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Bruce Fleming is Wrong - Academies are valuable

The New York Times loves to find fault with the military and today is no exception in "The Academies' March Toward Mediocrity". In this case they have highlighted the opinion of a Naval Academy English professor who apparently knows all there is to know about producing officers for the military. He states emphatically that we should shut down the Academies and just get all our officers from R.O.T.C. He bases this on the fact that he knows of nobody that would argue that Academy grads as a group, are better than any other group of R.O.T.C. officers.

Well it must be so. I mean, I am sure that in the English professor circles they have studied officers coming out of the various routes and done a full on comparison analysis on which perform better. So he must be correct in assuming, based upon his circle of friends, that an art history major from Vanderbilt would be just as a Naval Academy Grad.

How does the New York Times print this crap!

If you want to do an analysis and figure out the value of the academies then do it. If you want to take the opinion of a General or Admiral who, after years of leading junior officers, makes a statement about officer quality, then I would be concerned.

But an English professor - seriously NYT???? That's the opinion we should take in deciding military policy?!

So wrong.

Full disclosure: my brother in law is an English major, USNA class of 82 and I would take his opinion because he served in the military!!

1 comment:

  1. I'm a retired USNA graduate, English Major - Class of 85, and I would have to disagree with Professor Fleming. My experience at the Naval Academy would, however, support the theory that most of the USNA English Department knew absolutely nothing about the military and would be just as effective in a firefight as a Berkeley professor. Maybe we should give them weapons and send them to Iraq to test that theory.

    I would not trust their their opinion when it comes to the needs of the U.S. Military.

    Floyd Devine, LCDR USN (Ret.)
    USNA '85