Vice Adm. Currier Pushes Back

The US Naval Institute News reports, “Coast Guard Pushes Back Against Congressional Calls for Reductions.”

Nice to see Vice Adm. John Currier standing his ground before Congress. Congress seems to want the Coast Guard to tell them which of its eleven missions it should stop doing entirely.

That really makes no sense, because if the job needs to be done, they will have to create a new agency to do it with all the initial start up problems reorganization can entail. Better to simply scale back operations in some areas, retain the expertise, and be ready to expand again if and when additional funds become available.

If on the other hand Congress sees no reason for some missions to be done at all, they should have the courage to repeal the laws and accept the consequences.

9 thoughts on “Vice Adm. Currier Pushes Back

  1. Yes, the Coast Guard has their issues and needs to represent themselves much better in politcs, but im getting sick and tired of this administration. Maybe we should get rid of search and rescue…or maybe port security…or maybe aids to navigation….give me a flippin break (excuse my french). I hope Admiral Papp gives them a good peice of his mind.

      • Oh certainly, Im not thrusting the blame on just the present administration..neither party is free from blame, though one is entitled to his opinions :).

    • Contrary to the wishes of some, we don’t live in a military dictatorship where those in uniform dictate our budget. Even ADM Papp is subject to the wishes of the taxpayers, as represented through the Congress. It is not his place to be giving anyone a “piece of his mind”, nor is he the type of individual who would be insubordinate to our duly elected officials and the President…and that is a good thing.

      As Rumsfeld very astutely said, “you go to war with the Army you have”, not the one you want.

      • But the military leadership needs to answer questions honestly, identifying shortcomings so that the civilian leadership can make decisions based on facts. Sometimes that means talking about things the administration (and I mean that generically not specifically this administration) would rather you not discuss.

      • Looks like they all have answered honestly and forcefully. In fact, they’ve all been saying the same thing for years now.

        The fact that Congress remains unconvinced on what the Admirals have been selling and the fact the government faces an austere budget environment does not give a green light for Admirals to be undermining their civilian leaders policy objectives.

      • I don’t see that as what was happening, in fact he was saying that he could not answer now, because the administration had not made a decision and when a decision was made it would come from the administration and the Department after consultation.

  2. “Currier said,his greatest fear now was how, “Semper Paratus (Always Ready)—our motto [and] our ethic—may not ring true.”

    The purpose of the motto was never intended to be, as some assume, a statement about the readiness of the service to perform. When Captain Charles F. Shoemaker instituted the motto the state of the RCS officer corps was dismal. It was rife with poor behavior, back biting, and poor achievement. In 1896, Shoemaker had enough of the press reporting the misbehavior of its officer corps and began moving it to where the officers were expected to be ready, as individuals, at all times. In other words, they were never off duty. This idea was held up by the Supreme Court in the 1980s during a Coast Guard argued hearing. A YN1 had been accused of child molestation but his legal team argued the YN1 was off duty at the time. It is a landmark case.

    The question here is will the senior officer corps take the motto’s purpose and be ready to cut missions from time to time?

  3. I’m no fan of the current administration either, but taking politics out of it, we’ve had some interesting, polite, and thought-provoking discussions here at Chuck’s in the past about CG missions. (I advocated turning over ATONs to ACoE and scientific/icebreaking mission to NOAA, leaving the CG a leaner, more-focused LE/Interdiction / SAR / military agency.)

    I think it would be better for the service to internally have this discussion and move proactively, rather than suffer the consequences of external (political) effects forcing the service into tough positions/decisions.

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