WASHINGTON, DC – After months of high-profile deliberation, a US Navy spokesperson has confirmed that the military organization is prepared to issue a public apology to Lieutenant Junior Grade Jeffrey Hurst for wasting the first two years of his professional life.
“We obviously made a big mistake not recognizing Lieutenant Hurst’s potential sooner,” the spokesperson said in a phone interview. “He deserved much better than the assignment he got, and we all feel just awful.”
24-year-old Hurst, who graduated from Auburn University with a degree in English and commissioned through the school’s Naval ROTC program, made waves last July when he updated his Facebook status to read, “Accelerate your life my ass… this job SUX!” The post was liked by six of Hurst’s friends and received three comments, making it an unmitigated public relations disaster for the Navy.
At the time of the calamitous post, Hurst was serving aboard the frigate USS NICHOLAS as the Electrical Officer, which was reportedly not his first choice duty or even his second. The Navy has since relocated him to a holding facility for dissatisfied service members, where he is waited on hand and foot by government servants and allowed to play video games whenever he wants.
“After two years of injustice, I’m glad the Navy is finally taking me seriously,” said Hurst from a massaging recliner in his 600 sq. ft. living quarters. “The scars will remain, but let my experience be a boon to all other service members who aren’t getting exactly what they want either.”
Hurst, whose education was paid for in full by the Navy, says that despite injuries he will not hold a grudge. “I’d even consider returning to the fleet,” he said while being fed grapes, “so long as the Navy guarantees that I won’t get yelled at by another XO ever again.” Hurst’s previous Executive Officer, Lieutenant Commander Mark Parsons was relieved of duty and replaced with a teddy bear shortly after Hurst’s unhappy story broke.
The Navy’s spokesperson said the terms of Hurst’s return to service are still under consideration but reiterated the grief felt at all levels of leadership.
According to his Executive Assistant, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert was “horrified” when word got to him that Hurst was displeased with the NICHOLAS. “As CNO, Admiral Greenert considers it his top priority to ensure that all 400,000 of the Navy’s sailors are perfectly content at all times,” says the EA. “Without question, he considers the LTJG Hurst incident a great personal failure.”
Admiral Greenert himself declined to comment, or at least couldn’t because he was too choked up over the whole ordeal. Since the Hurst controversy began, there have been increasing calls in the press for Greenert to step down as the Navy’s top officer, and President Obama is rumored to have considered asking the Admiral for his resignation.
Hurst’s parents, from their home in Columbus, Ohio, say they will reject any apology the Navy offers. “Too little, too late,” says Jeb Hurst, 54, who was also a naval officer but remembers having a “pretty good” time. “Our son is a very special boy, and we raised him to know his worth. Thank goodness I’m a Christian man, or I’d give the Navy a good piece of my mind.”
Suzanne Hurst, 53, wants nothing more to do with the sea-going service. “Enough pain,” she says. “It’s time to turn the page on this dark chapter. Time for my Jeffery to finally take a job suitable for a boy of his talents, like astronaut or state senator.”
The Navy will issue its apology to Hurst in a press conference next Wednesday.
At press time, hundreds more in the service had stepped forward with allegations of squandered potential and befallen expectations.