On the entitlement mentality

Workout notes weights only. Yes, it was pretty outside but my running and walking muscles needed a rest; I did walk to the barbershop though (about .75 miles each way).

rotator cuff
pull ups: 15-10-10-10-10 (55 total)
squats: 6 sets of 6: weightless, 45, 45, 65, 65, 75 (yes, that light; attempt to go all the way down each time)
bench press: 10 x 135, 4 x 190, 10 x 170 (good)
incline press: 10 x 135
military press: 8 x 50 dumbbell, standing, 15 x 50 dumbbell, seated, supported, 10 x 40 dumbbell (standing)
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine
headstand (twice; unsteady the first time; I have trouble when I am restless)
abs: 2 sets of 10 yoga leg lifts, 12 twist crunch, 24 regular crunch.

Title of the post I was leafing through my alumni magazine (U. S. Naval Acadmey) Shipmate (May-June 2016) . I was struck by something I read in Class News (Class of 88, pp. 132-133). The class secretary wrote to state that he was stepping down from that post, as well as from his Blue and Gold Support post, Orlando Chapter (Alumni Association President) along with other posts.

The reason: his son didn’t get accepted to the Naval Academy. The author of the article went on to talk about how much his son did in extracurricular activities (class president, Eagle Scout, Sea Cadet awards, etc), how he had “great” entrance scores (ACT?SAT), “great grades”. Furthermore, he mentioned that flag rank officers had written letters attesting to the character of his son, that Blue and Gold officers lobbied for his son’s behalf, etc.
He then went on to claim that less worthy people got in and, yes, brought up “women” and “diversity”, and even brought up that some excited person on the Service Academy Forum website expressed excitement of having gotten into the 3 major service academies and wondered “which should I pick; the Naval Academy has the coolest uniforms” (not a direct quote).

The rant went on for 3 columns. But what really interested me is that the author of the rant was dismayed that there were TOO FEW “legacy admissions” (a type of affirmative action for the connected!). I also note that the author of the article didn’t exactly have access to the admission files of the applicants.

My main point: THAT is what “entitlement” looks like. “DAMN IT MY SON (read I) DID EVERYTHING RIGHT SO HE (read I) DESERVES…”. And yes, the rant’s author’s son got a nice NROTC scholarship to Auburn, so it isn’t as if he is left out on the cold.

Moral: Regardless of what conservatives tell you, entitlement isn’t always stuff like this.

Now of course, I don’t know the full story and I don’t know if the author is telling the full story. And it has been a while since I graduated (class of 1981); I do know that, in my day, the Academy strove for geographical diversity. In my company were at least three people with less-than-stellar entrance credentials: me (from Austin, TX), my best friend (from an inner city school in Baltimore) and another friend from rural Alabama. One was Hispanic, one was black (my best friend) and one was white (the Alabama guy). Two of us made it; looking back on it, the Alabama guy probably could have benefited from the prep school (for his academics, which is what did him in).

But that is hindsight.

Anyway, I wonder how outraged the author of that article would be to find that out. 🙂

Now more about my story: I got in under a “Presidential nomination” (active duty and retired military class) though I got a primary nomination to West Point from Representative Jake Pickle (D-Texas) and I was accepted by West Point.
But I was turned down by the Air Force Academy because I failed the P. E. entrance test (shuttle run, basketball throw, pull up, broad jump). And yes, I practiced for the test. I did get a late offer to go to the Air Force Academy Prep School though, and West Point mailed me a suggested “get in shape workout schedule” which had suggestions from Roger Staubach, of all people! (Naval Academy grad).

Yes, I failed the physical fitness entrance exam.

Later, during my senior year at Annapolis, I took a trip to watch Navy play Air Force in football at the Air Force Academy. I was hosted by an Air Force Cadet (generous host; we had a great time) but when we went running together, at altitude, I noticed that I had to slow down quite a bit for him. Ironic no?

On a much more famous level, Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz wanted to get into West Point but couldn’t get a nomination but got one for the Naval Academy. Army General Dwight Eisenhower (later President of the United States) couldn’t get a Naval Academy appointment (age) and went to West Point instead. So weird stuff happens.


July 1, 2016 - Posted by | social/political, weight training | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] this post (about my Naval Academy experience and other things) got me thinking about this […]

    Pingback by Accepting what you don’t do well « blueollie | July 2, 2016 | Reply

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