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Stalwart
04-24-2014, 01:36 PM
The former CO (twice) of the Blue Angels was relieved of his duties as the XO of Coronado based on actions that took place while at the Blue Angels:

Navy Times: http://www.navytimes.com/article/20140423/NEWS/304230067/Complaint-says-former-Blue-Angels-CO-allowed-lewd-behavior

"Wednesday’s release says the complaints involved “lewd speech, inappropriate comments and sexually explicit humor ... allowed in the workplace and in some cases encouraged by the commanding officer.” Pornographic material also was displayed and shared electronically at the command, the complaint alleges."

From the Washington Post: "But an internal military document that a Navy official inadvertently e-mailed to a Washington Post editor states that a former member of the Blue Angels filed a complaint last month accusing McWherter of promoting a hostile work environment and tolerating sexual harassment. The complaint described an atmosphere rife with sexually explicit speech, the open display of pornography and jokes about sexual orientation."


He was the CO of the Blue Angels (had a successful command tour) after his scheduled relief the CO (CDR Koss) relieved himself following a lower than authorized maneuver at an air show and CAPT McWherter was reassigned as the CO again. It sounds like the environment that got him relieved was during the second stint.


It would appear he failed to maintain a healthy environment at the command; the use of the word promoting (emphasis above is mine) is very troublesome -- to me it implies that he was not just complacent but encouraged or participated.

Salty Old Dog
04-24-2014, 02:18 PM
Twenty two (plus) years since the Tailhook scandal, and this type of attitude still exists in the Naval Aviator community? If the allegations are true, bust him for it. Not that it will do much good, as he'll likely have his 20 years in, and just be forced to retire, though.

Time to grow up, boys!

BURAWSKI
04-24-2014, 08:35 PM
I was surprised to read this, since it was 2 years since he had already relinquished command. It probably was someone that got a bad fitness report or performance evaluation, or something he/she felt they did not get treated fairly.

The complaint is probably true. He probably DID whatever they are saying...the question is why did he get reported? See, even in this Navy, people still have periods where they are NOT perfect, you really think an admiral has never said or done anything that if known, would NOT get him fired? Not a chance...when you have an organization that panders to whatever rainbow wearing group shows up to protest, THEY are in control and you are well, defensless. So whatever HE did, you can count on EVERY SINGLE MALE leader I know (26 years) doing, cheating, saying or joking...many just have not pissed off the right no character having freak yet.

Chief_KO
04-24-2014, 09:37 PM
If the Navy can go back a couple years and bust a Commander, when will the Army go back and bust a GO (Petraeus) for adultery.

Stalwart
06-14-2014, 02:17 AM
I just finished reading the report on the CAPT McWherter's relief and of note:

1. He served as the CO of the Blue Angels twice Nov 2008 - Nov 2010 and again from May 2011 - Nov 2012. The complaint against him was filed in Mar 2014.

2. CAPT McWherter re-assumed command following the resignation (following a safety of flight violation) by the previous CO (the one who followed him. The previous CO was regarded by the demonstration team (pilots) as a "fleet-style" leader (i.e. a bit more by the book) than they thought was appropriate for the team.

3. The report details that several complaints were also filed during his second tenure as the Commanding Officer, one anonymous complaint was sent to the CO of NAS Pensacola (who has no command authority with the Blue Angels, but they are a tenant on the base). This compliant dealt with crew chiefs placing pornography in the aircraft cockpits for the pilots. The CO of NAS forwarded the complaint to the Blue Angels. This led CAPT McWherter (who was aware of the practice) to order it halted – but not because it was wrong but because there was a complaint.

4. In the report: "In his efforts to reestablish trust amongst the team, Captain McWherter allowed his Ready Room to follow the will of the majority -- often determined by Ready Room voting by the 8 Blue Angel
pilots (including the #8 Events Coordinator who was a Naval Flight Officer) -- even when the path chosen was the wrong one. Minority views were often ignored or disregarded -- even when these views comported with Navy standards and policies. In doing so, Captain McWherter abdicated the scope of his duties and the full range of responsibilities inherent to command."

--it seems this practice of "majority rules" made those who tried to alter the climate from within were shut down, they were ostracized for not 'playing ball', and many feared negative repercussions if they formally complained.

5. There are sections of the report that detail that several officers, senior enlisted and junior enlisted did complain about the command climate during the second tour but that these complaints were seen as counter to the Ready Room / familial tone that CAPT McWherter was trying to establish in the second tour.

BT BT

The report is extremely damning, to the point I cannot even guess why CAPT McWherter would have thought what was going on in the command was remotely acceptable. It was not just one or two people who reported the activity, but 68 witnesses who described completely unacceptable behavior -- and the attitude among many is that it was needed to promote the special kind of camaraderie that is needed in the Blue Angels. For those who felt uncomfortable and did nothing I fault them for being more more concerned about their reputation within the team or the Naval Aviation community vice doing the right thing -- they failed to uphold standards as well.

I will say it is odd and the report does not address the gap between his second departure from the report. It is directly stated that CAPT McWherter PCS'd the second time, the current CO took immediate action to alter the climate. The gap between his departure and the complaint may have been the time it took the complainant to feel comfortable to actually make a report. or maybe the complainant waited to PCS (the report did cite that many (officer and enlisted) in the command felt they could not approach the CO with their concerns ... but the report does not have any information on this nor do I know anything from colleagues.

I can note that no one is perfect. I have told and laughed at jokes in small groups that I would not tell to a larger group. That said, I have not done so AS THE COMMANDING OFFICER. I expect of shenanigans from JO's ... professionalism but shenanigans nonetheless, by the time someone is a CO / CAPT (O6) they have to be the ones setting the bar and have to rise above the shenanigans and set the example ... the report specifically calls the behavior "sophomoric and immature." Granted, in the report CAPT McWherter did not participate in all of the the behavior, but is faulted for his lack of positive and authoritative action to stop the activities when he became aware of them ... in essence consent by silence.

Measure Man
06-14-2014, 06:45 AM
Granted, in the report CAPT McWherter did not participate in all of the the behavior, but is faulted for his lack of positive and authoritative action to stop the activities when he became aware of them ... in essence consent by silence.

You don't get to be silent as the leader. You have to lead. What you allow, you condone. If it's done within your earshot and you say nothing, I believe the word for that is "collusion."

sandsjames
06-14-2014, 12:41 PM
From the Washington Post: "But an internal military document that a Navy official inadvertently e-mailed to a Washington Post editor states that a former member of the Blue Angels filed a complaint last month accusing McWherter of promoting a hostile work environment and tolerating sexual harassment. The complaint described an atmosphere rife with sexually explicit speech, the open display of pornography and jokes about sexual orientation."




Quick question. How does one "inadvertently" mail something to a Washington Post editor?

Absinthe Anecdote
06-14-2014, 02:02 PM
I really don't understand the pornography in the cockpit.

It sounds like something a 14 year old would do. No scratch that, a modern 14 year old knows that there is an entire universe of porn on the internet and would view a centerfold pinup as lame.

Before someone tries to explain it as a morale booster or a traditional way of bonding between the crew chiefs and pilots, stop, and think how outdated that behavior is, it isn't 1943 anymore.

Don't get me started on the joke tellers either. Wisecracks, I can tolerate, but I've never liked those guys that walk up to you and start telling elaborate story jokes about farmer's daughters and rowboats containing Rabbis, or Popes walking into bars.

WTF Blue Angels?

Get with the 21st Century.

sandsjames
06-14-2014, 02:20 PM
I really don't understand the pornography in the cockpit.

It sounds like something a 14 year old would do. No scratch that, a modern 14 year old knows that there is an entire universe of porn on the internet and would view a centerfold pinup as lame.

Before someone tries to explain it as a morale booster or a traditional way of bonding between the crew chiefs and pilots, stop, and think how outdated that behavior is, it isn't 1943 anymore.

Don't get me started on the joke tellers either. Wisecracks, I can tolerate, but I've never liked those guys that walk up to you and start telling elaborate story jokes about farmer's daughters and rowboats containing Rabbis, or Popes walking into bars.

WTF Blue Angels?

Get with the 21st Century.

No kidding, right? We've all seen Top Gun. This is Top Gun personified. The homoerotic love fest requiring adolescent tendencies. How about having some pride.

Rusty Jones
06-14-2014, 02:25 PM
I really don't understand the pornography in the cockpit.

It sounds like something a 14 year old would do. No scratch that, a modern 14 year old knows that there is an entire universe of porn on the internet and would view a centerfold pinup as lame.

Before someone tries to explain it as a morale booster or a traditional way of bonding between the crew chiefs and pilots, stop, and think how outdated that behavior is, it isn't 1943 anymore.

Don't get me started on the joke tellers either. Wisecracks, I can tolerate, but I've never liked those guys that walk up to you and start telling elaborate story jokes about farmer's daughters and rowboats containing Rabbis, or Popes walking into bars.

WTF Blue Angels?

Get with the 21st Century.

But only because they're officers. Officers are supposed to be suave, sophisticated, and gentleman-like. If they do have porn in the workplace, it's probably Playboy.

Not us enlisted folk. Give us a whole stack of Hustler mags for the shop!

Hugh Hefner would fit right in the Wardroom. Larry Flynt belongs down on the messdecks with the enlisted folk!

Absinthe Anecdote
06-14-2014, 04:30 PM
Quick question. How does one "inadvertently" mail something to a Washington Post editor?

That's a very astute observation, I'm not sure I would have noticed that.

It could have been a case of the sender forwarding several authorized attachments that inadvertently included the internal memo that wasn't intended to be sent.

So if they didn't properly scrub all the attachments, a document could be inadvertently sent.

Stalwart
06-14-2014, 05:15 PM
Quick question. How does one "inadvertently" mail something to a Washington Post editor?

I don't know. Auto-complete when typing an email address maybe ...

sandsjames
06-14-2014, 05:18 PM
That's a very astute observation, I'm not sure I would have noticed that.

It could have been a case of the sender forwarding several authorized attachments that inadvertently included the internal memo that wasn't intended to be sent.

So if they didn't properly scrub all the attachments, a document could be inadvertently sent.

Thanks for the clarification. I didn't think of that.

BENDER56
06-14-2014, 07:02 PM
I read a lengthy article about this when the story broke, which I can't find right now.

One odd thing the story mentioned was that during McWherter's first tour as the Boss, he had to correct exactly this same type of behavior. He squelched the frat-boy hijinks and cleaned the place up.

Then he returns and allows the squadron to backslide. Hell, it seemed as though he actively abetted the backslide. I don't get it.

forcedj
06-20-2014, 03:46 PM
I don't know. Auto-complete when typing an email address maybe ...

Maybe left his CAC in his Unattended computer.

Dan

BURAWSKI
06-27-2014, 02:04 AM
Speaking of accountability. I read this today:

http://www.navytimes.com/article/20140626/NEWS/306260077/Hue-City-XO-ousted-after-report-ship-fire


Apparently the Hue City XO was relieved for a fire that started in Engineering spaces while the ship was at sea. The CO was not relieved and mention was made that he was only aboard less than a month. Seems there is some disparity on CO firings. The CO is not held accountable, and no one in Engineering is held accountable, just the XO, and the investigation is not even complete yet? Seems to me there is some disparity in how these firings are made. Yes each situation is different, but accountability should start with the CO. I believe the Blue Angels firing of the CO was probably appropriate, except I do not believe it was legitimate to wait so long after he leaves the squadron. It just seems that accountability isn't always properly administered. And I am sure that there were others in the Blue Angels that probably should have been held accountable, but weren't.

socal1200r
06-27-2014, 02:50 PM
Q: What does a 747 and a fake blonde have in common?
A: They both have black boxes!

Guess that would be inappropriate, huh?! Man, people need to lighten up!

Stalwart
06-27-2014, 06:23 PM
Speaking of accountability. I read this today:

http://www.navytimes.com/article/20140626/NEWS/306260077/Hue-City-XO-ousted-after-report-ship-fire


Apparently the Hue City XO was relieved for a fire that started in Engineering spaces while the ship was at sea. The CO was not relieved and mention was made that he was only aboard less than a month. Seems there is some disparity on CO firings. The CO is not held accountable, and no one in Engineering is held accountable, just the XO, and the investigation is not even complete yet? Seems to me there is some disparity in how these firings are made. Yes each situation is different, but accountability should start with the CO. I believe the Blue Angels firing of the CO was probably appropriate, except I do not believe it was legitimate to wait so long after he leaves the squadron. It just seems that accountability isn't always properly administered. And I am sure that there were others in the Blue Angels that probably should have been held accountable, but weren't.

I saw that and really don't know about that. I have not seen anything yet (report, email summary etc.)

I would hope that the apparent disparity is due to something that those on the outside may not currently be privy to.

I do agree, it seems odd that only the XO was relieved and no one else ...



Q: What does a 747 and a fake blonde have in common?
A: They both have black boxes!

Guess that would be inappropriate, huh?! Man, people need to lighten up!

I have read the whole report (83 pages before you get to the witness statements) and it was not a random or occasional off color joke, it was pervasive disregard for:

1. Appropriate conduct in the workplace (Ready room or otherwise)

2. Some conduct that caused embarrassment to the Navy. For example: when the videographers make a point of videotaping -- at length -- attractive females in the crowd. These tapes from various airshows were shown in the ready room and making them was encouraged by the flight team & CO. At one point unbeknownst to the videographers they taped the wife of a civilian VIP who later saw the tape.

3. Most importantly -- the CO failed to maintain discipline and the authority of command (surrendering authority to a democratic procedure.)

Did most people like what he was doing? Sure. Was it appropriate ... no.

You should take the time to read the report and see if you think it is just people needing to lighten up.

Measure Man
07-24-2014, 05:57 PM
More details emerge:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2704316/Ex-Blue-Angels-leaders-tenure-included-pornography-lewd-comments-painting-penis-big-visible-Google-Maps-Navy-reports.html

BURAWSKI
07-24-2014, 07:01 PM
Wow, that is a British newspaper too! Looks like the story has gone international.

Stalwart
07-26-2014, 12:06 AM
The UK news article didn't have anything that wasn't in the report from June.

But yes, this becoming international news is a definite black eye.

I have seen a lot of comments about how good of a guy he was from people who had served with him in the past, how the Navy was wrong to appoint a Submarine officer to lead the investigation since the Aviation community is "different" (special?).

The Navy just did announce some changes to the Blue Angels as well:

http://www.navytimes.com/article/20140722/NEWS/307220070/Blue-Angels-add-XO-screening-after-misconduct-report

"The Blue Angels will get an executive officer for the first time in the squadron’s history and the member selection process will be overhauled to include more oversight from personnel officials, Vice Adm. David Buss, the head of Naval Air Forces, ordered as part of changes announced Tuesday."


"Buss also overhauled the selection process. The Blues will still get to pick the next generation of team members, but once those selections are made, Buss said new checks and balances will be used to vet those selections.

Buss said the the selection criteria has been carefully rewritten to ensure no one is excluded.

“We’ve really kind of focused on clearly stating in our selection instruction that demographics and gender will not be considered as factors,” he said. “It’s really based on aviation skill, professional performance and community reputation.”


I don't expect war-fighters to be angels, but I do have a much higher expectation of leadership from a Commanding Officer