Capt. Holly Graf, commander of the USS Cowpens, a guided-missile cruiser, was relieved of duty Jan. 13 after an investigation found she cursed so much at her 400-member crew that even the sailors — no strangers to four-letter words — were intimidated. According to the Navy inspector general's report released this week, officers complained that their captain humiliated them in front of the rest of the crew by calling them "idiots" and "stupid" as she spat a stream of obscenities. One noncommissioned officer said Graf treated him like a toddler, forcing him to take a "time out" by standing alone in an empty watch room.
Although verbal abuse would hardly put Graf among the worst tyrants ever to command a ship at sea, her former crew members have been exacting mutinous revenge in recent weeks by posting hundreds of anonymous comments on the Internet that describe her as "Horrible Holly," as well as a modern-day Captain Bligh.
Graf's has been highlighted in much of the criticism. One Web site, www.militarycorruption.com, called her "an incompetent and unstable 'politically correct' poster girl for all the super feminists at the Pentagon and the U.S. Naval Academy." Washpost
DanM and I had an exchange of views the other day on the subject of military leadership and/or the lack of it. Here you have a perfect example of a total lack of it. You can be sure that the US Navy, having selected this woman captain (O-6) for a deep draft command (big ship) did not want to have to fire her. That would be about the last thing they would want to do. But, as with Rumsfeld and the digital cameras at Abu Ghraib, she seems to have forgotten that the internet is everywhere. I suppose that she thought that gender would protect her from relief for cause. She is, of course, finished in the navy and ought to retire as soon as possible. She should reflect on this and that she might have gone for a swim at midnight if the ship's company had not been better people than she. pl