WHEN IT SUCKS TO BE A NAVY BLOGGER

Anyone that decides to become a service academy football blogger had better be prepared to discuss topics that have nothing to do with what happens on the field. I suppose the same could be said about those who write about other teams as well, but the public, mission-driven nature of service academies gives a much different context to off-field issues than those at State U. The effects of these situations are usually more far-reaching than a simple reshuffling of the depth chart. Such is the case this weekend as it is being reported that starting slotback Marcus Curry tested positive for marijuana on a random drug test, was processed for separation, and retained by Naval Academy Superintendent VADM Jeffrey Fowler.

With Privacy Act restrictions making actual facts in the case difficult to come by–technically, as a conduct matter we shouldn’t know anything about it– many people have turned to assumption and rumor to fill the void. The reaction to this amalgam of information and misinformation has been nothing if not predictable. Blogs and message boards have boiled over with outrage. The Navy Times, never a publication overly concerned with the veracity of its reports, picked up on the discontent and ran a story citing these dubious sources. The animus stems from the perceived preferential treatment given to a football player with a policy that is supposed to be one of “zero tolerance.”

It is expected, and not altogether wrong, that your first reaction would be to question the Superintendent’s decision. Athletics are a means to an end at the Naval Academy, not an end unto themselves. It is right for anyone who cares about the Naval Academy and its mission to guard against policies that would appear to compromise that mission. On the other hand, there are also people who refuse to acknowledge that Division I football plays any role in fulfilling that mission, and many of them are eager to take advantage of instances like this to further their agenda of abolishing major college athletics at USNA. It is important to avoid being so overwhelmed by populist indignation that it corrupts your own ability to reason. As you wade through the acrimony, there are a few other points you should consider.

First and foremost, it is necessary to clarify what exactly the Navy’s policy is regarding drug testing. “Zero tolerance” is a catch phrase designed to be easy for service members to remember, but it isn’t policy. While many people incorrectly assume that “zero tolerance” means that a positive drug test automatically means separation from the Navy, that isn’t true. The actual policy is outlined in MILPERSMAN 1910-146, which reads:

1. Policy

a. Processing is mandatory for the following:

(1) Positive urinalysis that was tested and confirmed positive at a Navy Drug Screening Lab (NAVDRUGLAB) or other DOD-approved lab. If the commanding officer (CO) determines the urinalysis result was caused by administrative errors (e.g., faulty local chain of custody, evidence of tampering) or the drug use was not wrongful (e.g., prescribed medication, unknowing ingestion), then the member shall not be identified as a drug abuser and the positive urinalysis is not a drug abuse incident. When this determination is made the command shall notify, via official correspondence, Navy Personnel Command (NAVPERSCOM), Fleet Support Department (PERS-6) and the command’s immediate senior in command (ISIC) of the circumstances that warranted such a determination.

A positive drug test means that the administrative process for separation must begin. However, it is the commanding officer’s responsibility to determine the outcome of the process based on whether or not there are circumstances that would indicate that the urinalysis results were caused by wrongful use. Contrary to the impression you might have been given, the Navy does not seek to create policies that take tough decisions out of the hands of its commanding officers. Instead, the Navy expects men and women who have shown an aptitude for command to be able to make decisions like this in the best interests of their command and the Navy. On top of that, there is oversight; if the Superintendent decides that retention is warranted, he is required to disclose his reasoning to the Navy Personnel Command as well as his own chain of command (in this case, the CNO). While some may try to convince you that VADM Fowler’s decision is a violation of Navy policy, it isn’t. It is also extremely unlikely that the Superintendent sent a memo to the CNO saying, “I retained him because he’s a football player.” Common sense would lead any reasonable person to conclude that there is simply more to the story than that.

If common sense doesn’t give you pause for thought, the Supe’s own track record should. This is, of course, the same man that resolved to “remove the distraction” of those activities he deemed “secondary, optional, and conditional.” Fowler enacted strict new regulations on midshipmen upon assuming his post, in part because of the negative press the school received following high-profile conduct cases involving football players. The Superintendent has a history of not only cracking down on misconduct, but showing disdain– not favoritism– toward any extracurricular activity that doesn’t directly relate to warfare training. He has also demonstrated that he is keenly aware of the damage caused to the Academy’s reputation by negative press. Despite all of this, he still made the decision to retain the accused midshipman. If he acted on such negativity in the past, why would he make a decision like this– which was sure to create the same adverse reaction– without legitimate cause? It would have been much, much easier for VADM Fowler to have kicked Curry out of school and avoid this maelstrom. Where was this alleged favoritism when Nate Frazier, arguably the most important player on the team going into the season, was separated from the Academy in August? The belief that special consideration was given to a football player makes little sense in the context of Fowler’s past decisions. Again, one must consider that there is probably more to the story than anonymous leaks are choosing to reveal.

The truth is that we don’t know anything. Nobody wants to admit that, because that would make it harder to advance their agenda. Nevertheless, we do not know the evidence, sworn statements, and other considerations that the Superintendent used to make his decision. We are also looking at this decision in a vacuum; even if some of us have anecdotal evidence of a particular case or two, we do not know how the Superintendent has ruled in all of them. Without these things, it is simply impossible to responsibly make a claim of favoritism. You can’t say that Curry’s case is an exception to the norm without knowing the norm. Then again, nobody cares to leak any information about cases that don’t involve football players. That’s the problem faced by athletes, women, and (to a lesser extent) minorities at USNA. Detractors don’t consider them as individuals; only as representatives of the particular demographic they want to criticize, and never receiving the benefit of the doubt. Curry could explain himself to the public, but the kind of classy individual who’d go digging around his MySpace page looking for ways to slander him won’t believe what he says anyway. The Superintendent is legally unable to explain the details that led to his decision. That means only one side has a voice in situations like this, a fact that less scrupulous types are more than happy to take advantage of.

Something that is largely being overlooked in all the furor over the Supe’s decision on Curry is the fact that so many midshipmen have not only commented on the ruling on blogs and message boards, but actually contacted the media about it. This is the second time in the last three years that this has happened. If there’s anything that should give you concern about the future of the Naval Academy, it’s this. The very first lesson that midshipmen are taught is that before you can lead, you have to learn how to follow. It is a lesson that apparently was completely lost on some of them. This was a decision that was the Superintendent’s to make, and midshipmen’s to live with. That didn’t stop a few coddled, Generation-Y douchebags that have spent a lifetime getting trophies for finishing in last place and being told how special they are from contacting blogs and newspapers to spread rumors about Curry, denying him the anonymity he is legally entitled to– anonymity that these cowards are unwilling to give up themselves. The irony lost on these tools while they pass judgment on Curry’s fitness to serve is that no CO in the fleet wants to fill his or her wardroom with self-righteous jackasses that would run to the media whenever they disagreed with a command decision. In deciding for themselves which regulations just don’t apply to them, these people violate everything they pretend to stand for.

This is not a defense of Curry’s actions. I have no knowledge of the situation with which to build one. I am also not necessarily the biggest fan of VADM Fowler, and have written as much. This is instead an appeal to reason; to admit to the limits of your own knowledge of the case as presented to the Superintendent, to consider the context of his past decisions, and to avoid passing judgment in the lowest-common-denominator court of uninformed public opinion.

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123 Responses

  1. I ♥ the last half of the penultimate paragraph.

    i wonder if the academy will be looking into the leaks.

  2. Amen Brother! The people who are the source of anonymous leaks and rumor mongerers need to drink a big frosty mug of STFU.

