Thursday, May 27, 2010

Over at the United States Naval Academy

"The Firsties have never known a Honor system that didn't favor an athlete, a minority or a privileged child. The Firsties have never even known conduct or separation policies that didn't do the same. They have spent four years watching good men and women, whom honorably faulted in grades and conduct be separated. For four years they understood that that decision was not their's to make or even scrutinize, because of the nature of their future duties as officers. Then, with frighteningly increasing frequency they have watched the un-honorable, unqualified and un-dedicated be retained for reasons of athletic and statistical contribution."

From a member of the USNA Class of 2010.

Cross posted excerpt from CDR Salamander.

NOTE: I did not have the great honor of attending USNA, but I value it as a National and Navy treasure.


General Quarters said...

Isn't this simply a reflection of the ethics and cultural values of American society? This won't change until subordinates hold their seniors accountable for setting a higher standard.

Anonymous said...

to "Member of the USNA Class of 2010" ...

ENS/2ndLT ???,
Well then, it sounds like you have been properly prepared for the environment that you are about to enter shipmate.

Anonymous said...

I get what this person is trying to say, and it does deserve being heard.

Same time, there have been plenty of USNA grads (and USMA grads, too, for that matter) who didn't really deserve to be grads that went on to pay great service to the nation.

And there's been plenty of USNA and USMA grads who totally deserved their graduation ranking who went on to do disastrous things in the service of our nation.

It's one of those things that cuts both ways, and only time will tell which is which at any given time or place, or with any particular person.

Brandon Dawson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

(Note: the comment above is mine, as well, and this one continues it.)

Alfred Thayer Mahan graduated second in his class. The poor guy couldn't skipper a boat worth a damn, though.

It just wasn't his calling, and he found another way to render honor to his country.

Chester Nimitz, 7th in his class. We know what that fella did. :)

John S. McCain, III: He might be the best example of my argument: 894 of 899 in his class, as "legacy" as anyone could be, and went on to be a "bad-boy" junior officer, pretty good senior officer (or so I've heard) and US Senator (both for better and worse, I think).

I wish it was easier to pull up historical USNA class rankings. I'm intrigued to see if my thinking on this subject holds up to deeper scrutiny.

--bd in ohio

Anonymous said...

What concerns me is that the people living through the system can see it so plainley and those in charge refuse to do so.

In this day and age of CO firings and horrible JO retention rates, do we really wonder why or are we just paying lip service to the media.

I am running across fewer and fewer senior officers that genuinely seem to care about both the officer and enlisted folks around them; more concerned with honor and glory for themselves, rather than making the system better.
Then again I am just a lowly 20 yr LDO who should probably shut and be quiet.

Anonymous said...

The service academies are a complete waste of tax payer’s money! Plus it just breeds elitism throughout the wardroom. Last in the class at the USNA or 1st in their class at the University of “You name it.” The “ring knocker” will have preferential treatment from his fellow USNA grads. It’s BS!

Brian Ashpole said...

You may not have had the honor of attending this fine institution, however, I am absolutely certain that you had a very large influence on quite a few who did. Like you, I honor this treasured National Institution. Remember that during our time in Pensacola, that we put 4 Sailors into Annapolis - one showed up at my retirement as a SWO serving as the gunnery officer on a DDG. In my humble opinion, each commissioning source brings a specific (and unique)perspective to he wardroom - it's about what's in the best interest of the Navy.
Besides - not all of us can be Salukis.
Warm regards and very respectfully,

USNA Ancient said...

Bravo Zulu, "Member of USNA 2010", one of my "link in the chain" ... Well said and remember that things can and do change and you can be part of that if you keep an open mind and don't accept the BS and self-serving crap.

To Anonomous #2 ... I agree with some/most of what you say with the exception of john mccain ... I find virtually NOTHING commendable concerning him and am ashamed that I even though of supporting him in 2000 ... he has consistantly shown his true self-serving, hypocritical human emptiness ever since !