More respect for US Navy officers and enlisted personnel needed

I posted this in another thread, but it is an important point so I wanted more people to see it.

I must say that the attitude on this web site toward people who put their lives at risk to protect Americans is quite disappointing. Especially when it comes from fellow veterans.

Is the intention of people who post comments on this site that anyone who doesn’t think the Navy is the most incompetent organization in the history of the world and is composed of stupid, incompetent people, must be run off the web site? Is that a common opinion here?

If not, why not just relax and discuss our experiences at sea?

If so, then there aren’t going to be many Navy veterans contributing to the conversation. This place will be an echo chamber for people who have certain opinions. I hated the Navy as a job. I hated it PASSIONATELY as a job.

I was a paperclip…“People Against People Ever Re-enlisting, Civilian Life is Preferred”.

BUT it is great institution with a rich history, and we owe our freedom to what Navy officers and enlisted personnel do every day, all around the world. To serve your country and protect her national security and the safety and freedom of your fellow Americans is an honor and a privilege. I worked with some very intelligent and very talented people when I served in the United States Navy. So that organization will always have my respect. As a veteran of the United States Armed Forces, anyone who was worn a military uniform, in any branch, and served with honor, will have my respect. The land of the free, because of the brave.

gCaptain’s original article wasn’t as bad as many of the comments from people who are associating themselves with his opinions. I thought his article was reasonably balanced. But you look at the comments on the web site and it’s nothing but vitriol. Even from people who identify themselves as (merchant marine) officers. The UCMJ says that an officer must conduct themselves as “an officer and a gentleman”, or for females, “an officer and a lady.”

And I have to tell my fellow gcaptain members and my fellow mariners that Navy officers and enlisted people don’t feel this animosity toward merchant mariners at all. At least I don’t. You’re fellow mariners. We have a lot of common experiences. If you guys have a problem with us…that drama is coming from you. Not from the United States Navy or the men and women who serve our country in that Navy.

If the reader senses any degree of hostility from me, I apologize, as that is not my intention.

I wonder, however, if hostility is the intention of the majority of people on this web site. If so, that is very disappointing.


I agree.
I do think its unfair to characterise an entire organisation based on the errors of a small group of its members.

I have sailed with Ex Naval officers. I have varied opinions. Good, bad and ugly.
Unfortunately there is a current high profile incident where odds are some significant errors were made by a US Navy ship.
I have found some of the comments from ex navy very interesting.
Unfortunately you are probably right, They are unlikely to stick around and participate if they are not treated with respect, Who would?

Come on folks, The USN doesn’t need a pity thread or its Sailors. A persons character will shine through by there posts.
Most the folks responding have never been in the USN and is going off stuff they see on TV and think that is how it is done. You have submariners talking about warship systems that have never been on a ship and most likely some disgruntled officer who got the shaft for some stupid reason which you know the Military can do. Others are just trying to wrap their head around the military structure and procedures.

I have to agree with them to a point and I myself just can’t figure out how it went down, to hit or get hit by another ship. To me it was just a breakdown in communications and shit happens.

Respect is earned not just giving. How many times have you said this to yourself about an officer " I respect the uniform, not the person wearing it" when you saluted?


I’m not going to white knight the navy, they are showered with plenty of unearned respect.


Every white knight leaves a trail of horseshit in his wake.


The people are respected unless they come off as arrogant pricks and it isn’t disrespectful to tell them they’re being an arrogant prick.

If you can’t handle the Navy getting some (mostly) justified criticism then get off a professionals’ forum and go join a Navyy apologist group and stroke each other’s dicks over how “elite” you were.


I got all the respect in the world for the Navy. One grandfather was drafted and drove landing ships ashore on D-Day. The other grandfather lied about his age and joined at the age of 16 to escape the coal mines. He did 25 years and retired as a senior chief BT. There are many other great uncles and uncles who were in the navy.

In the other thread I’m trying to reconcile why a navy officer spends more time navigating a desk ashore than a ship at sea.


I come from a Navy family. I love the Navy. But I have criticisms of the Navy. Same as they show up with criticisms of the merchant marine when stuff like the El Faro incident happens.

We worship the military in America. Any criticism is next to nothing in the face of the tidal wave of support the military receives in the country.


Respect should come naturally. If you have to tell people to respect you, maybe start looking at yourself.

Part of being in a mature organization and individual is the ability to take and asses criticism, learn from it, admit short comings, and come out better from it, not fight tooth and nail about how elite you are. This is where you lose respect.

Now you say, respect me because I put my life at risk? Come-on, did you know the USMM had the highest casualty rate of WW2? What about the American privateers during the revolutionary war, or the USMM officers during the Mayaguez incident in 1975, etc. When you go around chest pumping, you look foolish and immature.

I think there are some important and healthy discussions on shortcomings.


Once the Navy starts allowing WWII Merchant Marine heros to shop at the NEX then you can call them “fellow veterans”.

Of course not because most US Merchant Mariners are patriotic and have at some point signed a petition to support more benefits for Navy veterans. But how many naval officers have signed a petition to support Merchant Marine veterans who have sailed in a war zone?