  3. Well said.

  4. Somehow, MC’s identity got out. In this light, would it make sense for the Supe to explain the basis for his decision? Or, is that off limits no matter what?

    The alleged honor violations deal really bothers me because it got also. And, again, we do not know anything. I assume mids provided that information and, if true, that is very weak.

  5. got out also

  6. Thank you.

  7. Very well written. I bet none of the media outlets pick up on it though.

  8. There really isn’t anything to pick up. Nobody wants to hear someone say “I don’t know.” They want knee-jerk reactions and outrage. It’s a shame nobody questions the motives of those who protest a bit too loudly, though. Especially the way Lamar was railroaded.

    Frankly, it’s possible that the Supe was influenced by Curry’s status as a football player. I think it’s unlikely given the context, but it can’t be ruled out. People just don’t want to wait to form an opinion. They want their outrage, and they want it now. Just ask the Duke lacrosse team.

  9. Leaks? Are you serious? If there is nothing to hide, there is nothing to leak. The assumption of an ulterior motive of the person who started “zero tolerance = zero exceptions” is your mere speculation. There is nothing cowardly about the midshipmen not divulging their names. Since most are not “set asides” (check and see what that term means at the academy) they WILL be punished. There has essentially been a gag order imposed on them. You suggest that anyone speaking out against this deferential treatment must be sports-defective. Again – are you serious? Curry is free to risk his career/education because of people like Fowler. How has Fowler “demonstrated that he is keenly aware of the damage caused to the Academy’s reputation by negative press?” You also suggested that Fowler must report his decision to the CNO. Please publish your bases for these two statements of fact that you made.

    Decisions made in the past on matters like these have no bearing on Curry’s case. If poor or wrong decisions have been made previously, no one is served by bad precedents.

    Your use of terms like “Generation-Y douchebags,” “cowards,” “tools,” “less scrupulous types” and “self-righteous jackasses” speaks volumes about you. You said it best. You “have no knowledge of the situation.” Do your research and develop factual knowledge base.

  10. LOL @ Donna. What a tool. Talk about making assumptions based…ha! I’m not sure about what to think of the Supe’s decision either, but I am 100% sure Donna has no idea what she’s yapping about.

    I miss the “VROOM VROOM DA Party Starter” up with ppl, down with Nabb3r, blog posts. Hopefully, signing day will bring those back.

  11. Who said anything about the facebook page? Someone doth protest too much. Besides, anyone who has ever seen the blog that posted the story knows exactly what his motives are. He doesn’t hide them.

    Of course there’s a gag order on the mids. There’s ALWAYS a gag order on them. It’s standing policy not to talk to the media and to refer questions to the PAO. That’s not just at the Academy, but everywhere. That’s the second lesson you’re taught when you arrive.

    Also, learn what an ISIC is.

  12. There is nothing cowardly about the midshipmen not divulging their names.

    Then why didn’t they?

  13. lol @ “if there’s nothing to hide, there’s nothing to leak.”

  14. Actually, I take that back. It’s much funnier to demand facts from me after I provided them while requiring no facts of the decision to pass judgment on the Supe.

  15. Ship, Shipmate, Self. Any midshipman speaking anonymously to the media has the order reversed.

    Look, I don’t know if MC should have been kicked out, and I don’t know if Fowler should have retained him. And the reason is that I don’t know the details. None of us do. Until someone with an actual name and rank above O-5 or PAO billet comes out with an official quote or comment, none of us know the details.

  16. DJ,

    Well, not everyone who speaks to the media anonymously is being cowardly. But I see your point.

  17. Mike,

    I have not studied your article here in depth yet, but glancing at it, I could not agree with the your general message more. FWIW, I served with this Superintendent for two years. He was not only sharp, he was very, VERY hard nosed. None of us know the facts involved in this case. Many have jumped on the “fact” (if it even is one) that the Commandant recommended dismissal, but it was not the Commandant’s place to do otherwise. This call resides with the Skipper, which is who Fowler is at USNA. IMO Fowler knew he would take heat on this and did it anyway. Makes me suspect there are substantial mitigating facts and circumstances.

  18. Mike,

    Very well stated. Outside the leadership at USNA, none of us have the “facts”. We have a lot of “information”, but info ain’t “facts”, folks.

    I got a good chuckle out of your next to last paragraph because it rings so true. When VADM Fowler announced his crackdown on mids spending so much time out of the classroom and away from USNA, I had the misfortune of having more than a couple of mid parents grouse to me about how terrible the Supt’s policy was.

    The basic problem, it seems to me, is a “helicopter parent” effect which didn’t exist decades ago. For many years, the typical parent of a midn. visited USNA, twice Parents’ Weekend and Graduation. Now, you have parents who are hell-bent on holding Johnny or Suzie’s hand for all four years. A purpose of the damn place is force the midn. how to handle his/her problems.

    In view of the legal/privacy restrictions, Donna makes a risible suggestion that Mike should “research and develop factual knowledge”. Only the chain of command has the “facts”.

  19. Mike:
    Great post. There is not much more to be said.

    Donna:
    If you don’t get it, you never will. If you are a thinking about a career in the Navy, please consider another line of work. I would not want you in my wardroom.

  20. Donna – thanks for the early morning humor. It’s always nice when someone proves how out of touch the radicals are on an issue. The fact that you think you have any knowledge of facts about this case is laughable.

    I especially love that you think that past performance by the Supe has nothing to do with how he handled this case. If there is ONE fact that we can all know it’s that this supe is a hard ass.

  21. Great read and I agree.

    If people feel so principled to speak up – they need to have the intestinal fortitude to come out from behind the veil.

  22. Salty – never mentioned it being cowardly. That was somebody else.

    While I wouldn’t do it, there is nothing wrong with an average Joe speaking to the media anonymously. However, when you commit to the “ship, shipmate, self” mantra and you throw your leadership and shipmates under the bus while preserving your own self interests, there is something wrong with that.

  23. It seems to be pretty illogical to verbally castrate “leakers” and than go on a name calling binge based upon no hard information. Before you jump the conclusion on who these mids were, did it ever cross anyones mind that these leakers may have been fellow teamates that did not want a problem to spin out of hand?

    Based upon Donna’s comments, she has alot more current knowledge of what is going on than many that have responded with typical knee jerk comments.

  24. says the helicopter parent.

    the identities of the mids don’t matter. mids, like any other servicemember, aren’t supposed to talk to the media. you completely miss the point.

    and i’m genuinely curious to know what on earth you read in donna’s comment that would indicate to you that she had any idea wtf she is talking about.

  25. “That didn’t stop a few coddled, Generation-Y douchebags that have spent a lifetime getting trophies for finishing in last place and being told how special they are”

    After reading your article, and be noted I read most of them, I find that your assumptions seem to be a bit off kilter, especially given the quoted statement. It is amusing that you fail to realize that the lifetime of trophies and being told how special we are is all given by your generation. 6 year old don’t ask for trophies, the parents willingly provided them. Every chance to make the world think that their children were special. Do not blame your generations poor parenting on my generations learned behavior. We had to get it from somewhere, it didn’t just manifest itself genetically across millions of kids. Wake up and get off your soap box. I have served and will continue to serve, never once have i ever questioned a command decision in a public light and I continue to not do so, however when you do not separate one for something that others were separated for, it becomes difficult to justify. Especially given the conduct and honor record that certain midshipmen attain while attending this fine institution.

  26. “I have served and will continue to serve, never once have i ever questioned a command decision in a public light and I continue to not do so, however when you do not separate one for something that others were separated for, it becomes difficult to justify. ”
    =======================================
    The Supe found that MC did not knowingly injest marijuana. MC had a witness state as much. Apparently, the Supe did not think that evidence presented rose to the level of a “preponderance.” Now if the Supe separated others who wrongfully injested marjuana then you’d have a point.

  27. what exactly do you think “my generation” is? if you want to rationalize these mids’ senses of entitlement, knock yourself out. all that matters is that they have one.

    you know what makes things really difficult to justify? being bound by law to not comment on the case.

  28. There are other cases in which a mid did not knowingly ingest marijuana and was separated. In addition the witness who supplied the written statement was a mid separated for honor offenses. I do not rationalize a sense of entitlement, I do in fact despise it, however such a generalization is only going to negatively. You provided your own knee jerk reaction to the knee jerk reaction. In addition mids are not legally bound to say nothing, they are encouraged to refer media to the public affairs office, however they are not bound to silence. There is a time to take a stand and there is a time to sit back and follow. Is there not a single person here who has never disagreed with an order and spoken up about it? Whether it be a course correction or valve lineup?

  29. lol – the helicopter GoatParent in with the defense of people breaking military regulations. way to make excuses for people who are trying to say there are never excuses to be made.

    and onthedefensive follows with a big serving of WTF. I guess anyone willing to jump to conclusions about this case are also more than willing to jump to conclusions about who posts here. and it’s pretty nice you sum it all up with justifying the whole thing off of unsubstantiated rumors

    you defenders of the sources need to realize: THE SOURCES BROKE MILITARY LAW

  30. yes, that’s the usual line. after being told how special they are, they’re told how “their voice matters” or some namby-pamby crap, and how they need to take a stand. awesome!

    mids are indeed forbidden from discussing judicial matters.

    i have disagreed with an order before. you know who i brought it up with? my chain of command.

  31. you’re comparing course corrections to leaking confidential information to the press

    yes…that makes perfect sense

  32. Mike, great article.

    This is a flpping NL 101 case study.

    They do still teach leadership, don’t they? Or has sensitivity training crowded it out of the curriculum?

  33. Mike – Hilarious. Great article and spot on.

    I especially enjoyed the “Gen Y douche bag” and “helicopter parent” lines.

    What makes it even better is Donna and Goat Parent immediately follow up with stereotypical responses and they probably don’t even know it.

    The military is not a open, democratic organization. We don’t follow the same rules. Try to explain the relationship between the Bill of Rights and the UCMJ to a lefty civilian or parent. Usually, their head explodes.

  34. LOL, Andy, please work on your reading and comprehension skills. No where did I defend the breaking of any military law. Mike commented in depth about the fact that very few people knew the true facts regarding the MC case and are forming their opinions based upon inuendo and rumor. He goes on state that many mids broke the law by commenting to the press. Fine, but then to trash these “so called mids” based purely on the rumor and inuendo of their identities basically is about as illogical as others commenting on MC with out the facts. No one really knows the identy of who these people either.

    RE: Mike-“and i’m genuinely curious to know what on earth you read in donna’s comment that would indicate to you that she had any idea wtf she is talking about.”

    Donna, crafted a 3 paragraph blog response without name calling, ranting , or hyper ventilation. That should move her to the top of knowledge list upon default.

    Goat er oops Helicopter Parent

  35. If we can’t speculate wildly in blog comments, the terrorists have already won! As a former JAG and defense attorney, I had a couple dozen of these “innocent ingestion” cases in courts and admin sep boards. You can make a decent innocent ingestion case for cocaine and ecstasy, but it is pretty tough to believe in pot cases (based on the toxicology and ingestion methods). Every once in a while, you’d sneak a “oh, I thought it was a TOBACCO cigar” story by a panel. Even then, it was usually because the prosecutor/recorder screwed up in some way – never because the story was actually true (because they never are). One of three things is true: 1) MC had the best darn marijuana innocent ingestion story ever, 2) Fowler is ridiculously gullible, or 3) Fowler gave MC a big break. (I vote 3). Who needs a helicopter parent when you have a defense attorney like MC’s? (Keep his card, MC – by the looks of it you’ll need him again).

  36. “Is there not a single person here who has never disagreed with an order and spoken up about it? Whether it be a course correction or valve lineup?”

    not to the press.

    how many “request mast” chits were denied before the only recourse was to go to the press?

    Too much “Real World” mentality out there for the real, real world. If you don’t like something, you don’t get the option of sitting in the empty room and bitching to the camera.

  37. in other words, nothing. thanks, goatparent.

  38. All said and done, whether it’s one hand for the ship, one for whoever, or you can’t talk about it due to reprisals, or it’s how you were brought up (and it’s your parents fault), in this day of instant comms and access to the internet and FaceBook gratification, you still have to be held accountable for your actions….if he smoked a “dope-laced” cigar and he brought it to his chain of command’s attention right away (the next day or so), I get it and I possibly see the Supe’s decision; but if the “truth and the witness” didn’t come out until the pop “+” on the urinanalysis, then “Houston we’ve got a problem!!!” and I’ll refer back to being held accountable…forget what the NavInst/CNOrder Mumbo-Jumbo states…..I will say, that if the “diversity” issue came into play with the Supe decision, the Supe needs to go…it’s about accountability. Hmmm…let’s see a dope-laced cigar and the kid can’t smell it or tell he’s high???…Wow, I could of had a V-8…but I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night!!! :>) Wonder what good ole John McCain has to say about this one??? Got to love how the whole Senior administration (AD and Ftball Coach included) hide behind the referral to the PAO….no balls!!! And you wonder why MacArthur wanted a West Point Football Player in the Pacific!!!! Proud to be from the place, disenfranchised with the Supe and his administration; at least ’82 Dant got it right!!! Kudos to him. Go Navy, but keeping charitable contributions and season ticket $$$ in pocket until the current Senior Administrators depart the pattern!!!! Hopefully it’ll be beofre the ship runs aground.

  39. forget the actual rules. sweet.

  40. I enjoyed watching honor cases of football players sit on the Admiral’s desk until the end of the season. It’s just how things are there.

  41. It comes down to when did he realize he smoked the dope??? Really soon afterwards or after “+” test and he found a “witness”!!! Plain and simple…no rules to forget here.

  42. you don’t know what it comes down to. that’s what’s plain and simple.

