Are you ready for war?

My latest editorial on MARAD, the US Navy and possible war with China:

Editorial: Admiral, I Am NOT Ready For War

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Good article John. I would suggest the military us very good at winding things up and getting everyone on the same page when necessary.

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Good article.

(I caught at least two typos if you’re interested.)

Saw several typos in the article. Not trying to nitpick but they really stood out. I liked the article otherwise.


Always interested in typos… pm me.

Ah, good to know. I was going to ask, same reason as above.

From your editorial.

 “Yet in all those years of study there are some         questions I never learned the answers to:

 *How do I join a military convoy?*

 *How do I share information with Naval Intelligence?*

*How do I contact a naval vessel on a secure line?*

*How do I navigate a mine field?*

Will zig-zagging help me avoid modern submarines?

What do I secure for radio silence?

How do I darken ship to naval standards?

The answer to all these questions (and  ***countless***  more) is, again, I don’t have a clue.”

Neither do I. Though I do have an ominous and official looking manila envelope in my safe dated something like 1972 that says to break the seal in case of national emergency. So I’m pretty sure all the answers are in there. :grimacing:


:rofl: No, inside that folder is a sheet of paper that states “The answers is 42” :wink:

Seriously, I’d be really tempted to break that seal.


Ready for action!

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Hmm, I suspect that I should probably have one of those same envelopes in mine, but I don’t.

On a not so serious note, the White House said that the border wall is a “national emergency” …we could all find out what’s in that mystery envelope. :rofl::rofl:

They have some information on how to behave in a convoy.

Btw I had to go into properties and change opens with to adobe acrobat reader.

The article did not address a significant issue. I sailed for over twenty years on commercial and military chartered ships. I sailed on Fast Sealift Ships, Maritime Pre-Positioned ships and ended my career in Diego Garcia as Master. I now have a “continuity only” license. There are (literally) thousands of mariners that have these licenses. If we mobilize for a national emergency, how will all these mariners be, for lack of a better term, reactivated. The Coast Guard has to be involved in any discussion.


Thank you for highlighting these issues John. If I may suggest, start by offering the nine classes you need to sail on MSC contracted and some MARAD ROS ships (CBR, small arms, etc) and a clearance to all midshipmen, and let actively sailing mariners maintain that training and clearance. Those classes are hard to find. Then offer the advanced training for mariners that are interested (HLO, EKMS, Advanced CBR, etc).

There are usually open Partriot jobs on the board at the halls because of the training and clearance is so hard to get.

I like it.

My suggestion to Admiral Buzby when he invited me to Washington was reactivating the USMS. Sign up and you receive free license upgrade snd STCW courses.

In exchange for the subsidized tuition you agree to serve aboard a merchant ship during time of war or national emergency. You also agree to take an equal number of naval science or ship defense (small arms, cbrd, damage control, etc) classes.

This will also serve to help get more Hawsepipers up the ranks.

The one problem I have is that the msc classes are too segregated. I fully support our maritime training schools (and they will benefit from tuition subsidies) but the military type classes need to be done with military officers.

One of the best classes I’ve ever taken was advanced ecdis in newport. I was the only civilian in a class of naval officers. I learned a lot from them and believe they learned a lot from me both in the class and in the simulator.

I firmly believe that the root of our problems is that the Navy just doesn’t know about us or care about us. More important than the textbook material is the break room chat and classroom discussions. They need to understand our perspective if they are going to avoid future collisions at sea and we need to learn their perspective if we are going to have a chance of survival during the next war.

And if war never happens then great, the officers we engage with today will remember our perspectives and concerns as they become tomorrow’s Admirals.

Change never happens has fast but it always starts with communication. That just can’t happen as long as they keep excluding us from the conversation and training exclusively behind the locked gates of military bases.


Si vis pacem, para bellum.


I’m going to be out of pocket for the next three months or so, but I may have something to contribute on this. If you want, set up a calendar reminder and let’s talk in mid-August.

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