Remember back in December (the 15th, in case you want to check) I posted a story about the Army Mule and the Navy Goat mascots? Actually it was a bit of a "finger in the eye" of some of my Army pals following the Army-Navy game which Navy won for the 13th time in a row. But that aside, we talked about the Navy Goat and how they used to be on ships all the time, eventually giving rise to the term "goat locker" for the Chief Petty Officers' quarters and mess. So this piece caught my attention, not only because of the incredible stupidity involved, the total lack of concern for morale in a less-than-happy environment, but the fact that it drew national attention.
It seems that a navy ship, USS Lake Erie (CG 70), stationed in Pearl Harbor, had a goat mascot aboard for several years. The ship's company named it Master Chief Charlie, and it was popular with the crew and always welcome at ship's events, especially at command picnics. So what happened? The ship, a Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser, got sent to San Diego, whether for permanent reassignment or just a visit is unknown, and of course, Master Chief Charlie went too.
And the good folks in the "cereal state" (nuts, fruits, and flakes) went ballistic; the Navy was transporting livestock contrary to California law! Really? And now the capper: in this wonderful environment of senior officers looking sideways at a politician and getting canned, the commanding officer, one John Banigan, Captain, USN, was relieved, and sent to a sail a desk until the investigation is over. Probably the end of his career! The reason given? Loss of confidence in his ability to command! Geeze! Again, really?
|Master Chief Charlie|
And yet another stupid politician trick for us to enjoy! Sometimes, it stretches even my credibility! However, the goat has his own Twitter account and already has over 100 followers! And the Navy Times, which first posted the story, promises to keep us updated as to what happens here. For now, though, Master Chief Charlie is off the ship but "in a safe place" in San Diego.
Next time, we'll talk about the weather! Enticing, right?