  43. As a recent graduate of the Naval Academy there are a couple of points that I would like to bring up. First, let me make it clear that I have not written to the media, nor have I written to any senators. I understand the importance of letting the PAO handle the media and I also understand how essential it is in the military for subordinates to obey without contradiction the lawful orders of those appointed over them. Additionally, I am extremely familiar with the “Ship, Shipmate, Self” mantra and I would venture to comment that midshipmen in general are particularly tenacious about following this principle, sometimes to the detriment of the Honor Concept. I do not disagree entirely with this article and subsequent posts, but there are some points I take issue with:
    One is the supposed “hard nosed” approach of the current administration. While I’m not trying to gainsay the fact that VADM Fowler may have previously been hard nosed (he may still be, but perhaps directives from higher up restrict him) , the fact is that I know midshipmen who were retained after stealing credit cards from other midshipmen, after lying to the Dant’s face while in an honor board for two honor offenses, and after throwing a bottle of sperm on other midshipmen during Army week. These are only some of the most egregious cases that I have seen first hand, to say nothing of the midshipmen who are allowed to skate by after consistently failing the PRT, failing classes, and otherwise screwing up. And higher-ups and old alum wonder why current midshipmen don’t have any pride in the Academy and don’t uphold the standards that were in place “in their day”? Quite frankly many midshipmen don’t strive to do more than the minimum simply because they see dirt bags get through the system all the time, so why put effort into something that in the end seems meaningless. The focus of the Academy currently appears to be on graduating quantity, not quality. Hard nosed-ness is noticeably lacking.
    The second is the Superintendent’s “crackdown on mids spending so much time out of the classroom and away from USNA”. I will be the first to agree that when I arrived at the Academy things were much laxer militarily than I expected them to be. The “challenge” of getting through the Academy was also not nearly what I expected. Certain aspects of the Academy were in need of reform. Some programs were out of control and often midshipmen could use certain programs as an excuse to get out of other mandatory events. However, the attempt to remove the supposed distractions of extracurricular activities was in some ways counter-intuitive. Why should a midshipman who made Supt’s list, had a 4.0 and an A on the PRT one semester be limited the next semester in the number of activities he was involved in? Especially when many of those activities are beneficial towards the various stated missions of the Academy (face of the Navy, etc.)? Doesn’t the Naval Academy pride itself on developing the whole individual? Academics are just one part of the mission, and if midshipmen satisfactorily fulfill that mission they should be allowed to develop themselves in other areas. If “A purpose of the damn place is to force the midn. how to handle his/ her problems”, then midshipmen should be encouraged to participate in as many things as they can handle. Let them manage their own time so they can actually learn how to do so. I think the problem of mids spending so much time out of the classroom is more a result of some midshipmen working the system and getting out of class rather than extracurricular activities interfering. Again, this would be solved if there were real repercussions for the actions of midshipmen.
    Lastly, I will concede that I don’t know all the facts about this case. Therefore, I’m going to refrain from giving my opinion on it. Plus, it’s true, my opinion doesn’t count for anything anyway, especially when up against the decision of an O-9. I’m not trying to validate the actions of any midshipmen who did write to the media. But hopefully in light of my information you can perhaps understand the angst midshipmen are feeling. And parents most likely feel the same way. It seems to me that both sides of this argument are making sweeping generalizations and assumptions. So, try not to lump all midshipmen and all parents together; I happen to be related to people of both parties and I know your epithets concerning them are incorrect.

  44. the lack of faith by some (many?) in the chain of command is ASTOUNDING! anyone who’s met VADM Fowler or ADM Mullen (or even ADM Roughhead, as their boss) would HAVE to give them the benefit of the doubt.

    and if you really have the facts of the case, and you really feel injustice is being served, and you just know you’re a “righteous whistleblower, failed by the chain of command” – then use your name. if you’re right, you’ll be too public to bring down.
    going to the press as an anonymous source = weak and cowardly (not to mention against the rules).

    great write up, Mike.

  45. i didn’t lump all midshipmen together. and “midshipman angst” is hardly something new.

  46. Mel..I can see throwing one..but how the heck do you collect a bottle of sperm and what kind of debase person(s) would do the collecting or depositing?

  47. I’m not that big on faith, newt. I don’t know if that’s any better. I do find it incredibly unlikely, however, that the Supe wouldn’t realize what kind of an uproar this would cause considering what he walked into when he took the job.

  48. Mel – I appreciate and understand your comments, but it could have been written a decade ago, or a decade before that. My youngster year, we had spirit weekends, which meant you could basically take a weekend anytime if you were SAT. Over the summer, a bunch of knuckleheads got in trouble on cruise, and the whole brigade was locked down and my 2/c year we had 3 weekends. Guess what? That was over ten years ago, and it’s going to happen ten years from now. If you think that USNA has all of sudden gotten soft, get real, it’s a different mid with a different offense retained by a different supe.

    And if we wanted fair, we could have gone to State U.

  49. Whether you like Fowler or not, I doubt that anyone thinks he’s stupid. The easy decision was definitely to simply kick Curry out and be done with it. He knew that .The fact that he didn’t , knowing full well what was probably going to follow, tells me he genuinely believed he was doing the right thing. I’d also bet a lot of money he’s already discussed this with the CNO.
    For the Mids and parents…..leaking to the press is not standing up for your beliefs. Going to your chain of command and respectfully but firmly stating them is. That’s a lesson you’d be well-advised to learn ASAP.

  50. wglap-Given the recent political climate that originates beyond the CNO, kicking Curry out may not have been the “easy” decision.

  51. that’s hilarious

  52. GP…..I don’t know how to answer you…..so I won’t. Does the name Nate Frazier mean anything to you ?

  53. once again, bringin up frazier. frazier was retained by USNA after being found guilty of several honor offenses, before FINALLY being kicked out. He was a “shitbag” as we call them here, and I would have been embarassed to serve with him in the fleet.

  54. Kicking Curry out would have been the easy decision. Anybody who has been in Fowler’s position to make the call in a situation like this knows that.

  55. lol GoatParent has funny cleared the shark and is coming in for the landing.

  56. *fully

  57. mid, he still could have been retained. he wasn’t.

    there is also a difference between how things are handled for plebes and how they’re handled for seniors.

  58. I wonder what KN will do.

    He will be in a very tough position. Show up the Supe, or have his team wonder what the hell he is thinking – just my two cents.

    Believe me, his teammates all know a hell of a lot more than we do.

  59. Mike: While I agree whole-heartedly with the points in your blog, I believe it is entirely too narrow in context. Of course the Chain of Command should be allowed to function in a manner that inspires the brigade. Of course no one knows the facts used to make the decision. The main issue is preferential treatment for some midshipmen because of athletic skill, gender or race.
    I believe that we all know of “special” cases that were handled differently in the day. However, the current perceived grab-bag of rules and regulations makes it hard to not believe there is a fire when we smell smoke.

    Regards

  60. the problem is you see a tiny puff of smoke and you think there is a raging forest fire. let’s not forget that this was broken to CDR Salamander’s blog – a place that is populated by bigotry and sexism. the kind of people who listen to that guy and follow what he has to say about military affairs are not the people i was proud to serve with

  61. Perhaps it’s too much to ask for people I had hoped were a little more (for lack of a better word) intelligent to look beyond mere perception. Anyone can do that, and it’s usually all they do. And does anyone honestly think the Supe was unaware of how this would be perceived?

  62. do you honestly believe that the Supt made his decision without also thinking about diversity, that has been correctly emphasized in my opinion, by the Foundation, NAAA and USNA for the past decade?

    other than being called bigoted, sexist, unintelligent and prone to random imperceptable thoughts, I enjoy the give and take.

