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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Academy Interviews

     Around this time of year I usually get involved in the selection process for the various military academies.  In NH my involvement was  as a field representative for the admissions department at West Point.  Here, it is quite different.  Senator Lindsey Graham (SC-R) puts a lot of effort into the responsibility of nominating candidates for the various academies.  Unlike the patronage days of a half century ago, most congressmen (-women) send a small set of nominees to the admissions departments of the academies and let them make the final selections.  It is a good approach.  The congressmen (do I have to keep doing this gender thing?) stay very much involved yet the superior ability of the admissions offices to predict those who will succeed serves to keep expensive attrition rates down.
     This opportunity to serve is a humbling and inspiring experience.  America is NOT going to Hell.  The young men and, yes, women are impressive, accomplished, and motivated people.  I heard more than one old grad say, "I probably wouldn't qualify today."  
     As we get older, our habits, acquaintances, and activities become more predictable.  Any activity that exposes you to the best of today's youth is a rejuvenating experience.  I recommend it. 
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