Monday, January 18, 2010

Whale-Plowing, Cup-Hurtling Capt Holly Graf Finally Fired After Choking Subordinate

Time for a pop quiz! True or false: In order to command a military unit, you must be a good leader. Middle school and younger students are exempt from taking the quiz in order to preserve their idealisim, but anyone aged 15 or older needs to know that once in a great while, an utterly incompetent officer rises to the top and proceeds to wreak havoc upon national security, international relations, and military careers.

Yes, I am talking about Navy Captain Holly Graf. A couple days ago Capt. Graf lost command of her ship, the USS COWPENS. The Navy officially says only that she was fired because of "cruelty," "conduct unbecoming an officer," and “temperament and demeanor vis-a-vis her subordinates."

Hmmmm. Apparently this is the same Captain Graf who reportedly mowed down a whale on the high seas, and who seriously offended an Australian official during a port call. Captain Graf also was known for her skills at coffee-cup-hurtling but not seamanship. A boat-load of people who say they served under or knew the Naval Academy graduate have posted an eye popping stream of comments over at The Real Navy blog, and a rash of real zingers on this post (see below). One commenter says the Captain got the heave-ho after physically throttling a junior officer (i.e., wrapping her hands around his neck and squeezing - which, I am told, is an unpleasant experience for the throttlee).

Obviously, Graf had to go. The larger question, though, stems from assertions that Graf did not become an incompetent jerk overnight. She was like that all along. How, then, did she rise through the ranks? How did she merit command of a ship? If I had to guess, I'd say it was for the same reasons Maj. Nidal Hassan remained on duty as an Army psychiatrist when all indications were that he needed a psychiatrist. Apparently, the services are conditioned to "play fair," even when that means putting the mission, the force, and ultimately the nation at risk.

And now for the answer to the pop quiz. Sorry, folks, but this was a trick question. The absolute answer is, YES: In order to command a military unit, you must be a good leader. The trick part, though, is that the realities of leadership are not often based on absolute truth. They sometimes are based on contrived truth. For example, an incompetent officer can receive good fitness reports from superior officers who are either too cowed or too self-serving to give an honest report. So the functional answer is, NO: In order to command a military unit, you do not have to be a good leader.

I hate to be the bearer of such bad news. But there you have it. At least Holly Graf was fired before anyone was injured under her command. Go, Navy!

** UPDATE **
Many thanks to all of you for your thoughtful comments and insights. Keep 'em coming! A new post has been put up on 8 July 2010 with an update on the Holly situation.

Update December 2013: To those of you who are coming in through the Wikipedia page on the Cowpens: Welcome! There is much more about Holly here on the blog, including a couple pics of her FitReps. This one is from her time on the Cow.  There's a lot of silly stuff, as well, including a fiction series from Old Mossback about the infamous Polly Grief. 

213 comments:

1 – 200 of 213   Newer›   Newest»
Mike said...

No, Susan, you are so terribly WRONY... many people were "injured" during her tenure of terror as a "Naval" Officer... Careers have been laid to waste along the roadside... An her seniors, SQDN CDR through FLEET COMMANDERS, knew of her abuse, but were too afraid to take it on... This is from first hand knowledge...

Susan Katz Keating said...

Mike, if you have any more specifics, I would very muchlike to hear them. Thank you for commenting, and thank you for your service to our country. It is much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

You have no idea how dreadful she was. Think of your worst nightmare of a human being. Imagine being trapped inside a ship with that person in charge of you.

Anonymous said...

People in her command wanted to turn her in (and throw her overboard). They were scared witless to do it! They knew what would happen - not to her, but to THEM.

Anonymous said...

The poor whale, no one gave voice to the whale. No one was allowed to speak of or photograph the poor mangled whale!!!

Susan Katz Keating said...

What happened to the whale? Anyone know?

Anonymous said...

If you were not on watch, you were asked to stay below. One lucky guy took pics on his cell phone. Gruesome, very very gruesome. You definately felt the thud when we stuck it.

We were aksed not to talk about it.

Someone needs to stand up for the whale!!

A sailor said...

Ok first off I just want to say thank you to those you support us. For it is always busy and crazy out here. Now the second thing I can not speak for all of my shipmates on the great warship but I can say this yes she was tuff and hard on us and said or done some stuff she should not have done in the office that she held, but with all that being said She was not that bad. When we had long underways she would come down in the eveings and talk with the crew. If we had a problem she did her best to fix it, and she always tried to keep us updated with information. All in all she was human. With the whale issue before we hit the whale we busy doing alot of work. The hiting of the whale was not her fault we did not pick it up and the whale it self ran stright in to the side of us causing the ship to skip. She was sadden at the fact that we hit the whale and only kept us that were not on watch in the skin of the ship so that the problem could be fixed. With the choking of the officer....ok yes she should not have done that but it was quite funny and he is some what of a jerk his self. Also the upper chain of command was not afraid just was making sure that this does not happen again, and so we do not have informations leaks like this. But I do thank you guys for caring but for the most part your informations is worng.

Anonymous said...

Choking Officers is funny? It's OK for officers to choke fellow officers? What is this navy coming to? Is this the way to handle crisis situations in the academy?

Anonymous said...

To be fair, by navy doctrine, she was ultimately responsible for the whale, but realistically, she had nothing to do with hitting it. There were more whales than you could count popping up on the sonar. its not like we tried to hit it, it was just a matter of probability, and unfortunate timing. However, as far as trying to cover it up, thats another story. i was on the fantail (the very back part) when we hit it. it made a really loud noise, and very soon after i saw the bloody mess right behind us. everyone was forced to go inside. nobody was allowed to take pictures. we couldnt send any emails whatsoever for a few hours.

Anonymous said...

Navy policy is to notify the CNO any time a ship hits a whale and any time a dead whale is spotted. Many ships have collided with whales. I know of at least three certain and one probable whale strike by Navy ships.

There's no reason to cover it up but if you do, it says something about you.

Susan Katz Keating said...

I'm sure it was an awful sight, but I don't get the part about the crew being sent below decks or whatever. And shutting down outgoing email? Unless I'm missing something, it seems very odd...

LL said...

Susan, I forgot you don't check your twitter responses often. Apply for an FOIA on the IG complaint. If you need format help or whatever, I'm sure CJ can help you since he's done one on himself, specifically for an IG complaint.

Anonymous said...

I know CAPT Graf (not well, but have had direct professional dealings with her), and have had command of a DDG and CG, as well as two post major shore commands. She is and always has been an incompetent boob. Fortunately, I am senior to her, so she was and is zero threat to me. I know people, good people who have served under her, and she is, by all accounts, also a supremely incompetent tyrant.

I hit a whale while in command of a CG, and the only trouble I got in for it was sending pictures of it to my buddy, who was CINCPACFLT's EA without sending them to my boss first. "Trouble" in this case was a mild admonishment from the CSG COS. Of course we sent the Unit Sitrep out, we had done nothing wrong. Trying to cover something like this up is a sure sign of someone who is totally insecure in their position and more importantly, in their professional ability. Her biggest fear was being required to answer questions about the whale strike, which sounds funny if it was not so pathetic.

Susan Katz Keating said...

Loop Lib - thanks for this! Yes, I am quite the reclacitrant about checking witter responses. Need to have a cowbell or something to let me know when they come in... I will follow thourhg on your excellent suggestion.

Previous Anonymous poster: My whale post from today was supposed to be facetious. But now I am, uh, really starting to wonder.... Thanks for weighing in - and thank you for your service to our country!

LL said...

Since you have press type credentials, you will most likely have a much better response than CJ did also. For some reason, the FOIA is enforced more when the press is involved. Very strange, that.....

Anonymous said...

I served under Captain Graf on the Cowpens and it was immediately evident that she is utterly incompetent and a raging tyrant. I personally witnessed her throw a coffee cup, toss a headset across CIC, and even tell someone she would kill them. She was horrendous at evaluating the skills and talents of her crew, and instead choose a course of action for you and then browbeat you into that action. She makes ridiculous demands that cannot be met and then gets upset when you cannot meet those impossible demands. She has no use for her wardroom, except to bear the burden of having her scream at them at all times. Usually she wants to talk to, read scream at, the Chief and will just pass the word for that CPO If you are that Chief dont bother to bring your Divo or Department Head with you, she will just kick them out. If you have a dissenting opinion, she doesnt want to hear it and will tell you to shutup. Basically she would be happiest if she had a whole crew of yes-men. Whats even more sad is the officer that she chocked was the biggest yes-man onboard the Cowpens. I cant believe it took this long to fire her, but i am supremely glad that it finally happened.

Anonymous said...

First- Blow off the whale part- it happens all the time. You shouldn't cover it up, though- data can be used to figure out ways to avoid them. The way to get whalestrikes reported is to stop punishing the strikers. I was OOD when a suicidal whale came right at us despite careful manuevers- there was literally nothing we could do.
Second- I had a CO that was just as bad, and just as covered up. And yes, he made O-6 shortly after.

You want to fix the navy? Stop making it miserable for the good officers. Right now half the ones who stay are those who know they couldn't get a job in the civilian world. Most of the plums are picked off by the private sector or drop from the tree voluntarily after taking a beating for doing the right thing.

MSgt Rich Giddens said...

After the Air Force's Major Jill Metzger scandal, the Major Hassan terrorist attack, Captain Lisa Nowak's attack on a sister officer and now this--We all can say that we have had enough of this foul disgusting military leadership of political cowardice and correctness. I hope all the white males revolt and I hope all of this now escalates into a leadership crisis with a revolt. The enlisted, especially the white enlisted want blood----this as they put 3 of our best SEALS on trial for punching a terrorist. I say revolt. I say expose. I say humiliate. I say "kick their asses"! NOW!

Anonymous said...

Why is it that only the white males want good, fair leadership? Are you saying only white males make good officers or leaders??????

MSgt Rich Giddens said...

Since you brought it up! The PC military is pitting race against race with their MEO/EEO offices that commander's use to hammer the white enlisted while promoting any woman or minority just so THEY can look good! Don't deny it---that's EXACTLY what the Machiavellian bastards are up to---divide and conquer! Look at Jill Metztger---do you want to tell me with a straight face that she didn't "blow" her way up to the rank of Major? What about this Hasan beast from hell? What about Capt Graff--how many people have to be assaulted before the command cuts their losses? Again---minorities and women get a free pass and the white males get held to STANDARDS. Like I said, I've seen this in my own personal experience---- http://www.MilitaryCorruption.com/soundoff4.htm . If my own testimony doesn't convince you then you are hopeless and the military will soon be a boiling cauldron of RACE HATRED!!!

Anonymous said...

The officer in question that she throttled was the C5I department head!

A Second Sailor said...

did anyone actually see this choking incident? i think it is just a bunch of scuttlebutt and rumor. lots of people have spread this rumor because it fits neatly into their image of the monster they see in a CO's chair.

Anonymous said...

I served under her command on the USS Winston S Churchill (DDG-81). I have personally witnessed her Bi-polar mood swings, violent outburst and malicious treatment to her crew. Sorry guys, it was not just towards other officers, she included the enlisted crew AND a British naval officer. Most of us Churchillians find ourselves reminiscing about her psychotic reign, Not only do we have the bond of commisinong, we also have her. Things I have personally witnessed. Here is my Late night count down.

#10. Abandoning a VBSS team while on mission to answer a S/V distress call

#9. Grabbing a Royal Navy LT by the neck and dragging him to a bridge wing. Screaming at him "did you run my F-ing ship aground"

#8. Calling the XO the stupidest MFer she has ever seen.

#7. RHIB at the rail followed by a 30 degree turn (that was fun)

#6. RHIB on the hook in heavy seas, and refusing to raise or release.

#5. Throwing hand held radios at officers and crew.

#4. Getting hammered at softball games, then driving.

#3. Ordering 25kts in the basin coming out of Italy

#2. Fixing the deck log in Italy

#1. After a hurricane sortie, DESRON telling her, NO YOU ARE to return your ship to port immediately

BONUS** Receiving a bronze star for all of her hard work during deployment and not even thanking her crew, the ones who got it for her.

Also MIKE DEININGER, You of all people to throw your 2 cents about how great she was, maybe if you took two seconds to take your head out of her ass you would have seen what 300 other sailors saw. Your right though, there was no grounding. She does not sign your fitreps anymore, and does not sign your retirement check so do us all a favor and STFU, we joked you for being her bitch boy then and WE still do to this day...

PLANKOWNER OUT........

Anonymous said...

Im With Plankowner ....

Anonymous said...

We were conducting an evolution and were under certain speed restrictions due to the nature of the evolution. We had screwed up the moboard, thought we had more time at that speed to finish the evolution but we didn't and were falling out of sector due to the lowered speed. We were in sector for training purposes only. She ordered the bridge to speed up all ahead full or something. The TAO reminded her what they were doing and she ignored him. I told the TAO that I didn't think she understood what they were doing back there and her head spun around (we're talking some Linda Blair shit here) and she screamed that she did understand. A few minutes later the chief in charge of the evolution ran into combat freaking out why did we speed up, someone could have been killed. This was typical. She cared more about appearances than the actual safety of her crew.

Anonymous said...

I for one was very happy to read that she has finally bit the bullet for her behavior. I think everyone on the churchill would agree that the Sea HAG deserves what she has received. My favorite moment was the I need the SSES passcode, yea um no. But we all remember the italy extravaganza as her best moment to date. She treated our xo like smacked ass, he was about the crew, she was about herself. I think the best was WEPS and his little comments back and forth during ward room briefings. She has a long and distinguished list of screw ups, so fuck her, good ridance and plank owner your my hero!

Anonymous said...

