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"USS Fitzgerald officer pleads guilty" Topic

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian08 May 2018 8:50 p.m. PST

A junior officer on the destroyer USS Fitzgerald has pleaded guilty to a dereliction of duty charge in connection with a collision that killed seven sailors last year, the Navy announced Tuesday…


carne6809 May 2018 2:15 a.m. PST

She got off light.

Lion in the Stars09 May 2018 2:35 a.m. PST

That's an amazingly light punishment.

Probably lightened because the CO was not training them adequately.

You can't come down on someone like a ton of bricks for not doing something if they don't know they're supposed to be doing it!

Major Mike09 May 2018 5:48 a.m. PST

Waiting to see if any of her superiors, who were relieved of duty, will also face a court martial. Pity in this day and age that such a failure of training should occur. No comment on how much sea time the officer had, but I'm guessing she has been in the service for at least 1.5 years to be promoted to Lieutenant j.g. I have lots of questions that the article fails to address.

Phil Hall09 May 2018 6:14 a.m. PST

Her career is over.

Lion in the Stars09 May 2018 8:44 p.m. PST

@Major Mike: Yeah, she should have been on a ship for about a year and a half to make JG. It's 2 years from commissioning as an Ensign to promotion to LTJG, but there's a few schools before you get to your first command.

So she really should have been able to handle the job of driving the boat (At least by submariner standards). Though it's possible that she didn't have a lot of time as Officer of the Deck, a Burke has ~23 officers. So that's ~10 officers in rotation for OOD, and the other 10 in rotation for Engineering Officer of the Watch (Captain, XO, and Supply Officer don't stand watches, the 'Chop' can't by regulation). With 10 officers, you're standing one watch every 2.5 days or so (either as OOD or EOOW), and at least in the sub community, junior officers start out as EOOW.

@Phil Hall: Possibly. I've certainly written Letters of Reprimand before, but for something to actually go to Mast is ugly. But they didn't do anything beyond half-month's pay for 3 months. So I think that the Court-Martial thought she is salvageable.

If it were me, I'd make her write the training improvement plan and present it to the Admiral. With help, of course, but it's her name on the header.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian10 May 2018 6:25 p.m. PST

There seems to be a feeling that, in such a crowded waterway, someone more senior had a duty to be on… duty.

Lion in the Stars10 May 2018 9:05 p.m. PST

Yes, the Captain was always on the Bridge when my sub was in the Straits of Juan de Fuca, and those straits are nowhere near as busy as where the Fitz was.

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