“I guarantee you every unit in the Navy is up to speed on their diversity training. I’m sorry that I can’t say the same of their ship handling training.”
Legal Insurrection readers may recall a recent congressional hearing that featured whistleblower reports about the impact of Critical Race Theory (CRT) on members of the US military. We covered Sen. Tom Cotton’s intense grilling of several high-ranking service members about reading lists and the impact of racialist policies on morals and enlistments.
A new report titled “A Report on the Fighting Culture of the United States Navy Surface Fleet” has emerged due to Congressional Reps. Jim Banks, Dan Crenshaw, and Mike Gallagher and Cotton. Marine Lt. Gen. Robert Schmidle and Rear Adm. Mark Montgomery, both retired, prepared the report based on recent US Navy incidents.
Their assessment, based on interviews with over 70 naval personnel, is chilling.
The authors conducted hour-long interviews with 77 current and retired Navy officers, offering them anonymity to identify issues they wouldn’t feel comfortable raising in the chain of command.
The report found that a staggering 94 percent of the subjects believed the recent Naval disasters were ‘part of a broader problem in Navy culture or leadership.’
‘I guarantee you every unit in the Navy is up to speed on their diversity training. I’m sorry that I can’t say the same of their ship handling training,’ said one recently retired senior enlisted leader.
…One of the key issues raised by the officers interviewed for the report was a concern that Navy leaders spend more time focusing on diversity training than on developing warfighting capacity and key operational skills.
‘Sometimes I think we care more about whether we have enough diversity officers than if we’ll survive a fight with the Chinese navy,’ lamented one lieutenant currently on active duty.
‘It’s criminal. They think my only value is as a black woman. But you cut our ship open with a missile and we’ll all bleed the same color,’ she added.
If “consensus” is the gold standard of acceptance, then the results are damming.
The goal “was to establish if these incidents were part of a series of isolated, unit-level breakdowns, or if they instead indicate larger institutional issues that are degrading the performance of the entire naval surface force,” reads the survey.
“There was a broad consensus across interviewees on numerous cultural and structural issues that impact the morale and readiness of the Navy’s surface force. These include: an insufficient focus on warfighting skills, the perception of a zero-defect mentality accompanied by a culture of micromanagement, and over-sensitivity and responsiveness to modern media culture.
Structural issues identified include lack of resources and consistency in surface warfare training programs and the Navy’s underwhelming commitment to surface ship maintenance—a problem that spans decades.”
Compounding problems is the palpable fear of bad press.
After negative news stories, the report found, “the senior ranks are perceived as quick to sacrifice junior personnel” to save their own tails. Discipline is “bent to the unsteady whims of public perception, not the Navy’s own standards and regulations.”
A command master chief told sailors to “clap like we’re at a strip club” when Vice President Mike Pence came aboard the carrier. He resigned, his 30-year career ending after one misjudgment. Admirals “hide in foxholes at the first sight of Military.com and the Military Times,” said one intelligence officer.
One of the incidents that lead to this report was the fire aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard, which we covered one year ago. The fire was so intense that authorities decommissioned the ship in April.
The incident’s investigation has concluded, but the Navy is still reviewing the results.
It has been a year since a fire broke out on the amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard at Naval Station San Diego. Even after the ship’s decommissioning, and at least two separate, ongoing investigations, the public knows little about what sparked the blaze.
Last week, Lt. Katie Diener, a Navy spokeswoman, said that the investigation into the “facts and circumstances” surrounding the July 12, 2020, fire is complete, but the results are being reviewed.
…There could be several reasons for the silence and delay, according to Mark Nevitt, a former aviator and judge advocate attorney in the Navy, who spoke with Military.com about the investigation. Nevitt is now a professor at the Syracuse University College of Law.
Aside from the usual privacy and national security redactions, Nevitt said that pending criminal charges can delay an investigation.
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