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Lieutenant Commander Philip Francis Queeg, USN, is a fictional character in Herman Wouk's 1951 novel The Caine Mutiny. He is also a character in the identically titled 1954 film adaptation of the novel and in The Caine Mutiny Court Martial, the Broadway theatre adaptation of the novel that opened in the same year as the film.
Character overview 
Queeg, a 1936 graduate of the United States Naval Academy and surface warfare officer in destroyers, is assigned in September 1943 as captain of the U.S.S. Caine, a destroyer minesweeper DMS 22 stationed in the Pacific during World War II. He is pulled from anti-submarine school to command the vessel. It is his first command. He is initially welcomed by the crew as a tough, no-nonsense veteran, who will shape up the ship after his slovenly (but effective) predecessor's departure. He has a compulsive habit of handling a pair of ball bearings that produce a clicking sound as he incessantly revolves them. Queeg is married, and lives in Phoenix, Arizona, but his wife is not a character in the novel.
It quickly becomes apparent that Queeg is prone to eccentric behavior. Queeg displays an oppressive command style and is prone to unprovoked angry outbursts. From the first, he begins to make mistakes that endanger his ship. After refusing the assistance of his predecessor in command, he grounds the Caine on a muddy shoal his first time underway. He panics in a fog and nearly collides with a battleship, and passes the blame to his helmsman, starting a series of incidents that eventually results in a scripted court-martial and mental breakdown of the helmsman.
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Queeg neglects to order the ship to stop turning while distracted in reprimanding a crew member for having his shirttail out, and so the Caine steams over its own towline, severing it. When called on the carpet by a superior after this incident, he refuses to acknowledge that it even happened, much less admit blame in any way (although he harbors a secret grudge against his helmsman for not warning him). His superiors are not satisfied, but allow him to retain command.
The Caine is sent to San Francisco for installation of new radars in December 1943 (although the officers speculate that he might be relieved of command). Queeg uses the opportunity to buy up the liquor rations of all his officers to take home, a breach of Naval Regulations. He orders a crate made for more than 30 bottles, and his carpenter's mate, unaccustomed to such shenanigans, partitions the crate with sheets of lead, making it extremely heavy. Arriving in San Francisco Bay, Queeg orders the Caine across the bay to Oakland to drop off the crate before docking the ship. He orders the novel's protagonist, Willie Keith, to act as boat officer to take the unwieldy crate ashore, but his own contradictory orders to the boat crew cause the loss of the crate. When Willie requests leave, Queeg brings up the boat incident and extorts reimbursement from Willie for the lost liquor.
The Caine's overhaul is cut short when the ship is ordered to participate in the invasion of Kwajalein. During its combat assignment, Queeg is observed to always frequent the sheltered side of the ship's bridge from the beach. When he orders the ship to withdraw before reaching the line of departure while escorting a Marine landing craft under hostile fire, his subordinates consider him either crazy or a coward. Queeg orders a yellow dye marker thrown into the water to mark the spot for the Marines, and is soon referred to by his officers as "Old Yellowstain", a play on words referencing both the dye marker as well as cowardice.
Another episode which highlights Queeg's behaviors occurs when a quart of strawberries vanishes from the wardroom icebox. Remembering how he helped solve a mystery involving a similar theft when he was an ensign earlier in his career, Queeg attempts to recreate his former accomplishment by insisting the strawberries were pilfered by a crewmember with a duplicate key. Queeg orders every key on the ship collected, and a thorough search made. During the search, the captain is confronted with evidence that the messboys ate the strawberries. Queeg loses all enthusiasm for the search, though he orders it to continue, and it is continued in a desultory way amid public mocking of the captain.
The first officer, Lieutenant Steve Maryk, remains loyal to the captain but is eventually goaded into believing that Queeg is unfit for command by communications officer Lieutenant Tom Keefer, an aspiring novelist pressed into wartime service who has a grudge against the captain. Keefer persuades Maryk that the captain may be mentally ill, causing the exec, who is a man of the sea but not particularly intelligent, to study medical books on mental illness. After 15 months with Queeg in command, the Caine is caught in a typhoon and in danger of sinking. Maryk concludes that Queeg is unable to deal with the crisis and relieves him of command on the grounds of mental illness.
During Maryk's subsequent court-martial, Queeg takes the stand, and although found sane by three psychiatrists, is maneuvered by Maryk's lawyer, Lieutenant Barney Greenwald, to reveal his peculiar behaviors to the court. The attorney elicits a "diagnosis" from one psychiatrist that Queeg has a paranoid personality, but the question of how disabling is the condition is never resolved. This leaves the reader to ponder whether Maryk's actions had been justified as Greenwald in a drunken speech at a party following Maryk's acquittal, praises Queeg for choosing a career defending the country, and condemns Keefer for inciting a mutiny and then running from the consequences. Had the officers been more supportive of the Captain, he maintains, it would not have been necessary for Maryk to relieve Queeg. Greenwald is convinced that the officers let Queeg down, rather than the other way around. He throws a glass of yellow wine into Keefer's face, leaving him with a yellow stain of his own.
After the trial, Queeg is assigned to a naval depot in Iowa and is passed over for promotion, likely signalling the end of his naval career.
- In the case Planned Parenthood v Casey, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy explained his difficulty in coming to a decision (he ultimately sided with the Pro-Choice majority ruling) as follows: "Sometimes you don't know if you're Caesar about to cross the Rubicon or Captain Queeg cutting your own tow line." 
- Tobin, Jeffrey; The Nine --Pts 84-86, Google Play Book Version