CDR Benjamin "BJ" Armstrong, USN, is a former search and rescue helicopter pilot and associate professor of war studies and naval history at the U.S. Naval Academy. He is the author or editor of four books and several dozen articles on naval history and strategy, and the recipient of the Alfred Thayer Mahan Award for Literary Achievement and the Lyman Book Award from the North American Society of Oceanic History.

Articles by Benjamin Armstrong

Since his teenage years, slave Robert Smalls had been leased out by his owner to toil on the South Carolina waterfront. By the outbreak of the Civil War, he had become a skilled pilot—and was in a prime position to make a break for freedom.

‘A Hero’

By Commander Benjamin Armstrong, U.S. Navy
February 2021
Robert Smalls was a slave—but he was a slave with navigational skills; therein lay his opportunity to risk all on a dash for freedom.

'A Very Disagreeable Affair'

By BJ Armstrong
October 2022
In the harbor of Boston, and the littorals of the Narragansett, we should not forget that the American Revolution began as a maritime conflict.
Library of Congress

A Daring Defense in the Azores

By Lieutenant Commander Benjamin Armstrong, U.S. Navy
March 2014
At the 1814 Battle of Fayal, Britain’s finest outnumbered the privateersmen 4 to 1—but odds can be misleading.

Happy Birthday, Chief Petty Officers

By Captain Dan Fillion, U.S. Navy with Lieutenant Commander Benjamin Armstrong, U.S. Navy
April 2010
Two U.S. Navy officers pay tribute to the Chiefs Mess, the backbone of the service celebrating its birthday this month.
U.S. Navy (Daniel J. McLain)

Professional Notes

By Lieutenant Commander David K. Sidewand, U.S. Navy, Lieutenant Benjamin Armstrong, U.S. Navy, and Lieutenant (j.g.) Daniel Wiltshire, U.S. Coast Guard
September 2009
Living to Learn From It By Lieutenant Commander David K. Sidewand, U.S. Navy Crucible events are life-changing, frequently traumatic, and almost always unexpected. Mine, ejection from an out-of-control jet trainer ...

Books by Benjamin Armstrong