Can the Navy get any older??

o, I’m NOT writing about the election results…plenty of other people are doing that.

Besides, the Navy gives me plenty to write about, and this week was no different. In its most recent sign that it can’t recruit enough Sailors, the Navy lifted the age limit on enlistment from 39 to 41. From Military.com:

The Navy, facing an increasingly tough recruiting environment, raised the maximum enlistment age by two years — from 39 to 41 — on Friday in an effort to allow more civilians to join its ranks. “Effective immediately,” recruiters will be able to enlist people who are as old as 41, provided that they don’t hit their 42nd birthday by the time they report to boot camp, a copy of the new policy, provided to Military.com by the Navy, explained. The policy also noted that some service communities like nuclear power, Navy SEALs and divers will continue to be able to set tougher restrictions for their members.

Military.com

Now, if joining the military at age 39 sounds a bit old to you…it is. I knew a few people that enlisted in their early twenties, but once you got past the age of 27…enlistment dropped dramatically. There were some officers that joined later, most of them doctors or other medical specialists, but there were not too many 30-somethings beating down the door to join the military, let alone join as a new Sailor and go to boot camp.

How much do I think this change will make a difference? Somewhere between “not at all” and “nothing.”

I did find a USNI article boasting about how the Navy was reaching out with new advertising to Generation Z. So, I watched their new ad.

Now, the videography is good. It’s a pretty tight commercial, well shot and with a good message, although it should have been titled “Never say never” instead of “Never.” So, how well is it doing?

Now, the Navy channel isn’t exactly something lots of people are going to follow for fun, but at least we can see the video is getting views. What is interesting is looking at the most popular videos on the channel as a whole.

Everything that is really popular is older. Like, significantly older. With the exception of a video made a few months back about a SWCC Sailor (well made video and a very cool story!), most of the videos just aren’t popular. I also tried finding Navy eSports videos on Twitch and other platforms, and their viewer level was…pretty low.

Which tells me one thing: all the money the Navy is pouring into advertising isn’t reaching the desired audience…or much of an audience at all. I’ll venture its because the Navy’s narrative is being told through its news stories, which consist of rampant suicide issues, a forced COVID vaccine, and the increasingly truthful notion that veterans are broken people. All of this turns off Generation Z, and really most young people in general, to the idea that they could have any sort of fruitful career in the Navy. Combine that with a strong job market, and you have the recipe for a recruiting disaster.

So, what is next? Well, forcing people to stay longer is already being discussed at USNI:

A ten-year service requirement would change the motivation of most ensigns who join the submarine force, allowing the community to recruit officers who intend to make the Navy a career. This undoubtedly would cause recruiting challenges, but naval aviation is able every year to recruit hundreds of ensigns who are committing ten years of their lives. Some of the recruitment challenges can be ameliorated by the additional benefits that would come from extending the minimum service requirement.
- From USNI

There is so much wrong with this idea that it would take another article to explain, but I’ll go with the obvious: when a generation of kids are watching their parents hop between jobs to make increasingly more money, why would they be incentivized to lock into a long contract with the Navy? And, when this approach and others like it don’t work, the military will increasingly force people to the paths it needs, which it has done in the past.

Until the actual issues are addressed concerning the Navy’s mission and how it treats its people, it will continue to not inspire young people to join, and will increasingly become more draconian in its retention approach.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

Inflation finally cuts deep

We have a family tradition of visiting a local restaurant every Sunday after church. It’s all around fun: a nice family outing while supporting a local business that treats us well. The fact that we’ve enjoyed it so much made it extra hard when we chose to cut it, along with many other things, out of our budget.

Despite shopping at Walmart, Sams and Aldi and not changing our lifestyle, its now increasingly more difficult to pay the credit card every month. After this last month, I dug through the last years worth of bills and noticed an ugly trend: the food bills steadily going up. What used to be a 40 or 50 dollar Walmart visit has turned into 100 dollars. Between that and gas, any sort of buffer we normally had is now gone.

