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Thread: Former Blue Angels CO relieved

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    Senior Member Stalwart's Avatar
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    Former Blue Angels CO relieved

    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/201...-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.

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    Re: Former Blue Angels CO relieved

    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!

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    Senior Member BURAWSKI's Avatar
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    Re: Former Blue Angels CO relieved

    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.

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    Senior Member Chief_KO's Avatar
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    Re: Former Blue Angels CO relieved

    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.
    "Never force a fart in Djibouti"..."Always marry your second wife first"..."If anyone says that you're not a team player, maybe they're on the wrong team"..."You can gold plate a turd and it's still a turd"

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    Senior Member Stalwart's Avatar
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    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.
    Last edited by Stalwart; 06-14-2014 at 07:43 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stalwart View Post
    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."

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    Banned sandsjames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stalwart View Post
    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?

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    Senior Member Absinthe Anecdote's Avatar
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    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.
    All behold that fancy strutting peacock, the bake sale diva...

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    Banned sandsjames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Absinthe Anecdote View Post
    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.

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    Senior Member Rusty Jones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Absinthe Anecdote View Post
    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!
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