Saturday, March 27, 2010

Female USNA grads .....

I'z like 'em.

Yes - that Julia Lillis, United States Naval Academy Class of 2001 methinks. Funniest SWO I've ever seen - and easy on the eyes.

She's no dummy either, graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy with a B.S. in Naval Architecture, and then after graduation, she attended The Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA, where she earned an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering. I like her
day job too.

Been a fan of hers for a long time - not just because of her work - but the fact she gives back. Thought I would post this here as I just realized - I never shared her with ya'll before.
UPDATE: Via Sid in comments a 2007 video that proves one thing - methinks she would have made a great Engineering Duty Officer.

A Math Problem

Julia Lillis | MySpace Video


  1. Skippy-san09:05

    She must have gotten out right after her PG school obligation was up-so she can't have been with her current firm all that long. 4 year obligation out of USNA (or is it 5 now?) and then a two obligation after PG school. Has by my figuring not able to leave active duty till 2008.

  2. DavidB09:15

    That's a lot of education we bought her and got 1 deployment in return.

  3. CDR Salamander09:50

    She has lots of male company.  She served more than 99.8% of her countrymen - that is good enough for me. (active duty time + USO time)

  4. j01usna10:02

    She must have done a heck of a lot of growing up after she graduated...was not a fan of hers as a mid.

  5. Byron10:16

    Then maybe the question to ask is: can the Academy do a better job at retention? Does the Navy do what it takes to retain young JOs?

  6. XBradTC10:30

    Meh, stick to naval architechure.

  7. John11:00

    Bet she could do a better job with the LCS program than the clowns currently involved...  Or at least make the joke that it is amusing.

  8. Anonymous12:16

    Female USNA grads...  I'z like 'em.

    You unreconstructed sexist, you!  ;)

  9. Vigilis12:28

    "She served more than 99.8% of her countrymen - that is good enough for me. (active duty time + USO time)"

    We can be certain less than 0.2% of her countrymen were ever awarded pricey taxpayer-funded educations at military academies and post grad schools.

    Obviously, current admission requirements for service academies serve more of a political mission than the military missions for which they were established. 

    Unless the USNA can use Lillis's comedic personality in public relations or recruiting media,
    what has her enduring value been to the Navy?  Guessing she earned an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School during her active duty, too.

    She may have family connections to a politician, but she never had a motivation for a naval career, and she would hardly be a first choice to command anything but the U.S.O. during a military reserve call-up.  

    Other than that, Lillis is probably a fine USNA female graduate.


  10. Old NFO12:51

    Lots of free education on the taxpayers dime.  But it's just a drop in the bucket cost wise compared to what the Navy and Air Force spends training pilots for the airlines.

  11. Vigilis13:15

    Old NFO,

    But most of that "free education on the taxpayers dime" is not at cross-purposes with the public mission statements of the Navy and Air Force academies. nor does it deprive other, who are actually career-motivated of enrolling in our military academies.

    As to training airline pilots, let's not forget many of those are still reserves who may be recalled to active military duty like the former head of my ROTC unit, who paid the ultimate sacrifice over Nam.

  12. If I recall correctly she took advantage of the voluntary release from active duty that the Navy came up with as a way to cut the number of SWO Ensigns in the fleet when yeargroups got pushed together when they ended the old version of SWOS.  You can't fault her for playing by the rules and getting out when the Navy wanted to get rid of people.  If you're pissed about that there are several hundred other people you can bitch about.

    That said, good riddance.  I'm along the lines of what j01usna said, but she didn't.  Better her entertaining sailors than leading them.

  13. DeltaBravo13:31

    She served.  And was served well financially and economically and education-wise in return.  I hold out the hope that shee's a dividend that will pay off richly down the line... a very intelligent (apparently) female with maybe a respect and fondness for the USNA and a sense of gratitude who might encourage a son to follow in her footsteps.  Might be the mother of an Arleigh Burke or such...  you never know.  Should we at least be happy that she didn't get out after disgracing herself or the uniform?

    Besides... I'm a complete sucker for anyone who can make me laugh.  But y'all knew that.  ;)

  14. SJBill14:26

    From thoze I'z knowz in the LockMart LCS program, they created a product to the specs drawn up by the Navy - at least that's their out.  ;)

  15. OldCavLt15:13

    The United States Naval Academy.

    You get something out of it, whether you go there or not.

  16. Oops!  That was me.

  17. Cupojoe18:24

    I couldn't see the clip. Is she funny funny, or is she "hot chick funny"?

  18. Anonymous19:34

    <span>The USNA has a heritage of a top-notch military institution from which EVERY citizen has always received, as you say, someting out of it.</span>
    <span>While the USNA's Mission Statement still reflects its enduring and highly honorable legacy, </span>
    <span>its obviously politically-driven admission policies now requires suspension of disbelief as to how that original mission is today being fulfilled.  </span>
    <span>As taxpayers own this government institution, we have an obligation as well as a right to insist that actual admission practices either conform to the stated mission, or the mission statement be conformed to superior current practice.  How can anyone of honor disagree? </span>

    <p> </p>

  19. DM0521:16

    She served. She's funny & talented. Definitely a pretty-got-all-going on young lady, and good for her. Smarter than most of us too.  8-)
    USNA remains over-rated, with serious challenges that frankly pi$$ alot taxpayers, and not enough bloviating politicians off.

  20. cdrsalamander21:23

    Dennis Miller thinks she is funny.  I think she is funny.  I heard her twice before I ever googled her.  For me - funny funny.

  21. Skippy-san23:35

    I do not begrudge her getting out. I do think its kind of odd that midshipmen get to go straight to PG school immediately after graduation if that is the case.  I feel pretty confident most male SWO's don't get that opportunity until they complete first sea tour. If she followed the normal career path-with sea duty first then PG school-well that is no different then.

  22. hey wait a minute!!

    I've been citing her NPS thesis here and elsewhere for several years now!!!


    You can tell she is an incorrigible geek here by the way she manipulates some complex math problems...

  23. DeltaBravo00:53

    The world needs more incorrigible geeks.  The older I get the more attractive they become.  I just saw the grandest uber homage to geeks everywhere... local Imax showed a 3-D on the Hubble Telescope.  Awesome.  I guess NASA geeks are near the top of the pyramid under astrophysicists?  And I saw the geek fest on tv where DoD is looking for computer nerds to join them and hack or prevent hacking.

    Geeks of the world, unite!

  24. C-dore 1401:43

    Skippy, A limited number of prospective SWOs, were offered the opportunity to go right to PG school in technical disciplines when I commanded the NROTC Unit.  I had two, one male and one female, although both elected to go directly to sea.  Granted that was several years ago but it was after the fleet draw-down started.  

  25. Anonymous12:34

    There are actually several opportunities for USNA midshipmen to go to graduate school immediately.  If you decide to be a nuke, the Bowman Scholar Program has 14 slots at NPS for prospective submariners and nuke-SWOs.  Additional opportunities include IGEP (Immediate Graduate Education Program) and VGEP (Voluntary Graduate Education Program).  Regardless of your warfare community, it is not unusual to see recent graduates of the Naval Academy attending graduate school without completion of an initial sea tour.  Granted, these individuals have to be within the top 10% of the graduating class to do so.

  26. combat wombat14:34

    I'd a felt aq lot better about Massa if this was the kind of SWO he'da tried to snorkle..... =-O

  27. Grumpy Old Ham15:19

    Some of my half-baked, sometimes incoherent, sometimes incorrigible geek ramblings can be found on twitter (same userid/nick/handle as here)...although i'm still kinda struggling with the inherent conflict of being a (presumably) introverted geek and twittering life away.   Maybe I'll hang it up and just go back to USENET where it's safe.  =-O

  28. SNAnonymous17:39

    This chick is hilarious.  And smoking hot.  Enough said.

  29. SNAnonymous17:42

    AFIT/NPS grads incur a commitment of one year for each year of education, but it runs concurrently.  If she did IGEP out of the Academy, it's a one year program and wouldn't add anything to her time.  

  30. WASP21:15

    "<span>I feel pretty confident most male SWO's don't get that opportunity until they complete first sea tour."</span>

    You're right.  Most male SWOs don't.  But I feel pretty confident that most people who do get the opportunity to go to grad. school immediately following graduation are males.

