A sailor in Okinawa prepares for liberty.
USS DECATUR (DDG 73) - Captain Mark Leon, commanding officer of the Destroyer USS Decatur, sentenced Boatswain’s Mate Seaman Rachel Watson to thirty days in Okinawa at a non-judicial punishment earlier this morning.
BMSN Watson, who pleaded guilty to falling asleep while standing watch, broke down in tears as the sentence was read. “Please!” she shouted, falling to her knees.“Put me on restriction! Bust me down in rank instead!”
“I needed to send a strong message that this behavior is unacceptable,” Capt. Leon said to Duffel Blog reporters after the hearing. “I could have sent her to the brig but that would be too lenient. There she would have freedom.”
“Even I think that’s harsh,” Chief Master at Arms Jason Westbrook later told reporters. “I mean, endangering the ship is bad, but put her on bread and water or something. Treat her with a shred of decency.”
Capt. Leon's decision was based on the large number of sweeping liberty restrictions imposed on all sailors stationed on the Japanese island. Sailors with an exemplary service record are allowed off base for an hour a day while sailors with an alcohol incident on their record are placed in solitary confinement. These restrictions come after a number of liberty incidents, which 7th Fleet Commanding Officer Vice Admiral Scott Swift referred to as “a bunch of stupid shit.”
Some of the incidents include a sailor pulling his penis out in public, an officer trying to backflip off the roof of a house, and a massive brawl that erupted when sailors began arguing whether “Gangnam Style” originated in China or Japan.
“I don’t know why the locals don’t like us,” Electronics Technician Third Class Sarah Barksdale said as she was taken into custody by the Japanese police. “I said PSY was Japanese. And I only peed on the floor of that internet café one time.”
When reached for comment, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert said, “the Navy is trying to downsize, and VADM Swift is doing his best to help the Navy achieve its goals. I wish all our fleets could match the 7th's impressively low retention rate.”