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Where to go? How about joining our armed forces?

How many people missed this news?

Williams is an interesting place, where student athletes excel. I know David flogs hard and fast for the Corps, which is great. Given the level of talent and athleticism at Williams, perhaps some more of you may be interested in something like this?

Something to think about…. other Ephs have, why not you?

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#1 Comment By rory On October 29, 2007 @ 9:33 am

No disrespect to the men and women who serve, but when did ephblog become a recruiting blog for the armed forces? At least David connects his shameless plugging to posts related to williams. How is this connected to ephs?

#2 Comment By David On October 29, 2007 @ 9:54 am

This was connected, albeit without a link, to the post just below it. Note the similar titles . . .

#3 Comment By Anonymous On October 29, 2007 @ 11:27 am

Rory- Simple answer.. Ephblog is not a recruiting blog for the armed forces, but there is nothing wrong with plugging for them in search of talented people. Military, war, service, serving, post graduation careers, all common threads on this blog.

How is this connected to ephs?

There are Ephs serving in these jobs. For obvious reasons, the who, what, when, where and how is not posted.

#4 Comment By rory On October 29, 2007 @ 11:36 am

I noted the titles. I too could easily start bringing in random connections via title. That’s not very good (Where to go? What about Red Sox Nation!!!) as an indicator of connection.

If we can’t talk about the ephs in a job, then we shouldn’t be talking about those jobs until we can mention the link. Otherwise, this blog moves even further from its focus on ephs and williams. i don’t like that.

#5 Comment By Anonymous On October 29, 2007 @ 12:47 pm

In my mind, this is news worth posting. The Eph connections… well, sorry.

Medal of Honor Is Awarded Posthumously To Navy Seal
Highest Award Given for Heroism in Afghanistan

By Ann Scott Tyson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 23, 2007; Page A04

Navy Seal Lt. Michael P. Murphy, nicknamed “Murph” and known as an intense and empathetic young man, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor yesterday “for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life” while outnumbered by Taliban fighters in a June 2005 battle high in the mountains of Afghanistan.

The 29-year-old Seal team leader and former lifeguard from Patchogue, N.Y., is the first service member to receive the Medal of Honor for heroism in the war in Afghanistan and the first sailor since Vietnam to be awarded the medal, the nation’s highest military decoration.

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Daniel and Maureen Murphy, parents of Lt. Michael P. Murphy, receive the honor from President Bush. (By Richard A. Lipski — The Washington Post)

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At a ceremony in the White House’s East Room, President Bush presented the medal to Murphy’s parents, Daniel and Maureen Murphy. “This brave officer gave his life in defense of his fellow Navy Seals,” Bush said, adding that Murphy acted “with complete disregard for his own life.”

Maureen Murphy said she felt “overwhelmed,” while Daniel Murphy called the moment “bittersweet . . . extremely proud and sad.” A Vietnam veteran, he said he wished his son could have walked into the East Room to take the medal himself, but he also voiced conviction that Michael believed in what he was fighting for.

Murphy, who graduated with honors from Penn State in 1998, was accepted to several law schools but decided instead to try out to become a Navy Seal. Although of slight build, he passed the grueling training and in 2002 earned his Seal trident, deploying to Jordan, Qatar, Djibouti and then, in early 2005, to Afghanistan.

“He and his team knew they were going to the land of those who planned, plotted and attacked New York City,” Daniel said after the ceremony. “It was payback time as far as he was concerned. . . . This was something that they were looking forward to, this was protecting our nation,” he said.

Wearing a New York firehouse patch on his uniform, Murphy was the leader of a four-man Seal reconnaissance team inserted “deep behind enemy lines” in the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan’s Konar province on June 27, 2005, in pursuit of a militia leader aligned with the Taliban, according to an official narrative.

The commandos were soon spotted by three goat herders, who were initially detained but later released. They are believed to have given away the team’s location to Taliban fighters, it said.

