"There's No Need to See Red"
(See M. Crockett, p. 79, December 2004 Proceedings)
Master Chief Quartermaster (Surface Warfare), Michael G. Harrison, U.S. Navy-After reading Lieutenant Commander Crockett's opinion I must confess that I did see red. His thoughts add to the already sweeping penchant toward the erosion of the traditions of our naval heritage, which is really beginning to scrape the barnacles off my keel, as it were.
I presume Commander Crockett to be a fine officer and caring leader by the tenor of his opinion. Nevertheless, I am disturbed by the imperatives behind the message. Whether he meant to or not, he has maligned the integrity and faithful service of many hundreds of thousands of past sailors. His opinion asserts that in our modern and enlightened reality, "We serve a new Navy now, one that understands that to maximize sailors' true potentials we have to empower them, reward them, and help them find the passion that lies in serving their country."
Commander Crockett stops short of castigating the motives of bygone sailors, but he clearly implies that those old salts never actually understood the full meaning of patriotic leadership. To drive home his point he minimizes the long-established practice of recognizing those who demonstrate 12 years of good conduct with gold service stripes, pooh-poohing the notion as "the old-school way." This may come as a shock to some, but here's a news flash: privileges and special recognition are reserved for those who exhibit exceptional performance and occupy higher position. Without this approach there would be nothing to aspire to-and, therefore, nothing would ever change for the better. It may not be ideal, but it's the very leverage that has motivated normal human beings to excel beyond mediocrity throughout history.
Commander Crockett infers that red service stripes are an unfair method of humiliating sailors, contending that it is "nothing less than an attention-getting stigma." Spin like that is indicative of today's trend toward denouncing many long-standing naval traditions as "outdated and contrary to the Navy's core values of honor, courage, and commitment." But the roles of our naval traditions transcend such things as this trivial debate over the value of gold or red service stripes on a sleeve. Frankly, when we boil it all down, there is a deeper psychology behind wearing service stripes, ribbons, rendering salutes, observing protocol, regulations, and deference. It's all about promoting good order and discipline and instilling a sense of pride in those who choose to faithfully serve as sailors.
For a change, as our Navy moves into the 21st century, I would like to see more of our leaders enthusiastically preserving our heritage of naval tradition rather than crafting rationales to dispense with it.
John C. Lewis-The medals of the machinist's mate first class on page 79 are out of order. The Good Conduct medal always comes before the National Defense Service medal. Seeing that this machinist's mate has at least 12 years in the Navy, he or she should know better. I am surprised that none of the chiefs in this sailor's command spotted this discrepancy before the picture was taken.
"Integrate the Maritime Patrol Forces-or Bust"
(See H. Hendrix and D. Centanni, pp. 40-45, December 2004 Proceedings)
Captain Randal D. Farley, Southern California Offshore Range Program Engineer, Computer Sciences Corporation Business Development-The correct title for this article should be "Integrate the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Forces-or Bust." Since the end of the Cold War, reconnaissance has been the primary mission of the P-3 community. In the air order of battle during Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, P-3s are categorized as intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) assets. The primary reason is the capabilities brought by aircraft improvement program (AIP). The authors missed the boat on both the definition of AIP and the warfare areas it does and, more importantly, does not support. The P-3C Update III Anti-Surface Warfare Improvement Program provides improvements in command, control, communications, and intelligence; surveillance and over-the-horizon targeting capabilities; and survivability. The existing antisubmarine warfare (ASW) capabilities of the Update III platform remain equivalent to that of a "straight-stick" Update III-which the reserves have.
During the early 1990s, the reserve patrol community received a significant upgrade to the airframes they were allotted from the active-duty forces. All seven of the remaining reserve force squadrons were flying some variant of the P-3C. The Naval Air Reserve's primary emphasis over the next decade was to upgrade the lower flight time airframes from their less-capable Update I, II, and II.5 configurations to a common Update III baseline consistent with the standard active-force aircraft. During this same time, the active-duty forces were slowly integrating AIP-configured aircraft into the inventory. However, these aircraft essentially became "special configuration" aircraft and, because of the demand for their ISR capabilities, became permanently forward deployed. These are the aircraft the air component commanders for Kosovo and Central Command needed for every event-to fly ISR missions only.
The authors' next error was in the characterization of the inability of the reserves to support the active force. Supporting forces deployed to the Indian Ocean and Central Command always has been an issue for reserve forces-not because of capabilities, but the time/distance factor. Reserve annual training active-duty cycles are nominally 17 days. To transit an aircraft to Diego Garcia or Bahrain from either coast is a more than three-day evolution. That round trip takes 7 days out of the 17 available, essentially making the effort inefficient. What the reserves have contributed in support of the active-duty forces has been to assume the bulk of the counternarcotics missions (tasked to the Navy, not the Naval Reserve, by the joint interagency task forces) as well as to augment forward-deployed forces in other areas of responsibility. These significant efforts have freed active assets to go forward to support contingency operations at the levels requested by the air component commanders. To have these authors dismiss counternarcotics missions as irrelevant is alarming given their supposed level of insight into this community.
Another glaring error the authors present strikes at the core of the legacy and existence of the P-3 forces. Denigrating reserve aircrew proficiency in ASW at the expense of a perceived more advanced proficiency in active-duty aircrews is both incorrect and naive. They cite an extremely dated legacy reputation. The reality today is that no one has any "real world" ASW experience. Furthermore, ASW training and readiness has been reduced to another warfare area that P-3 crews, active and reserve, must maintain as a competency. The authors' specious argument regarding the reserves' "complete lack of reserve real-world experience against the emergent diesel submarine threat in the littorals that now characterizes most war-gaming scenarios" exhibits a lack of comprehension as to the current state of ASW training fleetwide. 100% of all fleet training, from unit-level events to joint task force exercise scenarios, is conducted against either a generic, and generous, Mk 30 or Mk 39 target, or a heavily augmented U.S. nuclear submarine "simulating a marginally proficient third-world diesel submarine." In training scenarios, 99.9% of detections are made when the target submarine is at periscope depth, or when the range provides tipper information to avoid extended periods of lost contact and to facilitate some training. This reality is present both for P-3 crews (active and reserve) and throughout the Navy's dwindling ASW-capable platforms.
The authors are correct when they point out that reserve force squadron crews are extremely top-heavy with senior officers, while at the same time having to significantly augment selected reserve crews with full-time support (FTS) personnel. The senior officer situation always has been resident in the reserve aviation community. By the very nature of naval aviation career paths, almost every officer comes into the reserve force squadron as either a very senior lieutenant or more likely a junior lieutenant commander. This will never change, and shouldn't. These officers all have had a fleet tour with at least two deployments. They are almost all already qualified patrol plane commanders, tactical coordinators, and mission commanders. This wealth of experience is what allows the reserve training and readiness cycle to be spread over a longer period of time than the active-duty cycle. Flying with four or five officers with mission commander experience on every crew balances the infrequency of training.
