We need to improve our connection and the perceived “value” of membership with those who are serving in the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard today.
We need to find ways to increase the speed with which we get our content to the people who need it. The superb monthly offerings in Proceedings will be complemented by the right mix of online and social media. Improving how our membership is networked will make us more effective, more relevant, and better able to inform serving professionals, our members, and others.
We need to reach a broader audience with our ongoing debates on the important issues the Nation faces, so we can use our independent forum as a platform to enhance the understanding of the contributions of the Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard. Our conferences are largely focused in Washington, D.C., San Diego, and Virginia Beach. We need to continue to reach these audiences, and more. We provide the forum that gives voice to our authors to say things the Sea Services otherwise may not be able to say.
We need to do a better job of leveraging the immense capabilities and capacity resident in you, our members. We have started by setting up a junior-officer advisory group. And we are also reaching out to attract and develop young authors to strengthen our future content.
We need to embrace the concept of strength in numbers. Many of you have cited the need for an integrating professional organization that can speak effectively for the whole of the Navy, the whole of the Marine Corps and the whole of the Coast Guard. “Tribes” exist in all of our services, and many of those have their own community advocates. We are not an advocacy organization; we are a broad-based, independent forum. When it comes to the scope and magnitude of the issues we face, we need to stack hands and ensure all citizens are well informed. A strong and independent Naval Institute has a critical role to play!
We need to increase the numbers of individual members. A large part of our effectiveness is dependent on membership. As members, you are in the best position to understand who has an affinity for our important mission. If every one of you convinced just one person to join the Naval Institute during the next year, you would make an immense difference. You know who should join us, and you can inspire them to do so.
Too often, when I talk to someone about what we do and ask them to consider joining the Naval Institute, I hear, “No one asked me before . . .”
We will keep you informed as we progress on our strategic planning efforts that will include member input as a critical component. I am proud to serve as CEO of this prestigious Institute and proud to associate with all of you!