Commanding officers today must know more than how to fight their ships. To enhance U.S. interests in the 21st century, they must he educated in all elements of grand strategy—diplomatic, economic, political, and informational, as well as military.
Command afloat has been characterized as both the loneliest and the most exciting job on the planet. Certainly it is the culmination of most naval careers in terms of responsibility, challenge, and initiative. Line officers spend their entire careers with an eye toward this assignment, unwittingly preparing themselves by noting the foibles, examples, and mistakes of previous commanding officers, hoping to choose the correct combination when they are offered command at sea.