I went to the US Merchant Marine Academy eons ago, was in the USNR-Merchant Marine Reserves, Individual Ready Reserves for 18 years, did a few ACDUTRA’s with the active Navy, and still sail as a merchant mariner on VLCCs and smaller crude tankers for nearly a third of a century. Love the design! Enjoy the deep blue! Go Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard!
Yes Proteus, we do suck at football, sad to say. I think, however, it’s time for all the service academies to admit it and go into Division II football. And let’s be brutally honest about this. An elite athelete gets everything for “free” at, say, OU or LSU, etc. (yeah they have to work hard for the scholarship) but seldom do they get shot at after they graduate. And whether you want to admit it or not, it’s no coincidence the jocks the service academies do actually get prefer AF and Navy. Unless you choose (and I emphasize choose) Marines coming out of Annapolis, most young football studs don’t find much attractive about their future being a 2nd Lt in a combat zone.
Nope, one of my kids so you kind of getted sucked into it with them (Sons of Slum and Gravy, On Brave Old Army Team, etc.). Discharged beginning 4th year for medical injury. I never would have lasted even that long – I don’t deal well with authority.
I continue to think it’s a good school – for the right person – but still think it’s not the most cost efficient way to train officers. I think the Brits do a better job with Sandhurst. I am told over the past 40 years or so that – on an annual basis – about 45-50% of new Army 2nd Lt’s have usually come through OCS, about 25-30% from ROTC and the rest WP. Lately, OCS costs less than $100k to train up per officer in comparison to WP $600-700k. The origin (in percentages) of all officer ranks all the way through flag rank supposedly stay about the same proportions. With the impending reduction in the Pentagon budget & armed forces, I think we’ll see big reductions in annual enrollment. And I hear the same from AF and Navy academy grads. Not enough ships & airplanes to fly to justify the cost of service academies.
“but still think it’s not the most cost efficient way to train officers”
As a grad I tend to agree with you. Four years in a “sheltered” environment allows for intensive training and shaping but I found that the ROTC officers were better able to adjust to the “real world”. For example, at the academy, when they say the transport trucks will be at the appointed pick up location at 1430hrs, they were there! In the real world, even in the military, you can count on Murphy to enforce his law.
Sorry this has nothing to do with bikes, but I hate government waste.
I really think Army and Navy academies – maybe AF – for the long term ought to become primarily graduate schools for 6+ year officers (I know, they let some go to grad schools now). More than 50% of WP grads (and I think more than 50% of Navy and AF grads) leave after the first five years. Why spend all that extra money on officers that will be green, 1st and 2nd Lt’s most of their five years and who we will lose – no matter whether OCS, ROTC or WP? Spend it on the guys who stay!
Another good example of wasted training dollars. Brother of a young friend of mine was AF academy grad. Flew C5A’s and loved it so he signed up for another 5 years. Exactly one month after signing up again he was permanently grounded and is now standing behind an enlisted man (who is flying drones) and telling him what to shoot & when. He hates it, but there are not enough planes to go around. I hear the same kind of stories from Navy folk.