26 Oct 2010
Layne family in D.C.

  Mickey and Sheri and daughter Michaela visited Annapolis a couple weeks ago. A great family photo from Arlington Cemetery with a view across the Potomac.





Other side of the river
Reverse order
Great visit

24 Oct 2010
Castilla family at Air Force Academy

Cindi and David Castilla and their two younger sons got to meet Nick at the Navy game in Colorado Springs Oct. 2nd. They write ...

Air Force Cadets have a tradition of chasing the Midshipmen off the field after the march on. They try to grab covers from the Mids as the Mids are running to the wall to jump over into their section. It was a bit of a brawl! Nick managed to trip a Cadet who was trying to steal a company mate's cover and grabbed a velcro patch off his uniform which he took home to 10th Company as a trophy. The Mids had a lot of fun getting back at the Cadets by sending plebes to nab whatever they could get from them.

A couple of boys brought back a company flag and a female Cadet was sent alone by her Company to retrieve it. The Mids held it in the middle of a section and told her she would have to go get it. As she made her way through the gauntlet, the Mids peeled off all her velcro patches and name tag. They also got her hat. She begged for the return of her items. Before giving them to her they passed her a Mids cover which she put on and they all started yelling "Kiss Him! Kiss Him!" following a Navy tradition. [editor: my memory is a little weak on this tradition.] She gave in, kissed the cover's owner, and left with great dispatch – but intact.

Despite the loss the Midshipmen had a great time in Colorado Springs.

24 Oct 2010
Center for Cyber Security Studies building

The Supe gave a presentation where he had a slide that showed an artist's rendering of the proposed CCSS building. I sent an email to Professor Donald Needham asking if that image is available, and received a remarkably informal response from the Academic Dean.

Dear Vince,

The image to which you are referring was indeed just an artist rendering. But it isn't based on anything actual -- so it was just an image designed to show what a building, any building, might look like on the spot being considered.

So, it isn't something that actually has a plan behind it. For that reason, I suggest that we NOT use that for any purpose. I can imagine folks seeing the image and then assuming that it really represents what would be built. Most likely it does not -- and that could cause folks to get confused in the future if/when a building is built that doesn't resemble the image. They might say, "That's not what they showed us before!!"

I hope that makes sense!
Best regards,

I also sent an email to an Alumni Association ombudsman asking about the CCSS building rendering. She was able to acquire the image and wrote the following ...
It is imperative that as you share this, you reiterate that this is simply a conceptual drawing at the moment. The location and look may change, but this is what they are thinking. This is also not happening "tomorrow"

Professor Needham's presentation on Navy's Cyber Warfare Initiative is here

22 Oct 2010
Saudi military aircraft deal

Patriot Post reported a $60 billion Saudi military aircraft deal that may contribute to "regional security goals in the Gulf". Here is their synopsis ...

"The Obama administration notified Congress it plans to sell Saudi Arabia up to $60 billion in advanced military aircraft, including F-15s equipped with bunker-buster bombs that Washington sees as part of an effort to contain Iran," reports The Wall Street Journal. According to Andrew Shapiro, Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs, the deal "supports our wider regional security goals in the Gulf" and helps make sure the Saudis "have the tools that they need to be able to defend themselves." It's the largest U.S. arms deal with another nation to date, and it includes the purchase of as many as 84 F-15 fighter jets and upgrades for 70 existing Saudi F-15s, as many as 72 UH-60 Black Hawks, 70 AH-64D Apache Longbows, and up to 1,000 one-ton bombs known as Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs), among other assorted weapons systems.

The deal now must be approved by Congress, where there are plenty of critics. "This deal would destabilize the Middle East and undermine the security of Israel, our one true ally in the region," said Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY). Others point to Saudi Arabia's less-than-stellar record on human rights as reason for pause. If approved, the Saudis may not spend $60 billion up front, but could commit to $30 billion and come back later for more.

      22 Oct 2010
Clandestine brigade barbers

A fun comment that was posted to a USNA Facebook entry on the campus Barber Shop ... For the class '69, the "go to" 6th Wing freelance barbers were [redacted] (25) and [redacted] (28). Both provided me with Friday night cuts which would pass Saturday noon inspection, but would be "drag-worthy" by Saturday night. True, but unsung artisans.