  63. As a former Midshipman and current active duty officer I’d like to make a few points here–
    Unless you went to Annapolis or any service academy for that matter, you do not have enough perspective to truly understand the reactions of the Brigade.
    We don’t know if MC’s status as a star football player was the reason that he was retained. The important thing is that the perception exists. One incident does not create a perception- a pattern of action over time does. From what I saw, and have seen since graduation, there is a strong perception that varsity athletes (specifically football players) get a pass in honor violations or big conduct cases. Nate Frazier is a great examples. This blog sites Frazier of an example of the administration booting a football player. Let me tell you, as someone who was a voting member on an honor board, regular Joe Mid does not get to have multiple honor boards. One might get you some counseling and administrative punishment, but when you stand before your peers for an honor board for a repeat offense, you are done, gone, do not pass GO. The board that I was on expelled a senior a month before graduation. The chain of command followed the recommendation of the board and separated the Mid in question. I didn’t like it, but it was the right thing to do. And I knew the guy for four years. So back to big Nate…. he clearly wanted to transfer to another school after all the big heads in college football said how great of a prospect he was to be a pro defensive lineman. Hmmm, how can I get out of here….. (I can just see the tired gerbil in his head spinning that wheel)…. honor violations- EUREKA! Well haha, the joke is on you- you’ll keep getting a pass from the CoC so you can keep playing for Navy. (Kudos to the guys who filled in that spot this season BTW, you guys played your asses off) So Frazier finally gets the boot and runs off to North Alabama with dreams of a D1 transfer and the NFL. Well best of luck chump. They should have sent him to the fleet as a deck seaman. My old BM1 would have kept him busy.
    So here we are with MC. And as I have said, we don’t have all the facts of the case. He popped positive. But as the bird dog pointed out correctly, zero tolerance does not mean automatic separation. The CO has to pass judgment on whether it was an intentional act. (which smells like BS (or weed actually) to me) Again back to the fleet- one of the many duties as a young officer is to serve on administrative separation boards. So a young sailor messes up and pops on a drug test. By navy regulations, the zero tolerance policy means that at Captain’s Mast, the CO has to recommend administrative separation, which leads to an AdminSep board. So its up to several line officers including some from outside of the chain of command to review the case and make a recommendation up the chain of command. Most times the accused has legal counsel present. So they say that they were at a party and drank from the wrong cup, or snorted what they thought was a pixie stick, smoked a blunt by accident…. etc. The command legal officer retorts with the findings of the drug test, which is almost, like 99.9 percent accurate. In every one of these boards that I was a member, and in every case in every command that I have been a member, the board recommended to the ISIC (immediate superior in command), as immediate administrative discharge. So that is how it runs in the fleet. Pop and you’re done. Now of course there are statistical outliers here, so don’t tell me about this time you know some sailor was retained, because that is such a minority that it almost doesn’t matter.
    And so MC didn’t “knowingly ingest” said drug….. the issue here is one of judgment and character. Judgment- smoking a potentially drug-looking blunt. Character- previously noted honor offense. This would lead to another common cause for AdSep in the fleet- a pattern of misconduct. And yes I am applying fleet standards to the Academy, that’s a whole other thread. An 18 year old Seaman Recruit has more autonomy then a Midshipman 1/C…. yeah I know. But that’s not really the point. My point is that perception of favoritism is bad, really bad. It is absolutely corrosive to morale and mission effectiveness. Look up the navy fraternization policy, its not all about sex with subordinates, the point of it is that unduly familiar relationships and/or perceptions of different standards is really bad and has no place in the navy.
    Yeah I acknowledge that the football team plays a bigger role at the academy than any other team, club, or organization. The program generates a ton of revenue, its a great PR and recruiting tool, and it is a great morale booster to the Sailors and Marines doing great work overseas. But that does not mean that bad apples on that team should be allowed to bring down the rest. The team is full of great examples of good people and strong leaders. Put guys like Ross Pospicil on a pedestal, and get rid of the cancerous cells like MC. His pattern of misconduct isn’t just going to end. His lack of judgment is going to be repaired by one sweep of the Admiral’s pen. The guy I want to go to war with is most importantly a man/woman of character. Can I trust you implicitly when things go to hell?
    The academy takes all types. The super-brains who end up being Trident Scholars and the next Rickover (and play intermural softball) , the pure athletes who are total studs on the field (but do a little time in summer school), and then the 4 standard deviations of the rest of us who made up the 96% of the Brigade that was somewhere in the middle- who will neither be honored as a first team all American nor have the honor to be a Rhodes Scholar. But what we all had in common was integrity. That is the issue here. MC should no longer be wearing the uniform of a US Navy Midshipman. Keeping him was not the easy decision. It was the football equivalent of a punt.
    And enough with bashing the whole “ship, shipmate, self” thing with the Mids that chose to speak out about this. Is it a decision that I would have made, no. But I am not there now, I have not been walking in those shoes for many years. What you are seeing is a response from a few individuals who really though that the world needed to hear about this. They thought that the ship was sinking and tried to do something to stop the flooding. I’m not going to judge them. MC is the one who should be judged.
    One more thing. I am a huge navy football fan for life. Stop by my tailgater any home game (and a lot of away as well) and I have a beer and brat for you.
    The academy is more than football. We are a country currently fighting two wars for crying out loud. What is the priority- dominating the gridiron, or winning our wars and bringing home the sailors and Marines that we as academy grads are leading into harms way?

  64. Mike, I also agree with the points you make in your blog, though like tman, I do think that the major source of angst amongst most is the perceived preferential treatment given to certain mids. Speaking from reality and not perception (having recently taught at USNA and experiencing first hand what goes on behind the closed doors of Bancroft and the academic buildings), I can tell you for a fact that there is preferential treatment given to some midshipmen. I have no axe to grind…I’m just telling you that it goes on. That’s always the way it’s been and believe me, just because Fowler came in like a hard-ass and said he was going to make some changes, not much has changed in that regard. I do think that that he knew how this whole Curry case would be perceived, but I don’t think he really cares. This will blow over just as his initial strict new regs did (notice I said initial), diversity, etc. I have a feeling that Curry will end up leaving anyways and that will be the end of that. That is just my personal opinion based on other questionable decisions the administration has made recently and that I won’t go into detail on here. Anyways, keep up the good work on the blog…looking forward to the Bowl game writeup to get everybody’s minds in a more happy place!

  65. i didn’t call you unintelligent, tman.

    and wiz, almost everyone commenting here is a grad. you aren’t breaking any news to anyone.

  66. Wow, you mean that the Brigade forms it’s own opinion of what decisions the CoC makes? Man, didn’t know that.

    It is discouraging to me as a grad to see the reaction of the newer grads and current mid parents to TBD’s blog. There are very few who know the actual facts in this case, and, I would bet my house none have posted here.

  67. there is no group with a larger delta between “think they know what’s going on” vs. “actually knows what’s going on” than the brigade of midshipmen.

  68. It’s the oldest story in the book: “those who talk, don’t know anything. Those who know anything don’t talk.”

  69. Wow! A lot of animus out there over this. That alone indicates a problem. Of course, none of any of this is new, nor will ranting about any of it make it go away. Preferential treatment of certain categories of mids. Seen it before – roomed with a football player. He needed the help, and turned out to be a pretty decent Navy pilot. I never worried about how he was being treated. I only worried about my own behavior/performance. Angst-ridden post-adolescent mids. Seen it before – in fact, was one. I got over it. Mids skirting the chain of command to voice their dissatisfaction publicly. Seen it. Remember The Log and Salty Sam? In fact, maybe all this wouldn’t have been so blown out in the public view if mids still had The Log as a place to vent. But that’s a whole other issue. See Dave Poyer’s article at http://www.usna.com/Document.Doc?id=580

    Mike has one thing right. None of us know all of the facts the Sup had before him in making his decision, nor all the factors that he had to weigh. None of us ever will (or at least never should have them). The decision was his to make and he did. Now he and his command will live with the result. It happens every day on every ship in the Navy and every unit in the Marine Corps. If every unit leader had to worry about the second guessers, little would ever be accomplished. Everybody needs to simply get past this. If MC is a screw-up, he’ll screw up again. If not, maybe he’ll turn out to be a pretty good officer.

