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.)

Thursday, February 06, 2014

USS Seawolf COB Relieved

The Chief of the Boat of USS Seawolf (SSN 21) was relieved today, according to this Navy press release:
The chief of the boat (COB) of the fast attack submarine USS Seawolf (SSN 21) was relieved of his duties Feb. 6 due to unsatisfactory performance while serving as Chief of the Boat.
Master Chief Electronics Technician (SS) Mark R. Philiposian was removed from his position by Cmdr. Jeff Bierley, Seawolf commanding officer.
Philiposian, who had served as COB since December 2012, has been administratively reassigned to Submarine Development Squadron 5 in Bangor.
An "unsatisfactory performance" relief is fairly uncommon; normally, if a guy doesn't cut it as COB, they'd try to just get him relieved early without making it a "firing". I'm wondering if it has anything to do with a recent change of command. Seawolf had just returned from deployment last month, with CAPT Broderick Berkhout in command. I can't find any new stories about a subsequent change of command (and the squadron boat page still lists CAPT Berkhout as the CO), but there must have been one in the last 16 days, as the link above saying CDR Bierley is the CO is from the official Navy page. It's one of those things that makes one wonder if the new CO just didn't like the COB, or the outgoing CO had passed down that he might want to take that action.

Navy Times has a little more information about who they tried to contact and whatnot, including a statement from the SUBPAC spokesman that the firing was not based on a single incident.

Update 0837 07 Feb: Based on comments, the Change of Command was earlier this week, and was a regularly-scheduled handover. It sounds like both outgoing and incoming COs concurred with the action. Back in the day, it was always understood that a CO got one "free" firing during his tour, but any more than one would get squadron coming in and asking questions. If that's still the "rule", I'm assuming this one won't be charged soley to Captain Bierley.

Update 1615 10 Feb: C'mon, guys, you know the rules -- no mentioning people's names in a negative way whose names are not in the news. Anecdotal stories without names (e.g. "one COB back in the '90s on a SUBRON 8 boat") have just as much impact, and I don't get nasty E-mails from wives and friends. Closing comments and deleting some of the more egregious ones, along with some comments that lack context without the deleted ones.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Change of Command was yesterday.

2/06/2014 10:33 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The decision to relieve the COB must have been initiated under the previous CO. In today's climate, the entire chain of command up to the fleet 4 star level is required to be notified prior to a firing. Following the cheating at MTS, I imagine the ship waited until the fleet 4 star had informed the CNO. No way that could have happened on day one of the new CO. Welcome to today's Navy. BTW, word on the street is that the COB was very corrosive, treated his Sailors like crap, was hated by the entire crew and that the previous CO did everything he could to help and mentor the dumbshit before pulling the trigger. I served with the previous CO (Berkhout) and he was the CSDS5 post command deputy before taking command (there must be another story there). He is one of the good guys that isn't afraid to buck the system to do what is right for his ship and crew. If he thought the COB should go, then the COB deserved to go.

2/06/2014 11:30 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

He had no business being the COB. He failed his first board and barely passed the reboard. He is arrogant and lacks the skills of a COB.

2/07/2014 12:37 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

CDR Bierley was a top-notch XO. Straightforward, no-nonsense, no sugarcoating. If we can find the right COB I think Seawolf will improve handily with the clean slate.

2/07/2014 1:22 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

based on previous interaction with the "former COB" as an E-7/E-8 (Used the E designation vice CPO designation on purpose) one word comes to mind... "Karma"

2/07/2014 6:28 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The ex-COB is not the only one who shares in the firing. The Master Chiefs who qualified him get a small piece of this sh1t sandwich as well. This guy was never COB material and if you talked with people who have served with him, dealt with him and knew who he was they will most likely tell you the same thing. It’s unfortunate that the fallout from his selection to be the COB affected so many sailors under his charge. Good luck Seawolf. It’s a new day and there is nowhere to go but up.

2/07/2014 8:11 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If a COB drives drunk or beats his wife or bangs a middie underway, and you want to put him in the papers to discourage others from doing dumb shit, fine by me. But if a guy simply isn't good at his job, and you need to replace him, why can't that be done quietly? If we're holding a guy accountable in the news for "poor performance", should I expect that we hold the chain of Master Chiefs who qualified him accountable in the news as well? Somehow, I'm not optimistic.

All this does is tell every CPO/SCPO with a COB qual card that if they finish and get a boat, they better succeed, by God, or the Mafia will hang you out to dry and embarass you in the paper. May not be the message they're trying to send, but that's what messgae is going to be received. Glad I did my COB tour on the East Coast, Bangor's reputation for eating their young continues to perpetuate itself.

