in the navy

Why are so many of the Navy’s ships’ captains being ‘fired’ these days?

The analysis comes from Captain Kevin Eyer, U.S. Navy (Retired) of the Navy’s unreleased Fleet Review Panel report.  Eyer’s article is in the U.S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings Magazine:

…In short, the percentage of ship captains being relieved must be, and is, inevitably rising.

Because he can’t blame the institution itself, its training, selection processes, or the culture of military-political correctness, the Chief of Naval Operations is therefore constrained to blaming the individual:

One can only suppose that the CNO’s (negative) remarks were motivated by the large number of line commanders being relieved in 2010. That, or he may have been prepping the battlefield in anticipation of questions on exactly why so many were being relieved. Indeed, in September, he specified that those COs being fired in 2010 were “complete idiots.” He was presumably referring to the why in that comment.

That characterization should be especially troubling, since those officers are, quite literally, the best we could make, sorted out over decades of the most command-competitive time in recent history. How could these SWO captains be so good, so groomed, so successful, so ferociously competitive and yet become idiotic at such a high rate?

Has it always been like this?  Absolutely not:

So has the metric for success as a commanding officer changed since the 1980s? Certainly. Mission accomplishment took a distant back seat to myriad other considerations because we could suddenly afford it.

OK, what drove the Navy into the arms of military-political correctness?

…after 1989 and the Soviet Union’s collapse, the Navy fell into an unchallenged peace so profound that we could reflect deeply on topics considered to have been trivial in the past. Our best minds were turned loose to busily pursue previously “other” issues, while the government tried to find a new global strategy to inform our military’s mission. Then, this rising tide was immeasurably spurred by the 1991 “Tailhook” debacle, which set the stage for dramatic social change. We had no enemies except, it seems, ourselves.

Do the other services face the same challenge?  Without question.  What’s the impact for America?  Diminished national security.


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