To the Editor:
A current graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Keenan Reynolds, requested his service time be deferred so he can play in the NFL. The Baltimore Ravens drafted him.
As a former Navy enlisted and officer, I am highly disappointed with Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus who submitted a request to the Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter strongly recommending Reynolds’ service be deferred. Carter approved the request.
The United States taxpayers paid for Reynolds’ schooling at the Naval Academy along with the schooling of thousands of other Academy midshipmen. These are future officers who are expected to serve in the U.S. Navy after they graduate, and many of them make a career in our Navy. And they signed a contract.
If Reynolds’ commitment can be deferred, why can’t other midshipmen have their service time deferred? Why can’t deferments occur for baseball players, or midshipmen who want to enter civilian graduate schools or enter the corporate world?
SECNAV and SECDEF should rethink their approval of the deferment and have Reynolds fulfill his commitment to the Navy.