Totality of Service « Neptunus Lex

And an honorable discharge:

Capt. Holly Graf, relieved as commanding officer of the cruiser Cowpens in January 2010 for cruelty, will retire with an honorable characterization of her service this year, overturning the recommendation of her board of inquiry, the Navy said in a statement released late on Friday.


via Totality of Service « Neptunus Lex.

The Navy missed a good opportunity to send a message.  This… “officer” should have been booted.

First, absent very strong evidence the Board of Inquiry was not effective in its duties, the bar for overturning that recommendation should be very high. Instead, the message is that the BoI was irrelevant, thus undermining future boards.

Second, when considering CAPT Graf’s “totality of service” there’s an extreme likelihood that she didn’t suddenly turn into a tyrant upon assuming command of USS Cowpens. She almost certainly developed her so called leadership style over the years of her career.  I’ve scanned literally thousands of comments regarding this woman since her relief, and hundreds of them were from sailors that had served with her. Almost universally, they depict an officer that lacked leadership, tact, empathy, and integrity, not to mention basic competence as a warfighter and sailor.

Bad call.

Is this just the civilian side of the Navy being clueless, or is it the Diversity PC doing damage control?


12 thoughts on “Totality of Service « Neptunus Lex”

  1. Lex writes a commentary called, “Totality of Service”. I look at his commentary and noticed mostly, the last line. It reads, “Well, it isn’t like she killed anybody. That we know of.” I have read some of the commentary which is been written about this fiasco. I hope Lex would being very sarcastic, when he wrote that. As I look at it, I see it as hanging a pall over the whole Military/Veterans Community. It reflects very poorly upon all of us, not just the Navy or the Cowpens. It will impact all of us, from the past, through the present and into the future. I believe a more appropriate response might be something like this, “Sub–surface hull maintenance while underway, without benefit of SCUBA gear”. This might be known more commonly by its colonial name, “keelhauling”. This might be best done with her crew, officers and enlisted, on board. If her service was honorable, then where is the magic threshold to TREASON and all of its related benefits when caught?

    Grandpa Bluewater said it best, “Bye.”

    1. Grumpy, I think it can be pretty well taken for granted that Lex was being sarcastic there.

    2. I’ve met Lex while in San Dog, and have been a regular in the commentariat since Thanksgiving 2009 (I had a brief lurking period about a year before that), and I can assure you Lex is being sarcastic. He has a dry wit that I find delightful, and which matches my own in periods of badinage with friends.

      Brad, I have to agree with you about this undermining future BoIs. I also would hold that this is the diversity Zampolits union doing damage control. She should have been cashiered as soon as it came out what she was. Funny how Adm. Harvey can fire soemone like Honors and leave him with a cloud over his head, but not Graf.

      People like Harvey make me sick with shame over what the Navy has become. He’s just one more Zampolits that needs to be cashiered as well.

  2. “Is this just the civilian side of the Navy being clueless, or is it the Diversity PC doing damage control?”

    I know which way I would vote.


  3. Brad, you are correct that the Navy had an opportunity to send a message. And they sent it. It is the same message that was sent when Horrible Holly was given her first command after her conduct in other billets. It was put on a billboard when she was given her SECOND command after her disaster as a CO on Churchill. It would have been put on a banner towed by a Cessna if there had not been such a furor regarding her still heading to her Pentagon billet. They amplified that message again with the stunning lack of interest in how such an Officer was given command twice and her conduct overlooked countless times.

    Message received.

    1. I remember reading your post when you first wrote it. It was excellent then, and still is now. I’d strongly encourage all my readers to read it. And indeed, all posts there by you.

  4. This is why the army is going to the mandatory Multi-Source Assessment and Feedback (MSAF). I was not initially a believer, but I think I am going to be. Anyone can do one, but it is a requirement for O5s. Students at , SGM’s Academy, CGSC and pre-command have to start one, but the only real requirement is that you have to initiate one. If you don’t get enough people to provide feedback, they will not show you the results. Originally, some people were afraid of what it would do to their “report cards” but the results are anonymous, and you are the only person that sees them. It requires that you request input from 3 bosses, 5 peers and 5 subordinates. I just started one and asked for input from a total of 30 people, including officers, NCOs, and specifically some people that I didn’t play well with, because I think they will give me the most meaningful feedback (you can totally game the system and request your friends/favorites). The only thing the army sees is that it is a check on the new officer evaluation report; your rater must check that you have, or have not, initiated an MSAF. Due to the issues they have had with some BCT CDRs getting fired, they are starting something where BCT selectees will have an assessment that the results will be seen by the army to ensure that toxic types are not getting through. (Given the pending cut in BCT’s, the cut line for BCT CMD will be very tight, indeed, as opposed to 18% selection for BN CMD as a tanker.) Can’t wait to see my results!!!

    1. Hey, you’re alive!

      I recall doing peer evals during either PLDC or BNOC, but that’s about it. And I’ve done them in the corporate world as well, but I was in such small cells, there was no anonymity possible. When there’s only three people in a team, you can kinda guess who your two raters are.

    2. I have a six-hour write for life comprehensive final next week and my shoulder is still only fair so I’ve been rather low-key.

Comments are closed.