“The Navy’s Pressure Cooker”
See T. Philpott, pp. 50-55, May 1996; P.H Sayles, p. 16, July 1996 Proceedings)
Lieutenant Commander Eric. D. Lanman, Supply Corps, U.S. Navy—I thought that the ultimate goal and “reward” for any naval officer was command, and that command at sea was the epitome of success for a line officer. Recent policy—actual and proposed—seems to have abandoned this idea. Cutting surface ship commanding officer tours to 20 months through the year 2000 and leaving open the possibility that some of our best officers might be rotated through a ship command tour in as few as 15 months seems to say that the ultimate goal of a naval officer should be to become a flag officer. In theory, this enables the Navy to play in the “high-vis” political and joint arenas, regardless of how it might impact those at sea who fight daily battles on what are normally much less visible stages around the world. Maybe I’m swimming against the tide, but it seems to me that we should keep our best officers in their command tours for longer rather than shorter periods of time. Battles are won on the front lines, even though wars can be lost in the rear.