He bowls overhand.
Here are the two opposing viewpoints in a nutshell:
JOs: I was a top performer, I should get choice duty (within reason).
Senior Officer: You were a top performer, the Navy needs you to do X. Just accept it. You should be thankful that you got this important job that has manning shortfalls, I don't get why you aren't happy with that.
Solution proposed by the JOs: Allow top performers to actually go to the top of the pecking order for orders. Solution proposed by senior officers: "manage expectations," which is another way of just making sure that the JO understands that there are no other options.
It's not like wlawr wanted to go fuck off doing some extraneous foreign exchange program or other way off-track job.
Personally, I've been lucky so far in the orders I've been able to draw. Some people were not so lucky. If I were "rewarded" after a successful JO tour by being detailed as a prototype instructor or 18 extra months of sea duty on a PCU, I would have been pissed. I would be even more pissed if my CO looked me in the eye and told me that my viewpoint was myopic because the Navy *had* to send me to one of those billets. There are plenty of qualified people to do those jobs, and if there is a shortage then you don't necessarily need to pluck a top performer against his will to do it.
Because I've never been in that uncomfortable situation of executing a set of orders that I really didn't want, I don't particularly have an ax to grind against the whole process, which is consistent with most people who stay Navy for a full career. But I sympathize for those people who drew the short straw and can't blame them for getting out because they believe that the Navy doesn't care about their career desires.