An analysis and opinion on the current state of the US Navy by James A. Lyons, ADM, USN (Ret.)

The U.S. Navy’s loss of two sophisticated, key anti-ballistic-missile-capable destroyers within a matter of several weeks is symptomatic of a much larger issue. The fact that these highly maneuverable ships were “steaming” independently and collided with two civilian merchant ships, which was clearly avoidable, demands drastic corrective action.

A recent directive by the Chief of Naval Operations Adm John Richardson calling for a top-to-bottom review by all levels of the Navy’s command structure is a step in the right direction.

Areas most likely to be reviewed include the current size of the Navy and an assessment of its impact on force deployments, operational tempo as well as lack of time for required maintenance. Certainly, current training procedures and how personnel are qualified to perform critical bridge watch-standing duties, as well as in the combat information center, must be examined. While these are key areas to review, the Navy has always had long deployments and overworked crews, neither of which affected fundamental seamanship on operating our ships. However, I am sure that eliminating of the Surface Warfare Officer School will be highlighted as a contributing factor.

In that sense, I never understood why a newly commissioned ensign from the U.S. Naval Academy or from a four-year NROTC program had to be sent to six months of additional training to learn to be a division officer before reporting to his first ship. What was he doing for four years of intense training at the U.S. Naval Academy?

One area that I have not heard would be examined is a “third rail” for the Navy as it deals with personnel-manning policies for its ships and aircraft squadrons: What impact has “diversity” policies had on a ship’s manning criteria?

Implicit within this is examining what has been the impact of President Obama’s social engineering mandates that were forced on our military and their negative impact on our readiness and capabilities. His Executive Order 13583 declaring that “diversity” is a strategic imperative critical to mission readiness and accomplishment simply does not compute.

This is faculty lounge logic. What the EO did, in effect, was to provide cover for the forced implementation of his social engineering programs. Many of these programs were a distraction with valuable time devoted to “sensitivity training” instead of, for example, learning the meaning of “code of conduct.” Due to political correctness, our military leaders failed to challenge the EO just as they failed to challenge the Restricted Rules of Engagement that cost so many lives.

Another distraction that needs to be reviewed is the opening of all combat roles to women. There are many viable roles for women in the military — combat is not one of them.

When I used to visit ship wardrooms, it was not unusual for me to find that the chief engineer was an MIT graduate, the anti-submarine officer was a graduate of Brown, the weapons officer was a Naval Academy graduate, the first lieutenant was from Princeton, and so on. You won’t find a wardroom today with such talent. This is due primarily to current shipboard-manning policies that preclude this type of talent from getting shipboard billets.

President Trump’s recent decision to ban transgender personnel from military service was clearly the right decision No finer expert that Dr. Paul McHugh, former head psychologist at Johns Hopkins University Hospital, has stated that transgenderism is not a physical issue, it is a mental disorder that needs understanding and treatment. It is not a civil rights issue and should never be forced on the military. However, with the hijacking of the American Psychological Association (APA) by the left, there are now enough votes to classify a mental disorder (transgenderism) as perfectly “normal.” Clearly, the APA should be decertified and no longer used by the Department of Defense as the key reference.

Over the years, I have found that there are three elements aboard ship that are unacceptable for good order and discipline. One, you cannot have a thief; two, you cannot tolerate a drug user or drug pusher; and three, you cannot have a homosexual aboard. In fact, the entire LGBT agenda is clearly a distraction and impacts negatively on unit integrity, cohesiveness and the “will to win.” It should be pointed out that in the late 1800s, homosexuality was so rampant on Navy ships that mothers would not let their sons enlist until the Navy cleaned up its act.

The bottom line is that the military is an institution whose mission is to protect and defend the country against all enemies foreign or domestic. Anything that distracts from this mission must be rejected. It is the institution that sets the standards for enlistment. No one has a right to serve in the military unless they meet those standards. In that sense, Navy leadership can take the lead in rejecting the social engineering mandates that were forced on our military forces by the Obama administration.

I believe the current problems our ships are experiencing can be traced to these mandates. With the hundreds of millions of dollars that are expended to build today’s sophisticated warships, we must have the “best and brightest” to man those ships. Now is the time to take the lead by breaking the shackles of political correctness and put the Navy back on an even keel.

James A. Lyons, ADM, USN (Ret.)

P.S. by BZ

The US military is entirely the wrong venue in which to experiment societally with its citizens. Any number of civilizations before ours became unraveled and then perished when they diluted themselves from within by missions separate from those ensuring its inherent safety.

Your company’s line for at least a decade now has been, “we’ll just have to learn how to do more with less,” has it not?

The one true job of the United States, Constitutionally, is to “provide for a common defense.” In terms of the military: surprise. Sometimes less is nothing more than less. And accomplishments diminish with less. So do core competencies, as illustrated above.

Social engineering forced upon the US military is the first place to be avoided and the last place to be implemented. The entire success or failure of our nation demands it.

Finally, Article 1 section 8 of the Constitution reads, “to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions.”

That is the responsibility of and domain of the US military.

Not to serve as a test bed for social experimentation.



