by Andy Weddington
Friday, 07 October 2016
Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship. Benjamin Franklin
No, commentary title is not a joke.
A few weeks ago came news a baby was born aboard the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Said Commander Bill Urban, spokesman for U. S. Naval Forces Command, "As the baby was born at sea aboard an operational unit, the main focus for the U. S. Navy, the ship and its crew is the safety and wellbeing of the baby and the mother."
I wonder if the ship's captain shared that perspective?
Think about that - "the main focus" of a warship shifting from combat readiness etc., to the welfare of not a combatant (Sailor now mother) but two passengers.
An incubator, diapers, and formula were flown to the ship.
Think about that, too.
Reports made no mention whether or not a gallon or two of pink paint, to spruce up the quarters and nursery, were flown is as well. Nor if the crew threw a post-delivery baby shower.
News did note the mother gave birth to a 7 pound baby girl, and, astonishingly, that the mother nor leadership knew she was pregnant.
What a crock and a bunch of poppycock.
From a logical person's perspective, some questions ...
1. How could the mother not know she was pregnant?
2. How did fellow Sailors not notice - that something was not quite right? And report it?
3. How could her leading petty officer not notice?
4. How could her chief (senior chief and master chief, too) not notice?
5. How could her division officer and department head not know?
6. How could her physical changes go unnoticed - in berthing, heads, PT gear, inspections, etc.?
7. Did she not have morning sickness?
8. With complaints of sickness, was she not sent to sickbay?
9. How is it possible attending corpsmen and doctors did not notice she was pregnant?
10. She went full-term without prenatal care? And there was a family practitioner aboard experienced delivering babies?
And on go the questions.
For instance ...
11. Who's the daddy? - just might explain most everything.
Seems the President, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of the Navy, and the Chief of Naval Operations have some investigating and explaining to do - to the American public.
And frame that explaining, after revisiting Benjamin Franklin's thought, in context of national security and combat readiness; especially with a warship at sea.
But as crazy as this case, somehow I suspect the U. S. Marine Corps will top this fiasco - with a surprise birth in a fighting hole or the back of an Osprey. It's inevitable. And leadership will be equally mystified.
"Fair winds and following seas," takes on more meaning.
Dwight D. Eisenhower was an Army (five-star) general and 34th President of the United States.