The Truth About the Academies

The following is the first part of a four-part series. The author wishes to express that this article in no way reflects the feelings and thoughts of her brother. It is written from a family member’s perspective and is meant to be understood in that way.

I know why I chose Columbia: the campus is magnificent, the education is top-tier, and my peers are intelligent. I could look at a stranger, tell him or her that I went to Columbia, and hear the predictable, “Wow, you must be smart.”

When my brother was getting ready to go to the Naval Academy, everyone ooohed and awed about how brave he was. Aunts and uncles would say, “John, you must be one of thousands of kids who wanted to go—you must be so smart!” When he appeared unsure about whether he wanted to choose Navy or University of California, Berkeley, one uncle who works on Wall Street said, “John, businessmen love hiring people from the academies. You will be set for life.” With that kind of promised prestige, my brother found it tough to give up a spot at Navy. So in June, my family dropped him off in Annapolis.

Before he left, my family had countless talks about what it might mean to be at an academy. While we knew that someday he would be required to serve, we also were drawn to the top-tier education he was promised to receive. We were told that the Naval Academy was first and foremost an elite college. He would be able to learn history, economics, political science, and even engineering. He would play lacrosse on a nationally ranked team and play the bugle in the marching band. He would have seminars about leadership and selflessness. He would even go to school for free.


When I talked to my brother about why he wanted to go, he admitted that it was because he was drawn to the structure of the place—as a kid who did not want to sit around and drink beer during college, he liked the fact that he would be busy and have a purpose. I soon became comfortable with the idea of the academy, as if it would be a haven for my brother’s undergraduate career. And when people would congratulate me on my brother’s decision, it made me feel reassured.

Soon that pride turned to anger and fear: after my mom dropped him off at Annapolis, she came home with an acute sense of grief. The only thing she could talk about was how to get him out. In addition to missing his presence at home, she was scared by the extent to which her son had suddenly become the property of the U.S. Navy.


She begged me to call a naval lieutenant Monday morning to start the out-processing forms for my brother. After leaving countless messages for the lieutenant, he finally called me back, at which point he informed me that my brother would have to go through 13 exit-interviews to be dismissed, including an interview with the head of the Navy. When I asked him whether this might intimidate him out of leaving, the lieutenant reminded me that my brother had signed an oath legally binding him to the Navy. When I reminded the lieutenant that he had signed that oath after he had been yelled at all day and that his hair had just been shaven off during his first day there, he comforted me that John was not at all forced to sign the oath.

When I looked at the course catalogue, which boasted seminars about leadership and selflessness, they were in fact seminars about weaponry and leading troops into combat. The reality of sending my brother to the Naval Academy began to set in: this was not a school; this was the military. While they boast a first class education, the main goal of this institution was to get my brother “combat ready.” During the first two “induction days,” the head of the Navy openly admitted that their goal was to transform these boys into men who would willingly die defending our country. They said to my parents, “We will manage to do in 18 minutes what you could not do in 18 years—we will discipline your boys and have them calling you Sir and Ma’am.” When they talked of courage and bravery, they showed a video of a Navy marine rounding off an unlimited supply of ammunition. During my brother’s plebe summer (his first summer), he could not talk to us for more than a few minutes once a week for fear that we might unduly influence him.

My brother ended up liking Annapolis and he has decided to stay. While it has been difficult for me to accept that I have a brother in the military, I must allow him to pursue whatever path he is drawn toward, and he has admitted to me that he feels called to being there. However, for anyone else out there considering a career in the academy, let it be known: the U.S. Naval Academy is not an elite college; it is first and foremost a branch of the U.S. military and the prestige comes at a big price—it taxes parents, siblings, and participants if they do not understand what they were signing up for.

The author a Barnard College senior majoring in political science.

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W. T. Door posted on

This is a joke right? I'm sorry I can't keep this in, but really how in the name of the Seven Buddhas did you not understand that the United States NAVAL Academy was part of the military? What part confused you? Was it the uniforms or the saluting? Perhaps it was the security at the gates with guns? Maybe it was the cemetry next to the hospital filled with the honored dead? I'm thrilled you've come to understand that your brother has sworn himself to our Nation's military and I'm sure that you'll respect his decision. Let it be know that up to 50 thousand Americans apply every year for the Academy and of those only around 1200 are admitted. He must truly be a remarkable young man, I hope to see him in the fleet some day. And remember, as you study Political Science and the intracacies of the state that "War is politics to everyone but the Warrior."

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John Hawkinson posted on

Is this satire?

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stevetherapist posted on

poop is brown

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Anonymous posted on

HAHAHAHAHAHA, Great troll, this is classic, how come the rest of your articles aren't this funny?

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Hans posted on

Wow. You may have gone to Columbia or Barnard but you are a very dumb and naive person.

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Anonymous posted on

"When they talked of courage and bravery, they showed a video of a Navy marine rounding off an unlimited supply of ammunition"

How do you round off "unlimited"? Is it up or down? Is this some Barnard Poli Sci secret course?

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Anonymous posted on

At first, I thought this article was a joke...but the author is actually serious. Anyone in academia and in the professional world understands you cannot make statements (listed above) based one person's perspective.
I am curious to understand what the author defines as "elite college". Please, for the love of God, tell me it's rankings! Because it's not...

"Education is like an equation. There are many variables that equate to a result. The only thing that matters is a the result".

Annapolis produces results. USNA produces very wealthy and powerful individuals. I do not have time to list the thousands of them. Additionally, they do receive a first-class education, mainly comprised of engineering/science courses.

To be honest, the author sounds young and naive.

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Joe K. posted on

You have no idea what you are talking about. If your brother decided to stay, something must have clicked. Why don't you show your "readers" what types of degree's these students get, like mechanical engineering, or even useless degrees like political science. Every student going through ROTC goes through their plebe year as well. This is their boot camp, they are not going to any Officer Candidate School or boot camp again. Once they finish their degree, they are commissioned.......as leaders from day 1.

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Anonymous posted on

During plebe summer no one gets to talk to their families for more than a few minutes. Not because you may be "unduly influenced" but because plebe summer is supposed to match boot camp. You're being indoctrinated into the military. It's trying to teach you that you need to rely on a new family to help you, your Navy family.

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Steve posted on

You have an education from Columbia, but you weren't astute enough to realize that the Naval Academy was a precursor to being an officer in either the Navy or Marine Corps? Also, if you want your articles to have any measure of journalistic integrity, more facts and less emotion.

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Kyle posted on

Did your brother ask you to call up the Naval Academy and start asking how to get him out? Or did you just go and do that on your own for you and your mom's own selfish reasons, despite the embarrassment it would have caused him, having mommy and sissy call up a military institute and tell them that an adult is having his family figure out how to help him quit? Did he call up Columbia and start requesting things on your behalf without your knowledge? You need to mind your own business...sounds like your brother could use some time away from you and your mother if you've both been deciding what he needs to do with his life.

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smittensiren posted on

This is exactly what I was thinking. Can you imagine the horror of being in your first days and having someone in your chain of command tell you that your mommy and sissy called?! Or even worse, your peers finding out??

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navydad posted on

Sigh. Earth to Idris: You and your mother seem to think that the USNA provides a free quality education just to be nice and that the "Naval" part simply means cool uniforms, marching, and discipline. If you didn't know what your brother was signing up for, then you are a fool, and so is your mother. And if you managed to get to your senior year at Columbia and still can't comprehend that the USNA can be both an elite college and a service academy, then Columbia is not nearly as elite as you think. Let me break it down: all you've done is tell us that you were surprised that the service commitment is real. At no point have you provided any evidence that the USNA is not an elite college, so your argument makes no sense. I'd give your column a C-.

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navydad posted on

On second thought, I'd make that a D

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Bark Obama posted on

More like Barnyard College. Did you grow up in a cave?

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John Leppla posted on

I told you like a million times what the Naval Academy is. Did you not fucking listen??? I wish you would never post shit like this...

