From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication Outreach Division
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) announced May 12 that it awarded research and writing grants to three people to support their work which furthers the understanding and application of current U.S. Navy strategy with historical context.
"The applicants for all three of the 2014-2015 incentive programs for research and writing on U.S. naval history represented a highly competitive field," said Michael Crawford, PhD., NHHC's senior historian.
The Rear Admiral John D. Hayes Pre-doctoral Fellowship in U.S. Navy History for 2014-2015 was awarded to Arthur "Scott" Mobley, doctoral candidate at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, for a study of how American naval officers drew on progressive ideology to reorder their profession and forge new strategic solutions, while contesting alternative cultures in the Navy. In his study, titled "Progressives in Navy Blue: Maritime Strategy and Cultural Metamorphosis in the U.S. Navy, 1870-1915," Mobley argues that eventually the strategists' concepts came to dominate the Navy's culture, and concludes that professionalization drove the naval officer corps to strategic thought.
The Rear Adm. John D. Hayes Pre-doctoral Fellowship in U.S. Navy History, was named in honor of Hayes (1902 - 1991), who served as a naval officer from 1924-1954, for his enthusiastic encouragement of naval scholars and his own significant contributions to the field.
Crawford was impressed with the fellowship's international appeal and applicant's diverse choice of topics.
"Although the grants are restricted to U.S. citizens, of the seven applicants for the dissertation fellowship, four are enrolled in doctoral programs in universities abroad, in Singapore and the United Kingdom," Crawford explained. "The dissertation topics range from antebellum naval policy to national strategy in the twenty-first century and included riverine warfare in the Civil War, aviation during World War I, and the Navy in the Cold War."
According to Crawford, two strong candidates applied for The Vice Admiral Edwin B. Hooper Research Grant, which, for 2014-2015, was awarded to John T. Kuehn, Ph.D., a William A. Stofft Professor at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, for research to complete a book-length study entitled "America's First General Staff: A Short History of the Rise and Fall of the General Board of the Navy, 1900-1950." Dr. Kuehn's work on the General Board will highlight a Navy organization that was instrumental in creating the modern Navy.
The Vice Adm. Edwin B. Hooper Research Grant is named in honor of a former Director of Naval History (1909-1984), who served as both active duty and limited duty officer from 1931-1976, for his great contributions to U. S. naval history.
The Samuel Eliot Morison Supplemental Scholarship was awarded to Cmdr. Robert E. Poling III, USN, an instructor in the Department of Strategy at the U.S. Air Force Air War College and masters/doctoral candidate in Defence Studies Research at King's College, London. Poling plans to research and write on the integration of the U.S. Navy and Army Air Forces in the Solomon Islands Campaign of WWII. By studying combat operations, Poling looks to investigate what factors fostered cooperation and how service parochialism hindered it. The supplemental scholarship is named after Rear Adm. Samuel Eliot Morison (1887-1976), USNR, who served as an officer in the U.S. Navy reserve from 1942-1946. Morison was an eminent naval and maritime historian and winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
Crawford saw a commonality with the some of the applicants' submissions for the supplemental scholarship.
"Two of the four naval officers competing for the Morison supplemental scholarship are investigating crises and conflicts in the Middle East in the late twentieth century and one a twenty-first-century subject," Crawford said.
More than anything Crawford is pleased with the interest in naval history.
"The capable scholars currently pursuing topics in U.S. naval history provide evidence of the existence of a small but solid cadre keeping the field of U.S. naval history healthy," Crawford said. "The quality of this year's crop of proposals bodes well for advancing our understanding of the Navy's history."
For more information on the academic opportunities NHHC offers visit http://www.history.navy.mil/prizes/prizes.htm .
The Naval History and Heritage Command, located at the Washington Navy Yard, is responsible for the preservation, analysis, and dissemination of U.S. naval history and heritage. It provides the knowledge foundation for the Navy by maintaining historically relevant resources and products that reflect the Navy's unique and enduring contributions through our nation's history, and supports the Fleet by assisting with and delivering professional research, analysis, and interpretive services. NHHC is composed of many activities including the Navy Department Library, the Navy Operational Archives, the Navy art and artifact collections, underwater archeology, Navy histories, nine museums, USS Constitution repair facility and the historic ship Nautilus.