The Navy’s can do ethos has been a long-standing staple of its particular brand of military culture. A positive attitude and the virtue of never giving up even in the face of adversity to complete the mission is The Navy’s way after all. But, has this culture been damaging the integrity of The Navy in the face of current events, I’m afraid it might be as such. Recently, a news article published in the Stars and Stripes website regarding the attitudes of The Navy when faced with a challenge. Unfortunately, the can-do attitude of The Navy has now presented unforeseen circumstances, and The Navy might not have a clear answer just yet.
As many readers would know, The Navy seldom backs away from any opportunity to deploy or undertake a mission when the opportunity arises. But, with the recent events in 7th Fleet affecting the lives, morale, and safety of the sailors involved. The Navy has taken a deeper look at the effects of this “positive” mentality. Sadly, the conclusion was less than stellar. This, does not, however, come as a surprise to the sailors serving onboard these vessels.
Sailors aboard the 7th Fleet have adapted to a life of constant deployments and endless working hours. While their deployments are technically shorter, the cycle of repairs performed after each one is brief and does not provide enough rest/maintenance time for the crews and ships. The ships themselves, which can range from millions to billions of dollars in cost, suffer as maintenance is rushed to meet a rather draconic deployment cycle. Meanwhile, the sailors endure suffering at the hands of supervisors who rationalize these events by way of the old “if I had to endure it so will you.” But, it’s not like they’re all at fault for these events as the officers in charge of the vessels have a serious hand in this decision.
Officers can become overzealous in their endeavor to join the ranks of the next higher paygrade which can often cloud their judgment. In an interview in the articles above an officer expresses his concern for how he handles obstacles by questioning his motives behind the decisions taken. Was it all for the greater good, or was he just trying to satisfy his ego and impress the higher-ups? Was the risk of endangering an already exhausted crew, and the safety of their ships worth it at the end of the day? Who can truly say?
These questions are difficult to answer due to how over time people change along with their perspective, yet it shows a degree of introspection that is often necessary when it’s most needed. It’s unfortunate that these questions couldn’t be asked before the catastrophic events of 7th happened and the lives of so many were lost to the depths of the ocean. Events like these can fundamentally change a person, and sailors aren’t any different. While they will endure, the people in charge of these situations will have to live the rest of their lives not knowing how a simple “no we can’t do this at the moment” would have changed everything…
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.