change direction.

Back during the approach to 600 Ship Navy days, there was no way to man the fleet with volunteers without accepting the fairer sex. Could've done it with a draft, but that wasn't politically feasible. Today, there is of course no operational need for women in the Navy, much less the submarine force. It's all politics, all the time, from the Beltway social scientists.

DADT was an amazing accommodation for gays who could handle the job without feeling the need to flaunt their predisposition, but it's now the rallying point for full gayness, so to speak. I know...what a shock.

Once DADT is rescinded by the current usual suspects, wow...what a mess. The military brass will have no other choice than so 'sell' the acceptability of such things as "first kisses" (as Joel and others call it) of a wholly different kind.

Can't help but wonder how the hunting and fishing are in Canada these days. That grass is looking greener every day.

10/21/2010 3:57 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gravitas: Well put, Admiral...We'd probably disagree on what beer to drink with the crab cakes at Annapolis-area seafood restaurants, but not much else. There'll be no 'having at' from my vantage point.

There will be absolutely NO disagreement on beer...That could have to be an order! :)

Actually, I miss Timmy's!

>There actually was once a reason to have women in the Navy, but Big Navy's sailboat does a bad job of tacking and changing its course, even when the winds change direction.

I served with some true pros...in Army, Navy, and Air Force...Nothing against women period...wish I had had a submarine constucted to accomodate them...I would have volunteered to be the first to take them to sea. We still don't have this sub...

RFO

10/21/2010 5:41 PM

 
Anonymous SubIconoclast said...

I'm disappointed to see posts were censored on the basis of its timing. The fact that my deleted comment drew from Command At Sea (rather than a tabloid like Navy Times) doesn't detract from its validity. Integrity will always be fundamental to establishing relationships characterized by trust and confidence.

10/21/2010 5:44 PM

 
Anonymous YNC(SS), USN, Retired said...

Gravitas said... Among other things

Quote - Back during the approach to 600 Ship Navy days, there was no way to man the fleet with volunteers without accepting the fairer sex. Could've done it with a draft, but that wasn't politically feasible. Today, there is of course no operational need for women in the Navy, much less the submarine force. It's all politics, all the time, from the Beltway social scientists. - End Quote

Although these comments were not directed at me, I did read them. And, in compliance with the Goatlocker 2-minute/5-second rule; and at risk of taking the original post off topic, I believe it is fair for me to comment.

Understand, I would not purposely be politically correct to save my soul, however, comma, we, our Great Nation, and Navy, are already into this subject up to our necks. That said, I believe their is a place and need for women in the Navy, and at sea. We already have a very high number of women in the Navy in a variety of career fields, if not all career fields; commissioned and enlisted, in all pay grades through flag rank.

I believe that the Navy should crew ships with men only, and with women only. It is critical though that the women and those who support the concept of women in the service, fully understand and grasp what being a member of the armed forces really means, whether it be on a warship or otherwise deployed. Deployed on submarines? At this point, in my eyes, still a delicate subject, and I don't know that I'm prepared to build a submarine from keel up, just to accommodate our social mores; to include three sexes(genders).

Please forgive the grammar. My grammar checker seems to be broken.

10/21/2010 5:53 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon @ 1112- This is the Internet. Once out or written, it's out for good- even if Joel deletes. I recommend you not worry about what others think (i.e., requesting erasure posts that are still findable) and deal with your situation internally. Few opinions will be changed, and 'net genies can not be put back in the bottle.

10/21/2010 6:10 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I second that,
I am personally offended that my informed statements were scrubbed from this topic. Having read the article as soon as it was released and discussing the various aspects with shipmates, I then committed to putting my $.02 in.(OT-when the heck did they remove the cent symbol?) Is electronic media/news the golden standard? As I have seen here obviously not. As stated, any and all comments you make are and always will be public domain. All it takes is a shift-end-ctrl-c-ctrl-p and your libelous false accusations and misstatements are there again. The only damage caused by those who chose to make ignorant statements is to themselves.

