In 1873 the Naval Institute was established to help the U.S. Navy deal with the difficult transition from sail to steam, among other issues. The ensuing 125 years have seen the transition from steam to nuclear power and many other changes.
The Naval Institute helped me to become a writer and author. Its book and the Proceedings had inspired me as a midshipman and junior officer, and I saw how its publications provided an independent forum for the free and candid expression of ideas—regardless of rank or position. Ideas were judged on merit alone, and the Editorial Board was willing to take a risk on controversial subjects that did not always conform to Navy Department policies. I liked that in a profession where juniors normally were below the salt. Accordingly, I submitted my first article in 1965 as a lieutenant on a pre-commissioning detail, in which I was presumptuous enough to criticize how we built and delivered our ships and to suggest opportunities for improvement.