Admiral Harvey went ashore for the last time as an active Officer today. While I disagreed strongly with his handling of Captain Honors, I believe one cannot have anything but great respect for his grasp of what is important and a requirement for a warfighting service. And for his grasp of the rich Navy history and tradition, with the contemporary lessons that can and should be gleaned from it.
His last post at USFFC Blog contained some terrific reading recommendations, two articles in the Spring ’12 Naval War College Review:
The first article is by Professor Mackubin Owens and is entitled “What Military Officers Need to Know about Civil-Military Relations.” I am deeply concerned about the direction our civil-military relations have taken over the past few years and this superb article highlights many of the issues that have impacted those relations.
At the end of the day it’s all about trust – as Owens writes, “The state of post-9/11 American civil-military relations also points to the issue of trust—the mutual respect and understanding between civilian and military leaders and the exchange of candid views and perspectives between the two parties as part of the decision-making process.” This is an important article on an incredibly important topic, please read it and reflect on it.
The second article I recommend to you is “A Remarkable Military Feat,” by Professor Donald Chisholm. The story of the amphibious withdrawal from Hungnam, Korea – a “planned, carefully staged massive redeployment of forces against enemy pressure” – is an extraordinary one with many lessons learned for the Naval force, particularly in the area of complex planning and C2 in a very dynamic environment. Everyone knows about Inchon – no one knows about Hungnam. We would all do well to learn what this successful operation has to teach us.
Mac Owens’ article is a great piece, and the events of the last few days make it even more compelling. Don Chisolm’s work is a fascinating case study. Both are superlative articles. No surprise that Admiral Harvey puts them out for the professional edification of his Officers. A beer tap and a clear afternoon/evening schedule would facilitate discussions nicely. San Diego in January has some appeal, Admiral. Just sayin’….