This edition of UNDERSEA WARFARE Magazine focuses on
the enlisted Submariner. That's a perfect topic! There is no doubt
that our undersea force depends on dedicated, technically-skilled
and engaged warriors. Our people will always be our most effective
What we do is dangerous. We go to sea in steel boats of several
thousand tons, loaded with weapons and systems with tremendous
kinetic and potential energy. We submerge those boats and drive
them around the globe, into harm's way, for months at a time. As
recent events have shown, we must be ready to use those weapons
to destroy an enemy. And we must always strive with all our
strength to bring everybody safely home. Our history has shown
us that no matter how advanced and robust our boats become, no
matter how elegant and efficient our designs and procedures are,
submarining is fundamentally a human endeavor. No technology
alone can make us safe and effective. It is only possible because
of dedicated Submariners, with deep expertise and a deeper sense
of integrity, who feel that they "own" this challenge — it is theirs.
In many ways, today's Submariners are a lot like their predecessors
from 100 years ago — much has stayed the same. We come from all
walks of life and from every part of the nation. Today's 16,000 enlisted
Submariners (only about 6 percent of the Navy) are well-educated and
are among the best and brightest serving our nation. Faced with the
challenges of operating advanced technologies and some of the most
complex systems in the world, and working in extremely demanding
environments, our Sailors always come through and inspire.
And it isn't just our Submarine warriors who dive the ocean's
depths that deserve recognition. It's also the warriors who serve our
country above the sea. I get calls all the time, from leaders around
the world, praising our Sailors who have perhaps been sent to a job
outside our community — a Submariner is always treasured and
a critical member of the team because they bring with them our
culture of innovation, integrity and fortitude.
Our families also deserve praise and recognition for their service!
While those of us privileged to wear the nation's cloth are working
hard and going to sea, they serve to provide stability at home, often
in situations just as difficult as any we encounter underway. Our
mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, spouses, and children are right
alongside us, sacrificing with us, and making their contribution
I want to join the other writers in this edition in praising our
enlisted Sailors and their families. They remain ever vigilant.
They make the real difference in the Submarine Force — to build,
maintain, train and man our boats. They are making their contributions
at home with their families and communities. Our every
effort must be focused on supporting them and making them more
effective, so that our allies can hope for no better friend, and our
enemies will have no worse nightmare, than the Sailors of the U.S.