When I attended Department Head School two years ago, conversation often centered on the new officers who recently had emerged from our various commissioning sources. As an aide and public policy student at a civilian university, I had missed interacting with junior officers, so I listened intently to classmates who had taught at Surface Warfare Officers School or stayed on sea duty. Their stories of ensigns who cared more about nightlife, free time, and sports than about mastering the Navy's management systems supported the preconceived notions that we "Reagan kids" had regarding Generation X, and they made me wonder what my division officers would be like when I reported to the USS Princeton (CG-59).
I should not have worried. After a year on board, I am convinced that leading this generation of division officers is an absolute privilege.