Navy sailors distrust commanders, fear crippling political correctness


Navy sailors harbor “widespread mistrust” in the admirals who command them, complaining of poor leadership and a disciplinary environment that tolerates absolutely no mistakes, says a survey of the fleet.

The disgruntlement runs deepest in the officer corps, where scores of commanders have been relieved of duty in recent years.

“Senior leadership should stop proactively highlighting the reliefs for cause of commanding officers, command master chiefs, and other senior enlisted advisors,” said the report “2014 Navy Retention Study.” “What was originally intended to demonstrate accountability to the public has, instead, resulted in a significant breach of trust with our sailors and resulting in an almost ‘reality TV’ mentality.”

The independent survey was released amid complaints by some aviators about excessive political correctness as the military seeks to stamp out sexual harassment and misconduct in an increasingly gender-integrated Navy.

“Most troubling is the perception sailors hold of senior leadership,” the report says under the heading “Widespread Distrust of Senior Leadership.”

“Sailors feel strongly about their distrust of senior leadership, and believe the Navy has a significant risk-averse culture and zero-defect mentality,” the report says. “Officers in particular hold an incredibly negative view of the current state of affairs, with vast majorities decrying the overwhelming perception of a risk averse and zero-defect mentality culture.”


Navy Flag Officers are appointed by the president and serve at his pleasure. All senior officers with potential for a Star must become very “political” to earn that appointment.
Consequently a president’s political agenda is reflected in his Admirals and Generals.

This is why we have a military that is more of a political correct “social experiment” than a force of warriors.


Sadly true – which is why none of the current senior military staff seems in line for a “Profiles in Courage” award.


I beg to differ with posters who seem to think flag and general officers are in the pocket of whoever occupies the whitehouse at the time.

A flag or general officer typically serves in excess of 30 years.

I know in my scant 20 years of service, I served under 6 Presidents (2 democrats and 4 republicans…and it was funny how those who were flag officers during the Clinton years were called “Clinton’s generals and admirals”. Career military men and women, if doing their jobs, have more important professional issues than politics, and anyone claiming otherwise is discrediting the service of these dedicated patriots!


Yes, this is what I thought. I don’t have any connections to military people, but from the outside, things look very odd these days! All this nonsense about not referencing God or the Bible and engaging diversity, etc. It feels a little more like a Monty Python skit than the military. I wondered where that was coming from and how it was affecting morale.


They have to be. Just as all officers are appointed by congress … it takes a presidential appointment for a Flag or Star. Remember, the president is the Commander-in-Chief. That is the American way. We have civilian control of our military. Who we elect has, not only every Admiral and General “in his pocket”, but also the Joint Chiefs of Staff on his side.

There have been, and there are, a few today who have no qualms about speaking directly to a president who is militarily incompetent. But most are interested in their retirement and potential public opinion.

Thats true. I served for 34 years.

Thank you for your service.

I would agree with that statement 100% if you said " Career military men and women…to and including O-6…" I have always maintained that the most effective rank in the military is an O-6 with no possibility of promotion. He/she has all the wherewithal and experience to be an Admiral or General with nothing to lose. They make great warriors.


Interesting post. Thanks.


I can’t comment on O-6, but I once worked for an infantry Captain who knew he had no hope of promotion. Didn’t give a whit about politics, didn’t like anyone who used his rank to get perks or lord over someone else, etc. He was one of the first officers who “had my back”. He actually said that there was a certain freedom to knowing he was not going to make Major before he retired – he was able to “get things done” for his men that more career-minded officers might have avoided.


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