gCaptain Guidelines - Advice From The Chief


In response to a ton of psuedo related replies to the “USS Fitzgerald Editorial - gCaptain has stirred the hornets nest” thread @KPChief posted this well thought out set of guidelines. I am posting here because I’m about to delete it . (it belongs on a new thread… not on the USS Fitzgerald one) along with the dozen of non-relevant threads before it.

Here’s @KPChief 's post:

@Jim_B Not sure where this is all ultimately headed or your position on the troll vs naive matrix - but I offer the below as unsolicited yes, but with best intentions (which we all know where that leads).

First I would suggest read this gcaptain FAQ

Then I would suggest you read below and your original post again.
(Please read the “you” as a generic person not you specifically, unless the shoe fits of course.)

  1. Have an honest understanding of your own competency, experience AND its limitations before contemplating posting something. Do you believe you are so special and so authoritative and so full of insight that you cannot accept others may be equally or more experienced? See point 5 below.

  2. Read the forums for many, many, many months. Explore as an ethnographer would to gain an understanding of the community - before you post something.

  3. Have a point. Make a point. An actual point. Not a sweepingly broad generality or ridiculously irrelevant statement(s) likely to unnecessarily offend at least one of the many sub-groups of this maritime industry of ours or offend logic or appear pompous in the process.

  4. Back up your point. Avoid the various logical fallacies in making and backing up your point. In particular the overuse of anecdotal information, the strawman, appeals to authority, the false cause among others. Facts are valued. Emotions and perceptions have a place but most readers will not accept them as facts. See point 6 below.

  5. Reconsider if presenting your resume is really central to your point. A captain and I were having a conversation with an “experienced” but poorly performing cook one time who told us he had 20 years experience cooking as if that fact made the food taste better. The captain said he (the captain) and the chief here have been eating food for our entire lives and that he felt equally qualified based on that experience to judge the performance of the cook. Others have made the point when one starts spraying out “qualifications” in terms of years whether one really has 20 years of experience or 1 year of experience 20 times. Still if you just cannot resist - there is a time and place and way of wording these little biographical details to help make your point without raising red “pompous a-hole” flags to the readers. But be aware for better or worse, your “years of experience” will no doubt shine through from the nature and quality of your posts.

  6. Be ready to defend your point in the face of criticism. Constructive or otherwise. Don’t be surprised to be taken to task for sloppy thinking, writing, perceived arrogance, etc. By the way, observing all these points will not prevent other members from violating them in taking you to task for your generally poor content or your own violations. The usual thin-skinned warnings are valid.

  7. Use the search features to see if there have been previous discussions of similar nature where your question may have been already answered or your brilliant points already made.

  8. Don’t post stupid stuff.

What was your point? The USN can learn from the OSV industry because you work so hard? You have so few crew members? Get in line. Everyone works hard. Everyone is undermanned. I don’t know squat about the US Navy but I’d be surprised if they are looking to the OSV industry as a prime source of continuous improvement ideas. And this is not a knock on that segment, just how poorly you have represented your case.

Of all the reasons to offer comments on this serious and fatal event and all the ways you could have analyzed/commented on the manning / duties of a USN bridge even based on your own experiences I think you missed the mark. I’m sorry it just seemed gratuitous more to call attention to yourself than advance the discussion. I’d be surprised if you really are surprised at this reaction. Surely you must have heard these types of responses in your own messroom.

Good luck to you and yours.


USS Fitzgerald Editorial - gCaptain has stirred the hornets nest
USS Fitzgerald Editorial - gCaptain has stirred the hornets nest

Thank you for taking the time to think this through and for posting this Chief! I agree with all of them except #2 “Read the forums for many, many, many months”… simply because there are guys like @BK05 who have a level head and an obvious high level of relevant experience who may be just learning about the forum for the first time - it hase to be your direct experience and it has to be fully relevant.

So I would amend #2 to read: Read the forums for many, many, many months. Explore as an ethnographer would to gain an understanding of the community - before you post something unless the topic is 100% in your wheelhouse of experience (You’re father’s, best friend’s, maritime academy professor’s… experience doesn’t count).