A contingent of more than 50 fighters attacked from three sides, forcing the Seal team to begin bounding down a mountainside into a ravine. After more than 45 minutes of heavy fighting, with his radioman wounded, Murphy realized that the only way he could contact his headquarters for reinforcements would be to move into exposed terrain to get a signal.

“In the face of almost certain death, he fought his way into open terrain to gain a better position to transmit a call. This deliberate, heroic act deprived him of cover, exposing him to direct enemy fire,” the medal citation reads.

As Taliban fighters shot at him, Murphy made the call and “calmly provided his unit’s location and the size of the enemy force” while requesting urgent support. At one point, he was shot in the back and dropped the transmitter, but picked it back up to finish the call, the official account said.

Murphy continued to shoot back at the Taliban fighters but was severely wounded. His team was running out of ammunition. By the end of the brutal, two-hour firefight, in which an estimated 35 enemy fighters were killed, Murphy and two members of his team were dead. A fourth team member managed to escape and was later rescued.

The loss of most of the team was compounded when a Chinook rescue helicopter coming to their aid was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade and crashed, killing all 16 men aboard. In all, the incident resulted in the worst death toll for U.S. forces on a single day since the war in Afghanistan began in 2001.

#6 Comment By Henry Bass ’57 On October 29, 2007 @ 1:15 pm

I think Dave’s plugging the Corps is fine. I was on the antiwar side during the Vietnam War. My wife and I started a peace/draft/military resistance center in Atlanta,Georgia. We supported a number of GI’s who were kicked out of the service after refusing to wear the uniform, etc. And demonstrated in front of the forts where they were in the stockade.

We had some volunteers from Williams and I counseled some Williams conscientious objectors. It disturbs me that more Williams folks are not doing more to oppose the Iraq War. There is no draft but you can still sit in at the Pentagon. I admire folks who do something about their beliefs whether joining the Corp or actively resisting a mistaken war. There is never any shortage of fence sitters.

During Nam I even counselled some conscientious objectors, who went into the army as medics and probablly died in Nam. At least two strongly oppossed the war and demonstrated against it, but wanted to be with our troops. I guided one through the appeal process to overcome his 4F.

I think of Dave more as an activist than as a conservative. Conservatives like liberals are a dime a dozen. Activists are rare.

#7 Comment By Anonymous On October 29, 2007 @ 1:27 pm

Let me see if I have this straight:

You have your Gods of War and Wall Street, and then you have your temple priests and other assorted fakirs of the caravan trade. Then your scribes like the neo-CONS who present doctrinal papers like PNAC.

We have an event or two, no in depth scientific examinations, just IN GOD WE TRUST kind of thing. The media moguls drum roll the sounds of war and we finally have our ENEMIES and of course we know who our FRIENDS are.

Now we need to give sacrifice to our GODS. We need a few good men, and of course women too. Our GODS must be avenged, we are told. We are given the mantra to chant: FREEDOM. Operation FREEDOM.

Now all we need to do is cheer our high pervert priests on and tell them what a great job they are all doing. We kneel out of respect and thank them for all the bounty and peace they are ostensibly responsible for.

Am I getting through here?

But of course we admire the great men and women who make up our armed forces, for they are good people who mean well and care for all the ideas and ideals and things they value and hold dear.

#8 Comment By rory On October 29, 2007 @ 1:36 pm

This is ephblog. As a blog, it has a specific “about” section that details what does and does not warrant posting.

Is the medal worth posting in general? debatable. If you want to post it, fine. But do that on your own blog (like David and Lancet, or many of the other authors and their blogs) and post anything you want. But ephblog is about things eph-related. at least tangentially.

So I don’t write in updates on the Obama campaign (newsworthy), or Penn’s capital campaign (newsworthy AND higher ed related), or my getting a Wii (important to me, but not newsworthy). I expect the same from the authors of this site (which, technically, I am as I am president. *cues evil laugh*).

