Thursday, January 28, 2010

A drug free Annapolis? No, but we have D1 football!


UPDATE & BUMP: see bottom of post for latest developments.


This is sad.

Let's set the scene. You have a very good urinalysis program - one of the best in the Navy. You have to, you are in charge one of the most high-profile commands in the Navy; all eyes are on you. You can't afford to have drug problems or run any of your programs short of perfect.

After the last round of tests, you have a junior Sailor who pops positive for marijuana ... very strong pop. All the paperwork and proceedures are perfect, and you have been in the Navy long enough to know MILPERSMAN 1910-146 like you know your own Social Security Number.

Then you see the name; oh, him. Another administrative burden.

This isn't the first time this guy has been in trouble either; not drugs per se, but his counseling jacket is thick and highlighted, in a fashion - no one is really defending this guy either.

As things progress further and excuses are tried - inconsistencies come up even there. The pattern repeats; problem Sailor, air-tight urinalysis, pop positive for the evil weed, and finally no one can keep their story straight.

Cut and dried case, right? Time for a Big Chicken Dinner (OK, talk BCD, but OTH will do), right?

Don't be silly - this is exactly the kind of Sailor this Navy needs ... as a matter of fact - this man is officer material! You're the man in Command, you know quality and leadership potential when you see it; you're keeping him!

No, this isn't a parallel universe, this is the United States Naval Academy.


One report is a rumor. Three reports a trend. When I get above a half-dozen reports and phone calls - well, that is a story. It is especially a story when all of my primary sources are not bitter, angry, anti-Annapolis types. No; to an individual these are people who deeply love the Navy and USNA. They are sad, frustrated, and feel that their institution is once again selling its soul for superficial reasons. For reasons that make no sense to them, honor and integrity is being sold for a silly game. Yes, my friends - this also has to do with football.

In the
Potempkin Color Guard fiasco, we saw a loved institution twist itself into knots to satisfy a corrosive, self-loathing, and debunked racialist theory known as Diversity. I am afraid that we now have an institution that has sacrificed itself for something even more misguided - a game. A sport.

Though I know the name of the individual in question - I am not going to mention it here or some of the details as they aren't the important part of the story,
right now.

This story is much larger than one man - the United States Naval Academy deserves better than this - sure successful football brings in money, but you cannot buy back your honor through football. It is Honor, Courage, and Commitment - not Fudge, Courage, and Bowl Games.

Executive Summary: A USNA football player popped positive for marijuana post season - but the act of smoking pot took place "in season." Though there are inconsistencies in the stories that explained "why" he smoked pot - there was never a question that he did - in the end the story is that he was handed a cigar that was stuffed with marijuana, he smoked it with vigor, and had no idea there was marijuana in it. Ahem. An official statement was given to that effect by another party. The Sup bought the story decided to let him stay.

Let's be blunt here (pun intended). I didn't fall of a turnip truck and neither did any of you. First of all, everyone and their mother knows that a cigar stuffed with marijuana is very popular and is known as a blunt. No one "accidently" smokes a blunt. You smell it, you taste it - and you sure do feel it. Pot now days is not 1970s skunkweed. No. Not even close. If someone tells you he did not know it was pot the minute it was lit - not to mention after taking may long, deep breaths and holding (which you don't with cigars there natch) that is needed to pop positive - then that someone is probably lying to you.

Then again, we know that - don't we?

I remember what it was like in the '80s - I remember the posters, "
Not on my watch; Not on my ship; Not in my Navy". I have seen many a Sailor shown the door with a Big Chicken Dinner. I have seen successful and unsuccessful excuses for popping positive - one rather pornographic. In the end though, "no tolerance" had sticking power and I never saw a case of special consideration for any individual who popped positive - officer or enlisted.

Would this have happened if we didn't have an important member of the football team? I doubt it, but who knows. It would be interesting though to see the results of positive urinalysis cases over the last, say, five years to see what exceptions have been made.

I think the smart money is that we have another case of throwing away hard earned integrity to play football at a level a Service Academy has no reason playing.

Losing the bubble. Lost lock. Adrift - you call it what you want; but this just plain smells wrong (pun intended again).

A Commanding Officer, rightly, has a wide latitude in making decisions. Only he knows the reasons that he makes them. That doesn't mean we have to agree with him or his justification.

This whole thing is sad. The United States Naval Academy deserves better than this. Again, what example does this set for the future leaders of the Navy and Marine Corps?

That question deserves an answer.
UPDATE: Hey, look at the kids now days with all their facebooktwitterybloggy thingies going on!

Just reinforces what I tell people any time I get a chance - it isn't the young who are the problem.
UPDATE II - Electric Boogaloo: Philip Ewing @ NavyTimes has picked up the story. (Update to original here)
UPDATE III - Perfect Storm: Daniel de Vise at the Washington Post has picked up the story as well.
UPDATE IV - Set Condition Zebra: Things have become very interesting over the last 24-hrs and I encourage everyone to follow comment as there is some very good primary sources out there. First of all, I want everyone to get a peek at how business is sometimes done inside the lifelines at Annapolis.
--Forwarded Message Attachment--
From: [REDACTED]@usna.edu
Subject: Please Read
To: co[REDACTED]@usna.edu
Date: Wed, 27 Jan 2010 [REDACTED]

[REDACTED],

-----BODY OF EMAIL REDACTED ON A TEMP BASIS BY REQ----

Very Respectfully,

[REDACTED]
MIDN USN

--Forwarded Message Attachment--
From: [REDACTED]@usna.edu
Subject: IMPORTANT
To: co[REDACTED]@usna.edu
Date: Wed, 27 Jan 2010 [REDACTED]

[REDACTED],

Do not join the facebook group "Zero Tolerance=Zero Exceptions" or any other similar group.

This is coming down from the highest echelon. There will be severe consequences for disobedience.

Thanks,
[REDACTED]
Very interesting habits we are teaching the future officers in the military of a Representitive Republic.

You can find a link to the facebook page in question in a previous update. Just a little detail here; the page was started by a civilian and, in a fashion, supports a Navy policy - i.e. zero tolerance for drug abuse. The owner of the page has now made it private - so the conversation - some support zero tolerance, some do not; some support the USNA Admin, some do not - goes on, except now it has gone underground. Way to make it worse fellas.

I ran the above by a JAG friend - and from that exchange of emails comes some sound advice and some caution.
... the Academy may be right on this. While no particular officers are named, there's some pretty harsh criticism of the university administration which could be construed as an open condemnation of a senior officer, which is a violation of the UCMJ.

I'd advise the MIDs to tread carefully here.
This isn't black and white, and is a very gray area. Like I have advised in a few emails - stick to informal and if needed formal grevience proceedures. Keep your nose clean and your eye on the goal - graduate. If you have some venom that gets you near a gray area, feed it to civilian friends & family, or vent to some dorky blogger.
For the MIDN, all anyone will care about in the end is that you have a degree and a commission - all else is vanity. Make sure you can look yourself in the mirror every AM with your honor intact, and keep clear of UCMJ and/or regulations problems. If you find yourself in a gray area - there are JAGs there that will help you find out where the lines are before you cross them. If you need a POC there for a good one, email me. The overwhelming majority, as close to total as you can get to an imperfect human institution, of the uniformed and civilian staff at Annapolis is on your side and wants you to succeed so the Navy and the nation it serves can succeed. Remember that.

Part of the problem is that there are some logic disconnects coming at the MIDN. There of course is the obvious one of what is being said vs. is being done, and different "classes" of MIDN being treated differently - but there are messaging problems. For example, this came out in DEC09 - I like it;
Subj: Naval Academy News Media Policy

The following information is provided to clarify the Naval Academy’s policy regarding interaction with news media.
Like the Navy and Marine Corps, the Naval Academy does not forbid anyone from speaking with news media. The Naval Academy’s public affairs office requests to be notified when midshipmen, faculty or staff are contacted by news media in order to provide assistance and advice. This assistance and advice is particularly important for individuals who do not routinely interact with media, do not wish to respond to media, or may lack perspective on issues of potential media interest.
In most situations, individuals are free to address news media - either initiating or returning contact with reporters - and can do so without approval from their chain of command. However, there are specific situations, such as an ongoing official investigation or judicial proceeding and issues involving classified information, where Navy and Marine Corps policy specifically addresses limits of public comment. It is imperative during such situations to obtain the assistance of the public affairs office when contacted by reporters.

Naval Academy personnel who interact with media should also realize that their public comments can sometimes be construed - either intentionally or unintentionally - to represent the Navy or Naval Academy. It is important when interacting with media in an unofficial capacity to ensure that all opinions expressed are understood to be personal and do not necessarily represent the views of the Navy or the Academy.

Midshipmen, faculty or staff are free to interact with news media, but are strongly encouraged to contact the public affairs office prior to doing
so. Additionally, Naval Academy personnel who do not wish to engage with media can refer all media requests to the public affairs office. As always, any questions concerning this policy or any news media related issues should be referred to the public affairs office at X2292 or pao@usna.edu.
What is Facebook? Social media? New Media? Personal journal? Personal correspondence? Yes to all the above. That is why this is a gray area. If you canx facebook, can you do the same for subscriptions and online registration for NYT, WaPo, and multiple forums and, ahem, blogs out there? Do you restrict who they can and cannot email to? What about being a member of the NRA, NOW, or the Sierra Club? What about USNI? Do we punish them for being members of organizations that have authors who question policy? Sure we draw lines, at hate groups for instance, but be careful that your line is thick, bright, and straight. Crooked and selectively sketchy only breeds cynicism.