    Sidebar to Mel. I liked and agree with most of your post, except for this:

    “Quite frankly many midshipmen don’t strive to do more than the minimum simply because they see dirt bags get through the system all the time, so why put effort into something that in the end seems meaningless.”

    YOU give meaning to what you do. Those who strive to do no more than the minimum ARE the dirtbags. Don’t become one of them.

  70. Mike, on February 1st, 2010 at 3:34 pm Said:
    I’m not that big on faith, newt. I don’t know if that’s any better.

    Fine – then use emperical evidence, history, and past decision making as the criteria for whether the Supt, CNO, and CJCS deserve our support on this decision. [Edit - i had their names flipped in order in last post, sorry about the dislexia]

    and AMEN BRUTHA to the delta between what Mids think they know and what they actually know!

  71. Wiz – As I stated before, it happened ten years ago, and ten years before that. Most of us on here are grads, so you can spare us the high and mighty. We are not debating whether MC and Frazier were wrong; they most certainly were, and they probably deserve to be booted. But guess what: you, me, 10’s of thousands of other grads, and 4000 midshipmen don’t get to make that decision. The decision lies with the CoC, and if one does not like it, they can quit school or stop donating money.

    And nobody was bashing the “ship, shipmate, self” motto, but rather that anonymous mids have abandoned motto. When people like Mel defend those who have spoken anonymously because they are sick “of the midshipmen who are allowed to skate by after consistently failing the PRT, failing classes, and otherwise screwing up,” there is no other explanation other than that they are promoting the “self” portion.

  72. I can’t believe you haven’t put a link to the Facebook page on your blog. :-P

  73. Wiz, as a general rule, your manifesto should be shorter than Mike’s blog post.

  74. Navy sucks!

  75. That last post was pretty classy.

  76. Sorry, just trying to bring levity to this tinderbox of passion and lust known as TBD. FAIL.

  77. Oh for the days of the great Missouri Marching Band controversy! Or ND fans bemoaning chop vs. cut blocks. Having said that, I’ll weigh in only to support Mike. There is a reason hearsay is inadmissible in a court of law, it’s inherently unreliable. And every blogger is relying upon hearsay (at best) to stake out his position. The Supe wasn’t. He made a decision based upon the facts presented to him. I have no problem defering to his judgment.

  78. I agree with Armchairsailor79 (and Mike). I think the Supe actually made the hard decision – it would have been easy just to separate MC. There was a drug violation, the chain had all recommended separation, and the perception of “favoritism”, etc. would not come into play, so just kick him out and not have to deal with many repercussions that are now evident. But the Supe looked at the whole case, information most others have no knowledge of (and hopefully never will), and came to a conclusion that does fit within the parameters of the current regulations. When I first heard about this I was torn. As strictly a Navy football fan, I felt I would hate to see him off the team. But as a fomer mid, you do think about why was a high profile jock given a break, a break many others may not have been given. I can understand the unrest within the Brigade, but do not agree with running to the press to complain and of course not giving your name. I think we have to defer to the judgment displayed by the Supe. He had the facts and made a tough decision that he feels is fair, who are others to argue against that?

  79. Mike, first of all, very good post and very well stated.

    For those disagreeing with Mike’s position and so willing to criticize the Academy, the Supe, MC, etc., the bottom line is that none of you outside of MC and his chain of command have the facts necessary to even make an opinion about the situation, nor should you, out of respect for the laws of the Privacy Act that are meant to protect the privacy rights of all indivduals in the military and under the Federal Government. This situation was not a criminal violation nor one that warranted formal communication to the public.

    Mike’s point is that anyone who would comment publicly on this case is minimally demonstrating ignorance, most likely doing so out of selfish interests, or some combination of both categories.

    For those active duty unifiormed members of the Navy or other military who are commenting publicly with your opinion or professed knowledge of this matter: You absolutely ARE displaying a blatant disregard for the chain of command and the UCMJ. With some of your comments, you may be in violation of the Privacy Act. Minimally, you are seeking to yourself damage the morale of the organization and the respect of the leaders involved.

    I have to “speculate” that most of the complainers on this ruling have to realize that they do not have all the knowledge and facts surrounding the incident, and therefore are pursuing some form of selfish purpose for publicly commenting against the ruling.

    I am further disappointed in Bill Wagner, who wrote his article with such zeal to create and stir the maximum controversy possible with full input and deference to the “anonymous sources” and with full disregard to the privacy constraints of the academy and individuals involved. My conclusion is that Bill did this with his own selfish motivations of promoting readership with blatant disregard for the Naval Academy and the football program that he covers.

  80. Finally, based on what has been made public, you should give credit to the Academy administration’s handling of the case. MC has certainly received punishment for his violation. He can either move forward and correct his performance, otherwise, I think his chain of command has a good handle on how to resolve future issues.

  81. OH MAN! I wish Mike TBD would post the “Jumping to Conclusions” mat from Office Space.

  82. They’ve obviously linked here, 86, as you can tell by the thumbs down team.

  83. Xavier,

    Mike wrote a great position paper. But, guess what, he is not the final authority, nor for that matter, is the Supe.

    I agree with most of what you said about the mids and those in the chain of command. However, many of us are no longer in the chain of command, and we love our institution dearly, which I always thought was bigger than a Supe or anyone of us.

    The fact is that the whole deal does not pass the smell test. That is just my opinion, but I am entitled to it.

    What makes this country great is that eventually the people take command, and make a wrong right by asking the tough questions. Look at the elections in Mass. – the people were speaking, and they said no more BS.

    USNA has some problems right now and it needs to square them away – simple as that. I hope the Supe figures out how to do it or the CNO will find somebody that can. Or, the president will find a new CNO who can.

    The bottom line is that we have a star football player who tested positive for drug use. Hello. Does that make you upset? If not, then what are you thinking – it is ok because ADM Fowler said so.

    I guess the bottom line is that we need to have more information before we draw any conclusions.

    P.S. The whole thing makes me very upset, and I am hoping, against all hope, that KN steps up to the plate – MC – you are done for next season. Why? Because you failed to exercise good judgment.

  84. the fact is that you don’t know the whole deal

  85. Navyblue 12- you go on for quite awhile stating your opinions on why this is so terrible, USNA is jacked up, and the chain of command failed, then at the end you say we need more info before we draw any conclusions. Maybe you should have said that first and left off the rest.

    Look, no one – no one – is happy that this happened. It stains us all. But let me remind you that MC is not the first mid to get in trouble and get a break.

    There are leaders charged with leading USNA through this, and some of us are just saying let them do their job. I know we all seem to think the world of the Dant – any doubt that he is supporting the Supe’s decision, even if he did not recommend it? The CO, contrary to popular blog and Gomids belief, is not required to follow the XOs recommendation. It happens periodically where the CO decides contrary, both in administrative and personel matters – not to mention operational. And the world does not end. If the XO had the last say, he’d be the CO. So am tired of hearing the “OMG the company officer and Dant recommended dismissal!” groans.

    Finally, just because some of us suggest caution, restraint, and patience in watching this ordeal from the sidelines, that does not mean we support drug use, or special deals “just for football players.” It doesn’t mean we wouldn’t like some answers. It just means we recognize that the man in charge saw the process through, evaluted the data and recommendations, and made a decision. And, it was his alone to make. We’ll see if it stands up through the review process.

  86. I am a 22 year old officer candidate for the USMC….I am a Senior in college, already graduated O.C.S in Quantico last Summer, and I commission this May. I follow USNA and its football very closely because I applied 3 times there. I’m a huge fan and I was an extremely motivated candidate. I was invited to NAPS after my 3rd application but I turned it down because the faster I get to lead Marines, the better.