2/07/2014 8:35 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is one thing to be dumb and benign, and a totally different thing to be dumb and malignant. He verbally and mentally abused those around him. He continually refused to listen to anyone who tried to help him. He failed to do a lot of basic things and they got rid of him. I think the crew will be way better off. He was just a BAD person.

2/07/2014 8:48 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wtf is on a COB qual card?

Be 100 lbs overweight and force an E5 to blaze your rope and choke?
Smoke two packs a day?
Abuse 20 junior enlisted Sailors in 60 minutes?
Publicly curse out a JO on 5 different occasions?
Make up stupid shipwide rules that you don't follow?
Yell at a nuke when he won't listen to you because you want him to operate contrary to a procedure?

2/07/2014 9:21 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Completion of Senior Enlisted Academy (CIN/CDP: P-920-1301/960F) required in conjunction with assignment to 9579 NEC billet.

Beyond attaining E-8 and acquring recomendations, completion of regional Command Master Chief Course using the NAVEDTRA 38204-A, Student’s Source Book is required to qualify.


2/07/2014 10:42 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There has been a disturbing trend in the Navy of how COB/CMCs are approaching their job. The COB is supposed to work for the CO and be his advisor on matters affecting the enlisted crew. ADM Richardson said it best when he was still SUBLANT that the triad is not a “command blob.” However, several COBs (and apparently this one) feel as though they can set command policy and give command direction independently of the CO. Talk to any of the crew on 21 and they will tell you that is exactly how this COB approached his job. He thought he was the second in command and the previous CO apparently had to spend a lot of effort to keep this particular COB in the box and finally had to pursue a course of action that documented his poor performance that eventually lead to his relief. How does one become an E9 and CMC with this approach if it is not sanctioned by the Senior Enlisted Academy or Big Navy’s CPO 365 curriculum? What about all the group and force CMCs that signed this guy's qualification card, sat his board, and recommended that this guy have a position where he could so negatively impact young Sailors? Who were the CO’s that wrote evaluations on this guy praising his leadership abilities? There are a number of senior navy personnel, both enlisted and officer, who have some blame in letting this guy occupy a position of trust and confidence that he had no business ever holding.

2/07/2014 10:53 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to anonymous (there must be another story here): As Paul Harvey would say "here is the rest of the story." Former CO (Packer) left a mess when he was in command (the ship was on the watch list) and the post command deputy (Berkhout) was put on to fix it so that the ship could deploy on time. The COB before Philiposian "retired early" and the ship needed a new COB. The problem is the Force CMC decided to put the "right now guy" instead of the "right guy." The question that should be asked is if the ship is on the watch list, why isn't the best COB/CMC in the force put in the job vice a guy who never should have been a COB?

2/07/2014 11:17 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The question that should be asked is if the ship is on the watch list, why isn't the best COB/CMC in the force put in the job vice a guy who never should have been a COB?"

Well, here is a little more to the story:

What makes "the best COB/CMC in the force" is too often the most resilient crews. The most likeable COBs are rarely the most effective.

Today's crop of younger sub sailors, good as they are, have an unprecedented entitlement to criticize authority --- one that must now be invited, reviewed and counseled. When good COBs are set up to be fall guys bad habits develop and they need removed. But don't worry, the real troublemakers are eventually left on the pier as well.

2/07/2014 1:15 PM

Blogger John Byron said...

There was a golden time before all this COB-quals crap when the CO decided who of his chiefs would be his COB ... and had all the authority needed to fire him if that was required. Funny, it almost never was.

I'd stack anyone of the COBs I sailed with against the best of the current selected, trained, groomed, and pretty well diefied bunch out there now. You need to ask where all this top-down selection came from. My guess: seniors wanting to micromanage boats and CPOs pushing for more power (as a former chief I get to say that). Once COBs were God. Now they are far too much just hack politicians.

2/07/2014 1:45 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

" You need to ask where all this top-down selection came from"

It evolved over time through a series of reactionary measures to COBs failing while the "old" system was in place. The Navy went from the process you describe to a recommendation from the CSS CMC to a board with senior COBs/CMCs to a qual card, which has been changed a couple of times. None of the changes were for shits and giggles, they were in response to COBs not getting it done. Pretty much like anything else in the Navy.

2/07/2014 2:35 PM

Blogger wtfdnucsailor said...

I am with Rubber Ducky on this one. Back in the day, the CO picked his new COB from the chiefs on board. Only once did a CO's choice not work out and after three months on the job the Chief went back to his division and another chief took his place as COB with no repercussions. One CO even chose a Senior Chief Nuc ELT as COB over some forward Master Chiefs. The new COB was accepted and respected by all. He did a great job. The COB selection got a bit more complicated when "big Navy" picked up on the idea with the Senior Enlisted Advisor. However, even when I was CO, no COB was assigned to a sub without CO approval and only after the CO did not choose to promote from within. I guess the process has gotten much more formal and impersonal with qual cards and required schooling, etc.

2/07/2014 4:36 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

When were you a CO, out of curiosity?

2/07/2014 4:39 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another Bangor product: The Louisiana change of command finally happened. The CO was relieved by a Squadron Deputy just prior to patrol. Engineering department is a soup sandwich.

2/07/2014 4:52 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once COBs were God...

That was this guy's problem. He thought he WAS God!

None of those good ol' days COBs thought that. That's right, they WERE God. I sure do miss the days of fat, sloppy, unprofessional drunks hazing each other and convincing and congratulating themselves on how good they were at their jobs. That was awesome... and the studliness only improves with age.

2/07/2014 5:17 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 743 CO was medically disqualified, the Deputy is holding it down until the new CO arrives. New guy already had orders and in the pipeline, the CO had been there since the summer of '11. He didn't get fired, as much as you'd like to believe otherwise.

2/07/2014 5:24 PM

Blogger Bryan Lethcoe said...

743 is in good hands for their upcoming patrol...

2/07/2014 5:52 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Master Chief Electronics Technician (SS) Mark R. Philiposian biggest waste of 2 stars he was a waste of a achor

2/07/2014 6:03 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I second that!

2/07/2014 6:51 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The magnitude of his incompetence could only be shadowed by his blatant disregard for the morale of his enlisted sailors, inability to collaborate with the CO, and verbal abuse of the crew (officer and enlisted). It's a shame the Navy wasted "HIS" time because we know he's not going to take responsibility for his actions.

2/07/2014 7:09 PM

Blogger wtfdnucsailor said...

To Anon 4:39 PM 2/7/14 - I was a CO from 1980 to 1983 on an SSBN in New London.

2/07/2014 7:10 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

That had to make for the worst deployment of all time, no where to run.

2/07/2014 7:24 PM

Blogger Fastattacktough said...

This guy was an asshole when he rode my boat as the Squadron 1 ANAV.

2/07/2014 7:52 PM

Anonymous JZ said...

All in favor...

2/07/2014 8:22 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't like to add insult, but I know him, and I don't know anyone who has worked with/for or around him that has ever had anything good to say about him. He is arrogant and believes he is better than everyone, a little humility serves him right. I am not sure who could have possibly qualified him, someone obviously blind with no background recommendations.

2/07/2014 8:47 PM

Blogger fourfastboats said...

That may have been your experience or perception Joel, but I am not sure there was ever a hard and fast rule WRT firings for a CO.

The decision to do must have been made prior to the change of command. Now that CMC firings are being openly reported there is a protocol that has to be followed to ensure that the entire chain of command is informed so that no one is surprised by CNN or Navy Times.

There will always be more than two sides to any story and your perception will vary as to your experience and involvement in the situation.

When an individual fails at any position, you have to look every aspect. When you are pointing your index finger at someone, your three other fingers are pointing back at you. Was this individual given ample opportunity to improve his performance?

I think that the COB qualification and assignment process needs to get a pretty good scrub following this one.

When someone fails, it is typical for a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking. In the clarity of hind sight it is easy to see. Whether or not those that need to will apply the lessons (re)learned is another story.

2/07/2014 8:54 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The COB qual card final interview process only includes served COBs. My recommendation is to make it the Group CMC, Served or serving CO and Commodore. To not include CO's on the board keep this process as a "good old boy" program vice who is best suited to "serve" in the capacity as the CO's primary senior enlisted rep for the crew.

2/07/2014 9:01 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sat the first board, and did not know he had a second, but I have been retired a few years now. He did not pass the first board... But I have never served with him, so no idea what he may have done, or what the crew may have had to endure. I do agree that if the boat was having problems already then most first tour COBs would probably fail... Not attempting to justify, would just lkie to know some of the facts before throwing stones. Bubbleheads are tough and very resilient. Keep your head up and be proud of your heritage.

2/07/2014 9:03 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a 21 sailor this guy got what he earned. There was a long process involved with getting rid of this one. The crew was actually happy to have squadron riding. It ment this guy was going to play nice for awhile. Yeah there is a story that's not being told here. The stories (soo many stories) where told to those who needed to know.

2/07/2014 9:16 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


2/07/2014 10:19 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe CPO 365 could of changed him! Who the fuck am I kidding. We got one COB and a CMC out here that need to be booted also.

2/07/2014 10:33 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't imagine. It was hard enough when he was a dept chief.

2/07/2014 10:39 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ask any 752 sailor. There are plenty of stories..

2/07/2014 10:44 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will say he was technically competent as an ANAV and in submarine systems. Back in the day 7-8 years ago you only got one board. There are other 2 boarders out there...

