Commanding officers are getting the message that they cannot afford to make any tactical mistakes. But encouraging a ‘climate of risk avoidance’ could have hazardous long-term results for the U.S. Navy.
In 2011, Navy Times reported that seven U.S. Navy commanding officers (COs) had been recently removed from a command billet, or “sacked,” under the alarmist headline “7 Skippers, 1 Common Failure: Booze and bad judgment got them fired,” bringing the 2011 total to 22. 1 Such was the commonality of CO sackings that Navy Times started an online tote, suggesting that—with a reported 25 sackings in 2012 and 17 in 2013—the 2011 figures were indicative of a trend. It can reasonably be deduced from these figures that the U.S. Navy has a serious problem with some of its COs, but is taking action to remedy the situation.