Sunday, January 8, 2012

Navy Ignores Board of Inquiry; Upgrades Holly Graf's Discharge to Honorable

I'm almost afraid to post this. The Navy announced late Friday that Capt. Holly Graf, who lost command of the USS Cowpens for cruelty and maltreatment of her crew, will get an honorable discharge. This, despite her Board of Inquiry's recommendation that she retire from the service with a general discharge.

The statement from Juan Garcia, assistant Navy secretary for manpower and reserve affairs, reads as follows.

“Ultimately, Capt. Graf’s conduct fell short of that expected of our commanding officers, As a result, her non-judicial punishment, early transfer from command and early retirement are warranted. However, I have also determined that her conduct did not rise to a level sufficient to warrant the characterization of her service as less than honorable, especially when weighed against the totality of her service to the Navy.”

More from me later. For now, though, my first reaction is to determine whether this is a joke. Apparently it's not. Both the Navy Times and Glenn MacDonald are taking it at face value. EmmDee: I'm sorry, man. Really, really sorry.


BillT said...

The Navy originally shot itself in the foot by keeping her on AD all this time.

With this decision, it just clicked the selector to full auto and emptied the whole 30-round mag into its instep...

Syneeda said...

My...My...My... What a tangled web we weave!!! Susan, you already know how I feel about this. Holly was certainly a bi-product of her SWO environment, which I witnessed throughout my entire career. Like children, certain behavior is learned behavior. I'm sure she already has a cushy job already lined up to "Roll" into, consulting for the Pentagon!

Anonymous said...

Does Mabus really think that having an underling make the decision keeps the stink off of him? I think I recall some discussions that talked about weak and cowardly people trying to play the game of having someone else's finger prints on certain actions. As if to suggest that everyone is stupid!

BillT said...

If she brings her behavior to the consulting world, she'll find herself up to her nose in "hostile work environment" complaints inside a week...

Old Mossback said...

Will someone tell the person that signed off on this disgrace to drop by the disbursing office and pick up his or her 30 pieces of silver.

Anonymous said...

It's clear that Garcia doesn't give a rip about the lives destroyed by Graf. And Graf will be retiring later in the year! What, nearly 12 months later in the year or enough to get Graf maxed out on retirement. Here I was thinking that the previous regime held the prize for discrimination.

Anonymous said...

She should definitely be reported to who ranked two military officers last year among the worse bosses of the year. As far ASSt. SecNav Garcia, the last name alone says it all. Mabus would rather use a minority to do his dirty work. I'm sure Garcia's appointment serves a huge role for the Good ol' Boys, to provide protective cover. We all know how thier dirty games are played.

Anonymous said...

This was a losing fight for all of the hecklers of Graf from the start. All of this chatter was a waste of time sitting at a keyboard. People like Holly Graf can be injured, as she certainly was, but someone like that is too tough and skillful to be taken down entirely by the type of people who attacked her.

From personal, first hand knowledge, I know that she was really very highly regarded by most of the people who run the Navy, not just women, and that high regard eventually came out.

BillT said...

From personal, first hand knowledge, I know that she was really very highly regarded by most of the people who run the Navy...

...which is as thorough a condemnation of their hypocrisy as I've heard so far.

Susan Katz Keating said...

Anon, I am impressed. You know most of the people who run the Navy. Can you please relay a message?

It's not about protecting Holly. It's about protecting the country.

I'd be interested to see how many of your invisible leaders would willingly step on board a ship headed for a war zone, with Holly on the bridge.

MDR said...

Anybody who posts Anonymously in defense of HAG is as much a walking colostomy bag as HAG. Anybody that would deign defend her as a competent tactician is, in all probability, as incompetent as HAG. People like that are convinced they walk between the raindrops leaving others to be soaked. Even though HAG gets to retire relatively unscathed, she does so with the knowledge that the deck was stacked in her favor and she was ALWAYS playing with house money.
Luckily, and what was likely the tipping point in her favor, is the fact that there were no KIAs that could directly be tied to her phony tough-guy charade.
HAG will never be allowed to live this down because I am certain that once she's in CIVLANT it'll be open season with no limit with regards to her reputation: to mean, she'll most definitely have enough rope with which to stretch her neck. In CIVDIV daddy and big sister cannot help her as she has grown accustomed to.
I feel bad for the people whose careers were ruined by HAG. Our Navy is a weaker force as a result of HAG and the oily dispensation of her case.

MDR said...

Hey BillT;
Ummmm, the selector switch on the A2-A4 series is now a three round burst...that's cause you Army doggies can't seem to put well aimed shots downrange therefore we all have to pay the price...hahahahhahah but yeah, the Navy looks pretty f'n weak right about now.

Anonymous said...

I am the guy above at whom you are angry.

I am not passing either favorable or unfavorable judgement on Graf or the outcome in this affair. I am just rendering an opinion as to how these things tend to come out in the current world and society.

Graf is not incompetent, no matter what the lynch mob says. She is not a charming leader either. This issue resolved itself as it was destined to resolve itself from the beginning.

There are very few similarities between Graf and Penland, when you dig deep into the background of the person, the inate abilities of the two individuals and the intellectual and educational qualifications. Graf is a super achiever, who did not make a lot of peer level friends comming up, but impressed many of her superiors. She performed. She did not make a lot of the people who worked for her happy, apparently. She built an impressive pedigree for herself, which whether someone thinks that is good or not, means a lot in the Navy officer corps.

To use the metaphor about going to sea with her on the bridge, in fact, most people who know Graf and her ability as a SWO, would have no problem going to sea with her, other than that the conversations might get a little testy from time to time.

El jefe said...

Yeah, most people, except her own crew. Dude, she ran the ship aground. There's a world of diff between talking shit at her class reunion and walking the walk.

Ding Dong the Witch Is Gone said...

Notice that her fellows at Dahlgren all but damned her to hell at the BOI.

Anon, you should use your own name. Or do you have to wait until you get out to do that, Holly?

Holly's USNA Classmate said...

Excuse me, Anonymous, but who do you think you're fooling? Holly was widely known to be a loose canon from early on. Why did she rise in the ranks? Partly because she wanted to. She had nothing else in her life but her career. She threw herself into it. That's what it was, though - HER career. Not the Navy, not the crew, not the ship. Just Holly. She impressed her superiors only because they badly needed a female in command. She fought for it, and got it. Remember, she rose in rank at a time when the Navy thought it was invincible. It could afford to have someone like Graf, or so it thought. I don't know anything abut Syneeda Penland and can't comment about her in relation to Holly Graf, but I can say this much. I wince at how the Navy handled the Graf debacle.

Anonymous said...

I am a female officer in the Navy. I am ashamed of Holly Graf and am angry at the Navy for how they handled this. She casts a pall of suspicion on other females. The last thing I need is to have my crew whispering behind my back, undermining my authority because they think I got special preference for being female. Thanks a lot, Holly. You set us back at least 30 years.

Mark Englebert said...

As a retired Captain I am very disappointed that a politician would overturn the recommendation of a Board of Inquiry that is far more qualified to determine the appropriate discharge for this officer. I worked with Graf briefly and know several folks that knew her personally, and she was a TERRIBLE OFFICER. A real injustice to the Sailors who served with honor during their time in our Navy.

Daunte Reed said...

Mr. Englebert, I remember you being my CO onboard the USS Vincennes in Yokosuka Japan. You ROCKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I am not trying to fool anyone. There in no way to present the facts of how this came down other than by observing how it came down, and anyone who is interested can do exactly that.

Graf did not get a pass. She was subjected to NJP and the perception that she was releived for cause of her command. Her releif from command of Cowpens was not actually a relief for cause as characterized by the CSG Commander who did it, and he reiterated that in written testimony at her BOI.

Graf has suffered a rather horrible, embarrassing end to her career. As stated a above, she was a rather prideful, ambitious achiever for a quarter of a century. She had been told by her superiors that she was destined for greatness all along the way. She was abrubtly and publically slammed and thrown out of the Navy. All the Secretary did was not send her out with a general discharge, which would have contunued some of the lasting pain of her "fall from glory" for the rest of her life. She still fell, and fell quite hard. She will bear the scars of this fall for years to come.

If you look at Graf's written record, it would be hard for a deciding official to not do what the Secretary did. She really did not get away with anything, and paid a rather public high price for her personal shortcommings.

Old Mossback said...

To Anonymous:

It is true Captain Holly Graf did have accomblishments under her belt:

1) Ran the WSC 25 knots through Augusta Bay that resulted in millions of dollars of damage to that ship.
2) Assalted a naval officer of a allied nation.
3) Made the cover of Time magazine proving to the world a female officer can be just as cruel as a Capt. Bligh.
4) Made a joke of the at sea command selection board when being moved up over more qualified personal.
5) Proved her ignorance of safe shipboard practices when she wanted firemain on line while in dry dock. As reported by her own DCA in his book, "Assumed the Watch, Moored As Before".

It appears all the "alleged" supporters of Captain Holly Graf refuse to step up to the plate and go on the record. If these supporters do not exist then anonymous you are lying. If they do exist, they are cowards and should be discounted.
So annymous are you proud of the fact that Captain Holly Graf is now the leading naval officer to be awarded the "Casey Anthony" medal for avoiding being held accountable for her misconduct?

Anonymous said...

She destroyed the careers of fine Navy officers and enlisted. People left the Navy because of her. She leaves ripples reaching out far and wide. In 5 years, she will be pulling a fat paycheck, sitting behind a big oak desk, with an I Love Me wall as big as her ego. What a train wreck.

Anonymous said...

It is obvious that Graf has supporters or her discharge would not have been upgraded. The guy who did it, did so in public, with his name in plain view.

I am not expressing pride or shame it the outcome of this affair. I merely offer my observatons based on my insight and privy. If Old Mossback has greater and keener insight, glad to hear it. I would suggest that people make their points without trying to disparage other opinions which are honestly offered.

Syneeda said...

Annon in your comment: There are very few similarities between Graf and Penland, when you dig deep into the background of the person, the inate abilities of the two individuals and the intellectual and educational qualifications. Graf is a super achiever, who did not make a lot of peer level friends comming up, but impressed many of her superiors. She performed.

You are absolutely right about one of your comments, Holly Graf and I had very few similarities. The main difference between us was that I cared about the overall safety and well-being of my fellow crew members, as well as upholding my fiduciary duty to the American tax payers.

I was just as committed and devoted to serving my country as any other veteran who chose to sacrifice their lives just to protect our country, ultimately YOUR freedom.

Syneeda said...

Annon...In response to your other comment, “the inate abilities of the two individuals and the intellectual and educational qualifications”…Graf is a super achiever”

Are implying, before the jury made their decision NOT to separate me from the Navy, they didn’t consider my post graduate college education and my nearly 20 years of outstanding military experience?

I suggest you dig a little deeper into MY personal credentials and read over the sentencing portion of the record of trail, which failed to mention what I was actually found guilty of.

Charge I - Misuse of the government cell phone, for the purposes of unofficial business.

Charge II - Misuse of the government’s telecommunication, for the purpose of unofficial business.

Charge III- Making a false statement to my CO by saying, “No, I did not call NC1 Kim Lewis-Wiggan, on February 21, 2007”, that I lied attempting to deceive my command. (Although I was never read my “Miranda rights and the government never proved that I made such phone call).

Charge IV - Conduct unbecoming of an officer, by calling NC1 Kim Lewis-Wiggan repeatedly at her work, disrupting her workplace. Yet the government's evidence was all based on hearsay from a scorn wife and her close friends and fellow co-workers.

Charge V - Adultery, That I had sexual intercourse with someone else other than my husband, although I was single… I’m still trying to figure that one out!

If you don’t know the real reason why I was ordered to be discharged from the Navy, you will know soon enough!!

How do any of these charges measure up to what Holly Graf, Commander Etta Jones and the other 20 other former Commanding Officers, who were all relieved of command last year?!

Each of them was found guilty of committing more egregious military offenses, far worse than what I was found guilty of.

They were also held to a much higher standard and were responsible for the safety, moral and well-being of their crew. A commanding also has a fiduciary responsibility to congress and to the American taxpayer.

Unfortunately, each of these officers will eventually retire and will collect a fat pension, although they compromised position, by potentially endangering the lives of over 300 or more crewmembers and put a billion warship along with its nuclear weapons at risk.

Each were found guily of abused of their authority. Some were also found guilty of verbal abuse and physically assaulting their subordinates. Thereby, subjecting themselves to mutiny with the ongoing creulty and ill-treatment of their crew.

But I’m sure senior Navy leaders are already busy at work revising the ethics portion of the commanding officer training curriculum.

Old Mossback said...

To Anonymous:

The SECNAV did overturn the verdict of the Captain Holly Graf BOI. Now how did SECNAV tell the world?
Did he call a press conference? No.
A statement issue at his office in time for a media inquiry? No

At the end of the work day Friday 1/06/12 Garcia the Ass't SECNAV issued the press release while the SECNAV went into a Road Runner mode and headed for the hills.

Captain Holly Graf will be a case study of what the end result will be when commanding officers refuse to weed out bad junior officers.

Think of it this way, Captain Holly Graf was the first Zombie and unless she is stopped there will be more Zombie Captain Holly Graf types in our Navy unless the mind set that created thee first Zombie Holly Graf is put to an end.

Old Mossback said...

One more for Anonymous,

Susan Katz Keating knows my name, where I have been, what I have done, and where I am now and how to get in touch with me.
Unlike Captain Holly Graf I do not have a magic ring that gave me things I did not deserve. No family or politcal connections and I have to carry the burden of being a hetrosexual male in todays society. What I have today is what I have earned.

If and when Anonymous (Captain Holly Graf) wants to debate me in an open forum for all to see, contact Susan and she will set it up.
The only question I have for Captain Graf Class 85' does she have the guts?

Advocate said...

Old Moss,
I agree with you and the first Anon, and anyone else who can see through the sly tactics of Mabus. I think I recall someone from his office saying that he was skilled in shuffleboard and he certainly played it -- suffling out the back door leaving an underling to make a decision that Mabus surely endorsed.
Overturning the BOI speaks a pantload. Exactly what did Garcia (read it as Mabus) look at and review that the BOI didn't consider? What a slap in the face to the BOI. I wonder which of Ray's uniformed assistants made the recommendation to the mouthpiece? Certainly he or she was a Graf family friend.
During the alleged review, I wonder how many of Graf's victims were interviewed. Read it as: None.
Finally, if there are any ringknockers out there, please chime in -- Mabus was pokin' the pooch for two years until a decision is made that Graf will retire later this year with 26+ years of commissioned service. Adding four years of longevity for academy time, which I've heard counts for retirement pay purposes, and the fix appears to have been in to get Graf to the 30 year point for maximum retirement and the deepest reach possible into the taxpayers' pockets. I think Ray just surpassed his predecessor, the Doctor of Discrimination, Dr. Donald C. Winter, when it comes to making stupid and biased decisions that scream discrimination. What has become of Graf's victims over the years? Twenty plus years of abuse doesn't rise the necessary level? Now we know what HUA means when the Army talks to the Navy: Head Up Ass.

Anonymous said...

If you think I am an undercover Graf, you are badly mistaken. I am not, not am I her advocate. I just try make my points of observation based on what I see, not what I think or advocate.

To deviate from the statement I made above, I would think Graf would be very hesitant to debate anyone in this forum, includng me , with some of the opinions I have expressed.

MDR said...

Screw debating HAG in an open forum. I choose to be locked in a cage with her for a demonstration of her hand-to-hand close quarters combat skill set. Yes, I would very much enjoy that.
This is the most obnoxious case of nepotism, cronyism, and PCism that has come down the pipeline since Kara Hultgren. Only difference btw the two is that HAG had command of many more souls and a higher dollar amount of gear. That nobody got smoked due to her phony tough antics is a miracle and likely the only thing that saved her ass from the Big Chicken Dinner.

Old Mossback said...

"When you fight the prince you must be sure to kill him"..........Machiavelli

In a matter of weeks Captain Holly Graf will leave the active duty ranks of the U.S. Navy entitled to the full perks and privilages of her rank and time in service. That battle is all but over but the war goes on.

From the time Captain Holly Graf was posted on the cover of Time magazine when she was relieved of command of the USS Cowpens, through her BOI and now having been recently been cleared of all accountabilty for her documented decades of poor service to the Navy and her country by SECNAV.It is a safe bet that Captain Graf has written up her enemy list of people she will seek revenge for any slight against her.
The Graf family will still have two active flag ranked officers in the Navy and for that reason the men and women of all ranks and rates that served under Captain Holly Graf when she was the commanding officer of the USS WSM and Cowpens and even the Dahlgreen base in Virginia are at risk for poor future duty assignments, bad fitness reports and evaluations.
Until the entire Graf family no longer is able to harm the shipmates that oppose the Graf family reign of terror and horror, the sad saga of Captain Holly Graf will not be over.

BillT said...

Ummmm, the selector switch on the A2-A4 series is now a three round burst...that's cause you Army doggies can't seem to put well aimed shots downrange...

My M4 has "safe," "semi," and "auto." The "semi" position is for single, aimed shots -- and I'm quite good at that -- and "auto" is now the 3-round burst position, but there are still M16A1E1s out there that haven't been modified.

