Leadership: The Captain Goes Down With His Slip

Archives

October 29, 2007: The U.S. Navy has relieved the commander of the nuclear submarine (SSN) Hampton after it was discovered that daily checks of reactor coolant water were not made for over a month. This was covered up by later making entries in the records to reflect that the tests had been done. These daily checks of the water chemistry are used to discover if there is any corrosion in the pipes that could cause a loss of coolant, and a shutdown of the reactor. The commander of the sub is responsible for insuring such safety checks are done, or catching failures to do so. Other members of the crew were punished for either not doing the checks, or not catching the error as part of their duties. The daily tests were supposed to be checked by the sailors supervisor, and later by the captain. The error was caught during a mandatory inspection of the subs records after its latest cruise. These double checks are meant to catch things like this, as well as more subtle problems that the commander would not be held responsible for. The U.S. Navy is pretty fanatic about safety aboard submarines, and has the best safety record of any nuclear submarine fleet. So far this year, four commanders of American nuclear submarines have been relieved for various leadership problems. The U.S. has seventy nuclear subs in service. There has been an increase, in the last decade, ship captains getting relieved. There have been studies of why this is so, but the senior leadership believes that it's better to relieve too many, than to relieve too few. It's a custom that has always been the hallmark of a superior combat fleet.

 


Article Archive

Leadership: Current 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close