Of more significant concern, which the authors failed to explore fully, is the dearth of enlisted aircrew coming into the reserves from the fleet. The authors chose to focus on the use of FTS sailors as an illustration of cost inefficiency instead. Unless someone can figure a way to attract into the reserves the young, talented aviation warfare systems officers coming off active duty, long-term viability of reserve maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft (MPRA) is in trouble. In a similar vein, the reason there are so many commanders in reserve force squadrons (all except the commanding officer and executive officer are on over-grade waivers to fill critical billets) is that the number of junior MPRA officers leaving active duty and affiliating with the reserves is far below the needs. Both of these situations are possible indications that officers and enlisted leaving active duty no longer have the desire to affiliate with the MPR community. Are they burned out?
As the Navy continues to evolve in support of the Fleet Response Plan, as well as posture to support "Sea Power 21" concepts, many questions remain regarding the viability of the reserves, and even the need for them. As the MPR community looks forward to the introduction of the multimission maritime aircraft, a long-term plan to integrate the reserve forces completely with the active duty, as encouraged by the authors, must be addressed. It is critical, not for most of the reasons cited by Commanders Hendrix and Centanni, but for the overall effectiveness of the Navy's MPR community in supporting legacy, current, and emergent warfare competencies-and to decide if and how the reserve component factors into that support.
"Navy's Reserve Will Integrate with Active Forces"
(See D. Anderson and J. A. Winnefeld, pp. 61-62, November 2004 Proceedings)
Captain David L. Woods, U.S. Naval Reserve (Retired)-Admirals Anderson and Winnefeld offer the latest Navy effort to attack the Naval Reserve of the past five decades as having led itself into dark, warm places of personal comfort for reservists that were of little tangible use to the U.S. Navy.
While it is dangerous policy for any naval officer to suggest in public that senior flag officers may not have a corner on the market of brains, I state emphatically, from personal observation, the Naval Reserve of 1949-2004 comprised a Greatest Generation, akin to that praised for World War II. Moreover, our training often aboard rusty vehicles that were not always helpful to fleet operations was done at the behest of the U.S. Navy, not of our own volition.
As one who has spent two professional lifetimes (civilian and reservist) in support of the Navy-most often assisting senior flag officers with pressing, personal concerns-I am appalled by the lack of understanding of naval reservists as sailors and citizens by not only these two admirals, but by our Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) and current Chief of Navy Reserve (his title choice). While the CNO did attend Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island, and entered the Navy as a naval reservist, it appears obvious he served few tours dealing with naval reservists not on full-time active duty. Moreover, I submit neither a single- nor multi-engine cockpit provides a good platform from which to observe the myriad capabilities of the Naval Reserve from the stratosphere to the ocean's depths-although it does offer perhaps the most enviable of all naval specialties.
All four of these flag officers agree: "The Navy's reserve component (RC) was structured for the Cold War," yet I submit the post-World War II Naval Reserve was structured for World War III, not the Cold War. One key factor for a long time was a force that could activate, sail, and fight a large number of mothballed World War II warships-a task far removed from Cold War strategy. These admirals are correct in stating the Naval Reserve of the 1950s was "designed around large-scale mobilizations and relatively slow response times enabled by adequate warning timelines." What they fail to note is who designed this Naval Reserve. Certainly not we naval reservists! I also agree completely that "the active component (AC) managed its RC largely by benign neglect." But who neglected whom? The major flaws in current reserve force plans are why it took several "recent" studies to determine that "the Navy has needs that are best filled by discrete units that stand up when required to provide a specific capability." Where have these study boards been? Back in the 1960s we began forming such units-without any studies.
Finally, the basic Anderson/Winnefeld conclusion, "It is clear that the days of drilling 2 days per month and 14 days per year at a reserve center . . . are over," is flawed. Over? They never existed. In 35 years, I served 60 periods of so-called active duty for training, often unpaid. How many fleet officers serve without pay or travel without transportation or per diem? Never was I assigned to a naval reserve center. I did serve on board aircraft carriers, amphibious assault ships, amphibious command ships, destroyers, tenders, air stations, naval stations, the U.S. Naval Academy, the Naval War College, Commander in Chief Atlantic Fleet, Commander in Chief Atlantic, Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic, Commander Cruiser Destroyer Atlantic, Antisubmarine Warfare Force Atlantic, Army Atomic, Biological, and Chemical Warfare School, plus other district, force, and fleet headquarters-to name what I recall without checking records.
There were, and are, flaws within the Naval Reserve. But to argue that for the past 50 years, naval reservists have avoided serving the fleet is balderdash! To state naval reservists were not ready is a lie. Some missions may have been petty, some were actually ludicrous-but we did not pick these missions! You don't have to burn the village nor the reserve component to save it. If the active Navy now chooses to take its reserve component under its collective wing for training, nurturing, and rehabilitation-so be it. But such a task remains a challenge, and can best be done by studying the lessons of the past and trying to learn from them, not by unfairly blackening the reputation of reservists and the reserve force alike as a group of dilettantes.
The only reason naval reserve officers and enlisted personnel were not mobilized more frequently was because we were seldom recalled. Many volunteered for duty. Yet we were trained, willing, and ready for whatever cockamamie mission our Navy lords deigned to give us. Our seabags were packed and ready. So put the blame for limited use of the Naval Reserve force during the past 60 years at the feet of our nation's elected leaders and the U.S. Navy itself-not those of what is now to become the Navy's Reserve.
Commander Adelbert A. Balunek, U.S. Naval Reserve (Retired)-On seeing this article, the reader might think, Misprint? "Navy's Reserve"? And one might reflect, So, what's new? After 33 years of total force concept, policy, and doctrine, the fusion should be complete.
But, no! We learn from the flag authors: "The Navy's reserve component (RC) was structured for the Cold War and designed around large-scale mobilizations and relatively slow response times enabled by adequate warning time lines." This sounds like sad testimony on manpower unpreparedness by the nation's uniformed reserve chiefs (Marine Corps excepted) before the House Subcommittee on Total Force in late March 2004. They were surprised at the new asymmetric warfare and promised to transform and restructure their forces. Until now these poor fellows were spinning their wheels in the Fulda gap. The authors now ascribe to the Navy benign neglect, which also was used by the Secretary of Defense, Congress, and congressional staffers 28 years ago to describe the Navy's feeble attempts to use reservists.
Fourteen years after the demise of the Soviet Union, our Navy faces the trinity of transformation, integration, and alignment in search of total force. Our Navy need not follow the other services to integrate. Rather than integration as described by the authors, there should be a clean dichotomy separating the operating forces and the Naval Reserve. By definition, complete integration means destruction of the reserve. What we will have is a "surge navy," with no additional reserve for a long surge. Even the Individual Ready Reserve will not be enough.
Forward-deployed operating forces, aircraft carriers, cruisers, and destroyers should be 100% manned with no reserve billets allotted. The surface naval reserve should be integrated with hardware, crafts, boats, and ships with lesser capabilities that are necessary or would be necessary for future mobilization. This should be allocated throughout the country, consistent with reserve demographics.
The authors write as they must; the zero-based review is a great effort that deserves the nation's applause. It has been a long time coming. Yet its application as previewed would be a burden on the regular operating forces and is an impediment to readiness. The surface naval reserve will not exist as a force of trained personnel, but will be a pool of fillers, as before. What inspiration there would be for some far-horizon bureaucrat to apply the business principle of investments, weighing personnel costs against hardware acquisitions! Under the name of "Navy's Instant Reserve," we might see the use of private national employment agencies for spot labor or signing on for a cruise. Think of it-civilian mess cooks, rent-a-cops for masters at arms, and more. This will eliminate legacy costs.
Readers will note the new usage "Navy's Reserve" or "Navy Reserve," as if the possessive means more bonding, more integration, more love, and a better tool for management. Over the past year we have seen new-age word creep in the pages of Proceedings, Wings of Gold, and Navy Times-the prominent one being "Navy's Reserve." Writers should not use weasel words that suck vitality out of common usage and common sense. Will this now invite the terms "Office of Navy's Intelligence" or "Office of Navy Research"? Certainly the Chief of Naval Operations will not settle for "Chief of Navy's Operations" or "Chief of Navy Operations."
Readers are alerted that the title "U.S. Naval Reserve" is anathema, and the scarlet letter R will be removed from "USNR," levitating and elevating the Selective Reserve (SelRes) and former Training and Administration of Reserves (TARs). Even now, Full-Time Support flag officers and captains are fleeing the heresy and protecting their honor by dropping "USNR" after their names. Their biographical handouts are labeled "United States Navy Biography." How can you spot these people? If "USN" or "USNR" does not appear after the surname in publications, it's a sure bet he or she is a reservist.
The time for the great awakening is nigh. Within a short time of atonement the heretics will be cleansed, anointed, and confirmed USN. What irony! The euthanized and exorcised TARs, the very ones accused of mischief real or imagined throughout a half century, will be resurrected as USN. Will the Navy respect them in the morning?
The authors tell us the operating forces and commanding officers will have ownership of their reservists and be responsible for defining and overseeing reserve training. The warriors should be looking forward to deployment and engagement of the enemy, not looking backward to the welfare of the reserve component. This is an added burden for the operators. In effect we will have the operating forces supporting the reserve.
Finally, the authors mention the heartland: "Reserve capabilities in the nation's heartland will focus on skills that are not perishable or that do not require frequent training with the AC [active component] to achieve tactical proficiency." So it appears the heartland, including the Great Lakes, will get no boats or ships.
The Great Lakes area has a sizeable population and many reservists, and will have many more well-trained sailors returning from active duty. This is by far too valuable a pool of accomplished people to be abandoned and thrown on the beach. There were U.S. Navy ships, in commission and in service on the Lakes since 1922, but the U.S. Navy abandoned the Great Lakes in 1970.
Because Navy has little interest in this region, and to preserve this national defense asset, Navy planners might consider transferring Great Lakes reservists to the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Coast Guard. There are some Naval Reserve units that train with the Coast Guard or provide operational support. This has been mainly through the initiative and effort of the SelRes people themselves rather than conscious direction from above. Sailors belong on ships, and our innovative sailors will go at length at their own expense to get shipboard training.
Do not burden the operating force with supporting Navy's Reserve. Keep the Naval Reserve separate and equipped with what naval warfare requires.
"LCS Will Transform Mine Warfare"
(See P. Ryan, pp. 37-39, December 2004 Proceedings)
Commander Thomas W. Wright, U.S. Navy (Retired), Former Commanding Officer, USS Implicit (MSO-455), managed government-furnished combat system during design of Avenger class, conducted delivery trials and in-service support for eight Osprey coastal mine hunters-It is downright depressing that a former mine warfare commander labels our Osprey (MHC-51) mine hunters as "least capable." The Osprey-class mine hunters were designed from the start with low signatures and the maneuverability to operate in shallow, littoral waters. Their mine hunting and mine neutralization systems are identical to the Avenger-class minesweepers and are a good deal safer in today's most probable environment.
So what do you get for the extra 33 crew members and 36 feet in length? An ability to sweep moored and some influence mines without outside assistance? If you are willing to take a ship designed for operating in fleet ballistic missile submarine patrol areas into shallow waters? And who's paying the bills?
The Osprey-class ships are the safest, most effective, and least expensive choice in littoral waters. They can hunt the mines that our Korean War-era sweeping systems cannot handle, and they can tow sweep systems provided by supporting vessels. They can also go into short-term lay-ups without the shrinking and swelling problems characteristic of an MCM wooden hull.
I share the Navy's enthusiasm about littoral combat ship (LCS) and multimission vessels, but Admiral Ryan fails to address the most important issue for modular systems: crew training. The engineers and technicians can design capable equipment and fit it to certain dimensions and interfaces, but the ship's crew must operate the system. The challenges are at the ship and system level, not with equipment operators. These issues have resulted in the establishment of specific configurations for each hull and crew in every modular ship design to date.
Shore support is not the issue. Technical capability is not the issue. Ship- and system-level operations will be the determining factors for LCS's performance. Organic mine countermeasures are being introduced, but the transition will occur over a period of time. When a man has to go into the minefield during the transition, he will be safer and more effective on an Osprey-class mine hunter.
Proposed Naval Institute Constitution and By-Laws Changes
Commander Terrence C. Ryan, U.S. Navy (Retired)-I vote NO on the proposed Constitution proposal. I am a little shocked at some of the concepts it appears to embrace.
* Fewer than three or four star officers are not good enough to direct the Institute? Seems to me Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan was only a commander when he made his greatest contributions. Greater rank only rarely reflects competency, in my observation.
* Nonnaval, even nonmilitary, to direct the organization? I have no problem with civilian participation in the Naval Institute, but this is our professional journal.
* There is not enough experience resident in the officer corps to adequately direct an organization like this? Ridiculous. I believe it very likely that officers who understand the business of running a nonprofit organization are fairly plentiful. Civilians who understand such business, and have deep affiliation with the sea services or any understanding of military and naval morality and virtue, on the other hand, are very rare.
Don't dilute our sea service organization with landlubbers. I'd prefer to see the Naval Institute cease to exist than be placed in sandcrab hands. Some changes listed in the "comparison of existing and proposed constitutions" have merit. The civilian with no connection to the sea as a CEO is not one of them.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Review the proposed changes online at: www.usni.org/go/unsiproposedchanges.htm
"Keep the Coast Guard Expeditionary"
(See R. Hanley, p. 64-67, November 2004 Proceedings)
Captain Robert L. Desk, U.S. Coast Guard-In one relatively short article, Lieutenant Commander Hanley both succinctly captured the value of the Coast Guard's contributions to U.S. success in Operation Iraqi Freedom and persuasively articulated many of the reasons the Coast Guard must continue to be an important element in the nation's joint naval forces. The Coast Guard brings a unique skill set to the world of joint operations. I believe we have long come to realize and understand that jointness does not mean homogeneity. Rather, the true strength of joint operations is e pluribus unum-from many, one-a blending of strengths and talents creating a whole greater than the sum of its parts. Perhaps equally important in these times of tight budgets, jointness also means avoiding duplication and unnecessary redundancy. As an American taxpayer, I don't want the Navy recreating the expertise and equipment the Coast Guard brings to the fight-it just doesn't make good fiscal sense.
I understand and acknowledge the concerns that expeditionary combat operations will distract the Coast Guard from its homeland security duties or will draw valuable Coast Guard assets from the U.S. coastline. But these concerns are completely outweighed by the importance of the Coast Guard's role as the nation's fifth armed service. The simple, efficient, and effective cure for concerns with Coast Guard capacity is to ensure the Coast Guard has the tools, training, and personnel to do both, not create duplicate capabilities within the Navy.
As we struggle to come to grips with the challenges of defending the United States against individuals or small groups as well as nation-states, the lines between homeland security and homeland defense become very gray. The Coast Guard's history, experience, and expertise as a military service with broad domestic authority and mandates provide an essential interface between the Departments of Homeland security and Defense. Remaining a full-fledged, card-carrying, active member of the "military club" is not only essential to the health and well being of the Coast Guard, it is vital to the defense of the nation.
It is often easy to forget that what the Coast Guard does every day along the coastal waters of the United States builds the essential skills and capabilities also needed in a combat theater. That is why a Coast Guard buoy tender was deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom and why Coast Guard patrol boats are on watch in the northern Arabian Gulf. The Navy and Coast Guard have evolved as separate and distinct naval services for good and valid reasons. The nation does not the need the Coast Guard to be a second, smaller navy. Likewise, it does not need the Navy to be a larger, less-focused coast guard.
"Is Modern War Too Precise?"
(See N. Friedman, p. 4-6, December 2004 Proceedings)
Carl M. Hudak-Dr. Friedman raises the question, Has the lack of widespread destruction of the Iraqi civilian infrastructure, resulting from the use of precision weaponry, produced a population whose postwar attitude is conducive to continued hostilities? He postulates that it may have, and supports his claim by contrasting postwar Iraq with postwar Germany. He cites the near total destruction of German cities as the factor that introduced the noncombatant population to the horrors of war, taking the fight out of the German Volk, and resulting in general submissiveness.
I believe this logic is inconsistent with the facts. It is true that the German people were easily persuaded to enter World War II, and this may well have resulted from their lack of experience with total war at home. But Germany's armies were effectively crushed in the field, on both the Eastern and Western fronts. Except for the fierce final defense of Berlin, these armies were not only defeated in the field, they were disarmed in the field. For the most part, the German soldier who went home to the fatherland did so wearing nothing but his uniform and carrying nothing but his pay card. Also, Germany (a country about 80% the size of Iraq) was divided into sectors occupied by four conquering armies. Its capital city was isolated within the most repressive of these sectors and further divided into separate occupation zones. There were lots of "boots on the ground" and very little "wiggle room" for insurrection to take root.
Furthermore, the post-World War II blue-ribbon commission on strategic bombing credited the Eighth Air Force and the Royal Air Force with slowing the production of war material, but discounted the psychological effect of massive bombing on the German population. The findings of the commission indicated that many factories were rebuilt overnight, and that the population seemed to rally rather than collapse.
The point is, the Germans had almost nothing in the way of weapons with which to resist occupation, and no political capacity to foment insurrection. Just the opposite is true of Iraq. The Iraqi Army barely took the field. For the most part it was overwhelmed and defeated within the cities. Iraqi soldiers simply faded into the population, taking their weapons and munitions with them. The subsequent political capacity and communications network for fomenting insurrection were willingly supplied by the theocracy of both Iraq and Iran, and by the international terrorist cartel. This is a completely different picture from postwar Germany, and has little to do with the attitude or conditioning of either people toward total war.
"Our Naval Heritage Is in Danger"
(See J. Hattendorf, pp.64-68, December 2004 Proceedings)
Commander Tyrone C. Martin, U.S. Navy (Retired)-I have heard Dr. Hattendorf's lament about current disinterest in our naval heritage voiced by many others, both in and out of uniform. It is true that its teaching is largely limited to names, places, and dates, with very little address concerning why things occurred the way they did or what lessons are to be learned.
Aside from doing a better job of instilling the relevance of history in our midshipmen as an investment in the future, something that may have more immediate results would be to fill the currently vacant director of naval history chair with a dynamic retired flag officer. I have known the five most recent directors of naval history-two flag officers and three academicians-and have come to the conclusion that the former were much more effective, active advocates for their subject. They were, at times, full of fire and brimstone on some aspect of it, and they were respected at the Department of the Navy level as seagoing sailors who were just as familiar with the responsibility and requirements of ship operations as their active-duty successors. This shared experience rendered their concerns for matters historic much more potent than the observations of academics who lacked such credentials and were generally less forceful in voicing their positions. Call it a lesson learned.
"Order a PowerPoint Stand-Down"
(See T. Wooldridge, p. 85, December 2004 Proceedings)
Captain David J. Aland, U.S. Navy (Retired)-Captain Wooldridge's column about the evils of PowerPoint mixes symptoms and causes. The lack of good analytical skills on most staffs is rooted more in a service culture that eschews staff college and war college training than in the use of Microsoft products. As a retired officer with both command and staff experience (and now working as a defense consultant), 1 can tell you that the Army and Air Force are still turning out O-4 and O-5 staff officers who can think analytically on their feet without a PowerPoint crutch. If we in the Navy are feeling the pinch for intellectual skills, we should take a closer look at how we teach these skills to our junior officers, and not blame the software.
"Defeating Global Terror"
(See H. UIIman, p. 31, December 2004 , Proceedings)
Lieutenant Colonel Gordon S. Fowkes, U.S. Army (Retired)-Dr. Ullman makes no serious recommendation for defeating global terror, aside from a Marshall Plan with no teeth, and no concept of the structure and dynamics of the terrorist threat nor assessment of exactly how this bunch of murderous thugs could overthrow the United States. A fleet of stealth dhows, perhaps, or armored supertankers loaded with several hundred combat divisions, with aircraft to boot.
The worst the global terrorists can do is blow up a city or two. This country can stand that loss and far more and still be far from submission to foreign invasion. To think that this country will surrender to a foreign foe on the basis of a few hundred thousand casualties demonstrates a lack of faith in America, Americans, and our Constitution. Think of those nations, such as Belgium, France, Holland, Poland, and the Philippines, that have withstood the loss of all of their territory and still fought on to victory.
