Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Latest Failure of Civilian Journalism in the submarine realm

Mar 12, 2013 8:10 AM EDT   (NBC 10 News)  -  Navy to investigate death of submarine school student

Quote from the news NBC 10 news article:  "Woods had graduated from the basic enlisted submarine course in January."

Now, if the deceased "had graduated" 2 months ago, had he been a student in another unreported course?

If not a student in further training, why the evident delay in assignment to a submarine?
Was his assigned sub not yet due in from sea, or had the young man taken leave, or had he been delayed by illness or physical incapacity due to an accident?

For the navy to investigate [this barracks] death we have to conclude either there had been no serious medical treatment much beforehand, and limited possibilities of unnatural death: medical malpractice, fatal contagion, risky behavior, or homicide. We can readily discount medical causes of death, however, because the submarine medical program is highly competent.  

That leaves submarine sailor selection criteria. Have psychological aptitude, intelligence testing and evaluation criteria been simplified or waived recently for non-nuclear crew?

This was an incredibly lame example of journalism; obvious questions were neither contemplated nor asked. Text was merely pulled from a brief naval press notice after notification of family, and our heartfelt sympathies are extended to the family and friends of ...

"25-year-old Seaman Apprentice Joshua Allen Woods of Memphis, Tenon [sic]."

There can now be little doubt of better reporting to follow from more respectible sources. According to the The Day of New London  yesterday [color emphasis mine]:

 "... the Naval Criminal Investigative Service is investigating the death of 25-year-old Seaman Apprentice Joshua Allen Woods of Memphis, Tenn.  ... He was awaiting his new assignment."

Submarines are always silent and strange.


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