Second Prize Winner in the 2005 Vincent Astor Memorial Leadership Essay Contest
Today's Navy no longer cultivates warfighting skills. Excessive bureaucracy has stunted the development of creative and daring leaders, turning them into managers who focus on executing the "how" of requirements Instead of the "what."
The Navy is a bureaucratic organization, parts of which occasionally fight in wars. The bureaucratic requirements that bombard shipboard leaders hinder professional fulfillment and develop a skill set and mentality that have little to do with warfighting.
The warfighter's skills boil down to the ability to achieve a defined objective. There may be many ways to get there, and the warfighter finds one that best fits the circumstances. The bureaucrat's skills boil down to implementing someone else's rules.