In the Shadow of Greatness: Voices of Leadership, Sacrifice, and Service of the Naval Academy Class of 2002

Naval Institute Press
2
Free sample

Their stories needed to be told. And classmates working together, under a blanket of trust and friendship, was the only way to allow people to open up. It was a three year journey into the hearts and souls of America’s youngest heroes to gather these important historical accounts, but it was worth every hour spent. Inside this book are the voices the first Annapolis graduates into a decade of war and they remind us that America is in good hands.

They were walking to class on 9/11, wearing Naval Academy “summer working blues”, when the towers were struck. The campus went to general quarters, battle stations. They would be the first class after this attack to graduate into a nation at war and would be faced, like so many past graduates, of rising to the challenge to keeping America great. President Bush and Vice President Cheney articulated a world at the crossroads, and the U.S. would preemptively in seek enemies who threatened the national interest, America would not again be terrorized.

In the Shadow of Greatness addresses issues that go beyond one USNA class, it explains the trials of most military veterans of this era. Understanding how a young person enlists to serve, deploys to the fight, and returns home is unknown to most Americans. Veterans pack up their uniforms, but never lose the call for service when the return to civilian society.

The profiles in this book represent the “Next Great Generation” of American leaders. Men and women who lost their innocence in battle and their youths to a decade of deployments, throughout which they never gave up hope. In exchange for down range scars, they gained an unbreakable sense of purpose to America’s ideals—freedom, equality, and democracy.

The compilation is the most authentic and raw narrative to emerge from the Wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and beyond. The reader enjoys a spectrum of stories, each patriotic and honorable. The narratives are meant to inspire, educate, and reveal a world many don’t understand. Its contents are readable and easy to appreciate.

The Class of 2002—and more broadly, the one million veterans of the Long War—are America’s leaders of tomorrow. Read this book to learn what they endured and why they are prepared.
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About the author

Joshua Welle: One time special assistant to Admiral William Crowe, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Welle also served as an advisor for NATO in Afghanistan and conducted counter-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

John Ennis, A former Navy Lieutenant and special advisor to the CNO, Ennis left the Navy for work in Lockheed Martin’s International Business Development Group. He is currently an account manager for IBM's software group, working with the U.S. Navy.

Kate Kranz After completed the Naval Flight Officer training pipeline in Pensacola, FL and received wings of gold as an E-2C Hawkeye NFO. Following orders as a special assistant to the commandant back at the Naval Academy, she served as a NATO Rule of Law Field Support Mission advisor and liaison officer for the commander in various locations in Afghanistan.

Graham Plaster a former as a Surface Warfare Officer and Assistant Dean of Students at the Naval War College in Newport, is now a Naval Foreign Area Officer. He is currently writing a book on social media's influences on democratization in Iran. LT Plaster lives in Annapolis, MD with his wife and their four children.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Naval Institute Press
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Published on
Aug 1, 2012
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9781612511399
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Military / Naval
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Brave, energetic, intensely patriotic, Stephen Decatur is America's first great naval hero after John Paul Jones. His short and dramatic life is a story of triumph and tragedy told by the noted historian and author of some twenty books, Spencer Tucker. Decatur's raid into Tripoli Harbor in 1804 to burn the Philadelphia, a prized U.S. warship captured when it ran aground during the Barbary Wars, earned him international fame. An admiring Horatio Nelson described the feat as "the most bold and daring act of the age." Explaining the tremendous impact Decatur's action had on the early U.S. Navy, the author notes that it set a standard of audacity and courage for generations of future naval officers. At the age of twenty-five, Decatur was promoted to captain, becoming the youngest naval officer ever to attain that rank in the U.S. Navy. The book fully examines Decatur's astonishing achievements as it chronicles his rapid rise in the Navy, including his command of the Constitution and the United States, during the War of 1812, when he captured the British frigate Macedonian off the Azores. The book also recounts the cruise that many call his greatest triumph: Decatur sailed into the Mediterranean with a nine-ship American squadron to punish the dey of Algiers for taking American merchant shipping, securing peace with Algiers and keeping other Barbary states quiescent. Lionized by a grateful American public upon his return, Decatur offered a toast at a reception in his honor that is now legendary, "Our country! In her intercourse with foreign nations, may she always be in the right; but our country, right or wrong!" In describing Decatur's life, the author also examines Decatur's relationshipwith James Barron, a Navy captain who fatally shot Decatur during a 1820 duel.
In Silent and Unseen, veteran submarine commander Captain Alfred S. McLaren describes in riveting detail the more significant events that occurred early in the Cold War during his seven years, 1958-1965, onboard three attack submarines: the USS Greenfish (SS-351), USS Seadragon (SSN-584), and USS Skipjack (SSN-585). Through myriad stories and anecdotes, his book focuses on the development of attack-boat tactics and under-ice exploration techniques.

The commanding officers that a young submarine officer serves with will determine how well prepared he will be to assume his own command years later. This was particularly true in attack submarines, during the early high-risk years of the Cold War. They were continually at sea, and each reconnaissance and intelligence collection mission was of potentially great, and sometimes extraordinary, value to the government of the United States of America. The missions more often than not required closing of the potential enemy to collect the intelligence desired, generally within weapons range. But, unlike a war patrol, the U.S. attack boat had to remain completely undetected; then withdraw as silently and unseen as it approached.

Greenfish was one of the most successful Pacific diesel submarines when McLaren served aboard her as a watch and weapons officer during an era when she and other diesel boats executed all Cold War missions and overseas deployments. McLaren then reported to Seadragon in time to serve as a watch officer, as she became the first nuclear submarine to transit from the Atlantic to the Pacific via the Arctic Ocean. En route, she examined the underside of icebergs, conducted the first underwater survey and passage through the Northwest Passage, and surfaced at the North Pole. He subsequently served as diving officer, an engineering department division officer and as weapons officer during a series of Cold War missions and a lengthy Western Pacific deployment. Silent and Unseen concludes with a recounting of the author’s experiences as diving officer, navigator, and chief engineer onboard what was then world’s fastest and most advanced submarine, USS Skipjack (SSN-585) during the Cuban Missile Crisis, two Cold War missions, and the very intensive and exciting period of new tactical and weapons development which followed to counter a rapidly emerging Soviet nuclear submarine threat
#1 New York Times Bestseller

From the bestselling author and master of narrative nonfiction comes the enthralling story of the sinking of the Lusitania

On May 1, 1915, with WWI entering its tenth month, a luxury ocean liner as richly appointed as an English country house sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. The passengers were surprisingly at ease, even though Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone. For months, German U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic. But the Lusitania was one of the era’s great transatlantic “Greyhounds”—the fastest liner then in service—and her captain, William Thomas Turner, placed tremendous faith in the gentlemanly strictures of warfare that for a century had kept civilian ships safe from attack. 

Germany, however, was determined to change the rules of the game, and Walther Schwieger, the captain of Unterseeboot-20, was happy to oblige. Meanwhile, an ultra-secret British intelligence unit tracked Schwieger’s U-boat, but told no one. As U-20 and the Lusitania made their way toward Liverpool, an array of forces both grand and achingly small—hubris, a chance fog, a closely guarded secret, and more—all converged to produce one of the great disasters of history.

It is a story that many of us think we know but don’t, and Erik Larson tells it thrillingly, switching between hunter and hunted while painting a larger portrait of America at the height of the Progressive Era. Full of glamour and suspense, Dead Wake brings to life a cast of evocative characters, from famed Boston bookseller Charles Lauriat to pioneering female architect Theodate Pope to President Woodrow Wilson, a man lost to grief, dreading the widening war but also captivated by the prospect of new love. 

Gripping and important, Dead Wake captures the sheer drama and emotional power of a disaster whose intimate details and true meaning have long been obscured by history.
In the tradition of Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air and Sebastian Junger’s The Perfect Storm comes a true tale of riveting adventure in which two weekend scuba divers risk everything to solve a great historical mystery–and make history themselves.

For John Chatterton and Richie Kohler, deep wreck diving was more than a sport. Testing themselves against treacherous currents, braving depths that induced hallucinatory effects, navigating through wreckage as perilous as a minefield, they pushed themselves to their limits and beyond, brushing against death more than once in the rusting hulks of sunken ships.

But in the fall of 1991, not even these courageous divers were prepared for what they found 230 feet below the surface, in the frigid Atlantic waters sixty miles off the coast of New Jersey: a World War II German U-boat, its ruined interior a macabre wasteland of twisted metal, tangled wires, and human bones–all buried under decades of accumulated sediment.

No identifying marks were visible on the submarine or the few artifacts brought to the surface. No historian, expert, or government had a clue as to which U-boat the men had found. In fact, the official records all agreed that there simply could not be a sunken U-boat and crew at that location.

Over the next six years, an elite team of divers embarked on a quest to solve the mystery. Some of them would not live to see its end. Chatterton and Kohler, at first bitter rivals, would be drawn into a friendship that deepened to an almost mystical sense of brotherhood with each other and with the drowned U-boat sailors–former enemies of their country. As the men’s marriages frayed under the pressure of a shared obsession, their dives grew more daring, and each realized that he was hunting more than the identities of a lost U-boat and its nameless crew.

Author Robert Kurson’s account of this quest is at once thrilling and emotionally complex, and it is written with a vivid sense of what divers actually experience when they meet the dangers of the ocean’s underworld. The story of Shadow Divers often seems too amazing to be true, but it all happened, two hundred thirty feet down, in the deep blue sea.

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Robert Kurson's Pirate Hunters.
“A literary tour de force that is destined to become one of the . . . definitive works about the battle for Guadalcanal . . . [James D.] Hornfischer deftly captures the essence of the most pivotal naval campaign of the Pacific war.”—San Antonio Express-News

The Battle of Guadalcanal has long been heralded as a Marine victory. Now, with his powerful portrait of the Navy’s sacrifice, James D. Hornfischer tells for the first time the full story of the men who fought in destroyers, cruisers, and battleships in the narrow, deadly waters of “Ironbottom Sound.” Here, in stunning cinematic detail, are the seven major naval actions that began in August 1942, a time when the war seemed unwinnable and America fought on a shoestring, with the outcome always in doubt. Working from new interviews with survivors, unpublished eyewitness accounts, and newly available documents, Hornfischer paints a vivid picture of the officers and enlisted men who opposed the Japanese in America’s hour of need. The first major work on this subject in almost two decades, Neptune’s Inferno does what all great battle narratives do: It tells the gripping human stories behind the momentous events and critical decisions that altered the course of history and shaped so many lives.

Praise for Neptune’s Inferno

“Vivid and engaging . . . extremely readable, comprehensive and thoroughly researched.”—Ronald Spector, The Wall Street Journal

“Superlative storytelling . . . the masterwork on the long-neglected topic of World War II’s surface ship combat.”—Richard B. Frank, World War II

“The author’s two previous World War II books . . . thrust him into the major leagues of American military history writers. Neptune’s Inferno is solid proof he deserves to be there.”—The Dallas Morning News

“Outstanding . . . The author’s narrative gifts and excellent choice of detail give an almost Homeric quality to the men who met on the sea in steel titans.”—Booklist (starred review)

“Brilliant . . . a compelling narrative of naval combat . . . simply superb.”—The Washington Times



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