Special - Influence and Relevance

By Fred Schultz

While naval history was prevalent during the presentations and discussions during those early years, and it still is a major part of them today, credit for being the first to confront a real issue and see results was Captain Stephen B. Luce, who read “The Manning of our Navy and Mercantile Fleet” at the Institute’s second meeting in November. It was the first Proceedings article to lead directly to federal legislation for Merchant Marine training, naval apprenticeships, and the opening of the first state maritime school in New York City.

Some young Navy lieutenants who wrote for Proceedings went on to greater things. Ernest J. King, a future Chief of Naval Operations, won the 1909 Prize Essay Contest with a six-point plan to streamline shipboard officer and crew assignments. Three years later, submariner C. W. Nimitz, also a future CNO, proposed to deceive the enemy with “dummy periscopes.”

Thus began a long line of naval thinkers who made contributions that had impact. Through the Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, the Korean and Vietnam Wars, and Operations Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom, and Enduring Freedom, the Naval Institute has published enlisted and junior, flag, and general officers, senior government officials, high-level journalists, prizewinning authors, deep-sea and space explorers, filmmakers, and even Hollywood stars and directors with some connection to national defense. Amazingly, the organization has been doing the same thing, as of this month, for 140 years.

Mr. Schultz is managing editor of Proceedings . He also served for 12 years as editor-in-chief of Naval History .


Conferences and Events

WEST 2016

Wed, 2016-02-17 - Fri, 2016-02-19

San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, CA

How Do We Make the Strategy Work? Wednesday, February 17 - Friday, February 19, 2016 Co-sponsored by AFCEA International and the...

2016 U.S. Naval Institute Member Event

Ultimate Skybox at The Diamond View Tower

Why Become a Member of the U.S. Naval Institute?

As an independent forum for over 135 years, the Naval Institute has been nurturing creative thinkers who responsibly raise their voices on matters relating to national defense.

Become a Member Renew Membership