Speaking of respect, let's talk about the USS Fitzgerald, which people who don't know what they're talking about want to say is some kind of disgrace. Whoever was on watch as OOD that night obviously made mistakes, and possibly others on duty that night made mistakes as well. But that's not a reflection on the crew overall or the US Navy overall. Here's some of what that ship did which their critics on this site did NOT do:
- first of all, what was her mission in the area? To be insulted by career civilians? No, it wasn't.
Her mission was Ballistic Missile Defense. If North Korea were to fire a ballistic missile at Americans, this was one of the ships that was in the area for the purpose of trying to shoot that missile down.
A Destroyer is a COMBATANT WARSHIP. A submarine is a combatant vessel. The Navy is a branch of the military. We engage bad guys.
This was a ship that was directly involved in keeping you safe. Keeping your family safe at night. Those reading this post owe their freedom, in some small part, to this crew.
For some reason, many on this web site seem to think the Navy does nothing but move ships around in the ocean for no reason. That is not correct. We are transiting across the seas to keep Americans safe.
she helped Japan recover from a major earthquake and tsunami in 2011. Merchant ships do that as well...but that's all the more reason to respect that crew. Like I said, the Navy and the Merchant Marine have many things in common. That should encourage more respect from the Merchant Marine, not less.
this ship was involved in enforcing UN sanctions in the middle east...which obviously means their sailors were boarding foreign vessels, making close quarter contact with potential enemies. I wonder how many people on here who disrespect the United States Armed Forces would be willing to board a potentially hostile vessel, knowing the risk that they might be shot, in order to defend this country and keep the families of other people safe? The families of people they don't know. The freedom of Americans.
All this stuff is just the non-classified operations that anyone can research on the web.
Here, for example.
Despite being a submariner, I didn't have need to know for any clandestine operations this particular ship might have done -- and if I did, I obviously wouldn't talk about it -- but I can think of a few things. They probably deployed SEAL teams at some point. They were probably involved in counter-terrorist operations from time to time.
But yeah, a horrible accident happened, and we lost people in our Navy family...but some career civilians think it is more important for them to tell the Navy how to do their job.
Not that someone who never served should ever presume to tell us how to do our jobs. Constructive, respectful criticism, sure. But the key word there is respect. Not for any individual personally, but for us collectively, what we do, what our organization does.