The US Naval Academy, bastion of 19th-Century traditions, producer of all our admirals for good or ill until after World War II, cradle of innumerable Navy and Marine heroes, has come to a milestone in its last decades of cultural decline: it recently threw an institutional wobbler over an opinion expressed by one of its most distinguished graduates of the Vietnam era.

An opinion he expressed in 1979, which for newspaper editors, Social Justice Warriors, this year’s USNA grads and other innumerates, was 38 years ago.

For the record, 38 years is more than double the amount of service the mean Academy graduate gives to the nation. And the Marine in question is still serving, albeit in a lesser capacity, as a United States Senator.

The individual in question was Jim Webb, United States Senator from Virginia, once (briefly: the high-strung Webb quit in a snit) Secretary of the Navy; once a bestselling novelist; and once, not long after graduation, a Marine platoon leader upon whom a grateful nation bestowed the Navy Cross, a decoration that used to be respected at the Academy. (Webb also has “lesser” decorations, including the Silver Star and two Purple Hearts). Unlike today’s Academy persons, Webb sought out combat, sought out the fight, and fought to win. It is the sort of person the Academy no longer respects.

Webb was to have been honored Friday as a “distinguished graduate” by the Naval Academy Alumni Association, but withdrew Tuesday evening: “I am being told that my presence at the ceremony would likely mar the otherwise celebratory nature of that special day. As a consequence, I find it necessary to decline the award.”

Better he should have spit in somebody’s eye — but once an officer and a gentleman, always an officer and a gentleman, one supposes.

At issue was a paper he wrote in 1979 objecting to the admission of women to the nation’s military academies on the even-then-unfashionable, but still-not-unreasonable, grounds that assignment of women to frontline combat roles is at best disruptive, and at worst dangerous. Perhaps lethally so.

No one talks about the changes that have come to the Academies since female integration. The cultural change is part of it. There is less direct and physical athletic competition, and more bureaucratic, social-climbing, and backstabbing competition. That suits the girls better. There is less focus on courage — as the Webb hecklers’ veto shows, it’s no longer a value — and more focus on careerism. That’s what the girls want. But even the curriculum has changed: the challenging, engineering-focused and math-heavy courses of yesteryear that provided a pressure all of their own have given way to touchy-feely verbal-games courses, because the girls all were channeling Math Is Hard Barbie.

The initial SJW entryist women were all about: “don’t change anything for us, we just want to compete on a level playing field.” And maybe they thought they meant it. But their successors have demanded more and more coddling and kid-glove treatment.

They promised a feminized Academy would just keep cranking out heroes, they just didn’t have to have Webb’s testosterone overload, or Arleigh Burke’s ability to run fuel consumption problems in his head. How’s that working out for us?

We give you the spirit of the Naval Academy, post-feminization: Holly Graf, a “pre-designated woman-in-command success story” who was relieved in well-deserved disgrace.

The spirit of the Naval Academy: small craft misnavigated into Iranian waters and then surrendered obsequiously.

The spirit of the Naval Academy: the wooly-headed, near-lunatic procurement of ships that have no business in harm’s way.

There are still fighters in the Academy, but would they claim to be the majority? There are still fighters in the Navy, but why feed a tail of half a million to field a few platoons of SEALs?

The Academy is by far the most expensive way to produce officers. If it does not produce superior officers, meaning combat leaders — and we would defy anyone to demonstrate that it does — why do we have it?

Now, Bob McManus touches the third rail of why the Naval Academy has declined to the point where a graduate (’68), who’s a certified no-$#!+ he-ro, is unfit to be recognized for a degree of service to Navy and nation. A lifetime of service, like him or not, that is almost certain not to be matched by any of the Unique and Special Snowflakes™ of the enervated Class of 2017.

Webb could have been dead wrong about all of it, of course, even if 40 years of experience with gender integration strongly indicates otherwise. The Navy’s ongoing shipboard pregnancy epidemic and the difficulty most women have coping with traditional infantry-training standards suggests that the debate is far from settled.

via Silencing an American hero: the shame of the Naval Academy | New York Post.

The Navy cannot demonstrate that Webb was wrong. History, instead, seems determined to prove him right. But the new catechism of American public religion stands not upon a doctrine nor on an ideal, but a slogan: Diversity Is Our Vibrancy™. It’s the Mein Ehre Heißt Treue of a new orthodoxy that Shall Not Be Questioned. It’s institutionalized admiration for the Emperor’s New Clothes.

It’s careerism, institutionalized.

The Naval Academy and its recent, participation-badge and proportionately distaff Alumni may be celebrating their unpersoning of Webb. But what that says to the rest of us, whose taxes fund the Anachronism in Annapolis, is that our money has been squandered in this, as in so many other Naval endeavors.

It’s time to pull the plug. And while we’re at it, let’s retire the Army and Air Force Academies. They, too, have become controlled by people whose mission is the institution, not the mission (as Conquest’s Laws predict). They are fully converged social justice institutions, and at best orthogonal, and worse directly opposed to the mission of a functional military.

The Naval Academy has had a good run, but its glories are in the past. It’s time for it to go.

This entry was posted in Air and Naval Weapons, Unconventional Weapons on by Hognose.

About Hognose

Former Special Forces 11B2S, later 18B, weapons man. (Also served in intelligence and operations jobs in SF).

43 thoughts on “Canoe U: Twilight of the Naval Academy


George Marshall was a product of VMI, just saying.

And sadly, General Lee was a USMA grad and look what that got us.

As a young Second Lieutenant my best friend in the BN was a West Point graduate. Good man. Brave. Loyal. Intelligent. His widow, as should the nation, mourn him everyday. Killed in a stupid action in a stupid valley in fucking Afghanistan.

And the BN CO who influenced me to say screw it and go sell guns at Gander Mountain was a ring knocker, too. But where as friend was a Damon in the making that Asshole was a Massinggale whom I believe is on the BG select list.


The entire premise of “Killed in a stupid action in a stupid valley in…” wherever, has been our history and legacy since at least Ia Drang.

When is it enough.


West Point produces either the best, or the worst. I’ve never, ever met a mediocre West Point grad as a commissioned officer in the field.

I’m not quite sure how they manage that, but they do.


My impression serving alongside was that the bell curve was maybe a little shifted towards “better” than my fellow ROTC colleagues, but it wasn’t much. Being cooped up in West Point for 4 years, living in barracks and knowing your high school buddies are living it up at a regular university does strange things to them. At OBC, the West Point guys were more frequently out drinking, partying more than others. I guess the rest of us got it out of our system. I dunno. I served alongside great officers who were West Point or VMI or Citadel guys, and then you had idiots from all of the commissioning sources too.

The Army was constantly trying to shut down the ROTC program at my university – too small, not enough bodies to justify it (my year we commissioned 14 LTs) and we weren’t diverse enough (too many white males). Our university actually fought to keep ROTC on campus and I think we produced on a percentage basis a heck of a lot better officer than the bigger schools. Because the university was a fairly selective one with a strong technical program, maybe we started with a little better material.

Can’t argue with serving time in the ranks before going back for a leadership “finishing school”. I made all kinds of rookie mistakes as a young LT that I could have avoided had I had the chance to watch somebody else do it first. Yes, my PSGs kept my nuts out of the fire too – but just watching and seeing what works would have made the first 3-6 months as a PL easier and saved more than a few chunks of my butt that my CO took. Who knows what it might have saved if we had gone to combat.

All this is from the perspective of a guy who served in the late 90s early 2000s. Take it with the grain of salt it deserves.

Paul Rain

> Can’t argue with serving time in the ranks before going back for a leadership “finishing school”.

But think about the impact on diversity! That sort of SS policy is tantamount to Nazism.

Mike M.

Thinking about it, it wasn’t just the Germans who had officer cadets learn from the ground up. The French did much the same…including one N. Bonaparte.

Tom Stone

Sad times.


At a time when the DoD is begging for money for spare parts, new equipment, etc. the Service Academies are a luxury we can’t afford. It costs several times more to produce an Academy officer than from ROTC or OTC/OCS. I defy anyone to show me the business case that proves that Academy grads are worth the extra cost.


PBAR Hoo-ah!


Academy Grads aren’t any different once they get to their first operational assignment. We may have a leg up during training, because we saw it before, or we could take the pressure because we “saw” it before (relevant only if your upper classman put it in perspective as to why…), or maybe I was lucky because two of my classmates & company-mates were prior enlisted, one a Recon Marine and the other a Navy Wet Crewman. I learned from them as to why this game was being played, but once at your first command, all bets are off. During my first tour, I was 6 months there and a ROTC grad showed up that scared the hell out of me, in that he was good, damn good. Met a few good OCS grads as well.


In my personal opinion, we ought to turn West Point into something more akin to Sandhurst, and only be sending people there who have successfully managed a couple of years as junior enlisted, and shown some potential for leadership while they were at it.

Make it a finishing school for leadership, rather than a four-year college.

That being said, however, I do have to point out that the various academies are the actual last bastions of a true liberal education in this country. I’ve run into scads of Ivy League alumni who were under-educated and over-indoctrinated dolts, but all of the various academy graduates I’ve encountered and known personally, to include the Merchant Marine Academy, have been very well educated in the most classical sense of the term.

So, for what that’s worth to the country, maybe they are worth it. Dunno-Purely on a military utility basis, I actually don’t see much ‘effing use for a college education too many places below the company/field-grade line…


Not just a luxury, a disgrace


“I defy anyone to show me the business case that proves that Academy grads are worth the extra cost.”

From the Navy side (might not be same as Army/AF, which have much larger ROTC components), the argument has always been the USNA is an expensive way to make Ensigns but a cheap way to make Commanders, and a very cheap way to make Admirals. IOTWs, the much higher retention rates for Canoe U grads more than makes up for additional costs per individual officers. I’m not sure that would really hold true if you got rid of the USNA, (eg would more NROTC/OCS guys become Flag Officers if there weren’t Academy guys in the way, which rapidly turns into “Ducks pick Ducks” arguments). Personally, the one I’ve always thought was extraneous was NROTC-and I say this as a former NROTC instructor-but that’s also not going to get touched.

Personally, I’d love to see us go to something like the British model with Sandhurst (eg everyone goes to a four-year college to get a degree, and then goes to a one-year course to be an officer), but that’s a non-starter anyway.


***From the Navy side (might not be same as Army/AF, which have much larger ROTC components), the argument has always been the USNA is an expensive way to make Ensigns but a cheap way to make Commanders, and a very cheap way to make Admirals. ***

Exactly. We have a Navy with fewer than 350 warships, and 10 USC 525 gives us slots for 160 Naval flag officers, no more than about 25% of whom may have more than two stars, only 6 of whom can become four-star navy admirals.

The Army is no better. With fewer troops than George Patton’s WWII Third Army of six corps and 42 divisions, the Army now has personnel spaces for 230 Army generals, and no more than about 25% of those active duty general officers of whom may have more than two stars. At present the Army has seven O-10 4- star generals. For most of the period Patton led the American forces invading Sicily and took Third Army on its 281-day tour of Europe, Patton wore the three stars of a Lt Gen.

Officers serving in certain intelligence positions are not counted against either limit, including the Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The President may also add three-star slots to one service if they are offset by removing an equivalent number from other services. And all Title 10/#525 statutory limits may be waived at the president’s discretion during time of war or national emergency.


This is obscene.

In the final analysis, it doesn’t matter who the speaker was going to be, or what his opinions are. For members of the graduating class to extort their superiors with threats of political activism, because they don’t like the speaker? What kind of military academy produces graduates who think this is conduct becoming an officer? what kind of officers will these graduates become?

I feel sorry for anyone, male or female, who gets stuck serving under one of these.

Hognose Post author

I am not sure this was midshipmen at all. I believe it was female alumnae and SJWs.

Haxo Angmark

no matter. The military academies are part of an Imperial System that is rotten to the core. Only when the Empire dies can the Republic be restored.

It always makes me feel better to see proof my tax dollars are being put to good use . How ’bout you boys?


I can see Webb’s book “Fields of Fire” on my bookshelf as I type this. It was a memorable story of men at war, and rang very true to me even though it was a story of a different arrmy. I’ve read it several times over the last 35 or so years, and I always thought the author had to be a good man.

So yeah, this is a monumental disgrace. Shame on the people who perpetrated this. They’ve dishonoured themselves and the institution.

And apropos looserounds comment…I’m glad it ain’t my tax dollars paying for this.


Concur unreservedly: scrap all three of them.

Webb’s unforgiveable sin in this was not only that he is an unquestioned hero, and has unhesitatingly served his country – for both parties, and in favor of the citizens of VA whom he represented (itself an incredibly rare occurrence), but that most of all, specifically in regard to women serving and his opinions on the matter, he was absolutely 100% right, and vindicated by every single example extant from then to now, something which the distaff ersatz warriors of both genders simply cannot and will not abide.

And I can anecdotally relate that among Marine officers during the mid-/late1980s, the graduates from VMI and the Citadel were leagues ahead of the rest, closely followed by mustang officers from State U. promoted from among the rankers, with the near-entire crop of litter box nuggets from the Prick Factory Canoe U. sucking hind teat whenever and wherever observed. Sic semper douchebaggii.

When SecDef Mattis gets tired of Pentagon games, if they decide to keep Annapolis and the rest open, he should be appointed superintendent of the institution for life, and given carte blanche to reform the institution, subject to no review from DoD nor the Congress until such time as he departs to Valhalla.

A similar arrangement ought to be made regarding the other service academies, with suitable similar lifetime legacy selectees for West Point and Colorado Springs.

But all in all, the better choice would be sell each to a board of directors for $1, wholly privatize them outright, and stipulate that no one could serve on said boards for each institution who lacked the award of either their respective service’s Cross, or the Medal of Honor.

The alumni of each institution could be expected to spare no expense in support of keeping their alma maters running in perpetuity, and probably about 500% better than the current iterations.

The taxpayers would thus be spared the burden henceforth, and the SJWs prevented from having any further say in social experimentation at the country’s expense.

Haxo Angmark

Mattis will “reform” nothing. He is already on record – during his confirmation hearing – in approving the current sodomite/SJW networking of the military: “I don’t care who sleeps with whom”.


Be a mite different if he was statutorily exempt from outside interference, I suspect.

And he’s also on record as noting he does care who can and can’t cut the mustard, which is the point at issue.

Whom they sleep with afterwards is a matter of complete indifference to most people, FTR.


r***And I can anecdotally relate that among Marine officers during the mid-/late1980s, the graduates from VMI and the Citadel were leagues ahead of the rest, closely followed by mustang officers from State U. promoted from among the rankers, with the near-entire crop of litter box nuggets from the Prick Factory Canoe U. sucking hind teat whenever and wherever observed. Sic semper douchebaggii.***

I can hear the cries from the outraged doolies, plebes and dumbjohns/ janes now, were they required to be subjected to attending an address by former USMC Commandant [first half of WWII] Tom Holcomb, the first Marine to achieve the rank of General. In April 1941 the US Navy convened its General Board to discuss expansion of the Corps. Holcomb said that African Americans had no right to serve as Marines. He said, “If it were a question of having a Marine Corps of 5,000 whites or 250,000 Negroes, I would rather have the whites.”

Or even better: an address on counterinsurgency, circa 1900, by General *Hellroaring Jake* Jacob Smith:


You can see the changes by just watching the Army-Navy football game if you can remember it from twenty years ago.

In the last year of the Kenyon douche’s reign of error the chickies were probably close to flashing their tatas


Pretty hard to argue with anything he wrote, and I really tried.


The essential problem with how we’ve gone about integrating women in the military is the complete ignorance of actual facts with which we’ve conducted the whole affair.

Look… Here’s a reality: Put boys and girls together, and they’re going to fuck. They fuck, you’re going to get a few pregnancies. Fact of life, happens no matter what you do about it.

But… We fantasize that we somehow won’t have to deal with this set of facts.

Nowhere in the regulations will you find a whit of common sense-A pregnant woman cannot deploy. So… What do we do? We stick her on the rear detachment, or separate her. WTF? That bitch cost money to train, and the MTOE slot she filled is likely going unfilled because of her “unplanned pregnancy” which is actually about the same as going fucking AWOL for all respects and purposes.

So, how do we deal with this? We don’t treat the bitch the same way we treat her scumbag brother who absents himself immediately before the deployment, do we? Him, we court-martial for dereliction of duty and/or whatever the commander can come up with. Her? At worst, the back-stabbing little cunni gets an administrative discharge, and the guy who could have filled her position wasn’t allowed to contract for service two years prior to the deployment.

Frankly, the contracts we write with new soldiers ought to say “You will serve X number of months in a fully-deployable state… And, if for whatever reason, you become voluntarily incapable of deployment, we will either charge your stupid ass for all the attendant costs accrued due to your inability to deploy, or we will drag you overseas when you are ready to deploy…”.

That’s how you deal with having women in the military. Treat them like fucking grown-ups, and hold them accountable for their inability to keep their knees together. If it was me, I’d write those damn contracts with women to say that they owe the military 48 months of service in a deployable state, and if they’re not deployable…? Their time don’t count. Period. Can’t deploy? Oh, well… You go on half-pay, and your time doesn’t count. I’d do the same for a male that managed to injure himself out of the line of duty, as well. Get drunk, break a leg? Sweetheart, your ass is on half-pay, and as long as you can’t deploy, your ass ain’t serving time on your contract. And, if you go over ten years or so without being able to deploy? Gee, guess what, dipshit-You owe for your training and every other cost we can assign to your lack of fidelity to duties you contracted for.

That’s how you deal with women in the military, and that’s something we’ve refused to do. The brass keeps wanting to treat the little bitches like their favorite daughter, and look the other way when she can’t fulfill the duties she contracted for-Which is utter fucking bullshit.


Kirk, you forgot to mention the suspicious rise of pregnancies short before deployments. There should be harsher punishment. Dunno, quarter pay maybe if it happens a few months before deployment?

There is a reason that women have been mostly kept in separate units or even separate auxiliary organisations by all sides during WW2. Maybe our grandparents knew a thing or two.


Myself being a classical liberal (probably an endangered species) I’ll point you to a BBC story about Norway’s training women for special forces in a segregated environment.

The training seems legit on the surface, though I suspect it has a PR concern more than a military one since the 4 young women featured are probably as attractive as hell. (General Buck Turgenson wanted a 10-1 ratio I would settle for those 4 if I weren’t happily married)

Anyway its on the BBC website somewhere


“That’s how you deal with having women in the military. Treat them like fucking grown-ups, and hold them accountable for their inability to keep their knees together. ”

If the male that knocked them up was active duty as well, do you punish them? The male did assist in making the female solider non-deployable.


Realistically, unless he raped her…? How are you going to adjudicate the cases where she tells him “I’ve taken my birth control…”, and in case of fact, hasn’t? Ran into that one, in real life-She wanted out badly enough that she was literally screwing everything in sight, lying her ass off to all of them, and when she did get pregnant, it was eventually traced back by the civilian authorities to a guy who didn’t even remember her name. She’d had to come up with the father’s name, in order to receive benefits from the state, and when she had to tell them she didn’t know, there were about six or seven different guys she’d been screwing around the time… Yeah.

Final analysis, the one who determines whether or not she’s going to stay pregnant and carry the baby to term? That’s the one who’s responsible for her not being able to fulfill her duties; you can’t have it both ways-Either the girls are responsible for their choices, or they need to submit to being second-class citizens, and the boys in the equation get a say over their keeping the baby to term or not.

What we’ve actually got going here is a half-way house between common sense and utter fucking stupidity. Either the women are fully actualized self-determining entities, or they are not. You can’t be one sometimes, and then an unwitting, irresponsible (in term of accountability) victim of fate and circumstance on other occasions, being able to flip between states at your whim. Which, you will note, results in a state of affairs that somehow always comes out in favor of the individual woman.

I have never had a problem with women in the military, per se. What I have a problem with is the way we handle dealing with the consequence and effect of them being there. When you lose key personnel just before or during a deployment to things that are very clearly self-chosen, well… You start to lose a lot of patience and the traditional deference towards the “fairer sex”. To my mind, there is no damn difference between going AWOL and getting yourself pregnant in order to avoid a deployment.

The whole system is unable to comprehend or deal with the consequences of having women in uniform; we’ve allowed a de facto two-class system to develop, one where the girls have rights to things the boys don’t get, and the boys have responsibilities that the girls aren’t held to. That’s inimical to good discipline and combat effectiveness, and I’m of the opinion that the whole system is illegitimate and needs to be done away with.

There is a complete and utter inability on the part of senior leadership, both civilian and military, to account for the differences between sexes. Sure, it sounds fine to say that there aren’t any, but the fact remains that there are-Pregnancies are only the tip of the iceberg. Male soldiers are not prone to suddenly being unavailable for duty for 18 months at a whack, which is what the effective period of non-availability for deployment usually winds up being for the girls. And, if they are, it usually sure as hell isn’t voluntary-He’s been in a car accident, or broken something major. The males who wind up in this category are generally not there due to a voluntary decision, and that option of avoiding deployment ain’t available to them, either.

I’ve known women who came up on the levy roster for assignment to Korea, and who decided to Blue Falcon their fellow soldiers in their tiny low-density MOS field by getting pregnant-Which resulted in them staying in their highly sought-after stateside billet, and some other fool having to fill the slot in Korea. Usually, the guy who just got back from that tour-And, in the case I’m thinking of, that little chicky’s gaming of the system resulted in the guy who got screwed-over with his third hardship assignment to Korea wound up losing his wife and kids over the matter, turning into a drunk on that third tour, and getting thrown out of the Army. Collateral damage, because a buddy-fucking bitch decided it was too hard for her to go do what everyone else in her job did overseas.

Refusal to account for the reality of these issues is why I say the Army and other services fundamentally don’t “get” the implications and repercussions of women in uniform. Ask around-Are there any accommodations in the regulations made for mid-career women who want to have families? Does the “system” account for that, and avoid putting them in jobs where they won’t be able to fulfill their duties while going through the process of pregnancy and early motherhood? Nope-The f**king idiots expect people like me to deal with the consequences of having a fuel handler NCO assigned to my unit in a low-density status (we had one, each in that position), and then with her unable to work around petrochemicals, she spent the three years she was assigned to us working up in the Personnel Action Center as a clerk/supervisor. I never passed a single inspection in my fuel section as a result, because I was short of qualified fuel handlers at the entry level, as well, and the entire section was run by one actual MOS-qualified fuel handler fresh out of AIT, a Combat Engineer sergeant who knew dick about fuel handling, and four Combat Engineer drivers who weren’t trained on that job, but who I needed to run my five damn fuel trucks.

That’s the kind of thing that’s routine, under the current “system”. It doesn’t work, for anyone, and the military utility of it is going to result in huge ‘effing problems, should we ever actually, y’know, take these forces to actual large-scale war against peer-level forces. I’m retroactively terrified, to tell the truth, about what could have happened with regards to my fuel section, had we ever had to actually do large-scale refueling operations with things like the FARE or the ROM, where you basically set up refueling point from tankers to handle up to five vehicles at a time-We had the gear, but never, ever used it. If we’d had to do it…? Dear God, the potential risk of the whole thing, with the guys I actually had on the ground with me to run all that crap. Commander wanted me to set it up, once, and I had to tell him that if he wanted it done, it wasn’t going to be by me, or anyone I had working for me. After I showed him the gear, and how complicated it was, he acquiesced to my opinion on the matter, and dropped the idea. Frankly, the idea that we’d even had the stuff on the MTOE was ‘mucking insane, but there it was: Theoretical capability, planned for, accounted for, and never actually able to be executed due to an inability to provide competent personnel or keep them at their duties.

Which is, in the final analysis, the epitaph that needs to be written for the entire insane program we’ve had for integrating women in the military.


And, if you go over ten years or so without being able to deploy? Gee, guess what, dipshit–You owe for your training and every other cost we can assign to your lack of fidelity to duties you contracted for.

I disagree with that (and only that) provision.

At that point, you give them 30 days to remit the cost in full, or else you ship them to a military prison, to work the entire debt off at the going hourly rate paid federal prisoners, which when last I looked, ranged from $0.12 to $1.15/hr.

So call it 35 or more years in prison stripes to repay the $70K or so it costs to recruit and train one soldier.

Maybe when they get out and go on social security, their kid(s) will still remember them.

Then again, by whittling the pool down to the five or ten women nationwide who can hack it, the incidence of non-deployability from pregnancy would be negligible.

GreenEyed Jinn

You’ve just nailed the sexism and “Patriarchy” so often claimed to be ‘in our society.’

Women decry it all…yet women are the same ones who cultivate those very double standards. They whine about the differences when it suits them; and they use the differences when it suits them. And in reality, they’re quite happy to have it both ways.


And maybe drop the conservative man’s cultural inclination to “muh fair princess”, women are a bit like the Huns at your throat, or on their knees and loving it.

Yes I am happily married to a good woman


From the Aussie perspective: even in the scandal-plagued year of 1992 we managed to invite a former SAS LtCol as guest of honour at a squadron dining-in. The small, unobtrusive well spoken gentleman described how a 4 man patrol observed 90-odd NVA conscripts and a handful of veteran escorts negotiating a jungle trail, exchanged glances and proceeded to exterminate the majority before melting away unmolested by the few survivors. We green people were aroused and duly awestruck, the white people murmured appreciation of an esoteric yet stirring epic from an alien world, and the blue people swooned and had the vapours in the face of barbarism. Even amongst the 25% quota of females (real ones, we did a kit check, though not a few preferred own-goals) and PC atmosphere, shades of the ANZACS and the 2nd AIF hovered. In the meantime they’ve likely purged the messes of those grim unregistered and unpermitted Maxim 08/15’s, Type 92’s and Type 56’s, but even though our graduates can do a bangup job on you with a vacuum cleaner and have the video to prove it, maybe somewhere amongst them survives a Jacka or McKay….but only by determination and guile, certainly against the intent of the thing. It reflects the success of the Active Measures folk with the red star, so ably and thoroughly sown amongst us at every level. It’s nothing new, they bear the same marks throughout history. Belteshazzar soiled his robe when the hand wrote and a real enemy army showed up in the Capitol, but the folk on the wall surely had CV’s comparable to the box-tickers of today. When the underlying culture is decrepit, then the cream of it will be the worst of the worst, and the odd throwback amongst them will have a hard time indeed. In such times, better to be the hated odd fish, rather than a dead one floating downstream…


