We all support the troops.
That doesn’t take away from the fact that the Army is a GOVERNMENT organization. As such, they are prone to making idiotic, incompetent, bureaucratic decisions.
This week the Army ordered recent West Point grad and Detroit Lions strong safety Caleb Campbell to give up his professional football career. Campbell was a 7th round draft pick by the Lions this year and was expected to make the team’s roster. Initially the Army was going to let Campbell play pro football and serve his Army commitment by acting as a recruiter in his spare time.
On the eve of Lions training camp, the Army told Campbell to instead report back to West Point. Campbell will spend the next two years as a graduate assistant for the Army football team. (The Army also pulled two West Point cadets out of the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system and ordered them to stop playing professional baseball.)
Only a screwed up government bureaucracy (like the Department of Defense) would turn down the FREE publicity of having somebody playing in the NFL. And, as Larry Brown Sports points out, it’s not like Campbell is going to serve as an officer in Afghanistan or Iraq. He’s coaching smalltime college football.