"The Navy needs bold officers who are willing to think creatively and take well-calculated risks. Seek to promote officers who have shown initiative in finding and pursuing the most effective ways of accomplishing our mission." -Precept to the 2002 Commander Selection Board
With the release of yearly command der selection board results, ready rooms and wardrooms across the fleet are filled with mild disbelief over some of the officers selected—and surprise over others who were not. Despite the Navy's goal of selecting the most qualified officers for advancement, that aim is not always achieved. Although clearly superior officers rarely are overlooked, officers who took roads less traveled in their career paths but who have otherwise superior records sometimes are passed over. The reluctance of selection boards to reward these officers does a disservice to the Navy, especially when less-capable officers are chosen because they followed classic career paths.