September 09, 2007

LAST WEEK'S ISSUE: -- At Navy away games, with the exception of the Army-Navy and Notre Dame contests, a raucous band of cheering Mids, clad in white, will no longer fill the stands. Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Jeffrey Fowler has ended the practice of offering midshipmen special incentives, including travel reimbursements in some cases, to attend out-of-town football games.

Capt. Margaret Klein, the commandant, said some activities must be reduced to allow midshipmen to fulfill their military obligations.

Should the academy make a priority of helping Mids attend out-of-town football games?

A chance to meet the midshipmen

I think they should attend games. As a loyal fan and supporter of Rutgers, we always enjoy the games against the military academies and the opportunity to talk with midshipmen and cadets as they walk through our tailgating areas. We are proud of our military and look forward to thanking these young people for serving our country. We like having them in the stands cheering for their team.

Removing their presence from the athletic events is shortsighted, selfish and wrong. Please don't take that away from America.

Jane Luther-Umstadter Brielle, N.J.

An expression of commitment

The Mids should be going to football games. It shows camaraderie, support of the team and the academy and the commitment these incredible men and women have made, especially in time of war.

Seeing them in the stands, cheering especially "I Believe We Will Win" with the incredible backing for the past supe was wonderful.

We as a nation need to see outward support and that was an obvious one that is sadly missed.

Kathy Tuck Pismo Beach, CA

The writer is the parent of a 2007 academy graduate.

Raising visibility of the academy

Midshipmen should be offered incentives to attend away football games, depending on the distance to travel. As I understand it, they can go to the away games if they have a way to get there and they are on liberty.

This is a great loss in the PR department. The presence of midshipmen in the stands makes the academy very visible, and it needs that.

We will be at the Rutgers game this Friday night , and there will be no midshipmen there except the drum and bugle corps and the cheerleaders. Who are they going to lead in cheering?

Liberty does not start until after evening meal, so no one can get there from Annapolis in time for the game - and this is a sold-out game.

Mary K. Duff Scotch Plains, N.J.

Allow them to travel

As a parent of a midshipman, I am responding to your question. Should the academy make it a priority? No, and I don't think anyone is saying that they should. But if midshipmen would like to go and are in good standing within their class, they should be allowed to go to the away games.

It was very discouraging to see so few midshipmen on TV for the game vs. Temple. These are times for the Naval Academy to shine in the public view, and I think it was lost. Midshipmen in the stands are the 12th man on the field.

John Cole Buford, Ga.

Bad example of leadership

This will be the first lesson in their careers: how not to motivate the people they will lead into battle and how not to lead. I think the saying, "The beatings will continue until morale improves" came from the Navy, and this is an example of why.

This will also divide the middies as some groups - football, basketball and lacrosse players, will be allowed to leave the Yard for away games while others will have to stay and endure the rigors of preparing to fight a war.

Give me an example of where, in the history of the Naval Academy, the men and women who have graduated have not been prepared to go to battle. Most of that kind of preparedness comes from the fleet, not from college textbooks anyway. At the academy they should learn how to become great naval officers. Teach them how to be leaders at the academy. The fleet teaches them how to fight the machines they will employ out in the world to win wars.

If the military thinks they have a hard time recruiting and keeping good men and women now, wait until word of this spreads throughout the high schools. Having three kids that age now, I know what a bad reputation the academies have already for recruitment.

Good luck Navy. BEAT ARMY!

Cmdr. John Burge Rushville, Ohio

The writer is in the Navy Reserve.

Police changes strongly supported

I am the parent of a Naval Academy midshipman. I first heard of the changes and some of the initial fallout from other parents of midshipmen. I was skeptical because there is a certain amount of latent hysteria among a small but noisy percentage of midshipmen parents who, among other social problems, have trouble coming to grips with the maturation of their children.

After reading the public statements of the new administration, it was clear to me that they are correct in their assessment of current state of the academy and are right on track to make changes necessary to accomplish its mission.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.