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View Diary: The most important lesson I learned in the Navy...that many in Congress never learned. (Updated) (261 comments)

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  •  As a Navy JO (1972 - 78), I couldn't agree more (12+ / 0-)

    Another maxim is that you don't expect your men to perform at any level, or put them in any situation, that you yourself can't accept or step up to.

    I don't think it's any coincidence that there is a lack of line officer experience in most of Congress and a corresponding lack of care for the working American.  And those that do claim military experience like Lindsay Graham were in staff billets (JAG, MC) which are considerably different in terms of officer/enlisted interaction.

    As for McCain, I doubt he ever had much empathy for the enlisted team that supported him and his aircraft.  My experience with pilots and observing how they interacted with their crews gave me the impression the culture was different from the surface warfare side.

    BTW, I always viewed myself as the counterweight to the Chief of my division - the good cop to his bad cop.  And like you, I left the nuts and bolts of most things to the Chief and LPO to get the work done.

    •  Heh. Most crew chiefs see their aircraft as (7+ / 0-)

      their personal property and the pilots only get to borrow it for a while.  I've never heard a military pilot admit it, but I think they all know this, loud and clear.

      Never meddle in the affairs of cats, for they are subtle and will piss on your computer.--Bruce Graham

      by Ice Blue on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 10:04:20 AM PST

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    •  I was on the surface side of the carrier. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JanetT in MD, Bluefin

      And yes the air wing side (and especially Navy aviators) have their own culture--although Navy aviators (not pilots) fly some scary as hell shit during catapult launches and particularly carrier landings, especially at night. But you're right, surface and air have their own cultures (as well as subsurface).

      And you know what makes a good JO, a great Chief--and the wisdom to let the Chief do his thing. I had only one standing order for my Chief, "Don't get me in trouble!"--and he never did. I loved that guy--and I know he loved me too for not unnecessarily getting in his way (but I was also discreetly looking over his shoulder all the time).

      And I also was taught at OSC the same first thing you mentioned: "Never order your men to do something you wouldn't do yourself." Someday I should write a book entitled "Everything I learned about life I learned in the Navy".

      "Offence's gilded hand may shove by justice,
      And oft 'tis seen the wicked prize itself
      Buys out the law"
      Hamlet, Act III (Claudius)

      by dewtx on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 10:46:55 AM PST

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      •  Yeah you can always tell the former Navy aviators (1+ / 0-)
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        If you're flying a commercial plane and the pilot revs the engine before releasing the brake or on landing lands just past the start of the runway and makes a fast stop, that's a Navy guy.

        The old Air Force (or civilian trained) pilots are the ones who are content to take advantage of the nice, long runway that's in no danger of moving.

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