February 26th, 2011
There are two Navy magazines that you see more than any others while serving aboard ship or ashore – “All Hands Magazine”, published by the Navy, and “Proceedings”, a magazine published by the United States Naval Institute. I must admit, while I served, I viewed “All Hands” as the magazine for the enlisted folk and “Proceedings” as the officer’s Mullet Wrapper.
Mullet Wrapper is a term we used when I was a kid for print media – we would literally wrap our mullet in it. Before I joined the Navy, I was a commercial fisherman…
Anyway, lately, I have actually been cracking open the cover of “Proceedings”, and I must say, my perceptions have been wrong – if you want to know how your Navy is moving along, BOTH magazines should be readily available in your library, no matter if you hold your pinky finger out while drinking or not.
Today, I became a member of the Naval Institute.
Besides catching up on the numerous back issues of “Proceedings” I have yet to read, and the other available publications, my first order of business is to vote against a change that may very well sink the organization which I just reported aboard.
Steeljaw Scribe tells it like it is (bold emphasis is mine);
…the USNI Board of Directors is asking the membership to approve a new mission statement that changes “the Mission of the Naval Institute to ‘advocating the necessity of global seapower.’” because “The Board believes that the United States must support and maintain a strong, global naval capability and that a proper role for the Institute is to be a proactive advocate for that goal.” In essence, turning what had been a professional forum for the wide-ranging discussion of matters of naval import into another lobbying organization.
Galrahn at Information Dissemination brought up a another very good point;
The use of the phrase “Proactive advocate” suggests to me the organization would change into a political lobby. That seems to me to be the fastest way to get the USNI thrown off the campus at Annapolis.
I would like to add another concern. Over time, I’m afraid, publications that are a staple for new recruits at boot-camp like “A Sailor’s History of the U.S. Navy” and even “The Bluejackets’ Manual” may adopt political overtones. Can you envision a future without “The Bluejackets’ Manual”? I cannot. That potential alone is a good reason to join the Naval Institute and vote no on the measure.
I’ll close with the best advice of the day, CDR Salamander writes,
If you are a member of USNI – then don’t miss that ballot. If you are not a member – then join so you can have a say in this critically important organization. Examine the issue, and vote your conscience.
Joining the USNI is not difficult, and it isn’t expensive. Not only will USNI membership allow you to vote for the direction the organization may take, but you also get to read monthly publications like “Proceedings” – that alone is worth it! So get over there and come aboard, your brain cells will thank you.
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