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Head of the Navy posted on

Damn! Someone has uncovered our ingenious deception!

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neuralcunt posted on

Dammit!!! I Swear I didn't leak it, I burned all the research papers that showed hair is responsible for decision making and that by shaving one's head, one looses capacity to make rational decisions.

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Doge posted on

Wow much stupid

very embarrass so idiot

doesn't common sense
doge

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navy12 posted on

http://cdn.memegenerator.net/instances/500x/44372985.jpg

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A "navy marine" (whatever that is) posted on

There must have been some extra nut crunch in your granola this morning. Can you imagine the nerve of that silly naval academy? Trying to train young men and women to be warriors? What do we need those for? What we need are more HUGS. I'm going to start the United States Hugging Academy where EVERYONE gets in and it's first place trophies for all! Who's with me??

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Citisol posted on

This is pretty much the dumbest thing I have ever read.

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Sherlock Holmes posted on

Brilliant deduction! Perhaps you could help me solve more mysteries, like: why don't I see well at night? and "Why did I get drunk from drinking alcohol?" and "how do people get inside mirrors?"

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Anonymous posted on

"I could look at a stranger, tell him or her that I went to Columbia, and hear the predictable, “Wow, you must be smart.”"

Right here the "author" has already established herself as a liar. She did not got to Columbia. Although affiliated with Columbia, going to Barnard is not the same as going to Columbia. Anyone with any knowledge of these schools can tell you this.

There is no reason to believe anything this author has said. This entire "essay" is a complete piece of garbage. The ignorance is shown here is incredible.

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Anonymous posted on

One thing you learn in the military is 'attention to detail.' You might benefit from a bit of this training. It is the NAVAL academy; not hard to figure its function. Also, don't tell people you go to Columbia when you go to Barnard. It is a misleading statement shrouded in quarter-truths.

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Butt plug posted on

You're a special kind of stupid aren't you?

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Midshipman 2/C Saum Boody Eilse posted on

WHAT!!!!! I'm in the military! Why didn't anyone tell me!

Yes, the NAVAL Academy is a military school, but it's also an elite college. We get a full Bachelors of Science degree from one of the Nation's most prestigious institutions alongside the military training. We just pay for it with honorable service.

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joejmz posted on

So this really isn't intentionally one of the funniest articles I've read today?

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kristen posted on

This is such a joke. Obviously if her brother stayed then he enjoyed going to the Academy. And if he had ever wanted to leave at any point he could have done so. Take it from someone who graduated from there; the only time that contract is binding is when you sign it right before your Junior year....That's plenty of time to figure out what you're getting in to. The author needs to do her research.

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Herpaderp Jones posted on

I'm SO glad to finally hear the TRUTH about these so-called military "academies"! I can't wait for the next three parts of this story, I hope for plenty more thinly veiled elitist disdain for the American armed forces.

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Career Naval Officer posted on

Give it a rest, go somewhere appropriately LGBT (or whatever the heck it's called this week) friendly and Hope for Change! What a crock of left-wing, Upper West Side bull#$@. Seriously, if you are an aspiring writer for SNL, then you're OK. If this isn't satire, then well...bless yer sweet little ole heart! (southern for you are mentally challenged!) LOL.

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swomygosh posted on

United States Naval Academy - seems self explanatory. You are the reason there are so many warning labels on things.

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Anonymous posted on

This is what is wrong with America..... Our generation has been babied. Kids don't understand sacrifice or devoting themselves to something bigger. But I hope you continue writing this crap because no matter what you write, people will continue to give their lives for your right to do that. As an alumni this pisses me off.

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Anonymous posted on

"it taxes parents, siblings, and participants if they do not understand what they were signing up for." Considering that the your brother decided to stay and you are the only complaining, I would say that it is incredibly selfish of you to write this article. Your brother is obviously pursuing something that he thinks is valuable. Why take that away from him by selfishly complaining that you rarely get to see him. I am glad that you went to Columbia and not the any of the service academies. I have the highest respect for those that serve are great nation, and they do not deserve someone that is so blatantly selfish to serve with them.

