Call it a victory of the Old Schoolers, but the US Coast Guard has pulled the plug on a program that pulls some shit hot Coasties from their service and gives 'em a shot at becoming a frogman.
In a story to run tomorrow morning on Military.com, the service says Commandant ADM Robert Papp reversed the policy of his predecessor Thad Allen and ordered a "study" of whether the prorgram was "worth the investment"...
“With budgets being strained, we were getting a lot of questions about why we’re doing this program … [and] why we’re investing our funds in this,” said Coast Guard spokesman, Lt. Patrick Montgomery.But officials were unable to provide cost figures for the program, which is only two years old and has funneled a grand total of six Coasties into BUDS (three have made the cut and two are still in the pipeline). Doesn't seem like a huge unvestment to me, even in a service with a 50,000 end strength and a budget of around $10 billion. A total of 35 Coastguardmen tried out for the SEAL slots over two years.
Montgomery said the review is intended to “provide a business case” for whether the program is worth the investment to the Coast Guard overall.
Though officials only hinted at it, the scuttling of the Coastie-to-SEAL program likely has more to do with tradition-bound old-schoolers who see the post-9/11 AT/CT mission of the Coast Guard as an intrusion on its raison d'etre: coastal law enforcement, rescue and waterway security.
Occording to senior dudes who were there during the debates, the Coastie/SEAL exchange program took a lot of arm twisting to put into place and its demise is not surprising. Officials reiterate the program is suspended pending the results of the study to be completed in October. But I have my doubts.
I know it's not a typical Kit Up! piece, but I surely thought the operators among you might want to know what's up.