Ten years ago I resigned my commission in the U.S. Navy, after serving an obligatory five years. As a young, fiery lieutenant, I wrote down my reasons for leaving in a short essay. Twice in later years, full of new ideas as a civilian manager, I added thoughts based on my experiences in the corporate world.
The resulting essays, together with some current thoughts, reflect my own evolving perspective on junior officer recruitment, promotion, and retention. Their basic premise is that to retain the best junior officers—the cream of the crop—some processes that affect junior officer retention need to be realigned. Using corporate practices as a benchmark for Navy practices, I bring forward some recommendations, radical though they may be, in the hope that subsequent debate might produce solutions that the Navy is able to implement—because problems do exist, and they should be addressed.