a quota is goal; a goal is a quota
Interesting excerpts from the hearing. The comment from the Army Superintendent that they group entrants as “leaders”, “scholars” and “athletes” seems like a warning light, though. Certainly we need educated officers, and we have been blessed as a nation with fine officers who were also scholars, but attempting to segment cadets in such a way seems odd. Does this suggest that West Point believes one group should not have the attributes of the other two? Shouldn’t every West Point graduate be an above average leader?
Another great post, Shipmate.
Worked at Navy Recruiting Command almost a decade ago at the oh-6 level. Goal setting was standard fare. Sometimes by gender (I recall either CNO or CNP pushed out a goal for 25% female accessions at one point, well above the typical 15-18%). Sometimes by ethnicity (blacks, hispanics, PAI, etc) and often certain professions (chaplains, doctors, lawyers). And yes, they specified "these are goals, not quotas."
By saying that, I think they were trying to communicate that it wasn't legally hard and fast. But if a 1- or 2-star tells you it's a "goal" that becomes the quota by default. Whatever interests your boss should fascinate you, right? No doubt that works all the way up The Chain. The junior Flags were only reflecting senior Flag intentions, and ultimately Congressional or Executive interest.
Anyway, around that same time my son tried to enlist in the Navy as an intel specialist. He had good grades, was TS-eligible, did well on his aptitude test, and obviously knew Navy culture from growing up in my house. I helped out by calling our local recruiter, and set up a visit with the Chief there. Even went with him.
He never got a second call. Ended up in the Army, where he did well. But my time at CNRC told me all I needed to know about why they weren't interested in him.
Clever. clips that have no volume, impossible to hear. Way to go
How do these GOFO's sleep at night?
In the mid-90’s I went to USNA (that’s ‘anus’, spelled sideways, sort of) for a week of BGO training. Coincidentally it occurred on the 20th anniversary of my I-Day. Anyway, this “goal” horse puckey was alive and sick then.
When the Admissions Office chick was briefing us on the racial composition of the Class of 1999, a BGO in our group asked if this was a quota. She quickly replied, “No sir, these are not quotas. They are goals.”
You have to wonder: do these jackwagons actually believe their own double-speak?
Bigger Picture.... USA and USAF need to find purpose after GWOT. Playing the diversity game is the only way they think they can stay relevant. USN has always been more diverse like the VADM said so they can play the game without actually playing it. Totally unimpressed by the LT GENs especially USMA.
Two more years........
I imagine the Congressional hearings for the FOGO’s after the next TF Smith or Savo Island will be a bit more intense. DoD PAOs might consider better preparing their leads when the time comes for Lucy to ‘splain what and how it happened.
Very good to see the covers finally being pulled back publically. I do have a (very tiny) bit of sympathy for the FOGOs. I am positive they have received absolute marching orders from the "Administration" minions above them, they are thus faced with marching along or defying orders which even they, in all probability realize are deleterious to the military they are part of. The honorable thing to do would be to put their stars on the table and publically resign. That is not happening. There's a quote somewhere about moral fiber which would seem to be appropriate.
Given that SCOTUS specifically exempted the US service academies from its ruling against affirmative action, that should give some indication that SCOTUS thinks that the US service academies are employing it. It will be up to Congress to end affirmative action at US service academies.
My Canoe U roommate was a laid back surfer from New Jersey who shocked us by 1.) service selecting Marine Ground and 2.) excelling at TBS and branch selecting Infantry. He did two tours in Iraq, including one up on the Syrian border where he saw some heavy stuff. For his shore tour he wanted to be close to family in Jersey so he accepted orders to the academy as an Admissions Officer. Sometime into his tour we got together for dinner and were catching up when I asked him what he thought of working in admissions. His cheery demeanor suddenly changed and he looked me in eye and with a straight face said – I f’ing hate it, I wish I was back in Iraq! He’d had his fill of chasing “unicorn” applicants and dealing with helicopter parents and managed to negotiate an early transfer to get back to the FMF.
Great grilling of the FOGOs - I only wish Jim Webb could have joined panel.
Need a "Don't like" button, aimed at GOFOs, not our esteemed host.
I'd fire every flag officer. President DeSantis, you're up . . .
Lay off the jock bashing. If we truly wanted to improve education we would make athletics mandatory, like reading. There are lessons sport teaches that can be found nowhere else. Getting knocked on your ass, and having to get back up and run the next play is a life lesson that comes into play over and over and over. There is a cliche that England won its wars on the playing fields of Oxford and Eton. It is a cliche that has a great deal of truth to it.
I had a chance to observe a Naval Academy athletic team at a track meet. I was watching the decathlon. In each of the ten events, the athlete was being coached by the midshipman who specialized in the event. The pole vaulters coached the kids as they vaulted, the hurdlers warmed them up for the 110s. These kids were impressive. Track puts enormous pressure on the athletes, and these kids handled it with style and grace. One vaulter got “the yips,” and was on the cusp of failing his third try, his two schoolmates pulled him aside, got his head straight, and he cleared the bar and went on to second place in that event.
The problem is not athletics, the problem is football and basketball. These are no longer games for student athletes, but, farm systems run by corporate conglomerates. Gridiron football is not a real sport, its entertainment, like professional wresting. Tennis, swimming, soccer, track and baseball are real sports and the kids who compete in them. Colleges should support athletes, we should have more student / athletes, not less. Our service academies should field a team in every sport they can; hurling, hockey and bowling included. The midshipmen, and women, that I saw competing at Div. I track were outstanding examples.
While I dislike the politically correct attitudes of many officials, I also respectfully disagree with Commander Salamander to some degree. There really is racism and sexism in US military institutions, although much less so than when I experienced it over half a century ago. The very language used by soldiers reveals this. So does the rate of reported crimes (which I stipulate is a fraction of the real number). Congress and the brass are not wrong to want to correct these problems. It isn't easy - Canada gave up on its airborne entirely because it was not able to reform. In my view, toleration of misconduct for racial or sex reasons is a bigger readiness issue than trying to address them. The best path to solving a problem is to face it directly. It is best to lead by example. Do not tolerate racist, sexist or similar speech. Confront every instance immediately. Calmly, explaining why it is a problem for force capability. I found it possible to learn to speak and write in a gender neutral way without playing politically correct games - decades ago. Make it clear that there will be real consequences for even just speaking disrespectfully of other soldiers. And investigate every assertion of misconduct. Strait up out of the Law for Seagoing Officers: "any person, military, civilian, adult or child" who asserts misconduct is to be taken seriously. If you act to that standard, you will be trusted enough that victims will report to you.
I thought a purpose of the Congressional Nomination process was to ensure the officer corps was staffed by a wide swath of qualified applicants, representing the entire nation. Of course, I'm being overly idealistic.
At this point, I would ban all 'goals' as subordinate to the need to fill the force. It's stupid to limit who you can take when the forces need bodies
For some information on what Sailors are saying about racism and sexism in the Navy, as opposed to Senators, here is the Health of the Force report for 2022: https://www.mynavyhr.navy.mil/Portals/55/Reference/Publications/CY2022_HOF_FINAL_8_Feb_23.pdf?ver=NfT0FRHSJlgEtWk0mE22lQ%3D%3D