The Parent’s Guide To The U.S. Navy, by Thomas J. Cutler
It’s been a while since I have been able to review books for the Naval Historical Review , because my work schedule usually leaves me requesting books to review after they have already departed to someone else’s library. At any rate, when requesting books this past month, I asked for one of among three books and I ended up getting two of them. This book is one of them, a short (about three hundred page) guide for the parents of volunteers to the U.S. Navy. Although I’m definitely not of the age or health or inclination to sign up for any of our armed services, I am always interested in the way that people seek to frame matters for third parties, those not directly involved. Knowing the role that parents play in either encouraging or discouraging military service among their offspring, this book therefore serves as a useful guide to understanding what parents would need to know from what can reasonably be expected as a pro-military perspective.
In terms of its contents, flipping through this book I see some glossy text and pages along with colorful headings and plenty of photos and figures. The text itself consists of a bit over 200 pages of main text followed by five appendices that discuss a glossary of navy terms and abbreviations, sailor attributes from How We Fight, advice on crossing the quarterdeck if you visit a sailor’s ship, some always appreciated suggestions for further reading, and a discussion of navy ratings. The nine chapters of the main text deal with such matters as joining the navy, the benefits of serving, a translation guide for landlubbers, navy missions and heritage, navy organization and structure, navy titles, how to read uniforms, and chapters on ships and aircraft in the navy. The overall approach of this book appears to be an attempt to show the Navy as being glossy and contemporary and something that anyone would be happy or proud to be involved in, and the use of blue as a frequent color would also suggest a relationship with the sea, which I think is a lovely touch.
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