Dr. Ullman's real agenda is revealed when he says that "governance in the United States is not up to the task of keeping the nation safe; it must be repaired" and which spends too much time on elections.. This is a clear call for abandoning the Constitution, that which Dr. Ullman swore to defend against all enemies foreign and domestic in his oath on receiving his commission. It is the Constitution, not land or people, that constitutes the nation; it is a playbook on how to run the nation. Dr. Ullman makes no suggestions on what changes the Constitution needs.
We withstood the threat of nuclear annihilation by the Soviets with a warning of little more than 20 minutes for 40 years without any serious discussion of dumping the Constitution. Nor did we do so when hundreds of thousands of procommunist demonstrators swarmed our national capitol, at a time when many of our major cities were beset by riots and fire. Why bring it up now?
It is time for those in military service to reread the Constitution and literature on its historical origins, including the English Civil War, and focus on the relationships among the people, their state, and their military. A lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into the design of our Constitution by some very practical men of genius. The founding fathers knew the uses and abuses of power, of treason, treachery, and ill fortune.
"Experimentation Is the Way to Transformation"
(See C. Myers, p. 68-70, September 2004; J. Colvard, pp. 22-24, November 2004 Proceedings)
Captain Richards Miller, U.S. Navy (Retired), Head, Preliminary Design, Bureau of Ships (1960-63), Director of Ship Design, Naval Ship Engineering Center (1966-68)-Defense Secretary Robert McNamara's policies led to the destruction of the Navy's corporate memory of the principles that led to sound naval ship design. This memory resided in the Ship Design divisions of the Bureau of Ships, its predecessor the Bureau of Construction and Repair, and its successor the Naval Ship Engineering Center (NavSEC). Those organizations were composed of the finest groups of naval officer and civilian naval architects, marine engineers, and supporting engineers of other disciplines in the world. The NavSEC organization was decimated through implementation of McNamara's policies, and to the best of my knowledge, no comparable capability exists today in the Navy to lead the design of new naval ships.
This appears evident in designs starting with DD-21 and continuing through DDX. "Stealth," achieved through tumble-home for the entire length of the hull with no shear forward, a single attribute, has preempted all other considerations of sound hull design for survivability after battle damage and sea-keeping in adverse conditions. Naval ships must go in harm's way and undoubtedly will experience damage regardless of their stealthiness. The so-called wave-piercing bow that is a result of the tumble-home will ensure the deck will be swept by heavy seas frequently. I question whether sailors will be happy with the results.
"Let Them Eat Democracy"
(See S. Pressfield, p. 30, October 2004; M. Tomlinson, pp. 16-22, November 2004; N. Nelson, p. 21, J. T. Kuehn, pp. 21-22, December 2004 Proceedings)
Lieutenant Scott H. Wolland, U.S. Coast Guard-I thoroughly enjoyed Steven Pressfield's Gates of Fire (1998) and Tides of War (2001), and I admire his desire for us to look to history, particularly of the ancient and Greek variety, for answers to the political problems of today. Still, he fails to understand the nature of democracy, the American experiment in republican government, and the reality of current U.S. foreign policy. He does this at the same time he glosses over elements in the history of the ancient world.
There are similarities between the democratic empire of ancient Athens and the hegemonic character of the United States at the dawn of the 21 st century, but such comparisons soon wear thin. Athens was a direct democracy, its citizens easily swayed toward external and internal violence by demagogues. The history of democracy prior to the American founding was one of war and revolution. With this history before them, the founders sought not only to establish a regime based on the moral principle that all men are created equal, but also to establish decent and stable government that would protect individual liberty and the rights of minorities. They designed institutions that expressed the will of citizens but mediated their passions and protected fundamental rights. Our constitutional or "liberal" democracy was based on a "new science of politics"; it is a far cry from the simple democracies of the ancient world.
Although ancient Athens was culturally, economically, and militarily powerful, it is an exaggeration to say it "held the world in thrall." I think the Spartans and Persians would take issue with this, not to mention the other civilizations unaffected by the events of the ancient Mediterranean world.
Regarding the fall of Athens, Pressfield claims, "The very democracies it had established to secure its dominance ganged up and brought it down." The truth is that Sparta and its allies, with the financial support of despotic Persia, finally defeated Athens. Pressfield praises Sparta as a liberator. It is true that Sparta did not exact monetary tribute from its allies as Athens did. Thucydides tells us that Sparta instead "secure[d] their subservience to her interests by establishing oligarchies among them." This was the same Sparta whose society was based on an insidious slavery.
Pressfield may subscribe to the Noam Chomsky and Michael Moore school of world history by claiming that "democracy is a code word for corporate capitalism, which is itself a code word for American domination," but to live in reality is to see that the United States is not exacting tribute in Iraq or Afghanistan (or anywhere for that matter), nor is it imposing particular regimes.
The incredible example of Afghanistan (and soon Iraq) is that we have helped these people to have the freedom to decide their own fate in ways they have never enjoyed. We do this both because representative government is the most just form of government and because stable democratic states will not play amicable hosts to the terrorism that threatens us daily.
Pressfield underestimates both the human desire for freedom and the ability to incorporate democratic institutions and mores into the traditions that existed prior to the experience of tyranny. Certainly those who advocate our current policies have no desire to remain any longer than needed to ensure that stable, peaceful, and free nations exist. Finally, to liken the current leaders of Iraq or Afghanistan to the puppets of imperial Athens is to dishonor these leaders' sacrifice and courageous service.
The lesson of history may be that Athenian hubris led to tragedy. But history also teaches us that the United States of America is no ancient Athens.
"U.S. Navy to Borrow Swedish Sub and Crew?"
(See N. Friedman, p. 4, November 2004 Proceedings)
Commander Dennis K. Fargo, U.S. Navy (Retired), former commanding officer, USS Barbel (SS-580)-A Gotland-class, Swedish submarine such as the one pictured will soon be providing aggressor training services for elements of the U.S. fleet. This ship is sure to provide services worthy of today's surface forces, and will pay dividends for participating navies on both sides of the Atlantic.
I offer some periscope observations on how best to use this fine platform.
First, some things we ought not to do with it:
* Do not ask the submarine to certify helicopters for antisubmarine warfare (ASW) torpedo drops by running in a straight line. This assumes use of the submarine is to include exercise torpedo target services, a capability I believe is now unavailable to fleet ASW. Past ASW torpedo exercise certification training has included drops on target conventional submarines in scenarios that conform closely to the following geometry. The submarine establishes communications while at periscope depth with the helicopter close overhead. The submarine then proceeds to a determined depth and specified speed. Once at the desired speed and depth combination, the submarine signals the commencement of the exercise (ComEx) by underwater telephone, is constrained to constant speed, and to course changes of plus or minus 30Â°. The helo then drops when ready. This too-easy geometry will serve only to generate false confidence in helicopter prosecution of the aggressor. In today's environment, this would be a waste of the submarine's time and defeats the purpose of training for transitional capability. If this training is necessary or desired, drop airborne torpedoes on mobile false targets instead and use the submarine elsewhere. Let's design ASW events that include ship and helicopter acquisition, localization, and attack of the submarine target so we are training the way we must fight. The aggressor skipper can be asked or required to constrain course and speed once the torpedo is counter-detected and until end of torpedo run, in order to allow most efficient exercise torpedo turn-away and provide maximum platform safety.
