I want to do three things with you today. One is to talk to you about what I think are the most essential qualities of this community, its reasons for greatness. I don’t exaggerate in that. I’d like then to relate to you a little myth, a Greek myth. Finally, I’d like to talk about the challenges of this community, and I’d like to relate that myth to those challenges and what I think are your special strengths, but also the issues that will be central for you in the time immediately ahead.
When I think about this community and its exceptional qualities, I think about the rich history that you’ve had; a history largely coincident with this century. I recognize that the 100th anniversary of HOLLAND will be celebrated next year many, many times. This will give us many occasions for reviewing this history. I think that much of the world may worry about the year 2000 from the standpoint of Y2K; I think your aviator and surface colleagues worry about it because it’s the 100th anniversary of HOLLAND, and they’re going to hear’ about it again and again.
I do recollect also, though, Garrison Keillor’s wonderful comments about the worry about the coming of the year 2000. Said Garrison Keillor, “Why is there all this fuss? Imagine how the Romans must have felt as we approached the year zero.” Eighteen, fifteen, twelve-it must have been very nerve wracking. His comment was, “What were they supposed to do, adopt the Hebrew calendar?”
Your history, coincident with this century, is a history of one achievement after another. It’s an original, limited vision of submarines as scouting craft. It is stepping up to a mission in World War II that surpassed anything anybody ever expected. The anti-surface warfare accomplishments-where less than two percent of the force accounted for more than half of the kills of the Japanese surface fleet-are staggering.
That achievement was then compounded by, after World War II, recognizing that you were dealing with a new and a different world; the phenomenal technological, conceptual and tactical achievements of coming to grips with anti-submarine warfare as a mission, and evolving again, to a wholly different thing on which the well being of our Nation depended.
Were that not enough, in the 1950s came the remarkable achievement of the transition to nuclear power and the successes that are represented by, the last time I looked, some 117 million miles of accident-free reactor performance. That is an amazing achievement-117 million miles. This is longer than all of the corridors of the Pentagon put together. An extraordinary accomplishment.
Then, were that not enough, the evolution of our missilery capabilities and the ability to be the mainstay of the Nation’s strategic defense, a vision of an activity never really anticipated in the earlier years of submarine life; so that the majority of our Nation’s strategic deterrent now rests on the Trident. The sense that, above all, this is the safest part. It is safe in your hands. The Nation is safe because you’re there.
Were that not enough, the evolution then of the ability for tactical strike, the TLAM-the coming of the land attack missile. I was struck by this just within these last months, when the Nation responded to the terrorist attacks of Bin Laden on the embassies with submarine-launched Tomahawks. We don’t like to make a big deal about it, but I mention it for a particular reason. This is an event, I think, unprecedented in the history of naval warfare; unprecedented in the sense that, for the first time, we used naval forces to influence events in a land-locked nation-Afghanistan.
What an extraordinary world, in which we say, Afghanistan, surrounded by land … we need to have an effect there … Let’s tum to the Navy. Where do we turn within the Navy but the Submarine Force? It is ready, and it performs with extraordinary capability.
Were this not enough throughout all these years, there’s a whole other dimension, which is the performance of the intelligence-related missions; which are now, unfortunately, altogether too famous in various publications, but which, nonetheless, suggest an ability to observe and to collect information that is a very fundamental part of our national power. Submarine taskings in these areas rise every year. The demand vastly exceeds the supply. It’s a great achievement for the Silent Service.
So, at square one, I say to myself, it’s hardly surprising that this community is acclaimed and appreciated and that you have an influence well beyond your numbers-3.500 of you. You represent as officers, some ten percent of the Navy, and yet you really do punch above your weight. The admiration of you, and my respect for you, is very great.
When I thought about this, it seems to me that actually it ran even deeper, that while the achievements are very great in the ways I’ve just described, there’s something more fundamental, more resonant in what you do. It seems to me to relate to the fact that you operate in an environment which is so hostile to human life, and you operate in a way that is absolutely unique, because you sustain human life in that environment over long periods of time, and you operate-in terms of success in your mission-for months upon end achieving things.
When I reflect on it, it’s impressive to me that there is nowhere else in the military force where we have anything like this. Aviators are celebrated, and I think rightly, for their courage. But basically, they go up and they come down.
This is your classic sprint, your short performance, for which much intensity and preparation is invested. Your achievements are so great in terms of the environment that you’re involved in. I look at surface warriors and I look, again, with a great sense of admiration at what they do, but they are not functioning underwater. Your environment tests you in the most dramatic kinds of ways.
I think this is why you see the great success of movies like Hunt for Red October or Das Boot, the sense of the very drama of the mission itself. A movie about a surface warfare tour probably wouldn’t be a real grabber. If you really wanted to sustain the audience’s interest, I think you’d have to throw in a shipwreck or two. That would be one way to do it. But would you really want to be a part of a community whose keystone movie is Hunt for Red October, or do you want to be a member of a community whose emblematic movie is Titanic? I think you’re in the right place in that sense.
The hostility of the environment is emphasized by the fact, well known to all of you, that here, 10 cubic feet of water has a weight of a cubic foot of lead. Space is the only thing that’s comparable in terms of our achievement. John Kennedy was right, as President, when he called your experience “the experience of inner space.” Getting to space is a real trick. But once you’ re there, this is a medium that is relatively easy to operate in. You move through it easily. You see through it easily. The weakest of radio signals will propagate. Look at where you are and what you do … that is a medium that has none of that friendliness. Yet, again, you sustain yourself there.
Then, that medium is phenomenally pervasive. If you take places on the globe, well known to you, seventy-one percent of the Earth is covered by ocean. But, even more fundamentally, if you take where things live, taking account of the depth of the ocean, 97 percent of this planet is your domain. We need to operate there. The fact that you do is essential.
There is something God-like about this achievement, this ability to live like Poseidon in the seas and under the seas. There is also something God-like about your circumstance as you do it-because you have an ability that we associate with the Gods. It is essentially, so long as you are quiet, to be virtually invisible. That invisibility gives you another God-like attribute, which is kind of an invulnerability. You move through these seas in a way that, because you are not seen, if you are not heard, will render you special and unique in your ability to hide.
From that derives the fact that you don’t carry large amounts of defensive equipment. You are the ultimate warfighting machine. That resonates very deeply.
Now, this need to be quiet made me think about our myth. The Greek myth that came to mind is the story of a maiden who falls in love with a man, as all Greek stories tend to be. She was the maiden Echo. She made various advances to the most handsome of young men, the most charismatic, the most successful.
He sensed danger in her and withheld from her. She was called Echo, because, in effect, she bounced off of those she interacted with, and came back with her comment. When this love was not requited and she got nothing but the echo of herself back, she wasted away and eventually died for lack of love. The Greek myth is that all that survived was her voice. In the woods today, that’s where you will hear an echo …
I thought of this, in part, because obviously an echo is dangerous to you-when you are pinged upon you are vulnerable. But it was the second part of this story that, to me, is the most striking about the challenges you confront. That is, the man she fell in love with was Narcissus. Narcissus, the most handsome of all, the most successful of all, was perceived negatively by the Gods, in his interaction with Echo, and they decided to take vengeance on him for her death.
The way they did it was peculiarly apt. They seduced him into looking into a placid, flat pool of water. He looked at that pool and he became mesmerized by his own reflection. He saw this phenomenally handsome, successful man, and he was paralyzed. He fell in love with himself. Being in love with himself, he was unable to move, to break the image in the pond. Eventually he, too, wilted and died. Thus, the Greeks say, what remained of him became a flower, the narcissus flower.
It seems to me that it would behoove us to stop and say, “What are the risks to you from your extraordinary great strengths?” In some respects, I think those risks in here are the same things the risks to Narcissus were derived from. They are that we can become too mesmerized with our image of ourselves, that looking into this placid pool, we can believe that we have achieved some ideal. We can fall in love with ourselves, and fail to exercise the energy that rips us free and lets us do a lot of the things in the world we need to do. Having overcome the seductions of the echo, we can fall prey to the seductions of ourselves.
To highlight that point, let me tell you what I see as the most significant of the challenges for you in the time ahead-things not unknown to you and your leadership and that you ‘re working with, but that it seems to me we need to overcome our images of ourselves in order to grapple with. I’ll give you five-simply the fingers of one hand.
First, it seems to me that the very strength of the community has resided in the image of the isolated submarine commander, who goes out on his own and achieves, through tactical innovation and great imagination, the accomplishment of his mission, and returns in lonely splendor with the fruits of his work. But we cannot fall in love with that idea. Fundamental to our operation in this post-Cold War world, a world in which we believe in the doctrine of From the Sea, is our ability to integrate the Submarine Force with the rest of the Navy and the whole suite of national security activities.
It is our ability to work with the battle group. It is our ability to come in close to the littoral. It is an ability to define submarining not as a lonesome venture but as a venture that connects with
others. That poses very great untraditional challenges to this community. It poses challenges in the personnel systems. If we are to operate in those kinds of ways, we need to encourage careers that are not simply submarine focused.
One of the issues has been, over the years, how we find room and time in your very full, very richly platform-centered careers, to do these kinds of things. I very much applaud the leadership your community has shown when, in the course of this decade, it has encouraged people, in the normal course of maturation as a submarine officer, to get out into other positions in the Navy. The fact that at the moment you have chiefs of staff in 7th Fleet and 5th Fleet is a manifestation of what I think is the right outreach in meeting this challenge. You’re not just looking in the reflective pool.
The fact that we have had heads of fleets-I see Admiral Fargo and Admiral Clemins as examples-who have a submarine background is a great enrichment to the Navy and ultimately to the Submarine Force. We need to do more of that. We need to create broader kinds of opportunities.
The larger Navy needs to reach out. It needs to consider things like making submariners battle group commanders. Also, there is a technological change demanded here. We need to overcome the notion that run silent is the necessary imperative of the Submarine Force in all circumstances.
Our communications capabilities have to be such that you can take advantage of the very remarkable things that, in fact, Admiral Clemins has been a leader in developing-the ability to network and coordinate and communicate with other communities and with other activities. The development of the on-hull, extremely low frequency antenna, of the next-generation antenna-is essential, technologically, to these kinds of evolutions.
I very much want to applaud and encourage the inclination to move on to these kinds of things, but say to you also, be aware of the risk. Don’t simply stay with the image of where you were, or you will in the end become paralyzed in a Narcissus-like way. That, to me, is the first challenge.
These challenges relate-and the second one, it seems to me, in essential measure-relate to the achievement and your great strength in the nuclear area. I think the community needs constantly to struggle to achieve an emphasis on the front of the boat equivalent
to the emphasis on the back of the boat; to achieve an understanding and an investment in weapon systems that equals the understanding in propulsion systems; to achieve an understanding of fleet battle tactics that is something of the equivalent of our understanding of potential propulsion accidents and issues associated with them.
I think the community is disadvantaged by having a natural structure that makes its senior figure be the head of nuclear reactors. That disadvantage is mitigated, in my view, at present, by the truly extraordinary leadership that I think Skip Bowman provides in terms of breadth of vision. But, in the end, we need to push steadily to make sure that we put as much emphasis on the cart as on the horse, and that what drives our community cannot preponderantly be designing reactors, and then submarines around them, or careers around propulsion learning.
We need, in my view, to place an equal kind of research and development and operational emphasis on those other parts of our activities as on this one. Your leaders have the right idea in this regard. I think Skip Bowman particularly is pushing to transcend any propulsion-centered kind of orientation. But I think you need to recognize that the world values what you do; it doesn’t value the platform that you’re on. The platform is a means to an end. We need a more vigorous embracing of the end and adaptation to that.
Third, and related to this, I would like to see substantially more automation and grasping of the opportunities on submarines that come from moving technologically to a more modern position. A lot of people, when they get on submarines, fear claustrophobia. I must say, I have some of that. But when I get on a submarine, what I’m most afraid of is schizophrenia. The schizophrenia I experience is my own … and yours.
I see the most technologically modem, the most ambitious, the most precise, the most remarkable achievements. Alongside of them, I see the most anachronistic machinery, the disinclination to embrace changes in the way we do everyday kinds of business. I look at sonar operators, and I think, where is our decision support mechanism? Where are our visual displays that exhibit the potential of the 21st century? Where is the degree of automation that converts sound-powered telephones, with their clunkiness and their difficulties, into modem communications kinds of mechanisms? Well, your leadership is working on this with things like the Virginia class submarines. I want to see more of that.
We have a steam plant set of systems that the surface Navy has, by and large, outgrown. Admiral Bowman and Admiral Fages are working hard on electric drive. We need to make that transition. We need to see a lessening of the demands on manpower and a movement more vigorously to an embracing of what the technology offers us in terms of change.
Our administrative data-keeping systems, our written reports and the like… The absence of the kinds of enterprise resource planning systems that Admiral Clemins has been pushing in other contexts, these are things that we can and should correct.
It leads to a fourth thing, which is the way in which we treat our junior officers and our enlisted force. In my view, there is great potential here for an even richer set of relationships than we are experiencing now. We have it right when we achieve the kinds of things that we just celebrated in Commander Van Buskirk (Ed. Note: SecNav made the award to WR Van Buskirk of the NSL Jack N. Darby Award for Inspirational Leadership and Excellence in Command)-a unity between CO and crew.
To see it is one of the most moving and powerful things that I’ve ever seen in the course of the Navy. To see it, as I saw it for example, on HAWKBILL, when several of us had a chance to visit it in its expedition under the Arctic ice.
But we still burden our junior officers and our enlisted force with all kinds of distractions and excesses that drive down our retention rates and diminish the cohesion on board the ship. Admiral Jack Natter wrote a wonderful report about JO problems in the Navy as a whole. The Submarine Force was not exempt from them.
We have too many administrative kinds of burdens on JOs. We have too little time with real and direct responsibility of a kind that they can value to train in their specialties. We need to do more of that.
I am pushing, throughout the Navy as a whole, the introduction of a variety of kinds of labor saving devices. Painting, for example. Why is it that we burden our junior enlisted-I am asking in the context of the surface Navy-with such substantial demands on them in terms of painting and chipping all the time? If we can fire a TLAM 1,000 miles and have a CEP [circular error of probability, a “margin of error”] of a meter or two, why can’t we
design paint that works without our having to paint and re-chip again and again? We need to care more about these things.
Now, you in the Submarine Force don’t have the same exterior painting problems that the surface fleet has, but inside the submarine, those same issues occur. In some respects, they occur for you with a special vengeance. Why is that? Because you have such few really junior sailors that it winds up that the E-6 does the painting or cleans the bilge.
We need to move towards a revolution in the way we treat our sailors. In my view, there is a tendency to think of this still as though we were dealing with a conscripted labor force. We are infected still with the psychology of conscription. This is not a conscripted labor force. They leave when we don’t get it right.
We need to increase our junior officer retention rates. They’ve gone up and down in recent years, but, at ballpark thirty-one percent, they don’t get us where we need to be. Out of every eight JOs we need to have three department heads develop in the time ahead. That’s a big challenge. We need to make sure that we balance people’s lives.
Again, your leadership is really good at this. Nobody is more attentive to this than Admiral Konetzni on the West Coast, Admiral Giambastiani on the East Coast, your type commanders. But there is a struggle here. It’s the same kind of thing I’ve described earlier. It’s against the grain of the way we have historically done things. If we are not to meet the fate of Narcissus, we need to come to grips with that. We need to embrace that kind of change.
Finally, a fifth point. I would call your attention to the demographics of this community. It worries me. The most Narcissus-like thing about creating something in your own image, about being in Jove with your own image, is the continued and continuous existence of this segment of the Navy as a white male preserve.
Now, I recognize that this is a touchy issue, and grows more and more sensitive the more senior and experienced-older-the members of the audience. So I intentionally raise it with this one, where in fact the resistance may be the greatest.
I would say to you that the world is changing in very fundamental ways. I am not animated by some feeling that the Submarine Force cannot operate without women or minorities. The Submarine Force can. It has done splendidly. It could continue to do splendidly. I am not animated by some feeling of affirmative action or political correctness.
I am animated by the fundamental perception that we are a democracy. The character of our country is changing. As the character of the country changes, so must the character of our military. A Submarine Force that remains detached from the main society and grows further and further out of touch with it is, in my opinion, more and more at risk.
A majority of this country, in 2050, will be what we now call minority. We are today hiring the admirals of 30 years from now when we recruit them. We cannot be out of touch with that change. Congress and political power are changing. More and more we see the role of women increasing in that regard. As that is the case, realistically, if the submarine force remains a white male bastion, it will wind up getting less and less support when it requires resources, when it has troubles-be they accidents or personnel issues or other kinds of things.
It will find itself more and more starved in its recruiting and more and more undercut in terms of the support it achieves for its missions. So, in my view, it is important for the community to come to grips with this circumstance. There are realities here that are difficult-berthing a third to a half of what it might be on a surface ship, long tours with limited privacy… These are real issues. It is still the case, though, that they are ultimately issues that we should be coming to grips with and trying to solve. .. not today, not this year, but that we should get on a path to recognizing that these are problems and come to grips with them.
Further, looking at the raw statistics, look only at men, this is a community with about a half as many officers who are minorities as the rest of the Navy in percentage terms. This is a community with a third as many minorities who are enlisted; eight percent of your enlisted force are minorities. That’s a problem.
Now, in none of these areas, as I described these challenges, do I think we have anything like problems that we cannot surmount. You have two phenomenal advantages. One is your history. Look at that history. I began by talking about it. It is a history, above all, of change.
It is easy to get frozen like Narcissus, admiring the image in a still pool. But the practical reality is that you are in the seats you’re in, proud of them and rightfully so, because the people who came before you didn’t stay frozen. That when they had a vision of submarines as scouts and they saw another possibility, they grasped it. When they had a vision of submarines as combatants that eliminated surface warships, they moved along and recognized acoustic warfare and antisubmarine warfare, and they embraced that. They changed again and again and again as, for example, when they embraced nuclear power. We need to be similarly as inventive and capable of changing. That’s the message of the history.
Then, second, with this come extraordinary qualities of leadership; 10 percent of the Navy, but you’ve generated three CNOs in a row … Where did this come from? The answer is it comes from the very core of what makes you submariners, in terms of your qualities. Your leadership, in my opinion, has those qualities. I see it as a terrific advantage that you have at the top of this community people like Admiral Bowman, Admiral Clemins, Admiral Mies, Admiral Fargo, Admiral Fages, Admiral Giambastiani, Admiral Konetzni. You’re not going to get better than this. But they need your help in going against the grain of where we’ve been.
I don’t know the answers to each of these challenges in terms of how you get from here to there. But I do know that they’re challenges. I know that the trick for this community is coming to grips with them with a kind of openness of mind that will, in the end, deliver for the Nation what you have always as a community delivered, which is incredible richness and depth and dedication and accomplishment.
So I say to you today, look in the pool. Look at how wonderful this achievement is. Then Jet’s jump into this water. Let’s create waves and ripples. Let’s produce change in how we operate.
Take some risks. You are historically the most risk-taking community of any. You have a brilliant capacity to control risk; witness the way we manage our nuclear Navy. You also are the community that was characterized in World War II by the greatest number of deaths proportionately of any part of the armed forces.
One out of 10 of our Pacific submariners did not come home.
If people before you, and you, risk your Jives in those kinds of ways, are willing to take your lives in your own hands and take that risk, how can you not be willing to take risks with your careers, in terms of stepping out and saying, there are better ways to do things?
I ask you, above all, to take that risk for the best of all possible reasons, which is your community and your Nation needs you to do that so that the submarine community of the 21st Century will be the equal, or maybe even the better, of the one in the 20th Century. I give you that with great admiration and much sincerity and conviction from my end.
Question and Answer Session
Q: Are you saying that you support women being introduced on submarines?
A: I think the answer is we need to figure it out. I don’t think there is a given resolution here. But I think it’s a very important question. I think we really ought to come to grips with it from the standpoint of how can we make this work, can we make this work? I think that will take some time and probably will require different configurations and so forth than we have now. Maybe the answer is sometime off in the future. .. but I think we ought to try and figure that out and figure out where and when that time is and how we get there.
Q: As a follow-up question, I’m curious if you’ve had any exchanges with your Scandinavian counterparts, who have had women on submarines, including, I believe, two women in command of submarines?
A: I have not done that. I don’t want to project an impression that I have a kind of holier-than-thou view about hey, I know the answer here, or indeed, that anylxxty does. Australians are another example you could posit.
I do think, though, that this community has a history of coming to grips with issues when they’re presented in a clear and forthright way. I think this is an issue. I think that it’s not one that we should bury or put aside. I think we should think our way through it. That will involve, as your comment implies, learning from people who haven’t done this to a level of success we’d be pl~ed with, and it will imply learning from others.
But look what’s happened. The surface community and the aviation community both had fundamental questions and challenges about the evolution they went through. There were very good arguments in those communities that, in one way or another, the introduction of women or, for that matter, increases in minority recruitment, would pose problems and wouldn’t work:. We made them work. Now, do you want to be left behind?
Q: Mr. Secretary, would you comment on the evolving support on the Hill for current and projected requirements for submarine building?
A: Yes. My sense is that the requirements for submarines now have-l’m sorry, are you talking about the end state requirement or construction rate?
