With critical emergent threats from China and Russia, the mission readiness of the United States Navy is of paramount importance.
Yet, we are finding that something is radically wrong within the fleet. Experienced leaders and warfighters are aging out of service, refusing to re-enlist, or resigning in disgust. Following the demands of their civilian leaders, senior officers are more interested in “woke” social engineering than maintaining operational readiness.
In what rational universe do we find a United States District Court Judge for the Middle District of Florida, Steven Merryday, curtailing the operation of a fleet warship?
Destroyer can’t deploy because CO won’t get COVID vaccine, Navy says
An ongoing legal battle over whether the military can force troops to get vaccinated against COVID-19 has left the Navy with a warship they say they can’t deploy because it is commanded by an officer they cannot fire.
[OCS: How does a District Court Judge insert himself into a military command decision. At the very least, the Navy brass can re-assign and replace the officer until there is a case disposition as a matter of national security.]
It’s a standoff the brass are calling a “manifest national security concern,” according to recent federal court filings.
The issues stem from a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida late last year alleging servicemembers’ rights are being infringed upon by the COVID vaccine mandate because their religious beliefs prevent them from taking the vaccine.
Judge Steven D. Merryday issue an order last month banning the Navy and Marine Corps from taking any disciplinary action against the unnamed Navy warship commander and a Marine Corps lieutenant colonel for refusing the vaccine.
[OCS: Re-assignment of billets due to operational considerations is neither disciplinary nor punishing.]
In the process, the case has raised questions about the lines between military good order and discipline, and the legal rights of servicemembers as American citizens.
Merryday’s injunction is “an extraordinary intrusion upon the inner workings of the military” and has essentially left the Navy short a warship, according to a Feb. 28 filing by the government.
“With respect to Navy Commander, the Navy has lost confidence in his ability to lead and will not deploy the warship with him in command,” the filing states.
The Feb. 28 filing alleges that the commander has already disregarded Navy regulations after he “exposed dozens of his crew to COVID-19 when he decided not to test himself after experiencing symptoms.”
[OCS: If the officer refused orders to test himself, a non-invasive test procedure, and possibly served as a disease vector for his crew, this is a far more serious matter than refusing to be vaccinated, which is a body-invasive procedure with potentially life-threatening consequences.]
The government’s Feb. 28 filing also argued that, even if the court found the CO credible, he can’t lead and crew a warship “given the breach of the relationships with both his commanding officer and his subordinates.”
A commanding officer can’t enforce orders to his 320-sailor crew if he does not abide by those orders himself, the filing argues.
“By forcing the Navy to keep in place a commander of a destroyer who has lost the trust of his superior officers and the Navy at large, this Order effectively places a multi-billion-dollar guided missile destroyer out of commission,” defense attorneys wrote. <Source>
What’s wrong with this?
(1) A federal judge has no place or authority in the military chain of command.
(2) The officer should have conscientiously resigned his commission or voluntarily placed himself on inactive duty rather than impact his ship’s operational readiness.
(3) The CNO, through the fleet command, should have ignored any civilian order not endorsed by the Commander-in-Chief or the Secretary of Defense and deployed the destroyer.
From the CNO’s “Charge of Command” (11 Jan 2022)…
Congratulations on achieving the highest honor in the Navy ... the opportunity to Command. Your selection is based on proven performance and the Navy's trust and confidence in your ability to develop and contribute to a winning team in accomplishing your command's mission.
Above all, Command, whether at sea or ashore, is fundamentally about preparing for and leading in combat. Never lose sight of this- seize absolute ownership of your assigned mission and all that goes into its accomplishment. When called upon to sail into harm's way, you and your team must be ready. Your command's mission is absolutely essential to the Navy's ability to fight and win. Imbue this belief in your team.
Command at times will be challenging. The challenges facing our nation and our Navy are expansive in their complexity and scale. Success demands that you hold true to the timeless elements of Command, while you continuously learn and adapt to keep pace with a rapidly changing world. You must remain accountable for both action and inaction as well as the outcomes and learning that make your team better. You are ultimately responsible for every aspect of your command.
Be relentless in building a culture of the· highest character ... a tough, resilient team that wins. Our nation needs and expects their Navy to remain above reproach, as a force they can admire and rely upon. Take fierce pride in this obligation. As the Commander, you are the example your team reflects. Embody humility, selflessness, and complete transparency. Acknowledge the value of every Sailor and civilian. Take care of them and their families. Embrace diversity of thought and background. Foster inclusion and connectedness. Always do the right thing, especially when it is hard. In doing these things, keep close watch on your own mental, physical, and emotional health, and the health of those you lead.
Your integrity and that of your command is the foundation of your warfighting effectiveness. Generate trust through action, both internal and external to your command, and continually assess the level of trust given to you and that you give to others. In the same way, measure the quality and transparency of your communications over these paths. Seek clarity and understanding. Trust and effective communications- absolute necessities in combat- must be developed and perfected in times of peace.
Upon this foundation, keep professional competency as the starting point of every day. We have no room for complacency. Your command must be ready, from basic fundamentals to the most challenging high-end warfighting maneuvers. Provide our adversaries no vulnerability to exploit. <Source>
Even though scientific reports are suggesting the current (experimental) vaccines (correctly, some are not vaccines) may not be as effective as promised, of shorter therapeutic duration, carry life-threatening side effects, or have negative efficacy on the immune system, the matter is one of conscience that should not compromise the nation’s national security.
We are so screwed
“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!
“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw
“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell “Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar “Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell
“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar
“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS