Two Navies, Two Stories, One Choice

200321-N-TL141-1039 PHILLIPINE SEA (March 21, 2020) An MH-60R Sea Hawk assigned to the “Wolf Pack” Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 75, takes off from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) March 21, 2020. The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group is on a scheduled deployment to the Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Dylan Lavin)

The Navy is in the news a lot. On one coast, the USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT, named after the iconic President, is in the news in a bad way. Her Commanding Officer, CAPT Crozier, was removed by the Secretary of the Navy because of a letter he wrote (and didn’t safeguard adequately) where he argued to evacuate most of his crew due to a COVID-19 outbreak because “Sailors do not need to die.” Reading the letter on its own (available here), without any other context makes CAPT Crozier look like a selfless hero, amplified when he was removed from command by Acting Secretary Modly and then cheered by his own crew.

Obviously, very concerned about the virus spreading, just look at that social distancing!

Like most stories, the surface belies the true nature of the medium. The largest fallacy comes from thinking the Navy wasn’t already acting to help the THEODORE ROOSEVELT. The Navy was moving, quickly, to find a suitable plan for ROOSEVELT. It had already secured 3,000 beds in Guam, which if you’ve ever been to the tiny island, you’ll realize is quite an achievement. Secretary Modly was in contact with CAPT Crozier personally, on multiple occasions before the letter was sent.

Before you sign a petition supporting CAPT Crozier, or think the Navy is some evil, vile organization that hates its Sailors, try watching Secretary Modly’s full press conference. I can guarantee it is not boring:

The Navy balances Sailor morale and welfare with the mission assigned to it. Contrary to CAPT Crozier’s letter, where he asserts we “…we are not at war, and therefore cannot allow a single Sailor to perish…”, that’s simply not true. The Navy executes dangerous “peacetime” missions every day. We fly planes, drive submarines, spy on enemies, rescue mariners in distress, ride out rough weather, and provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to areas that have multiple infectious diseases. Every day we engage in these activities, which occasionally kill Sailors, and while we balance our risk, the risk is never zero, because the American people expect their Navy to be ready for war, and readiness is never achieved with zero risk.

CAPT Crozier’s actions smell of grand standing. You can’t simply shutdown a nuclear aircraft carrier and park it like some cheap rental car. You always have Sailors onboard to monitor the reactor plants and maintain critical gear. CAPT Crozier even acknowledges that he has to keep at least 10% of the crew onboard. If he had proposed a rotation plan to maintain THEODORE ROOSEVELT while the virus burned itself out, he would probably still be in command.

On the other coast is another Roosevelt. DDG-80, the USS ROOSEVELT, is preparing for a deployment to Europe and a homeport shift to Rota, Spain. No doubt her Sailors are worried about COVID-19, as are their families. Instead of inspiring doubt and fear, her Commanding Officer is finishing deployment preparations, in a quiet and professional manner.

From https://www.dvidshub.net/news/365634/uss-roosevelt-prepares-homeport-shift-rota

Emotions run high when things are uncertain. Emotions feel good, and can even make you popular. But emotions cause you to make mistakes in war. Emotions, and emotional responses, sap your reasoning and break down your training. In war, when time and training matter, emotions get you killed.

If we’re being emotional now dealing with a virus with a mortality rate of 2%, and likely less than that for young people, how are we going to deal with a Great Power Competitor that has a higher death rate? Will we write letters to the press about the Sailors we lost in missile exchanges? Will we complain about driving into harm’s way?

When the going gets tough, do you want to be lead by someone ruled by their emotions, or someone who chooses to rule them?

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

Facebook moderators lose all sense of humor

My firewood stand apparently doesn’t meet Facebook guidance

When the builders built my house, they took out a lot of tall trees in the front yard so that wind storms wouldn’t drop really big trees onto my new house. Rather than pay to take the trees away, I had them leave the trees and I chopped them into firewood. Since I had so much firewood, I built a little stand to sell it by the main road. It’s an honor system, and so far only one jerk has stolen a bundle.

To advertise, I’d post a funny ad on Facebook Marketplace. In one case, it was about how politically-neutral the firewood is. In another, it discussed how my firewood was totally vegan and free from animal-testing. Simple, but humorous.

But recently, not good enough for Facebook moderators. COVID-19 has taken many things from people, and apparently it has taken the sense of any humor from Facebook. I posted about COVID-19 free firewood, and the ad ran for a while, getting good laughs from people otherwise stuck at home. Two days ago, Facebook shut it down, saying I wasn’t advertising something for sale. I protested, saying that I indeed did sell firewood, hence the picture. No dice, the moderators have removed my ad. Here’s what I wrote, judge for yourself:

So life is collapsing all around you due to Corona Virus. Your favorite sports team is canceled. Toilet paper is being rationed. Your local Karen is trying to make hand sanitizer from essential oils. Everyone has gone mad with COVID-19 fear. In these trying times, you need some security.
You need…firewood.
Yes, firewood. Think of its magical properties. Instead of huddling in your house worried about what paper remains to wipe yourself with, you can light a fire in the fire stand you bought from Home Depot, but never found time to use. Those flames licking into the sky are mesmerizing to watch and take your mind off of the craziness surrounding a virus with a less than 5% chance to kill you.
Even better, the fire from firewood burns viruses. If you left COVID-19 on a piece of my firewood and set it on fire, the virus would die. Firewood has a better track record than Karen’s essential oils and anti-vax children at cutting down on viruses.
Plus, you are guaranteed that my firewood has never traveled to China, Iran, South Korea, or any other CDC-listed country. It’s also never been to a wet market!
If you navigate to ——, right outside the —— complex, you’ll find the firewood stand. Unlike any large store that gouges you for firewood, my stand only asks for a twenty dollar bill for a full wheelbarrow of anti-viral, morale-improving firewood. Even better, its always available, since you don’t need to knock on my door (please don’t, I’m practicing social distancing). If you wake up in horror at your impending doom at midnight and need the reassurance that only a stack of firewood can give you, you’re in luck, because you can pay for and pickup the firewood at any hour, thanks to the light I installed.
Best part: I’m using the money to build a nice playground for my kids, so that while they aren’t at school they can entertain themselves without driving my wife crazy.
So swing by today, grab a stack of firewood, and face the impending Coronapocalypse with firey gusto!
Please share this post! People need a good laugh with the craziness. And it helps me sell wood. #firewood #COVID19 #coronapocalypse

Facebook’s response:

Request denied peasant!

When we talk about free speech, censorship and violating ill-defined rules, it becomes a big deal to the small people of the world. If I needed that firewood money to live on, Facebook might be crushing my ability to make a living. What about a restaurant that hires people? Can they not use humor, or will that disgust moderators?

And the word “appeal” is misleading. It implies I had some process, when in reality I clicked a button, wrote a few sentences saying that I indeed sold firewood, then off to the ether with my request, which was promptly denied. I never met my moderator, never talked to him or her on the phone, or even chatted. I highly doubt anyone complained, given the popularity of the post. And its not offensive by any stretch of the imagination.

If someone is friends with Mr. Zuckerberg, maybe you can ask him to restore my firewood post? Otherwise, I might have to use Craigslist again.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

COVID-19 and rethinking grade school

Let’s be honest, nobody’s kid is this excited over Kahn Academy!
Techno Source introduces Kurio Xtreme-the Ultimate Android Tablet Built for Kids–designed for extreme play and the safest online experience. Featuring a faster Intel(C) Atom(TM) processor, Bluetooth technology and 24/7 customer support right from the tablet, Xtreme comes with $300+ of kid-safe content, including exclusive Kurio Motion body-controlled games. (CNW Group/Techno Source)

Like most people, my kids are now home from school. At first, I’m sure most kids celebrated, like mine did. Yesterday was a turning point for my youngest daughter though, because when she told me that she was going back to school in another week, I told her that wouldn’t happen.

My prediction is that we don’t go back to anything normal until at least April. While I don’t believe the gloom and doom, 12-18 month recession, Fallout-style post-apocalypse robbing your neighbor for toilet paper worldview that seems to get pushed around, I also don’t think this will quickly resolve itself. We are going to hunker down for a lot longer than anyone imagined. This is not like a hurricane, where the storm passes and normalcy is restored in around 1-2 weeks. It’s going to take a while.

In the aftermath, it’s going to change grade school education. Right now my kid’s schools are struggling with how to fairly teach classes. I say “fairly” because there are still kids that don’t have internet at home, so simply saying “Move your class online” isn’t always going to work. Worse still is that we have lots of parents that just don’t care about their kids education and viewed school as the babysitting service so they could go to work. Normally teachers could cover up this problem, but COVID-19 is tearing that scab off.

There will be a bunch of kids that will benefit from learning at home. People will be surprised to find that in terms of hours of education per day, schools are fairly inefficient at teaching high-performing children. That’s a combination of large class size and the 90/10 rule of poor performing children, where you spend 90% of your time teaching the bottom 10% of your class. At home, in the right setup, a high performing kid can blow through lessons quickly when there is no bullying, food fights, and other distractions.

When these kids go back to school, schools will want to hold them back. We’ll hear about “social development” problems of skipping a grade. But that’s not really an issue. The problem is we view grade level and age as linked, even though we know that some people mature and learn faster than others. In the past, these kids were one-offs because there just wasn’t a lot of them. It’s going to become much more obvious when thousands of kids nation-wide test high enough to merit skipping a grade.

The reverse is true too. Plenty of kids won’t test high enough to merit passing their grade. In many cases it won’t be there fault. Many kids benefit from the structure, discipline and food that comes with school, and too many have parents who can’t or won’t provide a decent home to learn in. We cannot abandoned these kids. As a nation, we should be planning to hold summer schools to catch these kids up.

Perhaps COVID-19 can change how view grade school education in general. Instead of linking age to grade level, we focus more on testing and placing kids according to their performance, giving kids that are high performing more challenges early on. This means they graduate sooner and have more chances at a younger age for higher education. For kids that struggle, why are we not regularly providing summer school? We know the kids that aren’t doing well. Making them come to summer school, both to finish their current grade and to get a jump on the next grade, might be the ticket to better performance. It also gives us an excuse to pay teachers more and give them full-year compensation.

COVID-19 sucks, but it might be what we need to change our old views on grade school education.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

Phase 0 planning

No toilet paper! From Inquirer.net

When something shuts down Disney World, its a big deal. Between the NBA, international travel and large gatherings, COVID-19 seems to be shutting down the world. In this backdrop, its a good time to review why planning is so critical.

In my home, hurricanes are a thing, and every year we get threatened with a hurricane of some kind. In typical hurricane fashion, everyone runs to the store and buys every bottle of water and roll of toilet paper. Then the panic subsides and we move on. After getting stung one year, I did some research and found that on average, a hurricane knocks out power for about 3 days. I then logged over a week how much of different items my family used, including toilet paper (yes, my wife thought I was weird). I then bought 4 days worth of toilet paper, water, plasticware, garbage bags and non-perishable food, and stuffed it at the top of my pantry.

Next hurricane, everyone freaked out, lost power for one day, we were fine. I still have the same amount of supplies sitting in my pantry, and I occasionally dig into them during a non-crisis to replenish them.

COVID-19 is no different. In many ways, its less taxing, because its not blocking roads or turning off power. The human panic response is typical, and no matter how often we wish people would not panic, they do. We can fight the lines, or we can plan. In the military, we call it “Phase 0” planning when we make plans while in peace time. The process of making the plan forces us to think about what we need and to advocate for it early, before a crisis starts, so that we enter crisis with a good chance of winning.

So as the COVID-19 crisis rages on, take notes. Look at what you really need during the next week to live. How much toilet paper do you use? How much water? How much food? How much entertainment? If that last one seems weird, just ask any parent of a bored kid how important entertainment is, and you’ll soon ensure you have board games and books in reserve.

Come out of this crisis ready for the next, and while it won’t stop the panic buying of toilet paper, it will mean you won’t be standing in line at the grocery store.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency. Well, maybe FEMA would encourage you to do what I did.

Quinnen Williams and another opportunity to change the gun narrative

Gun Case, from eBay

Democrat presidential candidates continue to dominate the news with calls for increasing gun control measures. They are quick to cite fake statistics about gun violence and use every tragedy to maximum extent. While President Trump has remained pro-Second Amendment, he hasn’t pushed much in terms of a counter-narrative recently. The recent arrest of New York Jets player Quinnen Williams provides a great opportunity to strike back.

Quinnen was arrested recently in LaGuardia Airport for gun possession. Most of the headlines would have you believe he walked into the airport with a loaded weapon and attempted to board a flight. That’s not what happened. Quinnen brought an unloaded firearm in his checked luggage into the airport. He had a permit for the weapon, but it was from Alabama, not New York. In typical New York fashion, he was immediately arrested and faces a felony possession charge.

New York gun laws are ridiculous. Even if you aren’t a state resident, the state of New York requires regularly attempts to enforce local laws on you. This is key because LaGuardia is particularly notorious for violating the Federal Owners Protection Act (FOPA), which allows transportation of firearms between states. But as noted at NRA’s website:

Special advisory for New York & New Jersey airports: Despite federal law that protects travelers, authorities at JFK, La Guardia, Newark, and Albany airports have been known to enforce state and local firearm laws against airline travelers who are passing through their jurisdictions. In some cases, even persons traveling in full compliance with federal law have been arrested or threatened with arrest. FOPA’s protections have been substantially narrowed by court decisions in certain parts of the country, particularly in the Northeast. Persons traveling through New York and New Jersey airports may want to consider shipping their firearms to their final destinations rather than bringing them through airports in these jurisdictions.

NRA-ILA website

Personally, I hate flying through New York anyway, and unless I have to, I won’t use their airports. Perhaps a long-term boycott by gun owners would be in order?

Quinnen obviously attempted to follow the law. He wasn’t walking into an airport with a loaded weapon. His story shows that attempting to follow the rules doesn’t matter to New York, where its OK to pick and choose what federal laws you follow. This makes him the perfect person to hold up and challenge the ongoing gun narrative. His case may be one to help challenge, and ultimately change, some of New York’s onerous rules on gun transportation.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

Corona-basics

When I first learned how to drive a manual transmission car as a teenager, my dad made me go back and forth on the driveway. I’d put my car into first (grinding the hell out of the clutch), move it down the driveway, then stop, shift into reverse, and go back. Back and forth, hour upon hour until I had mastered the basics. Once I had that down, shifts into other gears were easy. I couldn’t be a good driver until I had mastered the basics.

Mastering the basics is why the world is struggling with the corona-virus. Everyone is talking about the corona-virus. Everyone. It’s tanking the stock market, ravaging cruise lines, and putting people into a panic. We now have governments bleaching streets to try and stop the spread.

Yet, all the things that we (as in the populace) need to actually do are pretty simple:

  • Get your flu shot
  • Wash your hands
  • Cough into your elbow
  • Keep your kitchen clean
  • Cook your food properly

(Yes, I realize the flu shot doesn’t cover the corona-virus. But if you’re sick with regular flu and then get the corona-virus, it has a higher chance of killing you.)

Despite all this, I guarantee I’ll see someone walk out of a restroom without washing their hands, sneeze without covering their mouth, and leave a kitchen messy for more than a day. I also bet that China won’t stop open food markets either.

We don’t have a corona virus outbreak problem. We have a culture problem, in that too many people aren’t doing the basic things right. If you can’t do basic hygiene, the best medicine in the world can’t help you.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

No, Bernie isn’t working for the Russians

I’m sure Communist Russia has a special place in Bernie Sanders heart. As the Mayor of Burlington, he traveled to Russia to establish a sister city relationship with Yaroslav. That trip has plenty of video footage of Bernie giving gifts to Russians, plenty of which is available on Fox News.

But just because Bernie Sanders visited Russia and might align with some of their ideologies doesn’t mean that he’s colluding with the Russians. Just because the Russians were caught supporting Bernie, or attacking Hillary, doesn’t mean that Bernie Sanders snuck off on a plane to St. Petersburg to plan this with his Russian handlers. It’s doubtful that he has Russian handlers.

It’s a classic case of trying to explain data with what we know (our own candidates) and what we don’t know (Russia’s information campaign) and getting a bad explanation. If you look at it from Russia’s perspective, they don’t care who gets elected. What they want is a destabilized US regime, no matter the party, so that the US will focus on domestic issues and let Russia run amuck in Asia and Europe.

They did this during the last Presidential election by discrediting Hillary Clinton and supporting the Trump campaign. The goal was a damaged regime regardless of who won. If Clinton won, we would have seen Russian information saying she stole the election and calling for mass demonstrations. When Trump won, we saw…information saying he stole the election. All the Russians did was change the name.

We’ll see this again this year. Russia will troll every Democratic candidate. The Holy Russian Grail would be to go into the Democratic convention without a clear front runner. If that happens, we’ll see Russia turn up the trolling to an 11, and no matter who wins, they won’t be “legitimate.” During the general election, it’ll get worse.

Our best defense is engaging our brains and actually reading and understanding news instead of headlines and clickbait. The scary part we’ll be when we see the Russians move past the Presidential election and begin targeting Senators, Representatives and Judges. If they continue to succeed (and the failed impeachment was success for them), I’d expect this to happen next.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

Russia’s next move: Svalbard

Abandoned Russian mining town on Svalbard
By Bjoertvedt – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

We will continue to watch Russia divide up Ukraine into pieces until it is essentially Russian territory, and as I previously noted, don’t be surprised when Russia moves into Central Asia. But for anyone that thinks Russia will hesitate against a NATO ally, I say, look to Norway. Because it is here that Russia is beginning its information drumbeat to take territory.

Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide and Justic Minister Monica Maeland wrote an op-ed in VG titled “Svalbard Treaty 100 Years.” The discussion focused on a resource discussion, because while the treaty gave Svalbard to Norway, it allowed treaty signatories rights to fishing, hunting, and mineral resources. At the time, the Soviet Union continued to call the island Spitsbergen and kept repeating the claim they had discovered it first.

Flash forward, and Russia responded to the op-ed on the news site E24. First they claimed that Norway was ignoring their concerns over Spitsbergen. They also point out that Svalbard “is not originally Norwegian territory,” and that only Russia and Norway have commercial interests on the island. Russia operates a defunct coal mine on the island, which loses money every year, simply to maintain this claim.

If this sounds like Ukraine and Georgia, you’re catching on. While we might be a bit far away from a Russia land-grab on Svalbard, we are in the setup phase. I see Russia first making claims that Svalbard is a Russia-Norway issue. They don’t want NATO involved, and since the treaty was made before NATO, they’ll use that as a wedge to keep other countries out. Then we’ll start seeing stories about Norwegian “atrocities” against the approximately 400 Russians that live on the island. As a side bonus, we might see Russia make claims that the tourism is causing negative climate change, so only someone that cares about the environment like Russia should be in charge.

While not on the same level as Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, Russia has found an opening in Norway, and it will settle in for a long fight to take away territory and chip at the NATO alliance.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

What does a 355 ship Navy mean?

The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group, from NavyTimes.com

The US Navy is locking horns with Congress and the other services, trying to build to 355 ships, which it needs to fight China and Russia in any sort of future conflict. Despite the recent claim about rebuilding our military at the State of the Union, the current Navy is in a bit of disrepair, mainly from being run ragged around the world without enough shipyard time to make repairs. 355 ships would make a huge difference, but its not achievable with the current budget structure.

But when we say 355 ships, what does that mean? Currently, the US Navy has 10 aircraft carriers, 34 amphibious ships, 22 cruisers, 12 littoral combat ships, 68 destroyers (including Zumwalt class), 52 fast attack submarines and 4 SSGNs, plus 14 SSBNs. That brings us to 102 surface warships and 70 submarines. On the support ship side, we have 78 ships. Navy official website says 294 “Battle Force Ships” and 338,114 personnel.

If we look at the last time we had 355 ships, it would be 1997. Back then, we had 20 more surface ships, 21 more submarines, 2 more carriers and 7 more amphibious vessels. Back in 1997, we had 398,847 personnel. Doing my napkin math based on the current way we man ships, that isn’t far off from what we would need.

Image captured from Navy History Website

I put battle force ships in quotes because the Navy came under fire for counting ships differently. When ship count dropped a lot, Congress got (rightfully) concerned that we didn’t have enough vessels to do our tasking. Navy came back with some new counting that made Common Core math look good. So, if you think 355 ships means 355 warships, then we need to flash back to 1992.

I count 343, including amphibious ships but excluding mine warfare, patrol and auxiliary ships. Back in 1992, the Navy had 576,047 personnel.

We’ve gained some efficiencies in how we man ships, but not orders of magnitude more. The crew size on a current DDG is 329 personnel. A Spruance Class destroyer from the 90’s had a complement of 335 personnel. Other ships are similar, and in many cases need more personnel to run the advanced equipment onboard.

If we think war with China is a coming reality, we need to start expanding our Navy now, or there is little hope to stop China from walking all over countries in their first and second island chains. Representative Carl Vinson saw that in 1934, we had lost too much ground to the Japanese Navy, and pushed through a number of bills to authorize what would eventually become a two ocean Navy. Japan’s Navy went from one of the largest in the world to utter destruction in only 4 short years, thanks to Congress’ foresight in building new warships quickly. We need that same foresight today.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

Why Agnostics Hate Prayers

What people would pay for prayers, from PNAS study by Linda Thunström and Shiri Noy.

Would you pay someone to pray for you? That was the focus of a recently published study, which asked this very question to almost 500 people in the wake of Hurricane Florence. The study separated Christians from atheist/agnostic people, and presented each person with the option to pay for prayers and/or thoughts from different people. On average, Christians would pay more for prayers, and specifically from prayers from a priest, while atheists and agnostics would pay for Christians to NOT pray for them.

While we might comically imply there is a new income source for priests, the paying to not pray is disturbing and highlights two issues. First, atheists don’t believe in the power of prayer. While that’s not a surprise in itself, it does mean we (specifically Catholics) have done a terrible job advertising how prayer works. The second, and more troubling side, is it highlights that atheists and agnostics simply don’t like Christian people.

Contrary to what the media would tell you, prayer does in fact change things. The Catholic Church has been rigorously testing for miracles, and especially for medical miracles (the ones most people think of), most don’t survive scrutiny. For the Catholic Church to declare a miracle, prayers have to be offered to one Saint or person, the condition has to have no chance of healing on its own, and the condition must quickly be cured (as in, it can’t take a long time to heal). A good recent example was the miraculous curing of Dafne Gutierrez, who prayed to St. Charbel and had her sight restored.

I bring examples of these up with my friends who are agnostic, and it surprises them, which means that Catholic media is failing to promote these instances. How do we not have a repository of images, miracle stories and the like? How do we not have social media accounts pushing these stories out for the world to read? Catholic miracles are called out in our Catechism to inspire us, and yet we act like the man who buried his master’s talents. Given the prevalence of platforms like Twitter and Facebook, this is inexcusable.

Worse still is the image that agnostic people have of Christians in general. Ask an agnostic person what their image of a Christian is, and you will likely get some flinching. The media has been bashing Christianity forever, and while Christians might ignore it, the effects are playing out now. More people than ever are identifying as atheist or agnostic, and worse, more agnostic people say they won’t associate with Christians. This, despite the fact that many of the same people know lots of good Christians that they see every day. We are, again, poorly advertising ourselves and our lives, allowing the media to make us out to be the boogey man for atheists and agnostics everywhere.

Christianity, and specifically Catholicism, can in fact die out if we don’t fight for it. The media will gladly hide our miracle stories so that prayers become nothing more than good thoughts in most people’s minds. Worse still, the media will continue to incite violence against Catholics, like the attack on St Patrick’s Cathedral in 1989. It’s not enough for us to live good lives, but we must also show those that have no faith that our lives are worth living.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, the Catholic Church, or any other government or non-government agency.