Of course there are her numerous violations of COMSEC for transmitting mission sensitive photographs over her shipboard e-mail account to her BF at BIW. She tried blaming that one on the ship website initially. I think, in retrospect, she had a very good reason to be insecure. I can verify the rumor with the HMS navigator when we locked the shaft.

Anonymous said...

she is one fugly lady. this lady needs a stick in her behind and shoved out the door. I hate when sr officers are protected. kick this hoochie out.

Anonymous said...

she looks like a fugly lesbian dyke.. im sure her bf is not to pretty either. Get him a pair of coke bottle glasses

Anonymous said...

Odd. I know from speaking to ALL of the JO's on the Cow that Capt. Graf NEVER descended "below the boards" so I am guessing the posting from the friendly enlisted is a hoax. Not only did she never go below, she never SAW enlisted as people. She never mentored anyone nor did she EVER explain anything because she knew so little.
You are BUSTED.
And to all who suffered and still excelled at their tasks, I salute you. You are the heros here. And to those who spoke honestly to the IG, Congratulations for the Courage of your Convictions. I am proud and honored to know so many of you.

Anonymous said...

I'm just swimming along, just swimming along...then POW!!!! WTF Gawdamn sea HAG. Plows right into me. Then the cup goes flying across da room. As her hand goes forward to choke the dawn C5I guy!!! Ouch!

Anonymous said...

Dear BUSTED,
you too mush have your head up your ass, not to mention I would bet my paycheck your an officer or retired running to the aid of a fallen sister. So let me put this out there. I KNOW for fact that us lowly enlisted plastic spoon using enlisted are not going out of our way to make this up. You cant make up stuff like this, Not to mention SUCH A HOAX, right? You’re calling the Admiral a fucking idiot? The guy who saw it fit to bring her up on these “made up charges” SHE WAS brought up on charges, SHE WAS found guilty to some degree. DO NOT sit here and mock enlisted sailors. These are most likely the same people who saved your dumb ass on watch. OH THEN YOU want to talk about going below decks huh?? Let me tell you this, enlisted sailors RUN/work in CIC, CCS, BRIDGE, CSMC, SSES, conduct briefs and evolutions where they would have DIRECT contact with her. I do not like to divide the communities, but you have made me do it this time. The Winston S. Churchill commissioning crew is and was a very tight crew, Officer and enlisted, then and NOW. I don’t know who you are, but your a damn idiot....

Anonymous said...

DEAR BUSTED,
Forgot this at the end of my last post
PLANKOWNER OUT........

Susan Katz Keating said...

OMG, you folks are amazing... I don't understand all the terminology you're using, but the picture is clear as a bell. You put up with a whole lotta nonsense for a very long time, and someone finally had the courage to tell the truth about this incompetent leader. Can anyone enlighten me on the Italy incident? Thank you all for reading, but most of all, THANK YOU for your service to our country. We owe you our gratitiude.

Anonymous said...

Susan,
The Italy incident was a series of bad judgment calls on her part due to her rage, lack of seamanship and poor navigation skills. I will thread VERY lightly on this subject. USS Donald Cook was waiting to enter port, not liking the Cooks aspect SHE ordered a speed change, and Charged out of port. Now, I was 5ft from her, I know what happened and till the day I receive my retirement checks I will not be saying what speed she ordered. As the ship passed through the break water there was a causality to the ship. Given the speed, time and location, the initial thought was that the ship had ran aground, later was found out that this was not the case. The ship “bounced” after this casualty. Then I watched her Grab LT RN Stewart Yates but the shirt and neck dragging him to the starboard bridge wing screaming at him and telling him that he better not have ran her fucking ship aground. SHE was the one who made the speed changes that the navigation team DID note as unsafe. To further her legacy I will add that LT Yates was part of a Royal Navy and US Navy officer exchange program.. Way to make us look good Holly..
PLANKOWNER OUT……

Anonymous said...

I was on the Bridge in Augusta Bay Siciliy...To set the scene, she was already spun up because of the bad english of the harbor pilot and that she didn't concur with his method of getting us off the pier. Then we had to wait in the basin for another DDG that was coming in through the breakwater, she was annoyed because we asked them to stand off 5 miles so that we could come out. After they passed the breakwater she ordered 25 knots because she wanted to get the "hell" out of there. We squatted in the shallow depth of water coming through the breakwater, prop blades touched the ground and we broke 3 of them off and jammed one hub in the aft position. She then grabbed the British Navigator by the neck, and screamed "did you run my f****** ship aground." She then ordered us to lie on the SITREP about the speed, saying we were only doing 10knots. We then limped the rest of the way through deployment with severly reduced speed and finally made it to England where hubs were flown over for replacement. This incident was then deemed as not running aground but a faulty hub that broke at a bad time. We all know that when you are going ahead at full pitch, the CRP can not fail in the aft position...

Holly Graf is a horrible leader with the lowest standards of integrity. Everyday onboard a ship for everyone, Enlisted or Officer, was a nightmare...It's simply astonishing that she has made it this far, when every single person in the Navy you speak to E-1 through O-7 that knows her, will tell you how horrible she is...The first day I got to this command a few years ago, the O-6 in charge said "wow you made it through Holly Graf, how horrible was that?, let me tell you how bad my few interactions were with her."

I agree with everything said by the first plankowner, all of those incidents are true...It is a good day for the Navy to stop her from going on to make big decisions at the flag level. She was not just a tyrant, she was also a bad SWO. She knew very little about capabilites and limitations of the systems onboard and she was a poor shiphandler...

PLANKOWNER#3 OUT

Anonymous said...

PLANKOWNER #3
I was on the bridge too, and by the way i write i am sure you can figure out who i am, but we shall leave it at that, LOL. I wonder what ever happed to the deck log from that, because i know for fact that was "corrected" too
PLANKOWNER OUT....

PS plankowner OUT does not imply i am OUT, its more like a sign off. LOL

Anonymous said...

There are many instances where Capt Graf operated outside of regulation on the WSC. I honestly think the worst thing she did was to not let people do the jobs they were assigned to the ship to do. There are many examples of competent officers who were told to stay out of the way during Tomahawk firings, Officers who were sent TAD to other ships and commands because they did not see things the way she wanted them seen. She worried a lot more about her image, then the mission of the ship. The morning of firing missiles, she was worried that the ships web page was not up to date. The accom ladder incident in Key West often comes to mind, as people could have been killed listening to her when she was drunk. It just always seemed that her priorities were not only wrong, but her personal agenda was always at the top of the list, before the mission, before the ship and way before the people she "commanded". She played favorites and many good people suffered because of that. A lot of great people left the Navy because of her. For those of you people who think that all of these things being said are because of her sex, a male who did an eighth of what she did, would have been fired and court-martialed for what she did. Admiral's Mast for assault.....last time I checked that was a felony in most jurisdictions. She should have been kicked out. A lot of people have for less. CJ

Anonymous said...

"When we had long underways she would come down in the eveings and talk with the crew. If we had a problem she did her best to fix it, and she always tried to keep us updated with information. All in all she was human."
The comment about descending "below the boards" as is implied by this comment above sounded like she engaged her crew in friendly conversation below the command bridge. Does ANYONE remember her doing that while underway?

Anonymous said...

WOW – First, I seriously agree with the first WSC plankowner, and every other plankowner that commented. Second, glad someone from the Cowpens spoke up and clarified the earlier posting that Graf actually came below to talk to enlisted. What a load of crap that would be! Can’t speak for the Cowpens, but I know it sure as hell never happened on the WSC.

Throwing coffee mugs?! Child’s play – I personally witnessed her whip a full 3” binder across CIC at the TAO’s head, throwing similar books from a distance of only a few feet at the XO’s head in the shipboard classroom prior to the morning brief more times than I can count. Not to mention slapping him upside the head with a binder while sitting right next to him in the ship’s classroom. She was one scary bitch.

I had a chief try to ‘help’ me do my job since I could never get it right as far as Graf was concerned. After about 3 days of that shit, the Chief gave up with the explanation that there was no way in hell anyone could ever get anything right as far as that bitch was concerned. I smiled, and simply commented that that is why she didn’t get to me, I never took it personal – she was the one with all the problems (mental), not me (my job).

My personal opinion as to why she never went down while CO of the WSC was that those with the power who put her there were not about to admit they screwed up by putting her in that position to begin with. I think they figured they would leave her be, and allow her to move on. Problem is, some idiot got it in their head to give her another ship to command. Stupid, stupid mistake.

I remember a conversation with the 6th fleet chaplain, while he was onboard the WSC conducting an investigation – he said to me he had never seen a more cohesive team than the crew of the WSC. He couldn’t understand it. Couldn’t figure out how someone so grossly incompetent could have a crew so extremely competent. I gave my opinion that it was because normally, on a ship, it is the khaki’s against blue shirts. On the WSC? It was the entire crew against her – we would all survive, we would all come out the other side, and she was not going to destroy us, or make us the laughing stock of the entire fleet.

I think if there was ever one wish I had my entire Navy career – it was that this bitch get what was coming to her. Do I think it’s happened? No, not really – because she deserves to be in prison – she committed acts of assault more times that anyone can probably count. But, it’s about as close as any of us will ever get to some sort of retribution for what she did to so many people – physical abuse, mental abuse, emotional abuse, ending careers left, right and center.

Yet another WSC Plankowner – Out – and yes, now retired!

Anonymous said...

Been in the Navy for some time... WTF is the command bridge? Way to loose all credibility...

Anonymous said...

unless your talking about a CVN

Anonymous said...

Can a Tyrant also be Human? She talked to the Cow crew because she had to. If you were ever around her on the bridge or around the Pway of her stateroom. Bipolar was more like it. Around the WR mess, she treated the JO's like her personal puppets. However, off the ship she was a whole different person. Bipolar? I am not a Dr. However, she can go from 0 to Bitch faster than a racecar.

Anonymous said...

"Command bridge" is what army brats call the ivory tower of navy captains. And that first post from the"great warship" is still BUSTED. Graf never interacted with any of her crew members except in confrontational mode.

Susan Katz Keating said...

Something very important to keep in mind: Crewmembers who served with and under Graf appropriately reported her misbehavior through proper channels. They did exactly what they were supposed to do.

Anonymous said...

Holy crap. I my self was in the general workshop when the Italy incident occurred. The very first thing I done was ordered the HTs and DCs to start to investigate for flooding. I was low in the ship and heard every rattle the screws made. We touched ground. Regardless of what you might hear or what the "deck log" said. WE TOUCHED GROUND. After ordering the shop to investigate I went to the fantail. Oil bubbling up, is what I saw. Not a good sign for the HAG. Talk to the divers that were in the water. They will tell you that we hit bottom. They saw it. Mud on the screws. We saw the screws when we drydocked to replace them.
She never once came down to the lower decks to speak to the crew. Nothing like Capt. Franken. She didn’t know how many GTEs were on the ship. She didn’t know that the GTG in standby meant not running. There were many things that that CO should have known but didn’t. She was a complete idiot. She did attend my reenlistment on the aft VLS deck. And what an earful she got from me. I think the khaki crowd was surprised when a lowly first class from RDIV had her number and was not afraid to tell her.
The comment made earlier about her drinking at softball games then driving. Yes they did occur. I saw it myself. I was in CIC several occasions when she would go the F#$% off. That is when I left. My DCA was OOD during an unrep when she ordered a course change while still connected. Yea she was not very good for the bridge team. There are many things that could be said about her that would make you understand why the COW incident is not a surprise to most of us. SHE does not belong on a navy ship much less wearing the rank of CAPTAIN.

PLANKOWNER, departing.

Anonymous said...

Some of us 'Down Under' have been following the 'Graf Affair' with great interest & also wonder why the 'Number Two in our countdown is..' has been removed.

Susan Katz Keating said...

Welcome, Aussie followers! I have great admiration for you and your wonderful troops. Please feel free to fill us in on Graf's exploits while in your waters. I left a message on the other blog asking why the Graf post was removed, but so far haven't had a response. The plot thickens...

Anonymous said...

...just as an FYI, your FOIA request may not work very well. Admiral's Mast is non-judicial punishment; those records do not have to be released under FOIA.

Anonymous said...

Well, as a SWO it was great to see the SEA HAG finally get it. Heads-up to rest of you still out there. The next one you need to watch out for is CDR Kristin E. Jacobsen. As Commanding Officer she just took the great ship USS HAWES (FFG 53) from the best ship on the Norfolk, VA waterfront to the worst in less than 4 months. The only reason she did not get relieved before the end of her tour was because she did not run the ship aground, not from a lack of trying to at Yorktown Naval Weapons station, or getting someone killed. She destroyed the moral and reputation of a great crew and ship. She will be the next one to get advanced to CAPTAIN and get major command and do all of the same stunts that CAPT Graf did. Anyway, the new Commanding Officer is in place and the crew’s moral has never been higher. Those who served under the two Captains before CDR Jacobsen are looking forward to the great leadership they observed before.

Anonymous said...

Wow...Kharma is a wonderful thing...evidently, it just takes a while to work. This news is just now making the rounds among a group of former officers that served with her during the mid 90's. A group that stays in touch and to this day laughs at our time/sentence with her. The writing was on the wall for this system working, incompetent, arrogant shrew, long before 2010. In the early 90's, the Navy had a heavy investment in a high profile program designed to integrate women on combatant ships, an arena that they wrongly had not previously been permitted to serve. Holly was identified and embraced by Naval Leadership as a face for the very political program. I had the terrible misfortune of serving with her when she was assigned to DESRON 13 in San Diego. While assigned to the DESRON, she had temporary assignment to the USS KINKAID during a work up cycle and half of a deployment. I have never met a more arrogant, entitled, incompetent individual. When she wasn't walking around with a deer in the headlights look and muttering things that made absolutely no sense, she was dozing off in the TAO chair. Every time she entered a space, the watch team would just cringe and you could cut the tension with a knife. Her situational and tactical awareness was absolutely non-existent. Her penchant for insisting she was right about things that she knew absolutely nothing about would have been hilarious if it wasn't so dangerous. I suppose evey ship needs an idiot and she was determined to wear the Kinkaid's crown. To see how quickly she could negatively impact morale was truly a sight to behold. Her treatment of her fellow officers and fellow sailors sickened me. To watch her get pushed along promotional pipeline, while a blind eye was turned to the incompetence was disgusting and reprehensible. Unfortunately, the carnage continued for countless individuals for another 15 years. It is incredible to think that it took that long when it was so evident so many years ago. Holly...if you ever read this...know that Kharma is alive and well. You had better pray that you will not be judged on how you treated people in this world. For a long time you have been the punch line for a lot of jokes, somehow those jokes just got even funnier!