BillT said...

Her releif from command of Cowpens was not actually a relief for cause as characterized by the CSG Commander who did it...

She was relieved because she was found to have violated articles 93 and 133 of the UCMJ. That certainly *sounds* like relief for cause, but maybe the Navy defines "relief for cause" differently from the other services.

She had been told by her superiors that she was destined for greatness all along the way.

And you are privy to this information -- how?

She was abrubtly and publically slammed and thrown out of the Navy.

Disregarding the spelling errors, she was *not* abruptly thrown out of the Navy -- she has been keeping a desk from floating off into space at Dahlgren for two years.

Anonymous said...

I honestly don't think Graf's relatives had or have the ability to influence how this came out. Any active flag officer directly related to Graf who put a fingerprint on this would suffer horrible consequences. It would come out surely. That is merely my opinion.

As to the question as to how I know that Graf was encouraged over her career; the selection and assignment process that took place proves that. I also have personal , peroidic contact with people who handled this issue. I am not personally involved. I offer comments in this forum for academic discussion only, to present a possibly different point of view that seems to be the mainstream view and opinion.

This feature on my laptop does not have spell check, and I am a less than really skilled typist. I am a constant business traveler, and am typically in too big a hurry to do a good job of editing. I would request that you dwell on the substance of my comments and not my word processing ability.

Advocate said...

Give us a break. The protectors are wearing gloves and will never suffer horrible consequences. Mabus even tried to keep his prints off of it by having his underling make the decision. But, if you think Mabus didn't approve it, think again. There is no justice for the victims. You say you have "personal, peroidic contact with people who handled this issue." But, you claim that you are not personally involved. Tell us, Anon, who are the people who handled this issue? The victims need to know!

Old Mossback said...

To Anonymous:

"She had been told by her superiors that she was destined for greatness".

You must be joking? Never have I had heard of eny enlisted or officer being informed he or she is to be destined for greatness.If it was said the person that said that may have watched too many gladiator movies?
As far as the water walker fitness reports that were issued to Captain Holly Graf, it is a sad truth to get rid of someone that may cause political blow back, the senior officer officer takes the easy way out and writes a glowing fitness report and hope someone else will deal with the bad but well connected officer.

One minute Anonymous tells us of highly ranked personal that think highly of Holly Graf and then the next minute we are told that no officer will have anything to do with her. Which is it?
The Graf familly is a clear and present danger to the people that Holly Graf has issues with. Adm. Robin Graf and her husband should be investigated by the DOD IG, located at 400 Army Navy Drive, Arlington, VA,

Who did the Graf family talk to and when?

The Graf family has much to answer for and that is why I posted the snail mail address of the DOD IG. The Graf family should be run out of the Navy, they represent privilage and entitlement by who they are and not what they have done.

Mike Wilson said...

If her name had been Harry instead of Holly, I wonder what the outcome would have been?

Secretary Garcia is a Harvard lawyer and former Democratic representative in Texas. Thank you Mr. Obama for a fine political payback appointment.

Shawn Ward said...

Open season on Enlisted by Senior Female Officers has just been condoned. Don't like that Coffee Capt. Quig just slap the living chit out of the Cook. Don't like how things went in CIC just kick the Watch Sup. Yep welcome to PC Navy 2012.

USS Dahlgren said...

Trust me. She will not be missed from her current assignment.

Advocate said...

Old Moss,
Sadly, the DoD IG usually only acts when directed by those that let Graf off. As such, the DoD IG would be as worthless as the Navy IG in this matter. Specifically, the DoD Hotline Director, Leonard C. Trahan Jr., is well known for providing cover at these levels. His name has been mentioned in a few discussions related to the corruption in the DoD IG. If he did his job, there wouldn't have been this many victims spanning the lengthy period.

Susan Katz Keating said...

Advocate is relaying more than rumor. Sen. Charles Grassley has raised this issue repeatedly. In June, he issued a statement giving the DOD IG a "report card grade" of D- on its audits process.

Read the statement here.

Anonymous said...

I said I did not think Graf's familly connections had anything to do with her discharge being upgraded. Repeat, I did not think.

I said that I think other people in the Navy who have influence helped the situation. I think my second contention is borne out by the outcome.

I have no idea if there is a vehicle to allow " victims" to gain redress in a situation like this. You have to define who is a victim by some measurable legal standard, using formal procedures, to accomplish anything like that.

I agree with the moderator that using these hotlines and IG reporting systems usually results in a lot of sound and fury, signifyiing nothing.

Hope no mis spellings. Am in Europe using a Kindle Fire to speak here.

Old Mossback said...

On the lighter side of the Captain Holly Graf debacle.

This coming Friday will be the first payday after it was put out while Holly Graf will retire under honorable circumstances, she appears to be leaving Dahlgreen soon.

At the base club to be sure there will be kegs of beer, a buffet table full of food, as the shipmates that have suffered long and hard carrying such a terrible officer on their backs will let loose and have a good time. Of course at the party no one will go on record and say the party is in celebration that Captain Holly Graf will be leaving, but we all can safely assume that is the reason. I would love to hear what will be said by the shipmates as they tap into the third keg of beer.

Here is a tip for Holly Graf, now that you are a short timer it would be unwise for you to leave your car unattended at the base. The real fun and payback is about to begin as Captain Holly Graf will be on the receiving end of mess deck justice. Go ahead Holly and see what will happen now if you take a swing at one of your sailors

DR said...

I feel for anyone victimized by any Graf-like abuser. I think you hit the proverbial nail on the head when you mentioned the Grassley report on the DoD IG. Someone, perhaps in a posting on your site, made reference to the DoD IG and cited to one or more links to read about how the DoD IG does business. Tagged in these links was a name seen in this thread, Leonard C. Trahan, Jr. Anyone can Google Trahan, but here’s one to try out:
What caught my eye was the “cover” that Trahan provides to certain, select people. Admiral Mullen’s apparent knowledge of cover-ups is worth noting. Most disturbing is the discussion of frame-ups of innocent employees reported to the IG Hotline Director, Leonard C. Trahan, Jr., and the chain of command.
The boasting of an agency’s chief counsel, Bruce Krasker is typical of most IGs, especially Navy and DoD. Krasker boasts: “We (the Legal Directorate) can do anything we want. It’s called gaming. We can deny, we can delay…dismiss. We can manipulate the system any way we want.”
This was not shocking news to say the least. Mr. Kinan’s expressed disgust with ‘the record of the DoD Inspector General’s “dysfunctional,” criminal operation’ is supported by Senator Chuck Grassley’s review.
Speaking of Senator Grassley’s review, Mr. Kinan further writes: ‘In a conflict of interest, the AIG for Policy and Oversight, James L. Pavlik, covered up for Trahan by conducting a fraudulent investigation, making false official statements and issuing a fraudulent report to deceive Senator Grassley. After he reviewed my 30-page affidavit, Pavlik writes: “We found that Mr. Kinan has repeatedly distorted the factual record by asserting only some of the relevant facts in order to convince others that he was wronged by the system.” Pavlik even lied about lying.’
As this relates to the Navy, Mr. Trahan is on record stating that former Navy Secretary Winter was investigated by the ISO (Investigations of Senior Officials) for allegedly suborning perjury, covering up for a sexual predator, and using the taxpayer’s dollars to do it. Interestingly, when asked, Trahan could not provide a copy of the alleged report of investigation. The proof is there, but Trahan appears to be covering up here as well. It’s time for Trahan to be shown the door and stop providing cover for senior officials.
When Trahan succeeds, and the statute of limitations runs out on the crime, anyone should be able to cite to the U.S. Navy and say: “If they can get away with it, how about me?”
The cover provided to Graf is just as dangerous, and Mr. Mabus should be explaining why his IG is burying certain things, ignoring the findings of a BOI, and displaying obvious favoritism.

Anonymous said...

These cover ups are amazing, but what's more amazing is the obvious misuse of authority up to the most senior levels and the ability to screw over the tax payers to do it. It sounds like funny business has been going on long prior to Mabus being around and much further than Graf.

Scooter Lindley said...

A few days off to Lyon and all hell breaks loose!

OK, some thoughts: Graff is still getting kicked out, albeit with an Honorable vice General characterization of service. According to the VA page, the differences in benefits for an Officer over 20 years of service between the two characterizations are the fact that she will not get any GI Bill benefits. I believe she is unmarried, so unable to pass said benefits to a child, and unlikely to go back to school herself, so actual difference in terms of dollars is ZERO.

I agree completely that it sends a bad message. The wrong message. But maybe the right tactical move?