I think the folks at USNA are making this much worse trying to control the story ... again.
UPDATE V - Electric Glide: The local paper is on the hunt too.
UPDATE VI - Fiasco Edition: Thomas E. Ricks smells it as well.
UPDATE VII - Flash Gear: Front page of the Washington Post News Section.
UPDATE VIII - Defilade fire: URR has a higher brain function piece over at USNIBlog.
UPDATE IX - Load canister: The AP picked up Daniel de Vise's WaPo bit.

487 comments:

1 – 200 of 487   Newer›   Newest»
Mike said...

Hope this is not a 'minority' FB player. 

kmadams85 said...

Given the current environment, I assumed that it was a minority FB player.

Kay said...

Please define "ZERO TOLERANCE"?  My understanding, after reading your WELL INFORMED article, is the football players, yet again, follow their own set of rules.  Had this happened to that "PHYSICS NERD", you can bet your Mothers life that the Mids would be OUT---PERIOD!
Maybe the Supes integrity should be questioned.  Did he fall off that turnip truck?  What kind of leadership is he showing by his irresponsible actions and lack of simply "following the rules".  Those rules are made for ALL and as the leader of this wonderful school, it is HIS JOB to inforce them.  It absolutely blows my mind that sex, color, religion and least of all FOOTBALL should even enter the decision.
SHAME ON YOU SUPE AND ALL WHO SUPPORT THIS DECISION!

bullnav said...

More importantly, what example does it set for the Sailors out there?

blair said...

he is a minority,  but that is not the issue.  the issue is zero tolerance should mean zero tolerance.

Grandpa Bluewater said...

Minority, majority, Moriority,
Doesn't matter.  What matters?

The rot.

The cure? Cut out the rot. Surgically.

I had no idea it had gone so deep into the keel and frames.

It sadly falls to the next up in the chain to do his unhappy duty.

Do what needs to be done. Every one who is or was worth his salt knows what.

G-man said...

Not to worry.  He will grow up to have a successful career and be in charge of ship maintenance!

<span>"It seems to be a law of nature, inflexible and inexorable, that those who will not risk cannot win.</span>"
<span> John Paul Jones </span>

We are led by those that refuse to risk doing what is right.

John said...

Why is the kid who popped positive still in my olde Navy?

If his retention is being facilitated and/or covered up by ANYONE in the chain of command, why are they still filling the billet? 

What part of "lost confidence in the judgment of..." don't they understand?

When you shirk your duty, it is the job of your superior to do theirs.  If they shirk their duty, it rises to the next level.

I really don't care if we have to fire/relieve/sh!tcan a Division Officer, Departement Head, XO, CO, Superintendent, or all of the above, in addition to the pot-head.  Each and every person involved should be feeling the consequences (or rewards) for their deeds, or lack thereof.

If the USNA cannot even get rid of druggies in their midst, or those who support them, there iks absolutely no excuse for keeping the place open.  Cut orders for all hands to chip paint in the fleet, learn to weld (Ingalls may be hiring!), or transfer to a civilian school, and turn the campus into low rent housing.

C-dore 14 said...

The only way that I found to make this program work was to ensure that the procedures were scrupulously enforced and that "zero tolerance" meant just that.  During my first command a CO had the option of retaining an E-3 or below with a single positive test.  When I discussed the policy with my CMC and CMAA they asked "Once you make an exception, where do you stop?"  That's all the advice I needed and for the next two years everyone who tested positive went home.  The fact that the policy on a frigate would be stricter than that at the Naval Academy is disturbing to say the least.

BTW, what ever happened to our "drug running" Midn 2/C from last summer's cruise?

UltimaRatioRegis said...

<span><span>Sadly, he IS a minority.  And I don't mean skin color, though the role that might have played is hard to determine after the USNA color guard fiasco.  He is a minority in that he has physical skills that set him apart from other Middies.   No, the physics nerd is not going to break off tackle and outrun a Div I cornerback into the end zone, or shed a block and tackle an all-American running back in the backfield.   </span></span><span><span></span><span>But all that has very little to do with leadership, unless the development of those skills was through honest and persistent hard work, and the Middie sets a personal example in other ways.  </span>
<span> </span>
<span>But an administration that has sold its soul for Diversity can hardly draw the line here.  ADM Fowler and the Commandant of Middies have already rationalized that which they knew to be wrong.  Once done, it easily becomes a habit.   </span><span></span><span>Of course, the Midshipman in question isn't fit to lead anyone, anywhere, let alone US Navy Sailors.  But, neither Admiral Fowler nor Captain Klunder are, either.  Both should have been relieved over the color guard incident, and weren't.  And they won't now, as I am sure this can be spun to reflect the diversity which Admiral Roughead holds above all else.</span></span>

blair said...

if you are on facebook, check this group out.

<span>http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=315739174740</span>



From the group:
<span>"This group was created to gather students together who understand that a zero tolerance policy means exactly that - zero tolerance.

Recently a junior football player at the United States Naval Academy tested positive for marijuana. Unlike the countless that came before him, he was not dismissed from the Academy.

This is a classic example of favoritism based on sports, or overall "worth" as a student. This string of actions represents the lack of consideration and respect that the United Stated Naval Academy's administrators have for the rest of their students, and the lack of integrity and honor these same administrators hold for themselves."</span>

Tom Goering said...

Zero tollerance only holds for those who have yet to learn anything about the rules of the Navy. Fail the DAT at MEPS and you are barred from processing/joining the Navy - forever, no matter who you are.

nav said...

The whole story is that he was with a former Midn call him Midn X. Midn X played football until he left the school first semester of Ac year 09. Sometime during this past football season our alleged pot smoker call him Midn Y was with Midn X and a few other nefarious characters. They were all smoking and Midn X passed Midn Y a cigar which he thought tasted a little funny. They were already inebriated so Midn Y wasn't really sure of his suspicions that the cigar might be laced so he kept them to himself. Midn Y goes on helping bring in millions of dollars to support the joes(non varsity athletes) like me and does not hear anything until after the season when he is told that he has failed a drug test. He eventually makes his way to the Supe's office where he tells his story of that fateful night. The Supe after a long time brainstorming decides to allow Midn Y to stay a Midn. Is what he did really so bad? Let's think about what he did. Let's go to the extreme, did Midn Y kill someone? No he most certainly did not. Did he steal from someone? no he did not. Did he lie? prehaps, prehaps not. One really cannot say although with the evidence that is presented us (a signed letter from Midn X- who has nothing to gain from his admission of spiking the cigar) and a Supe who believes the story after 30 + years of Naval service. The question we then must ask ourselves is what did Midn Y do that was really so bad? sure he smoked some weed but is it really so different than going out and drinking(a brigade past time) the effects really aren't that different he was not in a duty status nor was he in the hall. He did not come back reeking of marijuana. He did not go to class high or go to represent the academy in a public forum high. The question still remains what is really so bad about smoking weed for recreational purposes? It went on back in the 60's and 70's and last I checked we were the strongest navy in the world back then as well. I understand the Navy is zero tolerance but the Navy also didn't allow women to serve last century. I believe it is time for the Navy to better understand the historical context it operates in. I for one fully support the Admiral's decision ( and yes I am a non varsity athlete Midn, a JOE) he is showing the kind of progressive thinking that we need around here. Job well done Supe. 

Old Salt said...

Nav said "The question we then must ask ourselves is what did Midn Y do that was really so bad? sure he smoked some weed but is it really so different than going out and drinking(a brigade past time) the effects really aren't that different he was not in a duty status nor was he in the hall. He did not come back reeking of marijuana. He did not go to class high or go to represent the academy in a public forum high. The question still remains what is really so bad about smoking weed for recreational purposes?"

You HAVE to be kidding me. You're in the Service 24x7x365, on or off duty. Period. Full Stop.

He.broke.the regs.

You don't get to decide which regs you're going to follow. The regs have been in place for decades. Midn Y knew what the regs were. He broke the regs. If what we read in CDR S's column is true, the rot, indeed, has reached the frames and keel.

That mid should have been held accountable for his actions and dumped from our Navy a long time ago.  

Kay said...

nav, you've GOT to be kidding.  Pot is illegal---PERIOD---
                                             Drinking alcohol under the age of 21 yrs. is illegal---PERIOD
                                             ZERO TOLERANCE---PERIOD
                                             ANY QUESTIONS??????????????????????????????

nav said...

Old Salt: I kid you not. A few things to consider though I highly doubt that you'll hear what I have to say with an open mind. Agreed that you are 'in' the service year round. This however does not mean that you are bound to the rules of say a duty status which I'm sure you know so I wont write them out. Take for example those officers who come to the Army Navy game and have no association with the Academy outside the fact that they are in the navy too. They come in civilian clothes and are the ones who are belligerently drunk and are making total fools of themselves. Does anything happen to them? No. As for regs they are broken on a daily basis fleet wide. Are the consequences always the same? No. This is just the most public forum the navy has. He has been punished for breaking regs, just not to the extent that is usually expected. And as for Kay, drinking under the age of 21 is illegal but even in the fleet or at the academy not a first time separable offense on its own.  So my only question is do you have a real point besides restating what has already been said except using all caps?

UltimaRatioRegis said...

nav,

Rationalizing that which you know to be both wrong and illegal means you have a LONG way to go to be an Officer.  Your argument is fallacious, and if you presented it to me in an official capacity, I would do everything in my power to ensure you would never see a commission.  Ever. 

C-dore 14 said...

nav, Glad you support the Supe.  There are some of us out here, however, who feel that it's not unreasonable to hold a Midn to the same, if not higher, standards that we expect of our junior enlisted personnel.  An E-2 would be on his/her way home for this.  By the way, those guys have good stories too when they come up positive on a drug test.  The "Sir, I was so drunk that I didn't know what was happening..." is an oldie but goodie.  I heard it a number of times at Mast---one would think that in his "30+ years in the Navy" that the Supe would have heard it too.

As for your comment about the 60s and the 70s, take it from a guy who experienced it, we may have told ourselves that we were the strongest Navy in the world but we weren't.  Broken ships, sailors who didn't trust one another, and rampant drug use.  It finally took a major accident and several deaths aboard USS NIMITZ (along with a ruling on the urinalysis program by the Military Court of Appeals) that pushed us to the zero tolerance policy that we have today.

Perry said...

"He didn't kill anyone... <span>It went on back in the 60's and 70's and last I checked we were the strongest navy in the world back then as well."</span>

The whole urinalysis program came about after several Sailors were killed and the autopsies showed several of them had drugs in their bodies.  I don't want the guy beside me in a fireteam, or driving the ship, or anything else, to have anything but complete facilities on the job.  The Navy has decided that the only way to ensure that personnel aren't impaired on the job is to have a zero tolerance policy.  As to the point that he was "off-duty", the regs make no difference as to when the drug offense occured. 

I entered the Navy just a few years after that zero tolerance went into effect, and there were still plenty of people around who lived it.  To a man, they all said it was a horrible time to be in the Navy, and that you never knew whether you could count on the guy next to you.


<span>"Midn Y goes on helping bring in millions of dollars to support the joes(non varsity athletes)"</span>

So if the drug-running mid had been planning on donating his proceeds to the NAAA that would have been okay?

<span>"a signed letter from Midn X- who has nothing to gain from his admission of spiking the cigar"</span>

Other than helping his friend out of a jam.  Administering a drug to someone without his knowledge is a crime, probably a felony.  It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if the Supe had asked civilian authorities to use his "confession" to prosecute Midn X - I have a feeling that his story would have changed radically.  I think that the Supe didn't want to ask questions he didn't want the answer to.

"<span>The question still remains what is really so bad about smoking weed for recreational purposes"</span>

I still don't smoke pot - I still need a security clearance for my job, so I've never seriously considered it.  However, my ideas on smoking pot have changed radically - I'm now in favor of legalization.  However, even if legalized, I would not want people in the Navy smoking it because of the effects in my first point.  We have to give up many things to serve, and drugs are an easy one.

LT B said...

I've seen the rules bent to help the football team in the past.  I don't know that I've seen the laws bent or ignored for it before.  What does the NCAA say about this?  I sure am glad he didn't cuss AND smoke dope! 

I saw a mid w/ a 0.4 GPA at 6 weeks allowed to travel and play.  Rules were bent in the past.  We let the little stuff go and it becomes easier for the big stuff. 

Nav, you are wrong.  Full stop.  I throw out Sailors for coming to work drunk and I would for high or having THC in the blood.

Anon said...

The NCAA question is a very good question. Has anyone contacted them?

nav said...

C-dore 14 as for our E-2's and junior enlisted i would hope that we hold our officers to higher standards. I would also hope that our Flags would have discretion in handling situations such as this on a case by case basis instead of just showing anyone who made a mistake the door. To your second statement I obviously was not around for the 60's and 70's so I clearly do not have the same personal insight that you do, but I either misstated my point or was misheard. I am not advocating pot smoking breaks and 45 day pot brownie rations out at sea. I am advocating the legalization and responsible use of marijuana. The same way alcohol is treated, i.e. no drinking while on duty or 8 hours prior, so on and so forth. The USS NIMITZ and the death of those sailors although still very tragic should not be what we base our drug tests off decades later. Perry The drug running mid was also involved in gang activity in Mexico as well as carrying illegal firearms none of which the Midn Y did. As for Midn X he signed a statement, we can hypothesize on what may or may not happen had the Supe contacted the police. But he didn't so it's really not realistic to say what would have happened.

nav said...

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with smoking weed. For example killing someone is intrinsically wrong because you violate someones will to live. As well as you negatively impact there friends and family. Smoking weed in and of itself does none of this. As my argument I would encourage you to point out the fallacy rather than just say it is so without any justification, especially if you would deny me a commission for it.

MR T's Haircut said...

WTF!!!???  Nav you bring that bullshit to me when your Sailors screw up, and I will f*@*@ eat you for lunch...

You are not fit to be an officer.  You are an idiot,  Get out.  Now..please bilge out.

MR T's Haircut said...

And there is alot f(*@@ ing wrong with picking and choosing your regulations you follow... get some ethics kid...

nav said...

it wasnt an ncaa sanctioned drug test

MR T's Haircut said...

doesnt have to be you idiot,, he is in the freaking Naval Academy... price of admission...

nav said...

First off no need for name calling. Second I was talking about him playing next season which he will be since it was not an NCAA drug test it was a Naval Academy drug test

Anon said...

Nav, your right, no name-calling. But there is FOIA and the NCAA should be informed.

cdrsalamander said...

Behold the relativist.

Good luck with that in the Fleet.

Anon said...

Everyone should be held to the same standards.

What are you saying?
" I am advocating the legalization and responsible use of marijuana"

OK Fine. But right now, it isn't.

Ergo, illegal. What kind of precedent do we set with letting the Baby Navy get a free pass to break laws?

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Nav,

Pardon but I accidentally deleted the comment I made regarding your rationalization of personal conduct that was in violation of orders, and also against the law.  Should you have spouted that drivel to me in any official dealings, I would do my utmost to see that you never get a commission.  Ever.  I would never entrust the lives and safety of young Sailors to you.  You haven't the moral compass or self-discipline to wear a uniform.

Anon said...

I understand the scorn for the Superintendent on this, but what about the Athletic Director and Head Football Coach?  We spout high-minded rhetoric about how sports build character on and off the field, but when things like this happen where is the backbone from those two individuals?  Even if the Naval Academy retains this MIDN, why couldn't the Athletic Director or Head Football Coach bench him permanently as an example to others?  I suspect they are only too happy to pass the buck to the military officers so that they can get back to their primary concern, which is winning games to keep donors happy.  The buck stops with the Superintendent, but the truth is that it should never have gotten that far.

C-dore 14 said...

Nav, Your point regarding the legalization of marijuana is well taken but it is irrelevant to the discussion here.  That Navy's current policy is one of zero tolerance for drug abuse, as it should be for an illegal activity.  If the law is changed then the Navy will need to reevaluate its policy.

As for discretion in the implementation of policy I find your comment interesting based on your previous comments about differences in punishment (or lack of it) for violation of regulations.  Individual commanding officers could argue that they were just using their 'broad discretion" in those cases, as I'm sure the Supe would in this case.  Unfortunately, it's often a slippery slope from dealing with matters like this on a case by case basis to the perception of favoritism for a certain group of people whether they be athletes, minorities, physics nerds, or whatever.  The other problem is that exceptions to policy may lead others to think that they can get away with violations as well.

You and I are both in agreement that officers should be held to higher standards.  In my commands I took a hard line regarding drug and alcohol abuse.  My crews knew the rules and generally abided by them.

C-dore 14 said...

"Baby Navy"---That's what Mrs C-dore called the place when we were "dragging".   :-D

OnceAMarine said...

E-mailed both my sons at the Yard when I saw this post this afternoon to get their take on the situation.  One of them just responded and I'm pasting an excerpt below.

  
<p><span>"...You know (</span><span><span>name redacted</span></span><span>) and I have a lot of friends on the football team.<span>  </span>Most all of them are squared away guys that are here because they want to serve and not just to play ball – just like the guys on our team. Unfortunately they all get a bad rep when this crap happens.<span>  </span>We all have to piss in the cup, we all get pulled out of the rack at 2am to blow in the breathalyzer on Saturday nights, and we all know the rules so if you decide to break them you’ve got to pay the price.<span>  </span>What sucks about this is the price isn’t the same for everybody.<span>  </span>It all ties in with the same old crap we always bitch about: pc bs, different standards=no standards. <span> </span>You always told us that a Marine isn’t afraid of losing his life, only of losing his honor.<span>  </span>Most of the Brigade understands this – some don’t and never will and they should be gone...."</span></p>

MR T's Haircut said...

