Naval Aviation hopefuls are trained to box. The Navy is not really trying to develop the next Mike Tyson, but they have a specific purpose for this training and it serves its purpose.
The boxing program is designed to test three things about the flyboy wannabes; their response to training under duress, their physical fitness, and their mettle. All of the qualities that it takes to be a viable aviator in combat, post-shoot down survival, or life in a POW environment.
For anyone that has boxed, jab-jab-hook is as easy as it comes on the heavy bag or in front of the mirror, but throw in a couple of rounds of shuffling around the ring, and take a few shots to the brain/housing group, and jab-jab-hook becomes more like walking a tight rope in a hurricane. The brain knows what it wants do, but the ability to physically respond to its commands cannot be overcome because of exhaustion, disorientation, and the cumulative toll that blows to the head have over time.
Does the candidate react instinctively with trained responses? Did he cover and jab? Counterpunch? Move along angular lines rather than straight lines? Was he able to absorb the training and translate that directly into calculated action while under duress?
Is he physically exhausted too soon? Simply put, does the candidate have the physical capacity for the rigors of flight and its potential consequences?
Does he have the gumption to punch back? Did he quit rather than fight back? What is his true mettle?
It is the exhaustion and confusion inherent in boxing that bares the true soul and mettle of the boxer. Or in this case, determines if the aviation candidate has the skeletal structure and fortitude necessary to become a viable part of Naval Aviation as a pilot or crew member. If you swing at a Naval Aviator/NFO/Crewmember, expect them to return the favor.
Right away, not four years later.
The Oregonian thought enough of John Kerry’s acceptance of the T. Boone Pickens Swiftboat Challenge that they chose to run an editorial bolstering Kerry in his endeavor this past Saturday.
“So bravo, finally, for John Kerry. Beyond any doubt he served this country bravely as a Navy gunboat officer in the Vietnam War, and it's about time he stood up for himself.”
Pardon another boxing analogy, but isn’t that a bit like swinging from your hospital bed after being knocked out in the first round? Nothing will come of John Kerry’s belated and limp counterpunching of the Swiftboat ads. And here is why:
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