Are Female Navy Commanders Fired For Behaviors That Male Commanders Practice All The Time?

The Long March
USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) arrives in her new homeport of Sasebo, Japan in 2002
U.S Navy photo

Cmdr. Tammy Sue Royal, the skipper of the USS Harpers Ferry, was removed for “poor performance jeopardizing ship readiness and is not tied to one specific event,” according to a Navy spokesperson. But Carl Prine notes that San Diego amphibious commanders have been purged heavily in the last year.

This firing made me wonder if anyone has studied Navy reliefs by gender. Do female skippers get fired for “poor leadership” more often than male skippers? I wonder because, in journalism, I know of three women— one at the Washington Post, two at the New York Times —who were fired for being hardasses. Yes, they were. But would males have been fired for the same behaviors? In my experiences, no.

In other relief news:

  • The Navy SEAL officer in charge of Special Operations Command Forward—East Africa (which I think basically does Somalia) was removed for alleged sexual misconduct, along with his senior enlisted guy. They have been yanked back to the United States while an investigation gets underway. 
  • An Air Force colonel in Colorado Springs was charged with raping and hitting people. 
  • The commander of a wing of C-130s at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, got booted for high toxicity levels. 
  • The Navy fired the CO of State University of New York (SUNY) Maritime College's NROTC unit, for “personal misconduct.”
  • The Marines gave the big bounce to the commander of the 2nd Battalion of the 6th Marines, T&P;’s intrepid Jeff Schogol reported.

And finally, in an unusually sickening instance, a civilian psychiatrist hired by the Air Force to help female service members who had been sexually assaulted was charged with three felony sexual assault cases against his patients, including rape.  I’m against capital punishment, but . . . .


Joel Marrable (Laquna Ross via CNN)

Dawn Brys got an early taste of the crisis unfolding at the largest Veterans Affairs hospital in the Southeast.

The Air Force vet said she went to the Atlanta VA Medical Center in Decatur last year for surgery on a broken foot. But the doctor called it off because the surgical instruments hadn't been properly sterilized.

"The tools had condensation on them," recalled Brys, a 50-year-old Marietta resident. The doctor rescheduled it for the next day.

Now the 400-plus-bed hospital on Clairmont Road that serves about 120,000 military veterans is in a state of emergency. It suspended routine surgeries in late September after a string of incidents that exposed mismanagement and dangerous practices. It hopes to resume normal operations by early November as it struggles to retrain staff and hire new nurses.

The partial shutdown came about two weeks after Joel Marrable, a cancer patient in the same VA complex, was found covered with more than 100 ant bites by his daughter. Also in September, the hospital's canteen was temporarily closed for a pest investigation.

The mounting problems triggered a leadership shakeup Sept. 17, when regional director Leslie Wiggins was put on administrative leave. Dr. Arjay K. Dhawan, the regional medical director, was moved to administrative duties pending an investigation. Seven staff members were reassigned to non-patient care.

The only question for some military veterans and staff is why the VA waited so long. They say problems existed for years under Wiggins' leadership, but little was done.

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The former Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs thinks that the VA needs to start researching medical marijuana. Not in a bit. Not soon. Right goddamn now.

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Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney takes questions during a news briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., October 17, 2019. (Reuters/Leah Millis)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump's withholding of $391 million in military aid to Ukraine was linked to his request that the Ukrainians look into a claim — debunked as a conspiracy theory — about the 2016 U.S. election, a senior presidential aide said on Thursday, the first time the White House acknowledged such a connection.

Trump and administration officials had denied for weeks that they had demanded a "quid pro quo" - a Latin phrase meaning a favor for a favor - for delivering the U.S. aid, a key part of a controversy that has triggered an impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives against the Republican president.

But Mick Mulvaney, acting White House chief of staff, acknowledged in a briefing with reporters that the U.S. aid — already approved by Congress — was held up partly over Trump's concerns about a Democratic National Committee (DNC) computer server alleged to be in Ukraine.

"I have news for everybody: Get over it. There is going to be political influence in foreign policy," Mulvaney said.

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CEYLANPINAR, Turkey (Reuters) - Shelling could be heard at the Syrian-Turkish border on Friday morning despite a five-day ceasefire agreed between Turkey and the United States, and Washington said the deal covered only a small part of the territory Ankara aims to seize.

Reuters journalists at the border heard machine-gun fire and shelling and saw smoke rising from the Syrian border battlefield city of Ras al Ain, although the sounds of fighting had subsided by mid-morning.

The truce, announced on Thursday by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence after talks in Ankara with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, sets out a five-day pause to let the Kurdish-led SDF militia withdraw from an area controlled by Turkish forces.

The SDF said air and artillery attacks continued to target its positions and civilian targets in Ral al Ain.

"Turkey is violating the ceasefire agreement by continuing to attack the town since last night," SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali tweeted.

The Kurdish-led administration in the area said Turkish truce violations in Ras al Ain had caused casualties, without giving details.

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Editor's note: This story contains graphic images of children burned in the Turkish-led offensive.

The United Nations is investigating the possible use of chemical weapons in the conflict in northeastern Syria, according to The Guardian's Dan Sabbagh. The Kurdish Red Crescent has raised concerns about Turkish forces and Turkish-supported opposition forces using chemical weapons.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) told The Guardian that it was "aware of the situation and is collecting information with regard to possible use of chemical weapons," but cautioned that it has "not yet determined the credibility of these allegations."

The allegations were first reported by Lara Seligman in Foreign Policy.

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