Over loe, these many years, I have had a lot of exposure to cadets from the service academies, the various, well placed Institutes and ROTC programs from across the nation. My own feelings on the subject are moot; I hate them all. But, in fairness; Interest, aptitude and ambition seem the governing factors in any difference that each program may produce in any individual. So that an ROTC cadet from New Mexico, can one on one, compete handily against his or her peer from a service academy. The big difference are those young men competing for Marine Corp PL and Seal slots. Here ambition rules totally. The other difference is the level of entitlement that Academy Grads, (and to a lesser extent; the VMI’s, Norwich’s, etc) will present on first pass after OBC, (or whatever they call it today). So the real key in all this officer and a gentlemen business, is what sort of NCO that these little shits get in front of once they get a real job. If its a turd NCO the O better have some character from somewhere or he/she is doomed. If the NCO knows his shit and takes no prisoners then there is some hope. So shower money and love and adulation upon them as we may; only NCO’s turn them into leaders. Primarily through pain.

Fred Ray

Don’t think Webb is in the senate right now. He declined to run for re-election in 2011.



WRT to resigning in a ‘snit’ – if the Navy required ~600 ships to maintain a reasonable force with sustainable patrol lengths to support our commitments (as it still does) and the President says decommission a class of surface combatant – than the commitments can’t be made if the medium and long term.

Resigning was his only option unless our commitments were reduced.

We see the Navy scrambling to keep enough force at sea to support the GWOT, the pivot to Asia as well as smaller commitments around the globe. If more leaders fought for what they believed in, and resigned when the appropriations didn’t align with the strategy, we might be in a better place.

Senator Webb is a lightning rod. How refreshing.


Clearly it does not require an undergraduate Naval Academy experience to produce a superior leader, eventually an admiral that can sustain the highest level of intelligent leadership at the top of a branch over a prolonged period. In Naval specialties as diverse as submarine warfare and special operations/counter-terrorism, non-Annapolis officers have excelled. As examples I’d point to the late VADM Eugene P. “Dennis” Wilkinson and Admiral William McRaven (ret).

Wilkinson is best know as the first CO of the first nuclear submarine, USS Nautilus, and the first nuclear surface ship, USS Long Beach, a guided missile cruiser. First serving as a junior officer, XO, and eventually skipper on subs during WWII, he subsequently served twice under the CNO, first in the sixities as “Deputy to the CNO, Submarine Warfare,” and then after the Pentagon reorganization, as “DCNO for Submarine Warfare. He also served a term as COMSUBLANT, and Chief of Staff, US Forces Japan. He graduated during the Great Depression as a physics and chemistry major from San Diego State Univ. He did graduate work and teaching at USC before accepting his commission.

William McRaven, a graduate of UT Austin attending on a track scholarship (and later a graduate of the Naval Postgraduate School) is so recently well-known that recollection of just a few of his achievements should suffice: He retired in 2014 after 37 years of service. As an ensign he volunteered for BUD/S. He appears to have served at every level within Naval Special Operations, eventually becoming the commander of USSOCOM. He was delegated responsibility for organizing Operation Neptune Spear. He currently serves as Chancellor of the Univ. of Texas system. Again, an excellent example of an innovator and leader from not-Annapolis.

I’m sure there are excellent points to be made for an undergraduate Naval Academy. I’m of the view that only graduate schools are needed, beyond a system of NROTC and such.

and eventually achieve 4-star rank.


-delete ‘and eventually achieve 4-star rank.”



An anagram for “USNA” is “ANUS”; “ANUS ” is also an applicable acronym for “Academy of the Navy of the US” (“ANUS”). It is rare that an anagram yields an acronym!


To the Liberals, Webb’s biggest “sin” was not the article Hognose referenced, but Webb’s 2004 book:” Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America”. Webb extols the valor and virtues of White Catholics (Irish) and White Presbyterians/Methodists/Episcopalians (UK: Church of England) Scots.


Hognose forgot to mention my “most-favorite” Annapolis graduate: CAPT Lisa Nowak (nee: Caputo), USN, (USNA ’85), the Astronaut “Astro-NUT”. (Note that I showed by Joint Staff savoir-faire and used the USN abbreviation (CAPT) and not the Army abbreviation (CPT).)