Susan Katz Keating said...

If this works the way it's supposed to, Holly Graf's bad karma will be someone else's good... the folks who served with her deserve nothing less than the best for enduring her mistreatment and for being strong enough to tell the truth. Thanks, Anon, for the heads up about the next PC Poster Girl for Disaster. Anyone with more info, please drop me a line.

Anonymous said...

For some time, the Navy has been hell bent on promoting woman and minorities no matter what their qualification and no matter what the cost. While there are bad officer of all stripes, those chosen to put a pretty "pc" face on the Navy have a completely different standard than your normal "Mark I Mod O" officer. The sequence of events with CAPT Graf has been played out many times on many different leves and continues. Pity.

MSgt Rich Giddens said...

Based on all the independent testimony of crew members who have weighed in here, I can only conclude that Capt. Graff is damned lucky the crew didn't mutiny and keel haul her or just throw her off the fantail in the dead of night. Now we are learning that "big sis", Rear Admiral Robin Graff (her sister) may be trying to run interference/use influence (and God only knows what else) to get little sis out of trouble. Capt. Graff needs to go on TRIAL like what would happen to anybody else---SEEN IT HAPPEN YET? What happened to "equal justice under law"? REVOLT, REVOLT , REVOLT. Next time somebody does this, I hope the crew takes care of the problem and then tell NCIS ---"we don't know what happened to her--she just dissapeared at sea" No witnesses, no log, NOTHING. Goodbye foul disgusting bitch from hell! Say hi to Davey Jones for us "maam"!

Anonymous said...

Choked a JO????

Unfortunately he must have missed the class about "abandonment of rank," or the more clearly articulated ROE about self defense.

At that point, it's "game on" and the aggressor (in spite of rank) gets a good old fashioned ass whipping.

Then again, this whole saga is replete with reasons why I became a Marine...

YNC(SW)(AW) Burawski said...

This is indicative of another problem. Clearly the Navy is undergoing a leadership crisis but the powers that be in Washington, DC are reluctant to release this because then it would call into question their own leadership shortcomings. So, no it doesn't surprise me in the least that CAPT Graf was relieved at the eleventh hour. Obviously she was due to be relieved earlier, much earlier. You know, years ago (15 years maybe) when it would be politically incorrect to even dare assert that a female officer was incompetent. Anyone remember Tailhook Convention '91?? This incident was a major scandal in the Navy that involved allegations of sexual harrassment --- many, many officers had their careers trashed because of this. Hopefully, the Navy will get over this idea that women and minorities are supposed to be "protected" in order to push for a more "diversified" Navy. The Naval Academy has even been called out on their standards being lowered in the interest of diversity. I'm not saying that women and minorities are inferior in that regard, but don't automatically put them in a separate class with a separate set of standards designed to ensure more diversity in the Navy. All of the military services should be color blind in this regard. Evaluate everyone on performance and character instead of trying to creating a separate class in the interest of fostering affirmative action which winds up only being a form of reverse discrimination. BTW, I was in the Navy for 25 years on AD and worked for several officers like her but unfortunately I had some very good ones too. The problem was there were far too few of them.

Susan Katz Keating said...

Yes, I remember Tailhook... and the photos that were published in Soldier of Fortune. The pics showed that a real wild time was had by ALL, including some very aggressive and apparently inebriated females. A non-scandal except for the fact that it ruined peoples' careers.

Anonymous said...

SUICIDAL WHALES........ With modern technology in the sonar programs. Something that big swimming towards the ship, by the ship or in front of the ship. And no one said HEY, look out for the WH..... F&*^ing morons.

Anonymous said...

Msgt......Be nice, You didn't have to call Graf Disgusting. :)

Anonymous said...

Served with both CAPT Graf and her sister RDML Graf. 'Nuf's been said about CAPT Graf, but I would follow RDML Graf into hell, enjoy it, and ask her when we were going back.

Just wanted folks to understand that regardless of what folks may think of CAPT Holly Graf, many, many, many folks think the world of RDML Robin Graf.

Anonymous said...

Funny nobody mentions the high speed run we(COWPENS) did with the John S Mccain last year when the JSM crossed our bow at about 100 yds while we were going over 30+knots. I have the pictures to prove it!!!!!

Anonymous said...

We miss you T.MO

Anonymous said...

New C.O.......
New attitude.....
Grabbing the BULL by the horns.....

The MIGHTY MOO is back!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow..I'm just getting up to speed on all my former boat school classmates and stumbled upon this.
Lots to talk about on our upcoming 25th reunion..!
I really thought that by now (2010) the SWO community was through with "eating their young". It's why I left after getting my SWO qual and went Special Ops over 20 years ago. I guess the more things change..the more they stay the same.

Susan Katz Keating said...

So, what happened with the John S McCain? Sounds a bit... uh... against regulations?

Anonymous said...

SWO reunions are on the Classmates website!!!!

Light a candle for the whales!!!!

Anonymous said...

The discovery of this web page has brought back a Pandora's Box of painful memories. My first encounter with the name Holly Graf was before I transferred to CHURCHILL. A senior CDR and mentor warned me that she was a "screamer". But what option did I have? I needed that assignment to put on LCDR. I'd worked for screamers before and survived. Little did I know the hell I was in for.

Just as at any command I've worked at, on CHURCHILL I wanted nothing more than the pride of pleasing my commanding officer. Yet never had I been put in such a toxic environment where the person in charge had so little concern for established procedures, and for the people under her charge whose job it was to protect her. She was absolutely evil. She never missed an opportunity to insult, embarrass, attack, undermine, or belittle. She did it with both shrieking, and with silence. With frontal assaults, and snide comments. In remembrance of the Superintendent of USNA who was relieved, I personally found every moment with (then) Commander Holly Graf to be confrontational and demeaning in nature.

Yet I still wanted to please her. Unfortunately, her "leadership" turned the place into a wasp nest, turning people at odds with each other if situations caused them to have to meet with her. For those disputing whether she went below the boards, I imagine she did from time to time, as it was an easy place for her to have upbeat conversations with people not in her direct line of fire. These conversations probably gave her something to think about that enabled her to sleep at night and look in the mirror during the day. But I doubt she ever had such conversation with any officers.

By the time deployment started, I figured out that something psychological was happening to me. I realized that I would block the unpleasant memories, and in doing so would also forget my successes, and I decided to keep a deployment journal. And while it pains me to review those awful months, I am also pleased at the things I was able to do despite the ships limitations, and despite the positively draining nature of life under my captain, Holly Graf. So while I speak in generalities here, I do happen to have a few specifics and dates regarding how she treated me and some others.

Chaplain Kaprow was a Godsend. I didn' t realize how much I was sacrificing for the lost cause of pleasing CDR Holly Graf. My wife had begged me via email to go to the carrier shrink because she actually thought I was suicidal. I was not. But I was still close to shutting down. One day I dropped everything and went to see the Chaplain. I told him everything. He said "don't let that bitch do that to you." I realized that I was no longer fighting for my career, but fighting for my life. I then lowered my expectations, did my job, and physically survived the months remaining in the service of Holly Graf before I transferred.

Chaplain Kaprow, if you're reading this, thank you. You saved my life.

Anonymous said...

I had a psycho CO like her on another ship 1998 - 2000; he was only relieved after 6 crew members were almost killed getting underway from San Francisco. Two things bother me about this. One, the ISICs still tend to turn a blind eye to these nut jobs unless the evidence is simply overwhelming. This kind of S&^t is still expected at some point in your career, especially with SWOs. Second, the promotion system, while fundamentally sound on its face, still pushes this small but significant minority of losers up the ladder with stunning regularity. We all know a large number of good officers who get screwed over as LTs or LCDRs and leave the Navy in disgust, and at the same time we all know the Holly Grafs who routinely make it up the ladder. There is something fundamentally wrong with the FITREP system that continues to perpetuate this mess; I wish I could figure out what it is.

Anonymous said...

Her mental illness was very apparent to me when she was a LT. I was also a LT ...and her roommate onboard. After only a few days of being onboard, I talked to the XO about her behavior who discussed her with the CO. She became vengeful and far too wacko for me. SHAME on all her Reporting Seniors for writing her glowing fitreps. She will rot in hell for all the pain and suffering she caused others. Whether she ever gets put on psycho drugs or not for her mental illness, I couldn't care less, but the Navy needs to put her in jail for her criminal behavior....whether or not she has family members wearing stars...big deal.

asdf said...

I served under Holly Graf in the early 90's as her Dept LCPO for her entire Dept HD tour. I must say that she was the most vicious and brutal person I have ever met. We were just bringing on women at sea and she was one of the first onboard. Politics played a part in that the CNO basically mandated that the WAS program will succeed at all costs. Most of the crew were shown videos of "sexual harrassment" and given brief after brief about women at sea and how men were such animals so naturally when the woment showed up, most of the crew were terrified of them because of the potential for total annhilation of their career. My career was unscathed by her but I could not say the same for many others. That is why she managed to go on so long. If she were a man, she would have been crushed or rehabilitated many years ago.

Anonymous said...

A note about the Tailhook incident...I was in Las Vegas that weekend, but not at Tailhook-but I heard about it. On Sunday morning I was in a Cessna on Taxiway S at LAS when I was stopped by ATC so that several Navy C9-A's could leave. They looked like they were bugging out, and one even took off on Taxiway D-a huge violation. My thoughts were, "Something bad happened at Tailhook".

Anonymous said...

If you'll permit an older guy who only did a 4-year hitch in the 60's, to chime in...

I joined in '66, avoiding Army. First duty station NAS Seattle: station-keeping, mess duty & base security. Next, deckforce on an old Fletcher-class DD: workups off SD, Tonkin Gulf. Then a tour in Vietnam: Captain's driver in Saigon, Cam Rahn Bay, and Operation Seafloat (Google that!). Back to college, engineer at NAVAIR since then.

Just discovered the news item today about Capt Bligh - I mean Graf. I AM AWE-STRICKEN!! I've heard of and experienced some pretty bad commands, but Herman Wouke's Capt Bligh was EASY by comparison!!! That great book should be required reading for all USN. "Mr Roberts" was another good Navy story about out of control leadership.

Here are my worst experiences, which will probably sound trite to you career sailors - please just take it for laughs:

Seattle, assigned to cleaning barracks, supervised by a first-class and a chief. What did this chief do to get a stupid billet like that? 1st class hounded us like we were prison inmates. He'd release us for liberty, then recall us before we managed to escape the base - happened OFTEN. Never figured out what his problem was. I did something highly irregular - midwatch, had to enter every space in the building every hour. As I walked through the chief's office, a document on his desk caught my eye. You'll be horrified, but I couldn't resist, I read the chief's almost-finished fitrep about the 1st class. It was cram full of descriptions of how superior his leadership was, and how much he garnered the respect and friendship of his subordinates. What unadulterated crap!!! I bring this incident up, because you have mentioned how bad the fitrep system is.

On the tincan, during the workups, we moored in SD harbor rather than go to the pier. During that time we were in 2-section liberty. But every night we heard the other moored DD's 1-MCs, "Now liberty parties 1,2,3 and 5 muster on the quarterdeck". It got so bad, some unidentified sailor posted a sign, "Give us liberty or give us death". Wasn't me, but I admired whoever it was. XO was a fat bastard, chummy with our BMC. Equally fat, when they talked with heads at appropriate separation, their stomachs touched. Not allowed to be fat in the Navy anymore, true?

Last story. Maybe someone can explain why this happened. In Cam Rahn Bay, I was called to the XO's office about my impending separation. I got to his office, the door was opened but he was talking to someone. I politely stood outside the door, not staring into the room, but just patiently waiting my turn. When his guest left and I entered, he chewed me out royally! I could not for the life of me understand what he was complaining about! Was I standing too close to the office? Did it appear I was eavesdropping? So why didn't he close the door??? I apologized and took his abuse, not much else I could do, eh? I suspect he hadn't had the oportunity to beat on anyone that day, and I was a convenient target.


Sure glad I never met a Holly Graf. As a former enlisted puke, my heart goes out to all of you, officer or enlisted, who suffered under her. My hero is ADM Dan Gallery, who loved his people and would have done anything for them. If you haven't read his books, please do. There was a great officer! All people everywhere deserve to be led with respect and consideration. If an underling screws up, he should be reprimanded - in private and supportively. The goal is to inspire improvement, not hatred. Graf doesn't understand that, thinks leadership only serves to boast one's ego & feed their hunger for power.

The news article said she was sent to a weapons lab outside of DC - Indian Head I guess. Don't know anyone there, but I feel sorry for them. Maybe she'll retire quickly. Or step in front of a bus.

Anonymous said...

When is the world going to realize that WOMEN are not BIOLOGICALLY 'designed' to DO what has traditionally been a MALE function.
Women do not and will never have the INNATE Power necessary to be in charge of Men effectively ...