So we’re cutting. Biden-flation is now responsible for screwing over our local restaurant because we simply can’t afford to eat there anymore. Most of our friends are simply racking up credit card debt. Long term, I know that’s not going to work, so I move money around and find ways to pay it off, but its becoming harder and harder each month. Forget about planning a vacation, we’re just trying to make each day work. At some point, if it doesn’t stop, we’ll simply be slaves to ever increasing debt.

So yeah, inflation isn’t just some interesting news story to me. Its very real, and I’m watching it gut the hard working middle class, especially those that have large families and can’t just stop expenditures like buying groceries.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency. Please consider donating to DaTech Guy or buying the author’s book, especially with Christmas coming up.

We won’t have quotas in the Navy…oh wait…

From Dilbert

It’s no secret that the Navy, like the other military services, has paid attention to race and gender when it comes to promotions. This is captured through a variety of fields in an officer’s official record, as well as through an official photograph of the officer that is presented at any selection board. The picture requirement was originally removed in 2016 but reinstated in 2018 by NAVADMIN 265/18:

This NAVADMIN cancels reference (a) and reinstates the requirement 
to display the Official Photograph for all Officer Selection Boards. This
policy change is the result of board feedback received since the removal of
the photograph requirement that the photographs aid the board’s ability to
assess the Title 10 requirements of an officer’s ability to perform the
duties of the next higher grade.

NAVADMIN 265/18

If you are skeptical how a photo helps a board member assess whether Naval Officers can execute Title 10 requirements, you’re not alone. Maybe Navy Officers need to double as Instagram models? Maybe Public Affairs got tired of submitting photos of ugly officers that couldn’t measure up to Taylor Kitsch and Rhianna? Or maybe it was a way of weeding out people that checked “Other” on the ethnicity list? I’ll let you decide.

At least the Navy did this in the background. Truth be told, evaluating your selection results to ensure nobody is discriminated against isn’t a bad thing. But its a slippery slope to quotas, and given the number of people lobbying for such a setup, its no surprise that it finally happened.

Courtesy of MyNavyHR, here are the statistics from the O-6 (Captain) promotion board conducted this year:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image.png

I’ve only copied the first page here, which covers 1110 (Surface Warfare), 1120 (Submarines), 1130 (SEAL), 1140 (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), and 13XX series (Aviation). Follow the link to get the rest of the 17 pages that cover other specialized communities.

I think the most frustrating part here is that this tells White Males that you have no background that the board cares about. Whether you came from difficult circumstances, are second-generation immigrants from Eastern Europe, or otherwise had some difficulty to overcome, none of that matters. You’re not the right color. Your background and story don’t matter.

I can’t recommend entering the Navy, especially the officer corps, while this nonsense continues. Between reducing the retirement and other benefits, non-stop wars designed to prop-up the military industrial complex paid on the backs of young men and women, or the increasing use of the military for dumb political stunts, its simply not worth it to join. This proves that even if you join with the intention of changing things, you won’t make it to the higher ranks to do so.

The only real chance for change is a change in President and an absolute evisceration of the membership at the top of the Pentagon. You can probably cut the Admiralty it in half without many problems, given the ratio of admirals to ships nowadays. You’ll need to deeply cut and remove a large chunk of the Pentagon and HR staff that pushes these sort of policies. Most importantly, and perhaps the hardest part, will be restoring our nation’s confidence that we select the best officers to place in harm’s way when the nation needs them the most.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency. Please share this story with your friends, especially those considering joining the military, and consider donating to DaTechGuy. If you liked this article, consider purchasing the author’s book to support his writing endeavors.

Could LGBT fit in the GOP?

Well, maybe?

Plenty of talking heads in the media want to paint LGBT voters as a block that all share the same interests and should thus always vote the same way (i.e. Democrat). I previously wrote that LGBT voters have some strong incentives to be pro-life and want less government, which is something we saw when Donald Trump was running for office. I think the talking heads do everyone a disservice when they pretend that all LGBT voters look alike and should vote the same, rather than treating people as individuals. Donald Trump saw this and exploited it, and as we head into the 2022 midterm elections, I think Republicans should be doing the same (which likely means most won’t…).