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John posted on

As a graduate of USNA I will tell you that it was a wonderful experience and a fantastic education. Yes. You do serve in the US Navy after graduation but that is really the point of it all.

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Anonymous posted on

Please don't post the other 3 parts

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Anonymous posted on

Your thesis is poorly supported and your argument is shoddily put together. You contradict yourself several times.

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Anonymous posted on

You are abjectly ignorant of the truth. "...it taxes parents, siblings, and participants if they do not understand what they were signing up for."

No parent, sibling or "participant" signed up for the USNA. A cadet's life is their own and you don't get to control it. Your attempt to get your brother out of the Academy is amazingly selfish, and frankly, he deserves a better sister than that. What you attempted to do, deter him from his chosen lifestyle is exactly like a parent who tries to make their son or daughter "not gay".

Frankly, you should be quite ashamed of yourself, though I doubt you have the grace to realize it.

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Fukushima posted on

Wait, you're telling me I have to serve?

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Navy 2009 Grad posted on

The US Naval Academy IS an elite college. 1 US President, 2 Heisman Trophy Winners, 52 NASA Astronauts, 46 Rhodes Scholars, 73 Medal of Honor Winners…the list goes on. Don't think for a second that prestige of a college is measured solely by SAT scores, Ms. Columbia. I would've thought a Columbia-alum would be more open-minded.

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Hans Moleman posted on

Not that I object to calling this article the most ridiculous thing I've read today, but it was written almost seven years ago. I doubt the author is still paying attention to the comments...

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Steve posted on

Hahaha - Columbia needs to up their admission standards. This is hilarious - BEAT ARMY!

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Mr. Smith posted on

The NAVAL Academy is associated with the Military? Wow, who'd a guessed that? I suppose that means the AIRFORCE Academy is somehow associated with the Air Force too. What your brother did in those 18 minutes was become a man,and those cannons going off in the distance, were his balls finally dropping.

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WestPoint2014 posted on

This article gave me cancer

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Chach posted on

This is the one of the dumbest, most ignorant things I've ever read. You don't have a clue what you're talking about.

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California Voter posted on

The Naval Academy is a school for murder and anyone who disagrees with me can kiss my pansexual, polyamorous, gender-ambiguous, abortion-supporting, "medical"-marijuana-using butt. Do you people not have morals any more???? Anyone who disagrees with me is a bigot!

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Surgeon General posted on

You should avoid looking at the sun for prolonged periods of time.

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Ross posted on

You should probably learn to do better research before writing articles in the future. By "head of the Navy" were you referring to the Chief of Naval Operations or the Secretary of the Navy? Because I assure you that neither of those individuals actually spoke to the plebe class. Also, USNA is there to get prospective officers combat ready first and foremost. However, one thing they are lacking which abounds at Columbia is rampant grade inflation. Your writing oozes of shit for brains.

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Alexia Kousnetz posted on

By "Head of the Navy" she means the Commander-in-Chief, the President of the United States:

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Alexander Hamilton posted on

Where the hell did you ever get the idea that anything is ever or should ever be free??? Nothing ever has been and nothing ever will be.

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Nancy pelosi posted on

Are you kidding me? Free stuff is the hallmark of modern liberalism. Why work for something when it can be given to you

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Daffy Duck posted on

You're despicable!

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Randy Marsh posted on

Oh my god! How are you so dumb???

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ThePrincipal posted on

Ms. Leppla, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

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gizmo posted on

You can't be serious.... This person is allowed to breathe still. The problem with our penal system is we let oxygen thieves like this back on the streets.

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Lance Corporal posted on

I know this is just a typical airhead liberal, but I speak for all my brothers when I get a little testy when she degrades my proud Corps to a "Navy marine rounding off an unlimited supply of ammo". I pray day and night for an unlimited supply of ammo, but it never happens. Wishful thinking aside, at least get the punctuation right, Sincerely a United States Marine

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PavePusher posted on

"The author a Barnard College senior majoring in political science." No, the author is a useless bint, and should have adult supervision until she is competent enough to understand and deal with the real world. Seriously, how deluded can you be to not understand that a significant portion of a military academy is... well... MILITARY STUFF.

