Then there are these "words of wisdom and advice" from a current USNA MID 2/C

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by Sydney C., Jun 9, 2019.

  1. MidCakePa

    MidCakePa Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2018
    Messages:
    1,501
    Likes Received:
    1,913
    I witnessed my first live Army-Navy Game march-on last December. Amazing what you miss on TV. When Navy marched on — with DD in the ranks — I thought, “Looking good! Helm yeah!”

    Then Army marched on. And I swallowed and thought, “Holy sh!t, these guys know how to march. Wow!”

    The lines were straighter, the postures stronger, the pace brisker, the angles sharper, the steps prouder, the overall impression...well, more intentional and more serious. And it wasn’t close. The esprit des corps was so unmistakably in Army’s favor that, for a moment, I wished DD had chosen West Point rather than Annapolis. (That sentiment did pass once I considered the bigger picture.)

    Point is, I’m guessing cadets dislike parades as much as mids do. Yet they rise above it and bring out their best when it matters most. Things like that do matter.
     
    UHBlackhawk and Devil Doc like this.
  2. Sydney C.

    Sydney C. 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2013
    Messages:
    632
    Likes Received:
    831
    Tell the truth....aren't you glad I found this to share? Haven't had this much good conversation here for awhile.
     
  3. Devil Doc

    Devil Doc Teufel Doc

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2018
    Messages:
    960
    Likes Received:
    1,488
    You’re welcome. I mean, thank you.
     
  4. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    Messages:
    5,573
    Likes Received:
    7,745
    I’d run out of hot dog input, so this was welcome.
     
    cb7893 and MidCakePa like this.
  5. ca2midwestmom

    ca2midwestmom 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,338
    Likes Received:
    251
    This is the picture I was looking for earlier. Even when moving from point A to point B, Army beats Navy in marching.
    upload_2019-6-10_14-58-34.png
     
    Parent of 4, kinnem and MidCakePa like this.
  6. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    Messages:
    5,573
    Likes Received:
    7,745
    As I would always expect to be the case, as the Navy prizes precision maneuvering at sea over the land. As always, I cheerfully concede all marching honors to the Army and a group I love to watch, the 8th and I Marine Barracks silent drill team at Evening Parade. The full Parade at link below, including the shiver-inducing Taps at the close. I’ll hold up my Marine brethren as Navy and Marine Corps team’s best on-land drill experts.




    Now that was a definite thread unravel!


    If you have never attended, I recommend it. Free, but you need to reserve a seat.
    https://www.barracks.marines.mil/Parades/General-Information/
     
    Sydney C., Devil Doc and USMCGrunt like this.
  7. Devil Doc

    Devil Doc Teufel Doc

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2018
    Messages:
    960
    Likes Received:
    1,488
    To add to one of my above posts with the MCPON story. The son I mentioned who he rendered the first salute upon his commissioning retired from the Marines in 2014 at the rank of colonel. Dang I’m getting old.
     
  8. Humey

    Humey Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2016
    Messages:
    1,242
    Likes Received:
    826
    I will play the contrarian. Thats greats, the army guys march better than the navy guys. What is the old expresss, that and 5 dollars will get you a cup of coffee
     
  9. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Messages:
    848
    Likes Received:
    451
    Parades don't have much, if any, value outside of initial drill training. I don't think they should be eliminated, but if the pattern of drill life at USNA is similar to what it was when I was there it is hugely excessive. Every football weekend doesn't need a parade. Every Forrestal speaker doesn't need one either. Have a couple a year with associated practices and call it good. Guess what? Most grads, Marines included, will essentially never drill again aside from accountability formations/quarters.

    To everybody *****ing about this kid writing in Proceedings? I wasn't a huge fan of his tone, but here's the thing. At least he cares enough to write about it instead of just *****ing to his buddies at drill chill. As a leader you need to think about why you and your people have requirements imposed on you and whether or not they provide value to the mission. Officers should never be expected to shut up and color. That is poor officership.
    Maybe this kid is a whiny turd. Or maybe he'll also apply a willingness to challenge tradition in a professional forum to finding efficiencies in whatever his future warfighting specialty is. There are plenty of pipe-dream articles written in the Marine Corps Gazette or Proceedings by young JOs that will, in all honestly, probably never lead to meaningful change, but at least they are thinking about how the institution could be better.
     
