In 1972, a member of the U.S. Navy who's already accumulated several years of service mentions that he's expecting to spend his entire working life in the USN. What does that imply about his expectations for career success?
I realise the answer will depend on whether he's an enlistee or an officer; I'm interested in both cases, but for the sake of discussion we can assume that if he's an officer, he's not a specialist.
Background: in a lightly fictionalised 1973 work, William M. Joel refers to a 1972 encounter with "Davy", who at that time had already been in the U.S. Navy for some time (not stated whether officer or enlistee) and expects to stay there for life. In context, WMJ apparently intends this to indicate that Davy's life and career are going nowhere.
However, my understanding of things is that at least in the modern era, "Davy" could only expect to spend his whole working life in the Navy if he was expecting significant career success in that time. For instance, if Davy is an officer then 1980's DOPMA appears to imply that he would've needed to make Captain to stay in that long.
From googling, I found that the real-life "Davy" (David Heintz) sadly died quite young, in 2003, but neither that nor the 1980 DOPMA rules would've been known at the time of writing. I am interested in what Davy could reasonably have expected as of 1972.
By googling on variations of "us navy up or out history", I found plenty of information about the current situation and possible changes to that, but I couldn't figure out what it would've looked like from a 1972 viewpoint.