If you’re rusting at the pier now when nobody is shooting at you…

You’re gonna have a bad time


Somehow I missed this lovely picture from the beginning of the new year:

US Navy Photograph

If that looks bad to you, its because it is. That is absolutely terrible rust. Rust is a fact of life on a metal ship in a salty ocean…

Except that’s not true. Or it certainly doesn’t have to be. The Navy would like you to think that its all about lazy Commanding Officers and deck plate Sailors, and if they’d just try they could find time between their mandated diversity training and extremism training to scrub the decks a bit more and eliminate this problem. Am I exaggerating? Nope. Go read it off the official “Get Real, Get Better” page. The opening says it all:

Get Real, Get Better is a call to action for every Navy leader to apply a set of Navy-proven leadership and problem solving best practices that empower our people to achieve exceptional performance.

From Navy announcement on 13 Oct 2022

That right there is the problem. The Navy is pretending that its “proven” leadership style still works. It doesn’t.

Think about it for just a minute. Does it make sense that any Commanding Officer of a Navy destroyer, or any other ship, wants a rusty ship? That doesn’t make a lick of sense. What makes more sense is that they get forced into the position of not having enough time or resources to stop the rust they have. When ships and crews get run into the ground doing routine operations, and shipyards are incapable of doing anything on time or on budget (and face no consequences for doing so), guess what? Something has to give.

What might make sense is to use some technology to give Sailor’s time back. In industry, specialized coatings like Nano-Clear keep commercial vessels clear of rust for significantly longer periods of time. Heck, even the Army, which does operate some ships, uses them, as shown on Strategic Visionary Solutions’ website:

Nano-clear guarantees their product for 10 years. Even if the Navy got half of that, how many thousands of man-hours would be saved? How many Sailors would enjoy not using a needle gun to chisel of rust and paint?

I mean seriously, does this look like what you joined the Navy for? From navy.mil

How does the Army get this and the Navy doesn’t? Are we surprised when people don’t want to join?

And then when we shame people into replying, we get this:

No acknowledgement of how hard the crew worked. Just a mild threat of holding them accountable.

And we’re surprised we’re in a recruiting crisis? Why?

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency, because those people want to do more of the same and obviously the author does not.