The ballot sent to members for the April 2011 Annual meeting included a vote on changing the U.S. Naval Institute’s mission statement. In a special meeting on March 17, the Institute’s Board of Directors agreed unanimously to delay any change in the Institute’s mission statement whatever the outcome of the balloting. The Directors agreed that a wide-ranging and fully open debate led by the membership will provide the guidance needed to shape any change, if necessary. Directors and staff are now considering options for engaging the membership in this discussion, and will have further information available shortly.

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  • KhakiPants

    Too little, too late.

    The message has been clear, and the voting will show that: the Institute’s mission statement will remain the same, and the directors who pushed it through without previous adequate debate will be fired.

  • What KP said. The members are now considering options for new Directors.

  • Fouled Anchor

    That type of ‘delay’ usually means they have been defeated, they just don’t want to say so.

    Are they also going to reconsider voting to dismiss General Wilkerson?

  • PJN

    “…a wide-ranging and fully open debate led by the membership…”

    Perhaps you missed it, but we already did. In your failure to have a dialogue and debate, the members stepped in and took care of it ourselves.

    This is too little, too late. What’s next? Throwing out the Director ballot, too, when you don’t like the results?

  • P.S. Wallace

    With all due respect, and even though I was opposed to this change, and though I am not a corporate governance expert, nor am I overly familiar with the USNI Constitution and By-Laws, it is my view that the Board cannot make the decision they are making with this withdrawal. An election has been called, a matter referred to the members. I thus question if the Board has the power to annul an election once it has began.

    The election has in fact begun. I need to be told why I should not think it was out of the Board’s hands to unilaterally decide events the minute it began. If the members approve the mission statement then that is the new mission statement, period. The Board’s now-changed opinion to the contrary notwithstanding. If they disapprove it, then the Board now-concurring with that majority opinion is superfluous and irrelevant.

    An election was called. The members now decide the issue, not the Board. Or else the entire concept of elections is meaningless. If the Board can effectively negate the outcome of elections when we favor their reasons why, then they can negate ones when we don’t.

    I have resigned my membership, effective today.

  • YN2(SW) H. Lucien Gauthier III

    +1 PJN.

    Coverage on/by just about every major milblog/er does kinda equate wide-ranging. To say nothing of the unanimity across that spectrum.

  • Michael Junge

    PSW – This board has shown that they don’t care about the By-Laws. All the more reason they need to be replaced. Now, or in the next election.

    Assuming the next ballot is more legitimate than the one they just selectively annulled.

  • J. Scott

    The board members who used methods counter to the By-Laws should be relieved of their duties. The entire election should start with a clean slate of names.

  • Byron

    Pretty pitiful damage control, if you ask me.

  • SanDogWeps

    Smells like damage control to me, but the shoring and smoke blankets are pretty poorly placed considering the folks involved were senior Naval leadership.

    This begs three sets of questions:
    – Are they so oblivious that they thought their membership would either not notice or allow it to happen? How far removed from their membership are they?
    – What happens on other ballots down the road (including the ones with their names on it for re-election)? If they see the writing on the wall then, will they yank that ballot?
    – If they shut their eyes real tight, will all of us dissenters not be here?

  • Arlene Kitchin

    It’s great when people can admit they have made a mistake. It is even better when they can fix it. So, it’s time to beg forgivness and ask General Wilkerson to stay and continue the great job he has been doing.

  • Byron

    @Arlene: I second that motion!

  • Thomas

    “…options for engaging the membership in this discussion…” Am I missing something? I thought that’s what we had been doing. And the discussion certainly seems to be leading in one direction. It would be nice if the directors were paying attention.
    Arlene- Right on!

  • Ken J.

    There is a fundamental issue here that I have with many of the current Board of Directors. This entire episode, including the language of this current statement from the board, proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that these people can not be trusted. They have their own selfish agendas. It is becoming clear to me that a member of the board was changing the direction of the entire organization so that he could become the new CEO. Many other members were complicit with this move.

    The current shift in direction can be trusted to be nothing else but a desperate move to remain in office with the good graces of the membership. The board majority has lost my trust. I will not believe any further discussion they put forward as anything but a thinly veiled gambit to placate the membership.

    There can be no going back. Trust can not be regained. I will not forget this episode. WE will not forget this turn of events.

    Resignations are in order.

  • Kevin J. McCarthy

    One of the biggest problems I see with a constantly changing military, is to make snap/quick decisions that can cause damage to morale and to the mission. If it really isn’t broke than you really don’t have to try to fix it. I saw this as a USAF Academy Recruiter when 2 “local” supervisors were replaced by a supervisor that was assigned(living) in another state and got our group as a additional duty. The additional duty/Out Of State supervisor let our entire program run on AutoPilot. I am willing to bet that new personnel assigned to this unit don’t really know now what programs like Awards&Dec.s are. The former supervisors would never let this happen because they had OUTSTANDING Leadership. I hold my friends in the United States Navy in the HIGHEST REGARD. Please don’t let these “Quick Decisions” happen to them. Best Wishes to The US NAVY from a Retired USAF Guy.

  • Ned Dodds

    USNI is valuable for the academic forum it has provided as well as for its publishing program. I joined the Navy League of the United States (NLUS) as an advocate for seapower. The Mission of USNI should remain unchanged while standing behind the NLUS in full support of its efforts.

    I want the U.S. military to be the baddest on the planet so that any potential adversary will thoroughly understand that, win or lose, going up against us will be very, very expensive.

    It is part of my religion that there are three main Duties for the U.S. Government. The First Duty of the U.S. Government is to ensure the country continues to exist, making the Cabinet Departments of State, Defense and Veterans Affairs the most important.

    The Second Duty of the U.S. Government is to protect its citizens and legal residents from attack from both inside and outside the country again making the Cabinet Departments of State, Defense and Veterans Affairs the most important. (Are taxes an attack on citizens and legal residents?)

    The Third Duty of the U.S. Government is to create an economic climate under which all who choose to make the required effort can succeed for themselves, then get out of the way and let them do it.

    My “real” name is Edward James Dodds but no one calls me “Edward”. I prefer “Ned”, a nickname, or “Mr. Dodds”.