    I state all this so that it is clear, that I pretty much don’t have a clue about culture at USNA, as many would say to me. Very well. But I am an inactive- reservist waiting to become active very soon. I get drug tested randomly 3 times a semester, and have been Steroid Tested EIGHT times because I am a very successful weightlifter and ‘PT’ stud ((It probably raised questions so in turn I was tested, I passed…again…and again….and they love me for it)). Does anyone know what would happen to me if I popped positive on a drug test or steroid test? At my level?…given that I don’t have a bureaucracy at my defense?

    My Officer Commissioning Contract would be pulled so fast, my head would spin. I could already see the look on my Officer Selection Officer’s face (USNA grad by the way, but doesn’t matter) if I were to have told him I didn’t know it was Marijuana/Dianabol that I took. My excuse of “my dog ate my homework” would not fly.

    Given that I know this already, would I ever put myself in a vulnerable position to have to explain myself about drugs or steroids? Negative.

    There are many that I know who defend Marcus Currey not because what he did was correct, but because he should deserve a break. Meaning, many Non-athletes have been given passes all the time on their screw ups, the ones who view negatively on the athletes’ parts (a.k.a. Joes) as if they are ‘The Jocks”. So what does that mean? A huge inconsistency of enforcing the standard does occur for both athletes and non-athletes. That is wrong. What kind of show is being put on in Annapolis?

    I signed a contract…..I’m following it. I don’t expect a pat on the back, because it’s what is expected of me, and my future Marines. Dectus Exemplo…Leadership by Example.

    *Semper Fidelis*

  87. wait, so you’re saying that even though you “pretty much don’t have a clue about culture at USNA,” can definitively say that there is “a huge inconsistency of enforcing the standard?” GTFO

  88. why is it so hard for people to accept the fact that they don’t know the whole picture and as such should withhold from passing judgment?

  89. No one is defending Marcus Curry. And no one is saying he deserves a break. But the Supe decided – for some reason that remains unknown – to give him one. Unless his decision is contrary to military law, time to accept it and move on.

  90. i dont get on here as much as i used to, and i seemed to have missed a bunch. or missed one really big event. i was never a mid, i just follow the team because i’m a big fan. so i have no idea what goes on up there, and wouldn’t even try to. but from what i’ve read so far on here, it looks as though people are getting themselves worked up over a decision that was made based on facts that only a small number of people have. since i dont know what really happened, or the reasons for the decision i’m going to keep my mouth shut. sounds like many people should do the same. now, as far as the whole chain of command thing is concerned, i’m a teacher, so i know all to well about a chain of command. when a teacher is upset over a perceived injustice and goes crying to the tv stations, radio shows, etc it can create chaos. people get all worked up even though the facts are known by a small group of people. i have had times where the principal of my school has made choices i completely disagree with and do not support. i still cant go running to the news because of it. i have a chain of command i have to follow. and when the decisions are made, i have to live with them. i’m sorry to have typed this much. i dont really like to type a lot. i’m just glad it’s signing day. thats a big day down here in SEC country.

  91. @ ANDY and everyone:

    Well Andy, I am sure there is a difference between the social make up/culture of U.S.N.A amongst the Midshipmen and the “STANDARD” for which they sign and are supposed to abide by. Yes, I know I have no clue about the culture but there is a large internal social problem going on for which I have the luxury of knowing better than most who haven’t attended.

    This goes for anyone here and if you don’t know, please read on….I will break this down Barney Style.

    At U.S.N.A, the varsity athletes are in great defense of Marcus Curry believing that it is “about time an athlete received a lucky break”. That is said because like I stated before, there are many non-high profile Midshipman who are hypocritical in their moral allegiances regarding USNA and have screwed up royally in the past…..but in turn were given the ‘exception’. The argument for Curry is, these non-High profile Mishipmen who are hypocritical in their Academy morals (A.K.A ‘Joes’) have been receiving breaks and they are the ones who pat the football players on the backs after the Ohio ST, Notre Dame, Mizzou games…but when a football player commits an infraction…..the “Joes” are the first to ‘Tar & Feather’ the athlete, when they are the ones constantly involving themselves sexually with female Midshipmen/getting drunk on weekends, etc.

    Long story short, this being an ‘outrage’ only because it is a high profile Midshipman.

    I understand, recognize, and honestly can’t help but feel sympathetic……..but what happened to not offering breaks in the first place? The fact that the integral brigade argument has come to this is not only wrong but also sad. I have expected more from that institution that everyone is held accountable instead of it having to come to “at least an athlete catches a break”.

    -andrewde78, USMC

  92. Great post, Mike.

  93. andrewde78,

    How do you know what the Varsity athletes at USNA think? That’s a hard population (if not impossible) to get a handle on re: opinions.

    As a Marine Major, things like this happen in the Corps too. I just did an enlistment package for a LCPL that popped for heroine but was found not guilty at an ADSEP board and retained. Why? A panel of two officers and one senior enlisted Marine found that was the case. So, it’s not like this never happens. Rare? Yes. But we don’t talk about the common cases do we? The rare ones are what make the news.

  94. Lets all be careful when we throw the word “contract” around. The definition of contract starts with “an agreement between two parties.” The oath and commitment that a midshipman makes to USNA is not a contract. USNA has no obligation to midshipman. USNA is not obligated to give them a commission. USNA is not obligated to give them 5 years of service. USNA is not obligated to give them multiple options for summer cruise. USNA is not obligated to keep their major open for all 4 years. USNA is not obligated to give them any liberty. On the other hand, the midshipman is obligated to follow the rules that USNA sets forth regarding all of these items.

    It may not be fair, but if one wanted fair, they should not have shown up for I-day.

  95. @SaltySam98

    Yes sir, I understand your question as to how I know my ‘inteI’ and it is simply because I know too many of the varsity athletes, and I listen to what they tell me. Both current and those who have already graduated. Football players, Lacrosse players, etc.

  96. andrew – the athletes you may know…what is most certainly only a small percentage of the total athlete population, not to mention the entire brigade… themselves don’t know the whole picture.

    you would be well served to stop trying to tell alumni of USNA what USNA is like.

  97. I seriously doubt that most varsity athletes think “cool, he got a break”.

  98. @ Andy.

    “you would be well served to stop trying to tell alumni of USNA what USNA is like”

    Aye Aye sir. Very well.

    So that is the issue then. You have those who want the regulation enforced as if it were Black & White…..Fail – Go, Pass – Stay. Then you have those defending Marcus Curry because others have gotten away with it in the past, arguing that what he brings to USNA and his ability as a football player is necessary. Just because the facts are not out, does not mean every educated and informed person reading this blog, does not know the “name of the game” and how it is politically played out.

    With that being said,

    On another note, I believe that the retaining and dismissing of Midshipmen has been very inconsistent when infractions are committed. Everyone remembers Lamar Owens.

    1.) What he did was wrong, but many before him have gotten away with worse and still commissioned. Instead, the other female gets immunity after pulling the rape card even though she was known to have a rap sheet herself with her male counterparts, several times. So, Mr. Owens got screwed (2006).

    2.) Now you have Marcus Curry, and he get’s to stay.

    3.) Midshipman gets separated because of Academics, but the Pakistani exchange cadet in the same company who is actually doing worse, gets to stay (JAN 2008).

    4.) Midshipman gets separated for a locker room joke on facebook, against a few female Mids (NOV 2007). His first offense EVER and was a 2nd Class. He is now a Marine Artillery officer, by the way.

    Midshipman do deserve do be treated on a case-by-case basis. It’s the law.

    But some get a slap on the wrist, and others get booted out the main gate.

  99. Welcome to the real world Andrewde 78.

    Maybe some day if and when you get to a rank where you are charged with making these types of decisions, you’ll never make one that opens you up to being calld hypocritical. I guarantee you think you won’t….but someone on the outside who doesn’t know all the facts (that key phrase here again) will call you hypocritical. Remember this exchange when it happens.

    BTW anecdotal examples are always pretty weak. Yours are no exception.

  100. Mike- Well written article. Thank you.

  101. andrew – stop being a sea lawyer. you might be a “PT Stud,” but you need to learn leadership is a lot more than pushups and repeating 2nd hand knowledge. you’re already shaping up to be one of those JO’s who goes around saying “in my experience.” do your marines a favor and stop that now.

  102. Will people please stop saying smoking marijuana is “WRONG”? It’s not wrong… It’s against some stupid rule… MC didn’t hurt anyone, he didn’t defraud anyone, he really did nothing that is any different from what we all do when we go to the bar, he changed his mental state. Let’s be upset at the real culprits here, the asinine legislators who make this plant illegal.

    As long as people demand it, the problem will go on and we’ll continue to have stupid discussions about who is getting favortism. End this nonsense drug prohibition… Our society learned this lesson with alcohol, but seems to be slow to learn it with other drugs.

  103. I am not trying to be a sea or barracks lawyer. I just broke the situation down as best I could, people think it’s wrong….fine. Let me know. Also, Nor do I believe that my athletic ability plays a large factor in leadership. Are you you serious in thinking I am that shallow, Andy? I only brought that up in example as to why I get tested so often. Let’s stay on topic sir. I’m sorry if you thought it was substantial enough to bring up again.

    Anyway,

    I have an honest question here and I would appreciate it if all you Navy Grads can answer to the best of your ability.

    Previously I made the statement of:

    “But some get a slap on the wrist, and others get booted out the main gate.” In regards to infractions committed by Midshipmen that seem warranted for separation.

    Does this happen? Does my opinion hold water?

    If it is not the case….granted, but it certainly seems so.

    Answers?

  104. So basically you want everyone to affirm that life is not fair and not everyone gets treated exactly the same. Indeed, you hit the mark.

  105. So basically you want everyone to affirm that life is not fair and not everyone gets treated exactly the same. Indeed, you hit the mark. And if you can point to one institution in the world that administers justice perfectly, please let us know.

  106. @Slatysam 98

    No one can, Major. I get your point but the Academy strives for excellence, do they not? The Academy isn’t perfect, but I would hope they try to be perfect…….Hell…..Texas highschool football teams preach it; I once was played for a powerhouse myself. I am sure the Academy strives for it too. This type of inconsistency I could see coming from a civilian/paramilitary organization. i.e. rag tad local police force, Fire Department, whatever…..you can come up with your own.

    But the U.S. Naval Academy, Sir?

    It’s depressing because I could do the same by failing a drug test, and I’d lose my commissioning contract like I said before. Screwing up, and not being dealt with the consequences…….is preferential treatment.

  107. A simple solution from a simple minded grad. Because of an honor violation or excessive demerits, any mid so “convicted” should not be able to participate in a varsity sport or represent USNA in club sports.

  108. Well, your entire life and career as a Marine is going to be spent whining about how everyone isn’t treated perfectly. Good luck with that. And you really need to stop talking about what you perceive are USNA’s inconsistencies. Just because you know a few grads does not mean you can speak intelligently on the conduct and/or honor system. As someone who was given a second chance by ADM Larson after being recommended for separation by the Dant, it’s not always the jocks and diversity Mids that get a break.

  109. hotai – Once again, “sources” have said that Curry has multiple honor violations. 1) No one has confirmed that Curry has any or multiple honor violations. 2) It is unclear if Curry has been accused of honor violations or found guilty of honor violations. 3) If he was found guilty of honor violations, it is unclear what the adjudication was. As you know, the honor board, Dant, Supe, and Sec Nav have discretion. He could have been accused of an honor infraction and counseled. He could have been questioned by the honor board. The point is: WE DON”T KNOW!!!!

    Mids in Bancroft are like women in a sewing circle. First a mid is questioned by an honor rep and next thing you know the rumor is he stole JPJ from the crypt.

  110. DJ No argument, just a proposal. If a mid has x number of demerits ( in our era Class A offenses) He or she should be denied the honor of representing USNA in intercollegiate sports whether varsity or club.

  111. I agree in principle. However, if 3 mids from 3 different companies miss taps one night and they all get busted, they will go through 3 separate adjudications. One mid could be a 4.0 poster child and plead his case that there was traffic at the gate, and get a pass. One mid could be a middle of the road guy, and get 10 demerits, 5 days suspended, and some tours. The 3rd mid could be a barely sat guy who has never had a conduct offense, but doesn’t contribute to the company, is unprofessional, and is two weeks overdue for a haircut. He could get 50 demerits and 25 days (or the max, whatever it is). So setting an arbritrary number does not make any sense, as each conduct case is adjudicated separately. And if you say something like this doesn’t happen regularly, you are either naive or never met anyone who got in trouble.

  112. @ SaltySam98

    ["Well, your entire life and career as a Marine is going to be spent whining about how everyone isn’t treated perfectly."]

    Negative, Sir. This is a blog on the internet, where I spend a few minutes each day conversing with ya’ll. At the end, I could care less about MC who smoked weed, because it’s HIS problem and the shit stain the Academy and the football team has to try and clean off now. Its their issue with what they think is ‘right or wrong’, evidently, ‘how much right or how much wrong’

    Honest question to anyone:

    Given the infraction committed by MC and its details, does this affect the Midshipman’s competitive nature when it comes to Service Selection? Or is he immune from his Academy ‘rap sheet’ come senior year?

  113. He could care less but spend tons of time blogging about it. I see.

  114. How about that Navy Lacrosse team! Is this the year we beat Hopkins? (In other words, does anyone else think after 100 plus comments that its time to move on from this dead horse?)

  115. I didn’t read through all the comments but I read the article entirely Mike and it it very well written and concise. Thank you.

  116. Anyone have a copy to post of the email circulating around from an alum regarding this whole situation?

  117. Mike will you be posting an analysis of the bowl game?

  118. What was the final outcome of the Lamar Owens story?

  119. I know nobody outside the school “knows the facts,” but doesn’t it mean something when Curry’s ENTIRE chain of command all the way up to the Commandant recommended separation? And while it’s not the Commandants’ decision, his recommendation is required in these situations. As a recent graduate of USNA, I can tell you that Mr. Curry has been on the wrong side of the midshipman honor system. He was never kicked out, because they all happened during his plebe year and of course plebes are never kicked out for anything…

  120. no, it doesn’t mean anything.

    i find it humorous that you think being a recent graduate of usna means anything.

  121. Easy, Mike. I think this horse has been beaten into the ground and we’re getting into “friendly fire”.

  122. Enough speculation and second quessing….time to move on…there has got to be something more news worthy even for a blogger.

  123. Capitol reports Curry’s been kicked off the team for being UA, and is planning to resign from USNA. Obviously the final straw in a pattern of misconduct for Coach Ken. Good player, but clearly not someone to commission as an officer.

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