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.
In Defense of Taking Risks
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.
By Commander John A. Craig, Royal Navy