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Command Problems Aboard USS San Diego

Staffing problems have plagued leadership of the recently-commissioned amphibious transport dock San Diego, which has been stationed in its namesake city since mid-May, the Navy Times reports.

First, the ship’s Commander Jon Haydl was relieved of duty on March 12, the day before the ship was to depart the Mississippi shipyard where it was constructed and head for San Diego. He was found guilty of “a series of errors” in judgment, including storing pornography on a government-owned computer, using the ship’s duty driver as a personal chauffer to drive him home on two occasions, and calling the ship’s doctor to his house to attend to his wife.

“While the [Commanding Officer’s] misconduct was not completely egregious, his demonstration of judgment lapses was a telling sign of his lack of overall control and leadership of San Diego,” an investigation report reads in part.

Stepping into Haydl’s role was executive officer Lieutenant Commander Wes House, whose tenure has also been marked with difficulties.

“As a prior enlisted member with 20 years of service, I have never seen a command climate with such a poor morale,” one crewmember told an investigator responding to numerous formal complaints.

House stands accused of routinely berating officers in front of their sailors, and of demanding crew return to their posts at all hours in order to perform menial tasks that could have been completed the following work shift. One manager was recalled to duty at 12:30 a.m. in order to make a training record entry, and had a near miss with a drunken driver while returning home around 3:00 in the morning.

As of yesterday, the Times reports, House remains in his position.

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Staffing problems have plagued leadership of the recently-commissioned amphibious transport dock San Diego, which has been stationed in its namesake city since mid-May, the Navy Times reports.

First, the ship’s Commander Jon Haydl was relieved of duty on March 12, the day before the ship was to depart the Mississippi shipyard where it was constructed and head for San Diego. He was found guilty of “a series of errors” in judgment, including storing pornography on a government-owned computer, using the ship’s duty driver as a personal chauffer to drive him home on two occasions, and calling the ship’s doctor to his house to attend to his wife.

“While the [Commanding Officer’s] misconduct was not completely egregious, his demonstration of judgment lapses was a telling sign of his lack of overall control and leadership of San Diego,” an investigation report reads in part.

Stepping into Haydl’s role was executive officer Lieutenant Commander Wes House, whose tenure has also been marked with difficulties.

“As a prior enlisted member with 20 years of service, I have never seen a command climate with such a poor morale,” one crewmember told an investigator responding to numerous formal complaints.

House stands accused of routinely berating officers in front of their sailors, and of demanding crew return to their posts at all hours in order to perform menial tasks that could have been completed the following work shift. One manager was recalled to duty at 12:30 a.m. in order to make a training record entry, and had a near miss with a drunken driver while returning home around 3:00 in the morning.

As of yesterday, the Times reports, House remains in his position.

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Comments
1

We hear that the Navy keeps shrinking, and that the number of command slots at sea is at a low ebb. For many of these officers who will get only one opportunity for sea command, that single tour should be the high point of their careers. Many other officers will never see command of a ship. So, the Navy should have dozens of fully-to-over-qualified officers standing in line for a command.

Why do we hear of so many ship's captains being relieved? It is getting to a point where these firings are an almost weekly occurrence, or so it seems. Something isn't working in the system for preparing these guys (with an occasional woman) for taking charge of a ship. The whole training continuum that the Navy has for getting its officers qualified for command is not working right.

July 18, 2012

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