Monday, January 09, 2006

HMS Talent Court-Martial Convenes

Cross-posted from The Stupid Shall Be Punished:

Saturday, I blogged about the upcoming court-martial of a former CO of the Trafalgar-class sub HMS Talent. The proceedings started today, and it sounds like they're off to a rousing start! From Times OnLine:

"THE commander of a nuclear-powered submarine delivered red-faced tirades of abuse to his young officers, reducing one of them to tears, during a secret operational patrol, a court martial was told yesterday.
"The victims of Captain Robert Tarrant’s “aggressive and humiliating” style of leadership on board HMS Talent, a hunter-killer submarine, were said to have felt scared and intimidated. One officer, Lieutenant Ryan Ramsey, was so frightened that he used to vomit before going on watch...

"...Commander Towler said that Captain Tarrant’s behaviour changed completely when he was no longer “under scrutiny” while ashore. Lieutenant Ramsey was subjected at one point to a 20-minute shouting match, when Captain Tarrant’s face was “five to ten centimetres” from him. “His face would gorge with blood,” Commander Towler said.
"Lieutenant Ramsey would dissolve into tears at the end of each watch. The “tirades” in front of everyone in the control room became known as “reemings”, and the lieutenant was subjected to more than most of the captain’s “aggressive” rebukes."

"Reemings"? What the hell is that? I always thought "reaming" was an Anglo-Saxon word, but apparently the term's not familiar to the average Brit journalist. (To be fair, the Telegraph uses the right spelling.)

Anyway, it sounds like it'll be an interesting trial, and all the civilians involved will wring their hands about how horrible it is, and everyone with military experience will say, "Yeah, sounds like it musta sucked the big one. Now, what's the jerk charged with?"


At 11:30 PM, Blogger Rob said...

I've had my share of screamers and outright f*cking assholes. Had an ENG who literally had a vendetta against RC Div (I'm an ET nuke), and several times made my life literal hell (I saw four formal written greievences filed against him in less than 2 years, one by a fellow O-Ganger).

I was on the receiving end several times. Was it OK? No. He was wrong, and his methods were wrong even in those very rare instances when he was right about subject.

But to me, it's something that I simply learned to deal with. Not lay down and take (my inability to be a doormat is probably why I'm still an ET1, vice an ETC). He threw me out of maneuvering a few times, chewed my ass at high volume many times, humiliated me, bitched me out (when I was in the right and he was not) in front of crew quite often. But he couldn't take away my birthday. He was a shitty leader...but I'd not have taken him to court. My best defense, and in most cases (aside from actual assault/physical altercation, or browbeating so severe that it's genuinely harmful) was to simply make sure I was solidly in the right, and use that against him.

He would go into a tirade over something, and I would (with great pleasure) quote RPM/EDOM/SSORM/etc. chapter and verse to prove my point. Then break 'em out so it was documented. He really got pissed when I'd be on watch for one of these things, and I'd log it in my record, can't get rid of it. I also had no problem using the chain of command...I routed several request chits for problems he was creating/trying to cover up (he was one of those...less integrity than a corrupt politician). And kept copies. Those go to the XO at a minimum.

Had it been the skipper...well, while I'm not one to blow off those in command, I'm also not one to just blindly and unquestioningly play "yes-man", either. Wrong is wrong, and I will call 'em on it regardless.

And I've been in a position to stop a tirade (from that same ENG), over a lost RadCon manual ACCL, got to such volumes that they could hear him in Control (we were outside the logroom, in forward compt. lower level between the machinery room and the torpedo room). I got sick of taking a very unprofessional bit of verbal abuse (being called a "moronic f*ck" I think was the straw), and turned to walk off. That didn't set well, but the EDMC (taking the abuse with me) looked at me and I said "I'm getting a witness for this...the XO". The ENG kept yelling, and I yelled back...the article of the SSORM regarding provoking words/gestures. And left (and did get the XO).

ENG didn't like me much. The feeling was mutual. Oddly, I've never had that problem with any other department heads, prior or since.

But I simply would not file a grieveance. It became a point of pride, that I knew I could weather his crap and that he was NOT going to get the better of me. Let him be the bawling child...he failed as an ENG, and I didn't feel a bit bad for him.


Post a Comment

<< Home