The Navy gives medals to its own people, it issues press releases about its own people, it arranges White house visits for its own people, it has a band that sings to itself. No body likes a person who thinks only of himself. If the Navy stopped patting itself on the back for 5 minutes and spent that time issuing medals, press releases and patting the backs of their “fellow veterans” who sail on ships loaded down with military high explosives then the vitriol would come to an abrupt end.



The #1 complaint I hear about the Navy is they are arrogant! Here’s what websters says about that 'Arrogance: having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities."

If they stop tooting their own whistles 24/7 and held one parade for heroic Merchant Marine veterans maybe we wouldn’t call them arrogant?


I’m sorry to have to break this to you but professional mariners respect ability and capability. Plenty of incapable mates, engineers, and masters out here which most of us stear clear of. Your license or rank does not garner immediate respect and you will receive very few awards and even fewer attaboys. You have to show what your worth with your actions. On top of that, merchant mariners are not the “touchy feely” bunch you seem to want us to be. We break balls and if that is perceived as “vitriol” then allow me to quote one of my old Captains. “The gangway works both ways.”


I am not Navy & Never have been.
Where I am from you respect the individual not the rank. Respect was best earned by treating others with respect. When you don’t treat others with respect. Disrespectful actions reflects more on the actor than the target.
If this forum chooses not to treat new comers with respect. Its unlikely they will stick around. The action reflects on the forum.

I studied at SUNY Maritime then joined the US Navy and sailed as a SWO (Surface Warfare Officer) aboard a destroyer and later a cruiser. While in the Navy I had an opportunity to operate with and visit warships from various countries, including Canada, UK, Japan and France. Then, after the Navy, I worked my way up “the hawse pipe” from AB to 3rd mate, sailing on various unlimited tonnage ships…

The US Navy trains their SWO officers to be “generalists”. Their goal is that officers spend nearly equal amounts of time on the bridge as well as engineering and tactical positions. Although the objective is to produce officers who are highly capable in all areas aboard a ship, in my experience it often fails to accomplish that objective. Not nearly enough emphasis is placed on seamanship, navigation and the art of conning a ship. Sadly, this often results in deck officers who are far less skilled on the bridge than their merchant counterparts.

My first ship in the Navy was indicative of how faulty the Navy’s policy can be. Although we had 300 enlisted and 30 officers assigned as crew, the role of ship’s navigator was assigned as a “collateral” duty to the DCA (damage control assistant) whose duty station during sea and anchor detail (and other sea details) was in the engineering spaces. Almost inevitably, navigational errors occurred regularly and at one point the ship ran aground on the reef of the the coast of Hawaii. All easily avoidable incidents caused by lack of training and lack of skilled leadership.

In spite of the Navy’s short comings I wouldn’t rush to judgement as to the cause of the recent collision. As many of us old salts know, these major incidents are rarely caused by just one mistake or one person’s errors. I will wait to read the final investigations into the incident. Hopefully we all will learn from the mistakes made that fateful night.


Was this the Port Royal by chance?

A glaring example of very poor leadership and management by the CO, but not indicative - at least not directly - of Navy policy. The Navy didn’t assign that DCA with a collateral duty as ship’s navigator, the CO did. COs have great responsibility and authority, but can easily make stupid decisions like that one.

As a LCDR, I was the XO on a Spruance class destroyer from Aug '85 to Mar '87. I was assigned, in writing by the CO, as the Navigator. Yes, I had a LT(jg) in the OPS department who supervised the division and did most of the grunt work, but I usually gave the nav brief before each new port entry. So, just the way the CO wanted it done - the XO I relieved had the same responsibility and when the CO was relieved in late '86 the new CO issued me a new letter.

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No. It’s a long story but the short version is that the CO changed the deck log in order to cover his mistake. He almost got away with it until the sonar techs reported issues with the under hull sonar. Divers went down and found damage, a report was filed, and then heads began to roll…

Surprisingly, the CO kept his command and the bulk of the punishment was borne by the enlisted crew on the bridge and CIC.

I cited just one example of the lack of skill I witnessed on the bridge. There were many other examples.

I will agree that a lot depends on the CO. I had the misfortune of having sailed on Navy ships with captains that had no idea how to maneuver a ship alongside and had very little respect for navigation and seamanship. But a system which allows someone to take command of a ship who cannot safely dock that ship is a faulty system in my opinion.

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Every time. The uniform is what you’re saluting. Their uniform and their rank. You respect their uniform and their rank and their position and responsibilities in the Armed Forces.

Which is why I have said to Merchant Marine officers on this forum that I’m addressing them as “sir” given their rank in the Merchant Marine.

What a lot of people on this web site fail to understand is that you can respect a person without agreeing with them.

Indeed. My thoughts exactly. People should think carefully about their actions. I have done nothing but address people with respect on this web site.

Just to be clear: my complaint is respect for THE UNITED STATES NAVY, the institution that keeps all of you safe and free, as well as the members of the Navy collectively.

This isn’t about neutrino78x personally as an individual.

I have come back to posting on the forum in the past couple weeks, and I have seen at least three people harassed for daring to support the Navy. If you want to welcome Navy veterans to the forum, it would help if you didn’t harass people for supporting an organization of which they were a part. Again, I hated the Navy as a job. But that doesn’t mean I hate the Navy as an institution. I have deep respect for it.

And anyone who has served in the Armed Forces with honor has my respect. Anyone who doesn’t understand that needs to serve in the military and then get back to me about it.