R.I.P Vice Admiral Scott Stearney,

  • After serving the Armed Forces for 35 years, Vice Admiral Scott Stearney was found dead in his home over the weekend. He gave his entire adult life to serve and protect those of us who have the luxury to enjoy the freedom he so passionately defended. It appears that he was also fighting demons in his life that did not properly get noticed. While each and every military life lost is a tragedy, one like this that could have been prevent makes it so much worse. Our players and support go out to your family, fellow servicemen (and women) and friends.


    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/s…arent-suicide-2018-12-01/

  • I'm pretty conflicted about this. The deckplate leader in me says this is a great learning opportunity for my Sailors, just as ADM Boorda was for me 22 years ago. We can discuss and teach and use it as an example in a good way. The callous asshole in me says that this was a coward move, and we expect better from our leaders, especially at that level. (And especially if we find out there's a secret investigation going on, like corruption or sexual misconduct.)


    But here's the truth, and it's something I've seen time and again, and I counsel all my young officers and new Chiefs on it. We (the Navy, but I'm sure the other services as well) do a pretty good job at taking care of our Sailors on a personal, individual basis. (Maybe not on a policy level, but that's a different rant.) But we seem to think that just because someone has put on a khaki belt (a designation for officers and senior enlisted in the Navy), that they have their shit wired. That just because they're a "leader," they've got it on lock. And sadly, that's just not true.


    We fail like any other humans. We have weaknesses, doubts, whatever. We deal with depression, grief, substance abuse, fear. Demons. Suicidal ideations. But - and here's the crux of the issue - we're *leaders,* so we can't take that mantle off. We can't come out of the fight. We can't tell the boss, "I need a day here." Because then our boss might pull us from the fight, we might lose the leadership position we've worked our whole careers for, we might lose the professional esteem of the warfighting community. We might be seen as weak. That same thing we tell our Sailors not to worry about, because everyone has issues they need to deal with. But what we don't tell them is that past a certain point in your career, you really can't be too open about it. Because you *will* be judged. And it will be noted.


    I hope the admiral found his peace, in the last few seconds of his life. But I wish maybe someone had been able to reach him. Because there are a whole lot of other people who don't have that peace tonight. They're wondering what they missed, or what they could have done. Been there, done that.

  • Well said KayTwo . I understand the pressure on the human psyche for people in his, yours and other's position. Your perspective really brings that home. Do me a favor and print out your post, throw it in your cigar box on the dresser and read it any and every time you start to feel the world is turning on you. Strength comes first and foremost from within.

    In my defense, I was left unsupervised.