A: My sense is that the present theory that 50 submarines is an optimal requirement for attack submarines gives us something to steer by now. I think the great achievement of recent time, a number of admirals, led by Admiral Bowman and a lot of people beneath who are not admirals, of finding ways to extend submarine life gives us the ability to explore alternatives that might generate larger numbers.
As you and many people in this room know, there are requirements studies going on in the Joint Chiefs of Staff that are trying to reassess whether a larger number is warranted. Also, a number of us are very interested in the question of the conversion of Tridents to land attack, TLAM-carrying submarines. I think that will come to fruition as an issue over the course of the next year or two.
My guess is the submarine requirement number, along with a lot of other requirements, will finally get looked at afresh in the next QDR. That’s when we’ll really come to grips with this issue.
But I see a lot of possibility in both the economies realized and in the Trident conversion idea.
Q: Mr. Secretary, your office is primarily concerned with personnel issues. I guess I have to ask you back, are you pushing he type of recruitment at colleges where some of these minorities and so forth go or are we still just recruiting, as a group, as you say, primarily all white males?
A: That’s a wonderful question. Good for you for asking it. In general, by the way, good for you for pushing back. A lot of my experience in office has been constantly being reminded that I don’t have the truth … A number of people are willing to do that. They always began by saying, “Yes, Mr. Secretary,” and then they go on to explain why they really mean no.
But the question about recruitment is fundamental. The answer is yes, we have been trying, and I think with some significant success, to improve the character of our recruitment, both in the Navy and in the Marine Corps, and broaden our sources of where we go, the character of our advertising and those kinds of things.
When I began this some years ago, the recruitment numbers for our officers were significantly lower than they are now. We found all kinds of ways in which we were getting things wrong. The Marine Corps, for example, used to run a rather successful ad, in which they had a white knight capturing another piece of the chessboard. It really generated all kinds of leads in terms of people calling in. It’s not a very good ad, though, if you want to recruit black men.
We keep noticing ways in which we could advertise in publications that give us a bigger draw for minorities. This isn’t easy. It’s an uphill struggle. One of the reasons we’re less represented in the officer corps is that not as many blacks have degrees in engineering, or nuclear engineering, in percentage terms. It’s not as high a percentage as in other communities. That makes for more difficulty.
But I’m not inclined to look at the difficulties and say, gee, we’ve got difficulties, and walk away from it. The reason that I’m not is because I think it’s fundamental to the well being of the Submarine Force. What I’m concerned about doing is protecting this force. Thirty or fifty years from now, if it hasn’t come to grips with this problem, in my opinion, it will be at risk. I don’t want it to be at risk. We need to act now if we’re going to avoid that risk 30 years from now.
Now, it entails 100 different initiatives in terms of recruiting – where we give our scholarships, what kinds of things we do in our advertising, as your comment implies, the schools we go to, et cetera. We are working on those, and we can beat it. What I’m struck by, though, is when you get done with all that, disproportionately often, minorities are going to the other communities. This becomes self, fulfilling, because obviously to the extent you don’t have a critical mass or you’re under-represented in a particular arena, then there’s a tendency not to move to it.
I think we need to talk about that, come to grips with it, and, in my view, change it.
Secretary Danzig: I understand that it’s time for me to leave. But I want to just come back where I was in the course of my comments. No community is stronger than this one in terms of the quality of people within it. No community is stronger in terms of the quality of leaders that you have. No community is more technologically endowed. No community is more protected in terms of its platform.
I spend a fair amount of time worrying what a world of GPS, of satellite observation systems, of precision-guided munitions does to the vulnerability of our airfields or our surface fleet. You have the potential for exerting, in the future, wildly disproportionate influence, just as you have in the past. I think the risk to you is only that you need to get your own house in the most energetic kind of order.
You need to come to grips with your areas of weakness, where those areas of weakness are the flip side of your strengths. You need to work from those strengths to not fall in love with yourselves, Narcissus-like, but instead to reach out and generate the same kind of reforming zeal that your predecessors had. That’s something that all of you need to do. It can’t just come from the Secretary and it can’t just come from the admirals I’ve mentioned. It needs to come from every one of you.
I wanted to say this to this group particularly, because it needs to come from the retired community, as well. The biggest risk from retirement is the idealization of the world that you had. The people before you didn’t do that to you. Or if they did it to you, you overcame it. You need to not do this to us.
We need, together, to work through a new submarine force, and build it as strongly and as wonderfully as you built the old one.