For a Navy gravely concerned over a declining retention rate among its junior officers, every extension of service is a welcome vote of confidence and every separation counted as a silent rejection of a system that seems not to hear too well the questions nor consider too long the answers.
Today’s enlisted man comes into the Navy with a much higher level of education than his predecessors. He cannot be given simple answers to complex questions if he is to be motivated to re-enlist. The average junior officer, too, is a “thinking man,” a product of the same “information explosion” generation—and very often the same colleges—as the vocal advocates of the political right and left. Although the young officer is not given to the bizarre and often violent public demonstrations of his civilian counterparts, he nevertheless has many thoughts of his own.