Thursday, October 3, 2013

A cautionary warning

We must follow the tune of a different drummer.

Our vocation is one that is unlike most others, and because of this it requires different things of us.  This difference, fundamental to our profession, is nothing to be ashamed of.  It is defined by terms that include self-sacrifice, devotion to duty, and the highest standards of personal and professional integrity, and contains the values that are among the most respected of Western civilization.

We have been through bad times before.  Unpopularity, lean budget years, and slow promotion have been characteristic problems of the armed forced in every post-war period in American history.  What has enabled us to survive these problems in the past has been adherence to our ideals and principles, and not adaptation to the social fashions of the day, regardless of their appeal.

We will not do ourselves or the American people any service by passively following the drift of society and permitting ourselves to reflect all of the confusion, doubt, and self indulgence that surrounds us.  If we wish to be more than an image of a Navy, if we want to retain our identity as an institution whose ethic goes beyond shallow slogans ((e.g., Global Force For Good)) and publicity campaigns, we must make the decision to go against the grain, to establish and demand from our people as set of standards and an order of dedication that is our own, and not "a reflection of society."

The Stranger in the Crowd
By Lieutenant Commander K.C. Jacobsen, U.S. Navy
USNI Proceedings, September 1974


Anonymous said...

Captain Lambert,

I974 was ancient history in the annals of our Navy, and unfortunately the navy structure has been altered so much that what we lived by in 1974 no longer exists, the words that I heard so many times that stated such phrases such as “In this man’s Navy” can no longer exist. The conditions that exist today are far from those conditions that existed years ago. I do realize that the liberal philosophy of these days to allow everyone regardless of whether they are possibly some type of pervert that will harm the morale of the Sailors that they are confined with on Navy ships, it does disturb me that abnormal human behavior is openly allowed in the Navy today. It would appear to me that the last sentence that Lieutenant Commander K.C. Jacobsen, U.S. Navy wrote has turned out to be exactly the opposite of what he stated.


HMS Defiant said...

I concur with Navyman834. Our service holds no ideals or principles. It caved in on every single thing it professed to believe in for 200 years. When you throw in the way in which the leadership has gone about its Force Shaping, you see a service that is, for the most part, actively dishonest about what it stands for.

I would infinitely prefer a program like Bottom Blow again where each and every command identifies that 10% that is 90% of the problem and separates them from the navy with an honorable discharge for the convenience of the navy.

Can you even imagine the people that run our navy allowing every command that kind of latitude today?

Neither can I.