Midshipmen, Officers and Lacrosse Players

Monday, May 11th, 2009

It was Navy weekend with the NROTC commissioning ceremonies at both NC State and Duke Universities. Gratifying to be around so many purposeful young men and women and their inspiringly proud parents. Observing 12 young midshipmen take the oath of office then promoted to Ensigns and hearing of their assignments to nuclear submarines, airplane squadrons and the Medical Corps excited me about the intriguing futures in store for each and diminished the weight of the prevailing befuddling stream of economic news.

After these Friday ceremonies, we prepared for a BBQ and the Navy vs Duke lacrosse match as part of the NCAA tournament. A vicious thunderstorm forced us inside without much loss of our spirits, but whatever good mood remained was completely dispelled when Duke ran off 10 unanswered goals in the first period. Even John Paul Jones might have struck his colors at that point. As Yankee Yogi would say, ‘it got late early for Navy.’

Duke is off to Annapolis next weekend to play UNC in the second round of this championship! The schools are 20 minutes apart and will drive 11 hours round-trip for a 90 minute game. Go Green Movement! Of course, both are happy to be in the final 8 no matter where the field.

Lacrosse participation is certainly on the rise as the Duke players appeared larger, faster and more skilled. Thirty years ago, the Navy had the larger and faster players keeping them competitive even when they were not as skilled. I’m sure that the distribution of talent into our corps of naval and marine officers follows an opposite trend, more talent is drawn from a smaller pool of interested parties.

In both the commissioning ceremonies and the lacrosse game, one had to both entertained and satisfied that there is wealth of talented and capable youth readying to relieve the watch.