US Ship Captain Criticized for Giving Sailors “Bread and Water” Punishment

I had no idea that the US Navy had such a regulation:

Image via NY Daily News.

Sailors aboard the cruiser Shiloh during the 26-month command of Capt. Adam M. Aycock often worried about the CO’s use of one of the Navy’s most arcane punishments: confinement for three days in the brig while being fed only bread and water.

Over time, Aycock’s proclivity for using bread and water to punish junior sailors became well-known on the Yokosuka, Japan, waterfront, where the Shiloh is based, according to sailor comments in three of the ship’s command climate surveys.

“I do not wear my ballcap at the (Navy Exchange store),” one sailor wrote. “Even the taxi drivers on base know us for being the ‘USS Bread and Water.’”  [Navy Times]

You can read the rest at the link, but I am willing to be that many servicemembers would rather suck up three days of bread and water instead of getting hit with extra duty and restriction of up to 45 days through the Article 15 process.



I am a US military veteran that has served all over the world to include in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Korea. I have been blogging about Korea, Northeast Asia, and the US military for over 10 years.


  1. When I went through Boot Camp (before reporting to the Ark), they covered the different punishments. 3 Days Bread and Water is not the joke it seems to be. Constipation is a real problem, and can last for weeks afterwards.

    The advice the instructors gave us: Don’t eat the bread. Drink the water, and just go hungry for 3 days.

    Never saw it handed out, and 45/45, 1/2 pay for 2 was pretty rare. Usually it was 30/30, half pay for 1, and that was it.

    The guys it really sucked for were the guys who got 30/30 out at sea. No extra duty at sea, and of course no liberty. Your restricted to ship and extra duty time only counted if we were in a liberty port. One guy got 30/30 at the beginning of a deployment. On our return trip to Pearl Harbor, the CO took him aside and asked, “Did you learn your lesson?”
    Yes, sir.”
    “Good. Go on liberty, don’t make me regret it.” The guy had been stuck on board for 5 1/2 months…

  2. Actually, I think this ship’s captain is to be commended. He is telling his crew what will happen to them if they commit some kind of offense. Go get drunk and disorderly, refuse an order from your superior, be insubordinate, etc. You already know where you will be spending the next three days and what’s on the menu. What’s wrong with that. You maintain discipline on a war ship or change its’ title to a cruise liner.

  3. There’s a line between establishing and maintaining Good Order and Discipline, and being a power mad jerk. Capt. Aycock blasted over that line at full throttle in second gear, and was pulling for third.

    If 1/3 of your junior crew are getting Article 15s, I think there’s a bit more to the story than just a bunch of kids getting into mischief.

  4. “I had no idea that the US Navy had such a regulation”
    I don’t think it’s just the Navy, GI Korea.
    (though I’ve never heard of anyone actually doing this, I’ve heard it’s an option)

    If morale is high and a couple of people think you’re an asshole, you’re most likely doing a good job as a leader.
    If morale is low and everyone thinks you’re asshole, you’re most likely doing a bad job as a leader.
    Those anonymous surveys are a good tool for measure.

  5. Accepting the Article 15 punishment is pretty much always better than a BCD or DD and being a felon for life…

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