The Air Force Times did an article on the Army’s Alternative Service (lol) Option over the weekend. It’s mostly the same ol’ stuff, with the twist of some quotes and background on Bryce Fisher, Air Force class of 1999 and current Tennessee Titans defensive end. It’s mostly stuff you’ve already seen, but there were a couple things worth mentioning.
We’ll start with the news that the Army is reviewing its policy, with findings due by the end of the month. At least, that’s the way it’s being spun:
An Army spokeswoman, Lt. Col. Anne Edgecomb, said she couldn’t explain why the Army interprets the Defense Department’s policy differently from the Air Force and Navy. Army officials are reviewing this policy with a ruling due by the end of May, she said.
“We are currently conducting an internal review to ensure we are operating within the intent of DoD’s policy and will determine if any adjustments are appropriate,” Edgecomb wrote in an e-mail to Air Force Times.
But let’s be serious here. You don’t need to conduct an internal review “to ensure we are operating within the intent of DoD’s policy.” When the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness sends a memo to service secretaries three days after the NFL draft, reminding them what the DoD policy is and stating that “constructs for ‘active duty’ service should not include arrangements typically unavailable to others in uniform,” any literate person without an agenda already knows that the Army isn’t even coming close to complying with the intent of the DoD policy. So why the review? To figure out another way to circumvent the DoD directive, of course. It’s the only explanation. You don’t need any kind of review to simply say “Yes, sir!” and carry out your orders. So I’m not optimistic that the end of the Alternative Service (lol) Option is imminent, although after Chu’s memo it’d take some serious spinning and loophole-crafting to be able to weasel out of it. We’ll see if the Army can come up with anything.
Meanwhile, the Air Force has used the DoD policy to send a player to the Arena League:
First Lt. Brett Huyser, an Air Force Academy ‘04 grad who started two years on the football team and now plays guard for the Colorado Crush in the Arena Football League might have had a shot in the NFL if the Army’s policy applied to him back then.
“NFL teams called my agent, but once they found out that I would have to sit out for two years they lost interest,” he said.
Huyser transferred out of active duty two years ago and now splits his time in the Reserves working at the Air Force Academy and playing arena football for the Crush, from whom he earned $36,000 a year in his second season.
Wow… Arena football? Really? Good thing nobody’s abusing the DoD policy! I can only assume that Huyser just wasn’t cut out for the elite Combat Coach program. But spending reserve time at the Air Force Academy probably still gives him a chance to provide valuable mentorship, so clearly his education was money well spent by the American taxpayer.
Finally, we have this:
Last June, Air Force Academy baseball star Karl Bolt was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 15th round of the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft after he graduated with his class in May.
Bolt is on active duty at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., but he saves his leave all year so he can break off and play in the Phillies’ minor league farm system over the summer. He is lining up at first base this summer for their Single-A minor league team, the Lakewood BlueClaws in New Jersey.
Man, I had a hard time squeezing in 5 days of leave on active duty. I’m not sure what Bolt’s job is, but I imagine it isn’t exactly a vital one if the command can get by without him for 30 straight days… Assuming that’s all he’s getting.