Honor at the U.S. Naval Academy Turned Upside Down


(Meal time at Annapolis requires strict discipline)

How the Naval Academy handled an accusation of an alleged honor violation by a Black first team football player when he had a positive drug test raises some serious questions. Despite recommendations, he was not dismissed for a marijuana violation. A Navy slotback, was the center of a controversy that divided midshipmen and professors at the academy. The academy superintendent,has decided to allow him to remain at the school even though he tested positive for marijuana. The midshipman failed a random drug test administered by the academy.

front gate USNA 1960

His company officer and the Commandant of midshipmen recommended that he be dismissed from the academy. The Academy Superintendent decided against separation and instead punished him with 21 days of restriction and 100 demerits. According to the Navy Military Personnel Manual, the service has a "zero tolerance" policy for drug use. Any academy or Navy service member suspected of drug use is to be administratively processed for separation. But there is wiggle room in the policy that allows the commanding officer to consider extenuating circumstances. The Navy's illegal drug policy requires the commander to ascertain if a service member knowingly consumed an illegal drug.This aspect is one of several issues that must be established for the commander to determine if the Navy's drug use policy was violated.

(Rigid discipline is expected at the Academy)

The midshipman told academy officials he did not knowingly smoke marijuana, according to multiple sources . He said he accidentally smoked it after being passed a cigar he didn't know contained the drug. A witness provided a statement supporting the defense. The Navy Military Personnel Manual indicates if the commanding officer determines the urinalysis result was caused by administrative errors or the drug use was not wrongful because of a prescribed medication, or unknowing ingestion, then the service member shall not be identified as a drug abuser and the positive urinalysis is not a drug abuse incident.

(Instruction to plebes by an upperclassman at the Academy develops character)

Several midshipmen and others at the academy were angered by the decision and one said the result was a double standard involving standout athletes at the academy. The reaction of the brigade to this decision was 100 percent negative some said. Others said this athlete had accumulated multiple honors violations prior to the drug use incident which made him a repeat offender. Some questioned the academy's apparent relaxation of the Honor Concept, and said illicit drug use in the 1960s would have resulted in automatic expulsion with no questions asked.

(All midshipmen take the Oath of Office and are bound by strict rules of conduct)

Yes, times have changed, but some sanctimonious naval officers and midshipmen really believe taking a puff on a cigar and learning it was marijuana qualifies for character assassination, dismissal, and the end of a career while some states and countries recognize marijuana is much milder than the alcohol that runs through the veins of  pompous and self-righteous windbags. Sure discipline is important and violating rules have consequences, especially at the Academy. We had a plebe get miserably drunk and piss on a first classman plebe year in 1960. He received 100 demerits. What is the real difference? Somehow the zero tolerance policy has been elevated to an honor violation? Under whose morality does that make sense? Had he tortured a suspect, massacred any of the unarmed 500 in My Lai including women, grandfathers, children and yes babies, he would have been treated quite differently by Richard Nixon as Lt. Calley was: “In the end, Charlie Company’s commanding officer, Lt. Calley was the only one to be convicted. He was sentenced to life imprisonment with hard labor. Within three days he was out of prison, pending appeal, on the personal instructions of President Richard Nixon.

Bancroft Hall Mishipman in Whites parading to meal

He spent the next three years under house arrest at Fort Benning in Georgia. Freed on bail in 1974 his sentence was then cut to 10 years. Later that year he was paroled after completing one third of his sentence" according to historical sources. Capt Medina ordered the operation and dodged guilt somehow. Whose morality prevails? What is the proper punishment for sending men to war to risk their lives on a lie? The Gulf of Tonkin and the invasion of Iraq account for more than 60,000 American deaths and until Nixon was caught trying to attack his accuser credibility with psychiatric records he sent burglars to purloin (Daniel Ellsberg with the Pentagon Papers), he continued to act sanctimoniously about the peace marchers and labeled them, as did Agnew"effete snobs" out to destroy America with their pot smoking and rowdy behavior.

Bancroft Hall USNA 1960

Why is Annapolis the center of such controversy when no college on the planet would dare treat a student that way. Yes discipline at the academy is expected to be harsh to weed out the undesirable. However, we all know G. I.'s smoked  dope, did heroin, and crack, and abused pain killers (meth, etc.). Alcohol abuse is rampant. The Superintendent did a reasonable thing by not jumping to conclusions, ordering an investigation, and imposing 100 demerits to enforce the no tolerance rule and make the point this is not tolerable conduct. The Superintendent acted like a man with life experience rather than a hanging judge that would accept this misconduct as if it were an intentional and malicious act like stealing. To charge him more than that would require a finding that he lied during the investigation. That is an honor violation we all recognize. Meanwhile these opinions on how bad the Academy has become usually start with moaning over the relaxation of plebe year and the introduction of women who wear different uniforms, caps, etc and of course always complain about sexual harassment! Didn't they hear about the gauntlet the women had to run? We naval officers know how to treat a lady! OK it was just an aberration. Ask most any naval aviator. The recent investigation into sexual harassment uncovered 26,000 cases mostly male on male. How does that conduct measure up for the fleet?

Naval Academy with chapel in Middle

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Five Star Reviews of All the Difference By Daniel C. Lavery

Five Star Reviews of All the Difference By Daniel C. Lavery

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Available on Amazon using the following url for All the Difference Paperback



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Here are five reviews of All the Difference  by Daniel C. Lavery that are five star reviews of verified Amazon.com customers:

3of 3 people found the following review helpful

5.0 out of 5 stars Mike's Book Review, July 14, 2013

By Mike

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This review is from: All the Difference (Paperback)

A most engrossing book that captures the life and times of a remarkable, multi-talented individual who underwent a dramatic transformation from a conservative, military oriented, "pawn" to a crusading progressive activist. If you grew up in the 40's, 50's, or 60's, this will be your vehicle for a nostalgic reprise of that part of your life. Written with great attention to detail and in a manner that pulls you into the pages to vicariously experience Dan's life experiences. The writing is beautifully descriptive, allowing the reader to create detailed images of the settings involved. Leaves you hoping there will be a sequel which takes Dan up to the present day. Warning - once you start the book, you can't put it down!

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5.0 out of 5 stars Dan Lavery has made a difference, July 31, 2013


Dan Walker - Amazon Verified Purchase This review is from: All the Difference (Paperback)

A very well written and interesting trip thru a life that many can relate to. The youth, schooling, life lessons and his transformation as a activist makes for a story that we can all learn from.

5.0 out of 5 stars All the Difference by Daniel C. Lavery, August 2, 2013


robert webster -

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This review is from: All the Difference (Paperback)

After reading the Kindle Version I ordered the Paperback Form so I could better enjoy the photos and reread for detail. I was a classmate of Dan's for one year (55-56) at Yokohama American High School in Japan. His keen memory of sports activities, interaction with teammates, coaches, and teachers were spot on and realistically transported me back to my Highschool days overseas. Most interesting was his transformation over the years from an aspiring baseball addict/sports star, history and literature student, military officer, into a UFW/ACLU Lawyer in Los Angeles. His vivid descriptions of his surroundings and adventures around the world held my interest through out the entire book. How did Dan survive his next challenge/adventure and change in life's direction? These are the question he throughly and colorfully answers. Dan does not hold back as he reveals a very personal insight and perception into all his relationships, both family and with others. A great read from many aspects, especially since I knew many of the high school characters mentioned and also grew up in Southern California where Dan was part of Progressive Ideology and Civil rights history. I am looking forward to his next publication.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful

5.0 out of 5 stars A Long Search, August 5, 2013


Dave Timm -

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This review is from: All the Difference (Kindle Edition)

"A young man's Odyssey from the heartbreak of a WWII-broken home into lifelong competitive sports - on to a stint the Duke Theology School - through a career as a Naval Flight Officer - into disillusion in 60's and on to success as a Civil Rights Champion in the 70's and on until this day. Though in many ways he was fortunate in life, Dan's is not an "easy read", for it evokes memories of dilemmas, demons and problems faced and the mixed bag of decisions made by the majority of America's youth as we came of age face-to-face with the Vietnam War and its aftermath. Not to give the story away, but: I was on the edge of my seat while reading of the the dramatic life and philosophical changes made by the author during his ultimately successful legal fights on behalf of Cesar Chaves, the UFW and others. My copy of All the Difference is a permanent addition to my library.