As long as Women are on "the Bottom" sexually, they will be seen as inferior by most Men, which Women unconsciously realize, and they will constantly 'overwork' suitations to gain a 'higher' level of Power.
Since the basis of the problem is the worlds attempt to equalize the sexes, the answer might lay in changing men's way of seeing women to other than inferior, which of course is not too likely to happen.
The problem is NOT that women don't have the skills or intelligence that men have, but that MEN will ALWAYS see them as a "Bottom" , NO MATTER how many books women throw or how loud or offensive they can get(or whales they can run over).. See, it's Biology after all. Unfair perhaps but it has worked for quite a long time, tho some keep trying to change it.
Unfortunatly for Ms.Graf, in trying to do a 'good job' has resorted to her defination of a Person of Power and mistakenly assumed the role of a typical poor quality Male. Perhaps her Mentors (her Male relatives) posess the same poor qualities..

james.macaulay said...

Respectfully cannot agree with anything you just said.

Anonymous said...

Oops, I made 2 mistakes - didn't go anon, and left out an important part of my disagreement.

Now: I disagree with everything you say, but what a great country we live in (and sailors and soldiers dedicate their lives to defend) that you can say it without fear!!! Maybe just a coffee cup or two...

Anonymous said...

The Navy has another bad officer who is making life miserable for their sub-ordinate, I am sure many more, but this one just fits the same characteristics as far as their management style is concerned..

I truly am sorry that all those men and women had to endure this behavior or had their careers ruined. You now have some measure of vindication. It wasn't you.

Anyone who supports this behavior or had a different experience with this Capt., as most of you have expressed here, this is considered what we call in the medical profession a "Patsy" - too many people have enabled this behavior, and still do..let's hope that in retirement this person will not qualify for other programs available thru the Navy in a leadership position..

Anonymous said...

The Navy has another bad officer who is making life miserable for their sub-ordinate, I am sure many more, but this one just fits the same characteristics as far as their management style is concerned..

I truly am sorry that all those men and women had to endure this behavior or had their careers ruined. You now have some measure of vindication. It wasn't you.

Anyone who supports this behavior or had a different experience with this Capt., as most of you have expressed here, this is considered what we call in the medical profession a "Patsy" - too many people have enabled this behavior, and still do..let's hope that in retirement this person will not qualify for other programs available thru the Navy in a leadership position..

Anonymous said...

That's what happens when you allow women in the military. I was both in the Marines then to Navy and females on both sides were lazy twits. They don't know anything about leadership and they felt they could slide by just because they were female. They are also useless in situations that require heavy lifting.

Anonymous said...

Boy, and I thought we had it bad on the Big E, back in the early 80's, with Capt Robert Leuschner (sp?) on board as CO! Old "Lead Foot Louie", as we called him down in the plants, used to treat that carrier like it was his Corvette, and it was commonplace for him to wait until the island passed under the Golden Gate bridge, then order up a 25 knot bell while we were still exiting the bay! Poor old girl probably would have lasted 5 more years before refueling, if it hadn't been for his foolishness.

But compared to him, Holly Graf seems to be so much worse! I blame it on the politically correct military of today, as much as to her ineptitude and (likely) mental illness. Unfortunately there always seems to be one bad apple in the crew, it's horrible when it turns out to be the CO! We can only console ourselves with the fact that what goes around comes around, and Capt Graf seems to finally have gotten her come-uppance. Good riddance to bad leadership!

Anonymous said...

Holly Graf is MENTALLY ILL. She hates HERSELF. NUMEROUS WEAK SENIOR LEADERS IN THE NAVY ENCOURAGED AND PROMOTED HER...and they CONTINUE to do so. She now sits in an easy job in DC. There should be a CALL TO ACTION to have her tried at a COURTS MARTIAL...she should be IN JAIL for her CRIMINAL ACTIONS over the YEARS!! ....DEMOTED and NO RETIREMENT. So what if her SISTER AND BROTHER-IN-LAW are Reserve admirals....or are SOME Naval officers created MORE EQUAL than others?? AND SO WHAT IF HER FATHER WAS IN THE NAVY, TOO? CONGRESS should know about this. READ the blogs listing her many criminal activities on the bridge of the ship!!!! SHE IS DAMAGING THE NAVY BY BEING IN IT. SHE HAS DAMAGED ENOUGH GOOD ENLISTED PERSONNEL AND NAVAL OFFICERS. GET HER OUT OF THE NAVY ...NOW!!!

Anonymous said...

Holly Graf is MENTALLY ILL. She hates HERSELF. NUMEROUS WEAK SENIOR LEADERS IN THE NAVY ENCOURAGED AND PROMOTED HER...and they CONTINUE to do so. She now sits in an easy job in DC. There should be a CALL TO ACTION to have her tried at a COURTS MARTIAL...she should be IN JAIL for her CRIMINAL ACTIONS over the YEARS!! ....DEMOTED and NO RETIREMENT. So what if her SISTER AND BROTHER-IN-LAW are Reserve admirals....or are SOME Naval officers created MORE EQUAL than others?? AND SO WHAT IF HER FATHER WAS IN THE NAVY, TOO? CONGRESS should know about this. READ the blogs listing her many criminal activities on the bridge of the ship!!!! SHE IS DAMAGING THE NAVY BY BEING IN IT. SHE HAS DAMAGED ENOUGH GOOD ENLISTED PERSONNEL AND NAVAL OFFICERS. GET HER OUT OF THE NAVY ...NOW!!!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, felt I needed to add this, regarding Capt Lueschner of the Big E.
He also was a high ops tempo type, used it to earn his star. If you ever hear the term "flex deck" in reference to carriers, he supposedly came up with the concept. Seems it was effective not only at keeping aircraft in the air, but in wearing out his flight deck crews!
He also felt as though a navy ship belonged at sea, and our 84 deployment to the western Pacific and Indian Ocean consisted of FIVE port calls over 7 months, including two at Pearl Harbor (Hawaii) and two at Subic Bay (Philippines), plus a stop at Hong Kong. It also included a 94 day stretch at sea, with a "holiday routine" day once a week, while anchored in the Gulf of Oman (so the mighty Omani air force could provide us a fighter CAP). For anyone who has ever served on a carrier, holiday routine usually means holiday for the guy who work above the 2nd deck, and routine for those that work below it, meaning the engineers never had a chance for any "holiday routine".

"Lead Foot Louie" was also the CO who ran the Big E aground off of San Clemente Island (southern CA), after he was told no less than 3 times by the navigator that a submerged reef ahead was too shallow for the ship to cross over, and that we had to change course. His response? He had "thirst birds" in the air, that needed to get on deck! Never mind that launching a refueler A-6 bird would have taken care of that problem. Result? Allegedly, a 300 foot gash down the port side of the ship, one screw destroyed (had to idle that engine) and one severely damaged screw, plus tons of debris sucked in through the various condenser & cooler intakes. Also put us in drydock for 6 weeks, less than 3 months before we were supposed to be deploying! Thank the Lord he was replaced soon after by Capt Robert "Rocky" Spane, who was a much better CO, and somewhat of a liberty hound (7 month deployment with him, in 86, resulted in NINE ports of call, including Singapore, Karachi (Pakistan), Perth Australia, plus Naples (Italy) and Toulon (France) when we went up into the Med to relieve another carrier after the attack on Libya). He believed when you worked hard, you deserved to play hard!

lamar said...

Too many of these posters don't know when to use "you're" or "your".

It's really embarrassing.

MAJ Glenn MacDonald, USAR (Ret) said...

Susan,

We are so glad our call for prayers for you have been heard and you will be back on the job soon.

Your great work exposing Holly Graf has been a comfort to all of us at
MilitaryCorruption.com who worked hard to break this story into the major media.

Only the New York POST gave us credit for the exclusive photo of the "drag-racing" incident at sea.

Let's not let up on Graf. She should be removed from the Navy ASAP and go out with at least two stripes missing.

GLENN

MAJ Glenn MacDonald, USAR
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
MilitaryCorruption.com
staff@militarycorruption.com

Anonymous said...

My CO was very similar to what is described here. I always chalked it up to the pressure of command. I saw him throttle someone, grab someones hand so hard I think he broke it, etc. Thats just what I saw, I was primarily an engine room supervisor so its not like I interfaced with CO everyday. And he would certainly "berate" anyone up to and including the XO. There was the CO and then everyone else. He was the undisputed "master and commander" so to speak. I think there are two things that were deal breakers for this officer. She was a poor ship handler/incompetent SWO it sounds like, and she also alienated people out side the US navy apparently. I don't think the navy would take action against, or even particularly object, to COs being tyrants. I think that is in fact preferred by them. My CO was not in any way incompetent as far as operating the vessel.

Anonymous said...

I had the misfortune to work for a piece of trash like this CO, but my demon-in-charge was a YNCS. Both Graf and the yeoman operated from the identical playbook. They obviously did not know how to operate as effective Naval personnel so they turned to abuse and ridicule to belittle others. This country's Navy, the finest on the planet, mind you, needs brave and competent leadership, not cowards like Graf and the yeoman I mentioned. An Article 15 may have stopped Graf's career but she will still get to retire. That is wrong. She should have been court-martialed.

SSN Vet said...

It makes me really sad to see how much damage was done by this woman and how the PC system protected her because of the role she played in their social engineering agenda.

As a former Bubble-head JO myself, I'll chime in with two comments.

1.) Re: PC promotions...

The Submarine community was largely protected from the PC agenda. But this was NOT because women were not allowed to serve on the boats, but rather (IMO) because Rickover had hammered into "his" program an ethic that "no one or no thing" would hijack his priorities for reactor safety. The few "Skimmer" nukes I knew seemed to be aliens in the SWO community. But on Submarines, all officers (with exception of the CHOP) were nukes and had this pounded into them. My experience was that all nukes HAD to hold their own when it came to proving themselves competent.

When they overhauled the FITREP system (ya, I'm an old fart) and "equal opportunity" became a graded category, I volunteered to be the command "Equality and Fairness" guy (we actually had a "real" name for the duty, but I can't remember it and anyways, it sounded just as silly) as you had to have demonstrated some specific achievement to get an 'A' grade in the EO category (yes, it was a totally self serving motive, but I took it seriously and did my best).

So we did a crew survey to see how guys felt about the command... was it a level playing field for all. And then I asked to interview the guys of minority racial or religious background to see if they had experienced any discrimination on board.

I still remember my talk with our SKS1(SS), (who was one of THEE most squared away sailors I ever served with), who said that the Navy was the one place where he knew he was judged solely on his abilities and performance!

THAT'S THE GOAL PEOPLE!! That's the kind of Navy we need.

Of course, the survey wasn't for Kahkis.... who were supposed to just suck it up. So my own experiences of having my dept. head (the Weapons Officer, who was a big time Irish Catholic guy, who boasted about collections taken up in Boston pubs for the IRA) berate me because I was a Baptist, didn't really matter. And this is the guy who gave me my one and only 'B', which killed all chances of me ever making command.

2.) When garbage like this finally hits the fan and gets publicity, all the arm chair quarterbacks are aghast and proffer their "why didn't you just..." advice. But people who have not served in the armed forces, have a very difficult time understanding what it means to really be under someone else's authority... where they can literally order you to your death.
And after all, most of these poor slobs are really just trying to do their level best and contribute to the cause. That's why such abuses of authority should be treated very severely.

Anonymous said...

I just happened upon this discussion thread and noticed a comment (see below) about the psycho CO and SanFran incident. I was just wondering if you were speaking of the David R Ray and CDR Cliff Perkins? I was there too and saw how he tried to cover it up. We did not let him do that and stood up to him. When you hurt our most valuable National Asset/Treasure (OUR SAILORS) you have crossed the line and we let him know that. Then he went away without his precious COC pierside in San Fran near his mistress!!!

As far as this CO goes I've seen her type many times. It always amazed me how some officers go so far in our Navy. Typically these sorta folks are loud mouthed and over-bearing but they have zero professional knowledge; they focus on themselves and could give a crap about their officers and crew; its all about them. Have seen it more times than not through my career. I'm glad to be out now working with folks that our a lot more professional than most leaders in the Navy. Its unfortunate that people like this Capt G are allowed to even be in the Navy and ruin the Navy's reputation. At the end of the day, all you have is your legacy, your values, your morales. Capt G has accomplished tremendous embarrassment to our proud Navy; GOOD GRIEF...
____________________________
had a psycho CO like her on another ship 1998 - 2000; he was only relieved after 6 crew members were almost killed getting underway from San Francisco. Two things bother me about this. One, the ISICs still tend to turn a blind eye to these nut jobs unless the evidence is simply overwhelming. This kind of S&^t is still expected at some point in your career, especially with SWOs. Second, the promotion system, while fundamentally sound on its face, still pushes this small but significant minority of losers up the ladder with stunning regularity. We all know a large number of good officers who get screwed over as LTs or LCDRs and leave the Navy in disgust, and at the same time we all know the Holly Grafs who routinely make it up the ladder. There is something fundamentally wrong with the FITREP system that continues to perpetuate this mess; I wish I could figure out what it is.

fast attack said...

I have read all the posts and one thing stands out. The ship had a good XO and Chief's quarters to keep things going. The SEA HAG should've been filtered out a long time ago, (ie, Naval Academy ) but then that didn't happen. The politicans that make the rules for our military allowed this to happen. Maybe if all our elected officals in Washington had to serve in the military before running for office shit like this wouldn't happen. I'm not sleeping well lately as my beloved submarine service will soon be going through growing pains like the surface community of the 90's. Guess we all have to be politically correct sooner or later. retired dolphin wearer

Anonymous said...