But pro-life and economics don’t hint at what most GOP voters struggle with when working with potential LGBT voters, and that is the issue of LGBT families and children. I think this is with good reason, because what was sold in the past was the notion that an LGBT family would look very much like a normal family, but in reality, the LGBT lifestyle pushes many ideas contrary to this, such as relationships with significantly more sexual partners. Pointing out that “Well, heterosexual families often have multiple partners and open relationships too!” doesn’t really help, because those families also tend to not do well, especially when raising children.

And lets talk about children, specifically kids at school. Plenty of people probably didn’t care if a teacher was homosexual or transgender, but plenty of parents care about schools instructing their children about sex. Many of these parents don’t want schools instructing kids on sex even if it doesn’t include LGBT materials, so adding LGBT to the mix only throws fuel onto an already burning fire.

The key problem here I think is that the excesses of LGBT culture, with the drag shows, inappropriate books and hiding information from parents are the things that bother most people. I doubt too many parents would care about a homosexual or transgender teacher if they were focused on, you know, teaching kids about science, math, English and the like, just like they wouldn’t care that the kindergarten teacher runs a profitable OnlyFans on her weekends off. When you show up, do your work and leave most of your personal life out of it, it is incredibly easy to please most people.

Yes, there are people out there on a McCarthy-esque witch hunt, but they are becoming fewer and farther in-between. Violence against the LGBT community is becoming less and less tolerated, with even the Daily Wire is running a story about a gay Palestinian beheaded that expresses sympathy for the young man.

So can LGBT voters fit into the GOP? I’d give it a solid maybe. I think someone can be an LGBT voter and want parents rather than schools instruct children on sex, find drag shows for kids inappropriate, and place value on a monogamous relationship and a stable home to raise children. Given those parameters, I think there are plenty of GOP voters that might not care that the wife in the couple next door has XY chromosomes. Whether that person is Christian is a different matter, but that person could be a more conservative voter.

Most importantly, beginning to treat voters as individuals full of competing interests, and thinking about how conservative values satisfy those interests, is far more important if we want a long-term stable country.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency. Liked what you read? Try buying the author’s book to help him out!

LGBT voters benefit from less government and a market economy

Two weeks ago I argued that LGBT voters should be prolife, if nothing else because the prolife movement protects babies from premature abortions based on genetic testing, and it won’t be long before we develop testing good enough to hint that a baby might grow up gay or transgender (despite the fact that genetics don’t always equal outcomes). I’d like to go one step further and say LGBT voters benefit far more from less government and a market economy, especially as a minority.

Let’s start with a real obvious point: government likes people to fall in nice, neat boxes, and those that don’t get treated unfairly. The US government is always primed to pick on minorities. Recent examples include persecution against Japanese-Americans during World War 2, even in Hawaii, or the disproportionate number of black Americans used for drug testing by the CIA. LGBT voters probably feel this right now whenever they travel, get an ID of some kind, or interact with the government in general.

Let’s take ID cards for a second. The government continues to increase the amount of information it demands from people to get an ID. This invasion of privacy hasn’t made a lot of headlines, but the fact that you can basically be denied the ability to fly unless you surrender a lot of information to the government is a bit concerning. Worse though, what if you’re a transgender individual in the middle of hormone treatment? Try explaining that to the “nice” TSA agent, who should be concerned about you carrying a bomb onboard the aircraft, but will instead use their position to hassle you at a checkpoint. Why are you treated like a criminal for non-criminal activities.

Less government equals less interactions equals more freedom to be yourself. Whether you’re a gun-loving firefighter or his transgender wife, you benefit from less government in your life. Unless you’re violating a law, the government doesn’t need to snoop in your affairs.

If the government isn’t sticking its nose where it doesn’t belong, other people are often trying to use it to that end, particularly with hate crime laws and lawsuits. The Masterpiece Cakeshop lawsuits highlighted this weaponization. Despite the fact that there were hundreds of bakeries to get cakes of all shapes and sizes, Charlie Craig and David Mullins went all the way to the Supreme Court, only to lose. The damage was done though, since Masterpiece Cakeshop lost around 40% of its business.

