Nimitz wouldn’t make it today

Painting of admiral Chester Nimitz
Zero-defect culture.

Zero-defect culture.

…Chester Nimitz, before he became the famous Admiral in the Second World War, early in his career he actually ran his ship aground when he was commanding a smaller vessel… He said that… Chester Nimitz would never have made it past the next promotion board if he did that today.

THE GRIT AND GROWTH MINDSET – War Room – U.S. Army War College

I have to imagine running a ship aground is one of the cardinal sins for a Navy commander.

We’re spending a lot of time lately talking about underwriting mistakes as a way to spur innovation.

Are we doing it?

I recently reflected on the fact that I don’t actually see many people destroyed for small mistakes.

Despite that, this sense that one small error can completely derail a career is pervasive. What’s going on here?

Related – this short thread where a couple of us joke about tough obstacles. How many people out there lost their shot at some special unit or career field because they failed a single obstacle on an obstacle course?

What if that was the obstacle that double no-go’d you and sent you home?

I’m sure it’s happened before. How odd.

It’s a weird thing to think about.

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Battleship Yamato

world war 2 battleship yamato
battleship_yamato_colored_by_tr4br-d4o6qzz

I don’t normally write about Navy stuff, but I was looking through some articles which referenced the Japanese anime ‘Space Battleship Yamato‘ which reminded me of the actual battleship the show is named after.

The Yamato and her sister ship Musahi were the biggest warships ever constructed. I first learned about the Yamato as a kid playing Koei’s P.T.O. (Pacific Theater of Operations) which is a strategy game that allows you to play as either the Allies or Axis powers during WWII in the Pacific. For an old game (it was made in 1989) it was incredibly detailed. The graphics and gameplay weren’t anything exciting, but the in-depth control and historical accuracy made the game addicting.

It was in some random sea encounter that I saw a Japanese battleship that had a slightly larger sprite. The bow was canted slightly upwards, which made it look like a katana (terrible orientalist trope, I should know better, but that’s actually what it reminded me of). It was a menacing looking ship, and it had the armor and guns to back it up.

The Yamato was never really tested during the war. She did some beach shelling at Leyte Gulf but never saw a ship-on-ship engagement. She was sunk by torpedo bombers in 1945 in the war’s final days. The other two Yamato-class ships were also sunk by either planes or a submarine.

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