More on the NS Norfolk Shooting

Just over a year ago, I wrote a brief piece about MA2 Mark Mayo. In this guy s opinion, he embodied everything it means to be a hero. When a depressed truck driver managed to get his rig through the gate and to the pier where Mayo s ship was moored, Mayo placed himself between the assailant and a disarmed shipmate.

Mayo knew that the term shipmate had been hijacked by those who use it as a substitute for you are in trouble . His was the kind of selfless act that makes those committed to public service special. He had nothing to gain by his actions.

He had everything to lose. He gave his life. He didn t do it figuratively.

He didn t say he would do it in a speech. He just did it . I m awfully proud to have worn the same uniform as that young man.

According to news reports, this tragedy and its aftermath have predictably led to changes, and altered the life course of those who might have prevented it. Specifically The Base CO received unspecified but appropriate administrative measures. The Admiral would not go into details, citing privacy rights.

I ve never seen any evidence that would lead me to believe privacy rights are a part of the Navy s collective conscience. If it s a recent change, I m all in favor. He was not drawn and quartered because, at the time of the incident, he was still new to the job.

Would it not be fair to suggest that the previous Base CO had some responsibility? The security officer, a Lieutenant, also received administrative measures. Unlike the Base CO, he was removed from his job.

Interestingly, he had no experience with facilities security. Would it not be fair to address the people and process that put this officer in a position to fail? One Master-at-Arms Second Class and three DoD Civilian gate guards also face disciplinary measures (two have since retired).

At issue is the fact that the assailant/murderer stopped his rig at the front gate, but he never showed any identification. The guards thought he was going to make a u-turn and exit government property. He didn t.

He kept on driving, and the rest is history. The guards neither activated the barriers nor pursued the truck. Sadly, they never even radioed other security forces that someone had run the gate.

Nine minutes after the breach, and several minutes too late, they drove around the base to search for him.

Every incident/mishap/tragedy/accident is preventable to a certain extent.

Some more than others.

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More on the NS Norfolk Shooting

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