Nav, your clear lack of understanding of good order and discipline is down right scary.  You cannot pick and choose your regulations.  Your equivocation of the facts is also scary.  You have much to learn.  I wonder what you think when you walk past the tradition on the walls in the Academy.  I wonder if you even are aware of the stupidity in your comments.

I know and have faith a Chief will unF**@ you IF you get to the fleet....

MR T's Haircut said...

I cannot even comment on the jibber jabber coming from "Nav"... my god really?  So what, he didint kill anyone... really?  WTF!  This illustrates CLEARLY to me the corrosive effect of ninny leadersheep coming from the front office....

MIDN X said...

It is, as I am intimately familiar with the case.  It seems irrational that the Supe would ignore the CoC and retain him.  Also weird that the letter appears AFTER the Dant tells him what would need to happen for him to have a chance at staying.

MR T's Haircut said...

<span>I cannot even comment on the jibber jabber coming from "Nav"... my god really?  So what, he didnt kill anyone... really?  WTF!  This illustrates CLEARLY to me the corrosive effect of ninny leadersheep coming from the front office....</span>
<span></span>
<span>I have seperated better Sailors with better records than this football playing thug pothead.... </span>

MR T's Haircut said...

URR, dude you took my comments with it I think...

Grumpy Old Ham said...

"<span>The USS NIMITZ and the death of those sailors although still very tragic should not be what we base our drug tests off decades later."</span>

OK, I'll bite.

What has changed in the intervening years to render obsolete the zero-tolerance policy and associated need for drug testing --

-- the effects of drugs on human physiology and/or cognitive abilities?
-- the need for attention to detail for dangerous tasks?
-- the need to trust your shipmates that they have the ability to perform tasks when necessary?

Seems to me nothing about those principles has changed, therefore the rationale used to implement zero tolerance decades ago likewise is still valid today.

C-dore 14 said...

Your son understands and you should be proud.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

One has to wonder if "nav" is even a Middie.  If he is, he needs to get his head out of rectal defilade and get wise panee lao.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Huh.  I ain't sposta be able to delete anybody's but mine.  AND, the site is acting up a bit.  So I will deny everything and make counter-accusations!

nav said...

Mr. T my 'jibber jabber' comes from that of a midn who understands that not everything in the world(navy included) is clear cut black and white. Because I don't fall in line with the view of the masses doesn't mean I've been corrupted, on the contrary it means I have the capacity to think for myself. 

nav said...

I could care less if you think I'm a Midn or not. It seems rather funny to me that you have still yet to bring a legitimate argument against what I've said.  

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Nav,

Do you want to be a US Navy Officer, or a bolshevik labor organizer?  From what nonsense you are spouting here to career military folks, most with combat experience, you seem to have little understanding of very much.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

You might want to look up Article 92.  Elements of the offense, etc.  That is a pretty good argument absent your understanding that in the military, you haven't the option to do whatever you want when you want. 

nav said...

I wouldn't say relativist, rather realist. 

MR T's Haircut said...

Nav, how about art 92 or 134 for starts... they put your "argument" to bed. 

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Nice call, T.  I pity the fool, too.  PAIN!

MR T's Haircut said...

I know that tactic!

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Annapolis as reality.  First time for everything, I guess. 

MR T's Haircut said...

Like my old Master Chief OSCM used to say on Enterprise... "Kid, you don't even know what you don't know... "

good luck with that.

nav said...

Well clearly they do not because the argument is still present and the actions of a VADM in the U.S. Navy seem very much in line with what I have said. 

MR T's Haircut said...

Nav,

what happened to your "questioning attitude" and "critical" thinking???  oh yea right... cant wait until you try to argue to the Skipper why he needs to keep "my best ET"  because he popped on a mere little tiny ole drug test,....   I mean he didnt kill anyone skipper!

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Yep, the actions of the VADM are very much in line with what you say.  Most of the folks here thing that is a very big problem.  Because his conduct is reinforcing the drivel you spout, and is being done for baldly political reasons.  Fowler should have been relieved for cause, and the fact that he hasn't after violating US Law (CRA 1964) and DoD guidance, is telling.  I have been where the shooting is, and I would not follow him across the street.  And you will find the same about you if you don't lock on. 

MR T's Haircut said...

Glad the good VADM concurs with you... all your experience and all....

UltimaRatioRegis said...

<span>Yep, the actions of the VADM are very much in line with what you say.  Most of the folks here thing that is a very big problem.  Because his conduct is reinforcing the drivel you spout, and is being done for baldly political reasons.  Fowler should have been relieved for cause, and the fact that he hasn't after violating US Law (CRA 1964) and DoD guidance, is telling.  I have been where the shooting is, and I would not follow him across the street.  And you will find the same about you if you don't lock on.
</span>

MR T's Haircut said...

Nav you are an affront to most of us.  You are acting ridiculous.

Andrewdb said...

"Too drunk" - I've missed that one, but I did hear a lot of "over-the-counter" meds and "poopy seed bagles" a couple of years ago. The AdSep Boards didn't fine that convincing.

Andrewdb said...

<span>"Too drunk" - I've missed that one, but I did hear a lot of "over-the-counter" meds and "poppy seed bagles" a couple of years ago. The AdSep Boards didn't fine that convincing.</span>

LT B said...

Little lies lead to big lies which lead to a loss of culture, tradition, and honor.  Welcome to the new Navy.  But, hey, we have an ethos.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

A Global Force for Pot.

Lobotomy (sel) said...

One of the things that disturbs me about this story and has yet to be specifically mentioned (to Nav) is that as a member of the military and especially as an officer your character is frequently judged by what you do in your "time off" and who you spend time with.  Specifically, I find it very hard to believe that Midn Y will be ever to successfully obtain any kind of truly useful security clearance and therefore what use is he to the military other than play football?  I don't care how well this is covered up by the administration of his friends etc - it will get out and an average investigator will find it and now all you have is an officer qualified to babysit the NAS pregnant others and those awaiting separation while on permanent shore duty.

LT B said...

I concur w/ C-dore 14.  Many at the academy are good mids aspiring to be good officers.  I count your son as one.  You should be proud.

MR T's Haircut said...

Trying real hard to convince my nephew that the Naval Academy is the right choice, but man I am losing my credibility by the hour....

UltimaRatioRegis said...

But he will count in the diversity stats.....

Lobotomy (sel) said...

ok he has two uses.

Malachy Marine said...

<span>Nav, Thinking for yourself is an important thing. There is nothing wrong with that. However, you need to consider that just because you do not agree with a particular regulation/rule/law does not mean that you have a choice in enforcing it. That being said: Smoking pot is not an accidental occurrence. I smoked before the Academy. Not much, but enough to know. I was compelled by my honor and integrity to notify the USNA of this during my DODMERB exam, along with my underage alcohol usage. Did you do the same? I'm going to assume that you didn't, because you avoided the stuff in High School. Pot burns in the lungs when inhaled, it also gives off a pungent smell when burned. Additionally, it must be inhaled and you must hold your breath, doing this multiple times, for it to even register on a urinalysis. THIS IS NOT SOMETHING DONE WITH JUST A CIGAR!!! Also, I do support the legalization and heavy taxation of marijuana by the government. However, the Armed Forces (and Police and Firefighters and EMT/Paramedics and Doctors...) must maximize their cognitive ability as often as possible. In fact, it is a <span>critical requirement</span> of their chosen professions. WRT the Zero Tolerance aspect... As an officer... As a leader, you do NOT have a choice which rules/regulations/laws you choose to enforce, simply because you do not personally agree with it. They are the rules simply put. I was also put on restriction at the USNA for underage drinking... I served my time for that punishment. However, alcohol does not have a zero tolerance policy. Marijuana does. He must serve the punishment for his actions.</span>

LT B said...

Towels need to be washed at the gym. 

LT B said...

There are better ways to get the young man into khakis, er, combat smurfs w/ khaki belts.

MR T's Haircut said...

Except he already has the congressional nomination and his blue and old officer has been out to see his momma...

MR T's Haircut said...

And he plays football lots of it but he doesnt smoke pot.. so I guess he cant get on the team....

sid said...

nav...

You, and MidnY are expected to be leaders of men (and women)...perhaps even in battle.

If you expect to lead with the kind of moral relativism you advocate, you career in the USN will be both short and troublesome.

I feel sorry for whomever may find themselves working for you.

Even back in the  wild and wolly "Fuzzy Navy" days of the '70s, if you were stupid enough to get busted, you took your lumps and dealt with it.

To parapharse the John Houseman commercial popular at the time; You EARNED it....

If you can't see that your tenure at the Academy sets you in a world of higher standards, then get the hell out and quit wasting my tax dollars...And before you make a mess of things for folks unlucky enough to work for you.

Anon said...

Many reasons to go. To be an officer, to represent those before him & uplhold the honors of previous MIDN and USNA that should outlast this despicable behavior (with young committed men and women who make a selfless sacrfice and have the inegrity and self-discipline to follow through). Prove us right (not wrong).

This is a leadership issue.

Anonymous said...

He's not...we don't call non-varsity athletes JOES, we have a different meaning for that word...this is not something that would be mistaken by ANY midshipman

Anonymous said...