I'm with you, Submarine Brother. I am a retired SWO and quite frankly, glad to be out of the Navy. When you are out there doing business everyone knows who should be in charge, but unfortunately, the FETREP system only elevates probablly 40% of the right people. The other 60% who should really be there are screwed over by someone like this Capt G because they didn't kiss ass. Everyone knows what I am talking about. We should all get together and figure out the promotion system and sell it to the Navy; we'd make Millions and would better our Navy and our Country more importantly...

Anonymous said...

Reminds me when I was on the USS Florida commanded by CDR Alfonso, the first SSBN captain ever to be fired.

Luckily people like this are rare, but still too many with this attitude throughout all the ranks.

Anonymous said...

Hows that "don't ask don't tell" workin out for you!

Anonymous said...

I can completely understand how she made it thru her XO tour on Curtis Wilbur - The CO was CDR Michael Fischer. I served with that pri** in the 80's. He was my Department head, and exhibited all of the same wonderful traits atributed to HAG. I specifically remember an incident in the Wardroom when he (WEPS) and Steve Johnson (OPS - and an even bigger pri**) walked in after sitting on a SWO board for a fallen angel LT. They were patting each other on the back for being so tough that they got the LTs SWO letter revoked. I could only cringe when I saw he achieved Command-at-Sea. The irony was that we worked for the BEST CO-XO team I have ever encountered.
Have any of you survived the Fischer-Graf tag team?

Anonymous said...

How different from her sister, RADM Robin Graf. I served under Robin at the SATCOM site in Lago di Patria, Italy and she was a very good Ensign and as nice as can be.

In my 24 year career I had at least one officer who could marginally be compared to Holly Graf - known to throw coffee cups - but he was nowhere near the martinet Holly is. I did learn a lot about leadership from him, though, and the experience stays with me to this day.

I feel sorry for those on Churchill and Cowpens. Being in the wardroom with her must have been incredibly stressful, as if its not stressful enough in an at-sea WR.

LDO, Ret.

the hack said...

Maybe, deep down, she was totally frustrated because she could never be a man? Thank you all for your service to our country. And thank you Aussies too for always having our back!

Anonymous said...

I'm extremely disheartened to hear of all these instances of abusive behaviour from Holly. I knew her many years ago, not long after she left Annapolis. The person I knew was nothing like the person I'm ready about today. I can't help but think that something became very wrong with her mentally. She wasn't always like this.

Henry said...

Only a perverted and sick society such as this would have the foolishness to break tradition with jobs performed by men since the beginning of time, and put women in charge of US Navy warships. Americans have compromised the truth by accepting falsities, and immoralities rather than offend anyone, except God. This is the direct result of promoting the theory of evolution in Public Education, this is the direct result of the legalization of premeditated murder on demand or Euthanasia, and Abortion on Demand, and this is the direct result of the legalization, inclusion, and promotion of homosexuals in Public Education and the Workforce. Make no mistake God cannot be mocked, Americans are reaping what they sowed for the last sixty years, and now you are witnessing the rapid decline and eventual demise of the USA.

Anonymous said...

Tailhook, Olly North, Holly Graf, and today Congressman Massa. Congressman Eric Massa USNA class of 81 resigned his first term seat because of harrasing a male staffer. What type of leadership do they teach at Annapolis and the Navy? Not the same type of "take care of Soldiers before yourself" leadership they teach at West Point.

Anonymous said...

If you are interested. This blog takes the IG report apart and explains the 8 charges against CAPT Graf. A good read.

http://admiraltymaritimelaw.blogspot.com/2010/03/navy-inspector-generals-report-on-holly.html

Anonymous said...

They teach the same type of leadership at Annapolis that they teach at West Point. I know this because I graduated from Annapolis and we had a USMA cadet in my company on an exchange program for a semester. Take care of your people. "Follow me" leadership. Leadership by example. Ethical leadership. The list goes on. Unfortunately, you always end up with a few bad apples. The same can be said for USMA, USAFA, USCGA, USMMA, etc. As a SWO, I've had COs and XOs cut from the same cloth as CAPT Graf. I personally know and respect RDML Graf and served with her on a Reserve staff in DC when she was a CDR and I was a LT. I hope that the rumors that RDML Graf may try to affect the outcome of what ultimately happens to CAPT Graf are just that: rumors.
- CDR, USN(ret), USNA Class of 1988

Anonymous said...

There was nothing to be done about the whale, it popped up right in front of us and we were at speed.

But yeah, she needed to go, the chain of command on that boat was just...horrid.

Anonymous said...

YOU MEAN TO SAY, WITH ALL THE NEW SONAR TECHNOLOGY, FURUNO AND RADARS....THE WHALE JUST POPPED OUT? NICE TRY.......JUST DON'T BUY IT.

Anonymous said...

Oh the Captain yelled at me. This is reason to report her. Glad these weanie JO's are not in the Army. Or else we would be in a world of hurt.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU MAJ GLENN MAC DONALD, MILITARYCORRUPTION.COM and SUSAN KATZ KEATING. I have been waiting for many years for HOLLY GRAF to be brought to justice. SHE IS THE DEVIL PERSONIFIED. Not only should she be demoted further down the ranks but she should loose her retirement. SHAME ON ALL HER REPORTING SENIORS for writing GLOWING FITNESS REPORTS on her. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE. She should LOOSE HER RETIREMENT, as well. For anyone reading the blogs on her and think that she just "shouted at people" or "demanded perfection" from people....you are incredibly mistaken. Sorry to say, but if you never served on the same ship as her, you REALLY HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT. SO, DON'T EVEN TRY TO DEFEND HER. You speak from ignorance about her behavior. As for her being nothing like that when she was junior, YOU ARE AGAIN, ABSOLUTELY WRONG. WERE YOU ON THE SAME SHIP AS HER? SHE EXHIBITED ALL THE SAME HORRID TREACHERY AS A LT AS SHE DID IN RECENT YEARS. I SPEAK FROM EXPERIENCE. SHE WAS MY ROOMMATE.

Jim (Colorado) said...

A few things come to mind about reading this, and a few of the comments from people alledgedly serving under her. First - profane language, corporal punishment (or encouragement) has been a part of military training and discipline since there were soldiers. Too many PC idiots cry about every little aspect of violence that comes from the people who are tasked with the professional use of violence to maintain peace and security for everyone else. While maybe it wasn't, I can see her strangling someone who "fucked up" in a semi-comic scene to admonish them not to do it again and not in a manner to actually attempt to asphyxiate them. Did someone's pussy hurt so bad they had to cry about this? And complaining about humiliation for being given a time out in a corner? Will that person, and the person complaining please resign their commisions as well, because anyone that thin skinned doesn't have what it takes to be a military soldier/sailor.

Maybe she did need to go, maybe she was an overdomineering woman trying to "man up" in a male dominated career and the Navy was afraid to do anything because of the sexual discrimination ramifications. Or maybe she had a way of running things that was different from some others (partly modified because she is a woman and a woman will handle some things differently than a man) and todays society is producing way too many lilly livered pansies that can't take a punch, a criticism or a snide remark.

Anonymous said...

I served as an XO in Yokosuka when Holly was XO there as well. She was the only XO in Yokosuka (seven ships then) that was selected for Command at Sea. I remember the reaction on the waterfront...how could an XO who had never served on a combatant before, and had not completed her XO tour, be the only XO selected for Command at Sea from the USN's only forward deployed Battle Group? I believe we all know the answer why this happened, and we now see the consequence. Yes, women deserve to serve on combatants, but Holly earned command at sea not based on at-sea experience, but pure political correctness!

Retired USN CDR

Anonymous said...

As a civilian, I work on a project in which Holly managed in 2001. Those of us on her project thought she was unstable. I worked on military projects for 10 years and never have a run across anyone so unprofessional.

Scatt said...

"Anonymous said...
YOU MEAN TO SAY, WITH ALL THE NEW SONAR TECHNOLOGY, FURUNO AND RADARS....THE WHALE JUST POPPED OUT? NICE TRY.......JUST DON'T BUY IT."

Dude, you've never been to see. Despite what you've seen in the movies about sonars on ships and sub, they can easily detect and track whales, and as for radar, the back of a whale at the surface is smaller than a boat in any kind of sea condition. It is impossible to sea a whale's back with radar! What a dumb @$$.

Anonymous said...

For Jim in Colorado you are flat out wrong and you need to admit it here. It was not the cursing and profanity per se that got Holly fired, but the physical abuse of a subordinate and the totality of her actions in command, which included excessive verbal abuse of her crew.

Our sailors deserve good leadership and if you read the postings on this board and elsewhere the picture that is painted of Capt. Graf becomes clear; she was no leader. As someone who served for 24 years I feel sorry for anyone who was subjected to her incredibly improper actions. Too bad you can't seem to understand that - but I wouldn't necessarily expect a civilian to get it, either.

Scatt said...

"Anonymous said...
YOU MEAN TO SAY, WITH ALL THE NEW SONAR TECHNOLOGY, FURUNO AND RADARS....THE WHALE JUST POPPED OUT? NICE TRY.......JUST DON'T BUY IT."
Dude, you've never been to sea. It's impossible to detect/track whales with sonar and radar. Been there done that! The only way to detect whales is with the Mk1 Mod1 eyeball, and they do stupid things like surface right in front of ship and even if you're watching out for them, sometime you just don't have time to react. the baleen (sic) whales are not like dolphins that can just jump out of the way. The are slow moving cows, and dispite what you learned from your elementary school teacher, they're not that smart.

Susan Katz Keating said...

Thanks, all, for your thoughtful commentary and lively discourse. My own thoughts:
- It wasn't that she hit the whale; it's that she went into full CYA mode and acted as if it were a crime that needed to be concealed -and that she didn't report it as required.
- There's a huge difference between "salty," "tough," and "maniacal." She was way overboard, the the point of recklessly endangering her ship and crew. The pink fuzzy slippers thing pretty much sealed it for me. And running her ship soft-aground. And oh yeah, choking her subordinate.
- The military is supposed to be merit oriented. If you can do a job, so be it. If you can't - you move on to something else. If a female can do a job without set-asides or daily steroid shots, Hooah for her! But the military cannot afford to make exceptions, turn a blind eye, promote for the sake of appearances, etc.
That is all. Carry on. I am honored to see this board being used by such insightful, engaged people. Thank you all for your service to our country, and for your interest in her welfare.

Anonymous said...

Here is some insight into what potentially can describe the behavior of this individual. It would be smart of anyone in this environment to know what they are dealing with - unfortunately some really good men and women may have suffered or had their career ruined by this type of management. 'An emotionally hazardous work environment is a workplace lead by a narcissistic manager who believes in demonstrating power and control over employees, dominating others through a combination of direct threats and stealth methods. But when the narcissistic manager gets his (or her) feelings hurt, or perceives he has been slighted in any way, or is threatened that an employee's abilities might be better than his own, he will react with aggression. The time it takes for the narcissist to change from Mr Nice Guy to Mr Angry can be very short, and some of the methods he uses as means of control are abuse, narcissistic rage, character assassination, and intimidation. The stealth methods used by narcissistic leaders and managers can create emotional turmoil for those around them. Name calling, talking down to employees, sexual harassment, disinformation, using the 'silent treatment' for those who have slighted him are just some examples of the subtle controlling techniques that gradually but consistently erode a normal workplace into one that is cancerous. And just as with cancer in the body it can spread its malignancy throughout the organization.'

Anonymous said...

Hey, SKK - the person who posted the above must have been talking about your ex. I mean no disrespect. I used to work for the guy.

Anonymous said...

so when's the movie coming out?

C said...

The craziest part about this, and many related stories that have and will continue to arise is that...Incompetence of leaderships is running rampant in the military. For one reason or another, weather it be lack of experience, just the will to continue the military path long enough to obtain these positions by default, or knowing the right people. My last 6 year tenor in the military has shown me that the quality soldiers realize they dont need the military to succeed and are leaving service. While the economic state of the country reels in everyone that feels like the military is a their last resort and saving grace. Serving (for a majority) is no longer about pride and honor and brotherly closeness to the men and women to your left and right for sacrafice (yes for some of us like me it still is but is being tarnished) Its about getting money for college a steady paycheck benefits. Or their life is in a slump and they think the the military as an escape from their would be disaster of a life. So now we are stuck with Half hearted and dim witted leaders showing poor examples to those who could care less about being led, and more to the point learning to be leaders. Its amazing to know that this year the army alone met its retention goals for fiscal year 2009. When since the last "war" we needed a draft. The drastic difference in society and temperament of the masses is apparent. Not to mention the military has been shifting from an organization into a corporation. Filled with paperwork barriers that obviously are flawed and saftey and "cover your ass" implications that are more hassle and are not improving much. I don't know how to fix the problem. Its really over any of our heads. The community just needs a rally cap i guess. But thats just the 2 cents from my fox hole...

Andrew said...

I'd hate to see how our armed forces will perform when WW3 comes. If ugly, man-hating, bull-dyke Graf is an example of our current military leaders, this place will be finished in minutes.

Now put her at the Pentagon where she can really fuck things up.

Anonymous said...

This idiot was one opportunity away from repeating the disaster of the USS Vincennes, wherein a harassed crew shot down an Iranian civilian airliner.

Anonymous said...

The only honorable expiation for her crimes would be to do what Admiral Boorda did when he was outed for wearing decorations he didn't earn.
She deliberately failed her sailors, the Navy, and the nation.

Anonymous said...

I am a civilian who worked in the private sector for a woman who sounds a lot like Graf - vindictive, abusive, etc. My sympathies truly do go out to the people who served under her. People who have not experienced a person like this as a supervisor do NOT understand how terrible it is. It is literally like being psychologically assaulted, every day. I had coworkers who ended up on three different kinds of antidepressants, had to go into therapy, and ended up in the hospital to try to deal with the stress of dealing with our sadistic boss. It is awful and should not be allowed anywhere, but especially in the armed forces where all of you have so much else to worry about. I am terribly sorry for the people this woman victimized. I know this sounds cheesy but speaking very truly, and from personal experience - therapy can help. Good luck to all of you who serve, and thank you for your service!

