Synopses & Reviews
Today's Navy is a massive and complex organization, with hundreds of ships, thousands of aircraft, hundreds of thousands of people, and an annual budget in the billions of dollars that make the U.S. Navy a powerful and important component of the American defense establishment, playing a vital role in maintaining our national security, protecting us against our enemies in time of war, and guarding our economic lifelines and supporting our foreign policy in peacetime. Despite its obvious importance, most Americans know very little about their Navy, and learning about it has been a daunting task. Until now.
Derived from another Naval Institute Press book by the same author, NavCivGuide: A Handbook for Civilians in the United States Navy (which is used by civilians who work for the Department of the Navy), this informative book is a highly accessible guide that explains the strange ways of the Navy in terms that non-Sailors can understand. In ten short chapters, the author reveals such things as the many titles that military people have, the various alphanumeric designations that military personnel use to identify and distinguish themselves, the organization of the Navy and the Department of Defense, the origins and practices of such things as saluting, flag etiquette, side boys, and odd language (such as "aye-aye"), and an explanation of the many missions of the Navy. Also included is an introduction to the Navy's colorful history, a primer on the various ships and aircraft that make up today's fleet, a guide to "reading" a uniform, and the demystification of such things as the phonetic alphabet and military time.
Designed to be an easy read for those who want the whole story, The Citizen's Guide to the Navy is also a useful reference work. Each chapter ends with a section called "QuickRefs," which are lists of the essential facts presented in the chapter itself.
While not everyone need be an expert on the Navy, there is a middle ground that this book serves by providing a readable, edifying, and often entertaining explanation of this important but sometimes mysterious branch of the U.S. armed forces.
"Informative and very readable."
-- Naval Books of the Year column in Warship, 2013
About the Author
Thomas J. Cutler is a retired lieutenant commander and former gunner's mate second class who served in patrol craft, cruisers, destroyers, and aircraft carriers. His varied assignments included an in-country Vietnam tour, small craft command, and nine years at the U.S. Naval Academy, where he served as Executive Assistant to the Chairman of the Seamanship and Navigation Department and Associate Chairman of the History Department. While at the Academy, he was awarded the William P. Clements Award for Excellence in Education (military teacher of the year).
He is the founder and former Director of the Walbrook Maritime Academy in Baltimore. Currently he is Fleet Professor of Strategy and Policy with the Naval War College and is the Director of Professional Publishing at the U.S. Naval Institute.
Winner of the Alfred Thayer Mahan Award for Naval Literature and the U.S. Maritime Literature Award, his published works include A Sailor's History of the U.S. Navy (Naval Institute Press/Naval Historical Center, 2005) [one of the books in the Chief of Naval Operations Reading Program], The Battle of Leyte Gulf (HarperCollins, 1994), and Brown Water, Black Berets: Coastal and Riverine Warfare in Vietnam (Naval Institute Press, 1988). His books have been published in various forms, including paperback and audio, and have appeared as main and alternate selections of the History Book Club, Military Book Club, and Book of the Month Club. He is the author of the 22nd and 23rd (Centennial) editions of The Bluejacket's Manual, and revised editions of Jack Sweetman's The Illustrated History of the U.S. Naval Academy and Dutton's Nautical Navigation. He and his wife, Deborah W. Cutler, are the co-editors of the Dictionary of Naval Terms and the Dictionary of Naval Abbreviations.
He has served as a panelist, commentator, and keynote speaker on military and writing topics at many events and for various organizations, including the Naval Historical Center, Smithsonian Institution, Navy Memorial, U.S. Naval Academy, MacArthur Memorial Foundation, Johns Hopkins University, U.S. Naval Institute, Armed Forces Electronics Communications and Electronics Association, Naval War College, Civitan, and many veterans' organizations. His television appearances include the History Channel's Biography series, A&E's Our Century, Fox News Channel's The O'Reilly Factor, and CBS's 48 Hours.