Small Wars Journal

Is Naval Aviation Culture Dead?

Is Naval Aviation Culture Dead? By John Lehman, Proceedings. BLUF:

The history of naval aviation is one of constant change and challenge. While the current era of bureaucracy and political correctness, with its new requirements of integrating women and openly gay individuals, is indeed challenging, it can be dealt with without compromising naval excellence. But what does truly challenge the future of the naval services is the mindless pursuit of zero-tolerance. A Navy led by men and women who have never made a serious mistake will be a Navy that will fail.


Robert C. Jones

Fri, 09/09/2011 - 6:51am

Zero Tollerence is never good, but I do need to note that I had the distinct pleasure to work the past couple of years with a naval aviator who just assumed command as the CAG and his rare blend of genuine good nature, competence and wilingness to work his butt off for the mission; all while building the morale of everyone around him, marked him as a rarely talented officer. I don't think the Navy could have found a better man for the job.

Certainly many good men get gleaned out and far lesser men rise; but the true stars still manage to make to the top as well.


Thu, 09/08/2011 - 7:06pm

Two ways to look at the last comment in the teaser portion:
1) It's 100% correct and the implication that a zero-tolerance environment will ruin just about any organization is accurate.

2) No one, or virtually no one, has failed to make a "serious mistake", it's the getting caught part where the rubber meets the road. I've seen a lot of commanders and senior ranking idividuals get away with a lot of serious mistakes - but they were never officially witnessed or no one actually blew the whistle. Of course, these are the same people that sky-rocket to the top and implement a zero-tolerance mentality.

Either way, bringing this type of subject to light is a good thing.