Saturday, June 16, 2007

The Navy's Deep Bench

Anthony sent me a link to an NPR audio spot on this subject. Frankly, I thought I was going to have to bop him because the beginning of the piece was very disrespectful of the Navy. Then it got better.

It reminded me of this article.

Gates again turns to Navy for Joint Chiefs
By Peter Spiegel, Times Staff Writer
June 10, 2007

In choosing to recommend an admiral as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has for the second time given a high-profile job to someone from the Navy — a service that has, for the most part, worked only on the fringes of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The choice of Adm. Michael G. Mullen comes just five months after Gates surprised many in the military, including some members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, by picking an admiral to become the new head of Central Command. Adm. William J. Fallon is the first Navy officer to head the Pentagon headquarters responsible for the Middle East, which now oversees the two major wars.
Pentagon watchers said the choice of the so-called sea services — including the Marine Corps, whose Gen. James E. Cartwright was chosen as the Joint Chiefs' new vice chairman — for the military's most difficult assignments was a testimony to the Navy's growing reputation as the most intellectually rigorous of the services.
"There's no obvious reason a Navy guy would be put in charge of Centcom, or why we would have two sea service people replacing two other sea service people at the top of the Joint Chiefs," said Loren B. Thompson, an analyst at the Lexington Institute, a Virginia-based military think tank. "But the reality is that they seem to be able to work with big ideas and big political leaders better than the other services."
Navy officers say their worldview is uniquely fitted for the current environment, in which threats are global and understanding foreign cultures is critical. Because Navy officers must constantly patrol the world's seas and regularly interact with international governments in ports abroad, they say, the Navy has developed a culture that is more open to a broader view of American power.
One Navy officer, who asked not to be named when discussing interservice rivalries, said a broader worldview is bred into sailors early in their careers, adding that even relatively junior Navy officers can find themselves commanding a ship alone on the open seas and be forced to make quick decisions without the aid of superiors.
read the entire article here. It's LA Times, you have to register, but it's free.

I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments expressed in this article and not just because I am the Swabbie Doxie the Armorer calls me. When SB was taking courses with the Navy for his Masters-in-Terrorism, I read along with as much as I could handle (small percentage, trust me) and gained a whole different perspective on Joint Military Operations and how the USN prepares for it.

1 comment:

Anthony said...

disrespectful of the Navy? What did you expect? it is after all NPR. I'm beginning to think you have a fixation with bopping people BTW, have you thought about taking up kick boxing? A friend of mine is going up to Boston to fight in an MMA match in September, should I have him pencil you onto the card as well?