Discipline for Seamen


Case study: after a thorough investigation of the facts, a captain fires an AB for breaking rules of conduct. The CEO of the company reinstates the AB, because he likes the AB–and puts him right back on the same ship.

The HR person in the middle tries to back-up the captain. The AB has to suffer some penalty, says he HR person. This angers the CEO, and the HR person is forced to resign by the general manager.

Discussion: a well run company, or not?

Good argument. You might add something like… Several years earlier, the AB had saved his crew after vessel sank.


Another tar baby. Lol nothing matters

Not an argument. A discussion.
Your point: the AB did a signal service for the company.
However, he did break rules after that, and after an investigation was fired. The question is, is the company well run if the authority of the captain and HR person is flaunted by the CEO? To be more direct: does the captain have any authority over his crew any more?


Except in the case we are actually discussing, the chain of command doesn’t end with the captain. The Commander in Chief is part of the chain of command. But I do see your point.

Could there be anything the AB could have done in his career with the company that could warrant the intervention of the big boss? If saving an entire crew wasnt enough, what if he had saved a ship, or sacrificed a piece of himself? In the case at hand, the AB is retiring anyway. The CEO stepping in only ensures he gets his retirement benefits.


Well, the ship is pretty damn big. Did he actually save the whole damn thing? Or was he just one guy in a pretty big crew, doing a dirty, dangerous job, sure, and in many respects very well, but really not much different than a number of other crew members?

And to be honest, this sort of thing goes on in real companies all the time. You have an AB who is technically very good at his job. Valuable. But he crosses the line. More than once. So the captain fires him and the HR department backs up the captain. And the CEO says, “YOU FIRED WHO?! HE’S MY WIFE’S NEPHEW!!” And the guy gets reinstated.

But does it help the organization?

I’ve seen this happen a few times. If the Captain fired the AB and the CEO wants (for whatever reason) to hire him back then the CEO should have a frank and open discussion with the Captain.

The guy is getting fired for a reason, maybe he’s a safety concern, maybe he’s lazy, maybe he’s not too bright. It’s in the ceo’s power yo help fix the situation. He can hire an extra hand or fix another problem to compensate.

But to just force it down HR’s throat… that’s not good.

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It has nothing to do with the AB, it has everything to do with who asked. The CEO will do anything for the TV people and has no respect for non-TV people or codes of conduct or law or appearances. He doesn’t think the AB is special, he doesn’t value the laws he broke and also can’t fathom why it would matter. He respects the TV, not his employees, especially employees who set themselves against the TV people— the experts in the only thing he cares about.

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OK, but based on your real-life experience, what is the effect on the organization? Does it help it, hurt it, or does the incident just get lost in the fog?

I believe he meant argument in the sense of “a coherent series of reasons, statements, or facts intended to support or establish a point of view”.


If this is a discussion of a commander overruling his leadership read up on the Dachau liberation reprisals. General George S. Patton wiped away some of his mens’ war crimes because he felt their actions were understandable in the heat of the moment.

An Inspector General report resulting from a US Army investigation conducted between 3 and 8 May 1945 and titled, “American Army Investigation of Alleged Mistreatment of German Guards at Dachau,” found that 21 plus “a number” of presumed SS men were killed with others being wounded after their surrender had been accepted. In addition, 25 to 50 SS guards were estimated to have been killed by the liberated prisoners. Lee Miller visited the camp just after liberation, and photographed several guards who were killed by soldiers or prisoners.

According to Sparks, court-martial charges were drawn up against him and several other men under his command but General George S. Patton, who had recently been appointed military governor of Bavaria, chose to dismiss the charges.

Well, forum responses tend to be about whatever the person responding wants to talk about. But the original question is, what is the effect on the organization? Does it help it, hurt it, or does the incident just get lost in the fog?

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He was retiring anyway. Id guess if you asked 10 people in that company youd get 10 different answers.

Does the HR person who was fired get retirement benefits? :wink:


I wish you wouldve asked if a captain fires an AB for having a psychotic episode due to a work related incident, should the AB still be eligible for a full retirement from the company?


The office should back the capt up, and unless this AB was a repeat offender and was bold faced dropping the ball, maybe he should get a chance on another vessel? Its the captains call running someone off a vessel, but from the company thats an office decision.


Referring to the original article and the long history behind the charges brought; my opinion is this is a way more complicated situation than presented by the brief description. This guy was a stressed out sailor that went bat shit crazy. Had several charges against him but was found guilty of one. Was he an embarrassment to the service he was in and his country? Yes. There is a code of conduct and he was well aware of it.Even giving him a break for war time stress he screwed up in a major way. He was given a big break by not being found guilty of but one relatively minor charge. He is retiring. Might be looking for a high paying gig on Fox news or in politics but he more than the others charged seems to have an agenda which makes him suspicious. Perhaps the Sec. of the Navy wanted to remind him he was lucky and don’t push it. Didn’t work out for the SecNav. The draft dodging CEO who doesn’t know squat about military judicial matters and only wants to score political points should have realized he was out of his league once again and kept his mouth shut. Mark my words this Gallagher will end up as one of these high paid talking TV heads making big bucks by gaining notoriety for making his country look bad.


If the AB and his shipmates were attacked, bombed and shot at, witnessing his friends die while attempting to get paint from the paint locker under orders from the CEO who ordered them to paint the bridge wing, the comparison is invalid, disrespectful and disgusting.

Where is your shame?

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Great discussion but I find it hard to relate the job of POTUS to a single industry much less to a single shipping company. This comparison leaves so many different factors out due to the many, vastly different organizations that a POTUS oversees. Shipping, education, health care, several types of security firms, utilities, postal, infrastructure, construction, financial services, telecommunications & most importantly to many, Entertainment. The U.S President is more similar to a CEO of a mega conglomerate like Buffet. And the Navy Seal in question is no lowly AB by any means. Has there every been an AB that became a household name that was in the news for a year? Nope, Gallagher is more of a branch manager or junior VP in my more scale appropriate model & not a nameless AB at a shipping company. The guy is a Navy Seal for goodness sakes. So would or should mega CEO take the elevator down 20 floors to step in on the behalf of a junior VP & fire a smaller CEO of one of his puppet companies to protect his brand in general? If you answer “no” then you have no sense for business, politics or entertainment. Especially with the mega CEO that we have now. The guy is 100% about the Entertainment segment of the mega corporation. There’s 3 cable news networks that is dedicated exclusively to him! People talk about him nonstop. This mega CEO uses the same formula that drama writers of professional wrestling & daytime soap operas use to entertain their audiences. He’s the villain to some & underdog hero to others but everyone loves him, they love him outright or they love to hate him. Of course this mega CEO is going to do whatever it takes to keep the love of his supporters & to keep the hate of those who love to hate him. It’s obvious if you have been paying attention for the last 4 years. This mega CEO is dishing out his products like hotcakes and everyone is eating it up. His business model is sound & his business is stronger than ever.