For example, if the topic is “Best Desserts Baked Offshore” don’t post if you own the best donut company in Houma but have never been offshore, don’t post if you where a steward offshore for 30 years but never was a very good baker, don’t post if you won “Best Cruise Ship Baker” but have never been on an oil rig and… certainly don’t post if you work offshore and bake cupcakes at home for your friends until you’ve read the forums for many, many, many months. BUT if you’re name is Robert, you worked on the Discoverer Spirit, you are a proud gay African American man, and people tell you repeatedly that your cakes are the absolute best even after you embarrassed them by dressing up as Marylin Monroe and singing them Happy Birthday in wig and full regalia… then, by all means, post away!

If you are new and truly are the World’s Best Cruise Ship Baker (and have a Michelin 3 star certificate to prove it!) then, we’d love to hear from you, so kindly start a new thread titled “best cruise ship desserts”… but please don’t post anything to “Best Desserts Baked Offshore” until you have read the forums for many, many, many months.



One more point from me: Remember it only takes me 10 seconds to delete a post you’ve been working on for hours. To increase the chance of you’re hard work surviving please do not click “Reply”. Instead click “+New Topic”… you can always link back to the original post if necessary for continuity purposes. And if you do not know how to start a new thread or link to a separate post… then please spend more time learning about the forum before saying anything .

And, to our veteran crew of BS callers: if someone’s resume or irrelevance bothers you then - don’t start an argument - instead click the little flag icon below his post and ask us to moderate it.

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One more thing:

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Here’s a convenient chart of all of the logical fallacies.



That is a long list… love it!!



The source for that image is an interactive site, and you can also get a higher resolution version of the chart which they’ve inconveniently chosen to save as a jpg. Unfortunately it looks like they’ve tried to monetize the site by charging for the higher res versions. https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/

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That is a high resolution version, 2000 x 1330.



Want to add in one more thing on this too…

If your post is advertising a service or goods for sale, there’s a category for that. Also, this forum and the gCaptain website aren’t run for free, consider buying advertising here to help your business and gCaptain at the same time.



kpchief I dunno, shipmate, personally I am interested in people’s resumes and experiences. We have some Navy people and some Merchant Mariners…I think it’s more valuable when people tell us about their background. Otherwise you wouldn’t know that BK05 is a surface officer with lots of experience and that I’m a submarine veteran who was only in for four years. I feel that all these voices are valuable! :grinning: :slight_smile:

Speaking of which…should I address you as Chief? As in, are/were you an E-7 in the USN? I was an E-4, STS3(SS). :slight_smile:



That would be Chief Engineer or in the Navy, Cheng (Chief Engineering Officer)

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This seemed off topic where it was posted so it was moved here…

Hello neutrino - Well to each their own, viva la difference. Besides I think you know what point I was making and I bet if you read it closer you’ll see what I was talking about. Don’t make all those years of experience the lynch pin of your argument and I did mention there is a way to word such details in a certain time and place without coming across as an … well, poorly.

I too appreciate understanding where a person is coming from and I usually get that from the points they are making (or failing to make). Look it’s a subtle thing. I’ve mentioned details about my own experience when I thought it was pertinent. Again my suggestion was to NOT make your “years of experience” the only facts to support your point.

Think back to your own service in the Navy. Did the guys you respect, admire, etc impress you only because of the years they had in? Or was it what they did under pressure, how they thought, what they said in getting you through safely?

Hey speaking of subtle, I like how you worked your years as an E-4 STS3(SS) into this post. Bravo. Just kidding. I suppose we could all put more details in our profiles but hey this is supposed to be fun too right?

As for me, no never been an E7 whatever that is. No I am just a lowly merchant seaman of the Chief Engineer type. We each have our traditions and customs and since we are not currently sailing on a ship and you are not a member of my department you can call me anything you want.

Thanks for the details on submarine ops though, very interesting.



@Capt_Phoenix Maybe I need new peepers, the text is hard to read.

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Try downloading it then open the picture and zoom.

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kpchief yeah I see what you’re saying. :slight_smile:

I’ll just call you shipmate. :slight_smile: