Military academies serve no one, squander millions of tax dollars

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by USCGA_2018, Jan 5, 2015.

  1. USCGA_2018

    USCGA_2018 Member

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  2. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    The joys of free speech. This particular writer has been outspoken for years with critical articles.


    Sent using the Service Academy Forums® mobile app
     
  3. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Actually, the downside of tenure. :rolleyes:

    After the first sentence, I knew it was Fleming. Ask yourself this . . . If USNA is so terrible, why is he still there?
     
    sandnnw, cabarle, Juvat and 1 other person like this.
  4. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Someone might want to clue him in to the fact that 0% of the Coast Guard officer corps comes from Coast Guard ROTC.
     
  5. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    That assumes he actually cares about he USCG and/or considers it a military service, an assumption I wouldn't make.
     
  6. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    He mentioned it in the article.

    CGA feeds 45% of the officer corps. The Coast Guard's entire officer corps is only 6,000 strong. Each year CGA, OCS, direct commissions, etc add about 400 new officers. What kind of ROTC program could there be to supply 200 officers (the round number CGA commissions each year)? That 200 would be broken down into freshman, sophomores, juniors and seniors... so maybe 50 in each class? How many CGROTC programs would there be? 10? 5? CGROTC cadet corps of 20? 100?

    It wouldn't work. CGA is essentially a single, large CGROTC program with cadets who have sad social lives.
     
  7. rkrosnar

    rkrosnar Member

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    Simply BS!
     
  8. 18MIDN

    18MIDN Member

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    I can do a full replay later, but Flemming complaining about programs to help unsat mids is completely ridiculous. How dare the academy have programs in place to help students struggling in a class. He writes some of this stuff as if mids, especially plebes, have no other responsibilities.
     
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  9. 18mamag

    18mamag Member

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    How can he be a fair and objective professor if he feels this way? Why is he still teaching there if he thinks it is so awful?
     
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  10. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Just a dad

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    Talk about biting the hand that feeds you!
    This guy's articles have been chronically irritating me over the past year, but I'm not a grad, just a dad whose kid wants to attend USNA. So out of curiosity, I checked out his professorial reviews by the mids he teaches, and I was surprised!

    http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=395876

    Any forum members ever take English from him?
     
  11. 18MIDN

    18MIDN Member

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    People who have him in my company say he is awful. But he has tenure.


    We will see if he is able to stay around as a professor. He put one of his mids into the conduct system after she filed a sexual harassment claim against him. Thats while his last couple of articles attacked the SAPR program.
     
  12. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    We can discuss waste in the military (there's plenty of it) and we can talk about how cost-effective service academies are, but the article is riddled with errors. It would help a little if he had any citation (amazing an English professor wouldn't), but many of the "facts" the general population will assume are true... aren't.

    But then again.... it's also Salon.
     
  13. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Yes I had Professor Fleming when I was a Mid many moons ago. He was one of 2 professors who co-taught my senior capstone class. I remember him only a little. He was a lot of personality but took a backseat to the primary instructor as it was a history course, not an English course. The class was a great deal of reading and discussion and he asked us a great deal of questions.

    I admit I only read 1/2 this article as it is pretty much the same stuff he has been writing about for years now. Gets old.
     
  14. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    One of the hallmarks of higher education should be the exposure to diversity of thought and the opportunity to enter into reasoned discussion and debate. We shouldn't want academy students (or any students) graduating with "group think."

    I don't agree with his article or its premise but it won't be the first time these future officers will hear sentiment like that. His willingness (eagerness) to publish this material provides great opportunity for debate amongst students and perhaps within his classroom. The net result should be students with stronger opinions and reasoned facts.

    I do agree with LITS and believe this article is not based on facts but opinion presented as fact. In looking at the link gokings provided, it seems his primary work is fiction and creative writing. Perhaps deep research and citations are not his forte? He can accomplish his "challenges" without them.

    I have one recommendation he might consider: if he feels this strongly about the uselessness of the institution, the squandering of money, etc he might consider resigning his position as a demonstration of his convictions.
     
  15. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I know of no other USNA professors. Certainly a way to get your name "out there" is to continuously bash your employer. Fleming knows his "proposal" isn't realistic. He knows Salon isn't the forum to get the attention of policy makers in D.C.

