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.)

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

The XO's Main Job...

I'm hearing that the CO and CMC of USS Stout (DDG 55) were fired in the middle of a Med deployment for bad behavior on the beach. (Link to follow when I get to a real computer.)

One of my old XOs told me that they stressed in PXO that one of his most important jobs would be keeping the CO out of trouble on liberty.

Update 2100 02 March 11: Here's the Navy Times story on the DFCs. The problem with posting about a story without reading it, based only on a partial paragraph from a Facebook post I read on my phone while performing D-1R at work, is that I assumed, and probably left others with the impression, that the CO and CMC were involved in the misbehavior on the beach. As the story makes clear, the CO and CMC were not accused of participating in the shenanigans, just in failing to prevent them.Here's the official Sixth Fleet press release. Excerpts:
The relief of Borchers occurred due to a loss of confidence in his ability to address a pervasive pattern of unprofessional behavior in overseas ports and a substandard command climate on board following an investigation into multiple allegations of crew misconduct...
...Additionally, one officer, five chiefs and one petty officer were removed from the ship following Non-Judicial Punishment proceedings for misconduct during incidents that occurred while on liberty ashore. Offenses included fraternization, orders violations and disregard for naval standards of conduct and behavior, which contributed to poor crew morale and a hostile command climate.
I wonder what led to the "hostile command climate"? I can see poor morale if the fraternizers were showing favoritism to their partners, but "hostile command climate" seems out of place. Maybe the JAGMAN investigation will get released soon and we'll find out what that means.


Blogger Curt said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3/02/2011 10:46 AM

Blogger Curt said...

I always felt, as the Eng. Dept. MCPO (EDMC), that one of my collateral duties was to keep the COB (usually an MMCS) from being fired... TEAM!!

3/02/2011 10:48 AM

Anonymous OldCOB said...

That's funny Curt. As COB I spent a lot of time keeping the senior nuke from getting fired.

Truthfully, I always thought one of the COB's main duties was keeping the CO from doing something he would regret later. I'm looking forward to the details on this one.

3/02/2011 11:29 AM

Anonymous JTav8r said...

Some more info here -

Looks like the PC police are at it again.

3/02/2011 11:43 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like the PC police are at it again.

I don't think so. Bases on the # fired and their relative seniority*, it seems to me they had one too many liberty incidents in yet another port and 6th fleet said "You're Done"

*depending if you want to call an Ensign 'senior'

"Additionally, an ensign, six chief petty officers and a lower-ranking petty officer were removed from the ship following nonjudicial punishment hearings for misconduct during incidents that occurred while on liberty ashore, officials said"

3/02/2011 12:31 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

XO's main job is to learn how to be a good CO. If he is spending his time keeping the CO out of trouble then he is learning a lot of what not to do as CO.
CO/XO relationship is a lot of "good cop/bad cop" with the crew and support staffs. Much revolves around the personalities of the players with the COB being the sounding board.

3/02/2011 12:32 PM

Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

It's the CO's job to keep the CO out of trouble. BT/AR

3/02/2011 1:04 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with the Duck on this one. If you can't keep yourself out of trouble, it's not someone else's job to do it for you.

3/02/2011 1:15 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wrong, Ducky. It's everyone's job to keep each other out of trouble. I don't give a fuck what you're wearing on your shoulder boards. Let's try and use a team effort. Most of the time, such a concept is somewhat effective in life.

3/02/2011 1:17 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems to me its the Ducks job to Play Duck Duck Goose... Hey by the By... Do you have Tiger Blood? WINNER!!!!!
Charles Scheen
Winner and partner to two Godesses

3/02/2011 2:00 PM

Anonymous News Reader said...

Navy Times:

3/02/2011 2:04 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe it's a skimmer thing but the ship deploys Dec 15th-COC Dec 28th and CO fired March 2nd. Don't know why you would work up a ship with one guy and then get a new CO less than two weeks into a deployment...
And then his team does such wonderful things in port that he barely lasts two months. Hope they were a string of serious events or the PC bar is getting frightfully low.

3/02/2011 2:34 PM

Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

"Wrong, Ducky. It's everyone's job to keep each other out of trouble."

Well, it was the CO who got fired - wonder if he agrees with you.

This ain't rocket science. There are standards of conduct; violate them at your peril. COs are to lead by precept and example - no wonder he took the whole goat locker with him. And it's OK to blame a guy for bringing shame on the Navy.

You want to give this guy a bye, go ahead. Me, I think he got what he earned. And the opinion has nothing to do with shoulder boards, grommet.

3/02/2011 2:57 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ya know, sometimes RD can be a little to hard-liner for my taste, but I think he's got it in one with this one.

WaPo: "The Navy said it had lost confidence in Borchers' ability to address what it called a pattern of unprofessional behavior by his crew that included fraternization, orders violations and disregard for naval standards."

Sad part is that this could describe a LOT of things painted grey these days. Very disturbing.

Sidebar: Anybody know if this guy is related to ret. CAPT Doyle Borchers? Name is just uncommon enough.

3/02/2011 3:58 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is each individual's responsibility to behave properly. Any help an individual gets to that end is gravy.

3/02/2011 4:15 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Cmdr. Nathan Borchers and the command master chief, Susan Bruce-Ross, were not involved in misconduct ashore. They were fired because the Navy lost confidence in their ability to lead the crew, a news release said.

In addition, one officer, five chief petty officers and one petty officer were removed from the ship following non-judicial punishment proceedings for misconduct that took place while they were ashore, the Navy said, including fraternization, orders violations, and drunk and disorderly conduct…"

That Duck was correct again was an understatement.


3/02/2011 4:33 PM

Anonymous 4-Stop said...

“The XO billet is not a command; rather it is considered staff. The XO is typically responsible for the management of day-to-day activities, such as maintenance and logistics, freeing the unit commander to concentrate on tactical planning and execution. The XO also takes charge in the absence of the CO.”
It’s nice to know that the same community of people who made all these PC “Shipmate” rules are the same ones who think they are above the law and are now getting the boot. I have witnessed both officers and CPO’s ignore the ships policies; liberty curfews, fraternization etc. the rules that are supposed to apply to everyone. You khaki pants preach core values but you don’t live up to them, showing the command that the rules are only applicable when you want them to be. Is it any wonder why the Navy is having all these problems? This “new navy” is our own doing, we do not hold the man responsible for their actions anymore we hold a critique and point the finger and assign action items that will fix the root cause when the root cause is our own inability to stand up and take the blame for our actions and fix it.

3/02/2011 4:58 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but did "4-stop" just post that the Navy doesn't hold people accountable in an article about the firing of a CO and CMC?

And your argument is reduced by terms like "khaki pants."

3/02/2011 6:50 PM

Blogger Jack said...

Wow. I am so glad I did my 20 and got the fuck out 10 years ago. Can't believe what a finger pointing, eating your own fuster cluck the Navy has turned into.

3/02/2011 6:50 PM

Anonymous Cupojoe said...

I don't have much sympathy for personal conduct issues, either. Especially if you're the CO. You have to set the example.

I wondering what the Ensign did to get booted. Isn't he/she supposed to be getting qualified?

3/02/2011 6:53 PM

Blogger Vigilis said...

If the current civilian leaders of our government (LAWYERS) can force their arbitrary and capriciuous (U.N.-inspired)) notions of political correctness upon our volunteer military, it is only a short matter of time before such harshly artificial standards are forced upon the employees of civilian businesses.

Contrast these navy offenses, however, with the behaviors of Wisconsin teachers demonstrating during their Unauthorized Absences (and often with bogus medical excuses). The very CinC seems to have encouraged the teachers, even against a duly elected governor (CO) has he not?

This facade simply cannot endure!

3/02/2011 7:03 PM

Anonymous ssnret said...

The Daily Mail online is reporting crew fraternization.

The Skipper and CMC weren't involved but I'm guessing they didn't do enough to stop it.

Not judging but the Admiral must have had some reason for pulling CO, CMC, a JO, 5 CPO's and a PO with another Chief facing Court Martial.

Probably never know the full story but I'm waiting for more.

3/02/2011 7:44 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vigilis, you're an idiot. Stay on topic. Nobody cares what you think about the teachers in WI.

3/02/2011 8:44 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Daily Mail online is reporting crew fraternization.

Well golly gee willikers, I thought the PC Assclowns assured us that women and men could serve aboard ship together without these sorts of things, uh, cumming up. Can't wait to see how this plays out on boats. The sackless perfumed princess Mullen needs to wipe the Obama from his chin and stand up to face reality.

3/02/2011 8:53 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My 2 cents.....
Every individual is responsible for their own actions. Intrusive leadership is the worst thing that I ever had to deal with. If you aren't an adult then you should not be in my Navy. I did not like having to babysit the new guys in my division. If the CO and CMC allowed the unauthorized behavior to take place then their replacement was needed.

3/02/2011 8:56 PM

Anonymous bluejacket said...

Sounds like a Chief ratted on the other Chiefs, and it just escalated. We're very high tech during this age, and it won't suprise me one bit if there were pictures of those everyone involved taken in unprofessional manner during port visits which were forwarded to their Squadron Commanders.

Been out 20 years now, and my assertion of disallowing women onboard ships remain. Warships are not love boats.

3/02/2011 10:10 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Staff better sharpen their pencils because now with women coming on board, they are going to be busy kicking people to the curb.... Ah, join the Navy see the world

3/03/2011 5:57 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heard the CO wasn't a ring knocker.

Another one bites the dust in the house cleaning?

3/03/2011 6:23 AM

Anonymous NHSparky said...

The Skipper and CMC weren't involved but I'm guessing they didn't do enough to stop it.

Steel on target. Even a CO or CMC who haven't even checked in yet would be able to see that fraternization was a major issue. They apparently had a number of chances to address the issues and failed to do so.

Also, whatever happened to people being put on "liberty risk" for incidents on the beach?

3/03/2011 6:48 AM

Blogger Vigilis said...

@ Anon 3/02/2011 8:44 PM

Not on topic you say? The Commander-in-Chief whose administration will try to implement coed subs only "because it is the right thing to do" is cracking down on sailors like they are robots.

You cannot explain how the administration's support for professional teachers and state senators who actually went AWOL squares with absence of slack for federal government employees who make much LARGER sacrifices for their country.

Our government and taxpayers should expect no less professionalism from politicians and teachers than it has from our sailors. That is, of course, unless a sinister, underlying goal is actually to discourage recruitment of the latter.

As you were, junior, pipe down!

3/03/2011 8:36 AM

Anonymous JTav8r said...

If anyone read the Navy Times article, there are some curious facts given:

Ship deployed 12/15/10

Cmdr Borchers assumed command 12/28/10 (Ship 2 weeks into deployment)

According to XO's Bio on the ship's official website, XO just assumed his job in December 2010.

The Co took command during a deployment and was allowed 2 months to "fix" what must have been a bad command environment. Leaves on to wonder what his marching orders were at the beginning.

I will agree the CO is responsible for what happens in his command, but it seems he was given very little time to address issues before he was fired.

Still sounds PC motivated.


3/03/2011 8:52 AM

Blogger Friendly Persuasion said...

once again a topic/thread heads in the same predictable direction

3/03/2011 8:55 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

once again a topic/thread heads in the same predictable direction.

That's because some of us refuse to ignore the pink elephant in the room.

3/03/2011 10:08 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


once again a topic/thread heads in the same predictable direction.

Ever hear of the game 'Telephone' (or Grapevine)? Many read blogs like this to glean links, facts, scuttlebutt and opinions that might be difficult to come by otherwise, and to track what our buds (whose aliases we know), are saying.

While we invariably find opinions with which we disagree, or alleged facts that may be in error, we are free to offer the best ammunition we can muster in opposition, or lump it!

Scandal's like DDG-55's usually take take days to generate the juicey details that are ever going to surface.

Rarely can anyone predict the direction of salient disclosures that will enlighten someone else, or who, besides the Duck, will make them.

Keep up your impatient protests over content and you may betray your Furtive Purposes.

3/03/2011 12:18 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Vaginilus, I mean vigilus, you don't to serve with women so, again, nobody cares what you think about Wisconsin (or much else).

You don't have to serve with women (to be honest I think you're scared of them but not sure if that's because they'd show you up professionally or you're just backward).

Anyway, take your Bill of Rights and move to the mountain top and stop wasting our time.

3/03/2011 12:19 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyway, take your Bill of Rights and move to the mountain top and stop wasting our time.

Better idea is that he take your Bill of Rights - you're not likely to defend its removal anyway.

3/03/2011 12:39 PM

Anonymous PigBoatSailor said...

Wow, ad hominems galore. Nice to see that we still eat our young.

Hard to draw any conclusions yet, especially considering the timelines involved. It'll be very interesting to see what other details become public.

3/03/2011 1:29 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

PBS, your buoyant "Discomfort of Thought" was an asset some have missed almost as much as you gained from its abandonment.

Good to see you chiming in since
"ND's 08 Season is sunk already".

guess who

3/03/2011 1:55 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sure your career as a Navy shuttle bus driver landed your nickname "Rambling speech Moron"

3/05/2011 12:17 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You cannot explain how the administration's support for professional teachers and state senators who actually went AWOL squares with absence of slack for federal government employees who make much LARGER sacrifices for their country."

Are you freakin' kidding me? You're goddamn right we expect more from our military than we do from teachers and politicians!

3/05/2011 1:35 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why does this mess suprise anyone? Fow we all know that aboard the boats "a sailor can not smoke a fag but he can marry one"..Too bad the crazy 80"s are over.. Hit the port rip it up,, destroy the gov't paid hotel rooms and move on to the next port...Now thats the navy...............Or rather what is was once. The good old days....

3/05/2011 9:34 AM

Anonymous Mark/MM1(SS) said...

Not normally a fan of Vigilis posts, but this is an exception. At least his compass is right on this one. Shame on any duped by these pathetic and greedy malcontents - that's from a 20 year fed...

3/06/2011 10:49 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was previously negotiating shore duty orders and the detailer informed me that "unofficially" the job had to be filled by a minority. I was ranked #1 in my wardroom, and yes it says "#1" and the officer that was a minority who was ranked dead last was contacted by the detailer and told he could have any job he wanted because of his preferential status. I hope the PC people are proud of themselves...I also hope I serve under real warfighters and competent CO's, and not those people who are CO's because of the color of their skin. The detailer did say off the record, if I wanted to get better preference, either prove my native american heritage or consider getting a really good tan and dye job. I am so happy that hard work and real leadership is rewarded.

3/07/2011 9:10 PM

Blogger Harold said...

This won't add anything really to the discussion, but should be good to elicit either a laugh or a groan, and is topic related.

3/08/2011 6:24 AM

Anonymous Detailer said...

To anon @ 9:10 - I can't speak for the occifer detailers, but on the working Navy side, the regular rating detailers are color blind to ethnicity. It isn't something we even think about when negotiating unless the Sailor brings it up as an issue for why he doesn't want to go somewhere. I.E. Don't want to go somewhere due to the Sailor's perception of racial biases in that area.

3/08/2011 5:28 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a sad pathetic piece of work you are. Do you really think anyone believes that crock of shit you wrote? Maybe your so called #1 ranking on your eval was a simple typo.

3/08/2011 8:37 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The other end of the spectrum here is that the CO/XO/CMC sponsor (or issue) such strict liberty standards that the crew cannot enjoy themselves whatsoever while on much needed and, in most cases, deserved R&R. I served as an officer on a boat where the CO was so afraid of his sailors getting into any trouble, that he was ultra-conservative with regard to liberty policies - midnight curfew, buddy system, working ports, no alcohol, no wives (still dont understand that one), etc. Of course the word on the street was that he did this to protect his own reputation. I do not know if this was true, suffice to say, it bred cynicism. It was an all encompassing "one crew, one screw" policy - officer or enlisted, married or single, 18 or 45, didn't matter.

In my view, it is just as easy to come up with all encompassing command policies like this that give no regard to the particular situation as it is to just let sailors run amock. Leaders that care about their people ensure that policies and command cultures fit the particular situation. They take the time to tailor policies that promote as healthy a lifestyle as possible given the circumstances.

I know that at the end of the day they are sailors who are serving their country and with that come certain sacrifices, but does that mean it has to suck? I can only speak to the sub community here, but I feel the problem with the sub community is that we have failed to address the issue of balance - whether in port or at sea, we cannot seem to do what makes sense to give our people a chance to achieve professionally as well as personnaly.

Perhaps this CO thought he would let them loose a bit and it got out of hand. Maybe he didn't care. I don't know, but it seems to me that the submarine leadership needs to spend a little more time addressing the issue of sailor quality of life, so that it at least attempts to achieve balance, within the confines of the profession.


3/09/2011 8:46 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was really, really bad. Read the full investigative report embedded in the article.

4/07/2011 10:55 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bad link above.

Try this one.

First time posting here, but have been lurking off and on. Sounds pretty bad and based on the report I can understand why the CMC was removed. If she wasn't managing the rest of the goat locker, she wasn't fit for her position. Still like to see why the CO took over the old CO after having been the XO...

RC ET1(SS) 82-91

4/08/2011 2:52 PM

Anonymous Ella said...

Surely, the dude is absolutely fair.

9/04/2012 2:17 AM

Anonymous Patricia said...

This can't work as a matter of fact, that is exactly what I believe.

9/19/2012 12:20 PM


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