Every professional man, at times, must be critical of certain accepted methods in his work. Technical men are always inquiring why some jobs are done in a certain manner and if they cannot get a logical answer, they investigate the matter more closely. This may lead to an improved method, a better product, the discarding of labor-wasting steps or a multitude of other things that improve the efficiency of the process or the morale of the group.
The Navy man is not an exception. Yet when questions are raised about why we do certain things which are inconsistent with the progress of our period or are of no evident military value, the conclusive, undebatable answer invariably is “Why, that’s tradition. Didn’t you know that? It’s always been done that way.” Well, let’s “break out” a few of these blocks and tackles from tradition’s forward hold and spread them on deck for inspection.