There is a common thread found in most MISHAPS, especially when the primary cause was a breakdown in fundamentals – such as running a ship aground on a charted reef in broad daylight, or running a perfectly good aircraft off a perfectly good runway in perfectly good weather.
Another common thread is the sad and unfortunate end of the life or career of good officers because of a breakdown and lack of focus.
If you can keep focused on fundamentals – don’t run your ship aground and don’t cause a Class A MISHAP – then the other things usually fall in to place nicely. Distractions, holding an award’s ceremony or investing your days in paper and face-time, pull your attention away from the important things and put you in danger. The further disconnected the distractions are from your core mission, the greater the danger they are to you and those you lead.
I would offer two things for your consideration. First, grab a drink and then come back. If you don’t have the redacted IG report on VADM Fowler’s stewardship of funds at USNA – you can get it here.
Now that you have it, I would like you to do two simple word searches. Do a search for “Diversity” and then for “football.”
If you are looking for contributing causes of VADM Fowler’s ignominious exit from USNA – poor financial management being the primary cause – then I think you have it in the breathless pursuit of Diversity and D1 football.
Look at how many of the problems outlined in the IG report – inside, on, and outside the lines of acceptability – were related to the pursuit of Diversity and D1 football. This isn’t surprising.
Diversity (with at capital “D”, that is bad – as opposed to diversity with a small “d” that is good) as it is practiced by the USN in general and USNA in particular is not about equal opportunity, broadening the pool of potential officers, or even making the USN look “more like the nation it serves.” No, it is a retrograde socio-political theology grounded firmly on racialist theories from the 1970s that have no relevance in the 21st Century. It is pushed by agenda driven politicians and opinion makers bolstered by a Diversity Industry that needs sectarian division in order to make payroll. It is enabled by uniformed leadership that is willing to sacrifice integrity and youth in order to curry favor for money, status, awards, and the privileges of seniority.
It is well documented that USNA takes exceptional measures in the recruitment, retention, education, and treatment of select Midshipmen for the expressed purpose of being able to play Division One football.
Let’s look at USNA’s Mission:
The Mission:To develop Midshipmen morally, mentally and physically and to imbue them with the highest ideals of duty, honor and loyalty in order to graduate leaders 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.
USNA’s pursuit of the corrosive sectarianism of “Diversity” and the “living vicariously” immature vanity that is D1 football at a Service Academy are unnatural acts in pursuit of their mission. Like all attempts to do something unnatural – to make it happen takes measures well out of line of what is normally expected – and usually ultimately destructive.
To make it worse – the Command Climate at USNA has not been welcoming to those who voiced concern with the direction it was going in pursuit of Diversity and D1 football.
The results of this toxic soup? Well – read the report. It speaks for itself.
The lesson? Get back to fundamentals. Get back to objective standards. Focus on all of the Midshipmen. Focus on what a Service Academy is supposed to do – build leaders to bring Sailors and Marines to victory at war.
We are better than this.
- On Midrats 26 April 15 – Episode 277: Manpower, Modernization, and Motivation – an Hour with VADM Moran
- A Call to Write
- On Midrats 19 April 2015 – Episode 276: “21st Century Ellis”
- John Quincy Adams — The Grand Strategist: An Interview With Historian Charles N. Edel
- 4 Reasons Not to Resign Your Commission as a Naval Officer