22 Oct 2010
Cyber security in the news

The Naval Academy is working vigorously to build a Center for Cyber Security Studies. Austin Bay recently presented a good review of the Stuxnet computer virus that has sounded the wake-up call of the age of cyber warfare.

"Stuxnet targets a 'supervisory control and data acquisition' (SCADA) system manufactured by Germany's Siemens Corp. It just so happens Iran uses this controller in several major industrial and research facilities, including its nuclear reactor at Bushehr and uranium enrichment center at Natanz ... A Stuxnet-type virus lurking in a nuclear plant's computer could blinker safety systems, jam control boards, jimmy valves, blind sensors and more. The plant operator then has a choice – either operate and risk a Chernobyl incident or shut down the reactor ... Iran acknowledges it has several thousand infected computers and controllers, but claims its facilities (and by implication, its weapons program) have suffered no significant damage ... If the Israelis did launch the attack, and the worm slowed Iran's nuclear quest, then Stuxnet was a military success comparable to the RAF's 1943 attack on Germany's Ruhr Valley hydroelectric dams. Cracking the dams was not a war-winning coup de main, but damaging them hindered the Nazi war effort by disrupting electrical power generation and diverting German reconstruction resources ... I'm all for the destruction of Iranian nuclear weapons, but I want to protect Hoover Dam. Stuxnet signals that the cyber-war for digital sovereignty has begun in earnest."

13 Oct 2010
U.S. Navy birthday

The Navy birthday is today. For $20, you can get an outstanding cake from Sam's Club with an edible overlay from a large catalog of images they support. The Marine Corps birthday is 10 November.

09 Oct 2010
Language skills, Regional Expertise, and Cultural awareness

The Naval Academy's Academic Dean and two professors recently published an article discussing the "top liberal education" provided to all midshipmen.  [link]  They summarized evolutionary and comprehensive changes that are supporting the Navy-wide LREC initiative (Language skills, Regional Expertise, and Cultural awareness).  [link]  The Academy's core history courses have become ...

  • U.S. Naval History
  • Western Civilization I ... has been replaced by
    • The West in a Global Context
    • or Asia in a Global Context
    • or The Middle East in a Global Context
  • Western Civilization II ... has been replaced by
    • The West in the Modern World
Majors and electives have been expanded and enriched to emphasize:
  • internationalization
  • language capabilities
  • cultural competency
  • global political and economic dynamics
  • historical processes
  • political transformations
  • various models of economic development
There are new courses:
  • Window on Arabic Culture
  • Arabic Discourse in Society
  • Modern Arabic Literature
  • The Middle East International Politic
  • Islam and Cultural Changes in South Asia
  • Islam and Politics in Southeast Asia
  • Asian Revolutionary Biographies
  • Asia International Politics
  • Chinese Culture through Films
  • Twentieth-Century Chinese Literature
  • Intercultural Communication
  • Chinese Military History
  • Japanese Cultural History
  • Samurai
  • National Security Policy of Japan
  • Topics in Continental Literature
  • Topics in Multiethnic Literature
A sibling article in the same journal is by a West Point professor: "The Transformation of West Point as a Liberal Arts College"  [link]  The author suggests ...
Intellectual liberation, integrative innovation, and holistic development - hallmarks of a liberal education - are not always associated with the public's perception of the West Point experience. Yet, consider this: today's military operates in contexts where uncertainty and ambiguity are commonplace ... [this environment] demands an officer corps capable of responding promptly and effectively to a diverse set of issues in environments that require innovation, flexibility, and adaptability. The army needs officers who have benefitted from a liberal education.
The notion of "uncertainty and ambiguity" put me in mind of Samuel Huntington's "The Clash of Civilizations?"  [link]  He asserts that: nation states are fading as the dominant actors on the world stage, civilizations (aka people groups) are the new source of identity/allegiance/conflict, and the West is notorious for projecting its worldview as the "universal civilization".
It is my hypothesis that the fundamental source of conflict in this new world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic. The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural. Nation states will remain the most powerful actors in world affairs, but the principal conflicts of global politics will occur between nations and groups of different civilizations. The clash of civilizations will dominate global politics. The fault lines between civilizations will be the battle lines of the future.

... Western concepts differ fundamentally from those prevalent in other civilizations. Western ideas of individualism, liberalism, constitutionalism, human rights, equality, liberty, the rule of law, democracy, free markets, the separation of church and state, often have little resonance in Islamic, Confucian, Japanese, Hindu, Buddhist or Orthodox/Slavic cultures. Western efforts to propagate such ideas produce instead a reaction against "human rights imperialism" and a reaffirmation of indigenous values, as can be seen in the support for religious fundamentalism by the younger generation in non-Western cultures. The very notion that there could be a "universal civilization" is a Western idea, directly at odds with the particularism of most Asian societies and their emphasis on what distinguishes one people from another. Indeed, the author of a review of 100 comparative studies of values in different societies concluded that "the values that are most important in the West are least important worldwide."

... Civilizations are differentiated from each other by history, language, culture, tradition and, most important, religion. The people of different civilizations have different views on the relations between God and man, the individual and the group, the citizen and the state, parents and children, husband and wife, as well as differing views of the relative importance of rights and responsibilities, liberty and authority, equality and hierarchy.

Given this understanding; an American foreign policy that says, "All persons and peoples yearn for the self-determination that democracy affords", will be perceived as cultural imperialism. Tribal societies value authority over liberty, and hierarchy over equality. Each civilization's deepest held values are not only foreign to another civilization – they are incomprehensible.

09 Oct 2010
A wise CO, a humane Army

Photo taken by Abby Bennethum in July 2009 as her husband's Army reserve unit was deploying to Iraq. Staff Sergeant Brett Bennethum's unit was called into formation to receive its final instructions, but the young soldier's 4-year-old daughter Paige refused to let go of her father's hand. Realizing the importance of this moment, Bennethum's commanding officer allowed the little girl to stand alongside her daddy and spend those final moments holding his hand before he left to serve his country.

09 Oct 2010
Recruiting the elite ... John Renehan challenges the assumption that some Americans are at once too good and not good enough for the military  [

The author was practicing law in New York City on 9/11. He subsequently found himself thinking about joining the military. But – he had "no military experience, knew virtually no one ... who had ever been in the service. People like us – the privileged, frankly – don't join the military. We wonder about the military world occasionally, and a few of us may actually grow curious enough to investigate serving in a halting sort of way. But the armed forces are for another sort of American, right?"

After joining the Army, training at Fort Benning, and serving in Iraq, the author reports ... "Along this road I discovered something about myself, and about the military. About myself, I discovered that there were within me - within everyone - latent abilities, tendencies, temperaments that only an environment such as this will bring out. And, yes, I'm speaking to you bookish types now. However well you may think you know your own pacific constitution, be assured that there is someone more physical and forceful within you   someone you will meet, given the right circumstances.

About the Army, I learned that it can be a hard - and hardening - environment, but by and large the people in it are just people. They are not uniquely tough by nature, though they become so through training and preparation and habit. And their toughness is leavened with a deep sense of common humanity   a basic unquestioning take-them-as-they-are compassion rarely found in the "softer" cosmopolitan world of ambition and sophistication from which I hail."

09 Oct 2010
A brief history of Navy

Here is a synopsis of the history pages at [link]   This will come in handy as you examine the evolution of the Academy in the next three images.

    Halligan Hall is built 1903
    Dahlgren and Macdonough Halls are completed 7 Mar 1903
    Cornerstone of present chapel laid 3 Jun 1904
    Body of John Paul Jones is brought to the Academy 1 Jul 1905
    Body of John Paul Jones moved to Dahlgren Hall.
    President Theodore Roosevelt delivers principal address.
    24 Apr 1906
    Buchanan House (Superintendent's quarters) is completed 1906
    Bancroft Hall (wings 3 & 4) is built 1 Dec 1906
    Mahan, Maury, and Sampson Halls are completed 1907
    First service held in new chapel 28 May 1908
    John Paul Jones is laid to rest in crypt of the chapel 26 Jan 1913
    Wings 5 & 6 are added to Bancroft Hall 1917
    Luce Hall (new Navigation Department bldg) is completed     1920
    New natatorium is dedicated 10 Apr 1924
    Hubbard Hall is completed 1930
    Preble Hall is dedicated 1939
    Leahy Hall is completed 1939
    Chapel nave expanded (Greek cross => Latin cross) 1940
    Ward Hall is built 1941
    Wings 1 & 2 are added to Bancroft Hall 1941
    Halsey Field House completed 1957
    Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium is dedicated
    (replacing Thompson Stadium located near the 6th wing)
    26 Sep 1959
    Wings 7 & 8 are added to Bancroft Hall 1961
    Mitscher Hall is completed 1961
    Ricketts Hall is completed 1966
    Dedication ceremony for Michelson Hall is held 10 May 1969
    Dedication ceremony for Chauvenet Hall is held 17 Oct 1969
    First female officer and civilian instructors 1972
    Compulsory chapel attendance is discontinued Fall 1972
    Nimitz Library is completed Sep 1973
    Rickover Hall is completed 1975
    81 women midshipmen inducted 6 Jul 1976
    Lejeune Hall is opened 1981
    The mess hall is dedicated as King Hall wardroom 15 Apr 1981
    Macdonough Hall and Scott Natatorium are renovated 1982
    Isherwood, Griffin, and Melville Halls are razed 1982
    Computer Science program accredited 30 Jul 1987
    Alumni Hall is dedicated 1991
    Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center is dedicated 12 May 1995
    Glenn Warner Soccer Facility is dedicated 04 Nov 2001
    Levi Center and Jewish Chapel dedicated 23 Sep 2005
    Brigade Sports Complex is opened 2007
    Wesley Brown Field House is opened 2008

09 Oct 2010

09 Oct 2010

Bancroft Hall wings 1, 2, 7 and 8 have not been built.

Mitscher Hall and Natatorium are missing.

The sailing basin is where Michelson and Chauvenet are now.

Farragut, Ingram, and Dewey Fields have not been created.

The long base wing of the Chapel's cross footprint has not been built.


09 Oct 2010

Bancroft Hall wings 1, 2, 7 and 8, Mitscher Hall, Ward Hall, and Natatorium have been built. The Chapel has been enlarged from a Greek cross to a Latin cross. Michelson and Chauvenet do not exist – but their landfill has been completed. Farragut Field has been created. View the 4.4 MB image at [link]

09 Oct 2010
1972 Reef Points map

Nimitz Library and Rickover Hall are under construction.

Melville/Griffin/Isherwood Halls sit where Alumni Hall is now.

Thompson Stadium sits where Lejeune Hall is now.

Wesley Brown Field House, Brigade Sports Complex, Levy Center and Jewish Chapel, Glenn Warner Soccer Facility, Robert Crown Sailing Center, Ingram Field Track, and Rip Miller Field have not been built.

Building 2 is Ricketts Hall

In 2010, there is personal conditioning or a fitness center or a weight room in:

  • Macdonough Hall
  • Halsey Field House
  • Ricketts Hall
  • Lejeune Hall
  • Brigade Sports Complex
  • Wesley Brown Field House
In 1972, there was a weight room in: Halsey Field House.

You are never going to have better facilities or more opportunity to build a foundation of personal fitness.  Take every advantage of this once in a lifetime experience!

On the aircraft carrier Coral Sea, we had one ancient 25 square foot universal weight machine, several places to do pull-ups, and your personal jump rope. To exercise, you had to be exceedingly creative and motivated.


09 Oct 2010
1957 Bancroft Hall

I had no idea the Naval Academy had once actively cultivated admission to the Ivy League!

09 Oct 2010
Sailors or pirates?

In the movie "In Harm's Way", Admiral Nimitz orders RAdm Torrey to report to the too-timid VAdm Broderick, and take all means necessary to go on the offensive against the Japanese. Torrey is briefing his plan for a large-scale paratrooper drop to the CO of the Para-Marines when the following exchange occurs ...

    Colonel Gregory:Sir, I can't put up all of my men unless we get at least five more transports.
    Rear Admiral Torrey: Well, aren't there any more R4D's on Tulabonne?
    Colonel Gregory: Yes, but they're held in reserve.
    Captain Eddington: Reserve! What for?
    Colonel Gregory: That's the way Admiral Broderick has things organized.
    Captain Eddington: What happens if an R4D conks out?
    Colonel Gregory: Tulabonne sends us a spare until we get it fixed.
    Captain Eddington: Five of 'em just conked out, Greg.
    Commander Powell: Let's relay the sad news to Broderick.
    Rear Admiral Torrey: Mr. Canfil, you seem to have fallen in among thieves!
    Clayton Canfil: It does seem so, Admiral, I'm very happy to say!

09 Oct 2010
Uniforms and Formations ... white works, dixie cup, bayonet belt ... gorgeous platoon formation

synchronized standing

white works, combination cover, kerchief   gorgeous columns

even the diagonals are squared away, hands on knees

summer whites