Wednesday, December 9, 2020


As I recall, the first time I was written up for a violation of the UCMJ was for forcing a safeguard. We had kicked out the LCM8 landing craft from the well deck when we entered Karachi to replace all the wood in the well deck. After a month of replacement and other stuff we left Karachi and headed into the north Arabian Sea and the LCM8's followed us down the river and reentered the ship off the coast. One of the necessary things following all of that was to test the zinc chromate levels in the engines. My sailors found that the Deck Department had placed locks on the engine rooms preventing access and so couldn't perform the preventive maintenance checks that were called for. When they asked me for assistance I sent one of them to the Deck office to ask for the locks to be removed. He came back and said they refused. As a result my Chief and I cut the locks off with some bolt cutters we just happened to have in the boat shop. I was charged with a Mast offense for doing it. As the ship's legal officer I found it somewhat novel to prefer charges against myself but I got to experience it about 4 more times before it all ended. Turns out, on that ship, under that Commanding Officer, no officer could be charged with forcing a safeguard when some other entity locked him out out his spaces and those 8 boat engine rooms were my spaces.

brought to mind by this bar owner charged with trespassing in his own bar after the canadian police changed the locks on his bar.


Roy said...

This, of course, begs a couple of questions.

Why did the deck department lock you out of your own spaces? Was there some kind of a feud going on at the time?

And why not go over their heads? It seems to me that a meeting in the CO's cabin between your department head and the deck department head would have settled things post haste.

HMS Defiant said...

For some reason the Deck chiefs had declared war on A gang. I don't know why. I entered the fray late and never understood the hatred that they expressed for my guys. It went on for about 10 months until a new First LT replaced Tim. The interesting thing for me was that I stood JOOD under Tim for months and he taught me everything there was to know about driving ships and standing the watch. Good officer there but his department was evil. The Bosun was evil personified. When he rotated out it was orders to be the OIC of the CCU in Texas. I felt sorry for the prisoners.
What all that animosity did was stoke a man like me. If it was war, so be it. As I said, that was just the first time they wrote me up. They did it again and again. It was all dismissed at XOI and the First LT and Bosun were the ones standing tall and facing the music.

Thomas said...

That "git'r done" attitude can get you in trouble.
I used to, maybe still do, pride myself on a git'r done attitude but over the last 20-30 years I've tempered it a bit.
I learned one lesson like that from an EMCS(SS) back in the day when we had our own problem of the day to deal with. (a balky SSMG, the command had started getting really nuke anal about work packages, QA packages, all kinds of shit to make things more complicated).

EMCS(SS) seized the opportunity when the Port SSMG went down (a big deal on an SSN/SSBN) to crank up the "I'd like to get it fixed, Eng, but we're still making up the QA paperwork and then we still have to do the Work Package, and then it's gotta be 2nd checked, and ..."

20 minutes later the fever of excessive paperwork was broken, the SSMG on the road to recovery, and things returned to a normal level of "oversight".
Hat tip to the EMCS(SS) for showing me how it's done.

Thomas said...

I left off the quote that I remember this by, when EMCS was talking about it later. "The way you get that stuff turned off, is by turning it UP!"

HMS Defiant said...

Ah! I like you. We got nailed to the bottom at Sitrah when our anchor windlass crapped out. I told the CO that I could get the anchor up anytime on 30 minutes notice but he refused. Yep, I was going to take a controlled torque slip coupling, drill four holes in them add bolts and have a no torque non-slip coupling. He decided to remain anchored to the bottom for a week while the local shipyard manufactured a part. Now the staff on the flagship were helpful and chimed in and I wrote a very nice message in response to their request that we cancel our CAT4 CASREP by suggesting that they share with me their ideas for raising tons of anchor and chain so I could shove it up their ass. The CO, for some reason, didn't let me send that message.
Had an EMCS who told me he could fix my primary generator with some stones. We got the rocks and he stood foursquare in front of the pedestal mount where the brushes and commutator met and held the stones there to polish out the flaw that caused it to arc and spark. Master Chief Orth. A very good man.