Think down the road a bit, and let me say this is speculation. With her General discharge she was likely to continue her litigious nature, suing everyone she could think of trying to get some vindication of her imaginary world where she was unfairly prosecuted. She would try and make the talk show rounds, talk to any reporter or TV crew that would listen to her half-baked conspiracy theories. People might even listen because we all love a good conspiracy. US lawyers would continue to spend serious man hours tied up over this at the Board for Correction of Naval Records (BCNR) as she sought to have her discharge characterization upgraded to Honorable. She might even sue the Secretary of the Navy or some nutty stunt like that.

With the Honorable she is cut off from being a media circus. No more time is wasted trying to fight her over essentially nothing. She goes away and USN moves on. Yes, it sends the wrong message, but given how much negative press she has with her name on it, I doubt anyone would think they could “get away” with something just because of the different block checked on Holly’s >FORCED RETIREMENT< DD-214.

Perhaps, just perhaps, this was the most practical solution. In any case, she will never escape a simple google search of her name.

Scooter Lindley said...

If I could, Senator Grassley’s report concerns the DOD IG financial audits on the DOD, not administrative, senior official or other such investigations. The larger problem is that the DOD does not have auditable financial records. Secretary Panetta has tasked Secretary Hale (OSD Comptroller) to make that happen by 2014 and has testified before your US Congress as such, but right now auditable records do not exist. This is not a “new” problem; it has existed since the 1960’s.

How much weight should we give Grassley’s criticism that DOD IG is unable to fully audit an un-auditable financial system, and what does that even have to do with the Graff case?

Advocate said...

Glad to see that you agree that it sends the wrong message, but with your comments, it certainly appears to be the wrong tactical message.
First, to what litigious nature do you refer, other than hiring Mr. Gittens during the proceedings. Hasn't just about every fired CO retained counsel of some type? Under Feres, who can she sue?
If I understand correctly, a general discharge could be upgraded after six months, but I could be wrong. If I'm right, however, it's doubtful that Graf would have wasted that effort -- she wouldn't have the proverbial leg to stand on with the BOI's recommendation and the veritable Sh**-load of documentation backing-up her abuses.
As it is she doesn't even have to worry about that because Mabus rolled over making every punishment handed out to everyone else more sickening because virtually everyone else was held to "that" higher standard and Graf got the free pass. Now, before you piss in my Wheaties, let me take a stab at the free pass comment.
First, she's retiring. We don't even know when, other than it's later this year. News flash, there are 11.5 months left to "later this year" and it took Mabus 2 years to make a decision while overturning the BOI.
When the next CO gets fired, and a BOI makes a recommendation, is that CO now able to point to Graf and Mabus and argue for the same deal. That, Scooter, is the name of that tune and is the damage Mabus did by blowing off the BOI, which, if I'm not mistaken, was composed of a panel of ADMIRALs. So, the Admirals' recommendations don't matter, making a mockery out of the entire BOI process! I doubt that Graf is behind us because every fired CO now has the equivalent of a precedent.
I mentioned Feres above, but what is so nutty about suing a service secretary? It happens all the time and, if you read an earlier posting here referencing the DoD IG, there is apparently a lot of reason to sue and a huge effort to cover-up misconduct by senior officials. Framing innocent people, suborning perjury, and using the taxpayers' dollars to do it! Wow!
Back on her retirement check, I haven't seen anyone comment about her academy time. With 26 plus years of active duty, and if her academy time counts for retirement pay purposes, she's into the taxpayers for 75% of O-6 pay for the rest of her life. If you think sitting on this whole thing for 2 years was an accident, I have this bridge in Brooklyn that I can let you have real cheap.
She can still make the talk-show rounds!

Scooter Lindley said...

Academy time does not count for retirement pay calculation. Never has.

Her BOI was not two years ago, it was November 2010.

Kicking any Officer out, much less an O-6, takes that much time or more.

Personally, I fully supported the recommendations of the BOI, but was trying to speculate as to why it did not go that way in the final analysis.

Advocate said...

Interesting, I knew some academy folks long ago who insisted their time counted for something. I defer to your knowledge.

Fired, if you can call it that, 2years ago -- which then begs the question of why the wait for the BOI and then more than a year for Mabus to make a decision. Makes you wonder what's happening during the rest of the time.

Holly Gennaro said...

Since the Penland case has been mentioned I will point you to this collection of documents:

Advocate said...

If you tell me there's a missing document there that gives Ms. Penland the kind of sweetheart deal that we've been discussing, I might be interested. But, my guess is that you're off-topic as we're discussing the sweet deal received by Graf and the corruption of power.

Anonymous said...

The plus or minus nature of the discharge is of little substance to Graff, in reality. She will not likely use any educational benefits, even if eligible for them. If she does, they will be rather trivial in the grand scheme.

Graf is finised in the professional world. Her lifetime ambition of being a flag officer has been taken from her, and her personal reputation is ruined within the circles she would want to inhabit.

Sending messages is a silly endeavor. It never works and someone is always un happy with the message that higher authority sends.

Forget Graf and get on with life. Things are never " fair " as everyone would contend they should be.

Anonymous said...

The Navy's current penchant for ceremonially relieving CO's is a self rightous publicity stunt to make it look look high minded and pure in the political world. Most of the time the IG invsetigations are a manipulated farce, as has been alluded to above.

The whole Graf debacle could have been handled by giving her an extremely adverse fitness report and thus trashing her career. Her relief was already on the ship. The change of command could have been carried out and the incident would have been closed, with "reasonable " justice done. She really did not commit a crime.

It does not take a very high IQ to execute a plan like this, but it seems the higher you get in the government, the more of your competence you leave behind in your desire to not be cirticised by some loud mouthed politician. Nothing would have ever made it to Time Magazine and this entire unfortunate circus could have been avoided. Not only does Graf look bad, as many say she should, but now the Navy looks bad, as it should for its heavy handed, stupid manuvering.

LBJ said...

I kicked a male LT out of the Navy. It took a year after the BOI. In Graff's case it took like 13 months. So what?

Advocate said...

*She really did not commit a crime.*

Um, since when is assault not a crime?

Anonymous said...

She was not convicted of assault. The people she supposedly assaulted all denied that what she she did constituted assault. The Royal Navy Lt, whom she was said to have assaulted, steadfastly denied it and refused to testify against her at her BOI.

I am not trying to exonerate Graf. I just think the colorful anecdotes and flamboyant statements need to stop for the overall good of everyone.

She is leaving. She will leave as a retired CAPTAIN, with an honorable discharge. Much of what happened to her is her own fault, but a great deal of the fault lies with the Navy, who for years told her she was doing a good job, with all of her personality and leadership problems in full view.

Advocate said...

It's hard to be *convicted* of anything when everything is Non-judicial. Graf got the free pass there too.
No doubt the assaultee was under pressure to let it go. Gotta keep good international relations.

Syneeda said...
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Syneeda said...
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MDR said...

A disgrace from the highest to the lowest ranks involved. What happened here is the most obnoxious example of nepotism, cronyism, and base use of power. I should think that HAGs' legacy to the USN will be nothing more than a bad example of leadership and nepotism.

Susan Katz Keating said...

I see the entire HAG episode as an outgrowth of... Tailhook. The Navy was so shaken by what happened to its image in 1991 that it tied itself in bosun's knots trying to prove that it was an egalitarian outfit that supported women. And along comes Holly, USNA class of '85, just ripe for the promoting...

Old Mossback said...

The nomintaion for the Captain Holly Graf 2012 award for being a total an idiot on the bridge is the senior watch officer of cruise ship Consta Concordia. Despite it being:

1) A clear night
2) Calm seas
3) Having state of the art navigation aids

This fool managed to rival the infamous Captain Graf for being incompendent at sea.

Anonymous said...

The moderator is absolutely right in her statement that the whole Graf affair is an outgroth of the Tailhook affair. I was there in 1992. I did not see the bad behavior unfold, but I heard about it the next morning.

Look at what happened to all of the Navy officer coprs as a result of the bad behavior of a few. We suffer horrobly in many ways still today. Over done affirmative action programs and oposing strident bigotry on the part of some.

That's why I contended above that Graf bears the responsibility for her own shortcommings, whatever they really are or are not, and the Navy bears a large majority of the responsibility for this whole fiasco; from what happend or did not happen on Chruchill and Cowpens to the final nature of Graf's discharge. To a large extent, Graf has been used and abused by the Navy as an unfortunate toy.

I would respectfully contend to all that is time to let her go in peace. She poses no threat or bother to anyone now.

Old Mossback said...

Let an officer that represented all that is wrong in the promotion and entitlement policies of the todays Navy go in peace? Not on my watch!

1) Millions of dollars in damage to the WSC because of her poor ship handling skills.
2) Young people in the enlisted ranks abused and mistreated by Holly Graf who gave up on themseleves and ended up with OTH discharges.
3) An officer that never not once held herself accountable as to the welfare and moral of her crew.

