Captain relieved of command

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by plymwebed, Sep 14, 2007.

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  1. The captain of HMS Argyll has been relieved of command for failing FOST twice. Go to thisisplymouth for more
  2. I heard a super dit last night about it.
  3. Totally agree about the buck having to stop somewhere but it is difficult for one man to control the efforts of so many. His HODs must accept some of the criticism.

  4. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer


    Cdr Gavin Pritchard RN seems to be the new CO:

  5. I wonder who really dubbed him 'Captain Calamity', because I seriously doubt it was an official source.
  6. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    Some deletions. Pleased to see some self moderation in action too.

    Confine your comments to the generic, no character assassination or finger pointing. Plenty ships go round the buoy at FOST, many factors at play in getting a 'below standard' but the buck will stop with the CO whether deserved or not.
  7. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    The Sun wheel it out for every 'nautical' incident. Senior source, my ARRSE.
  8. Interesting to see that one of his interests is "magic tricks". Perhaps he will pull the proverbial rabbit out of the hat for Argyll.

    On a serious note, I am pleased to see any suggestion of the RN adopting a more robust attitude to operational standards. It can only help in preventing further embarrasing episodes like 'you know what'.
  9. Any ex-Cachalot crew reading this will be reminded that this happened to our skipper too.
    No names nor packdrill, but our skipper was there one minute, then after a clear lower deck in the fore-ends (whilst he left the boat) a new skipper was introduced.
  10. Used to woek as a sports journalist. One of the things we were told to do was that if we didn't have a quoite, then just make something up and call it a 'source close to xxxxx'. Makes me have a different view on things these days. The comments from the senior source sound plausible, but may be from someone no longer serving.
  11. On HMS Norfolk in 2003 we had an extra week (I think it was a week or just 4 days) added onto our BOST as FOST wasn't impressed, it was nackering to say the least but I know we all put 110% in and broke our backs! Then we headed to the gulf, oh the joys!

    So, if a ship is sent round again or days are added, is it the C.O. who gets an official warning for it? Shouldn't the HODs get a slap too? Or the C.O. gets it in the neck as it's his ship?

    Just asking as I never really knew what happens.
  12. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    Given the micromanagement from Fleet (so much for Mission Command) perhaps the buck for a unit's shortcomings should occasionally go further up the CoC or to some SO at Fleet.


    edited to add 'occasionally'
  13. I'd agree that one man does not hold complete responsibility for what happens, but by the nature of the command system one individual has to be held responsible. The CO sets the standard and tone expected of the HoDs, who each then set the standard and tone within their departments.

    Speaking in the most general sense, and based mainly on my own experience, if the standard and tone expected by a CO differs greatly from that expected of his or her team by a HoD then the associated friction can be as damaging as anything else. that really applies whether that set by the HoD in question significantly exceeds that set by the CO or falls short.

    there also needs to be a level of mutual trust within the command team for the CO, HoDs and EWO to work together.
  14. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    In my long-considered opinion failure in any job (RN or civilian) reflects on those who selelected the person in the first place. Of course being human they can't always get it right, but speedy and humane and dignified replacement is better than the unit's or company's people under-performing for ages because the leader should have been changed but wasn't. Unfortunately excellent performance in a junior job is no sole guarantee of fitness for a more senior one; remember the 'Peter Principle' that people are promoted until they reach their true level of incompetence.

    Plenty of recorded examples both ways from the war - and not a few of people being viciously scapegoated like Admiral North and others.
  15. Just to add to what Karma has said, in this case if there were failures within the team time was given to sort it and failing second time round the buoy does seem to indicate failure at the top.

    Many moons ago I was on FOST staff and on a couple of occasions represented my boss at the Friday meeting and certainly them failings were discussed and reviewed in a realistic way, people were not just blackballed on principle.
  16. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    I think Argyll is jinxed. I was on board HMS York in '95, doing BOST in Guzz behind Argyll...

    Apparently FOST were waiting to close Portland down once Argyll had completed her operationa sea training but after 'going round the buoy' a few times they remained open longer han anticipated... until in the end, out of desperation, FOST decided to move to Devonport with her! So her claim to fame is that she was the last ship to do a BOST in Portland and the first to do one in Devonport!

    Whilst doing BOST it was apparent that the ship had problems; we had hear that their command had almost completely changed prior to Work Up, so they had a new set of officers to galvanise the Ship's Company in a very short space of time.

    An example in point; I was QM astern of Argyll when she was conducting her Op AWKWARD (a serial that is suposed to take many hours). The FOSTies briefed us with a copy of the programme to warn us of the planned serials, in order that we knew not to respond to exercise injected 'terrorists'. The Fleet SPO Team went away to commence the exercise... so I gave the Argyll's QM a heads up 'phonecall. He told me to 'eff off' and slammed the 'phone down. Twice.

    5 minutes later the diver insurgents swam up to her stern and climbed aboard. Over-powered the Deterrent Force (QM/BM/UDS) within seconds, so the RF could not respond... therefore, pointless to continue with the exercise. Return and stow all gear. All HODs and DEPCOs report to xxx for an arse chewing... 8O :roll:
  17. Everyone in the command team and whoever is in various hot-seats for any particular exercise gets personally appraised in every exercise. A written report on the individual is raised for particularly impressive or particularly poor performances. I've had both and tbh the negative report was what I needed to recognise that it was just a game and I needed to smile, nod and crack on with whatever nugatory lunacy I was told to get on with. That was in '92 and I know that things have moved on a lot since, my more recent OSTs since '99 have all been much more meaningful and productive affairs. The incident that got me written down was during a whole ship BDX and junior officers shouldn't be caught off to the recharging point with two empty breathing air cylinders....... :(

    Clearly each ship is case by case but it's unlikely that a decision is made on final assessment without the likelihood having been discussed by the staff beforehand and FOST having been briefed in advance of embarking.

    Given the implications of a delay at OST it's a big decision and needs consultation with the N7 planners at Fleet and J7 plans at PJHQ.
  18. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    From SPB's example, sometimes the buck should go down the way. There are those undergoing OST who just don't want to play however switched on the command is and however many helpful hints are provided by shipmates, next door's QM or the FOST staff.
  19. Perhaps the method of 'passing the buck down' was tried first time round, possibly replacing a HOD or two? But as you correctly say there are some ships company (on every Pussers grey no doubt) that simply 'won't play ball' which in turn will have an effect of the overall assessment of the ship while conducting sea training.

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