It’s A ‘Floating Prison’: USS Shiloh Sailor Surveys Reveal A Totally Demoralized Crew
When a sailor from USS Shiloh (CG-67) went missing last summer, presumably lost overboard in the Pacific, only to be found a week later hiding out in the ship’s machinery spaces, some readers could be forgiven for wondering what was going on in that command.
Quite a lot, and none of it good, it turns out.
Navy Times this week published comments by sailors aboard the USS Shiloh — a Ticonderoga class guided-missile cruiser named for one of the bloodiest days in American military history — taken from command climate surveys ordered aboard the ship in the past two years under the watch of Capt. Adam M. Aycock, who recently completed his command tour on the ship. The crew’s comments paint a picture of a ship gone amok, in the same chain of command as two West Pacific destroyers whose at-sea collisions have spurred a stem-to-stern review of the United States’ entire surface warfare fleet.
Capt. Adam M. Aycock renders honors during a change of command ceremony aboard the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh Aug. 30, 2017.
The Shiloh crew charged that Aycock ruled unilaterally and aggressively, “neutered” the chiefs mess, and punished minor infractions with time in the brig, where sailors subsisted on bread and water. The result was “dysfunction from the top, suicidal thoughts, exhaustion, despair and concern that the Shiloh was being pushed underway while vital repairs remained incomplete,” Navy Times’ Geoff Ziezulewicz reported.
The damning report highlighted what it said were common complaints in the Shiloh sailors’ comments, including: