The Navy has decided to grant an early release from active-duty contract to a lieutenant junior grade who would like to play in the National Football League (NFL).
Lieutenant j.g. Eric Kettani, a former running back for the Naval Academy who graduated in 2009, has been granted an early release from his active-duty contract on Tuesday, reversing a prior denial.
Kettani qualified for the practice squad of the New England Patriots last summer. He had already moved to Foxboro, Massachusetts. Unfortunately, his waiver from his active-duty obligation was denied by assistant Navy secretary for manpower and reserve affairs Juan Garcia. As such, Kettani returned to the frigate Klakring to continue his service.
Navy spokeswoman Lt. Cmdr. Tamara Lawrence revealed on Tuesday that Kettani’s appeal has been approved by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus. He will, however, have to repay the Navy roughly $60,000 for the cost of his academy education and training. He will also serve in the Navy reserve for up to seven years.
Kettani received the news of the approval of his appeal on Tuesday night. He was supposed to report as navigator on amphibious transport dock San Diego. With his early release, he now plans on going back to Foxboro – and the Patriots – as soon as possible.
He gave the following statement in an interview: “It’s a completely different world for me… I’ll be playing for one of the best teams.”
He is, however, not completely turning his back on the Navy, saying: “I’m just going to take things day by day and do my job with the Patriots and hopefully help out as best possible and help the Navy out.”