My mind is full of Fleet Week events. As in the past two years, it promises to be a very exciting week for me and my family. I know I’m going to be on a Coast Guard boat on the Bay when the Blue Angels fly, I know I’m going to a reception to meet the fliers themselves, and I hope that my family and I will get to hear the Marine Corp band playing (news on tickets is still pending). The Blue Angels reception and the Marine Corp band performance are events that were made available to the public, but I wouldn’t have known about them but for my Navy League membership. As for the Coast Guard boat, that is a privilege reserved exclusively for Navy League members.
And what is the Navy League? Long-time readers know that it’s an organization formed to support the Navy and related military organizations. Here, from the Navy League’s own website, are the organization’s mission and policy statements:
The Navy League has set forth the following objectives:
- To foster and maintain interest in a strong Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine as integral parts of a sound national defense and vital to the freedom of the United States.
- To serve as a means of educating and informing the American people with regard to the role of sea power in the nuclear age and the problems involved in maintaining strong defenses in that age.
- To improve the understanding and appreciation of those who wear the uniforms of our armed forces and to better the conditions under which they live and serve.
- To provide support and recognition for the Reserve forces in our communities in order that we may continue to have a capable and responsive Reserve.
- To educate and train our youth in the customs and traditions of the Navy, the Marine Corps, the Coast Guard and the Merchant Marine through the means of an active and vigorous Naval Sea Cadet Corps.
Statement of Policy
We of the Navy League of the United States stand for a strong America – a nation morally, economically, and internally strong.
We believe that the security of our nation and of the people of the world demands a well-balanced, integrated, mobile American defense team, of which a strong Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine are indispensable parts.
We support all Armed Services to the end that each may make its appropriate contribution to the national security.
We know that in a free nation an informed public is indispensable to national security and, therefore, we will strive to keep the nation alert to the dangers which threaten – both from without and within.
We favor appropriations for each of the Armed Services, adequate for national security, economically administered.
We oppose any usurpation of the Congress’s constitutional authority over the Armed Services.
We urge that our country maintain world leadership in scientific research and development.
We support industrial preparedness, planning, production.
We support efforts of our government to achieve worldwide peace through international cooperation.
We advocate a foreign policy which will avoid wars – if possible; if not, win them!
The Navy League is not a political group or lobbying group. As it says:
The Navy League of the United States is a 501(c)(3) organization of more than 60,000 members dedicated to nonpartisan, enhanced public understanding of the missions and challenges facing today’s Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine, as well as advocating for the well-being of the men and women of each service.
Nor is it the only group associated with the various military entities it supports. This post is not to compare it to or elevate it above other military support organizations. It is just to say nice things about an organization I think is really delightful and that truly carries out its goals and effectuates its policies.
As for those policies, I don’t know about you, but I am in complete agreement with the policies that the Navy League advances, and I think its organization does a good job of effectuating those policies. If you join the Navy League, your donation will work to forward those goals — goals that benefit, not just the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine, but that benefit all of us by helping to educate the public about our military, which in turn creates a stronger military, one dedicated to our protection. After all, a citizen military that is hated by its citizens is going to be an ineffectual military.
With the heat in Afghanistan, we, as private citizens can contribute to the military by giving it the moral support it needs. Every time the military suffers economic cuts, taking away funds for weapons and personnel, the energy needed to resurrect those lost resources is far greater than the ease with which they were cut. In order to minimize painful and unnecessary cuts, the military needs to have critical mass at its back when it comes to public sentiment. If the public fails to understand what the military is and what the military does, it lacks necessary moral authority when it goes before Congress. The Navy League, by encouraging public support for the Navy and related organizations, empowers the military when it voices it budgetary and strategic needs.
So, if you were sort of thinking about joining the Navy League, now would be a very good time. And if there are comparable organizations for other branches of the military, please write and let me know, so that I can publicize them too. There is no better time to take our military seriously than when we have a groveling weakling in the White House. Right now, I can guarantee you that, unless some magical alchemy occurs and the world’s bad actors feel inclined to be generous our military is going to be very, very necessary in the next few years.