Army’s Internal Review

The Army’s “internal review” to determine whether or not the Alternative Service Option was in compliance with Department of Defense policy is still underway, according to Sal Interdonato of the Times Herald-Record. An earlier report stated that a ruling would occur by the end of May, but that obviously didn’t happen; in fact, Interdonato is reporting that “the length of the review process is not known.”  I stated in that previous post that I felt this “review” was a farce, and to me, the way the Army is dragging their feet with it only reinforces that opinion. I mean, come on… How long do you really need to figure out if what you’re doing is permissible? And why only conduct an internal review to determine if they’re in compliance with an external policy? Wouldn’t it make more sense to call up the Office of the Secretary of Defense– the actual author of the policy in question– and ask if they thought that the Army’s policy was compatible with their own directive? Of course it would. But OSD has already responded to the Army policy, saying that “constructs for ‘active duty’ service should not include arrangements typically unavailable to others in uniform.” That should be it, right? Well, apparently not, and the fact that the Army is even conducting a “review” after such a cut & dry statement from Dr. Chu says all you need to know about their intention. They aren’t reviewing anything. They’re trying to figure out another loophole to exploit. The delay past the original May target just tells me that they haven’t found one yet. The best case scenario is probably for the Army just to keep postponing their final report until the NFL season starts, say that they aren’t in compliance and will alter the ASO, but still allow Caleb Campbell to play since he would have already made the team by then. The Army would justify it by saying that it’d be “unfair to Campbell” for the Army to go back on the promise they gave him (or something along those lines). But we’ll have to wait and see.

One more thing about Interdonato’s article. Notice the headline? “Army reviews play-instead-of-serve policy.” Then the first sentence:

The policy that allows former Army safety Caleb Campbell to pursue an NFL career rather than serve active duty is being reviewed by the Department of Army.

Play instead of serve? Pursue an NFL career rather than serve active duty? Apparently everyone isn’t buying into the Army’s “It’s still serving, just in a different way!” mantra.

Along those lines, today is day one of the Major League Baseball draft. Mitch Harris will surely be drafted, and according to Bill Wagner, he might not be alone.

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3 Responses

  1. I agree with you. There’s nothing to interpret, Chu’s direction was clear. Army is just trying to figure out how to either circumvent it or blow it off.

  2. The subject of Dr Chu’s memo was direction enough: “Policy for Academy and ROTC Graduates Seeking to Participate in Professional Sports BEFORE Completion of the Active Duty Service Obligations.” The use of ‘before’, assuming it was intentional (it was), sure signals to me that Dr Chu is nixing the possibility of active duty being equal to participation in professional sports, and vice versa.

    One other point, for the sea lawyers (heh) in the Army who point to WCAP as satisfying Dr Chu’s “arrangements typically unavailable to others in uniform” edict: olympic sports ain’t professional.

  3. Yeah. They are just going trying weasel out on this one. I think they want to bury it and having no time frame means they never have to address it.

    Of course, on the bright side, not many thought SECDEF would fire the USAF leadership. There may be hope for a directed response from OSD if the Army tries to dodge this.

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