Your not a mid, your use of common MIDN words is all jacked up.  W<span>e don't call non-varsity athletes JOES, we have a different meaning for that word...this is not something that would be mistaken by ANY midshipman</span>

BravoZulu said...

Okay, nav, riddle me this. Since when is being drunk an excuse for misconduct? Last time I checked, you still get fried for jumping the wall or missing taps or punching another midshipman in the face when you're drunk. Midn X smoked a blunt while he was drunk. Therefore, he still smoked a blunt. Your "realist" logic just doesn't hold up, shipmate.

And even if "Midn X" did not "intentionally lie," he still displayed questionable moral tendencies and risky social behavior, to say the least. I don't think his actions would fall under the motto "Honor, Courage, Commitment." Honor? Hardly. Fess up instead of covering your own @ss. Courage? Speak up when the cigar "tastes funny," or just throw it away! Commitment? Maybe to varsity football. And that doesn't count for much once you graduate and actually have to lead other human beings.

In my opinion, you, too, need to take a good long look in the mirror and reevaluate your true commitment to the men and women you will lead someday. They don't deserve a half-baked officer.

And just a side note, just because you aren't a varsity athlete doesn't make you a joe. Use the slang right, if you're going to use it.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

I KNEW it!  "nav" is really Vice Admiral Fowler!  Or Barbara Boxer.  I can't decide which. 

saddened 1/C MIDN said...

the drug runner was kicked out...don't worry...awaiting trial if I'm not mistaken...

Anon said...

Funny 8-)

sid said...

<span> "The USS NIMITZ and the death of those sailors although still very tragic should not be what we base our drug tests off decades later."</span>

It was the incident that made it in front of Congress, and was therefore the incident that made the drug testing in the military what it is today.

But, to be fair to those poor souls on the crash team who died that night...They did not cause that EA-6 to crash.

I've seen them blamed for that tragedy even on navy.mil, and they, nor their families deserve that slander.

FWIW, from what I've heard from some folks who were there, none of them were toking it up in the catwalk as has been too often characterized.

Anyway, I was around to see what happened in the wake of their deaths. Adm Holloway's early '82 ALLNAV telling CO's to eradicate drug use in their commands even if it meant missing commitments, made for a much better Navy in just a matter of months.

Those foolish enough to play the odds EARNED their 45/45 1/2 pay and bust.

And, nav if you think its ok for a naval officer to be a big enough idiot to smoke a blunt and not know it even a generation later, then you too are a raging idiot.

saddened 1/C MIDN said...

he's a soph not a junior

BravoZulu said...

If you are arrested in civilian clothes out in town for being belligerently drunk, you are still arrested. They still call your commanding officer, etc etc. Civilian clothes do not an excuse or disguise make. You are still in the Navy.

And yes, I've seen it happen. There was a 2nd LT who just graduated who got arrested at a home football game *gasp* while he was in civilian clothes! Who'da thunk?

Sublime said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STeYTwunxjw

BravoZulu said...

Just because a VADM did it, doesn't mean it's right.

Check out the validity of the arguments below for starters.

Anonymous said...

Some of the relativism here scares me. I remember NIMITZ, and a drug addled Navy.

Trying not to be an anti-USNA guy, but this stinks. New leadership NOW, and really, D1 football SHOULD have nothing to do with the fricking academy. Dual trackers in sports. Dual trackers in race. Dumb A$$ weak leadership. I'm sick of it.

DM05 said...

So ticked off - that last "guest" postee was moi.

nav said...

D1 football pays for almost everything else on this yard...no football=no academy

MR T's Haircut said...

Fight the fight shipmate!

MR T's Haircut said...

Nav

WRONG!!! MY F(*@(@ tax dollar pays for the Academy...

UltimaRatioRegis said...

No Academy.  Hmmm.  There's an idea.  Take the piss poor leadership out, directly into retirement.  Company and Field Grade officers back to the FMF or the Fleet, put the enlisted folks back into billets where they are sorely needed, and take advantage of other commissioning sources. 

So diverse it wouldn't even exist.

cdrsalamander said...

Ummmm, no.  The taxpayers do.

Sublime said...

nav
you just lost all credibility.
i pray that you are not actually a mid

UltimaRatioRegis said...

To use the football analogy, nav hasn't seen the football since kickoff.

nav said...

It pays for almsot all the other sports here except mens lax and mens bball(in a good year) and then all the rest of that money goes to the academy. Besides all the publicity it brings especially since theyre a preseason top 25

MR T's Haircut said...

Nav,

stop being a douche nozzle and listen... you have no idea what you are talking about.  Sen Byrd assisted in 96 to moving the funding for athletics from the USNA Alum Assoc to the Federal Gover, IE Congress and the Dept of the Navy... get your facts straight.

Malachy Marine said...

The more I hear, the more I think I know who this kid is... I am not surprised. He should have been shown the door months ago. If it is him, he has no understanding of what it means to serve, nor does he care to. While i generally believe the football team in toto cultivates good leaders, there are those that stand apart. A recent grad and former FB, is soon to be a 2ndLt (Ret.) from the USMC thanks to his poor judgement WRT a land navigation course. You would think this kind of integrity would be inherent in all USNA grads... or rather hope it to be. With all of the "Pot head's" other violations I am extremely surprised he was not kicked out... Or am I? Methinks Chet may have intervened on his behalf...

MR T's Haircut said...

<span>Nav, 
 
stop being a douche nozzle and listen... you have no idea what you are talking about.  Sen Byrd assisted in 96 to moving the funding for athletics from the USNA / USAA Athletic Assoc to the Federal Government, IE Congress and the Dept of the Navy... get your facts straight.</span>
<span></span>
<span>if this is any indicator of your ability , go home..</span>

nav said...

Sublime I'm glad you speak for the masses now. The taxpayers pay for the baseline the neccesities and the leftover athletic(football) money helps pay for non-essentials. 

Malachy Marine said...

Actually, there is some truth to what Nav says. The Naval Academy Foundation foot a large part of the bill that the USNA racks up. The Foundation is funded by NAAA and the Alumni Association. The Academy is much more privatized then you would think. And far more privatized then I care to admit...

MR T's Haircut said...

umm wrong again...

UltimaRatioRegis said...

So he will be sporting the civilian service uniform with the boot print on his ass?  Excellent.  Those Marines would have shredded this guy. 

MR T's Haircut said...

Nav,

you are a perfect example why people shouldnt smoke pot....

nav said...

and finally someone else who actually knows how things work around here and doesnt just claim to 

MR T's Haircut said...

Malach,

however, the aggregate funding and accountability is the TAX PAYER.  And they deserve better than this..

FOD said...

This makes me sick.

I remember a DRB for one young Sailor who popped positive when I was a CMC back in the 1990's. The guy was almost in tears, knew the consequences, and said, "Master Chief, I'm sorry, all I want is a second chance."

You know what I had to tell him? "You can have a second chance, just not in the Navy."

That sucked. Many in the 70's and pre-USS Nimitz 80's got that second chance and went on to become fine Sailors and leaders of men.  

But the rules changed to zero tolerance. And we followed them.

sid said...

nav seems determined to graduate from, "The School Of Knowing Everything Without Actually Learning Anything"

On our dime...

1/C MIDN said...

<span>As a senior at the United States Naval Academy, I am disgusted and ashamed to be a part of this institution at the current time. The military has a zero tolerance policy for drug use and have seen persons kicked out for trying pot. Why is this any different? The case is cut and dry. Do Drugs = GO HOME! There aren't exceptions in the fleet for officers, so why should there be exceptions at the United States Naval Academy? This Midshipman is supposed to lead Sailors and Marines and demand respect from them one day. He can't even be trusted to do the right thing when no one is looking let alone when people are watching. He is a failure and a disgrace to USNA and the United States Navy! I vehemently hope that this institution makes some serious changes, and does it soon. The lives of Sailors and Marines are at stake and with people like this Midshipman who can't follow simple rules and directions, they will die. How is the SUPE going to live with himself if this future "officer" is responsible for killing brave Sailors and Marines because he wanted to "smoke out" and eat the entire fridge? I know I would never be able to deal with that. One thing that I have learned through this situation is that at times it not only pays to listen to those regulations as they are set forth, but to also at times, listen to what the crowd wants. They may be wiser than us...</span>

nav said...

Haha. I'm determined to graduate and not be a salty inflexible close minded officer

MR T's Haircut said...

I doubt you will make it.. and if you do, a CPO will be there to wonder how you made it through the filter.

C-dore 14 said...

<span>What's on your mind...</span>

BravoZulu said...

Amen.

OnceAMarine said...

How will the Supe sleep at night?  Very well - as long as "Diversity" is not a casualty

nav said...

You still havent made a valid point so I'll acknowledge you if you actually do. 

Malachy Marine said...

I don't disagree. I am merely pointing out the massive amount of private monies that can and do influence decisions/policies/building projects on the Yard. All ECAs are funded sans public money. Nothing for overhead, transportation, lodging, food, nothing... MIDN are given a pro-rated per diem for meals missed in King Hall, but everything else is paid for by the MIDN Welfare Fund (MWF). MWF is financed by NA Business Services Division (NABSD) which is in turn controlled and funded by NAF. Every Mvmt Order, Ball, Athletic event, etc. comes from private contributions or interest earned from private contributions. 