What a useless waste of oxygen.

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Anonymous posted on

"However, for anyone else out there considering a career in the academy, let it be known: the U.S. Naval Academy is not an elite college; it is first and foremost a branch of the U.S. military and the prestige comes at a big price—it taxes parents, siblings, and participants if they do not understand what they were signing up for. "

No, it doesn't cost you jack shit. It may well cost the Plebe everything. That's rather what the military is about.

How in the billion flaming fucks did you ever qualify to enter an institution of higher learning?

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Academy Grad posted on

As a USNA graduate, with friends who matriculated from the fine Ivy institutions, I call foul on this opinion piece. I have a good friend whom I visited often at Columbia. After one particularly interesting night out in town, she dragged herself to a final exam and bombed it. She subsequently emailed her professor and explained that she needed at least a "B" to stay in her academic program. The professor acquiesced. At USNA, that would be called an honor violation. No school is perfect, but the academic standards at the academies exceed their reputation . . . and nobody could accuse the federal institutions of being cash cows where it is more important to keep students/their tuition in good standing, with no higher calling, than to issue uninflated grades. The hallmark of a good op-ed is to make an attempt at being unbiased, even if only to knock down opposing arguments. Oh, and to be rooted in fact. This piece does neither. Shame on you.

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Academy Grad posted on

By the way, doesn't the Barnard College senior majoring in political science know that her peers who actually attend Columbia call her a "Barnyard" student? I don't fully understand the dynamic at play there . . . because I know as much about her school as she knows about any of the academies.

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Anonymous posted on

I hope Columbia gave you your money back.

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Cal Naughton Jr. posted on

I feel like I have a pretzel in my head!!!

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Aught... not posted on

So, first and foremost I feel for the Midshipmen who will have to deal with the backlash from this article and the fact that in today's "society" "everyone" "feels" it is their "right" to voice an opinion. I'm hoping the remaining three parts help define and retract the damning statements made. Now, having intimate knowledge of the admissions process, it is declared for USNA and all service academies that basically the first to years are "free" and their is no service obligation. For ROTC it's after the first year. So, if he chose or chooses to "quit" later, that's HIS choice. But, he will speak to a long line of concerned people to better understand why and will provide assistance on the way out or to keep him onboard. "If you really don't want to be there, then don't be" - is the basic moto I choose to use in explanation. Because if you feel you'll be "happier" elsewhere, then go. Although, there are parents and family members just what is described above, whohave nothing better to do and didn't pay attention when that Blue & Gold Officer (local USNA Admissions Rep) sat in their home and explained what was to come. Nor did they decide to take a more vested interest in this child's life throughout the application, nomination, medical, and acceptance process. I won't chastise completely, but that again is something this "society" continues to fail at. So, I won't go further because I'm just disappointed for the current Midshipmen and for the friends I have who attended Colombia and chose to serve this Nation - some in the Marine Corps. The author should truly do her homework and/or keep this type of writing to her facebook or personal blog, which will still finds its way back to her brother. We all need to be cautious and careful about what messages we convey.

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Anonymous posted on

I read this article with an open mind. Then I read all the responses. Combined this is whats wrong with this country. This young Lady is entitled to her opinion and she is using her Freedom of Speech to address the concerns that she is freely entitled to. I have and am still proudly serving this country after 25 years. Where the institution and all you naysayers have failed her, is by refusing to comfort which is compounded by expanding the divide with ridicule. I have never considered myself "property of the Government" and I would never want her or Americans to begin to understand what I do for this Country as it is Sacred and Personal! I for one would think, that if we all had a Sister such as her, we'd all be better off. Her brother is not the property of anything, her brother will be rewarded equally with the effort he produces and be celebrated by his sailors in commensurate to his merit. Instead of shunning this intelligent young Lady we should embrace her and do what we can to provide her and her Family comfort. Maybe just a simple Thank You would suffice!

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Anonymous posted on

We are all entitled to our opinions that she is an idiot...

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Anonymous posted on

Nobody has failed this young, ignorant, foolish girl; not one comment I've seen questions her RIGHT to say or print her message. All comments posted simply point out her flawed logic, her lack of knowledge of the subject, and her inaccuracy in details. She could write an article stating that HMMWVs should be replaced by purple unicorns, and he would have every right to do so. We, as her audience, would then have every right to ridicule and lambaste her. The beauty of that First Amendment is that it goes both ways!

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Anonymous posted on

This isn't the military that I grew up with, nor do any of your responses protect the prestige of your Institution. Who do you think we work for? Everyone that disapproved of my post will be passed over for command. The ultimate objective of leadership is to lead. If this thread is an example of America's best, then young man, I assure you will be issued a purple unicorn like it or not. We don't succeed as warriors by dismissing the academia. In doing so, greater warriors will emerge that don't have our country's best interest as a priority. To become great Warriors we understand our fiercest foes and in darkest of times empathize them with Honor.

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CHOP posted on

"Everyone that disapproved of my post will be passed over for command. "

Just thought I'd let that self-defeating statement of yours stand on its own.

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Anonymous posted on

There's no cure for stupid...
This idiot is the type that grows up to join code pink. A knife hand to the throat would stop her from wasting anymore oxygen.
Miss, you are what's wrong with America. Feel free to frost yourself!

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Anonymous posted on

The content of the replies show why 22 US Navy Commanding Officers have been relieved for cause just last year. Even though she didn't have a point! SHE HAS ONE NOW! Obviously your reactions illustrate why Service Academies should be dissolved. Nobody likes you as officers anyway, your enlisted hate you.

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20+ Years at Sea posted on

A little bitter, are we? Maybe you failed to make rank, got your "perform to serve" chit dissaaproved, or was held accountable at mast? You're not supposed to "like" your officers, you should respect their position and do your part to accomplish the mission.

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Anonymous posted on

I can't I am a 19 year old dependent.

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Anonymous posted on

Then you literally have no relevant basis to be speaking from aside from a very limited second hand perspective.

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Denise VeyVoda posted on

As the Mother of a current Firstie at USNA, I know that your fears and frustration are very real for you and your family, but your brother is the one walking the walk. He is the one that had the opportunity to leave before signing his " 2 for 7" papers. My son chose USNA for the very same reasons your brother did and it has terrified us for 4 years. He is nearing Graduation and while The Academy was a daunting experience, he was safe. Upon Graduation he will be in harms way. But if we did not have these great leaders and amazing military officers that The Academies groom, you would not have had "THE CHOICE" of going to Columbia. Your brother had the freedom of "Choice". If he had been swayed into going to The Naval Academy because of family pride and imagined pressure, he could have left after Youngster year. If he did not accept the life, mission and training at The Academy, he had "The Freedom" to walk out of the gate. The Navy does not want anyone that doesn't want them and certainly not in a leadership role. They do not want to invest the time, education and money into someone who does not believe that they belong at The Academy and embrace their "Brotherhood".
I understand and have lived your fears, your mother's horror of being told that The Navy, not her, own her child. I remember on I-Day when the ceremony was over and the Sec Nav spoke he "Welcomed Home" the great class of 2014. I said in horror, "This isn't home, Our home is home". Well, Your brother and our son have been "selected" into a brotherhood unlike any other. If he doesn't measure up he is "separated" not expelled. He is separated from the brotherhood because he is not worthy of membership. He can choose to leave or they can separate him. This is the freedom that others who have gone before him fought to preserve. The same freedom that allowed you to choose Columbia. Take comfort in knowing that your brother has drunk the cool aid and is so very proud of what he has chosen and is doing. Support him as he does you. You are a very special sister to worry about him the way you do. My Mid also has a brother who collapsed upon our Mid going in on I-Day and returning as a deer in the headlights. Guess what? My Mid is now a Firstie, 114 days to go to Graduation and he could not be more proud of himself and awe struck with the classes he has taken and completed that he NEVER would have imagined taking in a civilian school. He has pushed his boundaries and clawed his way through an academic schedule, military training and rowing 5 1/2 hours a day. He has operated on very little sleep, he has been forced to prioritize and "Get Things Done", that he NEVER would have learned nor tried if at a civilian school. It was an evolving process to get here,Very low lows and very high highs, but HE chose Navy and He is doing it.Your brother and your family will also if he stays of his own "Free Will". Remember it isn't about you or your family anymore, It is all about him and his future that he chooses. Bravo Zulu!