2/07/2014 10:52 PM

Blogger KellyJ said...

The sad thing is he will keep the 2 stars on his anchor and even get to retire at that level. Another Master Chief selection sucked up into the COB/CMC world leaving the boats Dept Chiefs and the Squadron/Force Senior Chiefs resigned to retiring at the E8 level for the simple expediency of choosing to stay in their rate and doing the job required of the Senior in-rate sailors.
If you get selected as a COB/CMC...change your rate and compete against the other Senior Chief COBs for the 2-3 CMCCM(SS) E9 selections you get each year. I've seen too many "COBs" get the auto-promote to 9 (sucking up all the selections each year), then pull a "my wife she" or end up fired like this DB (RFC), get some billet like 3M Coordinator or ShipSup until they retire out.

2/07/2014 11:20 PM

Blogger Ron Cooksey's Research Blog said...

My question is where was the chiefs quarters? When your COB fails it falls back on you the word is accountability know it and own it. This never should have happened, the chiefs mess should have been in the force/squadron master chiefs office if it was that bad if we let our CMC's hang out to dry what does it say about us as a community.

2/07/2014 11:55 PM

Blogger Ron Cooksey's Research Blog said...

My question is where was the chiefs quarters? When your COB fails it falls back on you the word is accountability know it and own it. This never should have happened, the chiefs mess should have been in the force/squadron master chiefs office if it was that bad if we let our CMC's hang out to dry what does it say about us as a community.

2/07/2014 11:56 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Q: "Where was the Chief's Quarters?"

A: Probably sick of his shit with the rest of the crew....

2/08/2014 12:07 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The CPOs where doing the duck and cover like the rest of the crew. This guy made it clear that if you didn't play the game his way he'd do what ever he could to destroy your career. Even proved it on a couple of occasions. Just wish the navy would go back and look at a few things and maybe right a wrong or 2.

2/08/2014 2:35 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two of my Three COBs were very old school. Started off on diesels in the early 60's, then went to nukes. Spoke their minds and didn't sweat the chicken shit. Did their best to keep the boat happy and accomplish whatever mission we were on. Those two had the respect of the boat, officers and enlisted alike. The Third one was Post-Old school and the boat became a more PC place. The morale was for crap and it was time to get out. Glad I did, but have fond memories of those first two COBs.

2/08/2014 3:55 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a Master Chief Mafia? Say it isn't so.

2/08/2014 5:33 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Part of the problem is we don't have enough good people going COB. COB shore duty tours are limited in numbers forcing them to go CMC. Post tour COBs have been doing well in other communities and are in demand. As far as COBs only competing against other COBs they essentially do. The year I made MCPO as COB there were 5 other serving COBs in my rate that didn't get picked up which was unfortunate for some of them did a great job wrt mission and Sailors.

2/08/2014 6:10 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The suggestion to add CO's and Commodores to the process would be detrimental to both the officer and enlisted communities. Doing such would encourage the selection of kowtowing yes men who would allow bad CO's to walk all over their crew or even worse allow a good CO to make a bad decision. The process is not perfect and we simply need to hold the standard in the selection process. I would further add that in some instances when a CO was canned they should have canned his COB as well.

2/08/2014 8:19 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Karma. On CPO did stand up to him and ended up getting kicked out of the quarters by him.

2/08/2014 8:50 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said.

He was despised on the 752 and most of us were happy when he left.

I felt so bad for his crew when I heard he became a COB.

2/08/2014 9:34 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

He was an ass on the PASADENA. I'm glad to see he got fired.

2/08/2014 10:19 AM

Anonymous NHSparky said...

To the guy who said the smoke boat COB's were the best--can't deny it. Of all the COB's/CMC's I served under, my first (Dave Follo) was far and away the best, with Rodney Wells a close second. The others varied from meh to how the fuck did this guy get where he is level.

Here's hoping the 21 can get back on it's feet. Boats are a lot like other things in life--one guy may not make the boat, but one guy can sure screw it up royally.

2/08/2014 11:01 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phildo the dildo!

2/08/2014 11:15 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope you read all of this Master Chief Philiposian and realize what a "great" leader you were!

2/08/2014 11:21 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The suggestion to add CO's and Commodores to the process would be detrimental to both the officer and enlisted communities. Doing such would encourage the selection of kowtowing yes men who would allow bad CO's to walk all over their crew or even worse allow a good CO to make a bad decision. The process is not perfect and we simply need to hold the standard in the selection process. I would further add that in some instances when a CO was canned they should have canned his COB as well."

In case you forgot, the COB works for the CO. The COB doesn't have nearly the responsibility as a CO, and his job isn't to be a salty jackass who knows he's untouchable and has no reason to go above and beyond, nor is it his job to set command policies without first running it by the XO and CO.