It is true that Captain Holly Graf wears a magic ring from Annapolis and has political and family connections in the Pentagon.

Is SECNAV prepared to walk into Bethesda Naval hospital and tour the wards full of men and women whose bodies and minds have been damaged due to combat and defend the fact according to him their service to this country in regards type of service discharge is the same as a cowardly bully such Captain Holly Graf?

Let her go? We never had her in the first place. The verdict of the BOI should have been upheld by SECNAV.

The one thing we can do as web sites such as is doing is hold a mirror up to the face of SECNAV so he will know when he does sell out the core values of this country he will be called out.

Documenting in a public forum such as this one will make some HR manager think twice before assigning Captain Holly Graf a postion such as working the serving line at a fast food resturant.

There is one last thing that should be looked into. Will Captain Graf insist on having a retirement ceremony? It would be so like her to insist on being honored (in her own mind at least) and I see a story here.

MDR said...

To the Chairborne Ranger Anon who would see HAG "go in peace."
Why should she? She clearly left a wide swath of destruction wherever she ended up. She clearly was incompetent. She's a coward. She's a phony tough bully. She's everything that our Navy, your Navy, my Navy, trains us not to be. Yet, she should be allowed to ooze her way out the door, leaving a trail of slime into retirement?
SECNAV and HAG should go to 5th floor Surgical Ward of Bethesda Naval Hospital and see what an Honorable Discharge truly looks like. HAG should've been reduced in rank and made PAO for the National Naval Hospital so as to remind her daily that Honor, Courage, and Commitment means just that.
The fact that my discharge and HAGs' are of the same value in some way diminishes my service and everyone else who played by the rules. HAG is a black eye and bloody nose for our Navy. Our Navy is a weaker force for having HAG at the helm of a very, very expensive weapons platform.
I don't think HAG is one bit sorry for the wake of destruction she wrought upon Our Navy. I'm sure she thinks she was railroaded out. I'm sure that she's bitter.
Anyhow, some day somewhere it'll all catch up. Karma is a bitch in perpetual heat.

oldjustice56 said...

Before we lay full blame on the civilian politicians who are appointed by their fellow congressional politicians to manage our military
"Industrialized Complex"; you must first closely examine the senior leadership of our military. In the Navy’s case, the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Greenert.
I’m sure Admiral Mullen’s protégé’ has plenty of skeletons buried deep in his closet, when it comes to ill-treatment towards woman and minorities that he would rather keep hidden. This is probably the only logical explanation for such a ludicrous endorsement on Holly’s Honorable discharge.

Advocate said...

It sounds like you’re suggesting that Greenert had influence in the decision and blew off his fellow admirals by ignoring the BOI. Or, he made an impassioned plea to Mabus for leniency, possibly a result of influence by Graf’s relative connections. Either way, it’s a slap in the face to those who served honorably because, as MDR has said, “The fact that my discharge and HAGs' are of the same value in some way diminishes my service and everyone else who played by the rules.”
You obviously have some background on Greenert that should be shared in open discussion. We’ll be interested to see if the number of Greenert’s skeletons comes close to the number that Mullen and Roughead have buried.
Ultimately, however, it was a decision of the Secretary, and Mabus let down everyone who actually served honorably. Interestingly, I heard Mabus speak shortly after his appointment. He stated that his parents were his mentors and they taught him two things, to work hard and do the right thing. Since then, I’ve seen someone claiming to work for Mabus describe him as being proficient at shuffleboard and the delivery of jokes. He certainly delivered this joke of a decision and disrespected those whose bodies and minds have been damaged due to combat.
This latest Anon, who would want us to let HAG go in peace, no doubt has some interest in minimizing the mistakes of the Secretary’s office. Anon wants everyone to forget the damage done by Mabus, perhaps so that the next time an “example” needs to be made, that person can become a victim of PC and be treated opposite of the great deal given Graf. Mabus should understand that he has set the equivalent of a precedent, but when making future decisions he will likely, simply, declare that the next person’s actions “did” rise to a level of misconduct. Mabus may never reach the level of cover-up, reprisal, discrimination, and threats as his predecessor, Donald Winter, but he is trending upward.
All this said, I have a question for the collective – does anyone know if these appointed discriminators are into the taxpayers for any type of pension after just the two or three years, or relatively short period of the appointment?

Anonymous said...

The idea that these guys are bound by precident is flawed. To an extent that is why the sustem is set up the way it is with an appointed politician in charge and not a military officer. If one or two powerful people hit them very hard they will turn on a dime.

If they can make the masses happy, fine, but if they can't, they don't lose sleep over it.

Linethrower said...

SKK, You have not been fair to one of the Navy's best. Perhaps not you personally, but your sources that brainwashed you. Holly Graf only did was she thought was right for the good of the Navy. Now thanks to the cruelty of men who hate women, she was stashed away in some backwoods Navy hole where she sat out her days in waste. This is not right. She deserved better. You are a woman. You should be the first to defend her because you know how much men hate us especially when we get strong.



MDR said...


Thanks for the good laugh. The fact that you'd put her in the company of the Navy's best is a slap in the face to those of us who really were amongst the best that the USN had to offer.
You have no credibility here. You have no argument other than some bullshit PC mewling. You probably have never had too many hard days while in the USN.
So, I take it that you subscribe to the HAG School of Leadership??? If you had laid a hand on me or anybody in my section, you would've been dragged with the mops off the port side and left for shark bait. You would NOT have made it back home from deployment. If you were in some box-kicking outfit on the ground and laid hands on one of my people you likely would have been treated to an activation of your Naval Dental Services plan.
HAG is NOT even close to the BEST that My Navy has to offer. I know and served with the best. HAG and those like her ain't fucking close. Now, run along and go pout somewhere else 'cause you ain't fucking welcome here no matter what the moderator may say.

MDR said...

ONE SAVED ROUND: Linethrower, I have suggested that HAG and CNO tour the 5th Floor(Surgical Ward) of the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda. Why don't you go along with them. Clearly, Honor-Courage-Comitmment is something that fits into your paradigm only when it suits your interests. I had a dear friend WIA during Operation Phantom Fury(like you'd know wtf about wtf that was)end up on the 5th Floor. I went and visited him and another friend who ended up there. What I saw was the BEST this country and Navy-Marine Corps has to offer. HAG is a joke compared to those people. HAG, really, is a product of a political climate. Not anything that could be associated with top tier performance.

Advocate said...

So your latest suggestion is that good people do nothing because the likes of Mabus don't lose sleep. People who abuse their authority and disgrace those who have honorably served should be dishonorably removed from office, but that likely won't happen. Anon, that's the one thing you're right about -- that's why the corrupt system is set up the way it is.

Old Mossback said...

To Linethrower:

Not one defender of Captain Holly Graf can explain as to why she ordered the USS WSC to make 25 knots while at Augusta Bay. As a result of her poor ship handling skills the WSC was damaged and had to put in for repairs that totaled several million dollars.
All the documentation at all the commands Captain Graf served under (including the repair bills) clearly showed that Graf did not have basic seamanship skills,one reference available to all and on the record: the DCA of the USS Cowpens who referenced her ignorance of ship damage control procedures in his book "Assumed the Watch, Moored As Before". FYI, that book was released before Captain Grad was relieved of command of the USS Cowpens.
To all of us we must not forget there is only one person who is responsible for becoming one of the worst officers in the history of the modern U.S. Navy and that is Captain Holly Graf herself.

To the soon to be retired Captain Graf, in a few weeks you will no longer be on the Navy active duty list. Does that means it is all over? Far from it, thanks to the Internet you will not be able to get a job as an ass't hamburger flipper w/o people such as us telling the world and requesting a boycott while drawing public attention to the employer that took you on. Capt. Graf is disgrace to her Navy, the country and unfit to live and work side by side by those that served their nation with honor.

Advocate said...

Old Moss,
Do you know the date? I've heard later this year but it sounds like those who actually serve and served with honor, courage, and commitment need to be planning the party sooner than I had thought. The question is, should we caution Graf not to let the door hit her in the ass in the way out. I suppose that's not necessary -- she's already been handed a gift courtesy of Mabus and he'd hand her an ass cushion as a safety measure.

Susan Katz Keating said...

Linethrower - Why should I defend Holly Graf based on her sex? Using the logic that I should support those who resemble me, I should automatically turn against Graf because she isn't short enough, or has straight hair and blue eyes. Instead, I judge her on her merits, or lack thereof. It's easy to fall back on "sexism" and "woman-hatred" as an excuse, but it doesn't wash. Holly Graf has only her self to blame for her fate.

Advocate - I believe I heard the date March 1, but that may or may not be accurate. I'm leaning toward thinking she'll get out sooner rather than later, though. She's put in her appeal and received a response. I would think she doesn't have too much incentive for sticking it out at Dahlgren.

Holly - If you're still lurking, my offer stands. Coffee on me. I'd like to hear your thoughts on why, after all this time, you continue to stir controversy.

Advocate said...

OMG, Mabus disgraces those who served with honor by giving HAG an honorable discharge and HAG appeals it! If Mabus had any decency, or backbone, he'd withdraw the gift he gave HAG.

Old Mossback said...

Time and time again I have taken exception to statements made by the web site concerning the alleged "sisterhood" AKA: Lesbo Circle of Doom, that has been accused of defending a member of their club no matter what the circumstances. I do not believe the sisterhood even exists. Then you go and play the us (female) against them (male) card to SKK and that adds fuel to the arguement as to the existance of the evil Lesbo Circle of Doom inside the Pentagon.
To Linethrower (suspected as being Holly Graf) do you have even a shred of self respect left?

Normally when someone in the Navy retires under a dark cloud they elect not to have a retirement ceremony. Captain Holly Graf was cheered off the USS WSC at her change of command ceremony and we all know how the crew celebrated when that ship was run aground sang the witch is dead from the "Wizard of Oz". Having said all of that Captain Holly Graf who has despite her lousy service in the Navy has convinced herself she is a naval legend and it would not surprise me if she demands a retirement cremony at Dalhgreen.
I can see it now, the CPOs under the gun to make sure at the site of the cremony is crowded full of sailors. There is some good news in a weird way, to fill the front rows at the cremony the CPOs will empty the resticted personal barracks in the Tidewater area and there will be some deals made. "Give us a good show of saddess and emotion" and in return we (as in the base CO) will knock off some of your restiction time and maybe if you are real good also some of the salary that was taken away at your Captains Mast will be returned. For that we will see tears, crying and some of the best acting around. To have representation of people that suffered under her, the bribe will be that liberty call will go to all that attend the cremony. The last card is having the MAA going into press gang mode and empty out the barracks. So if Captain Holly Graf does have a retirement cremony and she goes on how the sailors were so sad to see her go (yeah, right). Still it will be a great show and a lot of fun, so what do you say Holly?

Susan Katz Keating said...

Moss - I agree that the Lesbo Circle of Doom does not exist. Another organization, though, wields quite a lot of power and influence. DACOWITS, the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services. Cross them at your peril. And thank them, also, for many of the issues that now pit women's "needs" against national defense.

Susan Katz Keating said...

Linethrower - You left something out of your generalized statement. Do some men get angry when women surpass them? Of course. They are only human. They get angry when other men surpass them, too. But there is a flip side to the sexual-anger picture. Some women also become enraged when men don't buy into the fantasy that all humans are interchangeable in every aspect.

Examples: Men have tremendous upper body strength. Women don't. Women give birth. Men can't. So what?

Linethrower said...

Susan, I did not say there was a "lesbo circle of doom." Who invented that phrase, anyway?

Old Mossback said...

To Linethrower:

The term Lesbo Circle of Doom refers to the arch enemy of the "D" team and is a spoof at the expense of the people that write for the web site.
The LCD headquarters is located inside the "E" ring of the Pentagon and its banner shows a meat cleaver cutting a hot dog in half. Having said that I have the highest regard and respect for the writers and reporters that work for the web site.When it comes to their reporting as to the existance of the "Sisterhood" of lesbian officers that will defend a sister no matter what harm she has done to the Navy and the country that is where I have to agree to disagree. Of course there are gay officers in the military, but to say they have the values of gay first and country second? I just do not believe that.
The problem I have with Captain Holly Graf and/or her supporters is their notion the world exists for Holly Graf. SKK knows I have gone after on certain issues and when CDR. Etta Jones the former CO of the USS Ponce was sacked I wrote I was not all that convinced the case against her was all that black and white and thought CDR. Jones had her side of the story and I wrote in the SKK blog that I wanted to hear it.
I hope this explains when and where the term Lesbo Circle of Doom came from.

Susan Katz Keating said...

Linethrower, I know you didn't. As Mossback says, he coined the phrase to poke fun at the mil-corruption site, which has posited the theory that a secret lesbian sisterhood is at work within the Pentagon. I think that's just plain silly. I also share Mossback's disbelief in the notion of "sexuality first, country second."

I've discussed the Etta Jones case with Mossback at length, too. If she would like to present her side, I'm happy to listen. One major distinction between Jones and Graf, though, is that Jones apologized for the behavior that led to her being relieved of command. Graf, however, refused to accept any measure of responsibility, and instead tried to throw blame on her crew. The entire crew.

Linethrower said...

I appreciate the explanation, but I am still in the dark. What is the D team?

Old Mossback said...

To Linethrower:

The "D" team is a team of military dogs who believe their handlers work for them. The three main and long term members of the "D" team are:

1) Rock....A Black lab, leader and senior dog, he has been there, seen it and has a tee shirt as a reminder.

2) Sam.....German Shephard and XO of the "D" team and while in Afghanistan took a hunk out of a Marine female LT. that refused to heed his warning of a I.E.D. near her. Even though he saved the Marine LT. life he is under a suspended order of death issued from the base CO at Afghanistan. The L.C.D. has sworn to have Sam destroyed because of a YouTube video shown of the LT. on her stomach being medivac'ed with her chewed up bare butt for all to see. The female marine LT. is a card carrying member of the L.C.D.

3) Snork...Basset Hound and drug dog that may have been on the job too long, Snork sometimes is in his own world.

The "D" team as we last left them are stationed at Gitmo and under White House orders to lay low and stay out of trouble because of an incident when Rock w/o orders took it downtown to rescue Snork when he was trapped in Pakistan.

The human cast:

1) Gitmo base CO, old school and is doing all he can to protect Sam and the rest of the "D" team from the political pressure of the dreaded L.C.D.
2) The Mil-Blogger that is using her Internet skills to win the hearts and minds of the public to protect the "D" team. Her trademark is wearing a Huey helmet when on the Internet and refuses to take it off no matter how much the CPO stationed at Gitmo pleads.
3) The old CPO at Gitmo with 19 years in and his transfer to the fleet reserve papers filed is concerned with what is right and helps to protect the "D" team.
4) Rocks handler, a female Navy E-5 and once the L.C.D attempted to recruit her, however she is not qualified to join the L.C.D (oh, boy).

Last but now least should we ever forget the two deceased members of the "D" team. Ox the Bullmastiff and the Pitbull named the Kid. They were KIA while taking a half dozen or more terrorists down before they were killed, RIP guys.

Advocate said...

Glad to hear that Graf MAY be gone by March 1st. It's long overdue despite those who would continue to tell us of Graf's superior qualifications. Does anyone know the background on how Graf even survived the WSC grounding? Normally, the CO, navigator, and perhaps more would be hung out to dry. Graf not only escaped that but was then handed yet another command to run into the ground. No pun intended. We doubt if the LCD really exists, so it must be the need for the PC higher-ups to force their plans to work, regardless of the damage done to so many innocent people left in Graf's wake. I've never believed that a plan could be "ordered" to work but when you throw enough money at something and tell people that the first female CO of a war ship has to succeed, that's a recipe that resulted in Graf. But, as others have said, there's plenty of blame to go around and it all seems to lead right back to the office and the chair that Mabus sits in. I know we aren't full circle and won't be for some time, but Graf was only allowed to happen because IGs didn't do what they should have done many years ago -- whether that was a matter of dereliction by the IG or direction by the Secretary to look the other way.
Someone posted that they didn't think that a precedent could be set by Graf's case. That's likely true as we've just seen Graf's characterization upgraded to honorable despite the BOI. That should give anyone else in a similar circumstance the ability to achieve the same result, but I suspect that the next decision will be in line with the recommendation of the BOI. Can we start a recall Mabus campaign? Doubtful since he was appointed and, I'm sure, loses no sleep as a result of flawed decisions.

Anonymous said...

Advocate, Mossback, et al: you are missing an important point. They don't think their decisions are flawed.

The whole IG program is a farce, allowing upper Navy management to pretend to be aghast and extremely vigilant when something appears to go wrong.

Everyone is going to great effort to vilify Graf personally, and indeed she is what she is, but all of this that happened over the years is the fault of a system that will continue despite all of the outrage expressed in this froum. Life is not fair. The quicker someone realizes that and stops spending time and effort railing against it, the quicker they will be able to use effort and ability in a productive manner.

Advocate said...

