Thursday, October 09, 2008
Insulting, patronizing - or just unprofessional?
This new attempt at "outreach" (which BTW I am 100% in favor of - if done in the Navy way) is just pathetic and reeks of being put together by people that have nothing to do with the Navy but are receiving a paycheck via their contract with it.
Thanks to Tom from Navycs.com for the hint - but at first I thought MyNavyMyFuture.com was a spoof site - as in "why the .com vice .mil" and "what a goofy site" but alas as with a lot of things in the Navy, we seem to like pretending we are not a military institution.
This goes so wrong in so many ways. First of all, who greets the visitor? Well, some guy in a civilian outfit with a name I can't pronounce with a generic Hip-Hop loop running around in the background making Mrs. Salamander get that look on her face that scares the children. Anyway - this thing is just full of stuff that makes me want to laugh, cry, or wonder why Senior Leadership gets to smoke dope and I don't.
First, look at the iconography they use, as in the upper right hand corner of this post. When did that become a Navy trademark? Is that an anchor I see, or are you shooting me the bird? Note in the opening that two anchors come down, crack a hard surface and just float there. What happened, launch a LCS in a pool? The same people who built the USS San Antonio also contract out for your anchor chain? It sets the tone for the whole page. Just like its anchor, it has no idea what its purpose is and the people using it have no idea how to employ it.
Next, look to the right. Here is our bud with the unpronounceable name in his Summer Whites. Yes Shipmates - he has no t-shirt and therefore looks like the poseur he is. Really. Get a t-shirt - you are in no condition to stand watch, much less represent the Navy on the Intertubes. And will someone help me out with his NAM? What is it with the blue? CG, USA, USAF; none of their Achievement Medals look like that. What is that, a 20deg stbd list on the SWO pin? Que pasa?
Finally, we have the big funny - but first the pain. Of the options you have on the page you can select, "Money For College," "Careers," "First Day," "Create Your Path,"and "Footprints." Only Footprints is worth showing to anyone, and it is listed last. The rest is only attractive to the narcissist and the opportunist. Nothing about service. Nothing about country. Nothing, except most of Footprints - about sacrifice. Talk about poisoning the pool.
The funniest part of the site is "Create Your Path" where you get to put any dude or dudette's face on any of four choices of LCDR uniforms - 3 out of 4 are non-warfare qualified. Yea, that will get you lots of Admirals..... Anyone can be a LCDR - Even Matt from BLACKFIVE! - have fun with PhotoShop at will!
Careers is funny too - because the picture they use on the icon is of an AV-8B ..... a USMC aircraft. Sigh.
This is a test site - I hope it is radically changed or put away (in case they change it soon, here is a screen shot of teh funnie). I would also like to know how much we are spending on it - as a lot of Sailors forking over lots of money out of their own pocket to get properly outfitted to do what Soldiers and Marines are trained and equipped to do - because the Navy is just ... well ... I don't want to bore you with the details.
Here is the shame of it all. We have untold number of outstanding officers of predominately Sub-Saharan DNA that look, sound, and perform in the top 1% of their peers - and who know when to wear a t-shirt. If we are going to do outreach, why not use them? I can pronounce all their name too. John, Sean, Frank, Dwayne, Tony, Ty, you know - names. Most of them are better officers than I am, and they're good looking too. Problem is, on balance they can't stand insulting, patronizing tokenism.
We can do so much better than this. So much better - and we don't have to tell play make-believe to do it.