Your comments are well stated and on the mark.
I haven't seen every episode, but became tired of the emphasis on the emotional traumas of family separation and on the "trials" of immature kids who came to the Navy with few other options, but that is the real Navy. Naval Service does a lot of good for some of those immature individuals, others just "flunk out".
I sat on admin discharge boards during my careeer as part to the process of culling out the really undesirables who make it in. That part of the Navy wasn't shown in episodes I saw. Captain's Mast and NJP proceedings: almost every port call for a ship that size creates legal problems because of bad behavior by some sailor(s) on the beach.
That is the true underbelly of the service. I recall a Commanding Officer I served as a Department Head for telling me: "I never thought of the Navy as an alternative to Welfare until I came to this ship." He was an Annapolis Grad and "grew up" in submarines. It wasn't until he took command of a surface ship (SubTender) that he had to deal with surface sailors. My point is that the communities are different, when you work across the communities and see the big picture, it isn't all nice and neat and professional. But it is the reality.
What I really enjoyed about the series was seeing the flight ops, the technology, the professionalism of the folks who get the job done.
Originally Posted by eljeffe
I have mixed feelings about the show. The company I work for, CSC, was the primary sponsor. So I went out of my way to catch the program. I watched the first couple episodes and had mixed feelings about what I felt were stories of "if it weren't for the Navy, I'd be in jail (on drugs, dead, etc.)".
My feelings are mixed because I think the Navy can offer a lot to someone who's life is approaching a dead end or otherwise appear to have no way out of the circle of dread they might be living. The Navy offers wonderful opportunities for education, training, and provides much of the discipline many of these kids seem to desire/need.
On the other hand, I felt the program dwelled too much with these folks, giving the impression (at least to me) that our military is full of kids escaping a dead end life in the military. Having known many Naval Officers and Enlisted Men and Women, I know this is not the case. I felt this program catered to the drama of reality television rather than a true day-in-the-life of Navy personnel.