Commander Joel I. Holwitt, U.S. Navy, a submarine officer, is the Capability Development Department Head at the Undersea Warfighting Development Center Tactical Analysis Group. A 2003 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, he holds a Ph.D. in history and is the author of Execute Against Japan: The U.S. Decision to Conduct Unrestricted Submarine Warfare (Texas A&M University Press, 2009).

Articles by Joel Ira Holwitt

Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Elmo Zumwalt Jr.’s personnel policies and focus on sea control in the lean budget years of the 1970s can offer lessons to the present-day Navy.

Lessons from Admiral Elmo

By Commander Joel Holwitt, U.S. Navy
December 2020
The First Prize winner in the CNO Naval History Essay Contest draws valuable insights from the paradigm-shifting tenure of a revolutionary Chief of Naval Operations: Elmo Zumwalt.
Trident II D-5 SLBM breaking the surface during a test off the Florida coast

People Create High Velocity Outcomes

By Commander Joel Holwitt, U.S. Navy
February 2019
The 2018 CNO Naval History Essay Contest second-place winner, professional category, looks at what historically has been the secret of successful Navy acquisition: It’s not processes, but people.
“Battle of the Philippine Sea, Evening” by John Hamilton/Navy Art Collection, Na

Recapturing the Interwar Navy's Strategic Magic

By Lieutenant Commander Joel Holwitt, U.S. Navy
October 2017
First Prize Winner in the 2017 CNO Naval History Essay Contest--Professional Historian Category. To maximize the growth of strategic thought in the present-day Navy, the service should turn to practices ...
U.S. Naval Institute Photo Archive

Humanities or STEM? It's a False Choice

By Lieutenant Commander Joel I. Holwitt, U.S. Navy
July 2014
Lieutenant Alexander Smith's December 2012 Nobody Asked Me, But column “Don’t Say Goodbye to Intellectual Diversity,” detailing the impact of the tiered academic system on incoming naval officers, appropriately generated ...
U.S. Navy (John Narewski)

Preparing for Today's Undersea Warfare

Vice Admiral John M. Richardson and Lieutenant Joel Ira Holwitt, U.S. Navy
June 2012
The submarine force must heed history’s lessons and apply today’s technology to a complex and shifting global situation.

Holy Mackerel, Not Again!

By Lieutenant Joel Holwitt, U.S. Navy
June 2011
Proponents of looking to foreign-built SSK submarines as the answer to the Department of Defense budget crunch should study their history.