Allowing a CO/Commodore screening wouldn't breed 'yes men,' it would breed COBs who understand that they still are accountable to the wardroom for what they do.

2/08/2014 11:44 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes sir...

2/08/2014 11:52 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of former CO's that wrote glowing reports on this guy, isn't the new arriving Commodore of the Devron that owns the 21 the CO of Pasadena when this guy was ANAV?

2/08/2014 12:04 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apparently the majority of pilers-on expressing personal glee over the firing of the "ass on the PASADENA" had little to do with the guy's professionalism.

Most of the dissatisfaction expressed so far proceeds from undisclosed dislikes of his demeanor and dislike of his personality (aloofness and arrogance).

Fortunately for you gripers, your navy tolerates personality differences, gender preferences, and wide diversity. Otherwise, your own advancement potentials might certainly be stymied.

Of all the COBs I had, one was particularly disliked. Yet, we did as he asked and only grumbled among ourselves.

Someone plotted for this guy's career demise, waited for a good opportunity and complained (not to his face) but over his head.

Its your navy. If that is what you really want it to be like, Standby!

2/08/2014 1:20 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

They were.

2/08/2014 3:18 PM

Anonymous Robert Marquez II said...

I know this CO very well. CDR Jeff Bierley was on two boats with me as a JO and as ENG. He is a good guy! He is a straight shooter, protects his men from B.S., and does not play toad games against them. He is responsible for. Such as screwing with their leave, liberty, special programs, or evals.

What you other guys say about the COB about how is true colors are and the Chief Good Old Boy Club. Especially in Bangor Washington, which is a story in itself. This COB got what he deserved, especially if he treated that crew terribly and played games on them.!

2/08/2014 3:30 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow...I remember this guy when he was an ET2 on GEORGIA back in the day. Always thought this guy seemed to think he was above everyone else. When I heard he was a COB, I knew leaving the Navy when I did was the right call.

Funny, I remember when this guy had a middie for a running mate...that poor midshipman! I can guarantee you that kid steered clear of subs.

2/08/2014 5:50 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Karma for that POS - Wish he would've been let go in Hawaii!

2/08/2014 6:58 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is that you, Scott?

2/08/2014 8:19 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A look at me master chief? Can you say Steve Perry? When not doing well during the tech assist after a failed inspection all he wanted to know was if the corrective actions were gonna interfere with the Christmas party... what a douche! Philiposian is joining good company... the retired failures... it may take a while till he is officially a member of that club but the end is near

2/08/2014 9:14 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm amazed at how many of throw out names of these horrible COBs and don't have the balls to sign your name.

2/08/2014 9:52 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not like you left your name either there sport...

2/08/2014 11:07 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those who suggest that there is no officer involvement in the selection of COB/CMC you are wrong. Part of the qualification requires a recommendation from a serving CO and XO.

This does not mean that the process is perfect but in every leadership position I think it is safe to say we have seen people who made us wonder how that person rose to that level. Certainly both the officer and enlisted ranks have examples of people who rose above their own level of competence and failed. The blame can be argued about but what can't be argued is the unfortunate part is the junior Sailors who suffer.

I feel sorry for the crew of the boat for having to endure a difficult situation and hope they recover quickly. I will not pile on to the bashing of the former Cob.

The guy that said Former Anavs do not make good Cobs should check his facts. Rick West, Russ Mason, and Ron Brooks are past examples of men who were good as Cobs and have obviously moved on to other levels as well. There are a couple of current examples as we'll of guys getting the job done well. The point here is simply don't put the shortcomings of the couple of people who clearly are not liked on being a particular rate as all rates have a wide variety of competence levels.

2/09/2014 1:01 AM

Anonymous ExMSPNavET said...

A lot of folks post anonymously because they fear retaliation from these dictators (I can't bring myself to call them "leaders"), there supporters, or cronies. The "Good Old Boy's Network" is still quite alive and well and their power should NOT be underestimated. Especially in the Puget Sound area. Someone earlier said that some one plotted against Philiposian. Put yourself in the shoes of those under him. They had to do SOMETHING to correct the situation, and I can guarantee that Philiposian or his friends would have attempted to crush or discredit any CPO or junior sailor who would openly move against him. Who ever spoke up should be given credit for there willingness to do the right thing and their work to correct this sad situation. If that meant plotting and secrecy, so be it. At least they got the job done, and now the Seawolf will be a better boat for it and her crew will be better off, hopefully with a new COB who can repair all the damage that this assclown has done.

2/09/2014 7:33 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are plenty of bad COBs/CMCs out there, even some in Bangor (obviously, or else we wouldn't be here I guess), but Lance isn't one of them. Quit badmouthing a good man who has more dignity, honor, and wisdom in his left thumb than you've displayed in your entire existence.

2/09/2014 10:15 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Theres a reason why most of the Submarine ports cross pollinate when assigning COBs. We have Norfolk and Kings Bay send talent our way and we reciprocate. Its places like Bangor and San Diego who refuse to bring in anyone else. I say we make it mandatory, like we do for most of the new Chiefs, that your COB tour is not in the same geo area. That will thin out the homesteading herd! One point I heard that resonates, who signed his card. We look at that trend when someone fails at a watch station, why not in this case! Let us know if you need help, we supply the fleet with leadership and pride here in the Submarine Capital of the World! HooYah!!!

2/09/2014 10:58 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bangor brings in and sends out their share of COBs. If I'm not mistaken, this guy in question qualified in Pearl (if that's incorrect, please tell me). I can think of at least 3 COBs right offhand in Bangor that qualified somewhere else, and I'm not even there. You're talking out your ass. Besides, nobody in Groton should be talking about the homesteading and old-boy networking of other bases, the ring-kissers up in "the capital" have had their fair share of fuckups (Annapolis, anyone? Vatter ring a bell??)

2/09/2014 11:16 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Before comments get too vile, a couple of important points to remember:
1. Every single one of these people being denigrated in the comments section volunteered to defend their country in a time of war and sacrificed much in order to continue to serve even after they reached 20 years of service. I for one, thank them for the service! There are plenty of other individuals who don’t have the guts to serve their country or put up with the sacrifices we make in order to do so.
2. Our jobs as leaders is to take care of our men and accomplish our mission. Sometimes these goals cannot be accomplished at the same time and we must prioritize one over the other. Our junior Sailors are not always privy to the discussions behind these decisions. Sometimes these decisions can be viewed through rose colored glasses as insensitive and uncaring when that couldn't be farther from the truth.
3. We hold our leaders to the highest standards of conduct and performance (as it should be for the demanding world that is a nuclear powered submarine). Sometimes those appointed are unable to attain and maintain those standards and we must make hard decisions as to what is in the best interests of the command, including removing those people from such positions. But when we do so, we must balance the poor performance in the short term with the long term superior performance that resulted in these individuals selecting for E9 and becoming qualified as COBs and CMCs. Have faith in the system, for in this case it appears to be working, despite the disgruntled individuals trolling the comments section.
4. It is impossible to know the intentions of what drives a man to act the way he does. He may have not been taught any different, he may not have the skill sets and truly believes he is doing what is right, he may have difficulties dealing with the increased stress that is inherent with any position of importance and responsibility. In the end, we are judged by our actions and our performance, as it should be. If that performance doesn’t meet the high standards required, then we must determine whether it is improving sufficiently to support the needs of the command. Our Commanding Officers are given the responsibility to evaluate that performance and make hard decisions, including removing someone who has dedicated his life to serving his country.
5. Whenever someone is removed from a position that they have dedicated and sacrificed their life to, we should thank them for their service and move on. Unfortunately, there is a tendency to ostracize them from the submarine community. This is unfortunate, especially with the impact the removal has on the families of those involved. We as Submariners are better than what is being displayed in the comments above.
A submarine served Commanding Officer.

2/09/2014 11:17 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

For quick witted anonymous at 2/09/2014 11:16 AM

I am sure you have a point to your rant about Groton. Never forget the quality of COB/CMC's that come from here. But I do think the JO who represented us in the first place prior to your rant should do his homework. The process will always change as will the force itself, infusing CO/CDREs into it will not change anything. You can horse up for any interview. There is something to be said about the caliber of COB that is developed on the fast attack. The Annapolis COB came from Pearl, Vatter was Vatter. As for the mafia, some of you should stop and take a deep breath and think about the sacrifices that have went down here in Groton to make this Submarine Force it is today! Think what you want, it seems to be a Q-1R in the PACNORWEST to see someone fired and in the news!

2/09/2014 12:46 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

this guy wasnt smart, he seemed to struggle with DC knowledge or even what to do during casualty drills, i never felt confident watching him. he decided the RC would be a great place to store food and tdu waste, and even offered it as a suggestion... having a presence with the crew is a good thing too, but he was rarely found outside cpo quarters,

2/09/2014 1:38 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did have a point. It was that all bases are pretty much created equally. Shit happens, and it happens everywhere. Any particular geographical location thinking their shit doesn't stink like everybody else's is delusional. Maybe I did a poor job explaining that before, hopefully this makes more sense now that I've had a few cups of joe. I know a few COBs in Groton, guys I have the utmost respect for. But if you expect me to believe that all Groton COBs are infallible simply because they're on a fast boat out of Groton, sorry, that's just not gonna happen. I'm a realist.

