Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Sub chiefs get blasted in a Navy Times letter to the editor

The below letter (linked here, though you need to be a Navy Times subscriber to view it), is sure to stick in the craw of the submarine CPO community.  I'm not a CPO, but I'll assure you I couldn't disagree more with AFCM Moss' assessment.  I think he's way, way off base.

A real mess on a sub

I am embarrassed for the chief petty officer community and especially [for] the CPO community in the silent service [“Admiral’s mast held for sailor in hazing case,” July 10].

I think that the nuclear Navy has a certain endemic problem with its chief petty officers in that they have no real chiefs’ mess from which to glean knowledge and leadership. The gold and blue crews are just that, and there is no goat locker where a chief can go to ask assistance from his fellow chiefs. The [chief of the boat] is not a mess president, he is a leading chief with the responsibility of caring for all ranks and rates onboard the vessel. He wears many hats, but not the one that is most important to the command structure — that of the president of the chiefs mess. Why? Because they do not have a CPO mess. There is no room, and most nuclear Navy types believe they can get leadership from a book. Case in point [is] the outgoing master chief petty officer of the Navy.

The nuclear Navy has a problem due to the close-knit relationships that must be developed and relied upon to get the job done. The old adage “Liberty expires at 0730” does not apply in most cases. Thereby, “familiarity breeds contempt” and the chief is just another one of the fellas.

I do not believe that a nuclear Navy submariner chief should be allowed to participate in the command master chief program until he has done at least one tour onboard a large surface combatant and is exposed to a real chief’s mess and understands his position in that mess. Leadership is a trait honed in the chief’s mess, and no book can give you the knowledge that a seasoned master chief can from his experiences alone.

AFCM (AW/NAC) Bill Moss (ret.)

Melbourne, Fla

Sorry, AFCM...I think you are WAY off base.

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Crossposted at The Sub Report Editor's Blog and The Online Magazine formerly known as Rob's Blog

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At 12:17 AM, Blogger Bubblehead said...

Good find, Rob. I always try to show retired Master Chiefs the respect they deserve, but this guy makes it hard. Leadership is learned by sitting around eating with other CPOs? I always thought Chiefs who showed the best leadership did it by getting away from the Goat Locker and out on the deckplates.

At 4:36 PM, Blogger CobraCOB said...

I'm all for it.
As soon as the skimmers spend a tour on a boat and actually qualify.

Who knows, maybe it will give them a better outlook on life.
And possibly make them better at the role they have for themselves.

Of course, didn't we have COBs long before the skimmers started this program?

Oh, and I guess SW pins were because they couldn't Qualify Submarines and had to have something that at a distance you can't tell the difference of.


At 4:52 PM, Blogger trr said...

No goat locker? I hope he gets a random UA real soon. He's gotta be smokin' crack!

At 7:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This guy is a fucknut. I was never a chief, but I had more respect for the chiefs who spent time in their divisions, leading by example than the ones who said if you need me I'll be in the goat locker. The one's who I love were the one's who rolled up their sleeves and scrubbed the decks with us blue shirts on field day - showing us that they would never tell us to do anything that they themselves wouldn't do. This asshole's the reason why the skimmer fleet's head is up it's ass and will always be, and why the Submarine Force is the elite of the sailing fleet. CobraCob's got it right. A warfare pin does not make you a warrior - SW=Submarine Wannabe.

At 1:24 PM, Blogger jeffox said...

While the hazing incident that is at the root of this whole story is recognized as an embarassment for the Navy and sub force, I find it pretty easy, as an ex-sub sailor, to realize that this is just a very isolated and anomalous event.

For Chief Moss to opine that this singular event is the result, somehow, of the uniqueness of the enlisted relationships onboard ALL submarines merely shows his ignorance of how effective that relationship normally is.

Who was the ding-dong that asked a skimmer puke, anyway???

My 2c.

At 7:36 PM, Blogger LargeBill said...

The situation the retired airdale refers to is not a sub force specific problem. Did a few years in the Navy and can say with a certain amount of certainty that you sailors screw up in the surface community, the sub force and most definitely in the aviation end of the Navy. Most of my career was on surface ships, but I'd be the last one to claim one area of the Navy has a monopoly on either good or bad leadership. I finished with an aviation squadron and was none too impressed.


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