Of those four disruptions in sleep, the captain's call was by far the most unwelcome. When I saw it, and the Sailors who were invited (eight well-known members of the Haters' Club), I knew it'd go one of two ways. It could be a sincere attempt to solicit input on the causes of our retention issues. Or it could be a sales pitch, a "you guys are making an awfully big mistake" lecture. Sadly, it was the latter. The captain didn't say anything that wasn't known and considered by those summoned. Worse still, he argued by negation; that is to say, he made plenty of points against getting out, but none in favor of staying in. At one point, he seemed to be going to a positive - the ease of leaving from shore duty - but then the rug was pulled out when he said that we'd likely go back to sea. That, of course, is half the reason so many of us are leaving in the first place. I walked out of the room shaking my head; I was a little bit angry, but more than anything I was disappointed. Of course, I wasn't happy that I'd seen the taking of another twenty minutes of my life I'll never get back.
At divisional training an hour later, I told my Chief and LPO that the captain's call was a farce, and that sitting there insulted my intelligence.It may have been a simple "check in the box" evolution, to show we're acting on the retention concerns in the Submarine Force. But it certainly didn't change my mind, and in fact, it only hardened my opinion further. No way, no how, no retreat, no surrender.