This weaponization isn’t a long term strategy, since it tends to come back around and bite you, because plenty of people will use this tactic to shut down LGBT businesses. We’re far better off with a free market because it automatically promotes an exchange of goods that is inevitably linked to an exchange of ideas. For example, its really hard to say you want to kill all gay people if you regularly interact with the gay owner of a restaurant that has great food. It’s difficult to say you think transgender individuals are all pedophiles when you find out your neighbor is a transgender woman and an upstanding citizen in your community. Just like having a black or Hispanic neighbor makes it harder to hold negative opinions about them (assuming they are good neighbors!), the same goes for interacting with LGBT individuals.

In fact, these regular interactions are far more powerful then any lawsuit. I would argue the Masterpiece lawsuits only further cement the idea that most LGBT individuals want to find ways to punish Christians.

Free association in a market economy and less government interference, by default, makes us all learn to work together. We’re all better served under these models.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency. Please be sure to purchase something from the author’s collection of books, since Christmas is right around the corner.

Transgender safety equipment

The news about the Canadian transgender teacher teaching shop class with ridiculously large, fake breasts has already made the rounds in the news. Plenty of people have expressed outrage, or snickered at the over-the-top photos, or smacked their forehead in disgust.

What hasn’t been discussed is safety equipment. I’ve worked in plenty of industrial environments, from shipyards to metal shops, and have had my share of flying metal objects that cracked safety helmets, broke safety glasses, and in general tried to kill me in a variety of unique and interesting ways. If Tik-Tok is any indication of the trajectory of our society (and one shudders at THAT thought), we should be teaching teenagers how to properly use safety equipment.

And yet, this Canadian teacher is not doing any of that.

Let’s start with the skirt. Unless you are a secretary, nobody in a shop wears a skirt. Even most secretaries in shops wear a long maxi skirt, especially if they have to walk out of the office for any reason. If you’ve ever had a burning piece of metal touch your skin, or brushed up against something sharp, you’ll only do that once or twice before you become best friends with your jeans. Let’s be honest, you can wear some pretty sexy jeans if you want, all while still protecting your legs from being impaled by the splinters flying out from a nearby cutting saw.

The other reason skirts aren’t a good choice is because rotating machinery tends to grab loose items, and having your skirt violently ripped off your body by lathe is just not appealing. Jewelry, especially necklaces and earrings, are also at risk of being forcibly ripped from your body. Hair is the same way. This Canadian teacher should have her hair (wig?) up in a bun, or at least in a ponytail secured with a hat, and most certainly not in her face. Not only is it at risk of being ripped out of her head, but it impedes her ability to see what she is working on.

Speaking of seeing things, I see no gloves or safety glasses.

Seriously, WTF?

Gloves and glasses are an absolute necessity when running a saw. I can’t tell you the number of times my miter saw has kicked up a chunk of wood that smacked me in the hand or the face. It sucks when it happens, but at least I can STILL SEE OUT OF EACH EYEBALL in the end. If you open any user manual, the first section will tell you to wear gloves and eye protection. Heck, the company that provides insurance for the school should be calling and complaining that this teacher is placing them at significant risk for an insurance claim.

All this makes me view this as a dumb, attention-grabbing prank. If this teacher cared about her students and also happened to be transgender, she would be dressing appropriately for class, teaching her students how to properly run saws and other equipment. As a teacher, she should dress appropriately anyway, and if she had large breasts like that (and some women do), she should at least wear a bra.

Which brings up my final point, and that is if the transgender community wants to be taken seriously, they are going to have to divorce themselves from these attention-grabbing idiots. It’s not dissimilar from the Westboro Baptist Church, a very small community that doesn’t represent anything close to mainstream Christian theology. Plenty of transgender individuals want us to believe that they are normal members of society, and truth be told, plenty of them are. But just like the Westboro Baptist Church, people should call out bad behavior when they see it, and most transgender people should join them in saying “This behavior isn’t normal.” Just because a teacher is transgender doesn’t mean we should allow that person to run roughshod over basic safety protocol and dress codes. Until we see more pushback on these people, its going to be harder for most people to normalize transgender individuals in society.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency. If you liked this article, you should purchase a book from the author for you or a friend, or drop a tip for DaTechGuy.

Renaming the MAURY, and how I predicted the future

Well, that didn’t take long. Remember this from way back in…June?

