Honor, Courage and Commitment; these are the core values of the United Sates Navy. From the first day of boot camp, sailors are taught to do everything in life with honor, have the courage to do what is right, and be committed to seeing goals through to their end. This is true when talking about going to war and facing the enemy as much as it is true for PT testing. Or, at least, it should be. As sailors fresh from boot camp move on to their respective “A” schools for further training, it seems many of them are incapable of passing the Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA). When questioned as to why they had failed, multiple sailors laid the blame squarely at the feet of their Recruit Divisional Commanders (RDC) by claiming that they were encouraged to alter test results in order to achieve a passing grade.
While I was a fresh sailor, we were expected to be capable of completing the required amount of sit-ups, push-ups, and the run in an acceptable amount of time. No slack was given and you either had the numbers or you did not. As recruits, we were threatened by the RDC with a long wait with extra duties in a holding unit on our way out of the Navy if we were caught boosting numbers for another recruit. So what has changed?
Either the fresh graduates have a lack of honor and are blaming RDC’s for their own shortcomings, or the whole system is lacking honor, courage, and commitment. If the recently graduated are falsely blaming others, they have no honor. If the RDC’s are in fact encouraging cheating, however, they are lacking all three. They do not have enough honor to train sailors to the proper standards, they are not committed to growing a strong Navy, and they do not have the courage to call out RDC’s they know to be encouraging such behaviors.
The Navy is conducting an investigation into this, but what happens if the allegations are true? The individual sailors will be fixed by their commands as they will either pass future PFA’s or they will fail and be pushed out. The RDC’s on the other hand have shown to be lacking in the very core values of the Navy and should receive more than just a slap on the wrist. At the very least, they are encouraging a naval force that is lacking in the most basic of requirements. At the worst, they have created a fighting force that will fail and jeopardize the very lives they are charged with protecting.
This investigation is one that must be brought to conclusion quickly and accurately. With the world in a constant state of conflict, it is only a matter of time until the Navy is once again called upon to protect the high seas, and if the sailors are not fit for the job, they will be met with failure. And, as time goes on, the Navy is bound to grow again. Should this encouragement of poor character continue to grow, the leadership of the Navy will soon be in question.
No matter the findings of this investigation, Honor, Courage, and Commitment must be restored to the ranks or everything else is for naught.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.