While a young lieutenant was the highest-ranking individual on either of the two 50-foot boats, when the order was given to evade the Iranian forces, the helmsman refused the order.
That sounds pretty bad to me. My first reaction was disbelief and thoughts of a firing squad.
However, one of the commenters there, JeffGauch, brought up an interesting point:
... if that Lieutenant wasn't the coxswain of the lead boat in the formation the helmsman was absolutely correct in disregarding the order. Far more information than what is presented here is necessary to make an intelligent judgment.
Oddly, this fits with my experience as a rower. We often have both a coach, in a separate motorboat, and a coxswain in our own boat talking to us. The coach is in charge, but when it comes to maneuver we oar-pullers should only follow the orders of the coxswain.
New rowers often get confused by this: We can hear the coach giving maneuver orders to the coxswain, and newbs on their first or second time out will immediately start to follow them, which produces splashing, crossed oars and confusion as the more experienced rowers correctly wait for the coxswain's commands.
The Fox report does explain that the crew was inexperienced. Maybe something similar to this happened to them.
These kinds of details seem highly relevant to the story. Maybe the LT broke the rules by failing to give orders in the proper way. Maybe the helmsman broke the rules by disobeying a proper order. Either way, we need better reporters.