Friday, October 07, 2011

We'll see you at quarters, Ensign

Alas - a sign that we are starting to understand that ... well ... we're a Navy at War. Via The Capital;
Several media outlets reported today that former Navy fullback Eric Kettani has been ordered to return to his ship, which is based in Jacksonville, Fla....
Kettani, who has been in Foxborough practicing with the Patriots since the start of training camp, apparently flew out first thing this morning and will resume serving aboard the USS Klakring. Kettani announced the news that his National Football League career was being cut short via his Twitter account.
The Navy's letter denying Kettani's request read, in part:

"As our nation is at war, it is important to ensure we maintain our commitment to the nation's defense. As such, a release from active duty would be inconsistent with that effort.

I appreciate your Patriotism and service to our nation and encourage you to pursue your goal to play professional football after completion of your service in the Navy."

BZ to the decision makers. Well done.


Dan said...

I agree in principle that we should be enforcing the commitment that someone made when they chose to attend a service academy. That being said, I forsee a few issues:

1. You now have a horribly de-motivated Ensign onboard who has the potential to do a lot of damage to crew morale.

2. This creates a very bad PR situation for the Navy.

3. What message is this sending to the junior enlisted who is an EP sailor getting forced out due to PTS? 

Overall, with the Navy downsizing, I just see this as being a rather poorly thought-out decision (granted, I wasn't in on the decision-making process, so I can't comment fully). It'll be interesting to see how the whole thing plays out.

CharleyA said...

The choice was made by the player - he could have gone to another school.

Anonymous said...

Just exactly was this Ensign thinking was going to happen come commissioning day??  That the nation would forget about the committment that this Ensign made to serve?

He will serve out his committment just like his peers.

The Usual Suspect said...

He is still fighting the decision as noted in a later paragraph from the same article. Ship, shipmates, self.  I think he has that a little out of order.

"Kettani is appealing the decision based largely on the fact former a pair of recent Army and Air Force graduates are being allowed to pursue NFL careers after serving just two years on active duty. Former Army defensive back Caleb Campbell is on the practice squad of the Indianapolis Colts while former Air Force wide receiver Chad Hall is one the practice squad of the Philadelphia Eagles."

cdrsalamander said...

2 & 3 derive from #1.

If #1 is true - good to excellent chance he will serve well and honorably and will be a net positive for his CO - then what does that say about the expectations and training he received for four years at USNA?

That is the issue.  I hope he does well - heck, maybe even make a career.  Worse officers have ;)

cdrsalamander said...

A good CO/XO should be able to fix that. If not, again, we need to look at what he learned at USNA.

Grandpa Bluewater said...

And better athletes.

Mmmm, Looks like when the old man puts out a memo, he means it. "Warfighting first."


A New Hope.

Redeye80 said...

One could almost argue if a Service Academy grad is good enough to be drafted by a professional sport team the service might gain some good PR.  I know stand by for heavy rolls.

Hopefully, he won't end his Navy career like Sal's favorite Navy football player.

John said...

Meeting his commitment, at the cost of missing out on a possibly lucrative NFL career is sort of a "2.0- performs at minimal accepted standards" for which he deserves his USN pay check, and the opportunity to pay for his excellent education which some potentially career officer was denied since he was filling that seat.

Compare and contrast with Pat Tillman who was actually making a huge NFL salary, and voluntarily gave that up to ENLIST in the U.S. Army to serve his country.

Tillman was an authentic 4.0 hero in my book the day he signed up, the circumstances of his later unfortunate friendly fire death notwithstanding. 

This guy, not so much.

BZ to those who made the right decision, despite knowing there would be heavy flak to follow.

James said...

Lesson: The Navy isn't a college. It is what you will do when you get done. Serve your nation harden the **** up.

Can someone tell me what football or any other of these sports has to do with Naval combat?

SouthernAP said...

If my mind thinks that this joker gets out, then the US Navy should sue to garnish this footballer's wages until all of his college time is repaid with interest assessed every year. Either that or give hm the option of doing four years as an enlisted member to earn his privilage of being going to school on the taxpayer's dime back. If he epically fails as an Enlisted Member then hem him up under a fradulant enlistment and have him spend four years under lock and key as a Federal Felon. Then see how what his job prospects are. I am at a level right now that I am gosh darn tired of those who are of the "WORLD OWES ME GENERATION", earn your privilages that were granted to you. Does this A55HAT know how many people have tried not only from the regular population let alone the fleet to go to a seat he got the luck to go to.

Byron said...

New ensigns usually get the Deck Div first dont they? Can you picture the animals in Deck Div giving this guy a ration of crap?

Boat School Grad said...

<span><span>There is a middle ground here.  He could do his time in the Reserves while pursuing a position in the NFL.  There is much value to USNA and the USN in having a recent USNA grad in the NFL.</span>  
<span> </span>  
<span>Rather than go hard over on the guy (I did my time now you gotta do yours) and demand that he trade in his NFL jersey for a black shoe wheel book and a few deployments, try to see the option where everyone wins.  Of course that takes some outside the box thinking which Big Navy is not famous for.</span>  
<span> </span>  
<span>This guy brings more to the table than the "normal" SWO Ensign.  Big Navy ought to see that.</span></span>

AOD said...

Boat School Grad, I know that you would like to be able to tell your fellow college football fans that "Navy is D-1, Baby!  I mean, look, we even have someone on the Patriots...THE PATRIOTS!"  But this is real life, and we are at war.  Nowhere on the dotted line do I recall seeing an escape clause about being drafted into the NFL.  Ask Roger Staubach.

As for bringing more to the table than a "normal" SWO ensign?  Let's see how fast he gets his EOOW, OOD and SWO.  How well does he do actually on watch?  How does his division do in DITS?  How much of a help is he in collateral duties?  Then I'll be ready to make that determination.

As for going "hard over?"  We do not send kids to the USNA to become PAO tools for the Global Force for Good.  This is right up there with the Diversity nonsense.  We send young men and women to USNA to become warrior officers of sailors and Marines.  PERIOD.

AOD said...

I had a few USNA football players on my ship.  Class acts for the most part.  And their guys ate it up tha their DivO was a tight end without being a "hard ass."  In an all male crew, strength and fitness carried more meaning than they probably do in today's global force for good.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

<span>Looks like new CNO Admiral Greenert's stamp is being applied.  Which is very good news for a Navy that looked everywhere but "warfighting first".   
I will point out that there is nothing wrong at all with sports at any of our service academies, properly emphasized.  I never wanted the captain of the audio-visual club or the debating team for one of my Officers or Marines.  II wanted the middle linebacker.  Tough, smart, able to think fast, can endure physically.  If they HAPPENED to be the president of the chess club, all the better.  Playing fields of Eton, and all that.   
But when sports, especially Division I football, become sacrosanct and the players are catered to, helped along, excused for bad behavior, then you might as well be U of Miami.   Where the alums from there belong in a medium security prison and not the Navy or Marine Corps.   
Sal's consistent criticism of the big football money and undue emphasis on competing with national powers has been right on the money.  When that becomes all pervasive, you cease to get the Roger Staubachs and the David Robinsons, and you get this guy,.  Or worse, Kyle Eckel, or worse yet, Marcus Curry.</span>

Boat School Grad said...

I agree with you in the narrowest of senses.  When the kid showed up for I-Day both he and Big Navy knew the deal.  Four years on the Severn and then see you in the fleet kid.  My point though is that there is a bigger issue here that should be considered.  When circumstances change the deal should be reconsidered from both sides of the contract.

Back when Big Navy was a bigger thinker than they are today they'd yank a multiple ace out of theater, where he could be killing more Japs, and run him around on a war bond campaign.
This discussion ought to focus on where young Ensign Kettani can BEST serve the Navy. Not on the rigid enforcement of his active duty obligation.

Stu said...

I'm happy to continue with the Roger Staubach model.  It worked.  

Anonymous said...

what a joke.  we are kicking Sailors out of the navy.  ERBs & SERBs in effect & all vol force in jeparody.  let him play for the Pats. 

Dirt Sailor said...

If the navy is cutting 4,000 elisted sailors, and taking high quality sailors and tossing them out with PTS, then why are we holding on to an Ensign that doesn't want to be there. Seriously, I hate that we have football as a thing at the Academy. I've stated before that we should get rid of it, and focus on combat fitness- Football is a money and discipline sink, nothing more.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

I would be fine with not recalling him, if he agrees to pay back the considerable sum of money that the taxpayers invested in his education and training.  With interest. 

Andrew said...

You know us nuk-u-ler types are all about root cause analysis. So here's some to ponder:

1. D1 sports at Annapolis is corrosive. Go D3. Immediately. (I think we all concur on this one).
2. More controversally: cut the Annapolis class in half. People keep saying we have too many JOs in the SWO and AV pipelines, right? So stop spending so much taxpayer money to keep pumping them out. Especially when so many outstanding enlisted sailors who want to serve are being shown the door.

Redeye80 said...


<span>Nothing against Staubach but his "model" would not work in today's Navy.  He picked Supply Corps out of the Academy, not sure why but probably at the time it had the shortest school.  He volunteered for his year in Viet Nam.  Big credit there. But upon his return he spent the rest of his commitment, only four years back then, playing on command sponsored football teams to get ready for the NFL.</span>
<p><span> </span>
</p><p><span>Of course on the other side of the coin, when he played he was almost always mentioned as a Heismen Trophy winner but rarely a Navy player.</span>
</p><p><span>David Robinson was NPQed due to his height but he did go Supply Corps and spent two years of active duty before the Navy allowed him to serve out the rest of his commitment as a Reserve Officer.<span>  </span>Big Navy used him on a regular basis as a recruiting tool.</span>


Redeye80 said...

You missed my link below for Sal's view of his favorite football player.

Credit goes to Staubach and Robinson but they were treated differently than most.  Navy supported thier activities while on active duty and in the case of Robinson cut his commitment to a reserve commitment because they saw his recruiting value.

Eckel and Curry were results of the poor leadership of the administration of the their Academy time.  You rate what you get away with and apparently they were never held accountable.  Of course, I don't see Eckel on any teams this year.  So, much for his longivity.

Redeye80 said...

We spend more money on one flight demonstration by the Blues Angels than the payback cost of the Academy. 

He could be a recruiting tool just as David Robinson.

Redeye80 said...

Cut the Navy's Nuke Power Prep school in half.  You really can't be a nuke.

Rickover caused more damage to the Naval Academy then anyone is willing to admit.  He took a military school and made it a egineering school with a military environment,

Review the Naval Academy's mission statement, then West Point and AFA then ask yourself who is really preparing officers for professional military service.  By the way, review any of the Navy NROTC unit mission statements, see which Academy they line up with.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

If money is no object, why are we cutting so many sailors?  For that matter, how come I can't get travel pay from DFAS without an arm-wrestling match?  Or why do I have to pay my taxes? 

A fringe player on a practice squad is hardly a recruiting tool the same way a premier player in his sport was. 

Don't wanna serve?  Pay back the money.  With interest.

Gaetano01 said...

This makes the Navy leadership look wishy washy when they let the guy join the Pats and then do an about face 3 months later with no notice.  If the answer was "no" from the outset that would be one thing but to jerk a guy around like that is wrong.

Also, the Ensign is right ... the policy should be the same between all 3 services one way or the other.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

<span><span>Eckel made more in five years of NFL time that I have made in almost thirty years in the Marine Corps.   And I could be wrong, but I don't recall anyone in the Saints or Pats or Dolphins training camp trying to blow him to kingdom come or shoot at him with rockets, mortars, machine guns.....   you get the idea.     
From that million and a half or so he made, he should have paid back the taxpayers every dime.</span></span>

Redeye80 said...

It has something to do with leadership skills.  That's why the Academy readily points out where thier midshipmen come from.  For example, the Class of 2015 Profile includes 90% of the class were varsity athletes, 65% were Team Captains, 85% were in the top third of thier high school class.  Kind of related.

As far as Naval combat is concerned, which in my opinion has really occurred since WWII, check out the bios the big named Admirals & Capts, you might find some interesting results.  While you are at it, check out Patton, Eisenhower or MacArthur.

Redeye80 said...

It has something to do with leadership skills.  That's why the Academy readily points out where thier midshipmen come from.  For example, the Class of 2015 Profile includes 90% of the class were varsity athletes, 65% were Team Captains, 85% were in the top third of thier high school class.  Kind of related.

As far as Naval combat is concerned, which in my opinion has really occurred since WWII, check out the bios the big named Admirals & Capts, you might find some interesting results.  While you are at it, check out Patton, Eisenhower or MacArthur.

Redeye80 said...

URR, I don't think Eckel was in the money.  He spent most of his career on the bench, he was cut from every team he played on or part of the injuried reserve list.

Redeye80 said...

DFAS travel, now you are making me laugh.  The most useless organization in DOD.

Hey, I think all military should not pay taxes at all.  But then I am silly that way.

Redeye80 said...

make that "engineering"  coffee hasn't kicked in yet!

Grandpa Bluewater said...

I believe Robinson was a non Seabee, non deploying CEC; not a Pork Chop. Simonized white hard hat, clean khakis and lots of time to work out.

The key is, the guy took a seat and rode the trolley, leaving someone else, not a football player and likely better qualified scholasticly, out in the cold. He got feted, and mentored and coddled while the intermural crowd...not so much and tougher courses.

Football players make better leaders?  Often asserted and seldom seen. Better infantry, and better at  leading same, seems likely. Hockey guys might be even better. Or lacrosse; or sculling; or passing PT score and IQ of about 180 and up.
In other words, pretty much an independent and unrelated variable over 20 odd years as a sea officer.
At best. War at sea pretty much IS rocket science these days.

Another point, in the first half of the twentieth century, Navy and Army were not football powerhouses.  They were army and navy officer training powerhouses.

Unlike the last, oh, thirty years or so.

Major Audie Murphy was a short skinny kid and no football player. That Chamberlin fella was a bookworm.
Paul Jones was a shrimp. The Taussigs? Dunno. College sports, overrated.

Kid stuff.

Time to start a man's work, Ensign. Let's see what you are made of.

Boat School Grad said...

<p><span>I’m just spitballing here…</span>
</p><p><span>Ensign Kettani is transferred to the reserves.</span>
</p><p><span>He’s allowed to compete for an NFL active roster position.</span>
</p><p><span>IF he makes the 53 man active roster he stays in the reserves, plays football and serves at the pleasure of CHINFO during football season. </span>
</p><p><span>EVERY football off-season he serves an IA tour in a combat theater of his detailers choosing.</span>
</p><p><span>If he fails to make the active roster of any NFL team, if he is cut from the active roster and not signed by another team, or if he goes NFL stoopid and embarrasses the service, then he goes back on A/D to fulfill his obligated service.<span>  </span>No second chances.</span>
</p><p><span>Kettani gets his shot and IF he makes it Big Navy has a valuable PR asset.<span>  </span>Marketing gold.</span>
</p><p><span>If he makes the NFL he STILL serves the IA tours which should satisfy the “We’re at war damn it” crowd. 4 or 5 IA tours and he’ll have done more to support the war effort than probably 75% of his USNA classmates and certainly more than he would do on an NRF frigate that will probably be FMS’d to Pakistan before Ensign Kettani becomes LT Kettani.</span>
</p><p><span>Everybody wins except the former black shoes in the crowd who want this guy to pay his dues in sleep deprivation and DH reamings.  Are they ever happy???</span></p>

Stu said...

But Staubach did serve and in Vietnam and he did fulfill his commitment to the Navy.  How the Navy chose to use him was their business.  

C-dore 14 said...

Redeye, I'd argue that "the Staubach model" could still work.  He was also "NPQ'd" for a line commission and attended Supply School after serving as an assistant coach for the USNA football team.  With the exception of Vietnam, his duty assignments were tailored to allow him to serve near Dallas, Texas and work out with the team.

As for David Robinson (and Nap McCallum for that matter) the deal was arranged by the PR-savvy SECNAV, John Lehman, who felt that these officers would be of greater value in the recruiting area.  Jim Webb, who succeeded Lehman as SECNAV, tried to cancel these deals was changed his mind on the advice of the JAG.

Grandpa Bluewater said...

How about keep his word, do the job he was being paid to learn, and do his part to achieve the Navy's mission.

Live Duty, Honor, Country. Like he signed on to do.

That would make me happy.

Shoes, socks, skivvies, color of shirt or trousers and size of timepieces have nothing to do with it.

Dave said...

The lack of information here is frightening.  I thought you Sal clones were all smart.

1. He is a Lt(jg)
2. He has 2.5 years active duty already including a deployment.
3. Why does OSD have different rules for the Army ( Campbell) and Air Force(Hall).
4. The Navy is dropping Ensigns right and left.

Your opinion is your opinion but you could at least stay current.


AW1 Tim said...


  The guy DID serve 2 years on active duty before being allowed to come to training camp. He was selected by the Patriots in 2009, and has been kept on New England's "reserve, active-duty" list for all that time. He made the practice squad, which is a pretty darned good thing in itself, but then coach Belichick has a soft spot for Navy guys.

   Say what you will, but the good officer responded appropriately, packing his bags and reporting as ordered, saying all the right things. I personally have no heartburn with his appealing this decision, as he has every right to do so. I think that he could do more to enhance thew Navy's mission by being involved with pro-football, especially from the PR/Recruiting side of things, but that's just me.

  I'd be interested, though, in hearing what the REAL reason is for denying his request, espcially after all this time. It shouldn't have taken this long to make this decision. I suspect there are ulterior motives at work here, especially in light of good Navy enlisted and officers being let go for budgetary reasons.

  Yes, he owes the Navy 3 more years and from the sound of it, he'll honorably serve those out. I just think he got a fine reaming from the detailers, likely Jests fans, who wanted some sort of example.

   In the meantimne, every man jack in the fleet who reads about this is going to wonder what other promises the Navy has made that they won't keep, or how long some detailer or assignment board will keep folks twisting in the wind just to f@*k with them, which is pretty much how I see this particular situation. Then again, that's just me, my personal opinion, etc.


AW1 Tim said...

IIRC, The Patriots still have Shun White, wide receiver, also from the 2009 USNA class on their reserve/military list.  They recently released WR Tyree Barnes, the 3rd member of that same 2009 class. This was the first time any NFL team had signed 3 military players to a roster, let alone all from the same branch.  I'm not certain what Barnes is up to, but he had a reserve commission and had stated that if he wasn't picked up by another team he intended to return to Active Duty.

Redeye80 said...

I guess they tried that with Eckel but the Navy transferred him as well, I believe.

Webb was hard faced about some stuff but he left us with the current USNA Mission Statement which I think is a miss compared to the Mission Statement when I was there in the late 70s, just saying.

Redeye80 said...

   "In the meantimne, every man jack in the fleet who reads about this is going to wonder what other promises the Navy has made that they won't keep, or how long some detailer or assignment board will keep folks twisting in the wind just to f@*k with them, which is pretty much how I see this particular situation."

Spot on.  Big Navy only wants loyality to go one way.

cdrsalamander said...

1. 01-02.  So?
2. So?  Take a number.
3. Why do I care?  He is a Navy officer.
4. So?

Excuse me for not checking every entry in the all important O2 promotion list.

Anyway - why is a football talent more important than a musical talent?

Actus Rhesus said...

he went to the naval academy, not USC.  If his desire was to play football professionally, he should have picked a different university.  It's not a secret that going to the Naval Academy means you are signing up for obligated military service in exchange for your FREE education.

Anonymous said...

I thought you said Ensigns were almost disposable in another post.  Looks like the Navy is taking a good PR situation and turning it into a bad one.  Seems typical. We do love to make each other miserable, especially on the SWO side.

Grandpa Bluewater said...

Not disposable, but much like baby sea turtles trying to cross the beach. The Sea is NOT fair. Get used to it.

PR about what a good feeder school for the NFL the Naval Academy is we can do without. The taxpayers are paying for Naval Officers as the school's output, they deserve to get what they are paying for.

Want to play for the Lions? Apply to U of M.

cdrsalamander said...

Almost six months and HOURS on the phone to clear out my final travel claim from AFG - well in to four figures I loaned the DoD with no interest.

DFAS; talk about needing to fire people.

Skippy-san said...

The Navy made the right decision-but I have to wonder how much the USNA and its supporters desire to have the Academy play division 1A football contributes to all this. It should be readily apparent to all but the thickest rocks, that going to the Naval Academy is not really a way to get into the NFL. Yet, Navy has a schedule that requires some pretty high caliber football talent. I wonder if there is a dichotomy between what the Academy coaching and recruiting staff says and what Big Navy really wants.

The Academy can have a fine football season without having to play out of its league, which I submit, is a part of the problem that creates situations like this.

Grandpa Bluewater said...

Bullseye, para 2!

Give the man a cigar.

Old Farter said...

Andrew wrote:
<span>"2. More controversally: cut the Annapolis class in half. People keep saying we have too many JOs in the SWO and AV pipelines, right? So stop spending so much taxpayer money to keep pumping them out."

Part of the reason for bringing in so many for so many accessions into the SWO and Aviation communities is the number of attrites in training (AV) and that SWO serves as a major feeder into the other officer communities. (ED, EOD, IT, IP, OCEANO, INTEL etc). The number of SWO ensign accessions is driven by the numer of Dept Head billets that need to be filled downstream.

Of course, as the navy continues to shrink, the number of DH billets will shrink as well. I find it appalling that 3 years ago there was a major push to keep O5s and O6s in the Navy in what was referred to as the control Grade Shortage. Now we are SERADing many of these same people we were begging to stay.

Anonymous said...

The Navy needs good PR, he wants to play with the NFL.  Lets skip the good PR, and make him the 1st LT on a ship.  That way everybody loses.  Brilliant!  Yeah, he has an obligation to serve, and the Navy didn't put him through school to let him out free, but can he do the Navy more good playing football, or being an angry 1st LT?  The whole thing just seems dumb.

GBS said...

Does OSD really have "differernt" rules for the Army and Air Force?  More likely OSD allows the services to deal with the individual academy grads who think that a military service commitment is something to work around.

C-dore 14 said...

The Navy has a long history of arranging assignments for USNA football stars to allow them to practice with their teams while finishing out their service obligation.  Most of the time you never hear about it.  Nap McCallum was originally assigned to a ship in Long Beach near the L.A. Raiders and was then transferred to one in Alemeda, CA, when the Raiders moved back to Oakland.

Too bad for LTjg Ketanni that we no longer have ships in Newport.  But if I were a betting man I'd wager that he'll be enroute shore duty at NAPS when his tour in KLAKRING wraps up.

Anonymous said...

Eckel wasn't exactly the example of someone you'd want to represent the Navy in a public light. It sounds like the OSD just decided to cut their losses and get rid of him.

Redeye80 said...

Sal,  I agree.  After spending my twilight tour in admin, I really got tired of DFAS.  One of my best coups was finding out which Warrent Officer was in charge of the Travel Claim section.  He spent more time of the conversation trying to determine how I found out his phone number.  Of course, I also told the phone number of his boss and his bosses boss.  So, we finally cleared up travel claims for my Marines who had been waiting months for final payment.

Place need to be burned, then plowed over, all DFAS personnal sent to pasture and then we can start over with people who care about getting the job done and the servce members they support.

Skippy-san said...

Besides the only USNA games that matter to me are Air Force -Navy and Army- Navy. The rest is noise.

Skippy-san said...

A year ago, he could have said "the phrase that pays" and been out with an honorable discharge. Now, that won't even work. ;)

SouthernAP said...


How about this thought process. There are some enlisted folk who are trying to get early outs so they can go to schools like Gonzaga, UW, UCLA, VaTech, U of Miami, LSU, etc on full ride sports scholarships that NPC, OPNAV, and SecNav are all saying "Thats cool, but you signed a contract so your ours for four years." If this joker gets released, then it will reek of that little thing called DOUBLE STANDARDS for officers vs enlisted and will leave a seriously bad taste all the way around the fleet. There appears to be other situtations where Big Navy has let some junior officers get by with all sorts of infractions while hammering hard the enlisted folk for the same thing. Those officers are supposed to be leaders, they are supposed to be officers and gentle people, they are supposed to be the setting the standard of ethics to the juniors; instead of only looking out for themselves. Remember appearance is everything. As an officer you need to hold yourself to a higher standard!

You haven't been around many commands where the enlisted are secretly burning in effigy the officers or even the Khaki on a while because of the apperance of a double standard between the Khaki and the enlisted has lead to a piss poor command climate. If you have then you must have had your blinders on. I have been in those stitauations and it has really sucked hind tit because no one was working hard, moral was lower then a snakes belly in a wagon rut and working hours was conatantly being extended because everything had become a red monkey.

C-dore 14 said...

Don't they ever play The Citadel? ;)

Skippy-san said...

Not any more- I don't think West Point or USNA has played The Citadel in years. Especially since USNA is playing teams like Notre Dame, Penn State, Duke and Pitt. They do play VMI next year, which suprises me to no end.

Anonymous said...

Twenty-one months.  Submitted in October 2004, paid in August 2006.  Took a threatened trip to Kansas City to get it paid.  Nearly four grand. 

AOD said...

This stuff honestly infuriates me.  I get NPQ'd, right to stay in, and still have to pack my bags and leave; this guy is fighting to leave?

Damn......nevermind my outstanding high PFA, number 1 FITREPs.  I can't believe we're actually wasting time arguing about letting someone go make a killing in football vs. serving his country AS PER HIS WORD OF HONOR.

As for having a problem with him appealing...Tim, this is one rare time when you and I part company, buddy!

Largebill said...


    You had me nodding my head right until you brought up musicians. :)

    Why in the heck is the military still maintaining bands? If these folks need music for some change of command or a dinner dance get a CD player or a DJ.

Largebill said...

"<span>Don't wanna serve?  Pay back the money.  With interest."</span>

While I agree with your position in general, I have to disagree with your statement. Let me re-phrase it for ya: "Don't wanna serve? Don't apply to a service academy."

SouthernAP said...

Oh please! THere are plenty of enlisted looking to get early outs to go for full rides to good schools on athletic scholarships that the Navy is telling them to wait until they have successfully completed two years at a minimum before they could appeal for an early out to go to school. So how is it fair that a guy who had his education fronted by the tax payer to the tune of almost 100k for the four years and a known part of the deal was doing a minimum of four years active and four years as a reservist before having a chance to drop a resignation chit.

UltimaRatioRegis said...


I will disagree with you slightly on the idea of sport as a developer of leadership.  I do believe that participation in sport is indeed quite beneficial to the development of leaders.  When done correctly.  (Which does not usually include D1 football and how it is emphasized.) 

Teamwork, quick thinking, physical toughness and endurance, leadership by example, the value in winning, and achievement, these are all traits that can be developed by participation in sport.  Not just football.  Sport at a serious level, of any kind.  They are characteristics that are particularly useful in a ground combat leader of any level. 

Patton, Bradley, and Eisenhower played football.  MacArthur played baseball.  Ernie Cheatam won the Navy Cross in Hue, after having played for the Colts in the early 50s.  In fact, almost every senior Marine Officer I know played sports of one kind or another in high school or college. 

It may be "kid stuff" but it does being that transition into man's work.

LT B said...

Have him get stationed in Japan, and he can put on pads and play football out there.  We played against Japanese teams, other service teams and then some of us manned up and played rugby as well. 

He joined the NAVAL Academy.  He is supposed to be a Naval or Marine Corps officer.  Good PR?  How much PR did Eckel bring to the academy?  This individual will be a top tier FB in the NFL?  Doubtful.  So, the PR is minimal.  Sorry to dream crush here, but this is self over country, self over shipmates, etc.  Spin as you choose, but the USNA is not supposed to be a feeder school to the NFL.  And, yes, Skippy is right.  The NAAA is the 800 lb gorilla that has much influence on the yard.

Dave said...

Many, not all, on this thread seem to think that Lt(jg) Kettani has been slacking off and hanging with the Patriots since graduation. As I stated before, he has two and a half years active duty during which he deployed in Klakring.

Byron and others seem to think that he needs to be assigned as First Lt to see if he can handle BM's. Others think he needs to see if he can qualify as a SWO.

News flash folks! He is a qualified SWO and EOOW, was in the Engineering Dept in Klakring and has returned to the same job. One shipmate I corresponded with describes him as an outstaning officer.

Some think CNO sent him back. wrong, it was SecNav's Office. They have the cog on personnel issues like this.

Payback? The SecNavInst calls for two years reserve duty for every year remaining on the ADSO. So, he would have owed 5 more years in the Reserve if he had stayed.

His Naval Career is far more advanced than a Rhodes Scholar who goes to Oxford for a year or two and gets no additional obligation. 3 years active duty for the smart kid.

If he had been smart, he would have selected aviation, gone to Pensacola, failed the swim and been separated. But, he accepted the obligation has performed well and, in all likelihood, will continue to perform well.

You can rail all you want about the policy, but you should lay off a guy who is complying with the policy that is available to him and marching smartly to the orders that he is given. Whether the permission was given to take about 3 months to play with the Patriots or the order was given to return to active duty in Klakring he has done what he was allowed to do and what he was told to do.

