He made his reputation as the Washington Post reporter who, along with colleague Carl Bernstein, broke the Watergate story in 1972. Now an associate editor of the Post, Bob Woodward has shared in two Pulitzer Prizes and is the author or co-author of 15 books, all of which have been national bestsellers. What's less well known is that he began his career as a naval officer, from 1965 to 1970.
One popular image of journalists is that we didn't serve in uniform, don't know much about the armed forces, and are, vaguely if not blatantly, anti-military. Like many simplifications, this is often just wrong.
I spent five years as a naval officer before I became a newspaper reporter and book author. I saw a lot on active duty, and the lessons that could be learned would fill a long book. Here are some of my observations, looking back now nearly four decades later.