Any human being we’re going to name ships after is going to offend someone. Should we rename the USNS Maury, who despite contributing much to the study of weather and oceanography, fought in the Confederate Navy? Or the USNS Cesar Chavez, who advocated against immigration? Should we look deeper into the Kennedy family, which has plenty of skeletons in the closet and has two ships named after John and Robert Kennedy?

From “Renaming the Stennis is dumb

Well, it happened

From USNI

And its officially happening, as part of a larger effort to rename…everything.

All told, according to commission member Lawrence Romo, the list topped out at 1,100 items, from posts and ships to monuments, building names and streets.

Among the monuments recommended for removal in part 3 of the report is a Confederate memorial at Arlington National Cemetery.

“The statue atop of the monument should be removed. All bronze elements on the monument should be deconstructed and removed, preferably leaving the granite base and foundation in place to minimize risk of inadvertent disturbance of graves,” according to a Wednesday release, leaving the Army in charge of disposal.

From The Air Force Times

As I predicted before, anything named after people is destined to become a hot issue. We discover things long after someone dies, and perhaps the person isn’t quite who we thought they were. Or that person was biased against skin color, sexual orientation, or who knows what, which makes them 100% unacceptable now. Now, we could use that as an opportunity to highlight that people are fallible and we’ll have to accept both the good and bad that comes with that. We could highlight how brilliant people can still succumb to everything from the Confederacy to Nazism, and use that to teach our future generations how to not fall into that trap. Or we can simply say those people are evil and scrub them from mention while looking for the next person to cancel.

Never mind that Matthew Maury contributed a lot to our understanding of oceanography. He’ll get scrubbed from existence. And don’t worry, its coming for Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Cesar Chavez, and many others. Want to bet Donald Trump is on that list? Or what about lesser known people like Kyle Rittenhouse, whose only “crime” was standing up to criminals?

At some point we’ll either learn to accept that historical figures will always have flaws when viewed from the present day, or we’ll risk repeating their mistakes in the future.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency. You ought to buy the author’s book, or listen to it on Audible, to help support his writing efforts.

Why LGBT voters should be prolife

This is part of a short series on why many LGBT voters would be better served under conservative values then far leftist values.

LGBT voters are traditionally associated with voting on left-leaning policies and almost always for Democrat candidates, yet during the last election almost a third of LGBT-identified voters said on exit polling that they voted for Trump.

Despite President Trump’s anti-LGBTQ past, including opposing LGBTQ workplace protections, he was able to attain 28% of the LGBTQ vote improving on his 2016 showing, when he ran against Hillary Clinton, and only won 13% of the LGBTQ vote.

thepridela.com

The article, not surprisingly, is shocked that any LGBT individual would even contemplate voting for a Republican candidate, much less President Trump. Yet I think this site, like so many others, misses the fact that in most cases conservative positions on issues are far more advantageous for LGBT individuals then leftist ones. I actually think that Republican candidates can probably capture more like 40% of the LGBT vote, which would finally start to highlight that LGBT individuals are not in fact one large, homogenous group of people, but rather individual voters that each have very different needs.

(A quick note: For this series I’m leaving of the …QIA+-= alphabet soup of people, which includes the pansexuals, cats and other really odd identities. Honestly, I think these people are overrepresented because they are so strange as to capture immediate attention and have an outsized impact via social media.)

First, lets look at who is considered an LGBT voter. In the case of the exit poll, its whomever happens to tell the pollster they identify as somewhere on the LGBT spectrum. This is somewhere around 1-5% of voters nationwide, by conservative and liberal estimates. However, I actually think its a bit higher, for two reasons. First, lots of people don’t like talking to pollsters, so exit poll sampling is notoriously very skewed liberal. Second, the LGBT people that would openly agree to the label are likely people comfortably out to their families, employer and the world…which is not the majority. There are likely a lot of closeted LGBT voters that simply stay quiet about their homosexual or transsexual inclinations.

That said, the ones most likely to be closeted are also most likely to lean conservative, since conservative voters are less likely to discuss this and other issues with…well, anyone really. This sets up a Harry Truman-esque scenario where traditional polling and thinking concerning LGBT voters and what they care about can be very easily misunderstood.

