Diversity at the Helm

We’ve mentioned the Navy’s push for diversity. The boys in blue are in the rack with race-based awards, and there have been allegations of alternative admissions standards for minority Naval Academy applicants. Though CNO Gary Roughead cops to the diversity charge, he denies any changes in admission to the Navy’s fiefdom by the sea.

So what was up with that World Series color guard?

Snagging a sweet deal like a color guard at a nationally televised event is quite the coup, and the Naval Academy pulled it off. The opening of Game Two at Yankee Stadium was Navy’s night to strut. But something was amiss: the team of six midshipman slated to carry the colors was all male and all, shall we say, Caucasian. It seems the diversity police cried “Foul!” and made some last-minute changes.

First reported by the blog, CDR Salamander, (interesting and unusually appropriate rants can be hilarious) , officials hastily added two team members – one female (white) and one Pakistani-American to the color guard. (The latter info came from Fox.) Despite the mayhem in the final seconds, the revised plan for eight went back to six, because it seems one of the new guys did not have a complete uniform. It does appear one of the six males was yanked and replaced by the female. (She brought her full uniform.)


So, in the name of broadcasting diversity via a broadcast network, the academy worked to capitalize on this opportunity. Did they reason, “It serves the greater good, so what does it matter if some mids are used as the expendable marionettes we play them for?” Word of the musical standard bearer game leaked leaving academy officials looking foolish at best. Some may see naval leaders’ priorities in this case as odd and misguided.

How will this influence the soon-to-be commissioned officers? Heightened cynicism? Mistrust of authority? Disgust with the Navy’s efforts to further diversify? Will there be short-term damage for long-term gain? What is the gain, really? We dare say diversity transcends race, ethnicity, and gender, but we’re sure the CNO and academy leadership know better than any former academy minority.

Recent Posts