Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley will be the graduation speaker at the 29 May graduation of the USAFA Class of 2013. President Obama is scheduled to speak at the US Naval Academy graduation on 24 May 2013. (Neither event will have the traditional fly-over or airshow.) It does not appear the West Point speaker has been announced, though the Secretary of Defense is frequently one of the speakers.
President Obama is scheduled to deliver the commencement address at the US Naval Academy at Annapolis this year.
In a statement Monday, Academy officials said that the 1,000-plus midshipmen graduating this year will get the chance to “look to the president for his leadership and wisdom as they get ready for their first assignments.” The event is scheduled for May 23.
The President and other senior leaders traditionally rotate among the service academy graduations each year.
Kate Donovan posted text from interviews she conducted with atheists at the US Naval Academy as part of a series on atheists in the US military academies. The text is interesting as an overview of the midshipmen’s group, but what is fascinating is the mature perspective from some of the mids:
…the paperwork process is slow for all groups, regardless of whether people like our group or not…
…Although our group has not been “official” for this past year — it was due to the fact that all prospective ECA’s must submit paperwork for official review every year in April — no other opportunities are afforded, our group included.
We can host events, but just have to go through the same bureaucracy as everyone else on that…
The theme is consistent: The mids recognize they are subject to Read more…
The recent kerfuffle over amendments to the NDAA that would protect the religious liberty of US troops who oppose homosexuality has risen even to the minority leader of the US House. Rep Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca) said claims of military chaplains needing a “conscience clause” were a “fraud.” The Obama administration had previously seemed to indicate the “rights” of homosexuals outweighed those of Chaplains and other members of the military.
However, in a related article intended to communicate the “non-event” of DADT repeal, The Baltimore Sun validated claims that an environment has been created in the US military hostile toward those opposed to homosexuality, despite official military statements to the contrary.
In The Baltimore Sun article, homosexual midshipmen at the US Naval Academy Read more…
The US Naval Academy at Annapolis won a Boeing-sponsored inter-service academy competition to design a futuristic aircraft cockpit:
The competition, now in its second year, required each academy’s team to design the cockpit of an aircraft for a mission nearly 30 years Read more…
The US Naval Academy recently publicized its pace to set a record for the number of applicants. The US military academies have a notoriously low acceptance rate, an indicator of the competitive nature of selection.
Au contraire, says Annapolis English professor Bruce Fleming.
Fleming, a fairly “frequent critic” of his employer, filed a FOIA to determine how the Naval Academy counts applicants. He says the Academy overstates and artificially inflates the number of people who actually try to get into Annapolis.
The academy counts as “applicants” people who have not completed an application but have shown an interest Read more…
Though “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is technically no more, the conversation over the law’s demise continues.
The Air Force Times notes that, for the most part, the US military academies expect “few changes” in the post-”Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” environment.
US Naval Academy at Annapolis [Correction:] US Coast Guard Academy did announce one specific change: Read more…
US News and World Report‘s ranking of institutions of higher learning is topped by Harvard and Princeton, but the US Air Force Academy posted a strong #2 in the country for Aerospace / Aeronautical / Astronautical undergraduate programs, and #5 for overall Best Undergraduate Engineering programs.
The Stars and Stripes recently had two articles on atheism in the military, one on atheism at the service academies and one in the military in general. Both were written by reporter Chris Carroll.
The first, “Atheists groups find doors open to them at service academies,” notes that all three primary service academies have groups for “nonbelievers.” The one at the Naval Academy is sponsored by Jewish Chaplain (LtCmdr) Seth Phillips:
“The group is no different than any other student group with connections to the outside world,” Phillips said. “The Baptists are supported by the Baptist Student Union, and some other Christian groups get support from the Navigators. In no way is this group unique, different or specially privileged.”
Of course, Chaplain Phillips’ comment makes the most sense with regard to student religious groups. Because there is a Constitutional protection of the human liberty of religious freedom, religious groups may have “unique” or “different” treatment than, Read more…
On June 13, four Naval Academy midshipmen snuck aboard the decommissioned carrier…
And that’s when they decided to take things, according to academy spokesman Lt. Cmdr. William Marks. Gauges. A gyrocompass. Display dials.
“From what we can tell, they were overzealous about collecting cool things from a former aircraft carrier,” Marks said Monday. The mids took their appropriated souvenirs back to their yard patrol craft, where they were caught by the officer-in-charge of the YP.
The event is described as a “recon,” or “stunt.” The Air Force Academy has similar “spirit missions.” While all the service academies have rules against “stealing,” it is not uncommon — in fact, its sometimes encouraged — to appropriate or Read more…
One question asked repeatedly is whether it’s better to go Air Force or Navy if one wants to fly or be a fighter pilot. The FAQ of this site answers this question (as well as many others), but there’s interesting and relevant information from the graduation of the class of 2011 that just occurred.
Class Size: 1035
Pilot Training (incl. “Marine Air”): 305 (30%)
Naval Flight Officer: 75 (7%)
The US Naval Academy practice of conducting a noon-meal prayer is making its near-annual trek through the media. This time, Talbot Manvel, an “adjunct instructor” at Annapolis, wrote an article in the Baltimore Sun saying the USNA puts “tradition ahead of the Constitution.”
So how is the academy defying the Constitution? It has established a religious practice: prayer at its mandatory noon meal for its midshipmen (students). They are marched into the mess hall, called to attention to listen to announcements, and then to prayer by a chaplain before sitting to eat. They are not permitted to leave, and thus they are forced to listen.
(Manvel becomes the latest Naval Academy instructor to publicly malign his employer.) Manvel’s article is rife with error. He cites Mellen v. Bunting, in which the 4th District Court held mealtime prayers at VMI were unConstitutional — a ruling the Supreme Court declined to review. However, he ignores the ruling’s own qualifier: Read more…
The US Air Force and Navy appear to have been in an unspoken competition over their use of “green” or synthetic alternative fuels in their fighters — each vying for “firsts.”
It appears the Air Force Thunderbirds beat the Navy Blue Angels to be the first to use it in their demonstration team:
The Thunderbirds will use alternative fuel, unprecedented for any Department of Defense aerial team, at the [airshow] here May 20 and 21, officials said.
The team will fly with Camelina-based hydrotreated renewable jet fuel as part of the nation’s overall strategy to reduce reliance on foreign energy and establish greater energy security through conservation and use of “home grown” alternative energy sources, said Terry Yonkers, the assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment and logistics.
On a related noted, the Blue Angels apparently had an ‘incident’ Read more…
The US military academies appear to have hammered out their graduation speakers for this year:
- President Obama will reportedly address the US Coast Guard Academy graduation.
- Secretary of Defense Robert Gates will take the US Naval Academy at Annapolis.
- Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley will speak at USAFA’s graduation.
- CJCS Admiral Mike Mullen will address the US Military Academy at West Point.
The top military leadership speaks at the military academy graduations on a rotating basis. For those keeping count, Obama has already spoken at Annapolis, West Point, and now the Coast Guard academy, so if tradition holds he will address USAFA next year.
Ensign Michael Izbicki, a 2008 US Naval Academy graduate, previously sued the US Navy to gain status as a conscientious objector.
A Connecticut news outlet reports Izbicki has been granted an honorable discharge; he, in turn, is dropping his lawsuit.
He’s not getting out of the Navy scot-free. As part of his honorable discharge, Izbicki will have to reimburse the Navy for his education at the Naval Academy. Normally men and women attend the service academies free of charge.
Via the ADF.