Monday, January 30, 2012

Thoughts Shared Only in Private

Time for a guest post on a topic that can set people on edge ... but this is the blogosphere; so there you go.

As the front porch will know once our guest's post starts - his opinion is almost the opposite of mine in many aspects. That's OK, the MIDN below holds an opinion that many do - many good men do.

I don't agree with a lot of what he says - but I think his opinion should be put out there if for no other reason than this; leaders need to know that a lot of men in the military think this way. This doesn't make them bad, evil, or not worthy to serve. It just is - and the time to think about how to work with people like this isn't when you find it in the Fleet. Ponder now so you can lead them tomorrow.

My recommendation to this young man and others like him is to allocate more time for PT. Naval Special Warfare is one of the few places he will be able to serve in the near future without women. That and USMC infantry.

For those who think this man should suck it up or go home - I say you are wrong. We need men who think like the below - we just to make sure we find the right specialty to meet their personality type.

Midshipman, the floor is yours.

I don’t like following women. There – I said it.

The thing is, yeah, I joined the military to serve my country, and I know that she did, too. But really, I joined the military because I had to, to, you know, to prove that I’m a man. To become a man, really. I saw the pictures of the Marines in their dress blues, with their broad shoulders and severe faces. I saw them running over obstacles, firing guns, sweating, bleeding, faces contorted with effort and sweet agony. Proving themselves. And I wanted to be them. Not to serve my country, but to be a freaking badass.

How can she teach me that? She doesn’t know the first thing about being a man. I run faster than her; I do more pull-ups. True, she’s very professional (that seems to be the buzz-word these days, as if we operated in some sort of business), but she isn’t a man. I know she can do everything the same: she’s just as smart as a man, she loves her country just as much as a man, and we all know that running speed and physical strength aren’t really limiting factors for most jobs. But it’s still there. That thing that women can’t understand about being a man. Part of being a man is that wolf-pack mentality. I don’t want someone who’s merely smart and capable. I want that alpha-wolf who leads the pack through sheer physicality and masculinity. Of course ideally he would be smart, patient, just, kind, and so forth. But any leader, male or female, needs to be better than their subordinates. It’s why they’re called superiors. But if a woman is better than me, I can’t be a man. I can follow her, but I feel like my nuts have been chopped off. I feel like a cowed dog; like one of those little chihuahuas that upscale girls carry in their purse. What we forget is that those little pipsqueaks are the descendants of wolves. They were once vicious hunters that struck fear into the hearts of their prey, now reduced to dickless, domesticated freaks.

The military says I have to follow my leader, no matter what gender they are. And I will, and I’ll do my job, either way. Of course I will; I’ll keep my word to my country. But why is it so wrong for me to want someone who I can look up to? Why can’t I just follow a man, and feel like a wolf instead of a Chihuahua? Is this really just “my problem”?

407 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   201 – 400 of 407   Newer›   Newest»
James said...

Holy shit! 200 coments in less than a day that has to be a new Sal comment record?!

cdrsalamander said...

Close ... but not quite.  Break 500 in 24 hrs ... then you're talk'n.

LT Rusty said...

Believe it or not, as you choose.  I knew the young woman in question, and knew her division members quite well.  This sort of thing is not nearly as uncommon as you'd wish it was, and that sort of hijinks happens with officers of both gender.  It just gets noticed more when it's a female officer.

Regardless, my point is that you are the one that creates your reputation as an individual, and contribute to the reputation of your gender, just as that particular woman did. 

Saying that BSG is "giving women a bad name" is not really productive, because as I said, he isn't.  He - and others like him - simply make it more difficult to overcome the stereotypes and preconceptions.  Your reputation, individually and collectively, is in your hands.  Blaming your reputation on someone else is weaksauce, and acting like a victim is not a way to earn anyone's respect.

My impression of you is that you're on the right track, though.  Just keep with it.

OutlawMike said...

I hear you, DeltaBravo, and I am absolutely certain that you are both serious about it and capable of it.

Still, I stand by what I said, but you should not see that as a derogatory remark. And I certainly did not mean it that way.

usnagirl12 said...

BSG, again with the speaking in riddles. Why don't just say what you're really feeling instead of dancing around your true thoughts...or are you no longer up for debating with a "sweet", young girl about such issues?

Grandpa Bluewater said...

URR: The young recruit is silly....
But day by day they kicks im, which helps im on a bit...

Shoot the lad? Never. Waste of valuable government property.

Scold him? Might help. I'm sure you've done your share.

He's  acting closer to fifteen than 19, he wants the world to be fun.  

Now the foolishness young women come up with. Oh my stars and garters.


It was a lot simpler in the Viking Navy, yah shure!

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Post something about the black lesbian midget skipper of the optimally-manned LCS without its mission module as a replacement for the FFG-7s, named USS Joe Sestak, one of the new, unarmed Nancy Pelosi-class LCS that will comprise our networked influence squadrons....

And you may have a chance.  :-P

juan said...

And one implication of what I believe is that the women who rise to power do have a harder time and have to overcome the natural resistance to female leadership. I'm not saying anything about who is weak or strong. I'm saying humanity evolved to cooperate in small-ish societies. And that we evolved to function primarily under male leadership. And we are generally happiest in small groups (dozens) with a single clear male leader.

There have been many psych studies that show when a deep male voice says "Let's do X." people are more likely to agree and follow than when a higher-ptiched female voice says "Let's do X". Assertions of fact are more likley to be believed when said by a male voice.

It's like dogs. Dogs are happy when there is a clear leader of the pack. Uncertain leadership causes stress and anxiety. Same with humans.

Remember, humanity lived most of our history in small tribes with uncertain food supply and at the mercy of the elements.  We are hierarchical social animals. We are built to cooperate and that hierarchy is fairly shallow in small groups, but it still exists. Humans require clear leaders.

And in the brutal pre-history of humanity the best leaders were strong, wily, healthy males who display clear dominance. Because that means they are capable and their leadership is stable. Weak and sick males invite leadership challenges. This is one biological reason why men are generally so reluctant to see doctors and reveal weakness. It's a mal-adaptive trait in today's society with easy access to healthcare -- but in human pre-history admitting weakness was an invitation to a leadership challenge or being expelled from the tribe for not pulling your weight.

My beliefs on this are morally neutral. Gorilla society isn't sexist or not, it's just how gorillas are built. Same with lions or penguins. Humanity is the way it is. Our flexibility gives us a greater range of possible behaviors. But we are still limited by our evolutionary design. So we aren't automotons, but we have built-in tendencies.

Human beings are, on average, celebrity obsessed because in human pre-history it was really important to be on the good side of the tribe leader and his wife (or wives) since they were in charge of who got how much food. We are built to kiss the ass of our tribal leader. And we are built to quickly turn and badmouth the old leader if a new leader takes over. We are built to survive. In human pre-history it was really damn important to know who the tribal leader was sleeping with, it was a matter of life-and-death.

And this whole everybody living into their 60s and 70s and having wise gray-beards in charge. Totally new in the long span of human history. We evolved to live in a harsh world where few people made it past 40 and where one of the most common ways to die was being brained with a rock when somebody sneaks up behind you. So dumb, hot-head 20-somethings fighting for leadership was a normal part of life.

usnagirl12 said...

Im not trying to sound like a victim so if I came off that way, that was not my intention. And if I'm going to blame anyone besides me for my reputation, it's the other women who have gone before me and "soiled" it before I had a chance to make a good one for myself.  I do make my own reputation, yes, but i make it with the other stereotypes that are already out there because people commonly believe the rumors they hear. It's hard to change people's mind's about you once they're already had a thought put into their heads about you...althought it's not impossible to change that. But yes, people like BSG do make it difficult to overcome a reputation like that but it will just give me that much more pleasure in proving them wrong when i DON'T match that particular stereotype.

TheMightyQ said...

AR,
I don't think you can fault the young man for being young. He has no control over his age. I have also noted that he did not say he "can't" or "won't" follow a woman, but rather that he doesn't like to.  He finds it easier to be inspired to fight by a man.  I have noticed that, reading many of these posts, he does not seem to be alone.  There are aspects of manly culture that most women will never understand.  Does that make them bad leaders or officers?  Not in the slightest.  However, it does mean that regardless of the talent of a female leader, she is not going to inspire this young man to feats of accomplishment in combat, which is something he seems to want now.  He is not the first, nor will he be the last to have those thoughts and feelings.  I hope, over time, as his experiences grow, he will temper his aggression with wisdom, but that remains to be seen.

DeltaBravo said...

Posts like this ^ are why we must keep GBW forever.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Scold him?  Sure.  But eventually, you have to get through to him.  Which means understand him and not dismiss him out of hand. 

I do take issue with calling it "acting".  He expressed a viewpoint that is not as sophisticated nor as learned as ours, but no less genuine.  And he had the seeds to do so.  He will meet a lot of bosses who will never have those. 

And yes, Kipling is properly referenced below.

cdrsalamander said...

GOH,
"<span> "I can only follow someone who looks like me." </span>" is exactly Admiral Roughead's justificaiton for a policy of active discrimination.

OutlawMike said...

:-P

OutlawMike said...

Uh... I meant ;)  of course. Of course.

:-P

Something to Consider said...

"There is a reason why men have fought the wars to this point.  It has to do with children and society's acknowledgement of their dependence on their mothers.  The image of babies being handed to stay-at-home father so their wives could be deployed overseas should be shocking to all of us.  Specifically, there is no more dramatic evidence of the crisis in masculinity today that than the fact that men would tolerate even the possibility that their wives, sisters, and daughters would do their fighting for them.  Isn't that like a man staying in bed with the covers over his head while the wife goes to confront an intruder?  Is there no dignity left in modern manhood?"-Dr. James C. Dobson.  

DeltaBravo said...

Very very true.   But it ignores two facts:  1.  Not every woman who joins has an infant to leave behind.   and 2.  This discussion was not predicated on the basis that "I cannot follow a woman when my basic reverence for her nature as a woman leads me to want to protect her and shield her.  Anything less would be unmanly."

Maybe that is at the basis of this.  And he is young and unable to completely articulate his deepest motives and feelings.  That is a different discussion altogether. 

UltimaRatioRegis said...

"I can only follow someone that looks like me."

GBS said...

<span>"And yes, I know quite a bit about Bradley"</span>

Yep...that's easy to see.

Grumpy Old Ham said...

CDR S, URR,

Exactly my point.  The young man is confused, but with the right mentoring he will (we all hope, I think) turn out to be an excellent leader.

In the meantime, the Diversity Diktats will take his words out of context, and use them to further their agenda...  :-$

Stu said...

But I would submit that is the angst he is attempting to articulate even if he can't ge the words right.  

I resent women in combat roles.  I think it further allows men to shirk their responsbilities in life, breeds cowardice, does not make us a more effective fighting force and utlimately puts all women and children at risk.  With women in such roles, no longer does my wife enjoy the protection of being a women at least among the more noble warrior classes. Yes, there will always be miscreants in wartime who prey upon women but at least in the past they were universally looked down upon.  Now, a women is just another potential combatant.

What is out of whack in this world is a male chauvinism that doesn't value the feminine.  We have a message in society that tells women that they are only valued on the same set of standards of being a man yet ironicaly when it becomes impossible for them to compete on many of those "manly" standards we simply throw the standards out leaving us with a milquetoast view of the world that now doesn't value any of the real and complementary differences between men and women that not only help us build families but society.

God have mercy on us.  

Pat said...

What happens when one of this guy's sailors or Marines is faster/stronger/better than HIM? There's always someone better than you. Is he just supposed to accept a subordinate giving him grief because the subordinate can run faster than he can? By his logic, I think yes.

Alpha Check said...

I can't wait until this guy has a fat bag of donuts SWO skipper, and he refuses to follow.  Why not just have gladiator duels to see who should run the show every day?  Also, he sounds kinda gay.... You know wanting all that alpha-wolf male physicality. Perhaps on the dance floor, shirless and grinding?  Guess what Midshipman, you don't lead with your balls, and obtw, you have to fit into the larger command structure.  You don't just get to go destroy things, unless you want to be a Navy mover.

Typical Academy Guy said...

"Midshipmen and cadets remain stronger and more aggressive than their male counterparts at civilian schools. They eagerly play sports such as rugby, boxing, karate, lacrosse, and football. They drive fast cars, usually sports cars. They play hard. They drink hard. They are physical, often abusive among each other. They are not trying to prove their manhood: they are celebrating their masculinity. They are competitive, often vulgar, and tough, and every citizen who may someday send a friend or relative into war should rejoice, because combat is competitive, vulgar, and tough, and they will be leading men in combat.”
-James Webb

TheMightyQ said...

It seems that arkhangelsk is disparaging the concept of officers, specifically non-prior enlisted officers.  I find this argument facile, and this comment typical of those who disparage formal education.  One does not have to spend time as an enlisted man to be a good officer.  Additionally, I don't consider a commission a "magical item."  The concept behind officers earning commissions through USNA, ROTC, etc. nowadays is that they have proven their ability in a classroom setting to learn new concepts and adapt those concepts to the task at hand.  Additionally, one is required to teach oneself many of these concepts and are then tested on their ability to self-teach.  That sounds a lot like what a JO has to do.  The fact that this aggressive young man went to college is not related to the fact that he wants to be tested in his manhood.  

UltimaRatioRegis said...

By the time he gets to lead Marines, he will know better.  He must be able to lead, but will realize some of his Marines will be faster, stronger, better shooters, etc.  And that, as long is he is excelling at those requirements, will be fine.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

AC,

He has inexperience to explain the rather ill-considered nature of his comments. 

You don't.

TheMightyQ said...

Alpha Check,
While you're correct that "you don't just get to go destroy things," we do train to do just that, considering that we're supposed to be training for war.  We are tasked with other missions as well, to be sure.  However, our primary mission as a military will always be to kill people and break things in the service of our country and when directed by leadership.  We require this sort of young man to inspire others to follow into dangerous situations.  Additionally, deprecating him by saying that he "sounds kinda gay" is completely inappropriate.  If you have an issue with his argument, come up with a better one yourself.  Do not engage in ad hominen attacks.  They just lower the level of discourse here.

Separately, most aggressive young men seek out physically challenging experiences.  This is NORMAL.  An indiviudal being meek and passive will never accomplish anything of note in this world.  People of his ilk need to be encouraged, guided, and then let loose to inspire other young Sailors and Marines to the heights of courageous action, if given the chance.

Typical Academy Guy said...

For everyone attacking him personally calling him out on not doing his job if he were under a women or any other circumstance you can come up with you obviously didn’t read the whole piece, which is surprising because it’s fairly short. Its either that or you fall into one of two categories 1) you are a female or 2) you are an emasculated male. If you are in either category comprehending the thought of a male preferring male leadership would be rather difficult because you couldn’t possibly understand. The last paragraph in the piece sums it up extremely well. We will all do our jobs to the best of our ability no matter who is leading us however when it comes down to it having a strong male leader is going to be extremely more effective. Go back and read that last paragraph if you missed it and for those who are female or emasculated read the James Webb quote below.

Typical Academy Guy said...

Nice post John

Byron said...

SHREK! I knew it!!!!! 8-)

Byron said...

usnagirl12, around here, the way a lady gives the coup d' grace is, "Bless your heart!". Just ask DB or AR ;)

UltimaRatioRegis said...

More George Kennedy from Cool Hand Luke, but you get the idea....

Handsome, I ain't.

John said...

The writers words are sincere, albeit rising from youthful inexperience and perhaps different from how he might see things 10-20 years from now.

Meanwhile, what happened to all that enthusiasm for "tolerence" and "diversity" and valuing each person for their individual qualities and capabilities?  He certainly seems inclined to allow for the strengths of females in certain areas, and [realistically?] call into question weaknesses by some in other areas.

I guess it is okay to write the Midn off as some sort of Neanderthal, unsuited for assignment in the politically correct billets that seem to proliferate.

But, I sure as heck want him in our Navy-Marine team billets focused on killing people and breaking things.

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

Women are very vicious. Ask any cop who has been to a fight between women. Males have an "off" switch that kicks in when the other guy has been defeated, beating her enemy seems to make the female hit the next highest gear. I have broken up fights between men with a, " Gentlemen, that is enough! Knock it off, or you're goin to jail". Women you have to physically seperate, and they will still try to get at the other woman.  Oh, yes, women can be quite nasty, if given the chance.

Surfcaster said...

In the words of our host, Good Googly Moogly!

This thread makes the LCS miss its masculine side.

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

If anyone wants me, I will be down in the burrows, with the blast doors shut and locked. I have already pulled the circut breaker to the drinks elevator, I am not sending any booze up for the time being.  You will just have to make do with the Coke taps. When it is time for me to come up and hose the blood off the porch with my pressure washer, call me on the 1MC. 

Stu said...

The Academy isn't doomed.  It was finished years ago.  

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

In Edward Stafford's Little Ship, Big War, he mentions being out to dinner with some of his wardroom and thier wives in Los Angeles, right after the war, and a DESRON Commodore came over to the table, saying that he had heard them talking about thier DE, and he wanted those USNR guys to know how much he was impressed with them. He had had almost 2 decades of training, 3 years of fighting the IJN, and had a pack of SUMNERs with him when he last went to war. The crew of ABERCROMBIE, including the officers, had been civilians as recently as a year ago, had been given a DE, a short instruction course in Bermuda in how to be an escort, and told, " The Japs are THAT way, go get 'em".  Even so, they did just as good of a job as he and his DESRON did, perhaps better.  So not eveyone was anti USNR.   

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

Well, he does make a good point about not wanting to follow someone who wasn't from Wisconsin.

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

I use FOX pepper spray at 6,500,000 Scovile Heat Units on those calls.  And sometimes, it doesn't stop them.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Innt Maryann Sumi from Wisconsin?  Just sayin'....

Alpha Check said...

MQ,

Why is being gay "depreciating him"?  He's the one that made all the allusions to masculinity and being attracted to it.  I've served with plenty of gay men and women, and don't consider them less than anyone, especially this egotistical Midshipman.  Why do you think less of gay people?  There are plenty of physically challenges, but the Navy isn't Double Dare. Violence without restraint is something I would expect from a Dictator, not from an Officer in the US Military.  Not the kind of person we want in a professional military.  He'll make a great mercenary some day.

Alpha Check said...

Excellent example of a false choice TAG!

DeltaBravo said...

we crazy, Badger.   ;)

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

My apologies, AR, keeping the drinks supplied from the Burrows Below is my job, and I failed, I will send some up on the drinks elevator.

Elf said...

LOL.  The physical double standards, pandering and above all Diversity Diktats need to go away.  After that - in combat and war you'll find out who's who.   Some women can cut it, some men can cut it, some can't.  I have an Army view cuz I am.  You won't hide who you are, not even from yourself anymore.  

The real danger of PC is if not checked it bleeds into the battlefield in other ways that are costly.  O/T but I mean our ridiculous Miranda warning ROE.  We're all due a bloodletting if we meet a first string foe.  

on a lighter note, I propose we settle this thru technology.  Lets program our replacements -Drones- with male and female DNA patterns, and see what happens. :-D   If we really want to make it interesting lets program some others as Diversity Zampolitski and watch both the XX and XY drones react to them.  

LT Rusty said...

What are you, frakking Obi-Wan today?  I swear, I've been reading all your posts today in Alec Guinness' voice.  It's like you're arguing with Yoda.

Dutch Oven said...

CDR S.

Do we knowthe comissioning source of this Midn? NROTC? Naval Academy?
Just curious. I do hope NROTC!

He is of course absolutely correct in his stated and unstated thoughts.

Men should not be nurses, stews, secretaries, etc.
Women can be the above but they should mainly focus on being
wives and mothers.


Their role as regards to being officers in command of men is
described in scripture

"But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
 <sup>13</sup>For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
 <sup>14</sup>And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
 <sup>15</sup>Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.Timothy 2 12-15

Women should serve in the military only in emergencies to "free a man to fight" and to provide comfort.[Maybe the modern version Northern Federal invaders looting and raping accross the South.]

My views were mainly formed by living in my father's house, 4 years as
an NROTC  Midn. and more importantly in RVN as a  Lt in the force Reconaissance Company
and  a Captain commanding a Rifle Company.

Some of the confused thinking on this subject comes from people
who have confused bombing wedding parties from 10,000 ft and lobbing
Tomahawks from 800 miles with combat.

LT B said...

The LCS has a masculine side? 

LT B said...

The LCS has a masculine side? 

UltimaRatioRegis said...

I've developed a few junior leaders in my 30 years.  And had some superb role models.

Seems many here are against forgiving this young Middie his youth.  One has to wonder how that would have turned out for them had they not been forgiven the assuredness of some of their notions as enthusiastic and callow youths.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

No.

cdrsalamander said...

USNA.

Naval_Historian said...

Sounds to me like the MIDN wants to be a Marine; wouldn't it be better with a brand-new 2LT with this attitude than can be shaped up by his SSGTs and GYSGTs and Company officers than with one with all the Diversity checks that has no heart of a warrior? An officer is only as good as his/her leadership *both* officer and enlisted. For Navy, this would be the First Classes, Chief's Mess and  Department Heads. I would like to see what he's like after Basic School and a year or so running a rifle platoon or if he winds up going Navy what he's like after a year or so in a squadron flying with a female NFO/Aviator or on a boat running a Division with a female Chief/LPO...

cdrsalamander said...

About right.

Typical Academy Guy said...

That's the best response you could come up with? Not quite as bad as "he sounds kinda gay" so i guess i shoulnd't harp on you too much, you're improving.

Surfcaster said...

Hush. You'll hurt someone's feelings.

(On another note - GO PATS! )

ENZ, USN said...

I'm not going to pretend to have read all 258 of the comments... I read about 20 and decided that I'd just post a general response hitting several targets.

As a person that was a Mid 7 months ago, I remember a good number of briefs done at either a Battalion, a Class, or the Brigade level that left the you feeling that the Naval Academy wanted people to deemphasize some of the archetype "masculine" things, i.e. weight lifting, being big, working out, being aggressive, or being a bad ass in general.  I knew women that were offended by this, because they thought it was stupid for trained warfighters and killers.  I would lie if my thoughts weren't similar to this mid's (maybe not towards every woman, but definitely the average female) after these briefs.  Theyeither made you feel like crap for being a male or just enraged at it.  From this perspective I completely understand his general feeling, just not his overall conclusion.

There are numerous women that can and do belong on the frontlines if they were permitted, which is where the PRT or PFT differences are a little ridiculous.  Fighting a fire, running to cover, carrying an injured person, etc. doesn't care what sex you are, so why should the physical fitness standard be different if the job is the same.  This is mainly pertinent for the more physically oriented fields.  If a woman can ruck for 20 miles with a 50 pound pack and keep up or push her platoon harder, then why can't she be allowed to lead them?  The best pragmatic and not political argument I've managed to hear towards having differing standards for physical fitness standards is that the PRT and PFT scores are based on national averages for people at those age groups and the standard to pass are done by national averages.  This hypothetically means that these are the standards that we would use if to judge draftees that would be utilized, because the national average is what we would pull from.  The obvious issues are that we are an all volunteer force that may never see a draft again and that women do not have to register for the selective services and therefore wouldn't be drafted.

In Martial Arts 3 (optional third MA course to work towards a Tan Belt in MCMAP) we were doing bayonet fights against each other using helmets, pads and spars with a red end to use as a bayonet.  Everyone had already gone, but there was still 1 person left.  I volunteered to go again though my partner was female, about 30+ pounds heavier than me (she was a former thrower, and I'm a 145 lbs. male distance runner).  One of the instructors actually questioned if I was sure I wanted to do fight her because she was female.  I didn't care, and it kind of bothered me that he seemed to think that I should.  The question I pose with this is whether it should matter whether we mix up men and women, big and small, etc. when training.  My vote is that you use what you have, not what you want, so why adjust how you train besides random?

This Mid will hopefully learn a lot, but my thoughts is that if that is his reasoning to want to join the military, then there is no issue.  I do however think that he should not lead men with that mentality for 3 dominate reasons.  First, nearly all of the billits he will hold will not satisfy what he seems to want his mission to be.  He won't be that frontline soldier getting to be point.  He may be a SEAL or a Platoon Commander, but he won't be able to sustain the operational capacity that he seems to want.  Second, his desire to be a badass has the likelihood of putting his priorities as a leader backwards.  He might focus too much on himself or his own combat experience vice [...]

ENZ, USN said...

Or if he is a Platoon Commander that gets saved by a female helicopter pilot that provides air support.

Conflicted said...

As a first class woman at USNA I often wonder how many of my classmates feel this way. . . and I  agree with them, to a certain extent. By the way, I promise I could destroy you on the PRT -- but that is clearly not the point. There are time when I would love to go back to 1850 and live in the cult of domesticity; unfortunately, that is not possible in this economic age.  While I may not be worthy to lead people like you (and yet I will do it anyway, to the best of my ability) many of my peers, both male and female, are not worthy of wearing the uniform, period.  In my own defense, I am proud to have the opportunity to serve as a future line officer and grateful to soon have the chance to give back a little.  I'm truly sorry you may have to salute me in four months, but there really isn't much we can do to change it. Good luck?

Conflicted said...

I think I know who authored this comment -- so much for anonymity

ENZ, USN said...

You might... if so, send me a message via other channels (facebook, cell, etc.) out of curiousity.

And I don't care a whole lot about anonymity, hence the thinly masked username.

LT B said...

The Marines have a consistent message wrt recruiting.  How long have we known the few the proud, the Marines.  The commercials are a bit different but I have not seen a huge swing in messages.  The other services, however, waiver in their message.  This young man joined w/ the picture of Marines lined up, the sound of rifles slapping against palms, then the picture of men in the mud, pushing themselves, etc.  This commercial works in the 20's, 30's, 50's and this century.  It speaks to the boy that plays sports to win, it speaks to the boy that wants to be a man, to protect, to show strength and honesty.  It does not speak to the skinny jeans, foo foo manpurse wearing, mr. sensitive pony tail (name the ref), metrosexual.  And to be honest, I don't want to serve w/ those foofy guys.  It is bad enough I have to worry about offending women, last thing I want is to worry about offending sheep in man's clothing.

Conflicted said...

Given that I serve in a profession that is approximately 50% gentlemen (and 80% "male"), I should never have to open my own door. I hope you're one because your thoughts are spot on.

LT B said...

AR drops the eff bomb, she doesn't bless the hearts as our Texan belle does. 

LT B said...

Honey badger you ain't!  :)

eric said...

ENZ,USN
I believe you're dead wrong about women in combat but that isn't the nature of this post.

The MIDN should probably resign or be aware that his career will be very unpleasant should his views become known.
The current political climate doesn't see any real danger so women are allowed in combat situtations, ships become
polticial prizes not war fighting machines. He appears to be struggling with a world view that isn't popular and he does
not articulate it very well. I believe CDR Salamander's suggestion is the best given what the young man has said.

MR T's Haircut said...

<span>@ Conflicted, I think him having to salute you is the least of his concerns..nice passive aggressive attack there.... A good Leader knows that respect (and yes Salutes) are EARNED.. remember that.</span>
Your Sailors will eat that passive aggressive crap for lunch...

MR T's Haircut said...

Make sure you truly know.. false accusations and assumption can bite you in the ass... big time

MR T's Haircut said...

Why does it matter?  He is learning like all Officer Candidates/Mids do... one from the other discounts the path others have taken...

Dave Foster said...

Nothing much new to add except to say that physical prowess is a part of badassitude but frankly, if you're a young hardcharger, you ought to be fit and sharp enough to physically kick your skipper's ass.  Even as a Captain, I had a certain small disdain for superior officers who were physically weaker than me, but I never confused this attribute of physical bearing - always a good thing for a Marine - with the totality or most important aspect of leadership.  I respected those seniors whose ass I could kick - but as we were on the same side, not really a useful contrast - for their experience, knowledge of the tactical and larger pictures, and, most of all, for their decisiveness in our art where we would never have enough information or time.  Chicks have run my ass into the dirt, blown me away in situps, and taught me to fly the shit out of helo.  I could always do more pullups, squat more, hump more than just about any dude anyway, so, whatever.  There may be probabilities and likelihoods associated with male or female leadership in certain warfighting tasks, but leadership and inspiration aren't primarily features of the sexual binary, it's the rare mind that can snap into the cognitive domain of war and leadership that matters most.  If there's ever one chick SEAL or grunt or 20, who cares? - there will never be as many as there are dudes, mostly simply for physical reasons and for probability of desire to do such jobs, but this arena is only a part of war.  The real issue is screening.  Let's keep the check in the block diversity whiners out of the mix, thank you, and let's get the quality spread low-enders, the blockheads and the bullshit artists out of the combat arms as well.  There weren't many chicks around my area of the Corps in my day but I came across enough douchebags of the male variety to check any axiomatic reasoning of men do it best.  Some do, most don't in my experience.  I believe the same basic proposition holds for chicks as well.

MR T's Haircut said...

HAHA

MR T's Haircut said...

Stu,

your comments have merit.

LT Rusty said...

Go Pats indeed.

Remind me again what Tebow is doing this weekend?  :D

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Tewbowing.  But he sure isn't taking snaps under center.

TheMightyQ said...

Alpha Check,

A few things: 1. The word is deprecate, not depreciate.  2. In the context of your argument, labeling the MIDN as "kinda gay" is easily taken as an ad hominem attack, which means that instead of attacking the points of his argument, you attack him, attempting to invalidate his point by making him unworthy to have said it, as you again engaged in when you say that "He'll make a great mercenary one day."  3. I could not disagree with you more when you say that he is "not the kind of person we want in a professional military."  I think the concept of aggression is a must-have for the servicemembers of any nation that wants to win a war.  As I would much rather win wars than lose them, I would absolutely want this person in my military.  With some seasoning and guidance added to an aggressive, can-do attitude, someone like that can become an inspiration to other young aggressive junior Sailors and Marines.

LT Rusty said...

"... a man in khaki kit, who could handle men a bit...?"

UltimaRatioRegis said...

I shouldn't presume to work the miracles of the type performed by a top-notch NCO, but over the years my Officers and NCOs have done well and I am proud of them.

Conflicted said...

well, that isn't 100% what I was aiming for, but sure, I'll aim to shoot sideways! Thanks for the advice.

DeltaBravo said...

Oh, yes, he is!  cute and cuddly our badger!!

Guest said...

Go Eli's team.  (gotta root for the Manning clan, with their deep southern roots).

Actus Rhesus said...

not this yankee!

Actus Rhesus said...

good badger.

VGBear said...

and the phrase "strap on the mission package" was born...

Radar said...

Conflicted:  Not really sure what you're trying to say here.  It's difficult to separate sarcasm from seriousness in text, which is why it's usually best to stay away from it.  Then again, maybe you were being serious, but that seems less likely.  Still, I'm interested.  You could be leading men like this next year as an officer.  Are you really just going to steam-roll them and pretend their concerns don't exist?

Stu said...

<span><span>"There are time when I would love to go back to 1850 and live in the cult of domesticity; unfortunately, that is not possible in this economic age."</span>  
----------------  
It's absolutely possible.  Economics didn't change it near as much as our desire to live to a certain standard above our needs.  The Missus and I have six children and she has always been at home teaching them and doing the really important work of raising the next generation.  
 BTW, they aren't saluting "you."  They salute your rank.  </span>

Kristen said...

James. thanks for the warning.  I appreciate it.

LT B said...

That is important to point out ENZ.  The "brainwashing" or classes that lean towards the demasculation and fly in the face of what we see every day breeds a certain amount of anger.  I have felt it even at my age.  I hate dishonesty and to tell me women and men are the same runs counter to everything I have seen in my life.  We speak differently, have differnt physical needs and capabilities, react, generally speaking, to different stimuli differently.  Yet this crap is shoveled constantly. 

I coached men and women.  My approach and motivation is different for the two groups.  I also played soccer with women that played on the international level.  I had to hold back and would not play them the way I would men as I didn't want to put any in the hospital.  My boys played them and got their butts handed to them as they did not take them seriously, chose to show off and thought they could cowboy around them.  The superior teamwork beat the boy's superior atheticism.  Next time, the young men played as a team and it was a drubbing.  I played against a girls team that was nationally ranked.  At 10, and them 14 they would beat us.  When we hit 14 and they were 17 or 18 it was not close.  There are differences, especially at the athletic/infantry/operator level of physical capability.  Remember, most men are not making it through BUDS.  The push to put females through that is political and not practical.  Even if one makes it, why bother?  What is gained?  Money and time spent to what end?  Does it make us a more effective force? 

His lack of nuance may be a direct reaction to being told he is evil for having a penis.  It gets old and frustrates the hell out of someone that tries to do the right thing, shows a certain amount of chivalry, etc.  I still believe women and children first in the lifeboats though.  Evil caveman that I am.

cdrsalamander said...

ENZ & Conf;
If ya'll start dating, get married and have kids - first one must be named Sal.  House rules.

Adversus Omnes Dissident said...

destroy by whose standard......the men's or women's?  Because if by the men's, sorry........ain't gonna happen.

Adversus Omnes Dissident said...

Alpha Check: takes one to know one.

LT B said...

It IS sad that quite often in this world of CHOICE, women that choose the standard roll of motherhood, family matriarch, etc are often looked down upon by those that scream loudest for choice. 

Chick CDR said...

Hey fellow porch dwellers! My addled brain could only read about half of this, and it's time to start typing...  I'm with Sal on this one. Cut the guy a break. As a many-times-a-leader (Div O, Dept Head, CO) and a member of the chick persuasion, my job as a leader isn't to make this guy's mind right, it's to just do my job to the best of my abilities while taking care of my people, even my people who disagree with policy/ies. Any perceived problem or issue is in his brain, not mine; it's his responsibility to sort himself out, not mine - I can only offer recommendations, I can't force it. The only thing I insist on is that he follows all the service rules and regs, maintains good order and discipline, and the UCMJ's there to ensure he treats people like they're supposed to be treated. Maybe, if I'm really good, he'll "come around." But maybe, if I'm his first boss, he'll have no basis of comparison and won't be able to come around 'til he's experienced some DB male boss. But as a good and fair leader, I'm going to make sure I judge him fairly, according to his performance. (Sea story sidebar: had a chief whose personality I detested, but far and away best performer, so got the #1/EP. It ain't a personailty contest, right?) I'm not the Thought Police, so as long as he's not adversely affecting others around him...Rock on, Little Brother, you're entitled to your beliefs. Just keep your mind open and never stop learning. Any of you who have read my posts before know I've only ever praised my male bosses in the past (call me that lone she-wolf, loved the analogy, btw, DeltaBravo...) - but it always boils down to the individual, period. All the noise (color, creed, gender, blah, blah) doesn't matter.

Now for the bad news, my Youthful Academy friend, (begin whisper voice now) there are chicks affiliated with "Teams and Shit" and we actually deploy to war zones. Shhh...! But we don't execute missions, so you still may be alright.... But even if you're not cool with us, we'll still give you the gouge on the enemy b/c we're trying to be "professional"...

Second & Final point, why is anyone surprised or horrified by this guy's desire to "become a man"...!?!! How natural is that? You men are biologically driven to be men, and I'm sorry you ever get grief for it. (But I won't give you grief, unless you're a total pu$$y, so back off...!) 1960's-on Femi-nazism has run its course, males have been bashed with such frequency and severity that it's shameful, so why would this young man drink that BS purple Kool-Aid? is he the only one of his generation who feels this way? Doubt it. Maybe there's such a dearth of strong male role models in the civilian world, he is compelled to look to the military. The equality pendulum swings back and forth, so why the uproar? I think the guy's pretty ballsy for even putting these totally non-PC thoughts down "on paper" - and being "anonymous" just proves he isn't stupid.

Chick CDR said...

LT B - Embrace Cave Man! Cave Man not evil, Cave Man good! I embraced my Cave Woman long ago, and married a Cave Man who takes care of me and our Cave Babies!

ENZ, USN said...

The problem is that you wouldn't be able to open up areas for women to select.  They would have to apply.  There is a certain bunch that can fit in well, but if just any female could apply, one bad one would ruin it for everyone.  Unfortunately the selection process that it would require wouldn't be the ones that most programs use (TBS, IOC, BUD/S), they would have to go into psychological and phisiological evals and how the person leads people and lives their lives.  The Surface community can more afford having issues involving the bad women because it is not the grind that Infantry and Seals need to thrive in.  So from that perspective, the monetary costs to allow the women that could fit into direct combat roles would be too much to allow any to apply considering the very slim numbers that would make viable candidates.

Personally that I think is one of the issues with the women selected from the Academy to be the first females in subs... the selection seemed, from my perspective, to use a pc veil as to who they wanted to send, vice a strick set of competancy issues analyzing who could remain in submerged for upwards of 3 or 4 months.  They should have been the most technical, most pragmatic and least pc people.  Unfortunately with the way the Academy does ranking 2 of those are out the window immediately and the third one is diluted or overlooked at best.

So yes, I do thing there are women that could fit the role.  The reality is that it is not not feasible to allow them.  Now it would be different if our culture was different, but that is something that shouldn't be changed at the social engineering wims of the pc movement, though it sadly appears to be doing so.

Chick CDR said...

Kipling knew... as did the German soldiers targeted by Russian female snipers in WWII... as did Carlos Hathcock who took out the female VietCong sniper "Apache Woman".

Chick CDR said...

Hilarious! @BSG, I think I worked for her when I was an Ensign, and she was pure evil, no nicer to us junior chicks than to her plebes. Shudder to recall.... @usnagirl12, don't take it to heart, sister, getting riled up at BSG is like judging our forefathers (read here: dinosaur) for owning slaves, they just didn't know any better, whereas now we do, hence, no slavery...oh everyone pipe down, it's an analogy! Lt R, Sal, AR, DB, Byron are all giving you good advice, and I'll just add, when it's time to go nuclear option, just publicly call the offender a needled*ck and disengage, you're good to go... And go easy, I personally never blew any of my troops, so not all females who've gone before you are to blame! (What!?!! But Sal, I thought you said we could push the envelope...!?!! Fire and forget, man....)

James said...

OMG Chick i may have to ask you to marry me.........

AnotherMid said...

<p><span>First off, I'd like to agree with a lot of the previous posters who have acknowledged the balls of this guy to challenge the status quo. Many of my peers share similar opinions, but only amongst trusted friends. You would be crucified for expressing an opinion like that in public, even in a class that supposedly encourages open discussion.</span><span></span>
</p><p><span> </span>
</p><p><span>Secondly, this plebe is clearly talking about small unit leadership in a combat environment. All of the posts talking about female SWOs, helo pilots, fat bag of donuts skippers, and non-operational flag officers are simply wasting rounds into the wrong target. For discussion's sake, let’s look at a USMC rifle platoon, an oft-cited example at USNA, most likely what 4/C Testosterone is thinking of. </span><span></span>
</p><p><span> </span>
</p><p><span>One thing that I have been taught after 3.5 years at USNA is that we as future officers should be able out-PT all but the most insanely fit of our enlisted. That goes regardless of chosen community. We should be a shining example of physical fitness and personal pride to our sailors and Marines. I assume in his time here, OP has heard the same thing, explaining the "superiors" bit. In a Marine platoon, that entails the additional obligation of being able to perform all the non-specialized tasks that your men do.  </span>
</p>

AnotherMid said...

<p><span>Which brings me to another point. It doesn't matter if a woman can do just as many pushups or run a faster PRT than me. War doesn't scale to national averages. A 50 lb pack is a 50 lb pack, a 200 lb wounded Marine is a 200 lb wounded Marine, no matter who you are. To the female poster who said that she wouldn't volunteer to be a SAW gunner because she couldn't handle one like a male Marine: what happens when your SAW gunner is down and you need to carry that SAW or even carry that Marine? How seriously could you take a female officer screeching to be heard over gunfire?</span><span></span>
</p><p><span>That's just a few of many reasons why I mostly agree with the OP and would much rather follow (or be) a male Marine Platoon Commander in combat. </span><span></span>
</p><p><span> 
LT B talked about his retired SAS buddies earlier, and the "locker room" environment they maintained. There is certainly something to be said about the strength of the bond between a collection of brothers in arms, with virtually no conversational boundaries, running around XYZ-astan fucking shit up with superior firepower, training, and strength. A wolf pack, if you will.</span>
</p><p><span> </span>

</p>

AnotherMid said...

<p><span>Regardless, I'm not here to argue why I am on board with the majority of what he is saying. It really doesn't matter why he or anyone else has that opinion. The underlying issue is that it is there, and it is VERY common. I've always been told that "perception is reality". The fact that this is perceived as an issue makes it actually an issue. Not to mention the fact that this expressing this opiniong outside of anonymity would be a severely career damaging move.</span>
</p><p><span> </span>
</p><p><span>So I guess, besides being a controversial musing and a bit of a thought experiment, 4/c Balls O. Steele's post really is more of a preemptive strike against the inevitability of women pushing (or being pushed?) into more combative roles.</span><span></span>
</p><p><span> </span>
</p><p><span>However my final and most concerning thought is this: How does a plebe find time to make his entrance into the milblog scene? Shouldn't he be studying chemistry or some other plebely duty? Or sleeping?</span>
</p><p><span>Honestly, I am happy with the current policy concerning roles of women in the military, and I believe the majority of my peers are on board with that, even those with similar opinions as the OP.</span>
</p>

Grandpa Bluewater said...

Ahem, the nature of modern war being what it is, any experienced line officer might wind up leading a JO in combat.  Nothing like a well executed ambush or hasty abandon ship to scramble the Table of Organization.

If the history of the XXth century teaches one thing, it is that predicting the ability to hack combat or mortal emergency in a leadership role is VERY chancey. Leaders step up and lead. Usually they are about 5% of those attending.  Those who dissolve in panic, about 5%. The other 90% follow routine, or training, or do what they are told, often with great courage and stoicism if well lead. You can place your bets,  the only guarantee is that you will be surprised.

Hard realistic training can improve the odds a bit. But you never know for sure, until you see someone in the clutch.

DeltaBravo said...

She's taken, James.  You'll have to fight her caveman for her.  ;)

ENZ, USN said...

The Naval Academy has many programs that essentially end up pushing those that disagree under the rug.  So they end up being quiet and not having open discussion.  You rarely learn by surrounding yourself by people you agree with, and in the worst case, you all miss important points you get from diverse ideas (not "diverse" people).

Chick CDR said...

I must be much, much older than you b/c I'd be tickled if Sal called me hot.... and I'm good with both the short and the long guns!

Chick CDR said...

You can be my back up plan if he strokes out.... Wait, does he read this...?

The Usual Suspect said...

Not Jewish or Muslim, too?  That would be like a royal flush.

USAF Mike said...

If he was "clearly talking" about small unit leadershp in a combat environment, our young Midn should've clearly stated as much.  If you are going to drop a hand grenade like "I don't like following women," you should at least have the common sense and critical thinking skills to be sure to clarify the specifics of what you are talking about.  As it stands now, other than an allusion to Marines being badass in the opening paragraph he makes no other references to combat, nevermind the fact that small unit ground combat leadership (straight up combat arms, excepting things like MPs, loggies getting caught in an ambush, etc) is still a male only environment.

Something for our young Midn to consider and learn from.  Yes, there is definitely a cultural problem when certain attitudes cannot be stated at all, but at the same time you will have more success stating unpopular attitudes if you get your facts lined up and make sure to clarify and refine your remarks as much as possible, as opposed to lobbing a grenade in and watching it burn.  Take it from someone who has gotten away with stating some pretty unpopular opinions since he was a freshman AFROTC cadet.  All about technique.

However, if his opinion truly is simply "I dislike following women regardless of situation" regardless of combat situation or not, then he needs an severe attitude check (as so many others have eloquently pointed out here) and I hope he is able to find it in the remainder of his time at USNA.

USAF Mike said...

"<span>Are you really just going to steam-roll them and pretend their concerns don't exist?"</span>

Not Conflicted, but if it was me...mentor, mentor, mentor (in the actual sense of the word, not the current joke of a definition), and if their dislike crosses the line from private closed door discussion/grumbling they keep to themselves to the professional realm, then discipline appropriately.

LT B said...

No doubt, but the VADM that embraces making doilies tried to tell me the cave was bad and cave men are evil, for they will hurt people's feelings in a time of war. 

For the record, I have never had problems as a liaison w/ foreign military members, it seems to be w/ the militant social liberals w/in my own service.  How weird is that?

eric said...

ENZ,USN
Still wrong.
1. You assume women "could fit into direct combat roles". From what you say it would appear that is based on what they can do, not on what effect it would have on the unit.  Unit cohesion is important and you don't address it. From what my Marine infantry son tells me, among others, whenever their unit trains with others that have women in it the training levels decrese. Lowering the bar is well documented elsewhere. So how can you currently assume they can do the job? You appear to ascribe to an instrumental value of people worldview which I don't, therefore I suspect we're just talking past each other.

2. You mention the selection of first females for sub duty. Did any females say something like,"The Navy doesn't have the money now to waste fitting subs out for women. I therefore respectfully decline this offer."  If they did I haven't heard of them. I can say so far I have ZERO respect for the ones who put their careers ahead of the needs of the service and their country. They said they wanted to serve and they failed.

3. Again you assume that a change in culture will change the argument. Where in any well documented culture in human history have you seen this? If it has never been sucessfully demonstrated what besides wishful thinking makes you believe it will happen?

UltimaRatioRegis said...

If your current caveman strokes out, and James gets hit by a bus, can I be third option? 

UltimaRatioRegis said...

I thought that came from Fred Garvin, male prostitute.

sid said...

Interesting glimpse of women in -no joke- combat...

We can expect more as the concept of "Secret Wars" continues to wax.

usnagirl12 said...

thank you for the advice Ma'am. I'll take it to heart.

usnagirl12 said...

your advice that is, not BSG comments.

Dave Foster said...

excellent ref!

Aubrey said...

Oh Lordy URR, think of the children! You would have to name the first son Ghenghis - and I got first dibs on coaching him in hockey 'cause he would rule!

sid said...

 Yes, there is definitely a cultural problem when certain attitudes cannot be stated at all

Absolutely!

Especially when other attitudes can be expressed openly with official approval....

Guest said...

I have to disagree with AnotherMid's assertion that this guy is showing any more balls than his peers who express similar opinions to trusted friends, in private.  Sharing your thoughts with a blogger you trust not to reveal your identity is about the same thing as saying it to one of your buddies. 

As for whether you'd be crucified for expressing the same opinion in public...I am of the firm opinion that one of the reasons we have some of our current policies is that people of good conscience will privately cluck their tongues and commiserate with like-minded buddies, but will go no further.  Yes, you might be crucified for having the courage of your convictions, but you also might be shot by the enemy for the same.  Odd that sometimes we fear our friends more than the enemy, no?

UltimaRatioRegis said...

They won't be playing soccer.  That is for damned sure!  

Fine examples of Northern European manhood.

Actus Rhesus said...

interestingly, during my 9 months in the sandbox, the only person who displayed demonstrable cowardice was 6'2 and about 220lbs.

If there's ever a Salpalooza again, I'll share the details over brewskis.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

What's your point?  The only one I ever saw that refused to get out of a vehicle was female. 

LT Rusty said...

Don't forget the rest of that line, Byron ...

Conflicted said...

I was being 100% serious, no sarcasm

Conflicted said...

by the way, I really admire your wife for what she does. I hope that someday I can do that too. What I meant about the economic situation is that I would never have been able to afford to go to college if I couldn't go for free (thank you USNA) and if I didn't get married would somehow have to find a way to support myself. This is my situation, feeling forced into this, and now I'm going to make the best of it and try to give back a little. But my family, my husband and future children will ALWAYS come first. When a woman abandons her duties to taking care of her family, our country suffers much more than they gain by having women in the military.

Conflicted said...

by your standard ;)

UltimaRatioRegis said...

..and the women come out to cut up what remains,
jes' roll to yer rifle an' blow out yer brains,
an' go to yer Gawd like a soldier!"

LT Rusty said...

Huh.

URR, where'd you find the large print crayon edition of Kipling?  :D

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Everybody's a comedian...

You should BE so lucky as to attend when there is a foot on a bar stool and a cold mug in hand, as the great poet is recited.  Surrounded by Jarheads with combat experience.  

"When first under fire, an' wishful to duck,
Don't look, nor pay heed to the man who is struck,
Be thankful yer livin', an' trust to your luck,
An' march to yer front like a soldier."

Skippy-san said...

Yes there is a cultural problem when certain attitudes cannot be stated at all-but trust me, don't try telling people that.

Skippy-san said...

And videotapes of the consumation of the marriage please.  :-P

LT Rusty said...

Oh, I know Kipling is pretty universally revered by professional military types who've read him.  I just didn't know that Marines could read, that's all.  :)

(My other personal favorite is Yeats.)

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Some of us can, anyway.   

"Front Toward Enemy"

'Nuff said.

Chick CDR said...

URR, mmmmm.... you just leapfrogged poor James! (Sorry James, but play your cards, brother!)

Rugby's always a better choice than soccer anyway.

Chick CDR said...

By the by, CDR Sal, could you please ask your midshipman friend to please write us a new post about a year from now? I'm interested to see how/if his opinions change or solidify based on his experiences...normal Academy life, summer cruise, etc. I'm guessing some others here might be curious, too.

James said...

NO! I had to work and couldn't get to a computer!

Oh well atleast i lost to a Marine...

andrewdb said...

USAF Mike - Off topic (sorry Sal) - if you're in DC for the dinner the first weekend in March, contact Sal for my info.  First round of beer is on me.

cdrsalamander said...

usnagirl12,
If you would, please drop me an email. cdrsalamander(at)hotmail.com.  Thanks.

Stu said...

Missus went to college on her own.  

Grandpa Bluewater said...

Mmmm, literacy selection USMC style, I presume.

Painful curriculum, I would think.

LT B said...

Who do you consider friends or enemies?  I am guessing he does not consider the administration of the academy friends.  I already saw on a FB post on this subject a female saying this kid should be kicked out of the Navy.  Please, someone thinks something one doesn't like and immediately the thought police want him out?  Thus the anonymity. 

Alpha Check said...

Q he will make a great mercenary.  If you want something destroyed, you hire someone that wants to destroy things.  The Mid doesn't seem to value anything other than strength and ability to destroy things.  By "junior Sailors and Marines", you mean people that this Midshipman thinks he's better than because he's their "superior"?  Pathetic at best.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

AC,

You don't kow what he will become great at.  Using your rather inane comments here, it would be interesting to hear your opinions from when you were 18, and run them past some sanctimonious blowhard closely resembling your present-day persona here, just to see what sort of comment THOSE thoughts would elicit.  Wonder what that person would think you will become?

MR T's Haircut said...

You know, I am wondering, can't help but wonder, will the same question come from the ranks about the DADT fiasco?  Would the responses be the same?  hmm..

LCDRLDO6440 said...

Chick CDR.  Please tell me you are an LDO.   >:o

DeltaBravo said...

now you've gone and done it... it'll be over 500 by tomorrow morning....

MR T's Haircut said...

hehehe

MR T's Haircut said...

Like asking a question at the END of a Nav brief....

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Yep.  And the retribution swift and harsh. 

Because the only two opinions we are allowed to have are those of Missy Mullen and Patsy Schroeder.

Typical Academy Guy said...

You all are assuming that the MIDN in question is an underclass with zero fleet experience... horrible assumptions.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

He is a Midshipman, which means, unless he is a prior enlisted sailor or Marine, has precious little experience, fleet or otherwise. 

Chick CDR said...

...and none as an officer.

Mr. ChickCDR said...

Y'all already lost to a Marine.

Send beer and bourbon, boyos, and I'll consider nominating a successor.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

(Marine adjusts collar on bemedalled dress blues...)

LT B said...

For the record, I had not.  I have heard this over all message from the Fleet.  One thing that says he may not have prior experience he doesn't talk about the enlisted sleeping w/ the officers and getting their O cards punched. :)   And btw, I've seen WAY too much of that crap.  My fave was the jg that slept w/ O's E's boy/girl.  She was quietly moved to another command, because, well, ya know, we can't actually discipline that crap.  And to take a Robin Williams joke, "That woman went down on everything but the Titanic."

LT B said...

I played soccer, football and rugby.  Somehow I always seemed to amass the most yellow and red cards on the team. 

Chick CDR said...

No one could fill your shoes, Devil Dog!

Chick CDR said...

Sorry to disappoint, LCDRLDO. Signed up at 17 to do NROTC. But learned by 18 to listen to my chiefs!

UltimaRatioRegis said...

You wouldn't happen to have a phone number/e-mail for her, would you there, LT B?  O:-)

LT B said...

No, but I have some funny stories. 

arkhangelsk said...

I have no intention to disparage officers. As a group, they are better than the enlisted though there is likely much more overlap than some would think. And the officer course will generally be tougher and longer than the enlisted equivalent, though some enlisted courses will likely be tougher than some officer's courses.

But it doesn't change the fact that once he commissions, it is not affirmed by making him actually fight, even briefly, for his alpha-wolf role in-platoon. Not only that, even the guy that just scraped by the tests and was the polar opposite of the alpha-wolf in the Academy is still likely to get a platoon. That's the first part of the magic - he's like a seed-player except seeds had to do well in real competition in the previous season and officers don't necessarily have to do well in the simulator beyond passing a minimum standard.

Further, however they got it, real alpha-wolves and even real seed players lose their place if they don't keep up their superiority. Meanwhile, the whole platoon (this could be quite close to the truth at the beginning-of-tour and even at end if the experienced sergeants tried they'll likely still be better platoon leaders overall) can be better than the 2nd Lieutenant at platoon command, but as long as he performs to a certain minimum standard he will still be at least the nominal head. That's the 2nd part of the magic.

Of course, the officer system is a time-honored part of the military system. But that's a completely different subject from whether it is the thing for those who want to be alpha-wolves who have to better than their subordinates, simply due to the nature of real alpha-wolves and how they got there.

TheMightyQ said...

Alpha Check,

I'm not sure if you are aware that destruction happens in war, and war is the thing for which our military trains.  Now, this young MIDN has a lot to learn.  I don't think that most of us here will disagree with that assertion.  However, the concept of attempting to set the example for one's subordinates is the proper one.  Now, he is thinking mainly of setting the example in a physical sense, by wanting to be better than others in athletic competition.  These thoughts are fairly standard for 18 year olds.  Additionally, it is through just such examples that the basis of trust is often formed between young men.  Perhaps I'm off base, but it seems from your arguments that you have not lived in an environment where athletic feats garner respect, so allow me to belabor what may seem obvious.  Among aggressive, competetive young men and women, ATHLETIC FEATS GARNER RESPECT.  Being able to out-PT the people one is trying to lead should be a goal for any JO.  Now, when he comes to the realization that he won't be able to do that for all of his people, he will gain some perspective.  He will gain additional perspective when he comes across a woman who can best him in one of the categories in which he takes the most pride. However, that does not mean his goal is wrong, nor does it mean that he is wrong for having respect for people based on athletic ability.

TheMightyQ said...

Agreed.  Thanks for the elaboration.

Grandpa Bluewater said...

Women at sea. No big deal. All it takes is good leadership.
We've had it for 30+years, we know how to do it.

Nobody cares anymore.

There. That ought to run it up to over 550 by sundown today. =-O

Adversus Omnes Dissident said...

No major surface combat for the last 30 years either.

Adversus Omnes Dissident said...

No major surface combat for the last 30 years either.

Mr. Chick CDR said...

:)

Typical Academy Guy said...

... and as an enlisted/midshipmen he would be following officers, some of whom I'm sure were females so him not having time as an officer is irrelevant.

Typical Academy Guy said...

People on the blog are straying away from the point and making irrational claims or off topic remarks. The moral of the story is there are many males in the military who feel this way and to kid yourself otherwise is naive. I can tell you right now as a male I would prefer a competent male leader over any other qualified person everytime, does that mean I disobey orders from incompetent men and women or competent women, no. I do what im told because thats my job the difference being I have to vs I want to.

Typical Academy Guy said...

Such close mindedness to the way other people think is bad leadership

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Sorry Typical, but leadership perspective is very relevant.  Ask any Sergeant who has been commissioned into combat arms. 

Typical Academy Guy said...

your missing the point and still making assumptions...

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Not hardly.  Seasoning and maturing of junior leaders IS the point. 

James said...

No shit.

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

Opens blast doors, peeks out, goes, "EEK!", and slams door closed again.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Grandpa Bluewater, kickin' the beehive!!!!

DeltaBravo said...

hahahahahahahahahaha.  We <3 GBW.  

LT B said...

i have been on all male units and mixed gender units.  I have found the all male units were easier to run, took less effort, and had better teamwork.  A good friend of mine was a department head on a gator, and I asked him how it went.  "It was my first mixed gender ship and it lived up to my expectations."  There is just more crap to deal with that has no positive affect on the overall mission when you mix the boys and girls.  That is what I've seen. 

LT B said...

And on cue, we have a CO relieved for conduct unbecoming.  Was he an idiot?  Are his officers too sensitive?  YMMV

http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/jan/31/fired-navy-squadron-leader-drank-and-used-explicit/?page=2#article

ENZ, USN said...

So far... no response.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

BTW,

Welcome aboard, Leathernuts!   The Marines here have to sometimes endure the barbs of those who wish they were Marines.  (You know, the SECOND category of people.  1. Marines, and 2. Those who wish they were Marines.)

Grandpa Bluewater said...

Naw, it's a bole that's highly excitable and skittish, or overeager (bole = boy of little experience).

Skippy-san said...

But it has no longer become acceptable to say that-even if you believe it to be true. If you do say it, all kinds of folks come out of the woodwork and it becomes a dangerous undertaking. Women at sea was concicouse choice to do things differently. Perhaps it was a necessary choice-but it was a choice to accept a different level of ledeship and management overhead. If that were not true, Thursdays would not have a column here every week.

LT B said...

You are right.  We still have to get around the oooo, they are shiny and wonderful stage of double standards.  I am not impressed or excited when a woman does something.  It is her job and it should be expected.  When we approach the sailors like that, no matter race, religion, gender or sexual orientation, we will be a less Balkanized service, get more done and probably have higher morale.  As I said, I am a dreamer. 

As for the young man, Phib is correct.  If one does not like working w/ woman that much, become an infantry Marine or SF/SEAL type.  Learn to take people as individuals, and work w/ not against.  If your manhood is threatened dealing w/ woman though, I would say, you need to ponder that for a moment.  Buy a sports car if you have to make up for something.  :)   If you live your life w/ Honor, Courage and Commitment, do what is right, handle the tough assignments (not always physically courageous, but morally so) then your manhood will be intact.

cdrsalamander said...

"... out of the woodwork ..." You're not kidding Skippy.  Over at the BBS SailorBob - it is amazing the hate that spewed out and the nasty names being thrown at widdle 'ole me just for publishing this MIDN's thoughts - and then letting people have at it in comments. Even though I stated that I did not agree with the MIDN's sentiments, that didn't matter.  Just that I gave it a venue was enough to bring up the usual canard of sexist, racist, homophobe at me of all people. Oh well .... in the world of opinion, if you aren't pi55ing someone off, you're not doing your job.

Grumpy Old Ham said...

<span> it is amazing the hate that spewed out and the nasty names being thrown at widdle 'ole me just for publishing this MIDN's thoughts </span>

Hate to say "I told ya so", but... =-O

cdrsalamander said...

Its ok GOH - I'm wearing my big boy pants ..... :)

LT B said...

Sailor Bob's crew shows no love for the Phibinator?  It is ashame we have the thought police.  Pity.

Alpha Check said...

Now there's a leader this Midshipman would follow!

"<span>I want that alpha-wolf who leads the pack through sheer physicality and masculinity."</span>

Alpha Check said...

It's an exquisite two-fer.  You get to use a Midshipman to express that men don't like to serve with women, and paint USNA to be developing ego maniacs.  Great work!  Great Leadership!

Alpha Check said...

Yup, I'm aware of the destruction that happens in war.  Are you aware that war is not all about destruction?  My goals were to be more tactical than my peers, and that had nothing to do with the PRT or athleticism.  I have yet to find a job in the Navy where the JO that can do the most pushups performs best at.  Basing respect purely on athletic ability and masculinity is stupid, and doesn't fit with a modern society, let alone the military.  Athleticism is great, I get it, but he's missing a substantial part of leadership and will fail miserably if his attitude doesn't change.  Encouraging this attitude out of ego is irresponsible.  Using this Midshipman (if there even is one) in this way is just rediculous, and it definitely isn't leadership, at least not in my book.

Grandpa Bluewater said...

Mmm,  I would go with none too bright.

Chris G. said...

Wow. Did you read the report? That's the good stuff.

I don't have a *huge* probelm with a CO's marginally inappropriate frat-boy behavior, but the safety-of-flight business made me think this guy was gonna get somebody killed.

It's possible the behavior issues weren't enough to warrant canning him, but maybe it was a good reason to get a menace out of the cockpit.

LT B said...

It really wasn't a USNA piece at all.  The mid happens to go there, but those like him are in ROTC, active duty, ditch digging crews, all over in fields that tend to draw your alpha male mentalities. The point is, that it is out there, how to use it, how to help the young man and those like them play nice w/ others, still enjoy their service, take pride in it and work towards mission accomplishment despite the obstacles they feel NAVPERS and politics have put in their way. 

arkhangelsk said...

The fact that they only got around to using them in an emergency has no bearing on the fact that by most accounts, they performed well (and the comments were from a far less PC era so they might just be, you know, accurate?). Maybe the real lesson is that they should have tried using them earlier, not that it doesn't count.

TheMightyQ said...

At this point I can really only throw up my hands.  No one has suggested that respect should be based purely on athletic ability and masculinity.  You're making a false dichotomy.  It is not a one-or-the-other situation.  It is, and always will be, a part of the makeup of respect engendered between two people, especially in the military, no matter how "modern" society gets. Additionally, and I guarantee you this, regardless of how much more "tactical" than your peers you were, if one of your peers could handily defeat you on the PRT, he or she would INITIALLY be more respected by your collective subordinates.  Also, there are many jobs in the Navy where a JO's physical abilities are a basis for how his performance is judged.  Some of these have already been mentioned, such as NSW.  There are others such as SPECOPS, NGLO, SAR, Seabees, etc., let alone the Marines, one of which this particular MIDN seems to aspire to be. As you do not seem to have had the experience of physical competition, arguing this point further is basically moot.  You would have had to experience the world of the locker room and weight room to be able to understand this young man's sentiments.  All that is required is that you understand that sentiments like this do exist among young men, and neither wishing them away nor disparaging the young men will get rid of them.  One can either attempt to guide individuals like this in the right direction, or one can lose them to the group of disgruntled, disaffected JOs that end up angry and bitter about their service, many of whom could have become good officers if given the right guidance.

Grandpa Bluewater said...

Almost there...

Grandpa Bluewater said...

...and TA-DAH!!! 400 posts (if you ain't cheatin' just a little, you ain't really tryin' (snicker)).

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