Military Academies as Professional Sports Farm Teams

Or not.  Secretary of Defense James Mattis has reversed an Obama administration late 2016 move that

allowed academy students with exceptional sports talent to bypass active-duty and serve out their time in the military reserves to play in professional leagues.

Dana White, Pentagon spokesman, on the matter:

Our military academies exist to develop future officers who enhance the readiness and the lethality of our military services.  Graduates enjoy the extraordinary benefit of a military academy education at taxpayer expense.

Unfortunately, the new policy still lets these Academy-trained officers to apply for a waiver after just two years on active duty.  An Academy grad, like ROTC grads, normally have rather longer commitments.  An Air Force Academy graduate, for instance, must on entering the Academy

accept an appointment and serve as a commissioned officer in the Air Force for at least eight years after graduation, five of which must be active duty and the remainder can be served as inactive reserve. You will become eligible to request a separation from the Air Force after five years of service.

Mattis’ move is a good start, but Academy graduates should serve their full commitment, not just two years of it.

Having honored their commitment, only then should they be able to move on. Special treatment is uncalled for.

You’d have thought that to be obvious.

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