Suicide spike among Navy carrier crew spotlights soul-crushing conditions for junior sailors

The Navy is enjoying a burst of positive PR, basking in the glow of the feel-good summer blockbuster sequel Top Gun: Maverick, in which the ageless Tom Cruise recreates his iconic role as the hotshot fighter jock Pete “Maverick” Mitchell.

The original Cold War-era Top Gun, released in 1986, was beloved by the Navy, as it motivated a bumper crop of new recruits.

Now, 36 years later, facing a pilot shortage, the Navy is hopeful history repeats itself.

But the reality of life in the Navy these days, especially for the enlisted sailors who work below
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