Susan Katz Keating said...

I actually think Boorda's problems were rooted in issues going back to Tailhook. The expose probably provided the tipping point for a badly damaged psyche. And I would never wish his fate on anyone.

Anonymous said...

It is a shame that so many people let this go on for so long. Being a surface nuc definately shields you from the unprofessional anti-social behaviour that was exhibited by a few unsavory individuals. I recall that we had a way with dealing with folks that are of Holly Graf's ilk. The current PC navy would'nt approve of them, but it worked. Every org has a way to deal with bad apples, and I'm surprised that she went as far as she did. Thankfully, she is no longer in command.
signed Stubby, CGN-37.

Anonymous said...

After the fact ADM Zumwalt admitted he told ADM Boorda he could wear the Vs. Wish he'd spoke up sooner.

My 2 cents, former USN officer here:

1. Psychological screenings for sailors, but especially officers because of their position over people, need to be done much much more often. Mental health cannot be ignored in the USN any more. I don't know what the answer is but what we got now is not working.

2. Only in the Navy is there such a separation between levels of rank. Army and Air Force personnel would be shocked to see at how the Navy groups up the officers, chiefs and enlisted as caste, and creates a culture of preference unseen elsewhere. This helps create the problem and insulates the leaders from the problems of the "worker bees".

Anonymous said...

this is on the dangers of putting dykes in command positions

Susan Katz Keating said...

Zumwalt could have helped Boorda, but he waited too long. Such a tragedy. I still remember the day I heard the news. I was stunned.

Yes, yes, yes on the psychological screenings. The military is so focused on Army mental health resulting from combat - but the Navy needs attention, also.

I personally prefer to know that a commander has a healthy measure of testosterone - that's what governs all those traits that create good warriors. The issues as I see them are:

1) Mental stability.
2) Competence
3) A command structure so keen on proving Title IX-style compliance that it pulled on its own blindfold and refused to peek until forced to do so.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone heard of
Marcus Aurelius Arnheiter? Google him or read Neil Sheehan's book.

Anonymous said...

Can you beleave that the Navy is looking at giving CAPT Graf orders to Navy Air and Missile Defense Command in Dahlgren, Va. Yes, reward her with a good posting after being fired. I was actually thinking of taking orders there for my next duty station. Guess I'm not going now. SWO - CDR.

Susan Katz Keating said...

No - take the post! We need eyes and ears on the inside!! Besides, after all this has transpired, she won't dare look crosseyed at anyone. ; )

Anonymous said...

Thanks Susan. Just might do that. Cheers, SWO - CDR

Commodore_hrp said...

Capt. Bligh ended up as Vice-Admiral of the White, so be warned!!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Having advanced to the rank of CPO then joining the wardroom I'd offer the following:

There are two ways to success, on the backs of your crew or on their shoulders. The first implies that you as the lone person in command whether the CO or the CPO of a division runs your folks into the ground to accomplish your goal. The latter implies inspirational leadership that drives your crew to do all things necessary to ensure the success of the division, department and command because the leadership inspires that level of success. I have had both kinds of Commanding Officers and the most successful inspired the entire command to be more than they could be and created such a comraderie that anything less than 100 percent made you feel as though you were letting your favorite coach, teacher or LEADER down. The tyrants ultimately end up with karma catching up to them (Capt. T.J. Block of SWFPAC, Capt. Holly Graf of Cowpens, CDR Scott Waddle of Greeneville and he was responsible for fatalities on the Ehime Maru, Commander Michael J. Alfonso of USS Florida, sent his crew to Battle Stations because the cooks changed the soup that was listed on the evening menu - this is not a sea story! and many more tyrant CO's could be listed.) I completely agree with an earlier post that Command is a lonely and difficult responsibility to bear yet if in the course of professional development, advancement, training and selection process the qualities of success can only be determined based on fitness reports perhaps it is time to implement a more rigorous selection process similar to Chief of the Boat qualifications on submarines. Complete Command Qualifications, complete a board of review by peers and then complete interviews by various post served Commanding Officers. If to be selected for Command required interviews and boards similar to qualifications and included post served Commanding Officers from communities outside those of the prospective Commanding Officer candidate we might see a better product. More importantly we as leadership need to have the moral courage to document fitness reports honestly. Specifically, a spade must be called and documented a spade. Giving a positive fitness report is easy and in many cases a sign of cowardice where documenting poor performance, knowledge and behavior requires effort and courage. I am certain Capt. Graf did not turn into a tyrant after being assigned as the Commanding Officer of Winston Churchill more likely the behaviours, attitudes and outbursts were there from the beginning! The worst butt chewing I ever received was from a man that I NEVER wanted to let down. He did not raise his voice and said these simple words... "Petty Officer Smith do you need me to help you?" It was in response to one of my responsibilites not being as good a product as it should have been... He was such an inspirational leader it had the desired effect and never happened again. Maybe that is why I have the privelege of serving in the Wardroom today.

To those that survived the misery be careful. One tends to unintentionally emulate those they are around and attitudes tend to be caught not taught.

ankhorite said...

Susan, I remember Tailhook and those photos too -- but I also read the sworn testimony, which you must have missed.

Sure, there were willing women at the convention. There always are. But Tailhook was about the attacks on the women who WEREN'T willing.

"Yes" from some women doesn't mean you can disregard a "No" from all the others. The Tailhook guys got off easy.

Thanks for the work you're doing and giving people a place to vent.

Anonymous said...

As a USMC vet, I have to say such stories always make me cringe. I can't help but wonder if she is being singled out simply for being female. Women still have a rough time in the military with having credibility and yes there are some who do act like they have something to prove. Men do things like this all the time but yet they don't make front page news...but she does? Doesn't seem right to me. If you ask me, this issue should've been handled without airing the dirty laundry and possibly causing all women in the military in general and women in command in particular to be tarred with the same brush. Whatever happened to loose lips sink ships?

Anonymous said...

Wow...what's up with all the vicious and hateful name calling going on here? Maybe Capt Graf did wrong, but does it make it right to label and stereotype all women in the military as "man haters" or "bull dykes" based on her deeds or misdeeds? That's a big part of the trouble for women in the military in gaining credibility. To the haters who think women don't belong in the armed forces, we're all either aggresive lesbians or whores or husband hunters who get pregnant and get out before our EAS because we can't "hack" it....and not all women in the military are like that! It seems attitudes haven't changed much since I served in the late 70s/early 80s. Sad. Oh, and just FTR...I am a straight woman who did marry early in my enlistment, but I did do all my time and yes I was pregnant when my EAS came,but I got a regular honorable discharge same as if I hadn't been pregnant. It was a matter of principle that I choose to finish out my entire enlisment rather than opt out for an early discharge three months earlier.

Anonymous said...

Hi, never served in the U.S. Navy because I'm medically ineligible, but have the highest of respect for current and past U.S. Navy sailors.

My question to readers here: what would it have taken for the crew (by the book) to relieve the ship's captain of duty during a tour? Is such a move even possible in naval regulations? If it was possible, what stopped the officers from doing so at some point during a tour? Thanks for any insight!

Anonymous said...

I find this blog very interesting. Navy isn't much different then the civilian world where incompetent losers are put into positions of power. I believe most that command a warship are probably good people, but then there are always exceptions. Those that the "brass" don't want to deal with.

I spent six years in the Navy from 1981-1987. I was on a fast attack submarine, but was fortunate to work with some really great enlisted and officers aboard my ship. All but one. And his name appeared in this blog, Michael J. Alfonso. Lost command for mistreating his crew. What a shock that was to me. Tonight was the first I had read of it. I was shocked that such an ass could have been put in charge of an SSBN, but then again based upon what I am reading about Graf the Navy has the same issues as most organizations. I haven't thought about that man in many years. He too was one that berated enlisted men. Chased down one sailor in the commissary parking lot in Groton because he should have saluted him even though he was probably a hundred yards away and didn't see the all powerful Lt. Alfonso.

It's a shame she wasn't booted out of the Navy, but one thing I have learned since I got out of the Navy is life ain't always fair.

She probably won't stick around for long. Then she can get a job making a lot of money as a consultant for some company that thinks she actually knows something.

Anonymous said...

I can assure you that CAPT Graf is not being "rewarded" by being posted to Dahlgren. It is merely a location close to DC that will keep her close, but out of the limelight. This will allow NPC to finish their investigation and dispose of her. Her time on active duty is VERY short.

Anonymous said...

Wonderfully interesting reading...I spent 40 years active and reserve...ended up a mustang O-6 intel officer. Started out as an enlisted reserve that did 3 years as a GMG...from what I read here CAPT Graf was indeed a piece of work, far beyond the "flamer" school of leadership. Most of the "flamers" I encountered over the years were at least marginally competent. Sounds like she didn't even meet the marginal standard. As to women in the military, I had some great women who served with me and under my command and a very few who were incompetent. But I was not a shipdriver...Bravo Zulu to you guys (and gals) on the deckplates.

Anonymous said...

I knew Holly when she was a LT department head on the USS Ainsworth. She was strung tight, inclined to over-the-top outbursts, and generally an "in your face" type personality back then. Nothing I'm reading about her and the Cowpens comes as a surprise in the least, and it causes me to shake my head with disappointment at how the Navy let the Sailors who have been exposed to her corrosvive behavior over the years down for what most obviously seems to be an "equal opportunity" plug for itself.

That she made it this far is clearly, in my mind, an indictment of the Navy - were a male acting like her, he would have had his legs cut out from him long before he ever made command of a destroyer, much less command of a cruiser. She was protected and annointed long ago, and instead of taking her to task about her behavior the "system", or certainly powerful representatives of the "system", protected her and tolerated her behavior, which was never cloaked and well known by anyone who knew her and how she did business.

Bottom line, Holly is responsible for the situation she finds herself in, though I'd be doubtful that she appreciates this. But the system helped her along, allowing her behavior and subjecting those who had to work under her to behavior totally contrary to what the Navy really should be about.

Anonymous said...

YNCS Retired. 1956-1977. Yep, retired before all these ladies got command and others that just ''served'' on the ships.
However when I was a lowly YN1 in
Pensacola, Florida I worked for a
wave LCDR who was good looking,
good figure, intelligent and single. She made full CDR and I talked to her again in San Diego in about 1970. A lady and officer
like that I respected, liked, and
would work for any day. BUT, that
was before all the PC in the Military and our society. PC in our society is ruining our nation.
By the way that lady was Evelyn D.
Way.......if anyone knows where is has retired to let me know, I'd love to talk to her again. She was sweet.......or maybe I was just young and sweet on her? In any case...........it's a different Navy now, and that is one of the main reasons I retired way short of 30 years. People in the Navy today have to put up with a lot of S**T. I could NEVER serve
in the Navy today with the way it is. I cannot imagine serving on an Aircraft Carrier again with all
the women sailors. That would be weird. Hormones running wild!!!!

Retired USAF said...

I read over and over again about how she did this and how she got away with that and how she was chosen for this or that, then in another blog I read about her sister and it all just pops out at me!!! Don't you officers remember you needed someone to "punch your ticket"? Well guess who was punching hers.
Those who would put her in positions would look at her sister and think "she must be like her" and those writing her reports were worried about BIG SIS. It all makes sense to me. Sound like Big Sis has been running interference for "The Psycho B**ch from hell" for quite some time. Maybe they should look and see what she has covered up over the years? Does this make snese to anyone else?
If that isn't politics what else is?

Anonymous said...

I was really surprised to see her picture in Time.

She was my squad leader for the second half of my plebe summer at Annapolis in 1985. I remember her as tough but fair. She had a sharp tongue, but not nearly as much as typical with her peers. I respected her more than I did any other of my firsties (which sad to say did not set a terribly high standard).

To me (career submariner who has had the misfortune of doing two long deployments on skimmers, one combatant and one amphib), an awful lot of the stuff attributed to her strikes me as just another day ending in Y in the surface Navy. Technical incompetence (including shiphandling skills lousy enough to ensure you would never have gotten the card to check out a knockabout at the Academy), poisonous politics, and psych problems in senior leaders - been there, seen that. (Let me tell you about the LPD CO who spent 4 months out of a UNITAS-WATC loony on speed ... but he did slim down to get in front of the CAPT board, which I suppose is what mattered.) None of the above I saw was gender-specific. Add in the sexual politics of forced gender integration, which was fairly new at the time I was living it in the mid-90s, and you have a mess on your hands, but it is a mess worsened by, rather than created by, women serving in the fleet.

Not too sorry that I will miss out seeing firsthand how this plays out in subs. I make one prediction - the chiefs will get screwed as the Goat Locker is remodeled into the Hen House.

I hope and pray that the USN can turn itself around and again be a proud fighting outfit as I remember from the Cold War.

Napa567 said...

She was my Department head on the USS Ainsworth FF-1090. Nothing less than a Nightmare. I ran the Deck Department, trained my men on Bridge standards etc. Getting ready to transfer I could not get housing leave from her or the captain. leaving Staton Island looking for housing is impairative, but her attitude not only to that function but to all aspects of the Navy was Caustic. I never worked for someone like that in my Carreer.

Anonymous said...

To the "Retired Air Force" I disagree with your clueless assessment. I served with Holly's sister, Robin, when we were both Junior officers. They come from a Navy family. Their father was an influential Navy Captain. Even then, both girls were regarded as having bright futures for long naval careers. Robin has thrived in the naval reserves, which is separate from the active duty her sister is serving on. Clearly, Holly's ability to adapt to naval service has proved very different.

