Monday, November 27, 2006

USNA: a serious institution?

A few questions:
1. Is this what you want your tax payer dollars paying for?
2. Is this what a serious military institution does in a time of war with a newly minted officer?
3. What smart, motivated High School student did not go to Annapolis so this bucket of FOD could get a slot?
4. Again, are we a nation at war?
5. Isn't there a place in Diego Garcia, JTF-HOA, or Thule that this quasi-man could serve the nation that served him so well if he can't be in Aviation, SWO, or Chop (not even a chance at 1120)?
6. What does this say about leadership, example, honor, courage, commitment?

In a word: shame. Oh, and the previous 'Dant was promoted to Rear Admiral. Nice message.
The Miami Dolphins signed rookie running back Kyle Eckel to their roster this season after he left the United States Navy. Eckel was one of the best players in the history of the Naval Academy, but The Navy Times reports that Eckel and the Navy didn't part on good terms:

Former Naval Academy standout football player Kyle Eckel, now playing professionally for the Miami Dolphins, was kicked out of the Navy last month and will have to repay a portion of the cost of his Annapolis education.


"Ensign Eckel was administratively separated on 31 October 2006," said Lt. Ryan Perry, a spokesman for the Navy's Office of Information at the Pentagon. "Due to personal privacy of the individual being discharged, the Navy does not discuss the reason for the service member's discharge, nor the characterization of that discharge."

In August Eckel faced two assault charges and a sex-offense charge, but those charges were dropped and were not related to his discharge from the Navy. Eckel's salary this season is $275,000, but he'll have to pay about $96,000 of that to the Navy for failing to fulfill his military service commitment.
And yes, after reading the first thing that came to mind was, "Funny, he doesn't look gay." There are rumors that it was a DWI. So? I know many officers who served their nation well following a DWI.
Citing privacy concerns, the Navy would not characterize the specific nature of Eckel’s “administrative separation” saying only that it was “involuntary.” Eckel declined an interview request through a team representative, and attempts to reach his agent were unsuccessful.
According to Cmdr. Ed Austin, a Naval Academy spokesman, Eckel graduated in May 2005 and was commissioned as an ensign. After graduation, he was assigned temporary additional duty in the Physical Education department at the Naval Academy, Austin said. In August 2005, Eckel reported to his next temporary additional duty assignment at the Naval Academy Preparatory School in Newport, R.I., where he assisted the NAPS athletic director and coached NAPS football, Austin said.

At the same time, Eckel began practicing with the New England Patriots football team.
Yep, there is a MILPERSMAN bit out there somewhere. Maybe the Fleet would have been a tough nut for him.
In recent months, Eckel has been battling more than just the Navy and NFL lineman. He faced two assault charges and a sex-offense charge in Anne Arundel County District Court for an August incident, according to District Court of Maryland records. The charges were later dropped. Navy officials however, said those charges were not connected to Eckel being booted from military service.

“The [Anne Arundel County] charges were not a factor in Ensign Eckel’s separation from the Navy,” Perry, the Navy Pentagon spokesman, said.

Eckel, however, could face another court appearance very soon, this time as a witness in a rape case involving former Navy football teammate Kenny Ray Morrison. In the criminal charging documents against Morrison, Eckel is identified as being present in a Washington, D.C., hotel room during a midshipman party Feb. 3.

During that party, Midshipman 1st Class Morrison is alleged to have raped a female midshipman.

The charges against Morrison allege he showed the “nude or partially nude” body of the female midshipman to Eckel and another male midshipman by lifting a blanket off her.
Yea team.

Oh, in 2003 he was in a "Spirit Spot" titled, "Navy Football: Professionalism On and Off the Field." Nice.

The more I think about this, the more is makes me sick. Here we are, a nation at war. His former teammates and Shipmates are heading off to war as officers in the Navy and Marine Corps - leading Sailors and Marines to defend our nation and way of life. This moral coward does nothing for anyone but himself. Ensign Kyle Eckel; to the Wall of Shame with you. That is the team you belong on.
UPDATE: Hey there PatsFans. Funny how a year old post can get a new life. Just a quick note or two for you. The MarineCorpsTimes article above is no longer available, but the NavyTimes article from the same time period is here. And no, I don't plan to post again on Eckel. By hook and by crook, he ran away when his classmates went to war. That is about all that needs to be said about him. A man who has done that in his life says worse things to himself in the mirror than I ever could on this 'lil blog.

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