Monday, December 5, 2011

Merry Christmas, Commander Etta Jones, USN, From Those Who Gave at the Ship

Why do sailors get so riled up about commanders like Etta Jones, former boss of the USS Ponce? Here's one explanation. On Friday, two items came to light. 1) Jones, who was fired from the Ponce for cause, will retire at the rank of Commander, complete with 0-5 benefits package. 2) Nearly 3,000 sailors were dropped from the Navy this year because the service couldn't afford to keep them. The juxtaposition of the two fates does not sit well among those who worked hard to serve our country, but who are on the receiving end of budget cuts and are being booted out against their wishes. One commenter at Navy Times observed: 


An O5 who has a laundry list of substantiated IG allegations gets her full O5 retirement. That is one nice severance package. Then you got 3000 sailors who are told their service is no longer needed and get a door prize on the way out... It doesn't seem right does it.

No, it does not. Merry Christmas, Etta Jones. Your gift comes courtesy in part from those who gave at the ship.

30 comments:

One who served said...

Her misconduct should be reflected in her retirement settlement. Being allowed to retire with full benefits is the same as an endorsement of her misbehavior. Anything else smacks of favortism and cronyism and is a misuse of taxpayer dollars ans is a slap in the face to those who were kicked out because of budget cuts.

Anonymous said...

I served under this lady for two years when she was the XO. I had never had a better XO. Yes, she has a strong character but a kind heart. I will always treasure the special gifts she took time to give me and be my mentor. The Navy has lost a fine and fearless officer.

BillT said...

If the Navy brass reduces her in rank (and retirement pay), it runs the risk of being unjustifiably vilified by the PC crowd for "discriminating against women" -- it prefers to be justifiably vilified by its own people for displaying, as Ows noted, favoritism and cronyism.

Feel free to draw your own conclusions about the character of such people...

BillT said...

Hi, Anon. Are you the same Anon who was a cadet at the USNA with her?

Susan Katz Keating said...

You took the question right offa my keyboard...

CI-Roller Dude said...

As always, the "Zeros" (officers) will take care of their own.
If you did the research of all the brances...when an officer or enlisted did something wrong, look at the punishment given out...
In most cases, the enlisted will get a much worse punishment---becasue the officers judge them all.

MDR said...

"A fine and fearless officer" Negative Ghostrider, Cdr Pork Face dicked the dog repeatedly while others(senior naval leadership) turned a blind eye. Cdr Pork Face deserves to be reduced then face a Courts Martial to decide whether or not this animal keeps its bennies package.
That this is odious isn't the thing. The crux of the biscuit here is that fact that cronyism has somehow made a alliance with those PC warfighters. Offensive.
It's the taxpayers that lose out 'cause they have to foot the bill for Cdr Pork Faces' mistakes. Am sure that among the 3k Sailors shown the door there are plenty that are of higher character than Cdr Pork Face. This animal shouldn't have been allowed to command a bathtub toy much less a USS in wartime.
To the fearless Anonymous poser: That you would deign defend this animal speaks to your low standards and lack of character. That you are aligned with this colostomy bag with feet makes you just as much a colostomy bag with feet.
Cdr Pork Face hardly deserves pity, empathy, or anything else resembling those feelings of loss. For Cdr Pork Face, this is a huge win insofar as Cdr Pork Face got off without facing a Courts Martial.

Susan Katz Keating said...

Anon: The XO gave you gifts that you continue to treasure? Awwww... how touching. It makes me want to stand in a circle and sing "If You're Happy and You Know it Clap Your Hands..."

Oh wait. This isn't Girl Scout Camp, is it?

BillT said...

It's the taxpayers that lose out 'cause they have to foot the bill...

Latest PC offensive for the Navy is

*drumroll*

"Helping Reduce America's Dependence on Foreign Oil" by purchasing 450,000 gallons of biofuel.

At $27 per gallon.

And, according to Ray Mabus, Secretary (and Chief Ivory Tower Dweller) of the Navy, it's a good deal, because it's only *half* the price they paid for the stuff last year...

*facepalm*

BillT said...

Dang. Just researched that last.

Mabus is a lying SOS -- the Navy previously paid "only" $14 a gallon for biofuel.

http://biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2011/12/06/solazyme-dynamic-fuels-score-big-us-navy-aviation-fuel-contracts/

Susan Katz Keating said...

SOS = Son of a Sea cook?

Not to be confused with its "sister" term, Son of a Gun, which also is rooted in old seagoing lore.

One free pass out of campfire duty for the first one to tell me how the phrase got started.

Bystander said...

Believe that son of a gun refers to a child of questionable paternity, during a time when girl friends were allowed to accompany their boyfriends on voyages. Birth was given behind a curtain near a gun, and when paternity was questionable, it was simply recorded as "Son of a gun."

However, I interpreted the meaning of SOS in this posting to more closely describe Etta as a "Sack of sh*t." But I have been known to make a mistake now and then.

Susan Katz Keating said...

Bystander, you just earned yourself a pass! And I think you are right about Bill's SOS... but he is in a way-distant time zone, and won't be able to confirm or deny or no-comment til later. : D

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Hello! I am a PO1 who was aboard during The Dark Queen's reign. I do NOT know anything about her past service. For all I know, she may have been a dynamite junior officer and XO. As our CO, she was unpredictable, inconsistent, and volatile to the point of making Mt. Vesuvius look like a Christmas party. Still, as I told the investigators when questioned, her being a lousy skipper was not the issue. For me the ultimate issue is that she endangered the lives of my SHIPMATES. If they are not safe, I am not safe. If the allegation of gun mishandling is true, I told the investigators, THEN I would have lost all faith and trust in her as an officer because my safety and my shipmates' safety was compromised. The gun allegation was proven to be true (and she has admitted to it in her statement). Therefore she has NO BUSINESS being in command of, and responsible for, fighting men and women in the U.S. Armed Forces. Had this been an enlisted person, or a non-commanding officer, they would have lost rank, etc. On the plus side, I will say this--at least the system worked and got her off the ship and ended her threat to our lives.

Susan Katz Keating said...

PO1, thank you for your service to our country. You summed up the core points. If she was a danger to the crew and ship, she had to go. I agree that in this case, the system worked in terms of getting her off the ship relatively quickly. But I also agree that if this had been someone of lesser position or rank, there would have been a higher price to pay. RHIP.

BillT said...

Bystander also has the correct expansion of the abbreviation "SOS"...

Susan Katz Keating said...

The expanded other "SOS" is also a fun way to hurl an insult when the recipient has no clue what it means.

Bystander said...

Bill actually used the SOS reference in regard to Mr. Mabus -- but it's a good fit for Etta as well. The previous Chief Ivory Tower Dweller was a real TLOS, an order of magnitude greater than SOS. Game on!

Susan Katz Keating said...

Okay, so now you have to enlighten us, Bystander. Enlighten me, anyway... what would this TLOS phrase mean, by chance?

Bystander said...

A Truck Load is much larger than a sack. Of course, Bill might have been making reference to a VERY large sack.

Susan Katz Keating said...

*running from room laughing*

Susan Katz Keating said...

*ahem*

I mean.... RFRL

: D

BillT said...

I was visualizing the sack the mailman uses when he delivers an aircraft carrier...

Susan Katz Keating said...

What??? You mean.... SANTA doesn't deliver those?

so...confused...

Mossback said...

It is true the conduct and the conduct and double standard of many officers in the military can leave a bitter taste in the mouths in people both in and out of the service and this reply is not a defense of those people, for are no matter how many stars they have on their collars, they are the lowest of the low.

Anger is not a justification for joining a lynch mob no matter how self rightous one may feel.
Comparing CDR. Etta Jones to the infamous Captain Holly Graf is unfair. Etta Jones was enlisted for a munber of years, she earned all she got w/o a magic ring, political, or family connections. As to the case against her?

Could it be possible that CDR. Jone made a call and decided to keep the alleged hazing incident in house? Was that the wrong call? I have no idea, but we do not have all the facts. CDR. Jones may have been motivated to protect her junior officers from todays political lynch mob. As to the 9MM safety issue, I suspect that was a "pile on" allegation to justify CDR. Jones being relieved of command. Where are the details and facts?

This I do have to work with, unlike when Captain Graf was relieved of duty there has been no dumping on CDR. Jones as it was on Holly Graf.
Let us not become the very thing we opposed, bigotery is not justified and everybody gets a fair shake and hearing from the this old CPO.

Bystander said...

Moss,
I think we all hear you, but there are many similarities with Graf. Poor ship handling endangers everyone. Although it was probably, partly, for dramatic flair, threatening to tie nuts in knots sounds like a threat and when it comes from a CO, there's no question in my mind.

OSC(SW) Retired said...

I was stationed onboard the USS Sterett. My Chief and I were seriously considering submitting charges on our DIVO. This CO needed to be relieved and none of her actions were correct. She violated SOP and regulations and made her crew miserable. Had she spoken to me like that, I would have submitted a hotline call. Crap, gotta go, ....hey, who closed my laptop!

Anonymous said...

I am a Navy Veteran who served with Etta Jones in her time as the Chief Engineer on the USS Briscoe and I have to tell you that this whole situation with her getting fired is not just from her last two or three commands there where other situations that have led to her exit. On board the USS Briscoe there were accusations of misconduct from the day she step foot on board from pretty much telling the CO that she runs this ship not you to cameras installed in the womens showers. But hey give her what people think she has earned...I don't think she deserves a dime...she took a lot from many and she gets all...NO not on my watch...

Susan Katz Keating said...

What? Cameras in the women's showers? And they kept her in the Navy after that? I am appalled. But you know what? Now that I think about it, I'm not at all surprised.