Sunday, March 07, 2010

Female US ship captain fired

Time magazine reports:
... booted as captain of a billion-dollar warship for "cruelty and maltreatment" of her 400-member crew. According to the Navy inspector general's report that triggered her removal — and the accounts of officers who served with her — Captain Holly Graf was the closest thing the U.S. Navy had to a female Captain Bligh.

A Navy admiral stripped Graf of her command of the Japan-based guided missile cruiser U.S.S. Cowpens in January. The just-released IG report concludes that Graf "repeatedly verbally abused her crew and committed assault" and accuses her of using her position as commander of the Cowpens "for personal gain." But old Navy hands tell TIME that those charges, substantiated in the IG report, came about because of the poisonous atmosphere she created aboard her ship.
The article goes on to give examples of her using profanity to sailors, including those who had gone to her for personal advice.

I don't doubt that she is incompetent, and was only promoted because of misguided affirmative action policies. But is profanity really that upsetting to today's sailor? And why was anyone asking her for personal advice, if she were really a female Captain Bligh?

The complaints against Captain Bligh in Mutiny on the Bounty were things like cruelly flogging sailors for no reason. I don't recall sailors complaining about profanity and hurt feelings. I don't know how we can fight a war unless we have tougher sailors than this.


Anonymous said...

Any basis for saying that she's incompetent? All I've heard is that she hurt peoples' feelings and that she got her ship into a drag race with another ship.

Roger said...

I just have the above article. She got fired, so she probably did something wrong. I suppose that it is possible that she was an excellent captain, but people ganged up on her for political reasons.