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Doge posted on

such academy
much military
so hardcore
wow

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James Franco posted on

Did you even watch the movie Annapolis?? I worked so hard on that so people wouldn't write stupid thing like this.

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Michael posted on

Yes, I do believe this is satire. It must be part of a script for a new TV how to compete with the Army and it's TV show called Enlisted on Fox.

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Michael posted on

TV show, not TV how.

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Anonymous posted on

How terrible it is that your brother's family does not cherish his heroism. Service in the armed forces is voluntary. Every single member who joins, officer or enlisted volunteer to support and defend the constitution of the United States of America. Your brother has crossed the line from civilian to defender of the public. I think it is sad that you cannot embrace and support his choice to be a hero.

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Tupac Shakur posted on

actually he done left it and went bak 2 bein a bitch.

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Snoop Doggy Doge posted on

2pac uz alive??? fo rizzle dis da rill storey here. wow! hmu. much surprise!

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Anonymous posted on

Typical elite, uninformed leftist fear-mongering propaganda.

As a liberal who has served in the military and is now attending the very same Columbia university that you are so proud to be affiliated with, you make me sick.

Maybe you should educate yourself on the military service academies, lest you devolve into the same kind of students who famously spat on the returning Servicemembers of Vietnam.

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Said No One Ever posted on

Wow! This was an enlightening and informative article. I almost went to the academy before I read this. Thanks for your top-tier investigative journalism! Keep up the good work!

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Anonymous posted on

Reading this poorly written, badly biased, incredibly ignorant story has brightened my day! I can not wait for the next three installments! Maybe in the next one the author will realize that when you go to boot camp you're not allowed to eat ice cream every day?

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Anonymous posted on

My son went to the USNA. The school is one of the most prestigious schools in the nation. He weathered his plebe year and now has his systems engineering degree and training to become a jet pilot. I am proud of the country he serves and most graduates are fine young men and women who strive and will to make a difference to our society.

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Anonymous posted on

I don't even think my high school would let me publish such a piece of garbage in the school newspaper. Congratulations, you publicized your ignorance and lack of research. I hope you burst out of your Ivy League bubble and experience the real world- otherwise your "top tier education" is useless.

Also, Idris, this thing called the State of the Union is tonight... don't know if you've watched it before but it's at 9pm on NBC.

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Anonymous posted on

Didn't see your brother's name on the lacrosse roster. Probably because no laxer would ever play the bugle

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Poly Sci Major posted on

Maybe you should have tried going to the number one liberal arts college in the nation. You may already be familiar with it. I'll give you a hint: It isn't Barnard and your brother went to it.

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USNAtransfer posted on

I went to the academy as class of '11, but transferred after the conclusion of my freshman (plebe) year. I was recruited for athletics and sold on the prestige of the education. USNA is at the top of the lists regarding academic rigor, university prestige, lowest acceptance rates, etc. Like the brother in this article, I had 0 interest in being a "kid who wanted to sit around and drink beer in college." The academy is great for many people, especially those looking for the military's definition of "purpose" in their life. However, as a scientifically inclined (current Bioengineering Ph.D. student), liberal, atheist, my experience revealed no "purpose." You will learn to follow orders (of people you are required to outwardly respect, despite what you actually think of them), memorize and regurgitate facts while being yelled at (military equipment, lunch menus, random dates), and countless other "skills" that the military deems vital to officer development. If you're unsure of the plan for your life, but have diverse interests, are looking for a university that will challenge you mentally and physically, and feel the military is a noble calling, then I've got to recommend you go to a high ranking academic university, join a club (or varsity) sports team, join all the other clubs that interest you, get an awesome degree in something you love to learn about, and then go talk to your local military recruiter. If you're still interested in joining the military, then do it, you'll still be an officer just like all the academy grads. If you're not interested in personally contributing the goals of the US military, and you've chosen a new area to provide "purpose" to your life, or you have a new passion, well now you can pursue it wholeheartedly, without a 5 year commitment to something about which you are no longer passionate (or perhaps never were, but as a 17yr old high school senior, the opinions of others convinced you that you were. But now, 4 years the wiser, you can make a little bit better informed decision). That's my 2 cents at least.

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Pam Rogers posted on

This person may have gone to an Ivy League school but she is a COMPLETE and UTTER moron. How do you live in AMERICA and not know that the US NAVAL ACADEMY is a branch of the military? This guy probably ran screaming to the military to get away from his overbearing moronic mother and sister and I am a woman!

Lucky for him he got away.

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Mother Theresa posted on

Your parents should have aborted you.

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Rocky2 posted on

"The Truth About the Academies...."
Wow...
A. What truth do you even know about Service Academies? Perhaps not understanding the service part?
B. Do you realize there are 5 Service Academies? This title is extremely misleading
C. Your brother chose this path. He is an adult; therefore, no need for to try to change his decision.

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Anonymous posted on

Nothing like a sense of entitlement to make somebody sound ignorant. Without people like your brother, you would have no freedom of choice, you elitist twit.

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scott posted on

Is this a serious article? You come across as somone more interested in your feelings than facts ("head of the navy"??) As a graduate, your article seems ill conceived and misleading. Of course USNA is for the military.. sorry your mother didn't understand that part. This by no means detracts from its elite status among all american higher education. There is a reason you brother is drawn to it and maybe you should do a little more research; take the time to understand why.

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Lt beltbuckle posted on

Bwahahaha! Your an idiot.

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Anonymous posted on

Sad part is morons like this vote

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Anonymous posted on

All I can say is, are you seriously that stupid, author? I mean, HOLY CRAP, ITS A MILITARY ACADEMY.

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Anonymous posted on

I would just like to kindly remind you that the education isn't necessarily free. He could pay for it with two rounds to the chest one day. Just letting you know.

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Anonymous posted on

This is a truly uninspiring and simplistic piece. The author was trying to work towards some deeper meaning, but only came up with 'turns out the Naval Academy is part of the military'--pure genius!

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Anonymous posted on

What amazes me is that your family, as I assume you were around for the application process, somehow didn't understand what he applied for in the first place. The nearly 6 month process of submitted documents, essays, physical testing, medical examinations, congressional/senatorial endorsements, and the interview by a Blue and Gold Officer didn't cue your family in to what he asked for? Remember, no one made your brother go, he requested it. If you were my sister and I found out you wrote some ignorant ranting piece of shit like this, I would have stood at attention and loudly informed you to fuck-off, followed by a step back, an about-face, round my corner, and proceed to see you only at family holidays until you apologized as publicly as you shamed me and my alma mater. By the way, your uncle was absolutely correct in stating that businesses love hiring Academy grads... specifically due to the leadership experience we bring from our time in the service of this country... read that as taking America's finest into the most god-awful shitholes on the planet and doing it with a smile on our face.

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Anonymous posted on

Unfortunately the author represents millions of young people today. With only 1% of our citizens in the military why would we expect anything different?

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Citadel '13 posted on

"I was still telling my parents' friends that I went to Columbia, scared that if I revealed my identity as a Barnard student, they would think less of me." Based on the preceding quote from your prior article I'm confused as to why you began this article with saying you chose to attend Columbia.

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tim posted on

Nope, she was totally clueless in 2007, but she got more grants and scholarships to study overseas and continue her adolescence. Assume she is working for a congressman or still in school pursuing other useless issues. who know maybe trying to top the most clueless article of all time.

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