Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus
This is one of the more inane, disrespectful and lavishly wasteful ideas to come out of the Federal government in some time.
Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, who should have more sense, has proposed in his “21st Century Sailor and Marine Initiative” the idea of normalizing a breathalyzer test (!) for Sailors and Marines reporting for duty. Yes, that’s correct. Showing up for duty is going to be regarded as probable cause for drug testing, as if our AVF were composed primarily of skid row derelicts.
Nice move Mr. Secretary. Stay classy.
That this is yet another example of the demeaning, exploitative, contempt towards normal Americans by our Creepy-state bipartisan elite goes without saying, but the reaction of those so insulted is worth noting:
Best Defense (guest post):
….This is among the most paternalistic, professionally insulting concepts I’ve seen in all my years of service, and I’m not sure I will submit. Yes, I know my options, and I just may exercise them and go right over the side the first time the duty blowmeister shoves a plastic tube in my face and treats me like a drunk driver for daring to report for duty. To the CNO, CMC, CMC of the Navy, and SgtMaj of the Marine Corps, here’s my question: At what point will one of you four exercise your duty to tell the Secretary of the Navy, “Hey, Boss, WTF, over?” and that he really ought to fire whichever clown came up with this idea to screen everyone to identify serial alcohol abusers who are readily identifiable through other means. One or more of you needs to find the moral courage to recommend relegating this part of the initiative to the dustbin of really bad naval ideas.
USNI Blog (BJ Armstrong):
….Recently a string of new policies and programs have washed over the decks of our Navy. We’re told they are designed to address everything from the surge in CO firings, to alcohol abuse, to the identified need to increase “diversity.” Training, trackers, new layers of bureaucratic offices, and new ways of testing/identifying the “bad apples” are all in the works. Some of the initiatives appear more connected to reality than others. The issues, like sexual assault and substance abuse, are serious and are challenges that our Navy should be addressing. In many cases, however, we are attempting to install programmatic and bureaucratic solutions to what are essentially humanistic problems. These are problems of leadership, character, and integrity and must be addressed with wisdom as much as programs and bureaucracy.
I suspect, if we were to scrape away the insincerely saccharine and frankly deceptive rhetoric offered by Mabus for this kind of a camel’s nose in the tent program, we will see old fashioned venality at work. Off the shelf commercial breathalyzers are not exactly cheap and testing 500,000 active duty personnel who make up the Navy and Marine Corps daily,(!) the DoD civilian contractor support for counseling and “training” program development, supplemental extensions for testing the reserves and so on, will represent lucrative paydays in the billions for somebody.
Will those “somebodies” be friends of the current administration? Let’s place our bets now.
[ Sidebar: Let's also guess how long before this initiative is extended elsewhere, in the civilian world, with results, recorded, tracked and shared without your consent by your employer. Can't happen here? Oh, Really? I bet you once never expected to have government employees demand to take nude pictures of you at the airport either]
The diversion of resources this proposed insanity represents from warfighting, acquisition, real military training or PME, medical care for our wounded or a thousand other authentic needs of the Navy or Marine Corps would be a scandal in an earlier era. But we do not live in an earlier era, and the defense budget is just another pile of seed corn to eat as far as the beltway boomer oligarchy are concerned.
Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington, Great Britain’s greatest military hero, when asked about his soldiers, described them as “The scum of the Earth, enlisted for drink”. Winston Churchill, over a century later, said the culture of the Royal Navy was based upon “Rum, sodomy and the lash”. This encapsulates an aristocratic worldview of rulers toward their servants and comprises a long military tradition in whose footsteps Navy Secretary Mabus is following.
It just isn’t an American military tradition.