Paired with Colonel Cancian's article is a remarkable piece of on-the-scene journalism by Andrew Lubin, freelance writer and author, who has spent an extraordinary amount of time in the combat zones of Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr. Lubin comes by his ground-pounder proclivities honestly, though a blown-out knee kept him out of the service. His mother and father were both Marines, as is his son, Phil, who has served two tours in Iraq. Mr. Lubin, for his part, has been to Iraq three times and Afghanistan once—and he's preparing to head back to the Persian Gulf in the next few months.
Mr. Lubin's article, "Ramadi: From Caliphate to Capitalism," chronicles the dramatic transformation of Ramadi, little more than a year ago one of the most deadly cities in Iraq, into a place that can safely stage a 5K run through its streets. The article also profiles the key figures both in the U.S. military and the Sunni hierarchy who made the Awakening happen. In the photo at left, Mr. Lubin stands with Sheikh Sattar Abdul Abu Risha, a leader of the Awakening, later murdered for his efforts.
Our tasting menu has something for everyone. Vice Admiral Mark Edwards, in "Lead or Get Out of the Way: Winning the Millennium War," worries that the Navy's technology isn't keeping up with the next generation of Sailors. These young people grew up with home computers that had greater capability than the Fleet they will be joining. David Axe reports from pathetic Somalia; Carl Hall from Berkeley, where the Marines are contending with a latter-day resurgence of Flower Power; Retired Marine Lieutenant General Bernard Trainor issues a full-throated call to put the Marines back on ships, where, he insists, they belong. And we also offer an excerpt from a book that gives a very personal view of command at sea: Destroyer Captain , by Admiral James Stavridis, currently Commander, U.S. Southern Command.
We lost a highly respected and much-admired member of the Naval Institute family a few weeks ago when Captain Stephen F. Davis Jr. died from complications of throat surgery. Captain Davis, a member of our Editorial Board, was the voice of the blackshoe Sailor, a man who loved going to sea. He was a crusty old salt at heart, an officer of the deck plates and the bilges, but he was also one of the most intelligent, sophisticated, and refined men wearing Navy blue.
Steve's evaluation of prospective articles for Proceedings was normally unerring, detailing strong points and weak ones and suggesting how to beef up the latter. Steve also was my go-to guy, a Board member whom I could turn to for the offline advice that, oddly enough, I sometimes need. I will miss him. We all will. He was everybody's All-American.