Do they let her out without a keeper?

I saw and read this article yesterday, but lost the original link. That’s ok, though, because I found several others, including the Wizbang link I used. The article was written by a young woman at Columbia whose brother is attending the United States Naval Academy.

It seems that she and the rest of the family were shocked, shocked, I say, to learn that the Academy is part of the military!

While we knew that someday he would be required to serve, we also were drawn to the top-tier education he was promised to receive. We were told that the Naval Academy was first and foremost an elite college. He would be able to learn history, economics, political science, and even engineering.

He would “someday be required to serve?” Didn’t they pay attention during meetings with the Blue and Gold officers? Did they even attend any? Did they talk with any members of the local alumni chapter? How about the parents’ club?

When I attended (lo, these many moons ago), USNA was primarily an engineering school. Because of the Navy’s needs, everyone got a fair amount of engineering in their curriculum. The school itself was accredited, but only some of the engineering degrees were themselves accredited. That is, when I attended, everyone who graduated was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree. Some graduates received degrees such as “Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering,” but there were no Bachelor of Arts degrees. Majoring in any of the humanities got you a B.S.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he was learning everything she mentions above – I remember history being required. All right, History of Seapower. It’s still history. The “mass lectures” were still conducted by Professor Potter when I attended.

While they boast a first class education, the main goal of this institution was to get my brother “combat ready.”

I graduated before women were admitted to the service academies, but the stated mission of the Naval Academy back then was, “To prepare young men morally, mentally, and physically to become professional officers in the Naval Service.” I have a hard time imagining that the wording has changed in more ways than the replacement of “men” with something less gender-specific. It’s not presented as a formal mission, but the website says:

The Naval Academy gives young men and women the up-to-date academic and professional training needed to be effective naval and marine officers in their assignments after graduation.

Perhaps Ms. Leppla and her mother confused the Naval Academy with the other Naval Academy … you know, the one where they demonstrate for social justice, dress nicely for formal dinner/dances, drink environmentally-sensitive coffee substitutes, and never have to worry about icky combat.

Oh, wait, there isn’t one.

Sorry, maybe there is. If you search around the Naval Academy website, you find their catalog, which contains The United States Naval Academy Mission:

To develop midshipmen morally, mentally and physically and to imbue them with the highest ideals of duty, honor and loyalty in order to provide graduates who are dedicated to a career of naval service and have potential for future development in mind and character to assume the highest responsibilities of command, citizenship and government.

Gack! I thought mission statements were supposed to be straightforward and clear! I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, though. When I went back for my 20th reunion, one of my buddies was 5th Batt. officer, and he told me stories of how things had changed since our day. Disappointing. Not that I’m going to go into “Back in my day, when men were men, and plebes were plebes, and giants walked the earth” mode or anything, but touchy-feely philosophy (outside touchy-feely courses) and political correctness have infiltrated, as made apparent by the rewritten mission statement, which makes me think of the following “You know you’re a Mid when …” cartoon:


This is part one of four that Ms. Leppla has planned. What horrifying secrets will she expose in the next article? That the uniforms make them all look the same? That parts of the Academy are built on landfill into the Severn? That the locals think the Academy takes up valuable real estate that could be used for Historic Annapolis displays? (They used to; that may have changed.) That it’s possible to pass through Bilger’s Gate and still graduate?

I’ll be waiting with bated breath.

No, wait. I won’t. She’s gotten hammered in her comments; I think I’ll leave it at this.

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