On 20 August 1981, a large sign hanging outside the faculty offices of the Seamanship and Navigation Department in Luce Hall at the U.S. Naval Academy was causing quite a stir. The officers who were teaching midshipmen at that time all had served in the post-Vietnam era—a few had been in the war itself—and the past decade had been a difficult time. The ignominious ending to that war, a public who did not yet thank servicemen for their service, and decreased military spending that created what some described as a “hollow force” all contributed to a bleak era for those in uniform.
But now there was great jubilation in Luce Hall as lieutenants and lieutenant commanders gathered around the sign, grinning broadly as they read the words someone had posted early that morning.