Saturday, December 31, 2011

West Point, University or For Training of Military

Talk about a spirited contest, the Army/ Navy football game. Both sides’ stadiums full. Even the Prez showed up. For American style football, this isn’t much. No powerhouses with the Academies. The military academies and most everybody who cogitates their navels about sports gets why. Really big football prospects aren’t going to the academies, mainly because they have a military commitment of mostly five years waiting for them. Thus ending any desires for a professional sports career.

There was a time that the Academies were competitive. When? We had the draft. Young men figured they were going to serve anyway, why not get a good education? For free no less. Do we think that Milt Friedman and the then SecDef, Melvin Laird, who sold us a bill of goods on ending the draft, thought of those unintended consequences?

I always look at the academies a little differently than most. First of all, this worshipful attitude toward them needs to be put in perspective. These kids’ education is no small thing—a million bucks a pop. And, there’s other stuff, they do get a stipend, maybe a few other bennies. The flip side of the coin is that going to one of the Academies is no cake walk. It is hard: field problems, restrictions, other things that some non academy types like myself don’t even know. I can tell you this though. We don’t need all these separate academies. One is sufficient and certain curriculum could be tailored to individual services. Consolidating the Academies, like so many things in government, could save billions of dollars. Think any congressman would have the “balls” to even suggest such a thing? Don’t hold your breath. We are talking WWlll. The military lobby would be in “hell raising” political posture before you could say, “at ease.”

No comments: