In His Own Words: Arleigh E. "Gene" Dotson
was unable to go on to college when I graduated from high school in the lmid-1960s. Unsure about what I wanted to do, I enlisted in the Marine Corps. During my four years as a Marine, I matured. I was given a direction and a future, and lessons about authority and responsibility I have used throughout my life.
Today, I serve as vice president of strategic planning for SPD Technologies Group, a unit of L-3 Communications. For the past 35 years, my job has been intertwined with ships, submarines, and aircraft. I have watched operations on board U.S. Navy and foreign naval ships. When given the opportunity to address congressional and community groups, I encourage them to support the Navy and to provide more funding. The Navy offers the last, best diplomatic step before war. A naval fleet sitting a few miles off the coast is strong encouragement.
My wife, Linda, and I attend Naval Institute-sponsored seminars and events whenever possible. I have read Proceedings for years, contributing my opinions every now and then to "Comment and Discussion." As an engineer, I enjoy the technical reports of missions and operations, and rely on the Naval Institute to keep me informed on the latest issues facing the sea services. The Institute represents the people side of the Navy—what those within and associated with the military are thinking. If I have something to say, it provides a forum that I know will reach the command structure of the Navy.
I look to the Naval Institute to remain at the forefront of military education. The majority of our members of Congress have had no military experience. Someone who has never sat in a foxhole overnight or worried about a mine blowing up his ship will have difficulty understanding what our country expects of its young soldiers and sailors.
Linda and I are active in our community, serving on several boards and helping where we can—Linda even knits blankets and caps for Project Linus, benefiting children stricken with cancer. Recently, we established a charitable remainder trust with the Naval Institute. Our gift ultimately will benefit the Institute, but it also has desirable tax benefits for us now. We believe we have a responsibility to the United States, and the trust is another way of giving something back to the society in which we live. This gift to the Naval Institute is a wonderful way to repay all this great country has given us.
It's So Easy!
ease don't forget the Naval Institute when planning year-end charitable contributions. For your convenience in making a tax-deductible gift, this month's Proceedings has a gift form and postage-paid return envelope bound into the magazine. Your gift now supports the Naval Institute's many educational initiatives throughout the year.
Our thanks to the Battelle Memorial Institute for its continuing support of innovation and technology articles in Proceedings, and to all those who have stepped forward in 2003 to help the Naval Institute fulfill its mission.