Hanky panky between ranky’s

That’s how Tom Ricks characterizes the recent actions when the Navy relieved the CO, CMC, and transferred the XO of USS JAMES WILLIAMS (DDG 95).  No court-martials of the leadership are image anticipated.  However, as Kate Wiltrout’s article points out, there have been quite a few disciplinary actions.  The number of enlisted khaki involved seems quite extraordinary for the size of this ship’s crew.

Here is Kate Wiltrout’s article in The PilotOnline.

The commanding officer and highest-ranking enlisted sailor aboard the Norfolk-based destroyer James E. Williams were removed Friday in the wake of a fraternization scandal that erupted on a recent deployment.

Rosi would not comment on the nature of the Williams’ fraternization cases, but said that nine sailors received non-judicial punishment for fraternization. Five were male chief petty officers, he said, and four were female junior enlisted sailors: one first class petty officer, two second class petty officers and one third class petty officer.

As you can imagine this incident has raised the debate on women on ships, especially in light of a suggestion that women can be assigned to submarines.  About.com has this item.

The Navy plans to target more female recruits in 2010. Currently, 15.4 percent of the Navy enlisted force are females, and the Navy wants to increase that number to at least 20 percent. While the overall active duty enlisted recruiting goal for 2010 remains the same (35,000), the Navy hopes to recruit at least 7,996 female recruits (up from 7,474 in fiscal year 2009).

According to officials, the Navy wants women in "nontraditional" ratings, such as engineering and combat systems, instead of the clerical or health care fields women have to volunteer for in the past.

The JAMES WILLIAMS is named after:

James Elliott Williams (13 November 1930 – 13 October 1999) was born in Fort Mill, South Carolina and moved two months later with his parents to Darlington, South Carolina where he spent his early childhood and youth. He attended the local schools and graduated from St. John’s high school. He was a sailor of the United States Navy during the 1950s and 1960s. He is, also, the most highly decorated enlisted man in the history of the U.S. Navy.

On 14 May 1968, President Lyndon Johnson, in the name of Congress, presented Williams the Medal of Honor. His other awards include the Navy Cross, Silver Star (with one gold award star), the Legion of Merit (with Valor Device), the Navy and Marine Corps Medal with gold star, Bronze Star Medal with two gold stars, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Gold Star and Palm, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Presidential Unit Citation with one service star, Purple Heart with two gold stars, Vietnam Service Medal with bronze service star, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, National Defense Service Medal with bronze service star, United Nations Service Medal, Korean Service Medal with two bronze service stars, Korean Presidential Unit Citation, Korean War Service Medal, and the Navy Good Conduct Medal with four bronze service stars.