Soon to be West Point graduate Caleb Campbell (#13) will start his active duty as a member of the Detroit Lions professional football team. If he hadn't been drafted, he would be headed to Iraq or Kuwait as a platoon leader in charge of 32 soldiers.
Campbell's first dream was to serve his country, as he turned down offers to play football at other colleges as a high school senior. He didn't have hopes of going pro, as when he began his career at West Point the military had not yet implemented its "alternative service option," which allows graduates to play professional sports.
The Army hopes that Campbell will be a successful high profile recruiting tool. During the off season, he will work in a Detroit Army recruiting office.
Critics of the policy feel it betrays the American people who expect West Point men and women to serve as military leaders in exchange for their education, not play professional sports. In addition, it may undermine camaraderie among West Point alumni and the armed forces in general. Even Campbell admitted that his classmates didn't understand his decision at first.
Do you think Campbell can serve his country just as well on the gridiron or is he backing out on his commitment? Will a NFL player help the Army successfully recruit more Americans to serve in the military or is a better West Point football team all the Army has in mind with the "alternative service option"?