25. March 2006 · Comments Off on More Annapolis Grads Choosing The Corps. · Categories: General

This from Bradley Olson at The Baltimore Sun:

Despite a war that has entered its fourth year with mounting casualties and waning public support, more and more midshipmen at the Annapolis military college are volunteering for the Marines when asked to choose how they will fulfill the five-year commitment required of all academy graduates.

When the assignments were made official last month for the 992 members of the class of 2006, 209 were placed as officers with the Corps – the most in the school’s 161-year history. And more would have done so if there were enough openings: an additional 45 who sought the Marines were assigned to other duty when the allotment was filled.


Most academy officials believe interest is high for patriotic reasons – the phenomenon began not long after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Others, including midshipmen, said the enthusiasm could be part of a common trend in wartime at the nation’s service academies, where young students have been eager to bolster their military credentials with combat experience.

Having a surplus of mids who want to be Marines has been a change from the Vietnam era. In 1968, the Marine Corps failed to meet its quota for the first time in academy history.

In the 2006 class, 349 mids were assigned to naval aviation as pilots or navigators; 270 chose to “go SWO,” academy parlance for working on surface warships; 88 went to subs; 21 will train for the SEALs – the Navy’s elite fighting force. Fifteen went to special operations such as explosives disposal, 10 will attend medical school and the rest will fill a variety of military billets, including intelligence, civil engineering and information warfare.

I can certainly understand the desire of warriors to actually see something of war. In today’s world, Navy people, who are not aviators, are unlikely to see much action. There may be another factor, for the young officer: IMHO the Marines are the most dynamically managed service, the Navy the most lethargic.

Hat Tip: InstaPundit, who spends a lot of time on the issue of “mounting casualties.”

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