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Member of USNI:
It is clear from our April PROCEEDINGS that many members & leading members of USNI believe this professional group should remain independent.  I concur, & on reading the letter from Norm Polmar, voted against the board members pushing advocacy for USNI!
So be it.  But how is this election going?  We don't seem to know yet.
But there remains one CRITICAL aspect of this issue that has not yet even been discussed.

Why don't those USNI members who wish to be ADVOCATES of the US NAVY simply remain within USNI to help retain its strong INDEPENDENT credentials, but ALSO join the Association of the US Navy -- as an outlet for their ADVOCACY?
There seems to be no value in trashing USNI & its cherished INDEPENDENCE.
But there are many complex aspects to establisho & seto up a useful & purposeful  advocacy group! While AUSN itself, which includes as members: officer, enlisted, active duty, reserve, & even Navy department civilian personnel -- & probably would be willing to devise a new category for USNI members who are simply interested civilians,  & not DON employees -- has a rich 50-year history as the primary ADVOCATE for the Naval Reserve. Since it has been harder & harder to select reservists from regulars & even former members of our naval service, the NRA finally decided it should ADVOCATE the entire US Navy!
On the AUSN staff,  CAPT Ike Puzon, USN (Ret.) is one of the most respected naval legislative analysts in the entire group of nearly 30 associations known as the Military Coalition -- all of whom are ADVOCACY groups.
Why divide or break up the USNI?  Continue on course! But have those USNI members who wish to be ADVOCATES also join AUSN The cost of such action is almost minimal, but the results could be einvaluale to the US Navy we all kknow & love!
It is impossible for any scientific & professional association to be both INDEPENDENT & an ADVOCATE.  But an individual supporter of the US Navy can remain a member of the INDEPENDENT USNI & still ADVOCATE specific issues & actions for the US Navy via a second membership in AUSN.
CAPT David L. "Navy Dave" Woods, USNR (Ret.)
National Historian, AUSN (former national historian NRA, also life member & officer of many naval goups including USNI, NOUS, former national president ROA/1985-86, long-time member FRA, & six years publisher of THE MARINER, journal of the Naval Enlisted Reserve Association)

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