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With all the recent turmoil in the United States Navy we at NAUTICAL LOG got thinking about the Command situations. It is sadly concerning to read of the latest Commanding Officer being relieved of Command. This time it is for some rather crude humour home made videos which from some extraordinary point of view he considered as being "morale boosters". In another maritime blog Old Salt Blog there were many comments, most supportive, to a post on this incident of the fly-boy top gun captain when he was an XO. Also NAUTICAL LOG was told there are thousands of support entries on a Facebook page however since we do not follow Facebook we have no personal knowledge of this statement.

From the comments to the post we are told amongst other points that the average age of crew in the USS Enterprise is 20 years of age, a fact that we were somewhat shocked by. It appears that the XO thought that his tacky videos would act as a "morale booster" to these 20 year old kids. Instead of using his leadership to educate and lead to maturity his youthful crew he pandered to his and their worst instincts with gutter humour. He would have been well advised to pay attention to the fact that 25% of entrants cannot pass the basic service entrance examination, due to lack of personal ability or poor education at our nations schools. One comment really caught the eye of NAUTICAL LOG as it was from a person who approved of the behaviour of the XO, this commenter had completed service nuclear training which is a scary thought. He further stated that the USS Enterprise crew followed the XO because they "wanted to", is this the new USN which only now follows orders and officers they "want to".

Command is defined as "To direct authoritatively". Leadership is defined as "The process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task".

In the 1950's Herman Wouk wrote "The Caine Mutiny" which was later made into a movie with Humphrey Bogart in the lead role as the USS Caine Commanding Officer. At the start of the movie it was stated that there had never been a mutiny in the United States Navy. This is largely a matter of semantics and is not actually correct. NAUTICAL LOG would refer readers to researching the USS Somers 1842, the USS Vance 1965 incidents and the racial riots aboard USN vessels during the Vietnam War years to get a better perspective.

The Unites States Uniform Code of Military Justice defines Mutiny thus:

Art. 94 (paragraph 894.) 2004 Mutiny or Sedition

(a) Any person subject to this code (chapter) who -

(1) with intent to usurp or override lawful military authority, refuses, in concert with any other person, to obey orders or otherwise do his duty or creates any violence or disturbance is guilty of mutiny;

(2) with intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of lawful civil authority, creates, in concert with any other person, revolt, violence, or other disturbance against authority is guilty of sedition;

(3) fails to do his utmost to prevent and suppress a mutiny or sedition being committed in his presence, or fails to take all reasonable means to inform his superior commissioned officer or commanding officer of a mutiny or sedition which he knows or has reason to believe is taking place, is guilty of a failure to suppress or report a mutiny or sedition.

(b) A person who is found guilty of attempted mutiny, mutiny, sedition or failure to suppress or report a mutiny or sedition shall be punished by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct.

Bearing all this in mind it is surprising that other senior officers including the XO's Commanding Officers at the time allowed him to go ahead with these tacky (now being called 'lewd and bawdy' by the Navy which may effect charges brought at a court-martial) home movies. It would be most interesting to learn what the chaplains assigned to the USS Enterprise thought of all this and what, if any, action they took.
According to another commenter in Old Salt Blog one has to appreciate something he calls SNL which turns out to be a show called "Saturday Night Live" but it seems it is on TV way past the NAUTICAL LOG bedtime!! Having been trained by the 'Greatest Generation' to a very different set of values it would not make any difference to our viewpoint. No doubt that XO and now former C/O, will fall on his sword and resign to largely save the day for the other Officers involved. Perhaps not thought, it may depend on ego and if other Senior Officers currently under investigation are charged.

Good Watch.


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