Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) pins are pasted upside-down on the cover of Navy Exchange checkout line periodicals. Headlines shout out failures of ships to meet combat readiness standards. Reports by the Bureau of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) detail failures to meet standards. And from behind the scenes come reports of ships failing to meet minimum standards in maintenance material management (3M) programs and failing to pass fundamental unit-level certifications.
News flashes like these lead people to ask, "What is going on in the surface Navy? Have our surface ships sunk to new lows of readiness? Has waterfront enlisted and officer leadership lost focus on combat readiness?"