If the written word is the backbone of our communication and learning, why is there such a disdain for reading books?
One of the smartest men I know is my uncle. He is not a college graduate; in fact, he is a retired farmer in Missouri. He has one leg shorter than the other as a result of a bout with polio in his youth, and one eye is sewed shut because of an accident while soldering just days before his wedding to my mother's sister. He is not above average in intelligence, but he is smart. He has acquired wisdom and knowledge through a desire to learn. And he has learned by reading, listening, traveling, and asking questions.
What does a retired farmer have to do with the naval profession? In this case, plenty. A naval officer also needs to be smart, to possess the wisdom passed down through history and from those who went before. This wisdom is based not only on current Naval Tactical Publications and Limited Team Training but also on reading and exchanging ideas with one's peers.