5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read, August 18, 2013


Howard K. Watkins - Hastings College of Law 1972

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What a great read!! Dan Lavery has a very engaging writing style making the reader feel she or he is present at the recounted events. He brings alive many of the issues my fellow baby boomers experienced or knew of others who had. This is living history, as the author is transformed from a conservative military background to become a leading civil rights attorney in California. The book is a worthy selection for private book clubs everywhere. Plenty of topics to discuss. 2 of 2 people found the following review helpful

5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, August 11, 2013


Sue -

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This review is from: All the Difference (Paperback)

This book is a must read that I couldn't put down. The writing was well written, interesting and easy to read. Well worth it.


By Harriet G Harper on November 25, 2013

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I knew Dan and his brother Chip when we were teenagers in Japan. Chips wife Pat was there with us too. Its a great book. Funny in spots and serious in others. There were so many things about his childhood and homelife I never knew. never knew his choice for his career. But I am glad for his ultimate choice.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful

5.0 out of 5 stars What an awesome book., August 4, 2013


Colleen -

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This review is from: All the Difference (Paperback)

It was well written and really flowed throughout the book. It really kept my attention and was very informative and interesting.

Review of All the Difference by David Starr Long Beach Jordan High School (President of the senior Class 1958 and Captain of the Varsity Football Team)


After reading, “All the Difference” I feel compelled to write to you. First, congratulations on writing a very interesting book. I am proud to know someone like you with your life experiences and who has the ability to express himself so well in writing. Your book or should I say your life was especially interesting to me for two central reasons:

First, it was interesting how your life evolved from the 17 year old kid I knew at Jordan High School in North Long Beach.  The year that I knew you in high school you seemed to me to be a serious student mostly interested in sports and religion.  I tried without success to get you interested in more high school social activities.  After graduation from Jordan, most of the kids in North Long Beach didn’t go on to be very successful* compared to the success you have achieved in your life. I feel your ambition, your hard work, your family, and your earlier background before you came to North Long Beach aided you to be more successful* in life.

Secondly, I enjoyed comparing your life activities to my own.  We both went to high profile colleges, Duke and Stanford.  We both played varsity sports in college.  I earned six varsity letters at Stanford.  We both went on to graduate schools, but you by far, out performed me in this category: one year at Stanford Graduate School of Business verses law school and other educational activities for you. Some other comparisons follow:

Marriage:  both were fortunate to find great wives.

Children:  both were fortunate to have wonderful children.

Security:  both worked hard to develop financial independence.

Religion:  You changed dramatically in this category and me somewhat.  You were the serious religious guy in high school.  I have become more religious through the years.  After retiring I have volunteered for three years at three quarter’s time to do religious work at our church (Presbyterian).

Physical Appearance:  two handsome guys.

Politics: We differ a lot here.  You became very liberal and spent a good part of your life helping to improve society. I have become more conservative and am very concerned about the direction our country is going.

Health:  You look like you are still in good shape.  I exercise over an hour each day and play tennis three times each week. I am very healthy except for a heart murmur which could become serious.

 Dan, we both have worked hard in our lives.  We have been successful* and will leave this earth in better shape than how we found it. From your book, I know all about you. (You were so truthful)  I thought you would like to know a little bit more about another North Long Beach teenager who wanted to rise above the circumstances from which we came.

Good luck to you in the rest of your life!  Thank you for your book.

Hal Steuber, (President of Jordan Student Body Senior Year 1958 & Captain of Varsity Football Team)

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Black Model Ships Dad Brought when I was four in Miami


My second meeting with Dad came when I lived with Mom in an apartment on the outskirts of Miami in 1944. She drove her blue Ford Coupe to a green bench at the bus stop to wait for Dad. A green and silver bus pulled up in a cloud of dust and fumes. Mom pointed to a uniformed figure opening the folding front door, “That’s your Father.”

Mom 1941 (Click on picture to expand)

Sun burnished the gold braid across his bright white cap. A gold anchor stood in the middle on a dark background. Red, yellow, and blue ribbons with gold medals dangled from the left pocket of his navy-blue jacket that jingled as he stepped off the bus.   A tight black triangle at the top with a sharp furrow in the middle of his black tie covered his white shirt. His shiny black shoes beneath navy blue slacks mirrored the sky. He carried a blue suitcase with his right hand wearing a large engraved gold ring.


“Here’s your Daddy,” Mom said.

He looked past her into my eyes with a wide smile, “How old is my little boy?”

“Hi, Daddy,” I said and held up four fingers.

He walked toward me, put down his suitcase, and grabbed me by the waist. He threw me in the air so my head went higher than his, shouted, “Whoopa,” and caught me as I dropped into his large hands and hugged me. I felt warm in his arms.

We drove to our two bedroom white bungalow with a small lawn and red and pink hibiscus along each side of the front door. “I brought you some toys,” he said as he entered, opened his suitcase, and a black model ship made of heavy plastic emerged in his hand. He carefully placed it on the living room carpet. “That’s a model of a battleship. Those large barrels sticking out on the side are sixteen inch guns, the biggest in the Navy. Battleships have more guns than any other ship.” Two more models appeared on the floor. “The bigger one is a cruiser, next to it a destroyer.”

He lifted two more out, “The tanker holds oil and the transport carries soldiers.” His fingers put them into a group. “You can move them in formation across the carpet.”

Watching Dad move the unique models fascinated me, “Thanks for the toys.”

“You can play with them today, but I have to return them to my ship.”

Dad and I had fun pushing the models at different speeds in many formations on the ocean carpet, while Mom watched drinking her iced tea. They went into the kitchen to talk while I played lost in my world of make believe.

Crashing ships into each other, tipping them over, making bumping and banging sounds, I imagined the guns firing shouting, “Boom, boom” and made a swishing sound speeding them over the carpet.

When he had to go we put all the models carefully back into his suitcase and drove him to the bus stop.  He picked me up and gave me a kiss before he boarded. I wished he had given Mom a kiss, but he only glanced at her, turned, and said “Goodbye, Hilda.” In a few seconds, the bus roared, kicking up gravel and dirt, and sped away in the sweltering sun as I waved.


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A Letter to my Son about dealing with Hostility and some Poems that Shine

Today I discovered a letter I had sent my son, who like me and most people I know, could use some advice on how to manage hostility. Escaping the Hostility Trap  by Milton Layden, M.D. provides a strategy to deal with hostility that creeps unwittingly into our lives and makes them often filled with health issues that can be serious if unheeded. My letter was lodged in the book below my own memoir, All the Difference, just published June 26, 2013 in paperback on Amazon.Com.


Here is a book I needed as an attorney battling in court with difficult personalities. Often I found myself tired and drained of energy, and full of hostility. This book helped me realize how that behavior hurt me and my relationship with others I came in contact with only in the legal arena or away from home. Creating my own hell at communicating with difficult personalities made me appear to strangers similar, I’m sure, at times! You are in the most stressful job in the world and I couldn’t be prouder. Hope this gives you some insight. Enjoy your wonderful family in Hawaii. Two of my favorite poems are attached! Love Dad

A Psalm of Life

Tell me not, in mournful numbers, Life is but an empty dream! For the soul is dead that slumbers, And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest! And the grave is not its goal; Dust thou art, to dust returnest, Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow, Is our destined end or way; But to act, that each to-morrow Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting, And our hearts, though stout and brave, Still, like muffled drums, are beating Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world’s broad field of battle, In the bivouac of Life, Be not like dumb, driven cattle! Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant! Let the dead Past bury its dead! Act,— act in the living Present! Heart within, and God o’erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us We can make our lives sublime, And, departing, leave behind us Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another, Sailing o’er life’s solemn main, A forlorn and shipwrecked brother, Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing, With a heart for any fate; Still achieving, still pursuing, Learn to labor and to wait.

  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow



Before you know what kindness really is you must lose things, feel the future dissolve in a moment like salt in a weakened broth. What you held in your hand, what you counted and carefully saved, all this must go so you know how desolate the landscape can be between the regions of kindness. How you ride and ride thinking the bus will never stop the passengers eating maize and chicken will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness, you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho lies dead by the side of the road. You must see how this could be you, how he too was someone who journeyed through the night with plans and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside, you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing. You must wake up with sorrow. You must speak to it till your voice catches the thread of all sorrows and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore, only kindness that ties your shoes and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread, only kindness that raises its head from the crowd of the world to say it is I you have been looking for, and then goes with you every where like a shadow or a friend.

By Naomi Shihab Nye, a Palestinian poet

a href="http://domainsigma.com/whois/danielclavery.com">Danielclavery.com Trust

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