Too Many Midshipmen in the Brigade?

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by 08Marine, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. 08Marine

    08Marine Member

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    In Response to: Memphis9489

    "Maybe some of the Blue & Gold Officers have some insight to this rumor.

    It appears the Brigade is too large - over 4600. The size of the incoming Plebe classes are largely based on the expected attrition.

    The past few years, attrition has been at an all time low. But the new Plebe classes have still been in the 1200-1350 range. Consequently, there are too many midshipmen. The normal Brigade size is just slightly over 4000, usually in the 4100-4300 range.

    There seems to be more midshipmen getting the boot this year than in recent history. Instead of all the second chances that were being liberally given out in previous years for honor, conduct, and academic issues - many midshipmen are now discovering that it's "Strike ONE! You're OUT!"


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    I think this is a question that warrants its own thread. In my time at USNA, graduating in 2008, our biggest problem with the administration was their unwillingness to kick out those midshipmen who fell short of the standard. While this was true with academic and physical requirements, it was most painfully visible with honor.

    There was a Mid who shoplifted on-base and he was retained. There was a plebe who was found guilty of lying (3) seperate and successive times and survived all three honor boards. Clearly she didn't learn her lesson after the first two boards, but they gave her a third chance still after that. I heard this from the plebe's Senior Enlisted leader, a Senior Chief, who said she was just as disgusted in the system as the rest of us.

    The honor staff tried to put some teeth into the system but were over-ruled every time they tried to push for firmer compliance with the honor concept. And this is how we end up with several USNA Marine Grads being kicked out of the Marine Corps when they cheated on a land navigation test at TBS last year.

    As I think I've shown, I have some pretty strong feelings on the Academy's standards, and I hope what Memphis 9489 has mentioned is truly happening.

    Our Academy and our Midshipmen need it.
     
  2. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    In my view, there are two separate questions. One is the size of the brigade. My understanding is that there is much less attrition over Plebe Summer. Whether that's b/c mids are arriving better prepared/with a better understanding of what they're getting into or whether PS is "easier" is open to debate. However, the fact that only ~a dozen plebes leave during the summer vs. closer to 100 in my day is likely the main reason for the higher numbers.

    A second issue is "second and third chances." I would like to think that this impacts only a small number of mids. In my day, MOST mids who left after PS either did so voluntarily (changed their minds) or for academic reasons. There just weren't that many mids committing honor violations, etc. and most of those were kicked out.

    Thus, unless the incidence of honor offenses has increased dramatically, I'd be surprised if retention is the reason for the higher # of mids. I'm not defending retention in the face of honor violations, BTW, just saying that I don't know that it's related to brigade size.

    But, I'm not there so I could well be wrong.
     
  3. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    There are many threads and posts here (by Mids, Alum, parents, etc) that address the exact same issue, the lack of honor accountability/consistency over the last few years. Similiar or even exact same violations could receive vastly different punishment outcomes depending on athletic prowess or racial classification. A simple search (here or on google) reveals what I am referring to, no need to rehash those charges.

    I am certain that Admiral Miller has taken the steps to correct the serious shortfalls that occurred during the previous Superintendent's term, and once again return the USNA to a place of unquestionable honor and integrity.
     
  4. fishbowl

    fishbowl Member

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    There seems to be more midshipmen getting the boot this year than in recent history. Instead of all the second chances that were being liberally given out in previous years for honor, conduct, and academic issues - many midshipmen are now discovering that it's "Strike ONE! You're OUT!"

    What is the basis for that statement? If it is based on the Mids that were recently separated because they were found guilty of using Spice, there is no 'Strike' rule. The 'zero tolerance' policy applies for Spice and other banned substances. Zero tolerance means no second chances.
     
  5. MIHOSER

    MIHOSER Member

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    Per my Plebe - that's the word among the brigade. It is a general feeling, not related to the recent "spice" separations, that it's one strike and you are out.

    I have nothing definitive so support that.
     
  6. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    Based on my observation, which is anecdotal only and not really representative of anything, more people are being kicked out. My company has lost seven people since September (involuntarily) versus losing maybe ones and twos in previous semesters, though a certain well-publicized scandal had something to do with that.
    I haven't seen any actual numbers to verify that they actually are kicking out more mids than before, just rumors and my own observations.

    Edited to Add: Based on what we've been told at Dant's calls and (again) personal observation, 2/C and 1/C and repeat cases for honor automatically get forwarded up, which usually doesn't end well. Mids who violate the terms of their "honor remediation" also don't do so hot.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2011
  7. nsiderbam

    nsiderbam USNA c/o '14

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    To go along with what Hurricane said, our PMO just recently told us at a formation that firsties who fail the upcoming PRT will be recommended for separation - and that's neither an academic or honor-related problem.

    There have been multiple times where the Dant has specifically told the brigade that repeat offenders will have no second chances and that no-tolerance rules (i.e. rules about drugs) will be enforced. It's easy to say that they always have been, but in reality that really haven't. Last year's scandal with the football player who smoked marijuana and got away with it is only one example; I've heard other similar stories from numerous upperclass in different companies.

    I personally am glad that they're buckling down.
     
  8. mademu

    mademu Member

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    People are disappearing left and right!
     
  9. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    The correct term ..."forwarded for separation." Which as I understand is intended as a wake-up call, may result in but is not definitive expulsion.

    One more weird legacy of the previous USNA admin. Brag about keeping every straggler, homesick plebe in his/her summer #1 ...then boot them after 3 1/2 years because of lousy push-up performance because there's no money to keep them, no bunks to sleep them. After spending a cool $400K or so to get them to the point they can't push-up. The first clue should have been when Mids were required to eat all week in King ... but the Supe failed to inform the kitchen help and food orderers that 20% more Mids'd be showing up for Sunday-Thursday dinner. Whoops!

    At least then, one really had to wonder who IS on first. Make that firstie. And it seems a few fewer these days. But the diversity #s are up, the football team's made another bowl, NAPS has been (until recently) kept off the radar screen enabling the appointment of Mids who'd not stand a chance of receiving either a nomination nor appointment in the light of day, and no one's complaining that the football coach's being paid a cool $million, suggesting it's a great "investment." Where have we heard that description before ...or since?

    You know ...when one stands back and looks at this in context of the stated mission, it seems to get more bizarre. But remember where the orders are coming from?
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2011
  10. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Ah, the days of hamburger buns slopped in gravy, and cod dogs.
     
  11. subvet

    subvet Member

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    cartoon

    And who can forget that great cartoon in the Washington Post. A Mid standing outside the wall with a sign stating.."will serve my country for food!":biggrin:
     
  12. time2

    time2 Member

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    .....and who can forget certain other regulars on here back then who kept insisting there was no problem with food and it was just our imagination......
     
  13. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    You guys are making me laugh ... and cry.

    ...and who can forget Adm. Fowler doing everything but stand on his head ...to avoid discussing the mess in his mess hall with the BoVs ...who only wanted to know ...what's for dinner and are there enough pieces of bread that the Mids might get 2 slices for their peanut butter (smooth, no nuts) sandwich (it was a very 'special' dinner!)? And Fowler's note ..."that's on the next meeting's agenda ... now can I tell you how our diversity efforts are going?"

    And they said ...

    "After you tell us how is chow! Our phones're killing us w/ irate parents wondering why their Mids are eating 'high on the hog' when they get a hot dog WITH CHILI!"
     
  14. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    Remember the old "COD DOGS" imbroglio and the other crap they were serving. Remember when first class had to forgo meals to feed their Plebes at the table? Peanut Butter and Orrange Juice was a luxury.
     
  15. MIDNDAD

    MIDNDAD Member

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    To this day the mention of "Christmas Fish" still makes my Mid gag at the memory.
     
  16. TacticalNuke

    TacticalNuke Administrator

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    Here we have what could be a perfectly legitimate thread and there are those who would rather turn into a bashing of a former USNA superintendent.

    If this continues, we will give out infractions and some of you may have to take a break from posting on the forum for a bit.

    Keep in mind that if what you are posting does not contribute to the overall knowledge base of the forum, then you shouldn't post it. There's a difference between a tongue in cheek comment about the food at USNA and trying to elicit a negative response about the previous superintendent and derailing the thread.

    For those of you trying to have a legitimate discussion about the size of the brigade, please carry on.

    -TN
     
  17. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    With the current budget shortfalls it is not shocking to me they are going this route. I also would assume that they will follow the AFA's footsteps, by reducing the amount of appointments offered this yr.

    In days when the money is flowing like Milk and Honey they can afford to give multiple chances. When they need to shut down the spigot, the philosophy will be; we warned you that this will not be tolerated.

    Right now the spigot is being slowed down. People who have served or are serving in the military are not being facetious when they say TIMING is everything.

    I know some will feel that they should offer 2nd chances, but if you take another approach you would see it differently. Would you be willing for them to give 2nd chances if it meant that uou would have to incur a RIF later on for your yr group? Self preservation will kick in, and you will say, cut them now, why should I be put up on the chopping block for them!
     
  18. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    In my day, I don't recall honor remediation. If we had it (and I don't think we did), it certainly wasn't publicized so I don't know how it worked in practice. I believe it was initiated not to manage the size of the brigade but b/c certain Supes believed that the "single saction" might not always be the best approach.

    As noted, the number of mids in my day who were convicted of an honor offense was relatively small. So, even with the single saction for a violation, there weren't a lot of mids being shown the door. As an aside, it was also hard to get kicked out for conduct violations. Even in my day, you had to screw up early and often. Academics was the big "killer." We lost about about 6/40 in our class/company for that reason.

    IMO, there could be some circumstances under which some sort of honor remediation is appropriate. People do make mistakes and I have more sympathy for a plebe who makes a snap error in judgment than a 1/C who sets out deliberately to violate the Code.

    They key is that any remediation process is fair and applied equally, even given that no two situations are identical. The reason that the program came under scrutiny and criticism is that there was a perception and, arguably, a finding that the process was not fair in that certain populations were treated differently for essentially similar conduct. THAT is a problem.

    I also believe that the general approach to "second chances" (not just honor) is due more to the vagaries of the SA leadership than budget issues or a desire to reduce the size of the brigade/corps. There are surely more cost effective ways to accomplish the latter than kicking out people in whom you've invested a lot of time and money.

    But, a zero tolerance approach isn't a bad thing b/c that's what it's like as an officer. Best to learn now.
     
  19. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    "Christmas Fish" A joke only to those who know how bad Mess was.:shake:
     
  20. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    It still is. I believe it's the the #1 reason for separation, voluntary and involuntary, at all 5 academies.
     

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