I come from a family of stockyards workers—modest, hard-working people. To my knowledge, none of my ancestors served in the military; they were either too young or too old to don a uniform. After graduating from Northwestern University in the midst of the Korean War, I decided I wanted to serve my country. When I asked my father which service I should enter, he advised me to join the Navy because it had the best-looking uniforms—and he suggested aviation because pilots make the most money. I became a naval aviator in 1953. My parents were very proud of my career.
I first learned of the Naval Institute when I was an NROTC instructor at the University of Kansas in the early 1960s. I was teaching naval history to freshmen midshipmen and quickly discovered what the Institute had to offer to a young officer with a limited knowledge of his subject matter. Proceedings and many Naval Institute Press books became mainstays in my personal library—and remain so to this day. I joined the Naval Institute in 1964.
The U.S. Naval Institute is the only professional naval organization of its kind. Through its various seminars and publications, it offers the best vehicle for informing the public of the status and continuing value of strong sea services. For much of my four decades of membership, I have written articles and books for the Institute, and I intend to continue offering my services in reviewing book proposals and manuscripts and writing quality naval history books for the Press. I also have agreed to help recruit and coordinate fellow volunteers to assist the Institute staff.
Year after year as I attend Naval Institute conferences, I look over the audience and see mostly a sea of gray heads, with few young people present to carry on the Institute’s tradition. I believe it is imperative to expose youngsters to the Institute and all it has to offer. The solution I came up with is to provide gratis Naval History subscriptions to NROTC units and NJROTC high school libraries. Through gifts to the Naval Institute for this purpose, I believe seeds can be planted that may reap future members—and, I hope, inspire military leaders among the next generation.
Thanks to Our Leadership Club 2003
We are honored to have the support of an outstanding group of individuals who made significant gifts to the Naval Institute Foundation last year: