"BLUES" - COURT MARTIAL FOR ANNAPOLIS
It's been rough sailing lately for the Navy in the wake of several embarrassing incidents.
An Annapolis professor's admittedly stupid and crude remarks made during a field trip to Norfolk, Va. has now led to a court martial, even after foul-mouthed Lt. Bryan Black apologized to a female midshipman for his lapse in judgement. The apology was accepted, and perhaps the incident would and should have ended there. But Black's colleague in the oceanography department, fire-breathing Lt. Cmdr. Shelly Whisenhant, pushed the issue up the chain-of-command. And now "political correctness" may end the career of a Navy officer with an otherwise unblemished career. Not exactly the "image" the Navy would like to present to the public.
We won't repeat the dumb crack Black made about a battleship and a certain part of his anatomy. But sources tell MilitaryCorruption.com the lieutenant is being made a "scapegoat" by feminists in the Navy aroused over a recently released Defense Department report on "sexual harassment" at our military's service academies. While some of the harassment was violent, much of it was "verbal," thus the emphasis of punishing Black.
The Navy OCS grad, who holds a master of science degree from the University of South Florida, has taught at Annapolis since 2003. He's hired hard-charging defense attorney Charles Gittins, who - along with retired Navy Commander John "Bulldog" Wells - has a reputation as a tough and relentless advocate for military justice.
DESTROYER SKIPPER "GETS THE CAN" IN MISCONDUCT PROBE
The words are always the same. So-and-so has been fired due to "a loss of confidence in his (or her) ability to command." That boilerplate came from the commodore of Destroyer Squadron 22, when Capt. Matthew Bobola, reassigned Cmdr. Philip Ramirez to the staff at Naval Support Activity Bahrain.
No one was talking about the specifics of why Ramirez was "canned" in a likely career-ending move. All Bobola would acknowldge through a spokesman was the charges were "serious" enough to merit the destroyer CO's reassignment.
If any sailors would like to let us know more details on the case, we would welcome their comments sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your identity will be protected.
Checking Ramirez's file, he seems to have a solid background. Graduate of Navy OCS, past service aboard ship as a missle and engineering officer as well as XO. The 19-year Navy vet has taught seamanship and navigation at the Naval Academy. He'd been skipper of the DD Donald Cook since late 2004.
CHAPLAIN SAYS "HUNGER STRIKE" HIGHLIGHTED PRAYER PROTEST
Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmidt says his 19-day hunger strike served to spotlight what he calls the difficulty some Navy chaplains have in staying true to their faith and religious convictions.
The 37 year-old Air Force Academy graduate is an evangelical Christian and has caught flak from some sailors over his devout beliefs. Klingenschmidt said he's come in for criticism for being more "worried about saving souls" than such mundane duties such as counseling sailors.
In a move that could end his military career, the courageous chaplain publicly proclaimed the Navy had precluded him from praying "in Jesus name" while in uniform.
One incident, while aboard the guided missle cruiser Anzio, when the Episocal chaplain ended a request to lead Jewish prayers with the words "in Jesus name, amen," really stirred up the brass.
public events, which are not divine services, chaplains of all faiths
are asked to pray in a manner that does not exclude others," says
the chaplain's commander, Capt. J.M. Carr.
What the controversy has done for the chaplain's career is not good. The lieutenant said he's been nailed with a downgraded fitness report and a negative letter of recommendation. In effect, that means no promotion and not much future as a Navy chaplain.
However, Klingenschmidt's high-profile protest - he declared "victory" over the Navy's prayer policies when he broke his "liquid-only" fast with a wafer while standing in front of the White House January 7 - may have bought him some time and perhaps even survival in the chaplain's corps.
Capt. Marks cautiously tip-toed over the potential minefield of adverse public opinion saying "no disciplinary action has been taken" against Klingenschmidt." What he didn't say was if any was "planned" against the controversial chaplain, now assigned to Norfolk Naval Base.