Commander Nelson recently spoke with retired Navy Captain Peter Swartz about his career as a naval strategist. Peter retired from the Navy in 1993 and from full-time work supporting the Navy at the Center for Naval Analyses (CNA) in January 2019. His naval and analytical career has spanned more than five decades. From the rivers of Vietnam to the halls of the Pentagon, he has—and continues—to shape naval strategy.
Nelson: Peter, you’ve had a fascinating naval career. You made it to captain yet never held a warfare designation. How did this happen?
Swartz: My father served as a private first class under General Patton. He drove across France, slept in the mud, and got blasted by a German half-track with an 88-mm cannon. He came home and vowed his son would become an officer, not enlisted, and that I would be in the Navy, where they slept in clean sheets. So, the natural thing was for me to join ROTC when I enrolled at Brown University.
Listen to a Proceedings Podcast interview with Captain Swartz below: