Last summer, a civilian posed a question to then-Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Mike Mullen during one of his "conversations with the country."
"Admiral, you have a room full of folks here who are supporters of the Sea Services. You've made a strong case for the importance of a coherent maritime strategy. Now, what would you like us to do?" Bill Butler asked.
Admiral Mullen uncharacteristically hemmed and hawed and seemed surprised by the question. Finally, he said, "We want to hear from you. You each have two senators and a congressman. Be in touch with them."
Mr. Butler, a top marketing executive, persisted. "But what should we be asking of these officials? What, exactly, do you want from them?" The admiral never did offer a clear answer. But he did make a telling admission. "We're not good at marketing. It's not what we do."