The demands of the job on a fast boat and boomer are different, but equally challenging. Anybody who does the job well, regardless of platform, deserves a hat tip and a handshake. Bangor's had more than their share of news-worthy items the last few years (Nebraska, Jackson, now Seawolf), but to judge every COB up there solely on that is a mistake.

2/09/2014 2:05 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank God the CO and the wardroom looked out for the crew during deployment because this COB and the spineless Chiefs (with the exception of a few) sure did not. The bonehead walked the task force commander through the engine room and had to ask one of the watch standers where the evaporator was after he was asked to show it to the guy. Christ! This guy had been on board over eight months and most non-qulas knew more about the ship and crew than he did. Didn't know any of the procedures either and was always getting corrected by the CO when he gave the watch teams bullsh1t direction. This guy deserves what he got.

2/09/2014 3:18 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Each time this happen we beat the snot out of the system,qual cards and leadership above him. This COB didn't join yesterday. He knew what was expected, he completed the card, made it through the board(s) and took the position. He was a bad choice, but he knew the job! Hold him responsible like a DUI and move on! Send his a$& home, and let's arm the Wolf with someone who cares! I get so tired of armchair QBs it's numbing. If you have been out of the Navy for more than five years, you opinion is as antiquated as you are!
Served COB/active CMC

2/09/2014 4:08 PM

Anonymous PolitixSux said...

I wonder if Phildo the Dildo wasn't, in part, the victim of Bangor politics. Bangor is infamous for the old boys club and their hard-hitting politics and occasional vendettas. SEAWOLF is part of Deveron 5 which is even more infamous for their politics. Last I heard, Jared Hoffer was the CMC there, and he has been around Bangor for years and is a well known member of the political establishment there. The power players there are known to protect there own and go after anyone who challenges them, so I wonder if Philiposian did something to anger the political gods? I wonder is somehow maybe he somehow fell out of favor with the local Mafia and if that was a factor in him getting canned.

2/09/2014 4:31 PM

Anonymous JJH said...

Hey PolitixSux. You spelled my name wrong. Might I suggest a dictionary and a sack for future posts.

2/09/2014 5:30 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I looked in my dictionary, "Hofer" isn't anywhere, lol. Seriously though, don't pay too much attention to the bitter trolls, COB, it sounds like you've got your hands full for the time being. Best of luck, Shipmate, near as I can tell the Sailors on that ship are going to need your best effort.

2/09/2014 5:48 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do we bring up history when someone gets canned! A lot of these issues should have been brought out as they occurred. Now these D.B.s are out there thinking they are God? It's like soap opera here with the two star Susan Lucci's of the Submarine Force moving from spot to spot? Where is the incentive? Transfer, separate or read about another mafia pick going down? COB card in the circular file as we speak!

2/09/2014 6:17 PM

Anonymous ExMSPNavET said...

PolitixSux, I was in Bangor until a little over a year ago, and there is SOME truth to what you say. However, I worked under Jared Hofer while he was the COB on the Carter and I was at UR&D. He is one of the more even-keeled CMCs in the Bangor area, and was just what the Carter needed, when they needed it. While it is true that Bangor IS full of cutthroats and political whores, and more than a couple of them work under the SDS-5 umbrella, Hofer himself doesn't strike me as one to play those kinds of political games. I doubt this was a political hatchet job. The previous CO on Seawolf seemed to me to be a straight shooter as well when I knew him as a squadron deputy. I'd say Philiposian got what he deserved, especially if he was as bad as they say he was. I have seen some bad COBs and, whether it was a political hit or not, the crew will be better off, which is the most important thing. Hopefully, they will bring in a prior CMC from outside the Bangor area to get the Seawolf back on her feet.

2/09/2014 7:12 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

For PolitixSux,
Not every one is a Jessie Ventura worshiper.
The decision to axe the COB was the decision of the CO and the CO's alone.
There is no conspiracy theory that the Bangor Master Chief Mafia had any vendetta against a poor performing COB.
Use that sharp noggin of yours and keep a sharp lookout for the clues that the DEVRON brought down the twin towers or forged Obama's birth certificate.

2/09/2014 8:51 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obama had a forged birth certificate?! No way. Everyone knows you can't forge a PDF file. Duh!

2/09/2014 9:16 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

PolitixSux, If the Bangor Master Chief Mafia or any of the other political circles out there have any concerns about Philiposian, it's probably how far away from this shitbag they can get. Philiposian is such a loser that there was nothing that the CO could have done besides shit canning him and starting anew, and the Mafia probably knew or suspected that it was comming. If the Mafia would have been involved, they likely would have preferred to have went a different, quieter route because his very public firing is politically and professionally inconvenient for them as it brings more outside attention in on them and makes them look bad. Professionally they also have to hate the whole situation because it damages the perception of the whole Mess and the Seawolf's crew suffered for it. Suffering crews and incompetence are bad politically, and they would have wanted no part of it. You're right about the politics in Bangor, but this isn't their work. They would have went about it through channels quietly and probably went for the early transfer option if possible for the sake of protecting the Mess' image.

2/09/2014 10:06 PM

Anonymous James A Sirles said...

Wow, it's like a time machine! Are you guys the same bunch of whiners that were bitching about the Bangor Master Chief Mafia back in the 1980's, or is this a new batch? As for you Anonymous posters, grow a pair and put your name (and reputation) under your comments. I'm sure this will prompt a raft of comments about what a f#cked-up COB I was, but I have big shoulders and my feelings don't get hurt easily.

2/10/2014 10:36 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's still nice to see this CPO brotherhood is still taking care of each other and no internal battles of us versus them. The job is already hard enough without the extra schoolgirl drama. Why would you send a new COB to a troubled boat with no prior expierience on that platform? Shouldn't he be focused on the command instead of having to learn the new platform at the same time. That is like sending a Trident FT as a hotfill I n a VLS boat. And here we are.

2/10/2014 12:07 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is all really interesting. I had personal interaction with Two COB's and three CMC's through my time in the 80's. I guess there must have been a different standard, selection process or something because all 5 of those men were outstanding and went to bat for the crew when they could and explained why when they couldn't. I never held the post but as I always understood it the job of the COB or CMC is to represent the enlisted to the CO and help relationships between the wardroom and the crew's quarters. The COB/CMC will not always be able to get everything done to the crews satisfaction. All this being said I did not know the individual involved but it seems unless things have really changed with the relationship senior enlisted have with the rest of the crew, a few sour pusses are putting E-9's on trial as a whole because of a few bad apples.

2/10/2014 1:20 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the opposite side of the ledger, ETCM(SS) Richard A. Scanlin, COB, USS Whale (SSN-638).

An exceptional COB. His only agenda was to help the boat and crew do their best. One of the nicest guys you'd ever meet, as well.

RIP, Master Chief.

2/10/2014 2:20 PM

Anonymous MarkSSN21 said...

So what if I got fired. The Seawolf is better because of me and the world is better because of me. I know I am perfect. I'm gonna put a package in to be the next MCPON. If that doesn't work out then I will have to settle for SUBFOR FORCM.

2/10/2014 2:20 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


2/10/2014 2:28 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could the rash of unpopular COBs of late (certainly an insignificant sampling of the COB universe) simply be rehersals for the fisrt female COB? How will you whiners relate to a female COB?

2/10/2014 2:51 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

FEMALE COB: Worst deal ever..........god help you.....

2/10/2014 3:14 PM

Anonymous ENS Wirebiter said...

To anon @ 2:28, lovely comment, not the least bit infantile. I'll never make E-9, and I'm okay with that being an O-1. I always failed to see the rationale behind your attitude. There is a nugget of truth in every comment from the crew or the peanut gallery. Even if it is just a nugget, disregarding it is prejudging it's worth. Sounds a little elitist to me.

I had Casey White, Tommy Vatter and Todd Schultz in Groton as my COBs. Wasn't on board long enough to know White. Vatter was Vatter, although he wasn't the worst guy in the world as he has been made out to be here. He made mistakes but in general the crew liked him. Todd Schultz never did any wrong to me, and I have a lot of respect for that man. Used the 3" launcher space as his office, and didn't beat around the bush. There are always going to be bad apples and politicians trying to make E-10. Just like in any organization, there are always going to be the people who think that they have to climb the ladder habitually. The biggest thing that the ones who get big headed can do (both the COB and the EDMC) is to read the SORM and EDM/EDOM. It would be nice for the ones that constantly told the crew to know their jobs, to actually know their own.

2/10/2014 3:30 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

GOOD FOR YOU O-1 WIREBITER...........Your parents paid for your college and you made O-1 and you're in the ME ME ME ME ME're part of the 92 nuke AF douchebags that got caught cheating on their nuke evals.............AWESOME. You're EXACTLY what america needs..........keep ur O-1......

2/10/2014 3:47 PM

Anonymous ENS Wirebiter said...

Anon @ 3:47

Trolling for big bucks, eh?

There are certainly days that I am glad I no longer a nuke.

2/10/2014 3:54 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wirebiter, trolling for FREE...You're just another pansy ass O-1 who isn't sh** so whatever broooooooo...........No one will ever give you EARNED AUTHORITY so get that through your head.........

2/10/2014 3:56 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

How in the world did we win WWII with out an a COB qual card?

2/10/2014 4:16 PM


<< Home