One of my favorite naval stories is that of the impressive but meaningless deployment of the raider CSS SHENANDOAH as told so well in John Baldwin’s book, Last Flag Down. A non-state actor (the CSA not a recognized nation) builds and deploys a warship with one goal in mind – destroying the commerce of another. Her best work was done against USA whalers in the Pacific. Though the comparisons are imperfect, the SHENANDOAH came to mind when I got a view of that small but efficient ramming bow on Sea Shepard’s purpose built anti-whaling ship, OCEAN WARRIOR, that was launched… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by CDRSalamander in Piracy | 

Writing professional articles has a long history in all the U.S. military services. American naval publications date as far back as the 1830s. While military personnel are commonly lauded for their willingness to take physical risks in defense of the nation, sometimes we are less open to taking the intellectual risks involved in the betterment of our profession. In #RTSW 2 we discussed the fear some writers have that they might embarrass themselves through a small mistake or problem in a professional article. Taking an intellectual or academic risk is far different than strapping into an aircraft, rigging to dive… Read the rest of this entry »


Chief of Naval Operations Richardson has put out a call for more naval professionals to contribute to their profession through writing. Other Flag Officers have followed his lead and there is a rising movement across the joint force. The first post in this series examined how someone can develop an idea into a professional article. The next two posts will look to offer a clearer picture of what a writer should expect once their article is written: from submission to when it is out in print or online. The advice in this series is based on professional writing for a… Read the rest of this entry »


When was the last time you thought about not just nuclear weapons, but nuclear power? Not just the engineering aspects, but the political, sociological, and hidden strategic risk of nuclear power? It is funny how a topic can keep coming in to your scan after being in the background for so long. The last few weeks, the Navy and the Atom kept breaking above the ambient noise. First was something I first wrote about 30-yrs ago as an undergrad. The topic of the paper, which I received a very disappointing B- on if I recall correctly (NB: when your POLYSCI… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by CDRSalamander in Foreign Policy, Navy, Strategy | 

  The June issue of Proceedings offered a call from CNO Admiral Richardson, and his speechwriter Lt. Ashley O’Keefe, encouraging naval professionals to engage with their service through the act of professional writing. The CNO has not discovered a new idea, but instead lends his voice to something a number of recent senior officers have called for, from Stavridis to Winnefeld. Even some “not so senior” officers have suggested the same. Others have written indications and warnings about the risks the voyage entails. There have been a long list of professionals throughout our history who have participated in the development… Read the rest of this entry »

Photo Credit: FVAP “All qualified electors of this state who shall be in the actual military service of the United States or of this state…shall be entitled to exercise the right of suffrage at any general election…at the several posts, camps, or places where the regiment or battery of artillery may be…” Wisconsin State Law, Section One Passed September 25, 1862 Voting while serving in the military was not always as easy as it is today. For a long time, if a soldier or sailor was away from their hometown, they simply didn’t vote. It wasn’t until the Civil War… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by LT Andrew Poulin, USN in History, Naval Institute, Navy | 
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General Robert Neller has always been regarded as a tough, no-nonsense Marine, and as Commandant of the Marine Corps he has also emerged as a genuine visionary. He deeply understands the future military environment and how his service must prepare for it. At the 2016 U.S. Naval Institute/AFCEA West Conference, the general provided critical insight into his vision, which closely aligns with that of Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral John Richardson, on the direction of leadership development the Naval Services should take. According to the 37th Commandant: I think the training systems we have as far as simulators and… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Robert Kozloski in Cyber, Innovation, Marine Corps, Navy | 

Please join us at 5pm EDT (US) for Midrats Episode 342: Turkey ,Erdoğan & its Miltary – with Ryan Evans: The events of the last week in Turkey brought that critically important nation in to focus, and we are going to do the same thing for this week’s episode of Midrats. Turkey has a history of military coups as a byproduct of an ongoing drive to be a modern secular nation against the current of a deeply Islamic people. This week we are going to look at how Turkey found itself at another coup attempt, the response, and the possible… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Mark Tempest in Foreign Policy, History, Soft Power | 
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SAN DIEGO (May 23, 2016) USS Makin Island Commanding Officer Capt. Jon P. Rodgers (right) administers the Oath of Office to (left to right) Ensign Brennan Wyatt, from Greensboro, North Carolina, Ensign Derek Gilmartin, from Bakersfield, California, and Ensign Sarah Kline, from Apex, North Carolina, during their promotion to Lt. j.g. on the ship's flight deck. Makin Island is home-ported in San Diego, undergoing the basic training phase in preparation for a scheduled deployment this fall. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Clark Lane/Released)

“As our platforms and missions become more complex, our need for talented people continues to be a challenge. We need to recruit, train and retain the right people…” Admiral John Richardson, U.S. Navy Chief of Naval Operations In 2017, nearly 2,000,000 young men and women will graduate from colleges and universities throughout America. We want 200 of the very best to commission through Officer Candidate School (OCS) and serve America as a Navy Surface Warfare Officer (SWO). To be sure, we have historically attracted and retained great people in Surface Warfare. With an eye toward our return to Sea Control… Read the rest of this entry »

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates

Maybe President Recep Erdogan is not the only one who can take advantage of an opportunity. This idea came to me as I calmed down over the anger rising up within me over Erdogan’s demand for his one-time political ally Cleric Fethulla Gulen who lives in Pennsylvania. My first reaction was – “Let’s call a meeting of the North Atlantic Council and threaten to eject Turkey from NATO.” Of course this is not so easy. No clear article exists about how to go about such a process other than some vague language about being required to “uphold democracy, including tolerating… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Dr. John T. Kuehn in Foreign Policy | 
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