Uss Indianapolis Analysis

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How would a leader feel if they lost all their years of decorated service in a matter of minutes? Senior Enlisted Leaders must understand the tragic event behind the USS Indianapolis (CA 35) to increase their sense of appreciation of great authority comes greater responsibility. This paper will cover USS Indianapolis (CA 35) background information, sacrifice and service of the crew, command responsibility, and the impact on current surface warfare policies.
USS Indianapolis (CA 35) background information The United States Navy commissioned the Portland-class heavy cruiser, USS Indianapolis (CA 35) on November 15, 1932. The ships name originated from Indiana’s capital, Indianapolis and for short was called Indy by the sailors. The ship
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According to Corporal Harrell (Phillips, 2017, August 20), two torpedoes struck the ship in the night, the explosion created a power outage, and fire was the only source of light. For four and half days the crew was floating in the ocean trying to survive. During the four days, crewmembers would lose their lives in the ocean. Some died from drowning, dehydration, starvation, or sharks. The crew tried to stay together floating in a group but throughout the day, sharks would eat them. The life jackets lacked buoyancy so the crewmembers consistently swam until they drowned. Hunger and starvation made crewmembers hallucinate until losing their lives searching for food or water under the ocean. Finally, on the fourth day a U.S. military aircraft on a routine mission saw and reported the crew in the ocean. Eventually, the destroyer, USS Cecil Doyle and the aircraft rescued the USS Indianapolis (CA 35) crew. Now that the sacrifice and service of the crew has been discussed, this paper will now discuss command …show more content…
The major lesson that was taken from this tragic event is that no matter how great or ready your crew or leadership is, bad things can happen at any time and it’s out of anyone’s control. Captain McVay’s actions of taking ownership of the sinking of the ship even though it was out of his control models the values of being a commanding officer. No matter what happens, good or bad, a captain will always be responsible for the safety of their ship and crew. This event also reminded us that complacency can set in and procedural compliance must always be followed even if there is no imminent hazard nearby. As a result of the casualties, the Navy mandated an escort ship for a crew greater than 500 crewmembers, mandatory reporting of the ship if five hours late, and improved lifesaving equipment by converting life rafts into colorful self-released rafts, with added emergency equipment such as parachute flairs. Last but not least, the bravery and sacrifice of the ship’s crew is a reminder of what the men and women in the service have to

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