Monday, September 19, 2016

Punishment and behavior

Two recent news items grated on my nerves:

Ft. Gordon official arrested following child porn investigation


Strike Group Boss watched porn for hours on Navy computer

I'm not angered by the fact this happened. Unfortunately, you can never screen well enough to weed out behavior like this. The majority of our O-6 and above officers are great people that serve America honorably.

No, my problem is that these two people, along with countless others, will never be properly punished. They will get fired, but it is unlikely that they will lose benefits, rank or anything of that nature. For some reason, we're OK as a military protecting these people.

Funny enough, how many times have you heard that you have to send a strong message at Captain's Mast? I've heard it plenty. That was the subject of more than a few debates at my Leadership school, where we talked about what was appropriate. There were plenty of people that believed a one-time offense, like a DUI, should be punished, but allow a Sailor to bounce back. There were others that were "One and your done." In all the talk, nobody once said "Well, we should just fire the guy and be done with it."

Why am I so harsh on the above two officers? First, they've been in forever, so they know the rules. Second, their offenses were severe. And most importantly, they repeated them. It's not like they clicked a bad link once, or violated a rule that was minor. They committed a serious offense multiple times. I'm more forgiving to a guy who collides with a the very least, it was a one time event.

But the most we'll do is fire these two and give them a retirement. And we wonder why the Navy Times runs stories about double standards.

If you want to send a message, if these two are found guilty, tear them down to O-1 and give them a dishonorable discharge. You'll send a strong message about standards of behavior, and maybe restore some honor in the process.