During my career, I served with officers and enlisted, both male and female who demonstrated psychological issues and poor leadership skills. Leadership is not necessarily an innate talent. It can be learned and taught. It is unfortunate, however, that the military considers admission of psychological issues a "kiss of death" for a service member's career. Forcing people to hide these issues potentially puts those they work with or are responsible for at grave risk. And those in a position of evaluating an officer's suitability are not well versed in identifying behaviors that might point to a possible, and depending on the circumstances, treatable condition. What other careers exist where a person has to choose between good mental health and keeping one's job?

The most heartbreaking example is that of ADM Boorda's suicide. Even though he had done nothing wrong (the reporter was later discovered to have lied about his allegations) and ADM Boorda was a well respected leader, no one recognized his depression. In fact, only his driver, realized something was wrong the day he committed his suicide. At the other extreme is the Army psychologist who slaughtered over 13 people before it was recognized he had a serious problem.


There is debate over whether Holly has always demonstrated these negative behaviors, so it is very likely that these have developed over time and been exacerbated by both the pressures of military life and her particular coping skills. She has clearly had many advantages that have helped her rise in the military, but these advantages have also caused people to look the other way when they should have demonstrated more scrutiny. The current process is to either ignore the signals completely or dump service members from the service and lose the years of experience and the financial investment in training them. The real question is how the military learns from and takes action to prevent these situations from occuring in the future while maintaining a ready fighting force.

Anonymous said...

I was an ET2 when I left the US Navy in 1984. I served on two ships plus shore duty.

My first ship's CO was very much like CPT Holly Graf. He arrived about 6 months after I did. The ship was a pleasant command with high morale prior to his arrival. At first, the new Capt seemed great. He toured all the spaces and spoke with everyone. No one realized his dark side early on.

Eventually it was noticed that he blamed everyone around him for anything that went wrong. He yelled. He cursed. He summarily punished people. The officers became scared shells. His tirades were dramatic.

I personally observed him dress down the XO as "nothing but a dumb shit" in front of everyone on the bridge.

He would "hold mast" while walking around the ship. To explain, he would observe, or surmise, someone doing something "wrong" and command "you are busted, go to deck", which meant that he had just held the equivilent of a captain's mast. The offender would be reduced in grade, fined, restricted, and transferred to "deck division" (ie- chipping paint) without ever formally appearing at a Captain's Mast. The ship's office would simply process the paperwork as if it had taken place.

Working on the bridge, I heard him ask "where's Wesly?" (a signalman SN) and no one immediately knew the answer, he pronounced "he is busted, send him to deck". Within 10 minutes it was established that he had been given permission to use the head by the chief signalman. That was where he was. It didn't matter. The pronouncement was made. He suffered the punishment even though he had permission to be absent from the bridge. He was not allowed back on the bridge.

This was minor. The real toll was the officer corps on board who succumbed to the pressure of working for such a man and became "mini-me" jerks. I had one chief who was getting out of the Navy after 13 years and I asked him why. He said he had made every effort to transfer or volunteer for other duty but the Captain would not approve (because it might reflect on him), so the chief was getting out of the Navy. He said "my father was chief, and from the time I was a boy, all I wanted to be was a chief, but I can't take him anymore, I'm getting out!"

Ask anyone who has ever been in the Navy......you don't get out after 13 years in as an E-7.

Oh, by the way. The NIS (in those days) had to come to ship after several attempts were made on the captain's life including cutting the brake lines on his truck (that was great, because then we had captain's truck watch in addition to other in-port watches), and tossing a 55 lb metal slab from the 04 level at him on the pier (it missed).

The real damage was folks like the chief and countless others, officer and enlisted, who decided to get out rather put up with a lunatic like him.

Anonymous said...

Y'all need to lighten up on the lady. I know PLENTY of white male officers or CPOs who do this crap, and that never makes the news.

By calling her and "ugly dyke" you're just giving credence to the idea that you're sexist pigs, not objective observers.

Ironmistress said...

0.5% of women and 2% of men are psychopaths.

While they are cold, emotionless killers, all militaries around the world attempt to avoid them at any cost.

It is because they are completely unpredictable - they can snap just like that, and they are irreliable.

With my deficient skills of kitchen (galley?) psychology, I would like to estimate CAPT Graf is one - she has passed the sieve unnoticed.

Despite what orifices one might have at one's ventral side, both women and men posess an arsehole at dorsal. Therefore being one doesn't ask for gender.

Ironmistress said...

Captain William Bligh was a real person. He was much better than usually thought; he was excellent navigator, seaman and tactician. His major fault was that he was a Fascist disciplinarian. He eventually rose to the rank of Read Admiral.

Herman Wouk's Philip Francis Queeg was much worse; a cowardly bully and incompetent jerk-ass who endangered his ship because of sheer stupidity.

Ed Sowinski said...

The crew shoud have put a bullet thru her head and tossed her over the side

Anonymous said...

From what I have read in these posts, I am pleased that some action has been taken against this CO. As for me I was not very pleased that the Dept of the Navy started putting woman on ships back in the middle 70's. I was seeing that serious problems were going to happen. As an EN1 on shore duty serving as a chief engineer on YTB's we had women onboard then and they became a problem. Then I served on a SUB TENDER and we had woman there also. again more problems. Now the CNO wants to put woman aboard SUBS. I can see a great dieaster will be coming out of this. I am glad that I am retired from the navy now.

vamotor
USN retired EN1

Anonymous said...

TRACK 'EM DOWN! Every single one of her Reporting Seniors on her fitreps! The Holly Graf investigation SHOULD include a review of ALL of her fitreps, contacting ALL of her Reporting Seniors and interviewing them to SUBSTANTIATE THEIR RANKING of her performance, which includes BEHAVIOR...ex: 1 of 5, or 2 of 12, etc... AND the results of Promotion Boards and Continuation Boards. How could she POSSIBLY have been better than so many others? ...not from my observations...

Anonymous said...

Putting a bullet, no problem, dumping her over the side and poisoning the whales!!! Bad enough we hit them, but poison them with graf juice!!!! NOPE!

Anonymous said...

Why did the XO get reprimanded as well, for letting this go on for so long?

Anonymous said...

This situation raises a number of questions. Those of us who knew Holly and her sister knew they were "special". We knew we would have to work 10 times as hard to achieve the same recognition and rewards and that it wasn't fair. But this has been going on for years. What caused so many people to turn a blind eye? How does someone come by such influence and become so untouchable? Did it take an entire generation of senior officers before someone said "Enough"? And how systemic is this problem? Is the Holly Graf debacle an anomaly or just the tip of the iceberg?

Retired USAF E8 said...

I punched out in 1989 after 21.5 years. Was at the head of the line for Chief. At the time, it seemed like the AF was doing it's damnedest to get rid of good people. The ass-kissing face-timers were ruling the roost. PC was rampant. The budget was being cut, and morale was heading towards the Jimmy Carter days. Women and minorities could do no wrong and it was absolutely amazing how many incompetents were promoted. The times were a changin'. Kept tabs on it for a while through the Clinton decimation/social experimentation process, until I realized that it was a lost cause. IMHO, with the exception of the Marines and a few active duty Army & AF front line units, the U.S. military is a former shadow of itself. It sickens me.

Susan Katz Keating said...

I'm with you on the PC stuff and the damage it does. I still don't get WHY. The military, of all organizations, knows that its mission is far too important for stuff like this. And, yet...

Susan Katz Keating said...

On another note... If you are so inclined.... this blog has been nominated for a Milbloggie Award for Best US Reporter. Voting continues through Wednesday. All you have to do is click on over to Milblogging.com and vote in your fvorite categories. If you dont already have an email with Military.com, registration is easy
http://milblogging.com/votestandings.php?mode=branch

Susan Katz Keating said...

OK, mil-folks. I am not done with Holly. But wanted to give a heads up. This is the last day to vote in the Milbloggies. If you are inclined to support blogs like mine that do original reporting, please be so kind as to vote for me in the US Reporter category. Many thanks!
http://milblogging.com/index.php?entry=entry100405-080329

Retired O-4 in 2007 said...

Holly Graf is just another example of the weak and incompetent leadership that the leadership of the Navy is producing. It is readily apparent in many walks of the Navy, particularly inside the beltway, and within the sacred hallways of OPNAV, that promotion has nothing to do with merit, achievements, and technical expertise, but has everything to do with your "political" attributes including, (1) Who you regularly suck up to that is of a high enough rank and position to influence your career, and (2) whether you are part of (as defined by law) a "protected class". The fact that there are women within the civilian ranks of the Navy that started out as secretaries in the 70s and 80s and have now graduated to Senior Leadership roles that are way above their levels of expertise (in order to "level the playing field"), exacerbates the condition.

Anyone who has ever worked within a Navy organization where politics trumps merit, knows that particular ethos present within the organization, where there is that dirty little secret present that everyone knows about, but no one mentions. But in the end everyone knows Colleen will be ranked 1 of 10 or 1 of 20 just because some Flag has decided he has the right to influence the woman's chances for promotion, and is flattered because she sucks up to him on a regular basis. This circumstance occurs all the time, and some men are just as guilty of assuming the sucking up position as the women. Somewhere along the line the leadership of the Navy has decided that it can ignore the law and ignore Navy directives and regulations, that require Commanders to execute their responsibilities in a fair and impartial manner, and that promotion decisions should be based purely on merit. Oh, and we've all heard the bs argument that, "Colleen was the most loyal." Well we all know that this is bs and the Flag touting her is Mr. Burns and Colleen is Waylon Smithers.

And God help anyone who should say anything that might be viewed as critical of the way things are running, because that will eventually have to reflect badly on someone in a senior leadership position. We all know what happens then, you get a less than "early promote" promotion recommendation, a 3.0 on your fitrep under leadership, or your record is flagged in some other innocuous but obvious way and your career is over with, and you can kiss your pension goodbye.

I had the pleasure of working for some great COs during my 20 years in the Navy, and two incompetent boobs. Both the boobs were women. One made Captain and one made Admiral. I don't see Holly Graf as an exception, but as an example of a leadership ethos within the Navy that is fundamentally corrupt. So corrupt it is incapable of acknowledging the problem, let alone fix it.

DVV 4/27/2010

Anonymous said...

To the last poster, it is truley sad that your experiences have led to the conclusion that all women are incompetent leaders, but only a few men are. You clearly never had the true pleasure of serving with her sister, Robin, let alone any number of other professional, capable leaders who happened to be female. Gender does not dictate either competence or leadership. However, it is opinions and attitudes such as yours that are the reason that senior leaders must continue to take care that playing field remains as level as possible.

Cory said...

I knew HG at the from the end of her senior year at USNA and during a period on her first duty aboard her first ship. Never in the same command. I found her to be a sweet, shy, funny and enjoyable to be around. She was very unsure if the Navy was right for her. I enjoyed the time we spent together.Long ago became a happy civillian. Today just by accident, I stumbled upon the story.
I was shocked that she became a CO, remained in the Navy, was highly abusive.
The truth is always gray and shipboard life is not for the faint of heart, but her actions seem so far out of line.
I can't understand what happened to the HG I knew.

Anonymous said...

I grew up with Holly in Connecticut and graduated high school with her. I also knew her while she was at the academy. I would have thought this to be the last person to be accused of such behavior, never mind found guilty.

I know, that was 20 years ago, but she is, or at least was, a very good, smart and even tempered person.

The Navy should step back and really take a look at what went on with this case.
Somehow the system chewed her up and from the sounds of it, she took a lot of people down with her.

Sad!!

Anonymous said...

Not to condone any bad and illegal actions on the part of Capt Graff as I believe that she has to pay the piper, I was a female in the Navy for 20 years and have seen many a male officer acting quite sadistically towards their subordinates including me. I worked for the most horrible male Captain going for two years who screamed at me every opportunity he had. I fact, he wasn't happy until I was sobbing, which normally occurred at least once a day. And I wasn't alone. His whole staff hated his guts and he would destroy people's careers, particularly those of young, handsome officers; I used to think because he was jealous of them. He's just the first example of absolute tyranny that comes to my mind, but there have been others that I've come across, but not that many.

Susan Katz Keating said...

I want to keep following the Holly story. If any of the anonymous posters who knew her want to contact me privately, you can reach me at Skeating428@aol.com. I will maintain complete OpSec for all who request it. And thank you again to everyone who has cared enough about our Navy to weigh in on this episode.

Anonymous said...

I have read this string and have kept silent because I was disgusted by the process that had unfolded and the lynch mob atmosphere that seemed to exist. After the last two comments, I can no longer keep silent.

Anyone who has spent a successful career as an officer in the Navy has had to deal with tyranical supervisors and CO's. If they hurt your feelings, so what? Get over it and do your job. Sending in anomymous complaints to higher authority that " someone is picking on me " is a cowardly act at it's very root, except under very etreme circumstances in the case of an officer dealing with his or her CO.

Capt Graf may have hurt some feelings and failed to properly nurture some JO's that she considered less than great, but when you cut through it all, that is all she did. If that is a leadership deficiency in her, that is between her and her ISIC to deal with via her FITREP. Not gounds for this high tech mutiny.

The wardroom's first duty is loyalty to the CO, whether the CO is pleasant to them or not. Comparing Capt Graff to the storied Capt Bligh is not reasonable in any manner when you consider the physical abuse Capt Bligh was depicted as handing out in song and fable.

She may not be a legendary leader, but she got railroaded. Every afloat CO, deep within his sole, needs to worry how big a popularity campaign he needs to wage to keep this from happening to him. Frightening.

Anonymous said...

The navy is big on nicknames. Let's see; in the course of my career my COs included the Mini-Monster, Mugsy, Mad Dog, Mr. Tomato Head, the Roman Candle, Capt. Jeckl, etc.. I worked for some tyrants - but never an incompetent. There is enough in these posts to indicate Captain Graf is both.

