An inspirational leader with uncompromising ethical standards, Scott Waddle graduated at the top of his class at Annapolis. With 20 years' experience in the construction, maintenance, and operation of nuclear-powered submarines, he was hand-picked from a highly competitive field of 250 naval officers to command a Los Angeles class fast attack submarine. As Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. Greeneville, he managed a 140-man crew. He retired from active duty in October 2001 with the rank of commander and lives in Washington state with his wife, Jill, and daughter Ashley.
The Right Thingby Scott Waddle
When a U.S. nuclear submarine collided with a Japanese fishing vessel in the spring of 2001, the story made national headlines. Navy Commander Scott Waddle, former captain of the U.S.S. Greeneville, was at the center of the controversy. This is the first-hand, never-before-published account of that fatal moment and the heart-breaking avalanche of events that followed.
- Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
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I found Commander Waddle's book about the Ehime Maru fascinating. From experience, crewing a submarine is a dangerous business. From the tenor of the book, I believe Commander Waddle would be the type of skipper I want at the helm if I were to go to sea on a submarine again. Unlike one of the captains I worked for, Cmdr Waddle takes the heat for his crew. On that note, I worked for Captain Brandhuber on the USS San Juan (SSN-751) in the late 1980s and find Cmdr Waddle's treatment of Captain Brandhuber a testament to his (Cmdr Waddle's) Christianity. Suffice to say, I was stationed on three nuclear submarines, and worked for six commanding officers; Captain Brandhuber was the only man of that group that would have stooped to the 'kick 'em when he's down' chicanery detailed in this book. As the captain's phone talker on the USS San Juan (SSN-751), I saw the boat come into port on numerous occasions, and recall near miss on the way into Cocoa Beach, Florida involving a failed announcing system and a yelling submarine commander that resulted in my requesting the Chief of the Boat relieve me from having to go back on the Bridge - for fear the captain would put the boat on a sand bar . . . but that is another tale.
Becoming the Commanding officer of a boat is a great accomplishment but comes with great responsibility. When CDR Waddle took command he became responsible of everything that went on in that submarine. This book shows that as the commanding officer he took responsibility for the tradgic incident although it was not fully his fault. He outlines his actions, the actions of others, and the reprecutions of those actions in this great book.
'This fine American Patriot is taking the heat. That says something about his character.' - George W. Bush. He is taking the heat, because it is his heat to take as the Commanding Officer of that submarine. I am sure he knew this when he took on that job. This is not an act of honor, it is an act of responsibility. This is like praising someone for doing something he is supposed to do. Scott Waddle was very much at fault for that accident. As were several other people. As someone who worked in Pearl Harbor for 6 years, and at the Submarine Squadron building when this incident took place. I must say that this book is not 100% truthful by any means. This is just Scott Waddle's way of trying to make some money selling a book. He had already made his point clear in the countless interviews that he did after the inquiry ended. Scott Waddle is a fellow submariner and worked his way up the ranks. For that I give him respect as I should. But we all already know the story. He has already apologized a million times. There is no need for him to try and profit off an incident he very much was responsible for. An incident that resulted in the death of 9 people. He got of very light in the end, to try and profit off of it is rediculous and shameful. I give Scott Waddle respect as a fellow submariner, but that is where it ends. This book should never have been written.
I remember watching the news reports of the tragic collision between the USS Greeneville and the Japanese fishing vessel Ehime Maru two years ago. I felt great compassion for the victims and their families, but I also felt sorry for the Sub Commander who despite his own grief over the 9 deaths, and the end of his career, found the strength to try and do what was right. "The Right Thing" tells us the behind-the-scenes story of how Commander Waddle was left adrift at sea by the Navy in the aftermath of the tragedy with little direction, support or even adequate legal representation. Despite it all (guilt over the loss of life, the pain of being relieved of command, the intense pressure and expense of mounting a legal campaign to save his own life, being at the center of an international incident and media firestorm, and disappointment over the actions/inaction of the Navy he loved and served for 24 years)Commander Waddle took full responsibility for the accident and the performance of his crew. He even took the witness stand at great peril and against the strong advice of is lawyers. His requests to officially apologize after the incident were unheeded, and yet he felt compelled to personally apologize to the Japanese Government and to the families of the victims themselves. The irony here is that his actions after the event actually upheld the honor of the Navy and the United States, despite their treatment of him. The testimony given in the Inquiry gives us the startling facts of what really happened and who actually had the information that could have avoided the accident. I was inspired by this book. I was inspired by Commander Waddle's faith, determination and character. Ten chapters in I could not put it down and read until the early hours to finish.