Sailor who 'hated the Navy' accused of destroying $1 billion naval assault ship

The U.S. Navy's leadership has drawn a lot of criticism for its wokester focus as its mission goes fallow.

Now we're seeing this report:

Just before a fire started on a warship that burned for nearly five days in San Diego last summer, a witness told investigators he saw a fellow sailor — known to his leadership for showing disdain toward the Navy — walking to the spot where the blaze first ignited.

Ryan Sawyer Mays, a 20-year-old from Kentucky, carried a metal bucket into the vessel’s lower storage area, according to new court documents identifying him as the person accused of destroying the amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard. Navy officials announced last week that a sailor had been charged with aggravated arson and willful hazarding of a vessel in connection to the July 2020 fire, but they did not publicly identify the suspect.

Mays is not only accused of intentionally setting the blaze, but also of tampering with fire-safety equipment on the ship and crime-scene evidence in an attempt to hinder the federal investigation, according to documents filed in the Southern California U.S. District Court and unsealed Tuesday.

The 2020 destruction of the Bonhomme Richard, if you can recall it, was a monster loss for the Navy. I'm here in San Diego and have relatives who were stationed on that ship, and they said it was bad. It happened at a particularly vulnerable time, during a holiday where there were few people around. Once it got started, it was impossible to put out, and the whole ship had to be taken out of service and possibly scrapped, leaving a huge hole in U.S. naval capabilities, which can't be replaced for at least three years. And it will cost $3 billion to restore the ship.

Two things spring to mind, aside from the fact that they didn't have adequate security over a long holiday:

One, why they weren't able to get rid of this guy, or at least get him off the ship? Based on the news reports, he was an angry loser who failed his SEAL tryouts who responded not by being better and trying again, but by hating the Navy. Who needs the Red Chinese when the Navy harbors people like this?

Two, whether the wokester culture at the top of the Navy's leadership has prompted this kind of disrespect for authority. I can't tell whether this low-level sailor was a leftist or not, but it's possible it doesn't matter. The disrespect for the command structure, the flag, U.S. history, and the constant focus on race seems to be a ready-made formula for rebellion and mutiny. 

It's very early and these are just my initial thoughts. New issues or different facts may emerge, as the story is very fresh.

It's shocking to think that a strategic loss of this magnitude could be achieved by a little creep unhappy at his assignment in the Navy. If this is the case, though, and he is found guilty of this awful deed, then it's obvious there needs to be a shakeup at the top and its entire wokester culture that could make this person think his private wants allow him to take down the Navy. Wokesterism doesn't take long to morph into full-blown disrespect for authority.

Image: U.S. Navy, via Flickr // CC BY 2.0

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