The U.S. Naval Institute on Naval Strategy

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Overview

In the U.S. Navy, “Wheel Books” were once found in the uniform pockets of every junior and many senior petty officers. Each small notebook was unique to the Sailor carrying it, but all had in common a collection of data and wisdom that the individual deemed useful in the effective execution of his or her duties. Often used as a substitute for experience among neophytes and as a portable library of reference information for more experienced personnel, those weathered pages contained everything from the time of the next tide, to leadership hints from a respected chief petty officer, to the color coding of the phone-and-distance line used in underway replenishments.

In that same tradition, the new Naval Institute Wheel Books will provide supplemental information, pragmatic advice, and cogent analysis on topics important to all naval professionals. Drawn from the U.S. Naval Institute’s vast archives, the series will combine articles from the Institute’s flagship publication Proceedings, selections from the oral history collection and from Naval Institute Press books to create unique guides on a wide array of fundamental professional subjects.

Strategy is described by the Dictionary of Modern Strategy and Tactics as having “a permanent nature, but an ever-changing character.” For more than a century, both the nature and the character of this essential discipline have been explored in depth by contributors to the Naval Institute’s magazines, books, and oral histories. Drawing from those powerful resources, this collection makes clear why naval strategy has always straddled the boundaries between art and science and why its study and employment are essential components of the sea service profession.

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