Susan Katz Keating said...

She seemed to use nicknames, too. She wasn't very creative. "Asshole," "idiot," etc. No big deal. But choking the junior officer and hurling objects at people... now, that is a problem.

Anonymous said...

In my military career I observed the best officers left the military around year 5 - The very best around year 7. Run the numbers then throw in the problem of political correctness - The 05-010 ranks get pretty crowded with poor leaders.

Anonymous said...

I don't agree with the blogger who said that COs now have to be more worried about how popular they are than whether or not their command can cut it in a crisis. I worked for two COs who had reputations for chewing up and spitting out incompetents. They turned out to be the best bosses I have ever had and I would go to war with either of them in a heart beat. The difference between them and Holly Graf is that I was never concerned for my safety (hurled objects/physical assaults).

The bottom line: When a leader is unpredictable it can be very destablizing. Leaders need to be aware that their reputations will proceed them and they are responsible for maintaining an environment that allows subordinates to perform their jobs without terror (a little fear can be helpful because the military is not an ordinary business, but not unrelenting terror).

Anonymous said...

The anonymous moron above who condoned Holly's tyrannical behavior should become familiar with Navy Regulations, Article 1023.

Anonymous said...

i read a article with you saying no pow were left behind in nam but low and behold it comes out their have been . you shouldnt speak on things you dont know

Anonymous said...

So has anyone heard if she has got the boot or is the navy waiting for this to die so everyone will forget?

Susan Katz Keating said...

Anon: Actually, it was a book - thoroughly researched and documented. If you have proof the men are there, please share your info.

Everyone else: I have a Horrible Holly tidbit forthcoming on the main blog page. Stay tuned....

Anonymous said...

What is hhappening?

Anonymous said...

I had an Capt. like this back in 85. Real Ahole untill we did a deployment in the north atlantic and word got spread around the ship the someone was looking to dog wrench him in the head in the dead of night and throw his ass over the side. He stayed in his cabin the remainder of the trip and NCIS was waiting for us when we got to Mayport. They got the same answer from everyone. Don't know nothing.

Anonymous said...

I'll bet that story has grown better and better with each retelling over the past 25 years.

Susan Katz Keating said...

Still no solid developments on the fate of Horrible Holly. But I am becoming increasingly impressed with Navy discipline and good order. I'm sure there were many who wanted to toss her overboard in the dead of night - and yet, no one broke down, no one stuffed her in a sea bag and tossed her down the hatch. Everyone just kept doing their jobs. Bravo Zulu to the entire crew!

Anonymous said...

I served 22 years in the Navy, on 7 ships, and retired as E8.
The incompetent, and even the abusive CO you can deal with if there are sufficient subordinates to overcome their shortcomings. The dishonesty is another story, and the assault by choking and throwing things is stil another. That by itself is unforgivable. You do not, ever, put your hands on or physically attack a subordinate.

Anonymous said...

A grounding is a grounding. If the ship touched bottom and dammaged one of the screws sufficiently to make it limp through a major part of a deployment, I don't see how that could be covered up. If someone assaulted a subordinate in the manner Capt Graf is described as having done to the Royal Navy exchange officer, I further don't see how that could have been covered up.

If Chruchill really went agoround as has been described, Graf would have been relieved almost on the spot. I am sure the screw was dammanged, but the colorful description of events has to be exaggerated somewhat.

When a warship is so disabled so as to have to do it's job with only one screw operating, that is so visable and notorious that someone senior to Graf in the CSG would have to take note and investigate why it happened. How did Chruchill keep up with the rest of the CSG in formation? Someone would have to notice that she was limping behind.

Anonymous said...

What is going on with Capt Graff's continuation board?

Susan Katz Keating said...

I'm not sure. I haven't heard anything on a date certain, only that it is likely to be held up in D.C. / Navy Yard environs - and even that is just scuttlebutt. Nothing solid as of yet.

Susan Katz Keating said...

Heads up, Graf-watchers. The retention board convenes tomorrow at 0900.

Anonymous said...

A panel of three flag officers Friday announced their recommendation that Capt. Holly Graf leave the Navy with a general discharge.

Here is the link: http://www.navytimes.com/news/2010/12/navy-panel-general-discharge-for-captain-holly-graf-120310w/

Eljefe said...

Gee, Whiz! Anonymous! You are a F'ing coward! Do as you were instructed a while ago by Plankowner and STFU. I have a question as a recently retired Navy Chief. Were there any Chief's onboard the Cowpens during all of this bullshit? Apparently not because a real Chief would've pulled her to the side removed her head form her Ring Knocking Ass. You can't tell me a whole crew was scared shitless of this wad of crap in Khaki's. And another thing, what was the Command Master Chief doing while all of this was going on? You can't tell me he was TAD the whole time and got back in just enough time to do something about it. I've dealt with some pretty abusive so called leaders in my career, officer and enlisted, but I never stuck my head in the sand and let an injustice go without question. I understand junior personnel not saying anything out of fear of reprisal but shit, everybody on the ship? I know I'll never get the real story from the Navy Times so i'll just have to take peoples word about what happened and if there are sailor's out there who stood up to this stupid, leadership lacking, unsat, cavalier blight on the Navy. I commend you. Those of you that were senior leadership, officer or enlisted, you should be ashamed of yourselves and you should retire or get out of the Navy now before you let more sailor's suffer at your cowardice. You're as bad as she was. Enabler's.

CHIEF OUT

Eljefe said...

General discharge or not, I'll bet they let the stupid ass retire with full benefits. More cowardice. what they should've done is give her a Bad Conduct Discharge(which is what they would have given any first year Seaman Recruit for not conforming, or insubordination or DWI or Marijuana use, etc...)Shaved her F'ing head and made her walk backwards right on out of the Navy. Instead, we'll let her retire and now she'll right an F'ing book and go on Oprah and say she's a changed person. Then comes the "Lifetime" movie of the week "Terror at Sea: The Holly Graf Story." What a load of horse shit. Now I'm sick to my stomach. I garauntee some poor 3rd Class Petty Officer that's behind on some bills or some other issue is prepping to go to his or her DRB(Disciplinary Review Board) by the Chief's of his or her command and will ultimately get the Big Chicken Dinner(Bad Conduct Discharge for you non military types) for a whole lot less than she's guilty of. For those of you that have ever been to a DRB, either as the accused or a member, you'll probably rememeber that they aren't much fun are they? I've said enuff because I'm getting ready to throw up at the thought of her having a check and exchange privilages that are normally reserved for those of us deserving of those benefits.

God bless the men and women of the Armed Forces past, present and future!

CHIEF OUT

Anonymous said...

There where plenty of folks like her...both male and female. Anyone ever served with the equally incompetent and cowardly Mark Genung? The tripped out part is that if these types of idiots removed the uniform and met in an empty parking lot mano y mano, these insecure losers would be toast. I am glad that folks like her and him are being weeded out.

Anonymous said...

I read where sister Robin graduated from Cornell in 1980 but does anyone know whether she bilged out of USNA Class of 1980?

Husband was a firstie when the first women came and he thinks he remembers a Robin Graf.

Anonymous said...

GOing way back on the thread...I originally posted on February 18, 2010 8:26 AM ,a dn there was a response on March 5, 2010 12:43 PM.

Yes, I am referring to the great ship DAVID R RAY, and it was extremely gratifying to see Cliff finally get what he deserved. Its a crying shame that it took people almost getting killed to get to that point.

It would be great if Ms Keating could put us in touch!

Anonymous said...

I was fortunate to serve 8 plus years with highly competent Officers and senior enisted men and women, I cant for the life of me grasp why this Captians seniors would let this go on so long? And The Captain sounds like she has some issues to say the least, I know for a fact being deployed is hard enough as it is, but to be subject to that kind of leadership blows me away, my prayers go out to all involved, including the Captain, from an outsiders position i think her bosses are truly to blame.

Anonymous said...

I believe that Captain Graf was very aware of the political nature of her promotions and the higher she went, the more paranoid she became. No one mentions anyone mentoring her, just promoting her. This doesn't excuse the behavior, but it leaves me scratching my head over how well her supporters/promoters knew her. Unless there is guidance or intervention, poor leadership styles become ingrained early on.

Anonymous said...

I attended a recent seminar/workshop for senior officers retiring from the Navy. Capt Graf was in the class. ( I am an aviator, senior officer who has heard all about her ) She is a refined, polite, well spoken person. I completely disagree with the disparaging commentary. I am sorry for what has been done to her.

Susan Katz Keating said...

Anonymous:

She behaved herself during a seminar, in a non-command setting, while knowing that everyone else in the room had heard all the stories and was watching every move she made?

And you feel confident using that brief encounter as the basis for your conclusion?

Anonymous said...

To respond, yes.

My encounter with her caused me go back and read this article. I tend to not give much credibility to a string of heckling comments like you have gotten here. These people are piling on her when she is down. These comments are what I would expect a less than warm and fuzzy commander to garner from a crew that is being pushed by her to do a ship's job in an over the top good way. ( and I have spoken personally to her seniors when she was on Cowpens and the ship did perform superbly ) I have encountered commanders like Capt Graf several times in my career. I would expect a good portion of her crew to try to lash out at her when she is vunerable. I am sure she is less than charming when in a supervisory position over people not as bright as she is.

I do not believe she used physical contact/force in a manner that would justify calling it assault at all. A person of her background and training simply would never do that, period. I have spoken to officers knowledgable of the purported incident regarding the Royal Navy Lieutennant who was the subject of one of the more flamboyant tales, and they tell he it is completely mis told here. You have never gotten him to corroborate it and he would not so testify at her hearing last Dec, even though the prosecution tried to get him to do so.

I read the comments from a few junior officers and I am left with the impression that she did not get the loyalty she deserved. She deserved their loyalty no matter how unpopular and unpleasant she was. Calling in on tip lines to get her in trouble, as some of these officers did, may be legal but it is cowardly.

Susan Katz Keating said...

Anon, how would you compare the treatment she has received against that of Jill Metzger?

Anonymous said...

I don't have real knowledge about Metzger and what happened/should have happened to her. I read a little about it a few years ago, but don't know anyone in the Air Force with sufficient status to give me what I would consider an truthful account/opinion. I tend to not be influenced by a gang like have gone after Graf and apparently Metzger. I form my opinions after I have talked to officers in a position to really know the prople and the frequently un reported truth.

I became interested in Graf because she is a Navy contempory of mine and I spent a week around her. I fortunately have personal aquaintences who do know a lot about her, her background, her capabilities, her record, what accutally happened on Churchill Cowpens and her family. Thus, my expressed opinions.

Thank you for asking my opinion on the comparison, but I am not capable of rendering a well informed one to you.

Susan Katz Keating said...

Anon, did you work with Graf?

I thought you might have an opinion on Metzger, also, because your writing voice reminded me of someone who similarly stood up for Jill Metzger. I thought perhaps you might follow stories about female commanders.

Susan Katz Keating said...

I am assuming, then, that you also are about to retire from the Navy?

Thank you for your service.

Anonymous said...

I did not work with Graf. I have observed several like her, some as superiors. I have worked for screamers of both types; stupid ones who try to make up for their own insecurities by bluster and very birght ones who can't relate to or tolerate "normally gifted" people. My opinion is that Graf falls into the second catergory. I will bet she is pretty rough when you run afoul of her for not doing what she thinks you should have done.

Yes, I plan to retire a year from now. Navy Captin, 27 years, aviator, two commands.

Anonymous said...

I had this . . . person (for the moment, I will refrain from referring to her with the most profane, yet apt, perjorative I know of for women) . . . Holly Graf as one of my 17th Company upperclassmen during my plebe year at the Naval Academy. I was actually in her squad, and had to report directly to her for the first half of my freshman year there. Now, 2nd classmen (i.e., juniors) are expected to be hard on the plebe class, in order to instill knowledge in them and advance their military training, while at the same time they gain valuable leadership skills. Ms. Graf wasn't about ANY of that - training her subordinate plebes and learning how to lead wasn't her priority. She just liked to terrorize us, shrieking curses at the most minor mistakes. Apparently, she was bewitched with the power and control aspects of her role, and the fact that she could say anything and do nearly anything to use without repercussions. Some 2/c got into that power trip more than others; she, without a doubt, was the worst I ever encountered. So I wasn't shocked at all when I found out that she had been relieved of command, and why. The more things change, the more things remaind the same. She's extremely intelligent when it comes to academics, but it seems she never got the fact that the Naval Acadmey experience was more than just book-learning, that it wasn't just a glorified college there. Her downfall couldn't have happened to a more likely person, and it's sugar on my tongue, after dealing with her insane crap during that terrible year.

Ina Dolce said...

I don't know. I'm just a civilian researching this woman's story and when i hear comments like Sgt Giddens i start to glean that Holly Graf may be held to a different standard. I have a hard time believing that military leadership isn't tough especially DURING A TIME OF WAR!! Could IT POSSIBLY BE that military men have a hard time taking orders from a woman who doesn't placte and soothe them. Are they emasculated by a woman who straight talks, loses her temper and has the authority to make them follow orders. When i hear comments that would suggest that white men are downtrodden and oppressed while minorities get off easy, I'm moved to Holly Graf's side. White men are arrogant. They think they are smarter than everyone. Meanwhile, they don't see that this is not the case. There are plenty of women and racial minorities that are smarter than their white male co-workers and they don't get the breaks.

And the other thing is YOUNG FOLKS TODAY aren't used to harsh criticism. You have to cajole them. They're not used to being spoken out of turn. and they have a strong sense of entitlement. that could also have played a factor. i have a hard time believing Holly Graf didn't encounter the same sort of harsh treatment coming up.

I think Holly Graf's story is a fascinating one and not so cut and dry.

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