Friday, October 04, 2013

Fullbore Friday

How can a nondescript insurance guy from Maryland be the subject of a Fbf?

Did he serve in the military and do incredible things? No. Actually, he never served a day in his life.

Did he do something brave? Well, in a fashion - yes.

What he really did is use the power of the pen to do something that so many so-called leaders and recruiters never do - he inspired.

It has been years since I read Tom Clancy - but that is just because my taste in reading has changed and my reading time is too short. I have read quite a bit of his work, starting with an early 1984 edition of The Hunt for Red October . I don't know about you, but for 4/C MIDN Salamander, his book sparked an interest in my future profession like few other things.

Yes, it was fiction, but it made me want to know more. It made me go to the library - it made me wait for his next book too.

Earlier this week when I heard of his passing, it was interesting to see how many people I have come to know in this little corner of the maritime national security arena seemed to come from a very similar place that I did when it came to Clancy. I found that not just interesting, but in a strange way - comforting.

He also spawned a whole new area of fiction and morphed other established genres of adventure fiction.

One of the better gifts he gave the national security arena is in the non-fiction area of thought at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels. A lot of very smart folks who wanted to learn and engage in the marketplace of ideas in this area who just happened to never have worn the uniform could say to themselves, "Hey - if Clancy can learn all this stuff, so can I." Those minds have been a great addition to the conversation, providing a perspective those who are wearing or used to wear the uniform cannot have.

That is what is so fullbore about Tom Clancy. By inspiring people to learn more, read more, think more, engage more in the national security arena - he unquestionably made us a stronger and more vibrant nation. 

Last night I had to think a bit about where his books were in my library. Middle stack, bottom shelf behind the door - right next to William F. Buckley Jr. and Robert Harris

No, that order doesn't make sense - but that is where they were unpacked in 2009 when the once 4/C MIDN Salamander got ready to be CDR Salamander, USN (Ret.) 

Maybe I need to pull out that 1984 imprint and read it again. Maybe.

Anyway - 66 is a bit short and you've been in the shadows for a long time, but thanks and well done Mr. Clancy.

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