Female Lieutenant Commanders I Have Known

When I was younger, my mouth would sometimes get me into trouble. I was not mean, but owned a quick tongue. That is, I spoke before completely thinking out my response. I’ve learned discernment over the years and slowed down my response time to give my brain a chance to catch up with my loose cannon. Still, I like to joke around and half of joking-around is timing. And jokes age faster than collagened lips in Hollywood. Full confession: one female Lieutenant Commander, who I work with, will no longer talk to me over my big mouth.

She arrived at our command three months ago and was very cordial right from the get-go. I did not work with her (yet) but stopped and chatted with her on a couple of occasions. Chatty banter which I cannot remember the content. We were friendly, but not friends.

Come three weeks ago and I get a new responsibility that requires a meeting. I trucked down to a conference room across base and she was in there. Great, someone I can shoot it with. Still, very nice, the LCDR was.

Then last week, before our meeting, I asked what officer community she was a member of. (Our communities correspond with our jobs.)

Oh, I am an Engineering Duty Officer now.

Now? I inquired. You were a SWO before you lateral transferred? 

(A SWO is a Surface Warfare Officer, a boat driver. The saying goes: SWOs eat their young. . .)

A Nuke SWO, she corrected me with an intense grimace.

I smiled (and did not engage my brain apparatus before speaking next.) Whoah, I said in a kind of whoop-di-do type of way.

In all fairness to me, I am a linguist and am used to being ribbed unmercifully for it. Languages do something odd to your brain; they marinate us with sauces normal people don’t get. So I was kind of just playing around with her, the same way folks poke at me. And speaking of marinades, I was really quite mild and not as tangy as I coulda been. This was nothing in my mind.

She shot me a look that would freeze hot coals at 1000 yards. I smiled weakly; she turned around and did not say another word.

Two more meetings later. And I continue to greet her, with a lackluster hey as her only response. If you ever hear that naval officers are not coordinating amongst themselves, know that I am the cause. . .

Crime Does Not Pay For Female Sub Officers

I’ve blogged about this topic earlier (in a post titled How to Be Stupid.) An update to the original investigation was just released. Big Poppa Navy has handed out charges to the female sub officers who committed fraud:

Two of the Navy’s first female submarine officers have been charged with financial misconduct, a spokeswoman said Monday.

Navy Cmdr. Monica Rousselow, a spokeswoman for the submarine force, said the alleged fraud took place before the two Supply Corps officers reported to their vessels.

The two officers, whose names were not released, are accused of filing fraudulent travel claims involving about $4,500 each, according to Rousselow, who is based in Norfolk, Va. The officers are charged with fraud and conduct unbecoming of a Naval officer under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. One of them also is charged with falsifying an official statement.

The Uniform Code of Military Justice, you can’t beat it.

How to be Stupid

Two dum-dum stories jumped out at me this weekend. Sadly, the first of them involves our sub force. And when I write “sub force” I am not referring to the cherished torpedo sandwich makers of Subway, home of the footlong:

Three female supply officers were pulled from submarine crews within months of joining the force for allegedly committing fraud prior to checking in at their boats, a Submarine Forces spokeswoman confirmed Friday.

Travel Claim Fraud: Three Female Supply Officers Shame the Whole Sub Fleet

These three were among the eight Supply Corps lieutenants that reported to the submarine force, a cadre chosen to be role models for the younger female submariners reporting straight from training to the previously all-male force.

NCIS is investigating the allegedly shady LTs. Imagine you are a trailblazer, among the first female officers aboard a sub. And you have to go and game the system. Stupid. The dumb LTs are heading to Submarine Group 10 in Kings Bay. Somewhere Admiral Grace Hopper is shaking her head.

Stupido numero dos involves dumb kids. Not smoking dope or even banana peels. But eating cinnamon. Ground cinnamon:

A common spice is creating an uncommon problem among teens. It’s called the “cinnamon challenge” and doctors are warning it could be dangerous.

The cinnamon challenge is an old stunt that is making the rounds with a new generation of teens and is popping up all over YouTube and Facebook.

Not dope: Cinnamon Challenge

The challenge works like this: A person swallows an entire tablespoon of ground cinnamon without  water, but the results usually end in coughing, choking, gagging, sometimes vomiting and always burning pain.

And it’s not just teens who are getting into trouble. New Haven’s Clinton Avenue School principal is on leave, accused of letting  kids in the lunchroom down doses of the spice.

There are no accounts of death by cinnamon, but doctors at Winthrop University Hospital say it’s a dangerous dare.

There ya go, the knuckleheads of the weekend. Allegedly crooked LTs or cinnabon heads.