Senator Tom Cotton recently released a report detailing manifold flaws in the U.S. Navy’s warfighting capacity; at the end of it, he included eight recommendations for how the Navy can improve itself. Reviewing the suggestions, I think he has much correct. However, his prescriptions are understandably biased toward the upper brass and provide little direction for the enlisted side of the house — the people doing the work. Having served six years on that side in the Navy, rising to E-5, I believe much should be corrected in the enlisted ranks, from the culture to recruiting practices to the chain of command.
I’ll attempt to tackle each of these concerns in separate pieces but will begin with the Navy’s culture — which is most in need of reform. Easy to say, difficult to effect, I know.