…once again, the Navy has relieved the top two officers on a warship — in this case the USS Ponce — for poor performance. The ship recently participated in the attacks on Libya. Says the sea service:
Vice Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., relieved Cmdr. Etta Jones, Ponce’s commanding officer, due to demonstrated poor leadership, and failure to appropriately investigate, report, and hold accountable Sailors found involved in hazing incidents. Additionally, she failed to properly handle a loaded weapon during a security alert which endangered some of her crew. Jones failed to maintain good order and discipline, cultivating an environment of fear through intimidation, inaction through abusive behavior and disregard for the chain of command through favoritism. The relief of the executive officer, Lt. Cmdr. Kurt Boenisch, was due to his failure to provide support to the command and commanding officer.
These stories are always distressing, but it’s also bracing to see the service hold senior leaders accountable. Something we don’t see a lot of any more.