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January 5th marked Commodore Stephen Decatur’s 237th birthday. Decatur was the most celebrated American naval hero of the post-Revolutionary War era. If not for his untimely death at the age of 41, many believe he would have been elected President of the United States. In honor of his recent birthday, I think it appropriate to take a moment to remember some of Decatur’s career, reflect on his legacy, and consider how we might go about producing more leaders like him. First let’s talk about Stephen Decatur’s naval education and the early wartime exploits which made him a household name. The… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by VADM Walter E. Carter, Jr. in Marine Corps, Navy, Training & Education | 
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Nothing is written. What everyone is planning to happen may, in a very short time, seem like a paranoid fever dream. We need to be humble as we try to think about what China will be in the coming decades. Japan stretches, The Philippines decides that they like us again, and all of a sudden Vietnam is one of the most welcoming places in Southeast Asia for an American. The 2nd decade of the 21st Century is an interesting place, but what about China in the next couple of decades? Will the South China Sea be full of PLAN CSG,… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by CDRSalamander in Foreign Policy, Policy, Strategy | 
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ship accident2

In the news last week was the removal of a submarine CO whose surfaced boat struck a channel buoy and then run aground. While I don’t want to talk about this specific event, I want to ask what many who have served as an officer-of-the-deck wonder: are our ships hitting things (ships, buoys, seafloor, etc.) more or less frequently? What direction are we trending and why? With the wide array of sensors, computers, and operator aids available to OODs these days, are we any better at not hitting things? The answer may surprise you (or may not!). I have been struggling to answer it, but… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Jeffrey Withington in Uncategorized | 

Maybe I just haven’t adjusted yet to being back in the U.S. after 5 years overseas. The partisan vitriol over the Farsi Island incident involving U.S. Navy Riverine boats in the Persian Gulf surprises me. This event has become a lightning rod of polarization, a litmus test of opposing camps of foreign policy. There is excessive emotion from both sides of the foreign policy question with neither acknowledging that their opposition also has some truth on the other side of the issue. First and foremost, to paraphrase former SECDEF Hagel’s remarks (starting at the 7:36 mark of this video) as… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by CAPT Steven L. Horrell, USN in Foreign Policy, Navy | 
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radio announcer

Please join us at 5pm (EST) on 17 Jan 2016 for Midrats Episode 315: “Where Next for our Ground Forces?” with Paul Scharre: With a decade and a half of ongoing ground combat under our belt, what are the hard-won lessons we need to keep, and what should be left behind? Looking forward, what are the challenges our ground forces need to make sure they are prepared to meet? From growing conventional strength from nations who desire to challenge our nation’s global position, to the unending requirements for Counter Insurgency excellence, what is the balance? Our guest to discuss this and more… Read the rest of this entry »


The Strategic Everyone

January 2016



NB: Scroll to the bottom for updates. Some blog posts are best put together with few words, but lots of pictures. Pictures matter. Pictures also need to be understood in each cultural context in which they are viewed. Yesterday’s events that led up to the capture and release of our 10 Sailors will be better known in time, and is best reviewed then. That “how they got there” story is a very separate story than the more important story about what the Iranians did with the opportunity we gave them. Think about not so much the view with your eyes,… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by CDRSalamander in Navy, Soft Power, Travel | 
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athena far east

CHECK IT OUT! The ATHENA Far East inaugural event is Friday, January 15th in the Commodore Matthew Perry General Mess “Tatami Room”, from 1245-1430. The ATHENAproject was created onboard USS BENFOLD in 2012 – Led by Dave Nobles and a group of sailors who wanted to make BENFOLD and the Navy better by developing solutions to problems that Sailors see in the Navy – anything from developing new systems or retooling old systems, to new training plans, to fixing “broken” programs. By harnessing deckplate innovations and creating a cadre of forward-thinking, creatively confident Sailors, we are paving the way for… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by LT Jason Knudson in Uncategorized | 
radio announcer

Please join us on 10 Jan 2015 at 5pm (U.S. EST) for Midrats Episode 314: 6th Anniversary Expanded Panel on One Question: Yes Shipmates … we are now in our 6th year of Midrats! To mark the day, we are going to have a radically different format as a thank you gift to our listeners. The focus of the show today is one question; “Where do you see as the most critical thing to watch for Navy and Marine Corp issues in 2016.” To get the answer, we are bringing on a series of prior guests one at a time… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Mark Tempest in Marine Corps, Navy, Podcasts, Strategy, Training & Education | 
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ANNAPOLIS, MD --6/30/11-Today is Induction Day at the United States Naval Academy for the Class of 2015. Plebes read the Reef Points booklet- things they need to learn this summer like ranks and the mission of the USNA- as they wait in line before going through the "courtesies and customs" training. That training includes standing at attention, saluting, and wearing the "dixie cup" head cover. {Photos by Sun Photographer, Algerina Perna} md-usna-induction-p1-perna

One of the United States Naval Academy’s primary objectives is to develop not just leaders, but leaders of character. The honor program seeks to inculcate ethical behavior by immersing Midshipmen in an environment where lying, cheating, and stealing are not tolerated, in hopes that this culture will follow graduates into the fleet. But does the Naval Academy’s ethical development curriculum work? Right now, the Naval Academy has only one metric to help answer that question: honor offenses (lying, cheating, or stealing). If honor offenses go down, it is assumed that the current policies are working. And if honor offenses go… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by LTJG Sean Lavelle in Marine Corps, Navy, Training & Education | 
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We have a new CNO, and now we have his view of where he sees the Navy and where he wants us to go; A Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority. Let’s do something a bit different and go through it together. I don’t feel like crafting a broad overview, and I don’t want to Fisk the document either. Let’s go Old School blogger and put this together as I read it. Before we get started at page 1, let’s define what it is not. If you are looking for a strategy paper, then this is not the publication you are looking for. You… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by CDRSalamander in Navy, Policy | 
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