A US Navy midshipman and former high school cheerleader flamboyantly strutted down to find out his assignment during the Surface Warfare Officer Ship Selection ceremony and the end of January- and a lot of military personnel aren’t happy about it.
In a video posted online, Midshipman Jarred Reid-Dixon hip-swayed his way down to the selection board amid the cheers of his peers. The video’s caption read: “Meanwhile in the #Navy Graduation Ceremony. Watch our new officer coming through.”
However, Reid-Dixon’s feminine and flamboyant behaviour in uniform -particularly at such an important event- was not well-received by the internet.
“That guy just made a mockery of everything the Navy stands for,” one commenter said. “No pride or professionalism there.”
Others noted that while Reid-Dixon is (presumably) a homosexual, there is no reason for him to act in such a why while in uniform.
When pressed to comment, the Uncle Sam’s misguided children Facebook page (which reposted the video) weighed in on the incident.
“As an 0311 who served with 3/7 (3rd Battalion, 7th Marines), personally I don’t care if gays serve in our military, every Company had at least one that we know off when I was in,” he said. “I had one in our platoon who was a hard-charger but never flamboyant. We all respected him as a brother and Marine and what he did in his own time was none of our business. Now my question is why are enlisted held to higher standards and how come this is alright but having tattoos is not. That’s my issue is there is some bias. If enlisted are expected to act in a certain professional demeanor than I would expect our higher ups will show us by their own merit and leadership. But if you are gay and you want to pick up a rifle to fight amongst warriors than [sic] so be it. Let’s just try to keep whatever is left of our heritage and our dignity while we are all at it. With the new technology we easily carry in our pockets we can do enough PR damage to ourselves in the process. Is not just us watching but the world and our enemies. Let’s keep our baring in our distinguished ceremonies. Semper Fidelis!”
The ceremony involves Midshipmen First Class walking down (called by order of merit and class ranking, according to a matrix of physical, academic and military criteria) to a large board bearing names of duty assignments and ships. Upon arrival to the board, Midshipmen make selections of where they want to go and what ship they wish to be aboard. The options available to the midshipmen for selection include a variety of Navy ships, such as destroyers and frigates. According to DoD Live, “Midshipmen are only permitted to choose from the selection still available at the time their name is called.”
“For SWO selects, this is the single biggest moment of their time at USNA other than commissioning,” said Lt. Nick Driscoll, Ship Selection coordinator for 2017 at Annapolis, in a military press release. “This is a unique opportunity for these midshipmen to hand-select their ship and homeport. From now on, their time in the Navy will be spent putting in preferences and crossing their fingers that they get what they requested.”
The Midshipmen receive their assignments on May 26 after fully graduating, with many high-ranking naval staff in attendance at their prior ship selection ceremony, including Commander of US Fleet Forces Command Admiral Philip S Davidson.
With that in mind, it isn’t surprising that many people took this the wrong way.
US Naval Academy Ship Selection: An Inside Look
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