This blog is successful for two reasons. First, it is a way for ephs and eph-related peoples to have a little Williams in their lives. This doesn’t fit that. The second is because David’s shock posting is quite effective. This kinda fits that. But David always finds a link, however tangential.

There are TONS of stories every day that are newsworthy and go underreported. The fires in San Diego, the uprisings in Myanmar, the murder rate in Philadelphia, etc. This is not the place for them, though.

#9 Comment By Anonymous On October 29, 2007 @ 2:32 pm

Since ephs in finance, other business and government are covered, other government service (eg armed forces) should not be objectionable — unless one hopes to minimize and marginalize that service.

#10 Comment By David On October 29, 2007 @ 4:34 pm

Rory is correct that EphBlog prefers that posts like this one have an explicit Eph connection, but tenuous connections are fine. See the About page for details. (Speak up if you would prefer a different policy.) So, PTC should have provided a link to the post below or to information on OCC military recruiting at Williams or to an specific Eph’s military service or whatever.

That said, I do hope to go further with my Eph Pundit idea. More on that some other time.

#11 Comment By Anonymous On October 29, 2007 @ 4:45 pm

The Medal has only been given one time since we have been in AFG (hardly a common event). Since there are Ephs serving in these units in the Navy, it is fair game.

#12 Comment By rory On October 29, 2007 @ 5:01 pm

well, I’m certainly glad an anonymous poster thinks it is fair game. Ephs in the military can and should be covered in posts. The military in general without an eph connection (this honoree went to Penn State), should not be on ephblog.

I can’t believe there’s argument about this.

#13 Comment By Jeff Z. On October 29, 2007 @ 6:23 pm

I think the Army should adopt Steven Wright’s quote as a recruiting line:

“Join the army, meet interesting people, kill them.”

Seriously, I agree with Rory here. It is just as appropriate for someone to post a review of the recent DePalma film depicting some of the horrendous consequences of the Iraq war under the heading “How about not joining our armed forces?”

There are plenty of good reasons for Ephs to sign up for the military nowadays, and an equal number of bad ones (e.g., why spend 140k on a Williams education to join the army when you could get much better preparation, for free, from a military academy, or why join the military only to have your life carelessly snuffed out by an incompetent, arrogant, administration that takes a trial-and-error approach to warfare and sends soldiers to do battle without the proper equipment, or the proper medical and mental health after-care, or without taking the time to make sure that generals have realistic, attainable goals on the ground) but I’m not sure we want Ephblog to turn into a blog debating the pros and cons of signing up for the military. Plenty of other venues for that. And if we did, I am guessing the cons would have it — how many parents of soon-to-graduate Ephs would embrace military service as a career path for their kids so long as George W. is commander in chief and we are still mired in Iraq … I’d bet less than 5 percent.

#14 Comment By Anonymous On October 29, 2007 @ 6:24 pm

Rory, when did you graduate, and what do you do now?

#15 Comment By rory On October 29, 2007 @ 6:49 pm

class of 03. in grad school. why?

#16 Comment By frank uible On October 29, 2007 @ 7:46 pm

The mission of this blog is what David says it is from time to time.

#17 Comment By (d)avid On October 29, 2007 @ 8:08 pm

I for one have no problem with the post. Advice for undergraduates is a fine topic for a post. I think David should offer more advice on the finance industry. If he could recruit an author who teaches to provide updates about her/his experiences or answers questions from readers, that would be cool, too. Same for lawyers, consultants, doctors, or whomever.

I take this post to be suggesting an alternative career course for Ephs. I might like to see the pros and cons discussed a little more fully, but the subject matter and linkage doesn’t strike me as problematic.

#18 Comment By PTC On October 29, 2007 @ 8:14 pm

Jeff Z- Obviously,I disagree.

#1- I doubt SEALs go into combat without the proper training and equipment.

