In this era of "rightsizing" and intense media scrutiny, the Navy's policies must be reexamined and carefully defined. Naval service is a unique job, which cannot be defined by civilian standards or political whims. Military necessity should underline naval policy, and winning wars should be its goal.
I was part of a joint task force last year during Exercise Purple Star, in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The purpose of our armed forces was reinforced for me as artillery rounds whistled over my communication post and pummeled the hulks on the impact area below me. When the artillery stopped, helicopters began launching rockets, creating terrible devastation in the target area. The sheer violence of the attacks reminded me—in no uncertain terms—of the purpose of our military: to fight and win wars.
We in the U.S. Navy do not go home to our families every day at 1700. We are warriors who have volunteered to go in harm's way in defense of our national interests. U.S. taxpayers pay us to fight their wars for them. But just because Sailors are on the public payroll, does not mean they should be subjected to every social experiment our government may devise.