NRO readers are doing their part to “fight the smears” against McCain:
As a Navy Grad ‘00, let me tell you how it works. The academy produces roughly 800 new ensigns and 200 USMC 2nd LTs with each class (rough numbers). About 350 end up in flight training. The rest are submariner (the real cream of the crop) and surface warfare. There are a smattering of Special Warfare (SEALs), Medical, Supply, Crytpo and Intel billets, but those require exceptional strength, medical issues or outstanding grades. The Airdales — both pilots and Naval Flight Officers (NFO)s — Like Goose in Top Gun — are just people who want to train to be pilots/NFOs. They leave the Academy as flight student ensign. Thats it. Once at Pensacola — now known as McCain Field after John S. McCain Sr. (the candidate’s grandfather), the students must compete for the good jobs. If McCain ended up as a Jet Pilot it was because he was good on the stick. I would have chosen to be a pilot if I didn’t have bad eyes. Here’s another fact, USNA produces more pilots than the Airforce Academy in Colorado Springs. Also, of the percentage of Marines that are commissioned, about one third will be either Pilots or NFOs too, just flying for the Mean Green instead of Blue and Gold.