SET TO COURT-MARTIAL LIEUTENANT
The Navy is getting ready to make a faculty member at the Naval Academy "walk-the-plank" over some crude words he used and quickly apologized for. Such is today's "politically-correct" Navy. Lt. Bryan Black is lucky he is only facing loss of his job and career. At least, he won't have to face jail time for his unpardonable sin.
The OCS grad, who holds a master of science degree from the University of South Florida, has taught at Annapolis since 2003, and up until-now, has had an unblemished record.
The trouble began several months ago during a field trip to Norfolk, Va. Black, who teaches oceanography at the Annapolis military academy, was leading a group of cadets, both male and female, past the decommissioned battleship Wisconsin.
A QUICK APOLOGY ACCEPTED FOR A "DUMB, CRUDE REMARK"
We won't repeat the dumb crack Black made about the warship and a certain part of his anatomy. Or what he said when he asked a shocked female midshipman what her reaction was to the Wisconsin's long guns. It was foul-mouthed, stupid, and Black realized he'd behaved badly. He apologized to the cadet and it was accepted. There the incident should have ended. But it didn't.
Enter fire-breathing feminist Lt. Cdr. Shelly Whisenhant who pushed the issue right up the chain-of-command. "Political correctness" is the order of the day, and thus Black should be "made to pay," preferably with his career in the Navy ended, if Whisenhant has her way.
Now, we're not saying the aggressive lady officer has an agenda or deep personal dislike of Black that caused her to ignore the apology accepted and create a situation where the Navy is forced to court-martial an otherwise excellent faculty member at the Naval Academy.
Whisenhant is not a man-hating lesbian or agitator trying to "get even" with a colleague she wishes to see harmed. We accept on face value that her sensibilities were bruised by the crudity of Black's comments, and that is why she thought it necessary to so vigorously pursue this case.
ARE WORDS NOW CONSIDERED A "CRIMINAL OFFENSE?"
Defense attorney Charles Gittens says "in the context of the remarks," although crude, Black's words do not constitute a "criminal offense." But the reality of the situation is Naval Academy Superintendent, Vice Adm. Rodney Rempt, knows his bosses at the Pentagon will smile upon and reward him if Black is made an example of.
The brasshat showed his knack for political posturing when he offered Black "nonjudicial punishment." The young lieutenant would have gladly settled for that and counted his blessings, but Rempt wanted more. He insisted the action be taken in public, "in the foyer of the academy's administration building."
We can see it now. Invite all the female officers and cadets to sit in the front rows and witness Black's utter humiliation. They can jeer and hiss to their heart's content. Like a Roman circus. The feminists would love it.
But NJP is usually conducted behind closed doors.
Black declined to go through that and decided he would take his chances at court-martial. Another big mistake. In the super-charged atmosphere in which he finds himself, Black has about as much chance of survival as a snow ball in hell. Only a miracle could prevent him being kicked out of the Navy.
Gittins has defied the odds before, and - along with retired Navy CDR John "Bull Dog" Wells - is the best in the business. But at the end of the day, he will find himself fighting an uphill battle against what some might call "over-zealous" prosecution. And with that being the case, the chances of Black staying in the Navy are slim to none.