That doesn’t answer the bigger question of why LGBT voters would benefit from conservative policies. Let’s start with abortion, and over the next few weekends we’ll look at the economy, foreign policy and the military, plus marriage and the nuclear family. I’m leaving out religious discussions on these issues because 1., I’m not a religious scholar and thus not qualified to discuss it, and 2., Religions, especially Christian ones, vary widely on LGBT issues.

LGBT voters should be pro-life for many reasons, the most important being that as technology, and especially genetic testing, becomes easier and cheaper, there will be more people inclined to abort babies that aren’t “perfect.” This has been predicted for years, even appearing in science fiction films like Gattaca, where babies are tested and sorted into “Valids” and “In-valids.” The “Valids” are genetically perfect and given access to the best jobs, while the “in-valids,” if they aren’t euthanized, compose the underclass of citizens.

But that’s science fiction, you might think. One only needs to look across the Atlantic to see Europeans wipe out Down Syndrome kids through testing (which is not perfect, so plenty of otherwise healthy kids are lost to abortion in the process). It’s not a far stretch to assume that as we develop more and more genetic markers for what we consider disorders, it’ll be easier to “justify” aborting more and more babies that don’t line up to our idea of perfect.

Which brings up the LGBT issue, because scientists have been quite happily searching for a genetic link to explain homosexual and transgender individuals. If they find that there is a gene, or set of genes, that would incline an individual to this behavior, could there be an increase in people saying “I don’t want to bring life to this world that would suffer as a transgender individual.”? If abortion is available on demand, I can see a large number of religious mothers making this justification.

Which begs the question: don’t LGBT individuals have a right to life? Don’t babies with these genetic markers deserve a chance in this world? Who is to say that their genetics will ultimately determine how they think on any particular issue? I would argue that they do. Just because someone is genetically inclined towards something doesn’t mean they will take those actions. More importantly, this walks us down the slippery slope of euthanizing people who’s only crime is existing, which never bodes well for any minority group.

LGBT voters are best served with prolife policies, which may one day keep them from being literally aborted out of existence.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

MORE Navy manpower woes

I mean seriously, Navy manpower woes are the gift that keeps on giving. There are three (!!!) more NAVADMINs that show the Navy is really struggling to keep its people, especially its technical people, from leaving.

The first is NAVADMIN 186/22, which concerns Special Duty Assignment Pay (SDAP). SDAP is an additional monthly pay for Sailors that are in hard-to-fill jobs or qualify in difficult assignments. The Navy uses SDAP to help incentivize Sailors taking the hard duty assignments, because a few hundred dollars extra a month might motivate someone to fill that position.

SDAP has been changed for nuclear-qualified Sailors in the following manner:

Billet / NEC            Level    Pay              Change 
RDMC/EDMC/CVN DLCPO     7        525.00           +75.00 
N33Z NEC                6        450.00           New 
NPTU W/SUPERVISOR NEC   6        450.00           No change 
SEA W/SUPERVISOR NEC    5        375.00           No change 
SHORE W/SUPERVISOR NEC  3        225.00           -75.00 
SEA W/OPERATOR NEC      2        150.00           No change 
SHORE W/OPERATOR NEC    1         75.00           -75.00 
NAVADMIN 186/22

So what does that mean? In a nutshell, shore assignment SDAP was lowered, while at-sea SDAP was either added or increased. The N33Z NEC refers to an at-sea Sailor that qualifies as an Engineering Watch Supervisor (EWS), which is the senior most enlisted watchstander on a nuclear power plant.

Since SDAP is an incentive pay, this is yet more proof that the Navy is trying to push Sailors towards at-sea assignment and to qualify as an EWS at-sea. They wouldn’t bother increasing SDAP if Sailors were already filling those roles without issue.

What about technically-savvy officers? Well, NAVADMIN 188/22 changes the accession rules for the Baccalaureate Degree Completion Program (BDCP), which is a program where civilians or enlisted Sailors that have at least 60 credit hours can apply to get a commission, where they get paid while they finish their degree. It’s not as great a deal because it doesn’t pay for tuition, however it does land you a job as an officer afterwards, with the catch of requiring an 8 year commitment. If that sounds a bit long, it is, because a normal ROTC commitment used to be only 4 years…which was increased to 5 years, and for aviators, to 5 years AFTER you qualified to fly (which ends up becoming 8-10 years).

