Different Strokes

By lex, on January 27th, 2009

My two co-workers in the new job were Navy lieutenant commanders, one a retired combat systems officer/mustang, the other a straight-stick helicopter pilot who left the service at the 12-year point. They call me “Lex” at work.

The government servant I work closely with left the Navy as an O-4 as well. He flew H-46s, and calls me Lex as well. The program manager I directly support is an active O-4, who I hope will soon make commander. He calls me Lex.

I used to be a captain in the Navy. I had seven awards of the sea service medal, strike and strike/flight air medals and numerous campaign awards, among the other things you tend to accumulate along the way. Now I’m just a guy that used to be a captain. I’m also part of team that includes civilians, government servants, junior officers, ex-military and retirees. Emphasis on team.

But then again, I’m not a retired reserve captain working on a local school board. If I was, I might insist on the courtesy of being addressed by the highest rank I held as a reservist by the civilians around me, the great majority of whom have probably no idea what a captain is:

A retired Reserve captain is threatening to sue her local California school board if the board’s members do not address her by her military title.

Retired Reserve Capt. Noreen Considine, 64, was elected to the Jurupa Unified School Board near Riverside, Calif., in November. She claims her political foes are deliberately disrespecting her by not using her rank when discussing school business.

“It’s a way to diminish me. If they take away my title — the one I ran on and the one I’m entitled to — then they have a better shot at demonizing me,” Considine said in an interview.

At a Jan. 20 meeting, Considine told the school board they were harming her reputation, violating her civil rights and may be liable under California state laws.

“None should doubt my resolve in this matter,” Considine told the crowd, according to the minutes of the meeting.

It’s not your resolve we doubt, captain.

“Academic politics are so vicious precisely because the stakes are so small.” — Henry Kissinger


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Filed under Best of Neptunus Lex, Humor

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