In the U.S. Navy surface-warfare community it’s said that surface-warfare officers eat their young. That may be true–but no philosophy could be more profoundly false and self-defeating. Just as our mission as parents is to work ourselves out of a job, our mission as professionals is to groom our replacements.
Which is why it’s always a joy to reconvene with former students or protégés who have made good–folks like Harry Kazianis, my RA in 2011 who has gone on to bigger things as defense poobah at the Center for the National Interest and executive editor of The National Interest. We got together in Washington a few weeks back when I was in town to talk Chinese sea power with the U.S.-China Commission.
I am not among those who deprecate the next generation. In fact, I came away jazzed from last fall’s cruise on board USS Theodore Roosevelt–mainly because talking with younger sailors and officers suggests we have a great generation on the rise.
We can use one to cope with today’s and tomorrow’s challenges.