I used to be peers with a number of people some of whom were our squadron commanders. One of them was sacked while deployed with his squadron to the UAE. I just now found the full NAVY INVESTIGATION into the matter online and read it, all 42 pages of the Investigating Officer's report and the endorsements by Tillotson and NECC. As I read it I kept wondering, this was it! This was the exact moment we departed from being a combat force in being to being a shadow of irrelevance that could be dismissed as lightly as one dismisses a tame poodle. I knew the Commodore that was dismissed and sacked. He was a fairly insufferable CDR in my way as we tried to pull together Battle Experiment Echo with 3rd Fleet and a host of other really stubborn people. He was the representative from DEEP BLUE, NAVAL WAR COLLEGE and Second Fleet, IIRC. I might revisit our expereience trying to get any officials in San Francisco to honor the commitments they made to us when we went to their offices but maybe I'll save that for another time.
I read the full report of the Investigation into matter iN MSRON 12 while deployed to UAE and what struck me was the nature of the investigation. At no point at all did it ever address whether the squadron was combat effective in the conflict zone in the Persian Gulf. The entire investigation delved into whether the CO was mean and whether he had failed to comply with various administrative filings that would best be laid at the feet of his Admin Officer.
Dave took the hit, got sacked and terminated wtih extreme prejudice.
I had done something new at the time. At 42 I got married for the first time and had a daughter. The formerly motivated sailor was now not slacking off but disregarded all his friends who urged him to take squadron command. I wasn't going to do that because I knew what it would cost me in my life. As it happens, I could have done it since in the end marriage was not apparantly something I was any good at since I was still a staff officer and commuted to Korea at least once a month for years and this proved incompatible with a strife free life.
As the Operations Officer for the West Coast Maritime Expeditionary Security Forces, I knew Dave got sacked but I thought it was for something worthy. Reading the report of the Investigator, he didn't stay 100% on top of the admin ball and he was frustrated that he had incompetent subordinates. Been there, done that, got the medal.
All of this is from 10 years ago but the language of the Investigator and Tillotson and NECC makes me sure and certain that we don't really have any warfighters at any level of the Navy anymore. We basically have cud chewing cows out there running the Navy and nothing will change until they get Pearl Harbored, again.