Today, when the very nature of future conflict is murky and confused and "we are as uncertain of our bearings as a vessel in a fog," Commander Knox's words come echoing through the years. "Both ashore and afloat," he told the readers of Proceedings, "we imperatively need first of all a conception of war. Once this is created we will be enabled to proceed, with our eyes open and our course well marked, toward a coherent comprehensive scheme of naval life." In 1998, as in 1915, the Naval Institute can be counted on to provide the forum for discussion of just such a conception of war and in so doing continue to keep our eyes open and our course well marked.
Colonel Summers is a syndicated columnist for The Los Angeles Times, editor of Vietnam magazine, and a prolific author whose books include the award-winning On Strategy and On Strategy II.
Vice Admiral Alexander J. Krekich, U.S. Navy
Ever since I first became a member, I have found the Naval Institute a vital part of our naval profession. Without this organization to further our education and provide an open forum for the free exchange of ideas, our business could not be considered a true "profession." Through the Naval Institute we stay abreast of maritime trends and explore new ideas. Other professions have their journals, reviews, papers; we have our Proceedings.
Within the recent pages of Proceedings are contributors of all rates and ranks offering their ideas of where the naval service is or ought to be headed. Nowhere else—other than in the magazine and through the essay contests sponsored by the Naval Institute—do we have the opportunity to forward diverse opinions, push the envelope, and speak plainly about the profession of sailoring. I agree with a recent contributor who said that we must not ever let the pages of Proceedings become devoid of vigorous and provocative—but thoughtful and well-conceived-ideas.
I also enjoy Naval History magazine and the superb books published by the Naval Institute Press. The magazine is a wonderful collection of interesting articles about our heritage, and the Naval Institute Press is my favorite source for works on all things of the sea.
Vice Admiral Krekich is Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet. A 1964 Naval Academy graduate, he commanded both the George Washington Battle Group and Cruiser-Destroyer Group Two.