#2- It is not six degrees of seperation,as you suggest. This is a very small part of our armed forces (less than 2500 men), fellow Ephs serve in it, and one of their teamates just got the highest military award in the Armed Forces (the only CMH given in Afghanistan since that war started in 2001).

#3- I seriously doubt that many Ephs would consider the war in Afghanistan a waste of time and money. Iraq is a different matter, no doubt.

#4- I bet that the number of Eph parents that notonly embrace, but be proud if their kids became Navy SEALs is well above 5%.

#19 Comment By Jeff Z. On October 29, 2007 @ 8:30 pm

The post was about the armed services, in general, or at least the title was general, so I was referring to joining the military in general. And by your logic, I could post about any doctor, teacher, consultant, attorney, etc. achieving a unique recognition … actually, it would be far more relevant, because a lot more Ephs go into those professions.

And while I am sure far more than 5 percent of parents would be “proud,” I seriously doubt many at all would “embrace” joining any sort of armed forces. Two very different things … Just like I guarantee GWB wouldn’t “embrace” his daughters going into the armed services, even if ultimately he would of course be “proud” (my parents, I am sure, would have done everything in their power to discourage me from joining the military, but of course would have been proud had I done so) … and it’s not as if you can choose, in most branches, which conflict you will be part of … you have to trust this administration’s policies won’t end up with you being deployed to an ill-conceived, poorly managed mission in a part of the world we have no business being in, something that is far from assured if you enlist now.

#20 Comment By Anonymous On October 29, 2007 @ 9:36 pm

“without an eph connection (this honoree went to Penn State), should not be on ephblog”

Would you consider a current eph’s parent who has met and shaken the hand of the only survivor of the incident (Marcus Luttrell) to be enough of an eph connection?

#21 Comment By PTC On October 29, 2007 @ 9:40 pm

Jeff- you could post about every doctor and lawyer, and often such things are the topics of conversation on this blog… but there are a hell of a lot more people in those fields than 2500.

I’ll try an analogy, although it is tough to come up with one…..

Lets say that a Doctor discovered a major breakthrough in cancer research, and got the Nobel Peace Prize…and an Eph was one of his aids, would that be relevant enough?

Apples and oranges, really.

#22 Comment By rory On October 30, 2007 @ 8:29 am

Anonymous re: shaking hand.

Bluntly? No. With 5000 ephs and a multiple of that eph-family, if our cut off point was “shaking hands with a teammate”, then there’d be no limit to what was posted on the blog. Having to find degrees of separation (i.e, not having the eph him/herself in the post), to me, equals a non-eph topic. that’s a simple measure.

#23 Comment By rory On October 30, 2007 @ 8:32 am

PTC–No. no its not.

1. The aid connection would be noted in the post itself.

2. The aid would be intimately and knowingly connected to the nobel prize victory. Having eph SEALS does not mean those SEALS worked closely with this one guy. They may have trained with him, etc. but we don’t know that one was in his squad/platoon/whatever-the-correct-term is.

the apples and oranges are very different.

#24 Comment By David On October 30, 2007 @ 8:46 am

“fellow Ephs serve in it”

What is “it”? If you mean the military, then, yes, there are a score of Ephs in the US military (and other militaries as well). If you mean Special Forces in general, then I have my doubts. I know of no Eph in Special Forces, at least as that term is typically used. Nate Krissoff was in a Marine Recon Battalion (and some other Ephs Marines may be and/or end up in similar units), but these are not typically thought of as Special Operations (which I believe has its own command structure). If by “it” you mean Seals, then I doubt it. I do not know of any Eph serving in the Seals, either now or for many years. I like to think that if there were such an Eph, I would know of him.

#25 Comment By (d)HTK On October 30, 2007 @ 10:32 am

“if there were such an Eph, I would know of him.” or her.

#26 Comment By Anonymous On October 30, 2007 @ 6:31 pm

htk- no women in that line of work.

David- “I like to think that if there were such an Eph, I would know of him.”

Why? Would would you know him?