    Kierkegaard, THParent and USMCGrunt like this.
  10. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Super Moderator 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    Messages:
    5,733
    Likes Received:
    6,038
    There is no doubt West Point takes their marching seriously and does it better than Navy. That has been know for decades and honestly the Mids take it as a source of pride (right or wrong). But two snap shots don’t mean anything. One could be them just formed up and stepping off and the other route stepping. Even if route stepping it’s sloppy by Navy. But don’t judge things on two quick snap shots.
     
    Kierkegaard likes this.
  11. cb7893

    cb7893 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,663
    Likes Received:
    1,144
    I have to start by saying that I've read your posts over the years and considered them thoughtful and useful. DS#2 attended NASS and received an NROTC scholarship to U of Mich. He didn't follow through with USNA because he saw what Ezra saw and decided that the SA life was for him. He was medically DQed from NROTC, moved on and is in a good place. You responded to a number my inquiries which I appreciate.

    However, isn't drill chill is exactly where the b****** it's supposed to happen. A couple of mids agree. A couple don't care because they just miss their boy/girlfriends. A couple disagree and promote the benefits of marching. And couple just tell him tell to shut up. They work it out amongst themselves.

    IMHO Soon enough these mids will be officers commanding enlisted personnel from different backgrounds, many of whom didn't get 1550 on the SAT or have a mentor, advisor, family support or athletic ability help them jump through the hoops to get them to an academy or even dream of going to college and becoming an officer. In the course of their lives they will tolerate as much or more military BS than these soon-to-be commissioned officers will ever have to again.

    Not a conversation with DS#1 (AROTC) goes by that his good fortune is not remarked upon. Not a moment goes by that I don't attribute his good fortune, in part, to the enlisted folks along the way whose work made him look good or told him he was out over his skis, and saved him the embarrassment that young Mr. Ezra will deservedly receive.
     
    Devil Doc likes this.
  12. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Messages:
    848
    Likes Received:
    451
    You're not wrong that the best venue for complaints is among peers but then nothing ever changes.

    Enlisted personnel undoubtedly get the worse end of the deal when it comes to military BS. In a garrison environment, while I certainly work long hours (often longer than my guys) they are relatively gentlemanly and comfortable. My Marines work far harder than me on a hot and humid flight line and then go back to worse living conditions where they have to conduct field day and other miscellaneous miserable military tasks. They are often treated like children and not trusted with stuff as minor as remembering their CAC cards but are entrusted with qualifications to sign off multi-million dollar aircraft as safe to fly, to call in airstrikes, or to lead squads of infantry Marines. On deployment, that disparity in quality of life and treatment can grow even wider.

    This is part of why it's important as an Officer to be willing to question the requirements imposed on you/your guys if they seem silly. There are times where a kneejerk reaction or requirement will come down just because that's the way it's always been done. Many of those battles you won't win. But you gotta try.
    Undoubtedly this kid is going to get skewered in person by his Company Officer or whoever, and is certainly getting it online. He is probably "that guy" at USNA right now. He'll be better for it though he certainly won't do away with parades, unfortunately for the mids. What bothers me is the attitude of the people in this thread that since he's "just 2 years out of high school" or "just a Mid" he doesn't have a right to ask questions or criticize a policy. I'm not sure why it's raising so much ire. Alternatively, he's "just" 2 years away from being an O-1. As a JO you have to ask those questions. You'll get burned a few times, but that's why you get paid the big bucks.
     
    Kierkegaard, OtB, justdoit19 and 2 others like this.
  13. Tbpxece

    Tbpxece Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2018
    Messages:
    657
    Likes Received:
    432
    Ah, but there's an easy fix for that involving several hundred feet of safety wire, a bucket of water and the ice machine.

    Before CAC cards, it was not uncommon for those same enlisted members to be gently reminded to lock their desktops. This reminder usually came in the form of an emailed reply from the Wing Commander asking why they had decided to profess their undying romantic love using government resources, and a reminder of the AF policy on fraternization... :)
     
  14. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Messages:
    2,420
    Likes Received:
    2,306
    @Hurricane12 - I hear you and agree that JO have to question "why?" and challenge conventional wisdom at times (in fact, all Officers should). The last thing we need is more of "because that is the way we have always done it" thinking or group think.

    I don't know about the USNI blog's approach, but the Marine Corps Gazette certainly encourages contrarian thinking and submissions. Not sure how well those authors are appreciated in the fleet but I know of one prolific "challenger" who did quite well. Typically, however, the authors are at TBS or in the fleet - not in the Academy or ROTC. Perhaps some of the posters in this thread feel that is where the issue is. Doesn't matter to me.

    My personal experience was that JO's went to the XO to bounce things off of rather than directly to the CO or in a public forum. Most people who had the desire to publish an article in the Gazette usually ran it by the chain-of-command for a sign off. This wasn't required but made good career sense.

    Final thought: MOST questions, challenges, and logic checks have probably been asked a 1000 times before. There are probably good reasons for doing what we do.
    Still... challenges are good as they reinforce the situation or initiate change. Bring 'em on!
     
  15. SMP

    SMP Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2016
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    32
    Alas, the young midshipman has much to learn. Clearly, he has not learned that the parade is a test of of one's ingenuity skills. The best and the brightest at the Academy have undoubtedly developed their ingenuity skills to the degree necessary to avoid having to prepare for and participate in the dreaded parades.
     
    bookreader likes this.
  16. bookreader

    bookreader Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2015
    Messages:
    732
    Likes Received:
    481
    You are so right @SMP . Mine has done a variety of things to get out parading. He definitely gets points for ingenuity in this arena. He started at WP not minding having to parade but that sure changed before the year was out. lol.
     
  17. OldRetSWO

    OldRetSWO USNA 78/parent 11/BGO for >25yrs 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    Messages:
    698
    Likes Received:
    870
    I'll fess up here that my total number of parades marched in from the end of my plebe summer until I graduated was ONE, the graduation parade my first class year and that one was voluntary for me.

    When you're an in season athlete in the spring, even after your sport ends, like graduation week, you can avoid participating. To be honest, for each of the grad weeks, I helped out on the 44 footers doing "backdrop sailing" so that the tourist pics of the parade would have colorful sailboats behind the brigade. Yes, that is really a planned "thing".
    I will neither confirm nor deny the presence of adult beverages aboard the backdrop boats during those events.
     
  18. SMP

    SMP Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2016
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    32
    Ditto on mine! He does things like volunteer to man the desk at the barracks or he gets permission to schedule training or other exercises. He even managed to take his finals early this year and avoid the grad week parades! OldRetSWO is right about the athletes. I'm not sure some of them even know how to march given all the reasons they find to miss.
     
    bookreader likes this.
  19. Kierkegaard

    Kierkegaard Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2017
    Messages:
    224
    Likes Received:
    238
    Agree with Hurricane. Yes, Ezra’s young and inexperienced. Doesn’t mean he can’t have an opinion. No one is saying that he should make the grand decisions. He’s just trying to make his case to those who do. And his perspective on the issue as a current mid is valuable, as is that of an experienced officer.

    His overbearing and injudicious tone aside, Ezra raises some good points. It’s on proponents of parades to prove how they contribute to the professional development of the Brigade, and so far I haven’t heard any compelling arguments. Drill is a key part of military indoctrination training because it helps instill obedience and necessitates group cohesion and discipline. Past that initial training, I think it’s hard to make a case that drill is all that useful. If parades help develop quality officers, does that mean the significant number of athletes and others excused from them somehow graduate as less effective officers? It appears that the reason parades, march-ons, and outdoor formations still exist is to put on a pretty show for the public who funds us. They also look nice for when the Commandant and Superintendent host VIPs for special events. If that’s part of the price the Brigade has to pay for the privilege of attending the Naval Academy, I think many could live with that. But the idea that they somehow develop and display our “pride and professionalism” is unsubstantiated and it’s better to not think so simply and uncritically when examining these issues.

    My unsolicited opinion is that it wouldn’t be detrimental to gradually phase out parades. That may be a bit too radical for some, but even just reducing their frequency to maybe 2 per semester would do a lot to quell the cynicism of the Brigade.
     
  20. OldRetSWO

    OldRetSWO USNA 78/parent 11/BGO for >25yrs 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    Messages:
    698
    Likes Received:
    870
    [​IMG]
     
    cb7893 likes this.