You’re saying that the system is the problem and that we should stop wasting time complaining about the system so that the corrupt system can go on unabated? If our forefathers thought that way we’d be bowing to a King and paying a very high price for tea. What are you suggesting they would be able to do in a productive manner if we stopped advocating for a more honest system devoid of the IG farce? I agree that the IG is a complete sham, but the IG, in the case of the Navy, advises the CNO and the Secretary of the Navy. That said, the CNO and SecNav are in charge of the farce that you describe. It follows then that the SecNav and the CNO are responsible for the Graf fiasco and the failure of the IG to act for the past 20+ years. Any change has to happen from the top, starting from Mabus, who allowed Graf to walk after ruining so many lives. None of us agree with the decision made by Mabus, and there’s a lot to fix, but at least the grand retaliator, the Doctor of Discrimination, Dr. Donald C. Winter, is no longer driving this shipwreck. Winter and his former IG will live in infamy. Waiting for your suggestion on how doing nothing does anything to fix the problem!

Old Mossback said...

To Anonymous:

There are flaws in the system and that has discussed before, the bottom line is while the Navy did display a failed system of personal accountability as it appeared in the case of Captain Holly Graf, it the Holly Graf herself that failed the Navy and her country. Holly Graf is one that is at fault and it was she that was a cowardly bully that exploted and harmed the men and women that had the misfortune that served under her.

The reason why this issue keeps dragging on is because of the actions by Captain Holly Graf herself. When she was relieved of command of the USS Cowpens two years ago she could have submitted her retirement papers and gone quietly. Instead it was her that decided to drag this all out and so to keep it simple. Captain Graf made her bed and now has to lie in it.

Anonymous said...

I will prove my point of how much of a farce all of this is:

The Capt Ownen Honors fiasco. The 4 star in Norfolk made a big public show of harshly repremanding several people right out of the chute, so the cameras could see him do it. Unlike Graf, Honors seemed to be popular as in induvidual. The BOI convened on Honors let him off later. How dumb does all of that make the Navy look, from beginning to end?

Your analogy to the American Revolution is a bit theatrical.

Holly's USNA Classmate said...

That doesn't make sense. I don't get the analogy, Anonymous.

Anonymous said...

My thesis is that all of the handling and mis handling of Graf's case and that of Honors is symtomatic of an organization that whipsaws itslef from pillar to post to try to please various politicians and other big shots. In doing so, they show their insincerity and incompetence. Many of the issues causing both scandals to break open are similar. The Navy simply cannot deal with issues like Graf and Honors in a quiet way, without generating a lot of publicity that it is, in the end, incompetent to deal with.

The 4 star in Norfolk could have dealt with Honors in a less flabouyant manner, and not had the situation backfire on him.

The CSG commander could have dealt a career ending blow to Graf, privately via a FITREP, and not of this would have come up in Time magazine and in forums like this.

Graf woud have been long out of the Navy via a voluntary retirement. She has been artificially held in the Navy while all of this processing has gone on.

Much of it brought on by a badly directed IG. Note I said badly directed. If somone thinks the Navy IG is an un meddled with, independant orgainzation, their naievity overwhelms them.

Advocate said...

Frankly, Holly, I don't give a rat's ass what you think of the analogy. You're trying to tell us that there's a problem but that we should leave it alone so they can concentrate on fixing it. Then you point to CAPT Honors, as if a comparison can actually be made, and you want to say that it is proof of something. Mabus didn't overturn the recommendation of the BOI in the Honors case. Read the heading of this discussion, the part that says "Navy ignores Board of Inquiry" and you might understand what this is about. Mabus should be looking at what his IG is covering up, and fix that mess. Overturning a panel of admirals was, well, just plain ignorant and lends credibility to the LCD and connections angle that you now want everyone to leave alone. Yes, we should all just become sheep, right?

Susan Katz Keating said...

I don't see the parallel with Owen Honors. The only connection that I see, in fact, is that they had the same lawyer, Charlie Gittins. And, as an aside, Gittins also is representing one of the Urination Marines.

But back to Honors & Graf.

Honors universally had the support of his crew, and was known for his ship-handling and overall skill as a captain. Graf was universally condemned by her crews, and was known to be a poor sailor.

Honors got into trouble over something he had done two years earlier, and that he had approval for. He was hauled up on charges because the civilian population was upset by videos he made for his crew. Graf got into trouble because of ongoing issues. Interestingly, she has a small measure of support among civilians who know her only from what they have read in the popular press.

I think it was a lot easier to go after Honors because he is a male and is somehow viewed as fair game, whereas Holly was protected because she is female. Ironic, no?

Anonymous said...

I have no ability to tell anyone what to do. I am merely opining that you are working yourself pointlessly. Look at the facts. The Navy, at several levels, behaves incompetently re the issues. That was my theory.

All the yelling and screaming in this or other internet forums will have no real effect, in my opinion.
They, if you can define who they is, are not going to fix anything because people scream about it here. The only thing that would cause the situation to be streamlined and made to seem un bothered by political influence, is to take political control away from the Navy, and in the government which has been created in this country, the military is controlled by civillians.

Advocate said...

Anon (or Holly),
It seems that you are actually defining those who you said can’t be defined –- the civilians who control the military. It’s entirely possible that nothing will be fixed as a result of what is said here, but it got your attention and it will likely get the attention of others. That’s how change happens. If you think that nothing will happen by this screaming, then it shouldn’t bother you. However, you have been very clear when you talked about the badly directed IG, which is controlled by the civilian head of the organization. In this case, the civilian head is Ray Mabus, the individual who approved the decision made in your, I mean, Holly’s case. The question then is whether Mabus really reviewed the decision of the BOI and made a rational decision to overturn the decision of admirals, or whether there was other influence. You can be sure that there are many more things that the IG is covering up, and since the IG is an advisor to Mabus, Mabus knows what he’s covering.

Linethrower said...

I would like to know if you have found any female commanders you think well of, Susan.

Old Mossback said...

To Linebacker (Holly)

I can only speak for myself, during my time in the Navy I never liked a coward, a bully, or a person that thought she or her was entitled. The good news is the sad saga of the career of Captain Holly Graf will soon end.

As I wrote earlier there are a lot of things that went wrong and many people in uniform and out can be blamed. The one thing that we should not forget is Captain Holly Graf is the one that exploted a flawed system and it her where the fault lies.

We do know the cost to the Navy in terms of money the reign Capt. Graf cost the taxpayer ie: the repair bill of the USS WSC. The personal costs of ruined lives we may never know, but that price was way too high.

To Holly Graf, I wish no harm to you after you retire, however I do hope you display whatever small amount of self respect you may have left, and you just go far, far, away.

Travis MSgt (Ret) said...

Ms. Katz,

Thanks for covering the firing of Capt. Bligh Graf.

Did you cover the Major Jill Metzger and Major Abu Hasan stories too?

I'm a retired MSgt out at Travis. I was court maritialed by my jerk commander for saying "Allah damn it!" to a non-muslim. My commander had numerous discrimination complaints lodged against him and I found out. I walked with my rank and money and I have a new career! It's called "reaping wings and stars off senior and flag rank officers".

How much do you think I hate the sons of bitches running our military now, especially after what they tried to do to me and after the Metzger, Hasan and now Graf cases? Of course you did you hear about the SEALS they want to put on trial for the offense of treating the enemy badly? I assume you covered that story too.

Advocate said...

There are some who think that you should not pursue your new career. Fortunately, many here believe that the stories need to be told. I know someone who has a treasure trove of dirt on some interesting people. He’s about ready to bring it public after trying to use the system and watching the powerful stonewall, cover up, and retaliate. Personally, I’m looking forward to what you have to share.

Old Mossback said...

To Linethrower:

A good example of a female officer that has earned my respect is CDR. Etta Jones the former CO of the USS Ponce that was sacked.

Why is that? CDR. Etta Jones unlike Captain Holly Graf refused to spread the blame around and stood tall before the mast.

CDR. Etta Jones came up through the ranks as a self made woman who w/o a magic ring, political or family connections earned everything she got.

To this day I do believe that CDR. Jones has her side of story to the events that lead to her being sacked and while I would like to hear what she has to say, I do respect she has decided not to drag her story throught the mud.

The bottom line is I respect and admire a woman that refused the blind fold, accepted the last cigarette and stared down at the barrels of her firing squad. Captain Holly Graf could have learned much from officers such as CDR. Jones. To CDR. Jones I wish only fair winds and following seas for her.

Susan Katz Keating said...

Linethrower - The commander of the USS Dectatur is a woman named Shanti Sethi. She is something of a legend in terms of her ship handling and leadership abilities. She's also pretty handy with a needle, too. I've seen pics of her crochet and embroidery, and she can compete with the best of the County Fair best-of-show winners.

Advocate - You can't just leave it at that. Give us some more hints, at least.

Msgt - I'm sorry to hear that. Thank you for your service, and thank you for popping in.