* Do not ask the submarine to give ASW forces a solid datum at ComEx of every ASW event. Past training has typically required conventionally powered submarines to operate on the snorkel for 20 minutes prior to ComEx, especially when training at night. I've often wondered why we did not just ask the aggressor to hang out a flag or operate a strobe light instead. Rather, I recommend we constrain the submarine to a "ComEx box" of specified size, say, 5,000 yards square, and either increase the box size or eliminate the box altogether for ComEx of later events as greater proficiency and confidence of the certifying crews is gained. I advocate no limits whatsoever on the platform's operations after ComEx of these events.
* Do not ask the aggressor submarine to generate close encounters as a matter of course. This, too, is unrealistic and has been so in ASW training for a quarter of a century. We should remember that today's conventional submarines have acoustic capabilities and carry weapons comparable to those found on the most modern nuclear-powered attack submarines. Also remember the submarine's weapons give pursuit, not the conventional submarine herself. Therefore, scenarios that generate visual contact on the aggressor (and perhaps, even on the aggressor's green flares) from the prosecuting ASW ship will be unrealistic. Today's aggressor won't be getting close in as a first option. This is not to say that aggressors can't or won't get close. We should design training scenarios accordingly.
There are useful things to do with the aggressor submarine:
* Do ask the submarine skipper to use the full range of his platform's capabilities. Design specifications may include hovering motionless, drifting in what current may be available, and bottoming the ship as desired. Use of prairie-/maskertype devices should be unrestricted on prosecutor and aggressor platforms alike. There should be no acoustic augmentation of the aggressor unless this proves useful to prosecutors in early training events, in the same way that a football team must learn to sweep right before attempting the double-reverse. Ultimately, graduation-level ASW exercises must allow the aggressor to carry exercise torpedoes and be permitted to shoot back, with the prosecutor observing whatever speed/course constraints may be necessary upon counterdetection of the aggressor's weapon, to afford maximum safety in a training environment. Finally, be sure to give the aggressor an operating area that includes water that will allow use of the full range of the submarine's capabilities, and thereby maximize our training.
* Do debrief all ASW exercises with the fire-control parties of the combined crews. A solid debrief may be the most important event of the exercise series. All participating crews should present and explain their hard-copy and/or electronic graphs and charts as is commonly done in computer-driven attack teacher classes. After a career in five submarines, I do not recall a single ASW event with surface or maritime air forces in which an operational submarine crew gave or was given a debriefing of the services it had provided. Perhaps this has changed. I do recall many lost opportunities for both prosecutor and aggressor to learn. These included reading a naval message in which the ASW commander reported no attacks on the high-value unit (HVU), which it was my pleasure to place on my commodore's desk right next to periscope photos of the HVU taken at 3,000 yards; and radiotelephone traffic from an opposing submarine advising me that my ship was trackable, without offering further detail. Negative training, both.
* Do insist on and find a friendly way to enforce minimum safety range. This is primarily to protect the submarine, which will be less agile at the interface than will its prosecutors. If I had had a nickel for every time safety range was violated while providing conventional submarine services, I could have refueled. Well, almost, and it is fair to say that the U.S. Navy was not responsible for most of those. However, the training our allies will provide with this submarine will be the most realistic, adrenaline-generating ASW practice we have enjoyed in years. This training is sure to include close-in events, at minimum for the purpose of familiarization. In this, and subsequent heat-of-battle training, it is easy to get too close. I suggest that in the spirit of fair play and to promote good safety, there should be a real consequence to the breaking of safety range. Perhaps any offending ASW prosecutor could be invited to contribute operating target funds to the submarine's next tank of gas.
"Career Transition: Employ a Portfolio Strategy"
(See C. Michel, p. 96, December 2004 Proceedings)
Commander T. J. McKearney, U.S. Navy (Retired)-While I am in substantial agreement with Mr. Michel's advice, my own experience in retiring more than ten years ago and subsequent vicarious experience through other officers "transitioning" leads to a few observations:
* Forget what they told you about resumes. Two myths about your post military resume: (1) Avoid Navy jargon-Not true, if you want to work in defense. Your resume should be specific about what you did, right down to the Mk and Mod. How else will the company struggling to find the experience it needs know that you have it? And don't forget your security clearance; it's money. (2) Start out with an uplifting statement of your goals-Fact is, a prospective employer doesn't give a whit about your search for higher meaning. He's got a job to fill and he wants to know if you can fill it. This is particularly true in the case of small companies, but it's essentially true everywhere in business.
* Graduate schooling is a necessity. Whatever you do, don't leave active duty without a graduate degree in something you like. Extend if you have to, do the payback tour if necessary, but get a master's degree before hanging up your uniform. A master's not only gives you a higher starting salary, but marks you as having a practical skill beyond that reflected in whatever your wore over your left pocket.
* Your subspecialty is your biggest asset. Even most defense industries do not care that you were a bold seafaring lad/lass or the hottest stick in the squadron. You'll eventually be hired for the skills you gained in your shore tours. If you've pursued a graduate degree and proven subspecialty, that makes you that much more valuable. Don't be fooled by the eagerness of a contractor to talk to you because you just came back from the Gulf or put the USS XYZ in commission; what and who you know operationally may lead to a quick-fill job for someone on a short-term project, but most companies want employees with deep-rooted experience in Navy issues.
* Network intelligently. You'll no doubt do a victory lap around the salad circuit in your new suit as soon as you hit the street, and getting out and about is fine. But I've found newly minted civilians spend a lot of time at venues where their prospects for linking up with a potential employer are slim. Trade/professional gatherings are better than the general military support organizations; these venues are where you're likely to find other people in the business you'd like to engage. Community and booster groups are poor hunting grounds. They tend to be frequented by trade representatives trying to sell to government, not industries looking for employees. When you settle down to do the serious networking Mr. Michel talks about, pick venues dedicated to the work or area where you want to be involved. Then prove to the others around you that you can help out.
* Learn to be a salesperson. Salespeople have two skills you need in looking for job. First, they talk effortlessly about the value of their product; second, they can handle rejection. It doesn't help that these skills, applied to job hunting, are antithetical to military culture, where we teach the individual to be somewhat humble and demure about achievements. And military officers expect quick results for effort expended. While you may be one of the lucky ones who lands the perfect job immediately, expect to tell your story often and when it seems you're the only one listening.
* Don't expect much from job postings. While I agree with Mr. Michel that searching job listings and posting your resume does no harm, I'm less sanguine about the random job search. You may hit a lucky number and find the right match, but in all likelihood you'll be hired by someone you know, even if you don't know him or her yet. Not to dwell on the point made above, but letting the more likely employers know your skills and availability has the greatest chance of success (and the least frustration for you).
