The crux of the Navy’s col­li­sions

So­cial en­gi­neer­ing man­dates have com­pro­mised ship­board readi­ness

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - By James A. Lyons

The U.S. Navy’s loss of two so­phis­ti­cated, key anti-bal­lis­ticmis­sile-ca­pa­ble de­stroy­ers within a mat­ter of sev­eral weeks is symp­to­matic of a much larger is­sue. The fact that th­ese highly ma­neu­ver­able ships were “steam­ing” in­de­pen­dently and col­lided with two civil­ian mer­chant ships, which was clearly avoid­able, de­mands dras­tic cor­rec­tive ac­tion. A re­cent direc­tive by the Chief of Naval Op­er­a­tions Adm. John Richard­son call­ing for a top-to-bot­tom re­view by all lev­els of the Navy’s com­mand struc­ture is a step in the right di­rec­tion.

Ar­eas most likely to be re­viewed in­clude the cur­rent size of the Navy and an as­sess­ment of its im­pact on force de­ploy­ments, op­er­a­tional tempo as well as lack of time for re­quired main­te­nance. Cer­tainly, cur­rent train­ing pro­ce­dures and how per­son­nel are qual­i­fied to per­form crit­i­cal bridge watch­stand­ing du­ties, as well as in the com­bat in­for­ma­tion cen­ter, must be ex­am­ined. While th­ese are key ar­eas to re­view, the Navy has al­ways had long de­ploy­ments and over­worked crews, nei­ther of which af­fected fun­da­men­tal sea­man­ship on op­er­at­ing our ships. How­ever, I am sure that elim­i­nat­ing of the Sur­face War­fare Of­fi­cer School will be high­lighted as a con­tribut­ing fac­tor.

In that sense, I never un­der­stood why a newly com­mis­sioned en­sign from the U.S. Naval Academy or from a four-year NROTC pro­gram had to be sent to six months of ad­di­tional train­ing to learn to be a di­vi­sion of­fi­cer be­fore re­port­ing to his first ship. What was he do­ing for four years of in­tense train­ing at the U.S. Naval Academy?

One area that I have not heard would be ex­am­ined is a “third rail” for the Navy as it deals with per­son­nel­man­ning poli­cies for its ships and air­craft squadrons: What im­pact has “di­ver­sity” poli­cies had on a ship’s man­ning cri­te­ria? Im­plicit within this is ex­am­in­ing what has been the im­pact of Pres­i­dent Obama’s so­cial en­gi­neer­ing man­dates that were forced on our mil­i­tary and their neg­a­tive im­pact on our readi­ness and ca­pa­bil­i­ties. His Ex­ec­u­tive Or­der 13583 declar­ing that “di­ver­sity” is a strate­gic im­per­a­tive crit­i­cal to mis­sion readi­ness and ac­com­plish­ment sim­ply does not com­pute. This is fac­ulty lounge logic. What the EO did, in ef­fect, was to pro­vide cover for the forced im­ple­men­ta­tion of his so­cial en­gi­neer­ing pro­grams. Many of th­ese pro­grams were a dis­trac­tion with valu­able time de­voted to “sen­si­tiv­ity train­ing” in­stead of, for ex­am­ple, learn­ing the mean­ing of “code of con­duct.” Due to po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness, our mil­i­tary lead­ers failed to chal­lenge the EO just as they failed to chal­lenge the Re­stricted Rules of En­gage­ment that cost so many lives.

Another dis­trac­tion that needs to be re­viewed is the open­ing of all com­bat roles to women. There are many vi­able roles for women in the mil­i­tary — com­bat is not one of them.

When I used to visit ship ward­rooms, it was not un­usual for me to find that the chief en­gi­neer was an MIT grad­u­ate, the anti-sub­ma­rine of­fi­cer was a grad­u­ate of Brown, the weapons of­fi­cer was a Naval Academy grad­u­ate, the first lieu­tenant was from Prince­ton, and so on. You won’t find a ward­room to­day with such tal­ent. This is due pri­mar­ily to cur­rent ship­board­man­ning poli­cies that pre­clude this type of tal­ent from get­ting ship­board bil­lets.

Pres­i­dent Trump’s re­cent de­ci­sion to ban trans­gen­der per­son­nel from mil­i­tary ser­vice was clearly the right de­ci­sion. No finer ex­pert that Dr. Paul McHugh, for­mer head psy­chol­o­gist at John Hop­kins Univer­sity Hos­pi­tal, has stated that trans­gen­derism is not a phys­i­cal is­sue, it is a men­tal dis­or­der that needs un­der­stand­ing and treat­ment. It is not a civil rights is­sue and should never be forced on the mil­i­tary. How­ever, with the hi­jack­ing of the Amer­i­can Psy­cho­log­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion (APA) by the left, there are now enough votes to clas­sify a men­tal dis­or­der (trans­gen­derism) as per­fectly “nor­mal.” Clearly, the APA should be de­cer­ti­fied and no longer used by the Depart­ment of De­fense as the key ref­er­ence.

Over the years, I have found that there are three el­e­ments aboard ship that are un­ac­cept­able for good or­der and dis­ci­pline. One, you can­not have a thief; two, you can­not tol­er­ate a drug user or drug pusher; and three, you can­not have a ho­mo­sex­ual aboard. In fact, the en­tire LGBT agenda is clearly a dis­trac­tion and im­pacts neg­a­tively on unit in­tegrity, co­he­sive­ness and the “will to win.” It should be pointed out that in the late 1800s, ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity was so ram­pant on Navy ships that moth­ers would not let their sons en­list un­til the Navy cleaned up its act.

The bot­tom line is that the mil­i­tary is an in­sti­tu­tion whose mis­sion is to pro­tect and de­fend the coun­try against all en­e­mies for­eign or do­mes­tic. Any­thing that dis­tracts from this mis­sion must be re­jected. It is the in­sti­tu­tion that sets the stan­dards for en­list­ment. No one has a right to serve in the mil­i­tary un­less they meet those stan­dards. In that sense, Navy lead­er­ship can take the lead in re­ject­ing the so­cial en­gi­neer­ing man­dates that were forced on our mil­i­tary forces by the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion.

I be­lieve the cur­rent prob­lems our ships are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing can be traced to th­ese man­dates. With the hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars that are ex­pended to build to­day’s so­phis­ti­cated war­ships, we must have the “best and bright­est” to man those ships. Now is the time to take the lead by break­ing the shack­les of po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness and put the Navy back on an even keel. James A. Lyons, a re­tired U.S. Navy ad­mi­ral, was com­man­der in chief of the U.S. Pa­cific Fleet and se­nior U.S. mil­i­tary rep­re­sen­ta­tive to the United Na­tions.

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