    Way to pull a diversity-bully issue out of thin air!  I guess the way ahead is for white males to claim discrimination at every opportunity... that'll solve the problem the bullies have created!

  31. Skippy-san21:22

    The purpose of the USNA is to produce URL officers, not staff corps officers or EDO's, or Information Professionals etc. URL officers used to have to go to sea. I'll bet if ran the numbers the majority would be male-but on a per capita basis against total numbers of females the percentages would favor the women.

    Besides, if I had my way the Academy would be all male anyway-so there would be no issue.

  32. OnceAMarine21:43

    Here's a first - I find myself agreeing with the Skipster.  Damn!

  33. Skippy-san21:55

    Don't forget-the airlines-and us as passengers get a real benefit from having that training-in terms of aviation safety.

  34. Malachy Marine21:57

    Read the mission: "to produce graduates who are dedicated to a career of naval service and have potential for future development in mind and character to assume the highest responsibilities of command, citizenship, and government."

    If USNA's sole mission was to graduate and commission "lifers," then the required obligation would be 20 years. Some decide they can serve better in other walks of life. Remember, she continues to serve with the USO, providing a service that directly affects the morale of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, coastguardsmen, and Marines.

  35. Malachy Marine22:02

    Well maybe it has something to do with the disporportionate number of females in the top 10%? I don't think its an unknown phenomenon that females tend to perform better in STEM now then the historical average. 

  36. Anonymous22:03

    Skippy ... Respectfully, this is the same backwards logic that is causing so many current problems in the Navy.  The whole NPS/graduate school issue has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with gender.  You have to be in the top 10% of your graduating class to even compete for graduate school opportunities ... last time I checked, your Overall-Order-of-Merit at USNA has nothing to do with race, gender, etc.  I am confident that the Academy is sending the most-qualified individuals to pursue immediate graduate education opportunities (if more women happen to be ranked in the top 10% of the class, so be it, but this purely a function of the true quality and hard-work of the women at the Academy ... contrary to your opinion, most of them have earned the privilege of attending the Academy).

    As for the whole URL issue ... I agree that the Academy should produce solely URL officers.  However, the Navy also needs to recognize the abilities of the top-performers in each graduating class.  These individuals are still commissioned as URL officers, but they simply push back their first sea-tour accordingly.  In many cases, especially for those who win Rhodes, Marshall, etc., they bring unparalleled knowledge and worldly experience when they step foot on their first ship.  While they may not understand how to be a JO, they are continuing to fulfill the newly outlined goals within "A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower."  Times have changed ... you can't look at race, gender, etc. ... simply at the quality/performance of the individual.  The Navy is more global/interactive than it ever has been and our acquisition projects are more complex than ever ... we NEED the best-and-brightest to pursue graduate education opportunities as soon as possible.

  37. Anonymous12:27

    She was a firstie on my YP cruise, had to be relieved on the conn because she was nowhere near sober enough pulling out of NYC (4th block YPs, mighty 693, the same boat that hit the crab net off the coast of Newport).  Happens to lots of sailors, I guess.  Trust me, no loss to the Navy.  Good to know she can at least find her way around a math equation, however.

    In re: the URL argument, that's a wonderfully Reagan-era view of the world.  If someone legitimately believes that, out of a graduating class of 1000, USNA can't spare 20 bodies to the communities that have the highest IA quotas for 9 years running they need to start reading the newspapers.  Crypies haven't been ship's company for years, IS / Intel has moved that direction as well.  You can either have garbage in, garbage out or you can start populating the communities that are actually growing and "transforming" in the 21st century.  I guess it's better to have aviators pin on as LTs after sitting on their ass for 2 years in a clogged pipeline.

    I actually talked with RADM(s) Klunder about it, he said the pressure has to come from OPNAV (that paragon of quick reaction in the face of change).

  38. C-dore 1414:02

    That was my experience with my NROTC Unit, although granted a small population size.  The majority of my top grads were women and they had majors like civil engineering, math, and physics.  I'd need more information than just gender to draw any conclusions here.