* Talk to your spouse-often! It's almost universal and transcends rank: your spouse will react to your leaving the service somewhere along a spectrum that spans fear either that you'll be despondent that your life is over, or that you'll take a permanent vacation and dedicate yourself to golf and daytime television. Two things you better get straight together: First, how much money do you need to make, and how long can you go without a civilian paycheck? Second, what's more important, what you do or where you live? These are obviously related and the answer sets the framework for your future employment as well as lifestyle. For the sanity of both of you, you'll need to ensure that you both understand the hard spots in launching a new career.
"Industry Can Teach Us How to Improve Evaluations"
(See C. O'Connor, pp. 77-79; November 2004 Proceedings)
Lieutenant Commander James T. Griffin, U.S. Naval Reserve (Retired)-I have been involved in fitness reports for decades in private industry and in the Navy. In private industry, tampering with fitness report templates usually preceded reductions in force (RIFs). Commander O'Connor cites prominent businessmen as fitrep icons.
General Electric's Jack Welch owes his fabled management style to Crassus. Eponymically wealthy Crassus, as proconsul, lost several battles to Spartacus before resorting to decimation. I'm not up on my cohorts and maniples, but every nine legionaries beat to death the tenth who drew the short stick! Welch merely "terminated" the lowest performing tenth GEer formulaically and frequently.
I was an IBMer when Lou Gerstner came aboard as the first CEO to not come up through the ranks. Shortly, I walked the plank with 200,000 others of 500,000! I had been appraised by an extra performance appraisal (a.k.a. fitness report). Despite a satisfactory traditional performance appraisal, I received an unsat in the extra. The traditional one had evaluated performance related to the job; the second added job level across the entire organization. Metaphorically, airedale lieutenant commanders were compared to pork chop lieutenant commanders. Raising the unsat meant improving within three months. Failure meant firing! I requested transfer to a job offered by a former manager. Contrary to prior IBM policy, this was denied. I "accepted" the early retirement offer.
The Navy has found people who rise to extraordinary demands, but that tempo is unsustainable as the normal operational mode. Likewise, firms like GE, IBM, and many modern firms cannot sustain a hyper tempo over working lifetimes. They do not crash and bum until the cadres of extraordinary people are not refreshed in the corporate census.
Retain the current fitrep; the "industrial"-strength model is not for the long haul.
"Damn the Bagpipes!"
(See M. K. Fitzgerald and M. J. Fitzgerald, p. 73, November 2004; J. Miller, J. Heimer, p. 10, December 2004 Proceedings)
Captain Robert A. Moss, U.S. Coast Guard (Retired)-Having been a bagpiper for more than 30 years, I understand that not everyone lavishes affection on what I call "my vile instrument." Especially sensitive was the officer of the deck who, when I would practice, invariably sent the messenger rushing down to the sea cabin with the frantic announcement, "Captain! Captain! We keep hearing a ship's whistle, but there are no vessels in sight!"
So I have learned to heed the exhortation given me by my old piping instructor: "Remember, a bagpipe solo is like masturbating. The guy who's doing it thinks it's great, but everyone else thinks it's disgusting."
Captain the Reverend Robert Crafts, M.D., Port Chaplain, The Mission to Seafarers, San Diego-As ship's piper (and medical officer) in the USS Abraham Lincoln (SSBN-602) Blue in 1965 and the USS George Washington (SSBN-598) Blue in 1966, it was my duty and privilege to play for the maneuvering watch and otherwise at the Captain's direction. Since we were homeported in Dunoon, Scotland, the squadron public affairs officer found this situation helpful. The Navy and Marine Corps pipers of whom I am aware are all private pipers, for whom their commands have found a communal purpose. I suspect the same is true of the Royal Navy, so I would be interested in any documentation the Fitzgeralds can provide for their flight of imagination. At one time the U.S. Air Force had an official pipe band; I don't know if it survives. The one navy that does have command pipe bands is the French Navy; the French Celts, the Bretons, are seafarers predominantly and apparently brought their music with them.
The authors refer to the hornpipe. This is a tune which fits on the bagpipe and is one of the competitive highland dances. In fact, the dancer's prize for the best sailor's hornpipe of the day at the San Diego Scottish Highland Games, since 1973, has been awarded by the local chapter of the Navy League.
Pipers are used to being sneered at by other musicians. In fact, we count on it. As players of a "novelty instrument," we don't have to join the union.
Sea Swap Is Not New-But Is It a Road Bump or Opportunity?
Captain Patrick Roth, U.S. Navy (Retired)-The Navy recently completed an innovative, successful experiment with forward-deploying destroyer-type ships for periods of 18-24 months. Dubbed "Sea Swap," the deployments are supported by "swapping" crews with those of other ships.
"Sea Swap" is innovative. But it is not new. Swapping crews dates back to the beginnings of the U.S. Navy. Perhaps the earliest example is the swap of the frigate Constitution's crew while the ship was deployed to the Mediterranean during the spring of 1805. During the crisis with the Bey of Tunis, the crew of the USS President swapped with the crew of the Constitution so the Constitution's crew could return home before their enlistment expired. They took the President home. A year later Constitution's crew was swapped with crew of the USS Essex when commanding officer Captain John Rogers was relieved by Captain Hugh Campbell. Constitution remained in the Mediterranean until 1807. Other examples:
1856. The USS Wabash transports a crew (officers and men) from the east coast to Panama. They cross on the railroad and relieve the officers and crew of a Pacific Station ship. The relieved crew makes the return transit and travels home on the Wabash.
1857. The USS Decatur (attached to Pacific Station) rotates her crew by way of Panama.
1859. Officers and crew of the USS St. Marys (a Pacific Station ship) swapped out at Acapulco. The relieving and relieved crew used commercial shipping and transited by way of the Panama railroad.
1880. The USS Constellation "officers, crew, and spares" transferred to the USS Trenton, flagship of the European Squadron, while both ships were at Gibraltar. The Trenton officers and crew sailed the Constellation back to New York, where she was decommissioned. The Constellation had been specially sent out to effect this crew swap.
1887. The USS Marion (attached to the Asiatic Station) sailed to Panama, where a crew swap was accomplished. The Marion then returned to Asiatic Station.
1887. The officers and crew of the USS Quinnenbau were swapped while the ship was in Lisbon. In this case the relieving personnel came from the Training Squadron (Saratoga, Portsmouth, and Jamestown) that was sent over to effect the relief.
1888. The USS Omaha (attached to the Asiatic Station) sailed to Panama, where a relief crew embarked her and returned her to station. The Omaha swapped crews with the USS Pensacola (of the North Atlantic Station) and sailed her back to New York City.
1889. Officers and crew of the USS Talpalossa, then on long deployment on South Atlantic Station, were relieved by a new crew transported to Montevideo by the the USS Kearsarge. The Kearsarge then returned the relieved crew to Hampton Roads.
