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No Second Chances In The Military

No Second Chances In The Military

I was driving and not taking notes, but on his Wednesday morning show, I believe I heard radio host Tony Macrini call it the “feminization” of the military.

Others have mocked it as the “kinder, gentler” U.S. Navy.

I see it as one more example of political correctness run amok.

Yep, we’re talking about the forced resignation of Command Master Chief Jonas Doyle Carter, 46, of the USS Harry S. Truman. In Norfolk on April 30 he attempted to get his sailors ready for an onboard visit by Vice President Mike Pence by urging them to “clap like we’re in a strip club.”

The occasion was a happy one for those assigned to the Truman. The White House was announcing that it had scrapped plans to decommission the Nimitz-class carrier, built in 1998, and was overhauling the ship instead.

Members of the media were there. They, of course, heard Carter’s strip-club quip and were shocked by it. (Or, more likely, they were eager to use his quote to imply that the sailors didn’t want to cheer for Pence and had to be ordered to do so.)

Whatever the reason, The Navy Times pointed out that, “CNN and other news outlets seized on his gaffe.” 

Then the Navy itself engaged in harrumphing over Carter’s words. And seven days later the new Navy - which last time I checked was prepared to fight wars to keep us safe just like the old Navy -  bid Carter goodbye.

Over a JOKE about a strip club.

This is the US Navy, for Christmas sakes. Not the Women’s Christian Temperance Union.  

Macrini, a former Marine, said this sort of pep talk would be a way of getting sailors who were “squared away” and perhaps even nervous, psyched for a VIP. 

It was intended to be funny. To loosen the sailors up. He was warming up the crowd.

But this super sensitive world has lost its sense of humor. And second chances? Those are for politicians, not sailors. 

Carter’s “retirement” was announced on the Truman’s Facebook page:

Team Truman,

This week, Master Chief Jonas Carter asked to step down as your Command Master Chief and retire, and I am supporting his decision. 

Master Chief Carter has asked me to provide these words to you on his behalf:

“I want one last chance to tell the extraordinary men and women of TRUMAN how blessed and thankful I am to have served as your Command Master Chief.  When you find yourself making a mistake, own it, accept responsibility and learn from it.  Today, I want each of you to know that I have taken full responsibility of my mistake last week and together with my family, I have decided to retire.  I thank you for being my "family" where my family could not be... I thank you for looking each challenge in the eye and conquering it... I thank you for making my tour as your Command Master Chief the very best tour in my 28 year career!”

Master Chief Carter has devoted nearly thirty years of his life to our Navy. During his seventeen years of wearing his anchors, from his leadership aboard three aircraft carriers and as CMC of the USS Chancellorsville, Master Chief Carter has touched the lives of thousands of Sailors and has molded countless future leaders in our Navy. I’ve seen firsthand – and the more than 3,000 Sailors aboard Truman can testify to – the incredible impact he’s made to our command. 

Whether it was a complex shipboard evolution, or a check-in with a new Sailor, Master Chief Carter took every tasking on with a fervent heart, a broad smile and a true sense of purpose. He left no doubt as to what kind leader he is, or the kind of leader he wanted us all to be.

Throughout his career, Master Chief Carter could have chosen to serve in less demanding positions, but he always strived for the path of leadership – not for himself, but for the pride he has for his Navy and the love he has for his shipmates

Onboard USS Harry S. Truman, we measure ourselves by the highest standards of professionalism and personal integrity. I commend Master Chief Carter for having the forthrightness and the courage to uphold this ethos by taking responsibility and holding himself accountable for his comments.  I sincerely thank him for his years of devoted service to our Navy and to the men and women of Truman, and I wish him the best.

  • CAPT Nick Dienna, Commanding Officer, USS Harry S. Truman

Carter joined the Navy nearly 28 years ago. Rising through the enlisted ranks to the position of command master chief is tough. He was the most senior enlisted man on the carrier and served as a liaison between the commanding officer and the sailors. One of the most demanding jobs in the Navy, I’ve been told.

The fact that Carter owned his words - which were funny, by the way - apologized for them, didn’t lawyer up or whine is proof that he was a damned good sailor and a honorable man.

Nothing left to do but wish Command Master Chief Carter fair winds and following seas. And wonder what’s next for our politically correct armed forces.


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