The August issue is always our focus on the Coast Guard. Since retiring from the Navy in 2016 and beginning my career at the Naval Institute, I have learned more about the Coast Guard than I did in 29 years on active duty. As my understanding of our “white-hull” brethren has grown, my respect and admiration for them has deepened. The Coast Guard is about the same size as the New York City police department, but its 11 statutory missions demand a global presence. Polar ice breaking, counterdrug operations, search and rescue, natural resources protection, and other missions require a can-do force that makes the most of every asset and every Coast Guardsman.
Given the Coast Guard theme, the core of this issue is the three winning essays from our annual Coast Guard Essay Contest. Commander Craig Allen, U.S. Coast Guard, has won or placed several times in the past five years. His essay, “Sea Duty: Still Wanna Do It?” addresses the need for more career cuttermen. Lieutenant (junior grade) Evan Twarog, Lieutenant Joseph Kidwell, and Lieutenant Caleb James, U.S. Coast Guard, took second prize with “The Path to a Data-Driven Coast Guard”—an insightful analysis of how the service can update its approach to data. Finally, Lieutenant Commander David Zwirblis, U.S. Coast Guard, took third prize with “Send the Coast Guard into the Cold”—arguing that the United States needs a new combatant command to oversee the Arctic, and a four-star Coast Guard officer should lead it.
Our June issue featured an alarming information warfare article by Army Captain Don Gomez called “Canceled in Combat: Get Ready for Smear War.” This month, Lieutenant Colonel Justin Hauffe, U.S. Air Force, follows that theme with “Don’t Believe Your Eyes,” an exploration of the growing phenomena of “deepfakes,” or images and videos that are manufactured and passed off as authentic. We are operating in a brave new world where information technology presents novel threats to our common perception of reality.
This month’s American Sea Power Project article is our third by a U.S. Naval War College professor. Dr. Sally Paine’s “Maritime Solutions to Continental Conundrums” posits that continental powers covet conquests while maritime powers create wealth. It is another foundational essay that makes clear the necessity of a strong Navy to protect the liberal, democratic world order.
Getting back to the Coast Guard for a minute, in 2019, the Naval Institute received its first full-time Coast Guard Federal Executive Fellow, then–Lieutenant Commander Brooke Millard. Our fellows spend ten months at the Institute learning about the open forum, serving on our editorial board, reading, and writing for Proceedings. Lieutenant Commander Karen Kutkiewicz was our 2020–21 fellow, and Lieutenant Commander Ian Starr will join us later this month. Brooke and Karen said they enjoyed their time at the Institute and learned a great deal, but I am certain my staff and I learned more from them. I would be remiss if I did not thank the many Coast Guard professionals who have served on our editorial board over the years (too many to list). They are a vital part of our article review process and bring valuable perspectives that make every issue better—not just the August issue.
September will be our annual naval aviation issue. A copy will be provided to everyone at the Hook ’21 Symposium in Reno. Ward Carroll and I look forward to recording episodes of the Proceedings Podcast on the floor of the convention center. The theme of this year’s Hook is the Vietnam air campaign, and Barrett Tillman has penned a great article for us.