    He's provided no citations, no budgets, no proposals with an kind of structure, not path toward anything on the subject. Salon.com isn't a journal. It isn't about policy or budgets or the military or anything. This isn't peer-review. He isn't penning some great work. This isn't a professional endevour by a tenured Ph.D.

    So what is it?

    He had an article published online, on a site not known for its objectivity. He's rehashing the same old stuff (some of it looked word-for-word like another article). There's nothing new. He just added "after the elections." Boom.... new article.

    But why?

    To get his name out there. So we would talk about him. Because even in a rag of a website, someone was going to copy and paste that link in an email, or on SAF, and we would talk abou thim. We would legitimize the poor, opinion-based article. The name "Fleming" would make the rounds again.

    There's nothing new here. Eventually, if it hasn't already, this article will fade from memory too, and in a few months Fleming will try to reignite it... fan the flames.
     
  16. falconchic88

    falconchic88 Member

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    I knew it was going to be an Fleming piece before I even hit the link. Neither of my mids had him. BUT, we did discus him over break. ALL the mids know the name. Mine both said the only reason he is still there is because of tenure. Their classmates that did have him, did not like or respect him and found him very hypocritical. I was surprised when they told me he encourages his students to wear civilian clothes to his class.

    And LITS, I agree, this article is just a rehash of the same ole same ole from him.
     
  17. Sledge

    Sledge Member

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    Meh. He sees how the sausage is made. It can be unsavory. Really though, in the grand scheme of things, spending on service academies is a proverbial gnat compared to the elephants of entitlement spending. In almost his first sentence, he swallows the elephant ("Obamacare") and wants to choke on the gnat. It's really easy to see what bothers Professor Fleming: athletes admitted with poor test scores, the brass, the children of brass that are admitted, lack of academic standards (service academies are certainly not alone), etc. He makes a few points that should be considered. He's probably spot-on about really bright motivated kids becoming disillusioned. Working for the government/military can do that because of all the stupidity you come across. It is what it is. I don't think he's correct about oversight though from what I've seen. Each academy has a board of visitors. Right or wrong, the West Point BOV has been all over the administration about admissions and SHARP issues. They do get "looked at." I don't think the service academies are going anywhere. The politicians love them for many different reasons.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2015
  18. falconchic88

    falconchic88 Member

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    I think what angers me the most about his articles is the fact that HIS PAYCHECK is coming from the very source he is criticizing and that he openly criticizes his students--(they lack charisma, aren't the best and brightest, etc.). As an instructor, its very unprofessional to bash your employer and your students especially in a "persuasive" essay. That alone should make everything else he spouts irrelevant. His statements reek of sour grapes.
     
  19. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    Have to join the chorus that knew this was a Fleming piece before looking at the author. I agree with the "it's nice to have differing opinions within a group" thought, but in my opinion he is beyond that level at this point.
     
  20. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    When I saw this title on this Forum I knew the article (old and tired) as well as the author (older and tireder). I find his writing to be pedestrian, repetitive and unoriginal. As someone who "graduated Haverford at age 19, after turning down Ivies, went to the University of Chicago, and then Vanderbilt", one would think he would have a single original idea, ever. Nope. He is a one hit wonder and makes bank on that same single replayed over and over and over again.

    Additionally, he is smart enough to know that if he keeps putting this offensive drivel out that he can never be fired (I know he has tenure but tenured teachers CAN and DO get 'let go') He will be able to use his writing to show cause-to defray from any REAL cause he should be let go (and in my opinion there are many reasons he should be let go...but thats for another post)

    However, having said all that, I think it is a slight positive that he is at USNA. I completely agree with USMCGRUNT: "One of the hallmarks of higher education should be the exposure to diversity of thought and the opportunity to enter into reasoned discussion and debate. We shouldn't want academy students (or any students) graduating with "group think."I don't agree with his article or its premise but it won't be the first time these future officers will hear sentiment like that. His willingness (eagerness) to publish this material provides great opportunity for debate amongst students and perhaps within his classroom. The net result should be students with stronger opinions and reasoned facts."

    My 2nd son is in AROTC and is at one of the most liberal campuses in the US (one of those that burned their own ROTC building down in protest years ago). He has had professors openly disparage the military while my son sat in class in his uniform. However, distasteful, this is a small percentage of the narrative in the US and even stronger overseas. Our young officers-in-training need to learn to deal with this along with all of the other skills they need to learn.
     

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