Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Holly Graf Case Front and Center at Long Awaited Retention Board Hearing

At least Holly was nice to the locals on port call in Russia
Just when you thought the Navy's Captain Holly Graf was going to float peacefully along forever without having to answer for allegations of abuse and incompetence....

Ding ding ding! Retention board time!

Yes, it's true. I first heard the news via Glenn MacDonald, a Vietnam veteran who runs the investigative website MilitaryCorruption.com. Glenn reported on Monday that the long awaited Holly Graf retention board convenes today at 0900 at the Washington Navy Yard. The board is expected to spend three days deliberating whether Holly should go or stay - and, if she stays, at what rank. The final decision, of course,  rests with Navy Secretary Ray Mabus.

I have high hopes for the Holly review.

I hope the retention board members are honest and strong. I hope they look at the damning evidence, and avoid the temptation to go easy on a woman. I hope they see Holly for the disgrace that she is. I hope they realize that the ship Holly lost command of, the USS Cowpens, now is part of the USS George Washington carrier strike group pulling duty off the Korean peninsula. I hope the board members recognize that in such a delicate and volatile situation, an incompetent commander such as Holly Graf could place an entire strike group at risk - and that she was yanked off the ship in the nick of time.

I hope Secretary Mabus throws Holly Graf out of the Navy.

Unrealistic wishes? I don't think so. Anyone who assaults subordinates, runs a ship aground, and shanghais subordinates into doing personal scut-work should not be allowed to wear the uniform. Period.

And it's not just me being cranky. The people who served under Holly want her gone yesterday. If you want to learn why so many servicemembers and veterans are cheering for Holly's demise, here's where you can start. Just check out the 180+ comments following this post I wrote earlier this year.

Sample excerpts:

- 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.

- I cant believe it took this long to fire her, but I am supremely glad that it finally happened.

- She is and always has been an incompetent boob.

- 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.

And then tell me why she should not get busted way down the ladder before she is forced to trade in that beautiful uniform for a plain set of civvies.

H/T CDR Salamander for the mention and the link! Really fun comments going on over at his place.





16 comments:

Jenny Kawczak said...

IT'S ABOUT DAMN TIME!!!

BillT said...

Any *one* of those ten reasons would have gotten a male officer a potential career-killing Letter of Reprimand.

Any *two* would have gotten a male officer an Article 15.

Any *three* would have gotten a male officer a court-martial.

Susan Katz Keating said...

... and I didn't even get to the part about wearing the fuzzy slippers on duty on board ship, and the pink hair scrunchie, and the weapons discharge at sea (WITH injury to crew), and the smacking the (help me out, Jenny... was it the XO?) over the head with a thick binder, and the....

*sigh*

You get the picture.

Anonymous said...

hey skk - you attending the hearing? who is on the board? how many ringknockers? women? swo's?

Susan Katz Keating said...

I'm getting conflicting answers on whether this is open, and if I will get the chance to snap a pic of Holly with a blanket over her head, skittering across the parking lot... and the board makeup has been narrowed down to likely candidates, but no confirmations yet.

Meanwhile, more on this going on over at Salamander's place:

http://cdrsalamander.blogspot.com/2010/11/good-day-for-trip-to-navy-yard.html#comments

Anonymous said...

Only her gender would have been unusual in the 80's. CO's had rightly and well earned waterfront hailers such as "Skeletor" and "Crazy Eddie". One guy had nearly all his department heads fired during both his CO and XO tours. Junior officers resigned their commissions to guarantee early transfer. On one ship only five enlisted in two years reupped and stayed onboard. No senior bothered to notice. She graduated from the right school was moved forward afterward.

MDR said...

SKK(is NOT a Warsaw Pact weapon):

Let's all go see our local voodoo high-priestess and make sure this embarrassment to OUR Navy doesn't make it out of that board alive.
Sea HAG is lucky as hell I ain't the f'n CNO: I'd hang her by her filthy neck 'til dead. Then, I'd dismember her body and parcel the pieces out to the Skippers of every man'o war we got. As an example and such. The Russians got that right. Quite an attention getter. Bar none.
However, I am quite certain that Sea HAG will be retained. What the board will most likely do here is sweep the Article 15 violations under the rug. Sea HAG will likely be let off with a relative slap on her filthy wrist. Am betting on it.
Can only hope that IF/WHEN she rejoins the fighting arm of the fleet she gets dragged with the mops over the starboard rail. Again, as an example and such.

Susan Katz Keating said...

Mossback weighs in...

[as per theory being floated elsewhere, but not here]

I am still not convinced of a all powerful clique of lesbian officers that is circling the wagons to protect one of their own. It is my belief it is a simple case of the Sea Hag playing hardball to save her pension at the O-6 level. Capt. Graff can make a good fight of it at the retention board if she wanted to and I still am convinced the Navy is more interested in saving the careers and reputations of other officers in the Sea Hag's chain of command, both upper and lower levels. At least two heads that could be on the chopping block are the XO's of the USS Cowpens and Winston S. Churchill when under the command of the Sea Hag. Did they did or said nothing and failed in their duties of being the second in command? That would be just the opening round of her defense. or is this a case of a few disgruntiled sailors out to get a hard charging CO by being a bunch of cry babies? That is all for now....Your Man In West Africa....Old Mossback

Susan Katz Keating said...

Mossback asked about her lawyer. Civilian. And this just in...

Charles Gittins told a panel of three rear admirals at the Washington Navy Yard that Capt. Holly Graf inherited the “worst ship on the waterfront” and a wardroom that was “largely incompetent.”

Anonymous said...

Read through all the stuff on Militarycorruption.com and see that yes, she is an Academy grad, which explains all of it. Having a big sister as an admiral doesn't hurt either. I have seen far worse than her in the Army. Try a female Peruvian (native american), female, doctor, colonel who kills patients and isn't relieved (although she relieved every officer ever assigned to her, except me who escaped in the dark of night with a secret PCS). I believe she could have killed the pope and gotten away with it. This chick is nothing in comparison and IMHO is typical for the Navy who are still living in the dark ages. But, the Navy also has good leaders which I can say the Army system of promotions has eliminated and gone to management by committee instead. Commanders with balls (pun intended) have been eliminated.

Anonymous said...

Her sister is one of the most powerful mothers in the military !!!

http://www.workingmother.com/BestCompanies/most-powerful-moms/2010/06/most-powerful-moms-in-the-military-in-pictures?page=0%2C4

Anonymous said...

http://navycaptain-therealnavy.blogspot.com/2010/01/number-two-in-our-countdown-is-captain.html



Here's another great site with well over 300 comments about the HAG. Some of the actual crew from both ships in question made comments here.

Anonymous said...

Now that is funny! At least she is not a lesbian (maybe but you never know, some hide as married women). It looks like she was removed from active duty to the reserves where promotions are more or less automatic (speculations as to why?) then brought back and was subsequently promoted further up the chain. I have seen more than a few poor officers leave active duty after being passed over only to come back later and haunt all of us. I wonder if this is the case here as well?

Susan Katz Keating said...

New prediction:

Sea HAG is bumped up a grade and given her choice of assignments, plus a detachment of personal servants and her own bartender and limo.

OK, bad joke. Sorry. I take it back.

Anonymous said...

You should be careful about crediting a LTJG or Ensign when they accuse an O-6 of incompetence. What is their frame of reference? YPs at USNA? And you should make sure you ask the guy who was assaulted if he was, in fact, assaulted. COWPENS was a little high school gossip place, especially among the clueless JOs. And, that is a fact. The guy who was"grabbed by the collar and shaken" by Captain Graf said it didn't happen. So, did it happen? Or is it a bunch of gossips playing "telephone?" Sheesh . . . Get a grip girls!

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