Sunday, May 28, 2006

The Navy's First Hero

"NO military service remains as close to its founder as the United States Navy. No trace of Washington's Continental Army survives in America's current ground forces. Today's Air Force is a far cry from the seat-of-the-pants days of Eddie Rickenbacker and the Lafayette Esquadrille.

But from his tomb at Annapolis' Naval Academy, the ghost of John Paul Jones still keeps watch over the service that he in large measure created, and foresaw as necessary for America's future. In the ceremony interring him in the Academy chapel crypt in 1906, Theodore Roosevelt told the Navy, "Every officer should know by heart the deeds of John Paul Jones." America's sea warriors have been admiring and emulating Jones ever since.

Jones could be violent-tempered, contemptuous of his superiors and subject to long bouts of self-pity. He was also unwavering in his loyalty to the revolutionary cause, and that too would become part of the navy he founded.

It would produce many flag officers with colossal egos and touchy tempers. Yet the idea of publicly calling for the resignation of a defense secretary in the midst of a war and branding that war "unnecessary" while soldiers are dying in the field, as a group of retired army and air force generals recently did, would be abhorrent to a patriot like Jones - and repulsive to the traditions of the United States Navy."

Travel the globe, nay, the universe, and you will not find a more professional assemblage of fighting men. Our Navy is the epitome of grace under fire, and in this day when there ARE no other superpowers of the sea, our seamen raise the standards of excellance each and every time a ship sails into harms way.

John Paul Jones was the genuine article, and by all accounts this book of ARTHUR HERMAN'S: JOHN PAUL JONES: AMERICA'S FIRST SEA WARRIOR BY JOSEPH CALLO NAVAL INSTITUTE PRESS, 288 PAGES, $29.95, is the real deal as well.

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