Before everyone starts screaming again, which was and continues to be the case in the Colin Kaepernick strategic publicity stunt. Let’s put race aside, as this sailor is a uniformed service member. Within the DoD, and especially within the uniformed services, race is not supposed to be an issue.
Now, aside from wondering who in this sailor’s chain of command failed her, if you’ve led in the military, you know what I mean. And if not, allow me to clarify. The non-commissioned officers and officers who are assigned to lead, train, and professionally develop this sailor have clearly failed to know their subordinate, had not made her a part of the team, and were not available. A key concern and without knowing all the factors involved is; how is this sailor alone, in civilian clothes at morning colors, and on a Wednesday?
Where in the f**k are this sailor’s NCOs?!
They have at least manifested on some level, as a swift command response to the sailor’s actions was escalated and justly answered with ‘Captain’s Mast.’ A Navy term for an Article 15, or command-level non-judicial punishment. The results of the NJP, Captain’s Mast are not yet public, yet unverified sources who claim to know the sailor in question at Naval Air Technical Training Center in Pensacola, Florida have stated that she has already been punished via her command.
A spokeswoman for the Naval Education and Training Command told military.com, that “actions were on-going,” but refused to elaborate further.
Exactly how were this sailor’s leaders capable of pushing her legal paperwork though the Judge Advocate General’s office so swiftly? This sailor’s leaders were not there to guide her through whatever sentiment led to her disgraceful decision and dissenting attitude in the first place. Her leaders, apparently couldn’t be bothered to ensure that she was in the right uniform and present for duty, prior to, let alone at reveille.
I heard it’s racist,
In the latest case of, ‘the internet said it’s racist, so I’m going to make a spectacle,’ the Department of Defense, and more specifically the U.S. Navy is set to feel the widespread scrutiny, slander, and speculation. Brace yourselves, the media circus is coming. It’s also election season, so be prepared to scroll past 5,000+ more similar articles, as well as outlandish rants across every newsfeed that interfaces with your information ecosystem.
That’s not saying that racism isn’t real within the ranks. Additionally, for the record, I can assure you in all confidence as a former service member, that racism in uniform is not confined to the ‘cracker-honkey, mayonnaise sandwich and cheese eating white devil.’ Racism is also not a new manifestation. In 2000, my First Sergeant made it quite clear, that ‘unless you’re black, you’re not the future of Bravo Company.’ My First Sergeant most definitely wasn’t the first racist I encountered in the ranks, and this mini-drama won’t be the last of it either. Racism will continue and from all races, against other races – until people can learn to leave their comfort zones, and become more concerned with life outside of their immediate five-meter radius.
Nevertheless, that’s neither here, nor there and is as unlikely to happen. On topic, I will go as far to say it’s a real possibility that, people in general, will expand their behaviors and endeavor to become more reasonably tolerant of others. A narrow possibility that is as likely to succeed as the wide-spread mandatory training, which is destined to follow the cry-for-help turned determined-outright dissent in the ranks performed by this sailor.
Wherein she broadcast an act of dissent across social media, on base; for every foreign intelligence service, opportunist, and terrorist from here to Kandahar to see and seek to exploit. Above all else, and as a service member, she should have known the security risk involved in such a selfish act. Similarly, the apparent violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, breach of oath, and total dereliction of duty. After all, who wants to be shoulder to shoulder in defense of the nation with a seditious service member? A service member who has not only taken action without regard of her own integrity and a disregard of duty, but has also failed to conduct any independent research.
Death by PowerPoint will be the resulting, reactionary change,
The training that is destined to be the all too common response to such an incident will be blanket, multi-tiered, and with maybe a few civilian ‘experts’ brought in to consult, supervise, or train coursework to improve DoD awareness and policy implementation throughout the ranks. A new or existing digital training course will be deployed, and it will be lush with ‘realistic’ vignettes and problem-solving scenarios. That is of course after 40+ hours of battalion [or similar] level and down awareness training. There will be PowerPoint slide shows, and there will be few breaks.
The effect will be what is required to get the press and the politicians, ‘out of our business.’ Such an attitude is not government, or military specific. I’m certain that a look at any of our own encounters with civilian organizations, be they corporate, industrial, or even non-profit will generate a similar example. Regardless, the class and retrain approach appears to be the accepted policy of appeasement, or at least the most politically-correct version. Meanwhile, little if anything will change, and what may work is taking the bull by the horns, and tackling this issue head-on. A challenge that would be very messy, and may not even work, at first.
The most likely outcome is that we’re all destined to go full circle, and that similar incidents will occur until a few months after that news cycle finally releases this upswing of internet-over-reality challenges to duty and cause narrative rewriting of history to incite unrest and attention for issues. Irresponsible propaganda often leads to negative results, in that the idea is proven completely false and completely extinguished, or too many misguided people are improperly sent forth to martyr for a cause built around a false premise, thus causing the movement to collapse from the inside. A problem shared by compounding verbiage in social media through guerrilla marketing for societal manipulation and/or poor training programs with no realistic long-term training objective mapped out.
These strategies, that I clearly have a great deal of disdain for, and if you’ve read any of my previous work you know that I’m no fan of advertising, marketing, or propaganda. Now you’ll learn that beyond my above mentioned, and one of many, examples of experiencing racism of on kind or another within the ranks, is that I also was given the chance to do something about it. Well, at least on paper I was. That experience also embittered my point-of-view on the laughable approach to dealing with issues such as racism within the ranks. The military, is a rather large machine, and that machine is built of people from all walks of life from all over the world. Although, the modern military lacks the teeth to force unit cohesion and changing generational hillbillies, gangbangers, and whomever else from learned behavior and into finding solace overnight with one another is highly improbable with PowerPoint and free passes.
Your friendly neighborhood EEO,
Yet, Uncle Sam in all his glory bestowed upon me the additional-duty assignment of unit level Equal Employment Opportunity advisor. My predecessors had nothing prepared or on file. It was just a bullet point on their Non-Commissioned Officer Evaluation Reports and nothing more. Their duties were unfulfilled, and progressively so, as were my senior counterparts both on my level and two levels up. They were all essentially lying and a ‘no problems here’ false report was being sent to the third-level up. Fudged numbers, suppressed reporting, no answers for soldiers with real issues, and even the surveying results were inaccurately generated. I was swamped trying to dig out and had finally progressed beyond hand-jamming statistics and transitioned to a formula-verified Excel sheet by the time I left. As for reporting up, they weren’t letting me get anywhere and as it was an additional duty on top of my 34 soldiers, one lieutenant, and my other additional duties; I ended up handing it off as I was passing everything else off to clear and leave the Army.
There were no resolutions for the few reports based on my observations, as well as the incidents reported by soldiers that I was able to get at least two levels above me. I’m also uncertain, but doubtful that my revised numbers on demographics and incidents have ever reached the top, let alone been updated. I am only certain that the guy who picked up my many assignments also had no training, zero oversight, limited guidance, and nowhere to send numbers that people don’t want to know about. Nobody likes bad news, and most particularly anything that may make the unit look bad. The racism in some areas was fluid, all encompassing, and not at all playful.
Yet some may call that my interpretation, or my perception of the events and how several layers of command so choose to remain disconnected from the EEO advisor program, as is it is command prerogative to do so. Albeit, the name is in the title, advisor. Realistically, advice given, does not systemically induce advice taken.
The same can be said about the sailor in question, who has her own interpretation and perception. One that she may very well have co-opted from the Internet that has redefined the mood of the nation into a racially charged mass. The past is today, and today is the past; it is apparent that little reasoning can be done for the time being. Speaking up makes a person a racist in any direction or most likely to trip and trigger the lines of one offended person or another, (wherein the flag is now considered racist, the American flag of all things to consider racist). I won’t entertain the notion, nor well I entertain the similarly ridiculous notion that the Gadsden Flag is racist. I’ll just wait out the trend . . . It’ll go the way of the 99%ers. Remember them?
Meanwhile, this sailor has been emulating the actions and words of others within an environment that she may, in fact, have experienced something quite powerfully negative . . . Or she could have had some other issues going and assigned a popular diagnosis. That is, whenever any topic is hyped in the media, a sudden epidemic follows in-suit with the headlines. A popular plague that is by no means limited to the topics of the hour, or decade, but for as long as mass media has been in-effect. Wherein the power of suggestion and assignment by personal-connection-deduction prescribes pop-culture hypersensitivity and retention. Human behavior tends to generate personification and persecution over personal responsibility, as well as generating a consensus narrative of self, which is on topic with a current health, social, and/or wealth issue. Self-diagnosis can be a damnable paradox.