1923. The USS Pittsburgh (CA-4) crew swapped at Ragusa, Italy. The transport USS Henderson (AP-1) transported new crew to Italy and returned the old to the United States.
There are more examples from the 19th century. A number of ships were out on station more than three years, some significantly longer. The list of sea swaps cited above catches only some sea swap rotations. The Decatur's 1857 swap, the Marion's and Quinnenbau's 1887 swaps, the Omaha's in 1888, and Talpalossa's "swap" in 1889 all occurred in the middle of six-year deployments on station. Other ships also spent long deployments overseas. For example, the Lancaster spent six years on Pacific station. The St. Marys spent 11 years on the same station. (Only one St. Marys crew swap is caught in the above list). The Onward spent 15 years in the Southeast Pacific operating out of Callao Peru. The Pensacola spent 13 years on Pacific Station and the Alaska spent 6. Somehow their crews were replacedmy guess is that sea swap is at least part of the explanation.
"Sea swap" was common during the 19th century and occurred in the 20th. It appears to have been established policy under Navy secretaries James Dobbin and Isaac Toucey during the 1850s and Secretary William Chandler during the latter part of the 1880s. In his 1856 annual report, Dobbin outlined his rationale for "sea swap"-to increase the effective number of ships on Pacific Station. This sounds a lot like Commander, Surface Force Pacific, Vice Admiral Timothy LaFleur's recent statement that "Sea Swap allows us to increase our operational availability." Some things never seem to change.
Commander Thomas W. Wright, U.S. Navy (Retired)-The Navy should investigate identifying crews with ship names and use hull numbers for the ships themselves. Crew swaps and rotations will become more and more frequent; it's hard to rally the crew to be proud of "MCM Foxtrot."
It's a radical change, but the initial commissioning crew of a ship should be assigned a traditional ship name and keep that name regardless of future assignments. This practice would preserve our heritage and traditions for those who continue to serve in a changing Navy. Additional crews could be formed and "commissioned" as needed.
Aviation squadrons have names to go along with "VF-44" or "VA-123." Ship and squadron names and their associated history and traditions form the basis for crew morale and performance. Everyone who has worked in new-construction ships will agree the crew imparts the character of a ship. It's time to recognize these crews as they are assigned from ship to ship.
The Navy should evaluate and implement crew naming as soon as possible. There will be few practical effects until rotations become more frequent, but there will also be some bumps in the road to resolve. Maritime and international laws and regulations must be addressed. Identifying crews with historical and traditional names will provide the motivation for each crew to excel and earn its name.
"Save the Ticol"
(See S. Truver, p. 28, October 2004; F. Burgers, p. 28, November Proceedings)
Captain Bruce A. Gustin III, U.S. Navy (Retired)-Dr. Truver closes his article by categorizing the decommissioned Aegis cruiser Ticonderoga (CG-47) as "the lead ship of the class that truly transformed the U.S. Navy." With due respect to those who sailed on board the Ticonderoga and her sister ships, the ship that truly transformed not only the U.S. Navy, but also 20th-century naval warfare, was the Nautilus (SSN-571), the world's first nuclear-powered warship. Technologies embodied aboard the Nautilus led directly to the deployment of the 41 Polaris submarines that enabled the U.S. Navy to finally become a unique, survivable full partner in the United States' nuclear deterrent "triad." A half-century after the Nautilus went to sea, our Trident submarine fleet continues to execute this mission in our nation's defense.
(See B. Honeycutt, pp. 46-48, September 2004 Proceedings)
Norman Palmar, author, Ships and Aircraft of the U.S. Fleet-The excellent issue on naval aviation was marred by errors and slights in this article. Eugene Ely was not a "barnstorming pilot." He was an exhibition and test pilot who worked for aviation pioneer Glenn Curtiss.
Ely did not "con" the Navy into letting him perform the "stunt" of taking off from and landing on board a Navy ship. Captain Washington Irving Chambers, assistant to the Secretary of the Navy's aid for materiel, who in 1910 was directed to keep informed of aviation matters, conceived the project of taking off and landing aircraft on U.S. Navy ships. On 10 November of that year he encountered Ely at an air meet and told him about the project. Ely jumped at the opportunity to make the flights, which were not "stunts," but early efforts by the Navy to put aircraft aboard ships.
The author's statement, "The Korean War was on the horizon, and the Navy, facing the need to recall reserve squadrons to active duty, wanted all fighter unit pilots checked out in jets" insinuates that the Navy knew the Korean War was coming. But neither the Navy, the Department of Defense, the CIA, nor the President had any indication that war was coming to the Korean Peninsula.
The author's comments about the FJ Fury and fighter squadron VF-51 also are misleading. Of the three turbojet fighters ordered in World War II, the Fury was the second to fly, on 11 September 1946; the FH Phantom (as the FD) flew first, on 26 January 1945. The Phantom was the first jet aircraft assigned to a U.S. Navy squadron, VF-17A on 23 July 1947; and VF-17A was the world's first jet squadron to become carrier qualified, on 5-7 May 1948.
Money Isn't Everything
Chief Yeoman Bernard Michael Burawski, U.S. Navy (Retired)
The Senior Surface Warfare Officer Critical Skills Retention Bonus published on 10 November 2004 is being used to entice surface warfare commanders and captains to fill critical billets at sea and overseas. The Navy is going in the wrong direction to keep top-quality officers in senior leadership positions at sea.
The billets listed seem to include the majority of the sea-duty billets for the O-5/O-6 surface warfare officers. I was a career counselor for a large part of my career and came to realize early on that bonuses and financial incentives are not always effective in attracting quality individuals. My tours at sea included several arduous overseas sea-duty assignments. They were duty assignments for which I volunteered and for which money and bonuses were not factors. I volunteered for the most arduous sea duty available to gain valuable at-sea experience, to learn more about the Navy, and for fun and adventure. In addition, my sea-duty assignments were far better moralewise than the shore duty I encountered during my active-duty service.
It would benefit the Navy more to look at other ways to entice senior officers to command at sea and make this duty more desirable, rather than trying to bribe them with financial incentives and bonuses, I have worked in the aviation, surface, and shore submarine communities, and believe the aviation community has a better handle on morale. All of the surface warfare officers for whom I worked while on active duty had a dictatorial outlook and were more interested in furthering their own careers and pleasing their bosses than looking out for their sailors.
The Navy should stop trying to pimp the surface warfare community to fill these critical at-sea billets with senior officers and look at other factors such as morale, command climate, and work environment. These are the real issues that contribute to he reason few senior officers accept command at sea. One thing that makes the Navy different from the civilian job world is the fact that service members serve their country and are not necessarily working just for a paycheck.
Navy leaders are running the Navy like a corporation or a Fortune 500 company, instead of viewing naval service as a unique and special calling that at times requires sacrifice. Financial incentives and bonuses will not solve the problem of making leadership at sea a desirable goal for the surface warfare officer community.