Best Defense

Why she’s leaving her Navy

This young officer lists 4 reasons for resigning her commission.



This young officer lists 4 reasons for resigning her commission:

— Promotions have little to do with merit, which encourages a mediocre culture.

— Difficult to start and maintain personal relationships.

— She wants to run her own life

— The “factor that I found most frustrating is the toxicity of a perpetually anti-intellectual, change-resistant organization.”

What strikes me most about this list is not the reasons, but that the Navy’s leadership hears them over and over again, and does almost nothing to address them. I think this is a problem across our military right now. The millennials have different expectations, and people my age simply mock them all too often. Look, I don’t like office birthday parties any more than you do. But that’s how they do nowadays.

Meanwhile, commanders are all like, “oh, you ignint JOs, just go read Message to Garcia.” I think we probably need to throw out that book.

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at @tomricks1
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