20 Jun 2018

USS Fitzgerald Collision Connected to Female Officers on Duty Who Were Not Speaking To One Another

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damage to USS Fitzgerald

Robert Stacy McCain received an anonymous letter pointing out that other issues besides simple negligence were involved in the USS Fitzgerald’s collision.

Hi, Stacy.

During the early weeks after the USS Fitzgerald was speared by a lumbering Philippine container ship, it was noteworthy that the captain and a couple of admirals were publically named, but not the actual officer in charge, the officer of the deck. (OOD) The other person who should have kept the Fitz out of trouble is the person in charge of the combat information center, the Tactical Action Officer. That individual is supposed to be monitoring the combat radar, which can detect a swimmer at a distance of two miles.

Not until a year later, when the final reports are made public and the guilty parties have been court-martialed, does the truth come out. The OOD was named Sarah, and the Tactical Action Officer was named Natalie, and they weren’t speaking to each other!!! The Tactical Action Officer would normally be in near constant communication with the OOD, but there is no record of any communication between them that entire shift!

Another fun fact: In the Navy that won WWII, the damage control officers were usually some of the biggest and strongest men aboard, able to close hatches, shore up damaged areas with timbers, etc. The Fitz’s damage control officer was also a woman, and she never left the bridge. She handled the aftermath of the accident remotely, without lifting a finger herself!

Look it up: The OOD was Sarah Coppock, Tactical Action Officer was Natalie Combs. . . .

When I noticed last year that they were doing all they could to keep the OOD’s name out of the headlines, I speculated to my son that it was a she. Turns out all the key people (except one officer in the CIC) were female!

Indeed, I did some searching, and Lt. Coppock pleaded guilty to dereliction of duty. Lt. Combs faced a hearing last month:

In an 11-hour hearing, prosecutors painted a picture of Lt. Irian Woodley, the ship’s surface warfare coordinator, and Lt. Natalie Combs, the tactical action officer, as failing at their jobs, not using the tools at their disposal properly and not communicating adequately. They became complacent with faulty equipment and did not seek to get it fixed, and they failed to communicate with the bridge, the prosecution argued. Had they done those things, the government contended, they would have been able to avert the collision.

That two of the officers — Coppock and Combs — involved in this fatal incident were female suggests that discipline and training standards have been lowered for the sake of “gender integration,” which was a major policy push at the Pentagon during the Obama administration. It could be that senior officers, knowing their promotions may hinge on enthusiastic support for “gender integration,” are reluctant to enforce standards for the women under their command.


LT Coppock

11 Feedbacks on "USS Fitzgerald Collision Connected to Female Officers on Duty Who Were Not Speaking To One Another"

Dick the Butcher

Thank God they hadn’t invented affirmative action in 1941.

Kipling, “The Female Of The Species Is More Deadly Than The Male.”

This is not funny.


Read recently that about a quarter of the 2018 USNA graduating class are women. Much work still to be done.

bob sykes

We’ve been fighting and losing to poorly trained and poorly equipped Third World militias for a quarter century now. What would happen if we fought a First World military?


If nothing else, it was a hell of a wake-up call. It is resonating right through the ranks.
You know that.

The women were not speaking to each other - Barrel Strength

[…] Overpromoted and female. […]


Good grief, y’all. Having trouble getting behind this one.


Passive-aggressive women are dangerous.

CW5 Rudy Wise, USA (ret.)

If there is an ounce of truth to any of this than a serious study is in order followed by recommendations as required. There are competent women in the military so I have to hold back from casting the entire lot onto one heap. I have never been in favor of placing women into roles of leadership where combat and the lives of sailors, soldiers, marines, are at stake. I see it as a social experiment where the repercussions of failure needlessly cost lives It’s not worth it, and we are not a nation that has reached a point where we must sacrifice its daughters in the preservation of freedom. Furthermore professional Politian’s should stick to what they do best and that is taking bribes under the table, chasing after teenage staff workers, and showing up to work stoned or drunk.

FMJRA 2.0: Desert Plains : The Other McCain

[…] Covering Up Fact That Female Officers Nearly Sank Navy Ship Inoperable Terran The Political Hat Never Yet Melted David Knight Anonymous Conservative Barrel Strength Kim Du Toit The Lexicans A View From The Beach […]

Arthur Field, CAPT, USNR (Ret)

Other facts directly causative: Fitzgerald was the Standon Vessel in the Crossing Situation per COLREGS: yet she flagrantly maintained course and 20 knot speed until seconds prior to collision. Could this be because there were no Bridge Lookouts or Bearing Takers or Bridge Nav Team manned in restricted waters? Could it be that neither the OOD, JOOD, Conning Officer or BMOW ever used Mk1 eyeballs directed ahead instead relying on digital screens relaying an inaccurate tactical situation?

Maurice Callinan

Having spent 30 years and observing women officers for a significant portion of that time what strikes me is that this “anonymous” letter sounds more like “Russian Trolling” rather than an accurate supposedly insider view of what happened. This fits very nicely with the Russian campaign to sow dissent within the services and American public. Together we stand, divided we fall.


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