CdrSalamander offers us a cautionary tale, the story of Destiny Savage, Chief Engineer and acting XO/CO, to remind all in authority that the Naval Services are not really like StarTrek. There are still some lines that should not be crossed. But how does one go around the normal direct lines of authority?
Well that was a lot of reading!
Definitely a bad situation on the Cowpens, no doubt about that. After reading the entire report, two things stand out to me. First that the CO and acting XO were able to get away with their relationship for as long as they did. I say get away with because if you read the report, it sure doesn’t seem like they were really hiding anything. Second, that the ship was able to function just fine in spite of the CO and acting XO being pretty much invisible.
New Zealand maritime historian Joan Duett writes extensively about women at sea in the 19th century. She mentions a number of wives who, without academy training, took command of whaling ships when their husbands became incapacitated. One has to remember a whaling ship captain was in a more serious situation — it had to make a profit.
I wonder where the CMC was during this? The article mentions the lack of CPO Mess leadership but from what I’ve seen the CPO Mess isn’t that effective anyway on any ship. The CPOs have all but given up the role of shipboard leadership and just let the CMC do it. Maybe it is time to remove the CMC and let the CPO Mess return.
Extremely interesting idea, Bill.
It would be interesting if each Dept./Div. CPO had more of a voice with his Dept./Div. Officer. A little senior-enlisted/junior-officer team-work on decisions about discipline and morale.
Seems like Chiefs are subject matter experts more than leaders nowadays, unless in a CMC billet.