10/21/2010 6:40 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ Anon 6:10 and 6:40:
Duh, I know about the internet. You are really not smarter than the rest of us.
There were multiple requests to delete the items - and it was not about the content of the posts, it was about the manner in which the subject was introduced which led to comments based on incomplete information. Hurtful, libelous and some that were downright mean. I will admit that I was not happy to read a lot of trash and inaccuracies about a family member. Defamation of a good man is not acceptable - as evidenced by several bloggers on this site who subsequently posted that they wanted to redact their comments. The concern was not only on my part - but I took up Joel's offer to clean up the mess. I am sorry that some were offended - there were good posts deleted along with the garbage.
And to Anon 6:10 for the condescending "recommendation" about how I should "deal with the situation internally" - go fly a kite. All involved accept their responsibility in this HIGHLY OVERBLOWN situation. This family is very strong in numbers and in loyalty.

10/21/2010 8:12 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, ok, it's just a big misunderstanding. Please enlighten us of the nature of his relationship so we can correct the record at our home ports.

10/21/2010 9:11 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ anon 9:11 - the relationship with the wardroom was obviously bad. command was ruined and loss of confidence by superior was the reason for DFC. CO relieved.
The question of the blog is when would you report your CO?

10/21/2010 9:18 PM

 
Anonymous Get Some! said...

The question of the blog is when would you report your CO?

When he is porking a reservist and mis-using taxpayers money. If he wasn't porking her...then what a waste of a career for nothing.

10/21/2010 9:29 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sort-of-Anon @2012- I was trying to point out that, for instance, as of this comment Google still has the original posts in it's cached search, few believe that nothing happened despite what was reported about the findings, and trying to control what people say and think is futile.

I really think you should stop going online to view what is being said about this issue, and just deal with it without bragging to strangers about how everyone is accepting responsibility- which, imho, calling it "HIGHLY OVERBLOWN" isn't.

(And I'm being polite.)

10/22/2010 1:02 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon @ 1:02 Your supercilious pontificating is completely irrelevant. You are being polite? don't you mean patronizing?

10/22/2010 10:21 AM

 
Anonymous Laugh or Cry...Your Choice said...

Some too-true humor to break the spell:

A woman comes home and tells her husband, "Remember those headaches I've been having all these years? Well, they're gone." "No more headaches?" the husband asks, "What happened?" His wife replies, "Margie referred me to a hypnotist. He told me to stand in front of a mirror, stare at myself and repeat, 'I do not have a headache, I do not have a headache, I do not have a headache.' It worked! The headaches are all gone." The husband replies, "Well, that's wonderful." His wife then says, "You know, you haven't exactly been a ball of fire in the bedroom these last few years. Why don't you go see the hypnotist and see if he can do anything for that?" The husband agrees to try it. Following his appointment, the husband comes home, rips off his clothes, picks up his wife, and carries her into the bedroom. He puts her on the bed and says, "Don't move, I'll be right back." He goes into the bathroom and comes back a few minutes later, jumps into bed, and makes passionate love to his wife like never before. His wife says, "Wow! That was wonderful!" The husband says, "Don't move! I'll be right back." He returns to the bathroom and then goes back to the bedroom, and round two is even better than the first time. The wife sits up and her head is spinning. Her husband again says, "Don't move, I'll be right back." With that, he goes back into the bathroom. This time, his wife quietly follows him and there, in the bathroom, she sees him standing in front of the mirror, saying, "She's not my wife. She's not my wife. She's not my wife."

10/23/2010 8:11 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A Mustang retired after 35 years and realized a lifelong dream of buying a bird-hunting estate in Alaska. He invited an old Admiral friend to visit for a week of pheasant shooting. The friend was in awe of the Mustang's new gun dog, "Chief". The dog could point, flush and retrieve with the very best.
The Admiral offered to buy the dog at any price. The Mustang declined, saying that Chief was the very best bird dog he had ever owned and that he couldn't part with him. Six months later the same Admiral returned for another week of hunting and was surprised to find the Mustang breaking in a new dog.
"What happened to Chief?" he asked.
"Had to shoot him," the Mustang replied. "Another old shipmate came to hunt with me and couldn't remember the dog's name. He kept calling him 'Master Chief.' After that, all the dog would do was sit on his butt and bark."

10/23/2010 9:45 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ Anon 01:02 There are problems with your post:
-"trying to control what people say and think is futile" - yet you tell me to get off the 'net?
-"bragging to strangers about how everyone is accepting responsibility" is bad, but taking your advice [from a strange person] is okay?
I would never tell you how to think or behave, so WTF?
and, thank you Laugh or Cry, you are exactly right, not the wife.
Love the following post - right on the "butt"!
My Grandfather told me long ago to not offer advice unless asked. (BTW, that's a statement, not an offer.)
S-O-A

10/23/2010 8:33 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's the Murr-Dog, king playah extraordinaire, back to defend his honor in this huge overblown misunderstanding!

10/24/2010 12:47 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yah, man, like, you got such ESPN2. you know everything. you're at one with the universe.
Got a headache this morning?

10/24/2010 8:55 AM

 
Anonymous EM2(SS) said...

Ok, lots of discussion and back and forthing, but very little discussion about this part of the article that really got my attention:

In summer 2009, some of the sub’s officers gathered at the Officer’s Club at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, for a gold dolphin board. Gero arrived late, bringing a fellow commanding officer as well as a guest. The CO from the other command felt odd attending what’s normally a ship-specific proceeding, the final test for an officer to qualify as a submarine officer, and left after 15 minutes. But the guest stayed.

At one point, Gero asked his guest if she would like to ask a submarine-related question of the candidate, an offer that chafed other board members. “No one objected, though everyone other than Capt. Gero found it inappropriate and weird that [redacted] would attend, especially someone outside the Navy.”


Sorry, but this is a great big Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot, over!!! I wasn't an o-ganger, merely a lowly blueshirt scum working aft, but this raises major red flags to me. Doesn't virtually ... everything that is discussed in a qual board count as classified information??? I don't give a rat's ass if the lady is a reservist, or any rank, or level of security clearance --why the **** was she brought to an event like that??? At least the other skipper knew it was AFU, and took off. Sheesh, he should have reported it, just on the grounds of classification and security breach.

Again, maybe it's the O-gang vs. blueshirt scum realities, but for the life of me, I can't understand how a qual board wouldn't delve very heavily into the classified realm. Therefore Suzy Rottencrotch-Reservist should NOT have been there. End. Of. Story. No way in hell I could have taken my wife to my qual board for dolphins, or SRO, or BCE or anything else, even though she DID have a better clearance than me. Why is this CO so frikken special?

The skipper showed bad decision making, and that alone is bad juju. Breaking security --even worse. I could care less if he got his whistle wet, he did enough there at Hickam to make folks doubt him and lose confidence.

Maybe I'm wrong, but that's my deckplate view of the situation.

EM2(SS)

10/26/2010 11:27 AM

 
Anonymous Instant Replay said...

"I am trying to figure out what exactly he did to get fired and about the only thing that sticks in my craw is the incident of bringing a non-submarine person to a qual board and then allowing that person to ask a question.....WTF??? Talk about something highly inappropriate that the XO should have stopped."

Yes, AND...it is honestly that kind of dorked, off-kilter thinking and behavior that tends to go hand-in-glove with adulterers.

I'm not saying - as others have charged, without evidence - that Gero did have a 'happy ending.' But in my decades of life experience as an adult, I have seen in pretty much every case that adulterers get funky-weird.

Call it unconscious fracturing of their mind or whatever you want, but again - to my experience - adulterers do strange, oddball stuff like lying when they have absolutely no reason to. It's as though they get in a knee-jerk mode of not telling the truth, and lie without any conscious intention or self-control.

Beyond that, I have no interest in going into any psych mumbo-jumbo, but I've seen this "gone squirrelly" behavior enough with adulterers to feel the need to point it out. In a very real way, they do sort of lose their minds.

10/26/2010 3:42 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Replay:

Repeating your post wins you no points.

I asked a serious question (shared by others) wondering what exactly did the CO do to deserve getting fired. You responded (twice!) by commenting that adulterers do crazy things...

ATQ.

Are we saying that the CO should have been smart enough not to do it in public and scare the horses?

Are we saying that no adultery will be tolerated?

Or are we saying that this particular CO so botched up his command environment that his boss honestly loss confidence in his ability to command and thus the firing??

The question is more about what exactly are the actions that will get you fired - because from the Navy Times article i failed to see anything worse than I saw/experienced with my CO - and he was not relieved for cause until a very public DUI.

10/27/2010 8:32 PM

 
Anonymous Instant Replay said...

Another quote snippet...with or without "points":

There was NO actionable offense on the CO's part, other than losing his crew's support and the confidence of his superior officers...no small thing(s).

Worth re-stating: no adultery charge has been brought up against the skipper, and it seems unlikely that it will be.

Stupid? Yes.
Firable? Obviously.


CO's get fired sometimes for "loss of confidence" on the part of their superiors and/or (particularly in this case) their subordinates...and that's really all it takes.

My perspective, FWIW...? This is a Navy-wide cultural problem regarding Integrity: you can't "raise" crop after crop of JOs (and junior sailors) with the open motivation of going to screw ho's in Olongapo, etc. and not expect to have big-time integrity problems when they grow up years later to become Commanding Officers.

Pot. Kettle. Black.

10/27/2010 10:28 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This thread has been dead for a long time, and I'm not sure if anybody will read this, but I wanted to address the concerns of EM2(SS) from 10/26/2010.

The officer boards on the Ohio at the time were not at all like the enlisted boards. JO's would qualify officer of the deck, and have all qual cards complete, during a traditional board. Then, the captain would watch their performance over the next few months before giving them their fish. The final fish board was more symbolic than acadimic. It would take place in a social environment, very relaxed atmospher, and all officers of the wardroom with fish would be present.
The board would consist of two rounds of questions, where each officer from junior to senior asks something like this: "In Hollywood sub movies, a sub in danger will shoot a bunch of trash out of a torpedo tube to confuse the guys on the surface. Who was the first captian to try this tactic in real life, what war was being faught, which country did he serve, and which country was he attacking?"

Get the idea? Nothing classified, just Navy History. Obscure stuff. The officer would probalby guess each question and write everything down as a look up. At the end, he leaves the room and we go around the table and tell the captain if we recommend the officer gets fish. Each get's his say, from Junior to Senior. Then the officer comes back in and the captain tells him he passed. Once he turns in all of his look-ups (a few days later), the captian pins his fish on him.

I was at the board in question, as one of the more senior junior officers. I left the wardroom before it started to fall apart, and it all came as a shock to me. Capt Gero is one of the best captains I have ever had.

During the board in question, the captian gave up his opertunity to ask the officer a question and allowed the woman to ask one in his place, but he pretty much told her what to ask since she didn't know. I don't remember exactly, but it was along the lines of "What year was your ship commissioned, when was the keel laid, and who christended her?"

1/28/2011 6:56 PM

 
Blogger P said...

Does anyone know what the aftermath was in regards to capt. Gero. Like did he have to retire, or loose rank, re-assigned etc. You alwyas hear about what happened originally but never the after.

4/16/2011 12:59 PM

 
Anonymous www.castellon-3d.com said...

I believe everybody ought to look at this.

11/27/2011 3:25 PM

 
Blogger Dodge Casteel said...

I personally served under this fine gentleman. I would have followed him to the bottom of the ocean. A finer captain one could not have asked for. He may have had some inappropriate relationship issues with this women, whom I also knew, but in my time in the Navy, most of my relationships were inappropriate. Captain Gero led his men with honor, valor, and respect, and should be remembered for his service to his country. It was the saddest day of my Naval career when he was removed from command, replaced by a bureaucrat of epic proportions. There was not one enlisted man aboard that vessel other than the snitches involved in Captain's private affairs, that does not feel the same as I do.

12/01/2013 10:35 PM

 

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