"Where Have All the O-3s Gone?"
(See L. D. Lewis, pp. 24-26, February 1998 Proceedings)
Lieutenant Jose I. Morales, US. Navy—Withrefreshing directness and accuracy, Lieutenant Lewis puts into words the complex and often-misrepresented reasons why so many of our junior officers are leaving the service. Quite often, it is not the money or the family separation. Junior officers are dissatisfied because—true or not—there is a sense that the Navy is an unguided ship steered more by social scientists, contractors, and lobbyists than by flag officers and the civilian leadership. Low retention in the junior officer corps is better attributed to a muddled vision of mission, a perception (often real) of diminished opportunities, and society's lack of understanding of our roles, capabilities, and limitations. It is these more esoteric reasons that are the basis of why my fellow JOs are leaving in droves.