Few U.S. Navy officers today are capable mariners. The continued neglect of shiphandling skills means that in the future Navy ships such as the USS & Bulkeley (DDG-84) may have to be driven by qualified civilians.
Since the founding of the U.S. Navy the words of John Paul Jones have been a guiding tenet: "An officer of the Navy should he a capable mariner." Thucydides in 404 B.C. preceded Jones with similar observations, "Maritime skill is not to be cultivated by the way or at chance times." and. "A collision at sea can ruin your entire day."