FOD said...

Dammit, I'm angry enough to post again

Compare the young enlisted Sailor in my story and the future officer in Phib's. One admits guilt, accepts responsibility, and asks to give it another try.  The other lies and gets others to lie to cover up his error.

Who would you rather have on watch?  And what kind of f**ked up organization kicks out the former and keeps the latter.  Dammit.

I know I've said this before.... Where is my Navy and what have you done with it?

Malachy Marine said...

<span>
<p>Is this in reference to the 2ndLt (Ret.) or the Druggie? Cause in either case I agree... Prowess on the gridiron/mat/track/court/field does not equate to competence or respect on the battlefield.
</p></span>

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Just because self-discipline and leadership fundamentals have worked for 230+ years of a glorious combat history doesn't mean that YOU need them.  After all, like, the inflexibility of, like, doing what you're told is, like, SO not cool. 

UltimaRatioRegis said...

<span>Just because self-discipline and leadership fundamentals have worked for 230+ years of a glorious combat history doesn't mean that YOU need them.  After all, like, the inflexibility of, like, doing what you're told is, like, SO not cool.
</span>

UltimaRatioRegis said...

<span><span>Sure thing, there, Middie.  Just because self-discipline and leadership fundamentals have worked for 230+ years of a glorious combat history doesn't mean that YOU need them.  After all, like, the inflexibility of, like, doing what you're told is, like, SO not cool. </span></span>

Malachy Marine said...

Liking my lengthy posts? Or was that meant for someone else...

UltimaRatioRegis said...

May your first ship be the USS Maynard G. Krebs.

sid said...

oh my nav...

try that leadership approach on the kids in your division.

see how far it gets yah.

nav said...

Ill pick it on ship selection night

Malachy Marine said...

Whoops... Looks like I showed up late for the pig-pile...

Old Salt said...

Nice try, Nav. You're a bullshitter, that's clear. Out.

FCC said...

As a Chief, I'm only slightly surprised and disappointed.  I've seen the ol' Rug-Sweep express a few times before for both blue shirts and khaki; usually under a shadow of some ass-hattery.

(though as a Johnnie, I'm amused)

Let's not forget, though, that just about every athlete on the USNA football team is well out of height-weight regs under the OPNAVINST 6110.1H (PRT program instruction), which also purports to be a "zero tolerance" program.

Malachy Marine said...

WRT to height-weight this only applies to O Linemen and some D Linemen. They are given "pseudo" medical waivers. However, as soon as their last semester of competition is complete they have until before graduation to lose the weight. I, personally, think it is extremely unhealthy. But I have seen it done, by quite a few, successfully. Additionally, they must still pass the standard (running, no bike) USNA PRT, meaning a 10:30 mile-and-a-half. This waiver is given to a few other sports, rugby being one of them (though far less waivers for the ruggers, maybe 2 for the front row).

Grandpa Bluewater said...

Nav: You will not prosper in the fleet with your current mind set.

Watch your step. Watch your six. Keep your opinions to yourself.

You may have made yourself more of a marked man than the dumb jock in question.
You are now, alas, a target of opportunity. You have been very unwise.

Not that you will appreciate the caution.

Your pampered idyll is drawing to a close. Prepare yourself.

It is a lot more comfortable learning from the mistakes of others.
Try to keep thet in mind in the future.

Blog in in 3 years and tell us what you have learned.  It will be interesting.

Do it again when you retire. I'll be interested.  How about the rest of our merry band?

nav said...

that sounds like an interesting idea. 

jenny said...

The kid is moving into the company of one of the team captains, in the Battalion that is run by a football officer representative....

Malachy Marine said...

HAHAHAHA.... You really can't make this sh!t up! Maybe broadcast TV or Hollywood should send some writers to USNA for ideas for some new mad-for-tv movies or the new NBC drama: Law & Order:USNA.

Anonymous said...

Nav isn't a mid

Anonymous said...

stop impersonating a mid, its really transparent to us real mids

nav said...

Ok whatever you say. 'real mid'

Kay said...

You <span>CAN NOT BE THAT STUPID</span>!
No football---there's a thought.  Maybe the USNA needs a break from BULL---- and focus on the WHY they are attending this once thought prestgious school.  You are only as strong as your weakest link.  Too bad that weakest link happens to be an Admiral in a position not deserving of him.  TIME FOR A REAL LEADER TO LEAD OUR FUTURE LEADERS1

Anonymous said...

I'm here because my USMA Firstie son likes to dig at my past association with USNA. He feels that this is a case of the Navy with egg on it's face. I'm a non-grad from the 60s. I left because I felt much like Nav regarding military society.

Nav, it's doubtful that the military will change it's attitude about pot anytime soon due to it's being symbolic of the 60s military haters. Get over it.

To those "Reffer Madness" devotees here, alcohol is given a pass. My USNA grad Dad once made a drunken bet with a visiting foreign naval officer that he "knew how to drive a submarine" as a JG. They adjourned from the O Club, went to Dad's boat and moved it to a new mooring position. As he wasn't caught in the act, this was regarded as a great joke by his fellow Officers thoughout his career. He went on to command at sea with commendation.

Oh and to the subject of the discussion, the football player should be separated. What use is a "zero tolerance policy" if exceptions are made?

Anonymous said...

I'm intimately familiar with the pot smoking f'ball player's 3rd honor offense.  He was found guilty, successfully appealed to the 'Dant because he hadn't received 48 hrs notice of the hearing (that had been postponed twice due to conflicts with f'ball practice), and beat the charges when his teammate / witness changed his story to support him.  This dishonorable football player - I can't call him a midn - is a disgrace to USNA.  By the way, Midn Y's letter-writing-witness-buddy-former-midn (Midn X), got kicked out of USNA just before the football season began following his Nth honor violation (where N represents >3).

C-dore 14 said...

I'd like to challenge your statement that we give alcohol a pass.  While we don't automatically discharge folks for alcohol abuse, over my 30 years of service I saw several officer and enlisted careers come to an end because of "alcohol related incidents".  The guy who relieved me of my first command ultimately went on to an O-6 shore command in the Norfolk area.  One evening he was pulled over for DUI while coming through the main gate of the base he commanded.  He was relieved the following morning.

Things are a bit different now than when your father served.

Maggie said...

Nav - URR is funnin' you honey.  There is no USS Maynard G Krebs

Ok, I'll bite.  For the sake of arguement, suppose MIDN Y acquired the blunt in exactly the fashion you state.  Suppose that story should be good enough to earn a pass from the Supe.  One problem, MIDN Y would not have popped.  In order to pop, you must inhale.  You must take enough into your system via your lungs to have it register significantly in your blood stream.  It's like saying you failed a breathalyzer from being at a wine tasting.  You don't get drunk from swishing and spitting.  You also don't get high from smoking a blunt in the fashion you would smoke a cigar.

So, unfortunately your MIDN Y knew just what it was because he knew enough to inhale deeply and hold it in his lungs.

I am a civilian.  I have never been in the military.  I have inhaled.

C-dore 14 said...

I just reread Saddened Midn 1/C's post and am even more angry about the Supe's decision than I was before.  Granted I'm just a retired O-6 and not an active 3-star but I've always assumed that exceptions to major disciplinary policies are reserved for those whose service or potential is so great as to warrant a second chance.  You know, the Striper, the Supe's List guy, even the exceptional athlete who has performed well at the school and made one stupid mistake while drunk.  If the description is accurate this character isn't even a mediocre midshipman and has been given more than his share of "second chances".  I'd doubt that he's even grateful for the deal that he's received.

I'm curious as to what the Supe is hoping to accomplish here.  My only question to him is would he be willing to have this guy serve as a diving officer on a submarine under his command.

Redeye80 said...

Nice history lesson but times have changed and so have the rules.

The point is there should be no exceptions.  Unfortunately, the USNA has changed for the worse.  This is one more example that the institution is out of step with the rest the Navy - Marine Corps team.

It seems your son gets it and you made the right decision.

C-dore 14 said...

You should have seen the look on the faces of the guys who heard my response when they tried the "But sir, I was only in the room" excuse on me at Mast.  It was similar to your post  :-D

Chap said...

Whether or not there is any functional effect two weeks after ingestion, and whether legalization is good or bad, is irrelevant.  Everybody else in the Navy works to a standard.  There is a standard.  I may or may not agree with the standard, but I made the choice to stay in and therefore shall follow the standard.  "Nav's" trying some of the arguments that didn't work back in the eighties.

I've seen enough good people ADSEP'd after a positive pop to know that this is pretty cut-and-dried.  I've seen higher authorities take the authority out of a CO's hands when that CO was trying to treat failed urinalysis on a case basis to know that people staying in under such circumstances is so unusual as to be newsworthy.  Whether or not the one guy is a valuable guy, what does this do DoD-wide?  Doesn't make sense.  I've seen one, ONE, case in my career that was weird and wacky enough for the guy to stay in after the bizarre situation--but that took evidence, lawyers, and a lot of high level worry, and it was a marriage gone wrong where the guy was provably dosed (and not with pot, which would require a huge mystery dose).  Even with that the war hero's career was done and he was simply allowed to retire quietly a tour later or so.  So if that's the Navy standard, why is this so special?

Chap said...

So why is a midshipman calling himself "Nav"? 

Chap said...

Like about say 1983 when they started posting breathalyzers right outside the O clubs and killed them?

LT B said...

I've said it before, "Remember, what is good for the academy is not necessarily good for the Fleet."  Unfortunately, this is not even good for the academy.  Awesome decision making going on at that august institution.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

C'mon Maggie!  There might be a USS Maynard G Krebs soon.   A Cheech Marin-class frigate.  Along with the USS Tommy Chong and USS Bob Marley

This guy would be a perfect fit for one of those ships.  His USNA football hero, too.

Everybody would show up at Midrats because, like, they got the munchies, man!

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

Would the KREBS' motto be a high pitched "DEPLOY?"

MR T's Haircut said...

I doubt he will prosper in the fleet GBW.

It is not the opinion.. we are all entitled, it is the rigid defense of the indefensible... and the pure arrogance.

Good advise about posting in three years.. (I doubt he will make it that long).

MR T's Haircut said...

I suppose this was the only defense, the ingest by oral copulation was taken by ssomeone else...

MR T's Haircut said...

because "Mav" was taken.....

Mustang said...

I wonder why the NAVY Times hasn't picked up on this?  It seems pretty agregious.

I have been in the Navy nearly 30 years and am very disturbed that we would keep someone with this kind of record in the Navy - especially as a leader, charged with leading by example.

Does anyone know if he is a plebe and short prior enlisted time prior to Prep School?  He sounds like someone I saw get selected, contrary to ship's recommendation.

LT B said...

They will.  All things academy scandal-like they get.  Plus they read this blog. ;)

Byron Audler said...

I'm a career civilian who loves the Navy. Here's my message to you: For the Navy's sake, for the Nation's sake, for your future sailors sake, get out before you ruin a potentially good sailors attitude, get him or her in serious trouble, or get someone killed with your dumbass attitude.

I hope when your "reality" meets the Fleets "reality" that you begin to understand the difference.

Anthony Mirvish said...

<span>First standards were eased for women, then so that race could re-enter the picture via "diversity".  Both cannot be squared with the facts, so we have resort to "double-speak" and "double-think" i.e. "lying to others" and "lying to ourselves." </span>
<span></span>
<span>

LT B sums it up nicely:

<span>Little lies lead to big lies which lead to a loss of culture, tradition, and honor.</span>
<span></span>
</span>
<span>Perhaps some of the older traditions and practices were imperfect, but they are often the glue holding institutions together.</span>

Spade said...

You know, I was | | that close to going to USNA and into the Navy. Got tossed on a unwaiverable medical that I was previously told was waiverable. I was really really pissed at DODMERB and all that.

It's kind of sad that I now think they did me a favor.

Anonymous said...

Saddened 1/C Midshipman,

Your disgust is shared by at least one current USNA faculty member, believe me. Watching the administration gut the disciplinary and academic standards of USNA has been a wrenching experience. I wonder if our CO has realized just how much damage his policies are doing to morale among the faculty as well as the students. If it were not for the overwhelming majority of decent, motivated students at USNA, cases like this would have me wondering if it's not too late for a career change.

Malachy Marine said...

I'm going to reference an earlier post I made:

"<span>Also, I do support the legalization and heavy taxation of marijuana by the government. However, the Armed Forces (and Police and Firefighters and EMT/Paramedics and Doctors...) must maximize their cognitive ability as often as possible. In fact, it is a <span>critical requirement</span> of their chosen professions." </span>

<span>Alcohol use still allows this to occur... Drug use does not. Abuse of either is also an issue.</span>

<span>"WRT the Zero Tolerance aspect... As an officer... As a leader, you do NOT have a choice which rules/regulations/laws you choose to enforce, simply because you do not personally agree with it. They are the rules simply put. I was also put on restriction at the USNA for underage drinking... I served my time for that punishment. However, alcohol does not have a zero tolerance policy. Marijuana does. He must serve the punishment for his actions."</span>

No more need be said on the matter.

At the USNA... said...

With you, brother.  Hold fast.

DeltaBravo said...

Oh, the inflexible laws of physics and other inflexibilities in the world will catch up with you.  It would be funny if innocent people didn't suffer for your own inflexible attitude.  Seems you are incapable of learning from your betters.

gorilspi said...

Nav,
Just to make sure:  What's the menu for morning meal?   
Or how about: How's the cow?
As for things you probably could not get from the net (or it would be hard):
Give 3 examples of ongoing construction on the yard.

It seems that either you are: 1) a troll, 2) a former disgruntled mid like one of this site's other frequent guests ("selfless self-sacrifice" nutjob), 3) a real mid who is a troll, or 4) a real mid who thinks he is liberated and original or whatever and is just quixotically fighting against the Man from within or something. 

I remember when I thought I knew everything too, and when I actually thought USNA was related to the Navy (of course, I had no frame of reference).  Those were the days...

1/C MIDN said...

It is spreading...the rage about this incident at the Academy. As I walk down Stribling and through the halls in Nimitz I have heard the comments of Mids, none of which are in support of the retention of our pot smoking shipmate...

Tugboat said...

My response to you, Mid 1/C is that someday, you and your fellow midshipmen should inspire respect.  Demanding it will not make it happen (take it from a nuc EM1(SS) who has seen some fresh grads try to demand respect without earning it).   Other than that minor nitpick, I'm with you and hope that you do well in the future.

C-dore 14 said...

Stop the next Plebe you see and ask him or her "The Days".  Focus on your graduation date and in doing the best job you can in your studies and in your military duties until then.  Take it from one who has been there that there is life after USNA.  

DISGUSTED 1/C said...

Nope, not a plebe! A sophomore! Who has multiple honor offenses! Its ok though, his football performance is MUCH more important to this country then graduating leaders of integrity...

Anonymous said...

It is so easy to jump on the ban wagon of saying how this is going to hurt the fleet. But no one talks about all the incompetent people who graduate here every year. A lot of the kids at this school do not have what it takes to be an officer, but if they do not play a sport and do good in school then nothing bad gets said about them. If this was a school that only cared about academics then it wouldn't be the academy. Enlisted people are mostly those who are not the smartest people out there, but a lot would make much better officers than the ones that the academy produces. So before you come out with this "football player" or "minority" stereotypes...think about it. And please do not forget about all the things that midshipmen or higher ranking officers have gotten away with in the past with an all white make navy before you blame it on him being a minority. Even "the father of the Navy" John Paul Jones was accused of rape and no one did anything about it.

Wow said...

You're embarassing yourself, Nav. You have your opinion...now keep your mouth shut

Byron Audler said...

Nav, I dub thee Troll! Hie thee back to thy foul'd nest 'neath yon bridge, ne'er to darken the fair skies of Annapolis AND THIS BLOG, YOU JACKASS!

Anonymous said...

if he is or isnt a mid, he is still right.

C-dore 14 said...

You are confirming my initial concerns about the wide-ranging impact that decisions like this can have on the morale of the majority of personnel assigned to a command and why the power to make exceptions to policy should be used sparingly and in consultation with other members of the chain of command.  One would hope that the Supe realized the ramifications of his decision before he made it but, from what I'm reading here, it's doubtful.  At the minimum he owes the faculty, the administration, and the Brigade an explanation of his rationale.  He wouldn't even need to answer questions...just get up and tell people why he did it and remind them that he'll take responsibility for it since he's in command.  I suspect, however, his PAO and SJA are up there reminding him of the Privacy Act and telling him that it "will all blow over soon."  (Until the next crisis that is).

Navy Joe said...

Just curious, do any of you people know what the F you're talking about, or are you just assuming that the guy who gave you the gouge out on Stribling Walk is really in the know?

Hey, CDR Salamander, just how is that you know what it feels like when you smoke a "blunt"?

cdrsalamander said...

Oh, I get it.  Let's change the subject and talk about me!

Perry said...

I served with the good CDR on the Big E - you should have heard the rumors about him and blunts after our port call in St. Thomas!!! 

I'm sure he knows of what he speaks.

j/k :)

Chap said...

So be it.  National defense has little to do with Division One.

Navy Joe said...

Hey, your blog post said that you know what it feels like to smoke a blunt -- must be first-hand knowledge.

Just curious, do you post about Navy football after a good stoke?

cdrsalamander said...

DCAG!  Just for that, I'm going to tell everyone about when you blew off the the Shore Patrol in Souda Bay. 

So, there we were.  ISCS was dancing on the table .......

C-dore 14 said...

Yeah but you weren't on the top floor of the New Jolo Club in Subic when the CARDIV CDR was out on the "dance floor".  But I digress...

'05 Alumn said...

The rules of the military state that if you knowingly do drugs, you get kicked out.  Good.  Of course.  That's the rules.  And if this guy did that, sure, he should be kicked out because he knew the rules and violated them.  However, if there's any credence about his claims that he took what he thought was a cigar while intoxicated that actually had pot in it, well, now it's time to think.  I know, it's scary, we might actually have to think.