Moss - If you don't knock it off, you're going to get me to think more kindly of Etta! Actually, I already do. You are right in the sense that she stood tall and took her lumps like a ma- I mean, like an officer. Good on her for that.

Anonymous said...

Without a doubt other influence was brought to bear on the Secretary's office or the decision to upgrade Graf's discharge would not have come about.

I am not Graf, and from reading what Linebacker says, I don't think Linebacker is Graf either.

There are a number of uniformed people in the Navy who have better than very low opinions about Graf. You might not like that or agree with them, but they have the right to thier opinions. Many people don't have the inclination to express themselves in a forum like this because of the personal attacks they recieve from those disagreeing with them.

If you read what I have consistantly said above, I have not expressed opinions re Graf's merits or lack therof. I have expressed negative opinions re the IG process ( for lack of a better descriptor ) and the way the Navy tries to publically pruge itself as soon as some scandal shows up.

I have a personal vested interest in the Navy myself as I have devoted more than half of my life to it. I try to express myself without being strident, cororful or attacking others personally.

It does not reflect will on someone who threatens physical violence against Graf, as has been done in some cases above. Graf is leaving with all of the scars that many would say she deserves. That is really the end of the Graf story.

Susan Katz Keating said...

Anonymous, I think it goes beyond the IG. I recently heard from another one of HAG's former roommates, who echoed others' observations that Holly had a long history of "does not play well with others." Yes, there clearly were problems with the IG. But I think the flaws were in the selection process, as well.

I wouldn't take the colorful commentary as threat, btw. Holly is safe from everyone but her own self. ; )

Old Mossback said...

To Anonymous:

Where and who are these alleged believers and supporters of Captain Holly Graf?

I myself have taken issue with the people over their take on the Sisterhood AKA: Lesbo Circle of Doom and brought up the issue that CDR. Etta Jones the sacked CO of the USS Ponce may have her side of the story to tell. People are free to disagree with me and I take no offense.

To be frank with the possible exception of the Graf (Saprano) family the so called believers and supporters of Captain Holly Graf just do not exist.

MDR said...

Oh, I see, it's perfectly OK for HAG to threaten others with violence and mortal threats yet when the tables are turned cooler heads must prevail???

Susan Katz Keating said...

The HAG did more than just threaten. She made contact with the enemy! Her own subordinates. Except when she got them to walk her dogs and play piano at her parties....

Anonymous said...

Dear moderator, please look carefully into the details re the accusations of assault. All of them were dismissed upon examination and explanation by those supposedly having been assaulted, including the most exciting tale, that of her assaulting a Royal Navy officer.

She was never charged with assault, either at her NJP hearing nor the BOI.

Old Mossback said...

To Anonymous:

It is true there is no evidence that Captain Holly Graf had anything to do with the kidnapping and murder of Jimmy Hoffa. The point is we can nitpick the Holly Graf story to death and maybe and I say just maybe of the very long list of her violations of good conduct and expectations of being an officer in the U.S. Navy in a formal court of law she may be able to pull off a Casey Anthony and dodge a bullet or two.

The documentation of her poor ship handling skills is a matter of record. For that reason alone she should have been sacked.

When we look back on the service and record of Captain Holly Graf from the days she was a midshipman at Annapolis to the present it reminds us all of a large pile of horse dump and it does not mattter how many flies that horse dump draws in on a hot summer day. There is no need to count the flies and that should not be the concern, like the horsedump (Graf) stinks and the sooner the better she like the horsedump is hauled away the better.

War Horse said...

I am offended. You humans are able to grow good crops because of me and my fellow equines. Just sayin'....

Advocate said...

War Horse,
Roger that, horsedump is very good for growing crops, but it's not supposed to be on Navy ships.

Hints, yes, actually, a number of the names have already appeared on your site. I think the consensus pretty much shows that the powerful can get away with just about anything, even felonies, but the consequences only apply to the little people. Believe my fellow vet has contacted you. I just happen to know much of the story and I have to tell you, the bigger they are the dirtier they are.

I’ll be hanging out to hear anything on your new career progress.

Old Snipe said...

I served with Capt. Graf on the Puget Sound when she was an Ensign fresh out of the academy. She was a ring knocker even then. I ran into again just before she took command of the WSC. When I asked if she ever married, she said that she didn't have time for it because of her career. I knew she was driven, but am sad to hear of what that drive did to her.

Advocate said...

Old Snipe,
I've met a lot of driven people, but the vast majority did not turn into what we see in Graf.

Old Mossback said...

To Old Snipe:

I believe you have hit the nail on the head about what makes a person such as Captain Holly Graf tick. In her was no sense of duty or obilgation to the Navy or even this country. It is all about her career, rank, power and nothing else mattered.

Now she lives in the fear of the day when she will have to take that uniform off for the last time. No perks of active duty, just another one of the old geezers waiting behind the active duty people at the exchange (as it should be). No one to pick on and threaten and a very lonely woman that once she becomes a civilain will find out that no one will care if she even gets out of bed in the morning.

Advocate said...

Old Moss,
I agree with you totally, but somewhere in the back of my mind, I’m thinking that HAG is going to land a sweet job with a defense contractor, and her contacts -- those with influence in throwing our tax dollars at certain of those defense contractors -- will be doing what routinely goes on, abusing their authority at taxpayer expense. I believe the proper term for this is the “revolving door.”
I think we’ve all agreed that HAG isn’t the only person responsible here. The *Navy* ignored the recommendation of the BOI and the *Navy* allowed HAG to become what she ultimately became. On that point I agree with Anon (Holly), and I’d like to take my nickel back on an earlier discussion and ask Scooter Lindley for additional details. Scooter, you say that academy time does not count toward HAG’s pension. Are you an academy grad? If she was on the government’s payroll, the time is counting for something and while I’ve heard that it doesn’t count toward the initial and necessary 20 years of service for retirement eligibility, it does count for longevity. If that’s the case, it’s more likely that there was influence to delay action to max-out HAG’s pension. I know some OCS officers and their time at OCS certainly counts as they are technically enlisted at the time and paid at the E-5 or E-6 grade. So, if HAG got paid as a midshipman, the time has to count somewhere.
Speaking of those others who must bear some of the responsibility, I don’t think there were any comments about whether these short-term appointees become eligible for a lifetime pension for their mismanagement.

Old Mossback said...

To Advocate:

The employment future of Captain Holly Graf does not look all that promising. Her now documented history of verbal and physical abuse is a walking lawsuit for any civilain firm that takes her on a payroll.

There could be a book and movie deal? Knowing Holloywood the Kardashians would be offered the roles of the Graf family and who would play the MCPO of the USS Cowpens? My nomination is the actor Geoffy Rush who played Barbossa in all the Pirate of the Caribbean movies.

Cow Girl said...

No, he would play Holly! Old Mossback you never had the pleasure of spending time with her, did you? lol

Old Mossback said...

To Cow Girl:

I was poking fun at how Hollywood can twist and turn a story that in the case of the Holly Graf story is where the truth is stranger and far more interesting then fiction.

Barbossa was a good ship handler and for the most part was respected by his crew and he never backed down from a fight.

One last point, in the 20 years Naval service I never served under Holly Graf or any officer that could even hold a candle to her in the role of being such a bad officer.

Advocate said...

Will we see HAG depart March 1st?

Dahlgren Deskmate said...

Soon. Keep a watch out.

Advocate said...


T minus 7 days?

Justthisguy said...

I wonder if it ever occurred to Cap'n Holly to ask her exec, in confidence, "Do I seem crazy to you?"

I write as one who thinks he has a touch of autism, and likes to have some feedback from the normals from time to time, as to how well I am emulating them.

Of course Cap'n Holly's problem is not autism, but just the opposite: excessive social messing with people.

Susan Katz Keating said...

JTG! You popped in!

I am beaming.

But, no... I don't think Holly would ask that question. She seems more of the "everyone is crazy but me" personality type.

And I love auties. They are authentic.

Justthisguy said...

I think I am a Queeg-like person (an obvious Aspie), and am aware of it. If I were a Captain, you betcha I would lean on my exec for advice on how to get along with the normals serving under me.

The tragedy of "The Caine Mutiny" was that the wardroom didn't try to help Queeg be a better Captain, but continuously emphasized his deficiencies, thereby making them worse.

I haz me some lightweight Queeg Balls to fondle, they being Guinness Widgets I acquired during the World Wide Wake for Cap'n Lex.

Susan Katz Keating said...

Ah, Lex.

*moment of silence*

We will not forget.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have an idea where she is and what has happened to her?

Susan Katz Keating said...

She is out of the Navy and reportedly working, but I know nothing beyond that.

Anonymous said...

I don't think you have the whole story, but neither do I and I don't really know how to get it. I will bet if you pinged some of your sources you would find interesting things.