Murphy's Law: August 11, 2004


The U.S. Navy passed an unusual milestone recently. For the first time in its history, there were more restricted line and limited duty officers than unrestricted line officers. This is generally perceived as a bad thing. The unrestricted line and limited duty officers are the folks qualified to run warships. The restricted line officers are in support fields like intelligence, cryptography, engineering, computers, communications and many other specialties that make it possible for the unrestricted line officers to perform their missions. In fact there are more Medical (including Medical, Dental, Nurse, & Medical Service) officers than all others combined. Naval warfare, like warfare in general,  has changed, with their being a lot more work to do in support tasks, and less people needed to man a shrinking number of warships. The percentage of technical specialists aboard warships has steadily increased over the decades since World War II.


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