It’s a phrase we hear more and more as we travel the halls of our buildings and the p-ways of our ships. The older, saltier sailors keep mentioning how this is a “new Navy” and that it isn’t what it used to be—and they’re right. We use the term “new Navy” and associate it with the weaknesses of the modern generation, our quivering fear at saying or doing anything because of the repercussions of hurting another’s feelings or not being politically correct. We see the “new Navy” as the shedding of what was once a thick skin, which is not entirely untrue.
One seeming problem is our inability to understand what the “new Navy” really is and how to tap into its truly unlimited potential. The Navy, along with the rest of the armed forces, is retiring its leadership from Generation X, which typically includes those born between 1965 and 1980, and completing a turnover to Generation Y, which is considered to be those who were born between 1980 and 1995 (also known as millennials). It’s important to understand the differences between these two generations and what it means to our Navy.