Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Annapolis: focused on mission?

Funny, the more crap like this that is mandated at USNA - and the less they focus on training Navy Officers - the more problems that we seem to have. Al, what is the definition of insanity again?
The Naval Academy, rocked by a number of high-profile sexual assault and harassment scandals in the past year, plans to require all 4,000 midshipmen to take at least five hours of specialized instruction during each of their four years on the Annapolis campus.

The addition to the curriculum will begin in the fall and include coursework on dating, sexual consent, defining rape and violence prevention, Vice Adm. Rodney P. Rempt told a civilian panel of congressmen and presidential appointees yesterday.
Drawing on the expertise of three consultants and programs at other universities across the country, he said, the academy is putting together a training manual to guide instructors.
Oh, like these people you hire (see internal links near bottom of post)?
"Obviously, we do many other things like this in the area of honor and character development," Rempt said, "but this is specifically focused on sexual harassment prevention and deterrence."
Speaking of fundamentals... You may need to do some extra PT as well.
In another high-profile subject, Rempt made his first public comments on the controversial case of a senior who was expelled and ordered to repay his tuition costs for coming in 20 seconds over the maximum time in a required running test.
The academy's physical mission would put greater emphasis on fitness through each of a midshipman's four years in Annapolis. The academy places a disproportionate amount of attention on fitness in the first year, he said.

"What we probably should have done is been more disciplined the prior year and said, 'OK, that's it,'" Rempt said, without referring to Shannon by name. "But we encouraged him. We wanted to give him all the opportunities we possibly can. That was a case, from my perspective, the system, the overall process here, probably let go on too long, but on the other hand we did maintain the standard," Rempt said.
Rempt said that academy officials were conflicted about expelling Shannon last March because he had passed previous physical readiness tests - although by Rempt's memory, Shannon had failed 15 over the years. In a letter to U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski about Shannon last spring, Rempt counted 12.

Shannon said last night that he hopes a revamped fitness mission will prevent any other midshipman from going what he's gone through. He is seeking to retain an attorney to fight the government's efforts to seek repayment of his education costs, which have climbed, with interest, to $165,000.
Perhaps yesterday I pinged on VADM Rempt too hard on this. Not altogether fair - the seek of this problem was sh1ty Staff Support and basic military leadership throughout the chain. One issues that needs to be talked about more is the fact that Shannon played football. He was a lineman. I will say it again; a decade of playing football showed me that linemen are horrible runners on average even if they are in outstanding shape. That being said, exceptions were made on Navy standards on physical fitness to let him play with the "Big Boys." Is this really what USNA is about? Football? It is OK to let them be past standards as long as they play football, but when they are no longer useful to us, we change the rules? What example does that send to the MIDN and the Fleet.

One last note; in the comments yesterday two snarky comments came up about Shannon - the fact he is married and someone called him "lazy." He got married after they kicked him out. You can call him lazy if you want - but from his record he is anything but lazy...and if he was in the Fleet he would have passed the PRT for his sex and age. BTW.

We are better than this, and I think VADM Rempt knows this.

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