US to cut carrier fleet in Persian Gulf to 1

Military SequestrationThank you, Mr Obama, for this obvious political gift. Our sequestration.


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon is cutting its aircraft carrier presence in the Persian Gulf region from two carriers to one, the Defense Department said Wednesday, in a move that represents one of the most significant effects of budget cuts on the U.S. military presence overseas. The decision comes as Washington struggles to find a way to avoid sharp automatic spending cuts set to strike the Pentagon and domestic programs next month.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has approved keeping just one carrier in the Persian Gulf region. The U.S. has maintained two aircraft carrier groups in the Gulf for most of the last two years.

Panetta has been leading a campaign to replace the automatic cuts he warns would “hollow out” the military, and the Pentagon has been providing greater details on the cuts it would have to make if Congress fails to both replace them and agree on a 2013 defense budget bill. The carrier decision is one of the most significant announcements made thus far.

Go here and here and here for more information.

But, naturally, as the rest of America and its military are cut to the bone via Mr Obama’s sequestration, let us take joy and pride in the fact that Joe Biden, our efficient and intellectual vice president, has received a pay hike.

President Barack Obama issued an executive order to end the pay freeze on federal employees, in effect giving some federal workers a raise. One federal worker now to receive a pay increase is Vice President Joe Biden.

 According to disclosure forms, Biden made a cool $225,521 last year. After the pay increase, he’ll now make $231,900 per year.

Also on the list for a pay bump are all of the Senators, House members, John Boehner, majority and minority leaders in both chambers and all the members of the Supreme Court.  They — frankly — got “theirs.”

But, in consideration, perhaps it’s time to realize that the Middle East isn’t any kind of “hot spot” and that, in truth, its delicacy is only offered up by those who wish to exploit global politics over the national good.

Because the Middle East is the last place the United States could expect immediate and serious trouble, is it not?

Frankly, I think it’s time to insert a few US carrier groups off the Canadian coasts.  Because any country who would quantify their coins as either a Loonie or a Toonie.  .  .


For those interested, an historical list of our US aircraft carriers:

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Goodbye to the USS Enterprise, CVN 65 — the Big E

It is the first nuclear powered aircraft carrier in US history — and that of the world, as well.


The USS Enterprise has now completed its 25th and final deployment as a major integral portion of our Blue Water navy.  It pulled into its home port of Naval Station Norfolk, VA, on Sunday, November 4th.

Her decommissioning is part and parcel of Mr Obama’s overall military sequestration, and will assist in taking our navy down to base numbers not seen since 1918.

Some things I really shouldn’t be telling you: because of her large number of nuclear reactors, the USS Enterprise was one of the fastest ships in all of US history. Former captains used to “drag race” the ship against other smaller, lighter ships.  And win.

It was rumored that the Enterprise could actually keep up with the fastest submarine in global history, the Russian Alfa class — itself rumored to occasionally exceed 50 mph (76 kph) submerged (47 mph “officially”).  I wouldn’t know anything about this.  But perhaps I might.  Or not.

Of this there is no doubt: the USS Enterprise was the fastest ship in any CG (carrier group) assembled.  It would customarily have to slow down for the other ships in its assigned group.  She could easily outrun her escorts.

The USS Enterprise has now returned from its final deployment: at age 51.

A few notations, if I may, about the USS Enterprise:

– At 1,123 feet, the Big E is the longest naval vessel on the planet.
– She has a crew of 4,600 personnel.
– She was the only ship of her class.
– She is the second-oldest commissioned ship in the entire US Navy, after the USS Constitution.
– There were 6 of the class planned; only one was built.
– She is the only carrier to have 8 reactors instead of the current 2.
– She has 4 rudders, twice as many as current carriers.

A note of interest: In April 1983, USS Enterprise ran aground on a sandbar in San Francisco Bay while returning from deployment.  She remained stuck there for several hours.[25] Coincidentally, George Takei, who played Mr. Sulu, helmsman of the fictional starship Enterprise was aboard at the time as a Distinguished Visitor of the Navy.[26] Even though groundings and collisions are usually career-ending events for U.S. warship captains, the captain at the time, Cmdr Robert J. Kelly, who had already been selected for promotion to commodore, eventually became a four-star admiral and commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.[27]

The USS Enterprise is scheduled to be deactivated on December 1st of 2012.[13]

The USS Enterprise was a challenge.  Sailors either loved or hated her.  Many fell into the latter category.  Because of her age as the sole class, there were no so-called “replacement parts.”   Many of these critical parts had to be, by necessity, fabricated from scratch and then custom-fitted by personnel who were challenged to fulfill the demand.

The USS Enterprise will be the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to ever be decommissioned and its reactors scrammed, deadened, removed and transported away from her final resting place.

Her place?  As a potential museum — despite the staggering and completely unanticipated costs of nuclear decommissioning?  For such a major task?  Truthfully, as yet accurately uncalculated.

Heritage?  A petition has also been set up for the next carrier (CVN-80) to be named as the ninth USS Enterprise.[51]

The name, may, in fact — live on.

Such as this:

God bless the Big E, all her officers and crew.

May she return anew.