I assume that I am not the only one who saw the irony in the commissioning of the Navy's newest aircraft carrier. The USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) is, of course, named after our 33rd President. Though an above-average Commander-in-Chief, President Truman left something to be desired when it came to naval matters. His administration canceled plans to build the first supercarrier, the United States, and proposed a defense policy that would have relegated the Navy to playing a secondary role to the Air Force.
Those ill-conceived plans precipitated a naval crisis in 1949, provoking fierce and courageous opposition by the uniformed and civilian leadership of the Navy. The ensuing "revolt of the admirals" saved the Navy's carrier aviation program and the force structure that still exists. The foresight of the Navy's leadership became abundantly clear when the Korean War broke out and the Navy demonstrated its strength and versatility. Over the course of the Cold War, the Navy became the nation's sword and shield, with no other service able to react with the speed and firepower intrinsic to naval forces.