I realize that some of my opinions, some of my postings, are absolutely maddening to some of you. I also realize that sometimes, I attack groups of individuals, taring them with the same brush regardless of guilt. While my intentions are pure, my emotions sometimes overwhelm my common sense. For instance, my apparent disdain for the Engineering Duty Officer community.
I know in my heart that ED's are, for the most part, extremely intelligent, patriotic, dedicated, individuals that want to make a difference in the Navy. Most come to the ED community after a Department Head tour at sea. They have their SWO pin and have experienced the stress of life on a Navy ship. They have been Division Officers and experienced the pride and exasperation of leadership. Most of them have advanced degrees in engineering sciences that I can't even spell! They transfer into the ED community with a sincere desire to improve the way we design, build, and repair ships. But, in my humble opinion, this is where the program fails.
Once in the ED community, the young Officers are subjected to the culture of; "This is how WE do it" AN individual who truly wants to change something is squelched. I knew a young JG on a ship I was on. He was the son of an Admiral and a grandson of an Admiral. His Grandfather has a ship named after him. He graduated near the top of his Naval Academy class and was not only brilliant but was a gifted leader. During an OPPE, the senior inspector told this JG to do a process on the Gas Turbine plant that NAVSEA had determined was unattainable and they sent a message out to all gas turbine ships. When the JG brought this up to the senior inspector, the ED Captain said in a very loud voice; "Son, I don't care what you Daddy says, do the test!' Of course, the senior inspector knew that the JG's dad was at NAVSEA. He also knew we could not meet that spec and he would then fail us on OPPE. I always wondered why the senior inspector did this, now I know. It was NOT to punish or embarrass the ship, our Captain, or even the JG. It was to embarrass the Admiral in NAVSEA, the JG's father! Why, because that Admiral was shaking the trees, making waves, trying new technologies that were "not invented here"!
So, while I respect and admire individual Engineering Duty Officers, I dislike the concept of the ED community. In the Marine Corps, al officers go in the field and deploy as Marines. They may do research and developement on shore duty as a secondary professional designation. But they are ALWAYS Marines! The ED community has fostered the environment that they are ED's first and foremost who are loyal to the ED Admiral. The close ranks to support and protect each other and the once pure intentions of that young JG or LT are quickly brought into subjection of the ED bureaucracy. Or to paraphrase an OPPE senior inspector; I don't care what is best for the Navy, we do things the ED way here," And that is my issue!