Proceedings has an exceptional reach. As an example, in this issue, the Naval Institute is publishing contributions by two fathers-sons. Former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral James A. (Sandy) Winnefeld Jr.—first published on these pages as a Georgia Tech midshipman—entered the Mine Warfare Essay Contest with a coauthor and—judged in the blind—won. His article addresses the “other mine warfare.” Marine Second Lieutenant James A. (TJ) Winnefeld III offers some insights on how one might lead today’s generation.
In the “Comment and Discussion” department, we have retired Navy Captain Alan Swinger commenting on Admirals Mullen and Natter’s April coauthored article, “We Can Fix the SWO Career Path.” Captain Swinger is a career surface warfare officer (SWO) and father of Navy Commander Mark Swinger, commanding officer of a Super Hornet squadron, who takes on Lieutenant (junior grade) Mark Jbeily’s June Proceedings assumption that naval aviators might resist unmanned aerial vehicles in his “Be Aces for All Seasons.”
Aircraft carrier issues often provide a test of the integrity of the open forum the Naval Institute has maintained over the 144 years it has published Proceedings. Retired Royal Navy Commander Angus Ross suggests in the lead article of this issue that the carriers’ future role is going to be more narrow. Another Marine second lieutenant takes on problems the electronic spectrum can cause in battle today in his “We Own the Night?”
There is plenty of Proceedings “dare”—the willingness of naval professionals to address difficult issues—on these pages. But this has been the tradition of this wonderful, independent organization. The Naval Institute truly is for the naval profession by naval professionals.
The Board of Directors is comprised of wise naval professionals who have proven their dedication to the profession and who now volunteer their time to help keep the Naval Institute on a good business course. The Editorial Board is made up of serving professionals who read the feature articles each month and come together to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these contributions. The trustees of the Naval Institute Foundation work hard to acquire critical funding to allow the Naval Institute to do its many great missions. The Foundation defines exactly what “non-profit” is supposed to mean.
So it is with both pride and sadness that I report that I am leaving the best job in the world again. I left the first time 2005 because I could not support the leadership team that I in part helped create. At that time, in this column, I tried to name many of the people I knew had meant much to the forum.
After many years in exile, I was given the opportunity by CEO Vice Admiral Pete Daly and Board Chair Admiral James Stavridis to return to the Naval Institute as the editor of Proceedings. I owe much to these naval professionals, who I have known for a very long time, and the Naval Institute. I also owe much to the best professional staff with whom I have served.
Finally, I could not have had my career and my passion without the total support of a wonderful family—which I have been blessed to have.
I thank all of you who “dare to read, think, speak, and write.”
Fred H. Rainbow
WHERE WE WERE
July 1918 Proceedings—In “The War’s Benefits,” Midshipman F. F. Foster, U.S. Navy, writes, “[T]he present war is expected to bring: A benefit to the Navy, through popular realization of its importance and effectiveness, to the merchant marine from government help, to industries from the necessity of attaining maximum efficiency of production and the stimulus of man’s inventive genius, a moral benefit to the people due to war’s sobering and uplifting influence, and to the United States internationally, through increased prestige, wider activity in world politics, and the security of friends.”
July 1968 Proceedings—“A promising and successful officer decides to end his naval career and compete for a position in civilian life. This is an event that is all too common in our naval service.” In “One’s Own Destiny,” Lieutenant Jerome C. Fritz, U.S. Navy, continues, “As long as these officers feel that they are not being given the maximum opportunity to participate in the guidance of their own destinies, they will continue to leave the service in droves.”
July 1993 Proceedings—“In 1986, the Congress of the United States, aided and abetted by a passel of retired captains, colonels, and other certified Big Thinkers, imposed on a reluctant military institution the Department of Defense Reorganization Act, commonly known as the Goldwater-Nichols Act.” In “I Went Joint (But I Didn’t Inhale),” Lieutenant Commander Lawrence Di Rita, U.S. Naval Reserve, explains, “To most naval officers, who are incurable ticket punchers, one joint assignment is no better or worse than another. We’re the jointest of services already – we have our own air force and army. The question becomes: Why do we keep the other ones?”
A. Denis Clift
Golden Life Member