Oftentimes, Zero Tolerance = Zero Thinking and Zero Common Sense.  A couple egregious stories from relatively recently (and there's many more across the country) are linked below. 

Again, if you're in the military, you volunteer to abide by the rules that say you do drugs, you're gone.  And that should be enforced.  It may seem like it's just mincing words to call that anything but "Zero Tolerance," but there is a difference.  If he really didn't know that there was pot in it, under zero tolerance he's still out.  No questions asked.  That's it.  If you apply law rationally, however, you should probably investigate a little further before you end a young man's career for naievete or ignorance.  Remember, all Zero Tolerance usually does is give people an excuse to not have to do the mental workload of thinking.

Obviously in this group I'll probably have some people who disagree, but thanks for at least considering (until someone deletes my comment altogether, that is :)   ).


http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/12/education/12discipline.html

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/feb/13/school-gun-case-sparks-cries-for-common-sense/

http://www.papillonsartpalace.com/stories.htm

Boats and hoes said...

Joe,
If you go to USNA and you're in doubt of the fact that he has 3 honor violations (got off on a technicality on the last one) and a positive drug test to his name and is still here (just got moved to 14 yesterday), then you need to find your way out of the lab deck of Rickover and talk to some people. I've heard it from O-3s, 4-stripers, and people on the football team. I'm gonna enjoy watching the Supe try to justify this with his charts and graphs. Navy times has it, the good CDR has it, the Capital's about to run it...hate to be working down in the Public Affairs Office right now.

cdrsalamander said...

I can also give you an exceptionally detailed directions on how to give birth to a 9#+ child, you silly goose.

cdrsalamander said...

'05,
No one is going to delete your comments.  They are reasoned, well presented, and documented.  This isn't an echo chamber, this is just my front porch.  There's a seat next to C-14, Mrs. Salamander just made a new batch of iced tea, and Chap is hiding the rest of the beer behind his rocking chair.

Stay awhile.

Malachy Marine said...

<span>
<p>Navy Joe-
</p><p> 
</p><p>Lemme tell you... I have smoked marijuana. Before attending the Academy. I told DODMERB. I also mentioned my alcohol use as a minor. Do you know why? Honor. Did you mention your indiscretions from high school/pre-USNA? I can tell you from my past experience: you do not accidentally smoke pot without realizing it. Additionally, as has been mentioned multiple times, IOT pop positive on a urinalysis you must smoke, inhale it into your lungs, HOLD it, and then exhale. Lemme know next time you smoke a cigar this way... or even see someone smoke it this way. If there had been pot in that cigar and he did do it this way, he would've had some serious "blowback" and burning of the lungs... Enough to make any critically thinking person to question, "What the F@#k did you put in this cigar?"
</p></span>

usna21412 said...

Wow, this issue is huge in the Brigade.  I mentioned it at the beginning of class today and there was so much passion on the subject ... unanimous opposition to Supe's decision ... theories on the Alumni Assoc forcing the Supe's hand ... disgust from ethnic/racial minorities that this impacts them too, etc.  No one can believe that the USN/USMC discharges pot smokers with General Discharge or worse, yet USNA retains.  The precedent this sets is quite dangerous, as these intelligent mids articulated.  I'm eager to read about it in the Annap Capital.

Veritas_USNA said...

I tend to recall an incident relayed by Ross Perot from when he was honor chairman.  Apparently, some well-connected midn violated the honor concept and the Supe was going to retain him (due to the influence/connection this midn had).  Reportedly, Perot and others indicated that if he was retained, they would resign their positions with the honor committee.

With respect to the present issue, if the Brigade is as outragged about this as it is made out (and as they should be), then let's see the leadership from within the Brigade.  Stripers should resign their positon within the Brigade -- either they support the decision of the Supe or they do not.  And if they disagree and feel that the Supe's decision is of such a mangitude to be violative of everyting USNA stands for (or should stand for), then do the right thing and resign their positio.  It would send a greater message if the brigase, regimental, etc., staffs elected to put principle over wearing a few extra strips on their uniform.  They would be more honorable to forgo the strips for a MIR -- and such "sacrifices" would garner a tremendous amount of respect to them personally and for the Brigade as a whole.  It is time for the stripers to lead when it truly counts.

Spade said...

"If he really didn't know that there was pot in it, under zero tolerance he's still out."

According to that Navy Times article, not knowing is actually an exemption.

However, you'd have to be friggin' high already for somebody to hand you a "cigar" and you not immediately know that it was weed.

C-dore 14 said...

Agreed that these cases need to be dealt with carefully however, let me give you something else to consider.  Of the dozens of drug abuse cases that I handled in the service (I was XO of a frigate when the "zero tolerance" policy started) I can only count a handful of guys who didn't say that it was a mistake, the sample was mishandled, I was drunk and didn't know, etc. when they initially went to Mast.  The only guys who didn't try this approach were the ones who wanted to get out of the Navy anyway.  Eventually most of those who claimed innocence were processed for discharge.  As XO, I was the last guy they checked out with on their way to CIVPAC and I'd always ask them if their claims of innocence were true.  Not a single one maintained their innocence and most said they had claimed so because "they didn't have anything to lose" by doing so.  

usna21412 said...

Agree.  A "hate chit" moved him from one company to another.  The new company cdr and batt cdr could resign.  But geez, these poor midn have worked for 3 1/2 yrs to get where they are, and they're picking up some invaluable leadership experience in their roles.  It's tough to ask a 1/C to resign a job over the horror of the Supe's decision.  They have to feel it in their guts.  At least one honor committee member is resigning over the stench ... 3 violations by this pot smoker, only 1 conviction, the last one had a conviction before a retrial and acquittal.

Mustang said...

All vain discussion about whether he knew or not of which he was smoking, is hogwash.  I truly hope we expect or CO's to look through the BS and administer justice fairly.  Very seldom in my 30 years have I had someone, after popped on urinalysis, that they did it.  It is almost always not their fault. 

That said, there are few Navy policies as clearly articulated as drug use and DUI.  Follow the rules or don't be suprised to find yourself in the situation as this knucklehead has.

Now, someone has to start looking critically at the leadership at the USNA. I am quite surprised that no one seems to question all that has gone on there since the good sub driver has been in charge.  However, based on my previous experience with him, I am not surprised.  He never seemed to be cut of the same cloth as other succesful Flags.

My $0.02

Veritas_USNA said...

I do appreciate that some of these poor midn have worked for these leadership positions.  (Of course, I recall seeing elsewhere that 3-striper and above positions are not always awarded on merit - ala the Color Guard issue.)  But is not one test of leadership the self-sacrifice one is willing to give for the long-term interest of the organization. 

I understand the personal pride the strippers have for achieving their position, and that it is a lot easier to call for them to resign their positions from the third person, rather than the first person.  But a significant or en masse resignation or strippers througout the Brigade (at all levels, even squad leaders) would be the ultimate act of leadership (and, as an alumnus, it would give more some comfort that people of character still exists at USNA).

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

Since this has not been mentioned yet, as is SOP in this blog, I should caution you who want to go easy on this mid, that if he graduates, and enters the fleet, he may someday go on watch as OOD, somewhat sleepy and innatentive from a little prewatch drag, and put his LCS up an a reef.

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

'05, I have to tell you, speaking as a Badger, ( one who wears a badge ), evry one I catch with blunts tells me that he did not know what they were.  Meanwhile the dog that the K9 deputy has brought over finds the upulstery and ashtray , and most likely other parts of the car I stopped the chap in, to be of great interest.  The claim of the mid in question is one that I doubt very much can be sustained, and it is less sustainable with the prior reecord he seems to have amassed.  I say tajke him out to the Farralon Island, coat him in sael blood, and throw him over the side.  

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

Joe, wheter or not the Good Commander smoked a few joints back in his larval stages is not germain to this issue. When he joined the fleet, he stopped, as that is the rule there. This Midshipman has chosen to ingore the rules, and that is why he is being punished. Just HOW the good Commander got INTO the USN, a Mammals only orginisation is another matter.  

Anon said...

If your too stupid to know the difference between a cigar and a blunt or think 'hey, this doesn't look AT ALL like a cigar'...then you shouldn't be attending the Naval Academy.

This story is about many things, but it is also about Fowler, Fowler made a very bad decision. For argument's sake, let's say he actually believed the story to be plausible. Then he is indeed way out of touch with the young men and women whom he has been tasked to guide.

BTW Klunder is in the clear on this one

DeltaBravo said...

That was AWESOME, Phib!  Bwahahahahaha!

sid said...

Stupid Stoned Squid Trick #1...

Needle gunning waveguides....

DeltaBravo said...

Well, let's talk then about the lack of judgment of someone who would become so inebriated in the presence of the kind of person who would doctor a cigar and give it to him knowing from his own past experience that it would jeopardize his USNA career.  Some friend!  Obviously this Midn does not know who to trust.  I do not think we should put people in charge who cannot distinguish friend from foe....

You are known by the company you keep.  Looks bad to have to say on a clearance that you hang out regularly with known drug users and/or drug dealers. 

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