US Politics

But, will you walk the walk?

I am not surprised by this, especially in light of some of the college Republicans I met in college. The Nation has posted an article by Clarisse Profilet concerning the “young chickenhawks.” Apparently, officials of college Republican organizations have been pushing the war and the Bush agenda, despite no intention to serve in the military themselves. Excuse me? My guess is that these same folks would criticize others for their lack of military service, should push come to shove.

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  • This article was of the poorest journalistic quality. Here is what I wrote The Nation in response (although they have yet to print a correction):
    Dear Editor,

    Regarding your October 12th article in which you quoted me (The Young Chickenhawks), your reporting is ignorantly poor at best. You seem to make assumptions without taking people – namely me – at their word. I WAS in the Navy ROTC program because since then I have graduated and been commissioned an officer in the United States Navy. I am going into naval aviation (read: high potential for combat situations). It just so happens the Navy desires their officers to have a high level of technical proficiency, thus they send a few individuals to graduate school each year.

    As a member of the Armed Force, I can make no public comments regarding the US’s foreign policy, hence my hesitation to acknowledge my current position due to the fear of being misquoted or used for propaganda. I made no comments indicating I was not in the Armed Forces, I’m pretty sure I never used the words “and that’s a fact,” and, by the way, I’ve never moderated a blog. I see now that even though I tried to remain silent on some issues, they were still used for propaganda.

    I would appreciate an immediate correction, as it seems you desire to slander my name, the cause of conservative organizations in America, and the Armed Forces. Thank you.

    Christopher Hill
    Ensign, USN

  • Mr. Hill,

    Thank you for noting your letter to the Nation. I have to wonder, however, how you were misquoted in the first place. Are the quotations attributed to you incorrect?

    Did you choose to go to graduate school (Navy or not) or did the Navy choose that for you? When will you see combat? You could have chosen to go now and go to graduate school later, right?


  • Jason,

    Thank you for your questions.

    I joined Navy ROTC during spring semester 2001 (I was in Air Force ROTC the prior semester, but was rejected for medical reasons – desiring to serve, I was able to get the Navy to give me a waiver). This was before 9/11. It was my intention the entire time to serve in aviation since I thought it would be the best place that I could be effective.

    After September 11th happened, I would have gone over to Afghanistan (or Iraq later) in a heartbeat if given the opportunity. However, I was not given that opportunity. In fact, I was under obligation to finish my college degree. Upon graduation, I was given the chance to go directly to flight school (takes about 2 years before I would see any possible combat), or since the Navy’s flight school has been backed up recently (too many people), I could get a 1-yr masters degree in the mean time. Those were my only 2 options. It was my choice, and I was about to say, “screw the masters degree, I want to go over and help.” However, with a lot of coaxing from my superiors – and the fact that flight school takes 2 yrs anyway – they convinced me this is the right decision.

    See, the military is always turning over. That means that there is constant change, and they need people to be highly trained. In other words, they don’t just take a bunch of new individuals and throw them into combat. Most of the people in combat have had years of training by that point. So even if I could have enlisted instead (which I couldn’t have), it would have been at least a year before I could see any kind of combat. And since I’m in the Navy, the best chance to see combat is through naval aviation.

    In addition, I am working on thesis work at a military institution (where I’m getting my masters degree), which gives direct help to military applications. Although I am studying and learning, which is how the US Military spends MOST of its time, I’m also giving support to current military efforts.

    Lastly, I must point out that although my future job might entail a good deal of combat, most military jobs are support roles, not combat ones. Our ability to prepare and support our troops is one reason why we are so effective as a military force. No one in the Armed Services deserves to be demeaned, demoralized, or otherwise insulted for doing their job. It is a team effort.

    Chris Hill

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