And yes, if you want to criticize a young man on a public blog, you should have your ducks in a row and not expose yourself as an uninformed hater.

Grandpa Bluewater: Duty, Honor, Country is the West Point Motto. Aim that at 2LT Campbell.

Sal: O1-O2. So? = O4-O5. So? It was all in the papers. I look forward to continuing to read
LCDR Salamander.


TBR said...

And meanwhile USNA and the Navy are tooling down sail training to save what amounts to peanuts compared to the direct and indirect costs of div 1 football at USNA:

Dave said...

Different pots of money.

I disagree that sail training should be cut but,
football supports itself and most of the other sports at the academy.

When is the last time you paid to watch a sailing regatta on the bay and bought a hot dog from the sailing concession stand?

Sailing relies on government money and private donations.  Football does not.


Redeye80 said...

Well Done, Dave. Nice to hear the other side of the story.  Thanks.

Don't worry about some of the others here, they were in the Navy when men were men and sheep were scared. ;)

LT B said...

Well they took the sheep off the ships and gave us Marines!  Cheers, URR.  :)

Boat School Grad said...

<span> </span>
<span>There are processes for enlisted to request special consideration.  Work the process.  Whether or not equal consideration should be given to an E and O in the specific circumstances LTjg Ketanni finds himself in is debatable and would make a decent discussion.</span>
<span> </span>
<span>Where your point is WAY off target is in your view that NO double standards should exist between E's and O's.  There most definitely should be “double standards”.  Rank has its privileges.  You want the privileges and the considerations afforded O's...then go get a commission.</span>
<span> </span>
<span>As far as E's burning O's in effigy, the solution there is not the Soviet navy model where all E's and O's are "komrades".  The proper solution there is NJP.</span>

UltimaRatioRegis said...

The sheep couldn't protect the sailors, LT B.  And given the Navy's fear of small arms, they certainly wouldn't try and let the sailors protect themselves. 

So you had to have Marines.  Otherwise you would all sleep with the light on.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

So why the hell did they commission him?

LT B said...

That and the sailors needed someone to play with the Crayolas. 

UltimaRatioRegis said...

A Marine with a crayon and a rifle is more dangerous, and somewhat more useful, than a sailor with Power Point and no rifle. 

Just sayin'....

LT B said...

At least the sailors can't and don't chew on the crayons, but we can't always say that about the Marines and their crayons. 

At least I went out and learned how to shoot.  It is how I relax after taking the Navy sensitivity training BS.  I never learned to color though. 

Grandpa Bluewater said...

Dear Dave:

Your spirited defense of the officer whose extra special good deal we have been discussing puts him in a better light.  The facts you contributed add a measure of understanding, and we all must remain open to input such as yours. Given what you say, it seems he is a solid JO worthy of respect for his very real achievements in the fleet.

I am well aware of the West Point motto, as well as the Annapolis one. The former is a worthy one for any commissioned officer, the latter a simple statement of fact. Duty, Honor, and Country are the foundation of military merit regardless of service, and any JO would do well to live by them. I still do.

Now about extra special good deals for NFL caliber jock middies... It should never happen. Choose your rate, choose your this case the rate is officer candidate.  Take the Queen's Shilling and you are married to Brown Bess until your first hitch is up - the time to pull the rip cord is before that first thin hash mark on the sleeve, or upon completion of obligated service. My opinion.  Doubtless unpoptular among those seduced by the warlike rhetoric of NFL Films.  War and football have nothing to do with each other.  War is all hell, football is a game for teen age boys. Playing fields of Eton be damned.

Warfighting First. Or die.

LT B said...

Because VADM Fire-it-up was a staunch football supporter.  What is good for the academy is not necessarily good for the Navy.  Strangely enough, their missions are not lock step.  It takes a fair amount of rationalization to dove tail some of the stuff that happens at the academy and say it is the best thing for the Navy. 

C-dore 14 said...

@Large Bill, You had me until the part about the CD player.  When the National Cemetery guys whipped one out to play "Taps" at my dad's funeral I told them we'd pass on the "honor".  Funny how many of the Members of Congress who whine about military bands are the first to demand them for ceremonies that they or their constituents are involved in.

Anonymous said...

Seems like some of these cases seem to do ok in the PR department:

If you want to cut costs, there are other places to save more money.  If you want to be bitter and crap on someone else's good deal, Mission Accomplished.  If you just want to spit at USNA, Mission Accomplished.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Gotta call BS on GB. 

Sports is an important thing in the development of young men and women, especially future leaders.  Not just football, but any sport someone chooses to play.  Any recruiter will tell you that.  As will a Drill Instructor.  And an infantry platoon sergeant. 

Sports aren't the problem.  Football included.  The problem is one of leadership and integrity on the part of senior USNA staff and boosters.  It is reflected in the integrity of those wearing cleats.  But that is a symptom of the disease, not the disease itself. 

As for being seduced by warlike rhetoric of football films, don't think so.  I've played college football, and have been to war.   So please.

Grandpa Bluewater said...

URR:  Sports are important in the development of young men and women. Agree. Healthy exercise, cooperative effort, learning to act in a team for a goal, obedience to rules. Yup. Commissioned officers are adults and judged as such. Midshipmen are officers in the limited sense and are to be disciplined as such (not punished, disciplined - big difference).
Commissioned officers should not play pro ball until they have left active duty at the end of their contracted obligation.

The problem is the actions and decisions of senior leadership and boosters. Yup.

I can see you seduced by some circumstances perhaps, but not by NFL films propaganda. Evah.
You have seen the elephant and know the awful truth.  Many have not. Wasn't talking about you.

Playing sports will make a lad and lassie strong and easier to train. Usually. So will working on the water in Grandad's fishing boat, or on a family farm, or at the family tire dealership or after school on a Coca Cola truck. Pass the PT test, look at the whole package, consider the achievements in high school - all of them. 

Once a midshipman, intramurals and organized PT TLC under the watchful eye of a Gunny or a Seal with a peg leg will do fine. Varsity sports within reason, fine. Football is great fun to watch and play, and overrated otherwise. It brings in lots of lovely money for the other team sports, which is fine with me.

Extra special good deals which skip officer basic, be it flight school, sub school and nuclear power school, or Buds or etc. just means you spent a lot of money to get a model for some billboards, commercials and magazine ads and are one trainable JO short. Training the officer, putting him through a successful JO Warfare qual and then wasting it so he can play pro ball, in time of war, violates the first prime directive...Warfighting First. 

Many JO's leave when their obligation is up and pursue more lucrative careers they believe they are better fitted for. Fine.

Athletes should be no different. No. Different.

Let the slings and arrows begin.

UltimaRatioRegis said...


Agree with all, with the following comment:

Today's semi-sedentary youth living with one foot in a "virtual" world is more in need of sport, or Granddad's fishing boat than ever before.

I can be seduced, but she has to look great in heels, and have some access to either surplus .30-06 and .45 ACP ammo, or hard to find NOS parts for a 1964 Buick Lesabre.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

That said, I could watch John Facenda-narrated film of Butkus and Unitas and Night Train Lane all day long....

Redeye80 said...

Of course, let's not forget Adm Mullen played varsity basketball at USNA.

Redeye80 said...

Warfighting first?  Is that how we got the LCS? or .....?

Grandpa Bluewater said...

URR: Suspicions confirmed.

No quarrel with the codicil.

Anonymous said...

As a department head once told me: seniority amongst J.O.s....

AKA Shadow

cdrsalamander said...

Football - a game - gets some people more excited than it really should.  A psychologist could explain it better than I can.

Sad thing that posts on silly things like shipbuilding, war in Afghanistn & Iraq, and strategy don't get as many comments --- but such is life.

Those who only feel the need to comment on football related posts - but you never see them on other topics - I find "interesting."

In a way, that is the story every time I do one of these posts. 

Dave said...

There must be more neanderthals than techies reading your blog.

Who sits for hours watching shipbuilding on TV?

Back channel tells me that your favorite CNO is the one who got the Undersecretary to decide that Lt (jg) Kettani had enough fun.

We can call it " Rougheads parting shot".


Redeye80 said...

Wow, hard to believe a 4 star has got thing for some J.G but given what I have seen over the years it doesn't surprise me at all.

Redeye80 said...

Sal, you present some great posts and most of the porch members are on the same sheet of music on those things you find important.  You just strike a nerve on some subjects that brings out the "best" in people.  As you say, such is life.  But, at least you're getting traffic.

LT B said...

It isn't just foosball, it is USNA foosball.  They are tied together and feed into what is wrong w/ the institution.  A lot of the stuff surrounding Div I tends to be a bit outside the Core Values.  Sports are important for many reasons, but when that importance is blown out of proportion, it tends to be an issue.  USNA stuff tends to pull in a big crowd too.  We dispute, argue, agree, back slap and load sarcasm upon each other.  The porch is a good place to chew the fat, just some topics draw more emotion than others.  Some of the other stuff, requires knowledge and professional savy.  A discussion of sports does not, so more feel comfortable to sound off. 

Grumpy Old Ham said...

<span>I find it appalling that 3 years ago there was a major push to keep O5s and O6s in the Navy in what was referred to as the control Grade Shortage.</span>

This is getting pretty OT, but you can thank the original "Peace Dividend" for that.  The DoD-wide RIFs of '92 decimated those year groups, but the HR/personnel/J1 "professionals" did absolutely nothing to try to smooth out the big bumps in the curves in the intervening decades...

Grumpy Old Ham said...

DFAS is a jobs program, intended to partially mitigate the effects of BRAC I and BRAC II.  Once you understand that, all else becomes clear...

Anonymous said...

because the navy is doing some real important stuff *DONT_KNOW* ......

UltimaRatioRegis said...

So.... piss poor leadership from someone entrusted with leadership?  Not just someone, but a Navy Admiral.  

Got it.  Which is why I wouldn't follow some of them across the street.  They aren't fit to lead.

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