Rebuttals to the ‘Proceedings’ Defense of the New Age Ethics Program at the Academy
This series of essays by Dr. Gerald L. Atkinson and The Admiral Who Must Remain Anonymous USN (Ret.) rebuts CAPT Mark Clemente’s defense (’Why We Teach Leadership and Ethics at the Naval Academy’) of the new ‘ethics’ program at the U.S. Naval Academy which appeared in the February 2000 issue of the Navy’s ‘Proceedings’ magazine. This series of essays are presented here because the ‘Proceedings’ would not publish them (even in vastly shortened form) without myriad delay and ‘censorial’ editing. They are entitled, ‘The Stockdale Dilemma: Why Stoicism at the Academy?’, ‘The Nancy Sherman Dilemma: Who is Conning Whom?’, ‘Two Major Faults in the New Ethics Program,’ ‘Who Chooses America’s Heroes in the Age of Multiculturalism?’, and ‘Leadership, Ethics, and POWs.’ The latter essay was authored by Admiral Anonymous.
The Stockdale Dilemma: Why Stoicism at the Academy? by Dr. Gerald L. Atkinson
This essay traces the historical context in which the ancient Stoics lived. We find that this philosophy, ideally suited to slaves, prisoners of war, and others who are under the oppressive control of others; but not to a nation with a promising future or core combat leaders who must be prepared to win America’s future wars. In each age, the Stoics’ faith, characterized by historians as an apathetic acceptance of defeat, has prospered in civilizations which were in precipitous stages of a terminal state of decay, dissolution, and despair. This is not a foundational philosophy for the education of our nation’s future core combat naval leadership.
The Nancy Sherman Dilemma: Who is Conning Whom? by Dr. Gerald L. Atkinson
Those who defend the new Leadership and Ethics program at the U.S. Naval Academy are acting like politicians. Rather than taking a stand for teaching ethics based on the 'virtue tradition,' as has been historical there, they are trying to convince us that the New Age 'ethics' being taught there is somehow superior. Like unprincipled politicians, they are trying to have it both ways. Dr. Nancy Sherman, who actually designed, implemented and staffed the new ‘ethics’ program at the Academy is unmasked as a radical feminist ‘change agent’ ‘facilitator,’ well versed in Kurt Lewins’ T-Group behavior modification techniques. These ‘sensitivity training’ techniques are well suited to ‘changing the souls’ of Midshipmen at the Academy. Read this essay to find, in her own written words, how she and her civilian ‘change agents’ there have set about accomplishing this feat.
Two Major Faults in the New Ethics Program by Dr. Gerald L. Atkinson
This essay emphasizes that the new ‘ethics’ program as it is now constituted has at least two major flaws. They are foundational. They are fundamental to the practical every-day operation of the program. I have found these flaws from conversations with Navy officers who are closely involved in the program. There is a sense by some that the program is confused and this confusion is apparent and picked up by the midshipmen who are subject to it. Thus, they become confused and disinterested. The reasons for this are presented in this essay.
Who Chooses America’s Heroes in the Age of Multiculturalism? By Dr. Gerald L. Atkinson
This essay presents an account of 1st LT John Bobo, USMC, who heroically gave his life in the Vietnam War to save his platoon from the same fate. Why do we not hear of John Bobo, during a presidential election cycle, on Memorial Day, or during Fourth of July Celebrations? Why do we hear of our World War II generation heroes, our Vietnam War POWs, and others — but not John Bobo? Who chooses those whom we venerate for their bravery, courage, and heroic acts? Read this essay to find out. It says more about us than it does about them.
Leadership, Ethics, and POWs by The Admiral Who Must Remain Anonymous, USN (Ret.)
Why do you imagine the U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings failed to publish this essay, a mild rebuttal of the official defense of the new ‘ethics’ program at the U.S. Naval Academy published in the February 2000 issue of that journal? It is a balanced, straightforward view of what an old-timer believes to be the fundamental question concerning the program — does it lead to a future core combat naval leadership which can help fight and WIN America’s future wars. Does it instill the kind of patriotism and devotion to duty, honor, country that led to the winning of the Battle of the Pacific in World War II? If it does not, then it is flawed. But still, better yet, can you guess why this venerable and universally-respected officer of World War II and the Cold War withdrew the essay from publication after months-and-months of wrangling over the editorial review of his essay by Navy officials? Whatever, read this essay. It is superb!