It is January and this month’s issue of Proceedings and Naval History will include the ballot for the next Board of Directors.  In contrast, I think, to years past there is a wide selection of candidates to chose from who come from a number of paths – aviators, SWOs, submariners; Navy, Marines and Coast Guard, active duty, retired and distinguished civilian that ranges from senior enlisted through FO/GO.  It is, in sum, an exceptional list of accomplished candidates and one I am deeply humble to have been nominated for as well.

Yes, you read that right — I am a candidate on the ballot for the 2012 USNI Board of Directors.

I was approached by a group of members who were seeking to recruit candidates who had attained a degree of success and recognition in their naval service and if retired, who carried that recognition into their current career.  In addition, this membership-led effort was concerned with forwarding candidates who would ensure the Naval Institute would remain an independent, objective forum for the naval services as reflected in the concerns raised by a large part of the membership last year.  I participated in the debate through this and other fora as one who argued for the USNI to hold to its founding principles which have separated and elevated it above the many warfighter community, Service and industry oriented advocacy associations that have grown and multiplied over the years.  The Naval Institute, by both challenging all to “dare to think, write and debate” and providing the independent forum to do so, has staked out this singular, widely recognized and respected territory and should not cede it.  To that, I remain committed.

That, however, does not mean there is no room for change.  Indeed, there are several challenges across a number of fronts the Institute faces in the coming years in an effort to remain relevant in the ongoing national debate.  These are among the concerns as a member of the Board of Directors I would address and argue for action:

  • Grow our membership through outreach and recruiting of junior officers and senior enlisted.
  • Establish an advisory board comprised of active duty and Reserve officers (O-3 to O-5) and enlisted (E-5 to E-7), representing a cross-section of the naval services that would compliment the already existing Flag Advisory board to provide the POV and concerns at the deck-plates-level I think is lacking today.
  • Open the aperture on all forms of traditional and “new” media –  this would include expanding the online offerings to include current, relevant and substantive content that resides behind a membership firewall and encourages membership growth.
  • A clear path of encouragement, recruiting and mentorship resources to assist up and coming writers – be they interested in blogging, writing for Proceedings or Naval History, or even those interested in submitting to manuscripts to the Naval Institute Press.

These are but a few of the concerns the Naval Institute needs to move forward.  The coming year, with the challenges to be faced domestically and internationally by our nation and its naval services places us at another of those critical junctions with questions not only about force structure and missions, but the very character of and rationale for a Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.  The existence of an independent forum with a reputation for the full, free and frank informed discussion and debate on these and so many other issues is vital in this process and that forum is the Naval Institute.  As a member of the Board of Directors, that will remain my chief concern and focus.

Thank you for your consideration and vote.


CAPT Carl W. (“Will”) Dossel, USN (Ret.)
Steeljaw Scribe

Please also consider these candidates when making your selection:

  • RADM Daniel R. Bowler, USN (Ret.)
  • CAPT Karl M.Hasslinger, USN (Ret.)
  • Mr. Mark W. Johnson
  • Dr. J.P. “Jack London, CAPT USNR (Ret.)
  • CAPT Dave M. McFarland, USN
  • Mr. Edward S. Miller
  • HON B.J. Penn
  • CAPT Gordan E. Van Hook, USN (Ret.)

The USNI 2012 Elections Page may be found here.


  1. Co

    You have my vote.

  2. Eagle1

    Go, Will, go!

  3. I fully endorse the SJS ticket!

  4. jon spencer

    Are we going to be able to vote online this year?

  5. Jon: The online ballot should be active beginning 3 Jan 2012.

  6. Andy (JADAA)

    Great minds either think alike or run in the same gutter! 😉 Thanks for accepting the draft to help bring the Institute back on course. If elected, you might start by asking them how the 2011 Annual Meeting suddenly became “Not-The-Annual-Meeting” and ensuing shenanigans.

  7. You have my vote for sure. I have been scouring the USNI site and cannot find the voting link… yet.

  8. Greg C

    You _would_ have my vote, but I can’t get logged into the voting site…another USNI screw-up in the making?

  9. Will, you got my vote. Keep up the good work.

  10. Finally got around to voting, disappointed that they spelled CAPT Van Hook’s name incorrectly.

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