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|Great risk for a friend
Written by Margaret 7
(10/5/2005 6:25 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Red tape? -nfm-, penned by Maisy
The episode with Benwick really testifies to CW's great heart. Military men do nothing without orders. He is most definitely taking a chance here. The Navy (especially of this era) was strict about discipline, and punishment could be harsh indeed. I just taught "Billy Budd" (Melville) a couple of years ago and the themes of duty and discipline were very strong. The British Navy had suffered a serious mutiny, and afterward they were very strict in putting down any disruptions to order.
In my family there are many Marine Corps enlisted and officers; pertaining to any difficulties faced by their families due to orders they receive, the standard line is, "If the Corps wanted you to have a wife, they'd have issued you one." I'm sure other service branches have similar catch phrases. The point being, military discipline comes first; "gone to help a friend in need" would be a weak defense in the face of a charge like "deserting your post".
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