    As for producing URL officers, the SWO program I was associated with was intended to do just that.  The majors were narrowly focused into things like "Underwater Acoustics" that had some direct correlation to their jobs at sea and the grads went directly to sea to get their SWO quals during their two division officer tours.  Did some transfer to an RL community afterwards?  Sure, but so did a lot of folks who didn't go to grad school.

  39. Peter Stinson14:39

    Thank you for the diversion; a humor break that actually paid off.

  40. C-dore 1419:40

    Guest, It was actually easier to get an RL assignment for a USNA or NROTC scholarship Midn during the Reagan years (and earlier) than it was at the start of the 21st Century.  I, for one, preferred staff RL officers (especially METOC, Intel and JAG) with a URL tour since it gave them a better operational perspective and made their advice more useful.

    But then I'm just a dinosaur.

  41. mark23:53

    Quick on her feet, I'd be a little slow at putting her skills down, as she does perform well in her current position.  EW geeks must love her and Nuclear types, if they could fathom the differnce between a a reactor and a human reaction might do the same.  Definetly more useful in those terms than a defensive end with a blunt

  42. mark00:00

    Oops, can I take my post back, please?  She is smart, quick, and cute, but we wasted a bunch of money on that low life.  She'll be sueing Sean Merriman any day now.  She is definetely,  Pop culture.  I have to laugh, imagining her in ADM Rickover's office.

  43. sobersubmrnr01:36

    The second one was funny until she got to Michael Vick. Apparently she's never been to Atlanta.

  44. OnceAMarine11:28

    Anonymous wrote: " Times have changed ... you can't look at race, gender, etc..."

    Unfortunately a large portion of our leadership, both civilian and military, look at nothing else

  45. Observer21:56

    Alright - agree that she's funny.  But this discussion needs some background.  She graduated USNA in 2001 and went straight to NPS as was offered to our entire class to apply.  After SWOS she got to a DDG in San Diego but was released from Active Duty before her commitment.  Lots of rumors about why among the San Diego JO's, but nothing firm.  This was all well before the PERS 41 MSR waiver of 2004 when JO's were allowed to get out before their commitment though.  

    Agree that she's funny, but think that the stories about how she got out so early after free USNA and NPS degrees raise questions about how "honorable" her service was.  

  46. cdrsalamander22:03

    She has been to Iraq - as a volunteer, have you?

    She has been to GTMO - a a volunteer, have you?

    Sure, she went there as a civilian - how many honorable civilians do?  Do those facts give you a reason to ponder the validity of your "stories?"  Ponder.

  47. Observer23:11

    I have not been to Iraq.  I have not been to GTMO.  I have been on deployments.  I applaud her for volunteering to give her comedy routine in those places.  

    In 2004, when I'm sitting at a table in a bar in Pacific Beach, surrounded by 4-5 of our classmates who had all either just got back from deployment or headed out soon,  and Miss Lillis comes by with flyers for her comedy routine at a place in La Jolla and telling us about how she just got out, I was pissed that she was able to skate out of her comittment for a Bachelors and Masters degree.  When our country was at war.  

    Again, I applaud Civilian Lillis for volunteering w/ the USO.  I am pissed at USNA Grad Lillis for defaulting on a commitment that most of the rest of us honored.  I'm sure she's great and I'm happy she spent a weekend in those places - but I have to at least comment as you praise her selfless patriotism and put her on a pedestal that she does not deserve to be on. 

  48. cdrsalamander23:29

    If you are a regular reader, then you know that I do not suffer fools or freeloaders.  Lillis will not get the Navy Cross for her service - but he served more than others and continues to serve.  She is neither fool nor freeloader.

    For some reason, you are missing that.

  49. Observer23:51

    We'll just have to disagree.  She has not served more than others.  She promised to serve 5 years and she defaulted.  

    I think that she is a freeloader, both the time she owes from USNA and NPS.  She has served more than the majority of the population - that's what you sign up for at USNA, and when you sign commitment paperwork at the beginning of junior year.  You serve in exchange for education received.  She squirmed her way out of it while the rest of us deployed and honored the obligation.  

    I don't think a few USO appearances can undo that.