It is a setting that exists. I don’t think that I have ever faced it myself. I have met short sighted managers, people whose pupils have reshaped into dollar signs, so if it didn’t meet their revenue goals it would be invisible to the eye. I have met all kinds of stupid people, not those who lacked intelligence, but those who pig headed ran into a situation regardless of the consequence. I have seen all those and I was in the military. I saw the middle east through non touristy eyes, even though my own point of view was warped to say the least. We all have been there or saw something to that degree. Yet the larger stage that the BBC gives us (at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-65724065) is totally new and a new kind of weird. The article ‘Navy finds ‘perfect storm’ of problems in elite Seals course’ doesn’t really come close or do it justice. This is not on the BBC or the writer. They reported and reported correctly. Yet this setting on the US Navy Seals is beyond comprehension. It starts with “The US Navy’s report found that the programme put “candidates at significant risk” of injury and death. The investigation followed the death of a 24-year-old sailor during the course in February 2022” and goes arctic pretty much soon thereafter. You see, I was taken aback when I saw “Naval investigators found that medical care at the course was “poorly organised, poorly integrated and poorly led”, factors which it believes “likely had the most direct impact on the health and well being” of candidates.” Consider that you have a collection of sailors, they are good, really good. As such the Navy have a vested interest to keep them safe. Now some of them think that they have it to be the best of the best of the best of the best. There will be a decent amount who will not make it, we get that. To become one of the elite is questionable on a few levels, but I get that some are driven to become elite and I accept that. I would never be that good, but I get that some are. Now consider that these were already way above average sailors and that is fine. So in what universe is it OK to handle a “poorly organised, poorly integrated and poorly led medical unit?” If they are not the stuff of legend and they state that this is an attrition rate of between 70% and 85% per class. Why not keep those safe and more important keep those who make it even more safe? Even as we get the doctors lollie with “a Navy official said that 10 people identified in the report – including two high ranking officers – are facing possible prosecution for Mr Mullen’s death” the larger issue is not that it was happening, but that there was a cluster of 10 men. This implies a much larger failure and for what? There is absolutely nothing to be gained from this level of failure and I wonder how that sails on the court martial hearings of the top brass involved.
Then we get to “The report also found that some students turned to performance-enhancing drugs to improve their chances of completing BUD/S, a long-standing issue that the Navy had been slow to address.” This is another notch on the top brass addressing list. A place like the Navy Seals with ‘a long-standing issue that the Navy had been slow to address’? The Navy Seals no less, someone didn’t want this to be dealt with. A sort of accepted level of cheating. Will the person do whatever needs to be done? That is more than a tall order and it stands that those who make it, some will be dopey’s and more importantly they will have mental health issues, because when you are willing to do whatever needs to be done, the civilian side in that person will not be working properly and that person becomes a hazard to all around him. That is a setting that is clear from the very start and the top brass did not see that? Where did they get their ranks? With a pack of butter at the 7-11?
I have ousted and firm believes and I get that plenty will not adhere to that, or even accept that. I was in favour of targeted killing from the start. To see this I need to give you the talk. You see most judges are to my point of view cowards, they adhere to the golden calf. Why you ask? The law is there for us all and it keeps 80% within lines. 19.997% are criminals and repeat offenders and the law deals with that, I am all for that. Yet there is a 0.003% that are driven by chaos, to hurt and kills whatever needs hurting or killing. They will never stop and until they are dead everyone is at risk. So it is a rare thing but it needs to be done. Now consider that the Navy has a training camp that creates people that are part of that 0.003% group. This is not fighting fire with fire, this is creating a fire and walking away, let nature run its course. Now in the wild this might optionally happen. Yet what to do when such a fire is set in Tampa Florida? A place with over 35% forests in the city and that city has 387,000 people, what then? As such, for a unit like the Navy Seals better than expected medical needs would be essential, when you unite these two views you will see that keeping these seals at the top of their game would be essential. As such the failure of the top brass here is a much larger failure than anyone ever considered. I am not sure if the Navy and its secretary Carlos Del Toro have any clue how large the failings are in this place. If not for those who are then at the very least for the ones who did not make it, because no one in the navy likes failure. We get that some have their sights set too high and this happens, but that is why these training camps exist. Many will wash out and they will understand it was not for them, but they were still better than good sailors and that waste is perhaps the most grievous failing. They failed the man of the navy to an unacceptable level and for the “slow to address” side? Well that is a whole other enchilada that the Navy and its JAG division will need to take a hard and harsh look at.
Enjoy the near end of the weekend.