Abandoned Shipmate

The Destruction of Coast Guard Captain Ernie Blanchard


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About the Book

Captain Ernie Blanchard left for work January 10, 1995, a successful officer. Respected by superiors and subordinates, his personal and professional values seemed perfectly aligned with the institution he served, the United States Coast Guard. By day’s end his career was finished.
At a speaking engagement at the Coast Guard Academy, Blanchard’s icebreaker—a series of time-tested corny jokes—was met with silence. Within hours, an investigation was underway into whether his remarks constituted sexual harassment. Several weeks later, threatened with a court-martial, he shot himself.
The author investigates Blanchard’s “death by political correctness” in the context of the turmoil surrounding the U.S. Armed Forces’ gender inclusion struggles from the 1980s to the present.

About the Author(s)

Retired Navy Reserve Captain Ladson F. Mills, III is a former trustee of the University of the South and Fellow of the Graduate Theological Foundation. He is the former president of the American Study Program of Oxford and a regular contributor to Virtueonline and The Covert Letter. He lives in Charleston, South Carolina.

Bibliographic Details

Ladson F. Mills, III
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 180
Bibliographic Info: 11 photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2019
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7545-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3442-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Preface 1
Prologue 7
I. January 10, 1995 9
II. Tailhook and Other Scandals 17
III. Aftermath of Tailhook 28
IV. Background to the Academy 37
V. The Formal Investigation Convenes 49
VI. A Terrible Truth 58
VII. A Family Abandoned 64
VIII. Search for Meaning 74
IX. Sweetbrier 80
X. Help from Beyond 87
XI. The Rise of Warrior Women 99
XII. The Navy Too 113
XIII. Seeking Justice 122
XIV. Power Elitism in the Modern Military 135
XV. Abandoned Shipmate 140
Afterword 145
Appendix 149
Chapter Notes 155
Bibliography 161
Index 165

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Beautifully written and painstakingly researched book”—Charleston Mercury.