Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Congratulations RDML (sel) Ponds!!

Flag Officer Announcements

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead announced today the following assignments:

Capt. Fernandez L. Ponds, who has been selected for promotion to rear admiral (lower half), will be assigned as commander, Navy Region Hawaii/commander, Naval Surface Group, MIDPAC, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Ponds is currently serving as deputy director, Navy Special Projects, N3/N5NSP, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C.

Congratulations sir!

I had the pleasure of meeting this fine officer during my time aboard USS Kearsarge in August of 2008.


FIFE Sailor said...


I respect your opinion (a lot) and read your blog all the time. If you were a sailor on USS FIFE with Commander Ponds, you would not be nearly as happy about his promotion. He was a HORRIBLE commanding officer. Looking back on that time, he has been the worst officer that I have served with. No offense to you and I understand if you can't post this. He treated me poorly and his wife treated my wife even worse. I was okay with how he treated me. Sailors are used to officers treating them poorly. I could not stand that his wife treated my wife so poorly.

BostonMaggie said...

Of course I will publish your comment. It is a sincere & respectfully worded comment. I know every officer has Sailors under his command who don't like him for one reason or another. It's the nature of the job. I am sorry you and your wife had this negative experience. I can only say, I hope it was a rare occurence.

Anonymous said...

I served on FIFE with CAPT Ponds. I would tend to agree about the Wive's Club. My wife was not treated well and that was unfortunate. There were clicks galore. Not all wives understand their leadership role in this regard. Not all accept it.

CAPT Ponds has not been the best leader I served under by any stretch of the imagination. He would scream at you and demean you in public and people dreaded any appearance he made in the pilot house because they felt he was just looking for whatever was wrong. Not a great communicatior. On the other hand, he was not a horrible commanding officer (in every aspect). Even since that tour, he has helped me along in my career in one way or the other.

On assumption of command, he lead FIFE out of its "laughing stock" status on the waterfront. He had previously saved Paul F. Foster as the XO. After a time, we were once again able to hold our heads high - unfortunately, they decomissioned FIFE shortly after WE brought her back. What's more, some of our unqualled Baby SWOs in training spent some time on other ships on the waterfront because they needed a little more time to train before being qual'ed. They were heads and shoulders above the Baby SWOs on those ships - and were given SWO pins by those CO's upon initial observation of their skill. This is a credit to CAPT Ponds' training, right?

I am not trying to defend his treatment of many because that was wrong and it wrecked my morale as well. It stiffled creativity.

Don't forget too that one of the saving graces for many was CAPT Rick Odom - a God sent XO - The BIG SWO. I would say he was the driving force behind any good morale on the ship. He went on to have a very successful command tour.

Perhaps CAPT Ponds is an old school SWO with a little and a dash of super ego.

One thing I believe is that you never know what it is like to be a CO unless you are the CO. Even the XO does cannot understand the pressure and the responsibility for that billion dollar warship.

my 2 cents.

F Ponds said...

I am honored and grateful for the opportunity as a Flag Officer to make a difference in our Navy and will do my very best to live up to the demands and expectations of the position. I rarely read blogs but happened across this one; when it was originally written. I resisted the urge to respond because I felt somewhat angered by the comments directed at my wife. She poured her heart and soul in an effort to create an inclusive environment for all…no matter their rank or position or that of their spouse. So to that I point, I am disappointed. To the other points, I believe FOSTER and FIFE performed stupendously and excelled in each and every mission area; even in a fiscally austere environment. Like all Commanding Officers, I had an extremely talented and creative wardroom and crew. I always marveled at their ability to get things done, and they always gave their all…meeting and/or exceeding standards and expectations; even our own. So there is a rich heritage of which we all can and should be proud. I hope that those who did not have a positive experience under my Command are still within our rank and file. They were exceptional officers and Sailors then, and I am sure they are EXCEPTIONAL NOW!!!
RDML F. L. Ponds

Anonymous said...

CDR Ponds was a blessing to the USS Paul F. Foster. Yes, he would rip my head off, but for good reason. He demand the best out of me. If we are honest, he was only trying to get the crew to where it needed to be. I reported to the Paul F. Foster when the ship arrived in Everett, WA. OMG! The crew was amuck. My, Opinion, XO Ponds was tough on the crew because we lacked ownership and pride. He launched us into a place of pride and professionalism. Able to execute when needed. Some just could not deal with structure and accountability. For the most part I am a believer that the juniors will follow when seniors lead.
Thank You, Sir. I credit my career of 30 years and promotion to Master Chief as a direct result of my accomplishments onboard USS PAUL F. FOSTER, and CDR Ponds mentoring. Thank You Sir, and Congratulations on your selection to RDML. Well Done!