“The true character of liberty,”

wrote the French philosopher Voltaire, “is independence, maintained by force.” Since 1776, the U.S. military has provided the force to defend America’s liberty.And since 1873, the U.S. Naval Institute has advocated independent thought as essential to creating a smart, effective national defense.

It’s not always been easy, given, as independent thinker Mark Twain noted, that such “loyalty to one’s best self and principles…is often disloyalty to the general idols and fetishes.”

On this Independence Day – our Nation’s 233rd birthday – the Naval Institute celebrates with a special collection of articles and essays that exemplify America’s, and the Institute’s, spirit of independence.

Tom Wilkerson
Major General, USMC (Ret.)
U. S. Naval Institute CEO

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