BDCP eligibility was extended to…you guessed it…the technical fields of cryptology, cyber, intelligence, networks and oceanography. The only reason to extend this program to those fields is because the normal methods of obtaining officers are not working.

The last odd NAVADMIN is 184/22, which simply says that the O-6 continuation board will immediately follow the O-7 selection board. For those not in the know, an O-6 in the Navy is a Captain and an O-7 is a Rear Admiral.

Now, normally this board is one of many that are on a routine schedule without any real attention paid to it. Remember that Captains eligible to be reviewed for selection to admiral are well past the 20 years needed to retire, and are allowed to hang out until 30 years of service. They can hang out longer if a continuation board allows it. Since the board already meets on a schedule, why would someone need a NAVADMIN to change when the board meets, and inform the rest of the Navy?

Simply put, there was a significant uptick in O-6 retirements after the last O-7 selection board. I asked a few people in the know (who asked to remain nameless) and the word was that the Navy Personnel Office apparently didn’t bother to communicate with a lot of O-6s that were not selected for O-7, and a lot of them submitted retirement requests in response to this poor treatment. While nobody is entitled to be selected for O-7, its not hard to communicate with officers to let them know they weren’t picked. Especially for someone that has given over 20 years to the Navy, you would think the Navy could reciprocate and treat them with respect. The number of retirements stung Navy manpower, hence the short NAVADMIN to try and prevent this from happening again this year.

Now, that’s all speculation, but given all the other things happening…is anyone surprised? I sure wasn’t. I am surprised at just how bad recruitment and retention are getting. I had predicted that 2023 would be the breaking point, but that was before the vaccine mandate and terrible withdrawal from Afghanistan. I think those events have accelerated a process that was underway long before this year. I see more and more servicemembers that would otherwise happily stay on a few extra years because they enjoyed the job instead decide to leave for greener pastures. When you go all out to make the Navy a miserable place to work, why would anyone be surprised that you have to increasingly bribe people to stay in?

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

You don’t want vigilante justice

While I was on vacation this week I happened to see this video of a store owner tackling a man that punched an elderly person in the face and stole his wallet. The story has a happy ending, with the loser getting thrown to the ground in what looks like a WWF wrestling move and eventually being arrested. Thankfully, the city is pursuing charges against the criminal and not the store owner.

But what happens when that is no longer the case? What happens when crimes go unpunished? What happens when people are allowed to ransack a 7-11 with impunity?

First, you’ll have stores respond with increased security, limited hours and eventually leaving. That’s what’s happened in San Francisco, where CVS and Walgreens began closing store after store when the city essentially allowed criminals to run free so long as they stole under $1,000 in merchandise. It’s not just California though…places as far away as Philadelphia have similar issues.

The second response, should crime continue unpunished, is far worse. When people feel that the police won’t or can’t protect them, they will turn to vigilante justice. It’s exactly how the Mafia started in Sicily, where the lack of police to settle disputes resulted in towns paying for groups of men to enforce justice. For a time, it worked: the Mafia kept crime low and people tolerated its existence. But it wasn’t a great system, as it incentivized the Mafia to engage in significant political tampering, as well as brutal enforcement tactics, to maintain its grip on power.

Mafia-like activity in America would be similar to Italy. Having local disputes solved by the equivalent of a local warlord might become a better option then waiting weeks for a court date with a corrupt judge. Neighbors will settle more disputes informally than formally. Most worrisome, we’d also see an increase in unsolved murders. If your store is robbed, you know who did it and you don’t expect the police to punish the criminal, then at some point you might take it into your own hands. Neighbors will know its happening, but since they are likely affected as well, they may shrug their shoulders and stay quiet. Why snitch on a neighbor that killed a local criminal? You’re better off without that criminal, and you certainly don’t want to be on your neighbor’s hit list!

We don’t want an America like this. Vigilante justice is not a good option. Let’s hope we can bring better law enforcement back.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.