VOLUME 44 NUMBER 3
Name of Course: Sea Power
Professor: Cmdr. John K. Bishop, USN, acting commanding officer, visiting associate professor and acting chair, naval science, Holy Cross NROTC Unit
Enrollment: Required of all midshipmen, Sea Power is intended for first-year students.*
Description: A survey of U.S. naval history from the American Revolution to the present, focusing on the Navy’s role as an instrument of national security and foreign policy; in-depth discussion of naval developments, key maritime strategies and naval contributions in various periods of American history.
Sample texts: This People’s Navy: The Making of American Sea Power, by Kenneth Hagan, ed.; The Price of Admiralty: The Evolution of Naval Warfare, by John Keegan; and Quarterdeck and Bridge: Two Centuries of American Naval Leaders, by James Bradford, ed.
Requirements: Term paper, quizzes/homework, class participation, midterm and final exam
Class visit: Brief update on current events, followed by lecture/discussion on World War II—“War in the Pacific, the Defensive Phase”: Consideration of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the battles of the Coral Sea, Midway and Guadalcanal, with emphasis on war strategy, weapons systems, maintenance of crucial communications and supply lines; and the concept of strategic vs. tactical victory
Professor quote: “The objective of the Sea Power class is to enlighten and educate students about the history of the U.S. Navy and the role of the Naval Services (U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps) as an instrument of U.S. national security and foreign policy,” says Cmdr. Bishop. “The class is first introduced to the earliest seagoing civilizations, concerned with providing security and increased protection for their seaborne commerce. The class then follows the historical aspects of the emergence of the great sailing fleets of Europe, the Navy’s founding during the American Revolution, technological advancements through the ages, and, finally, development of maritime strategies during periods of peace and armed conflict.”
Professor bio: Executive officer of the Holy Cross NROTC Unit since 2006, Cmdr. Bishop became acting commanding officer in 2009. He had previously held the posts of Naval Forces Europe command duty officer during Operations IRAQI and ENDURING FREEDOM and Navy Region Europe air operations officer and chief of staff, while serving in London. A graduate of Ball State University, Muncie, Ind., he was commissioned through the Aviation Officer Candidate Program in 1983 and designated a naval flight officer in 1984. Cmdr. Bishop received his master’s degree in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College in 1994.
Student quote on the impact of the Navy in shaping American history: “During the early years of our country’s existence, the Navy played the largest role in preserving our new found freedom in, for example, the War of 1812 and the Barbary Wars,” says Frances Klimczak ’13, of Collinsville, Conn. … “Today, while many believe surface warfare has become obsolete, especially with the aircraft technology we have, I believe the Navy will always play a large role in defending the United States. A large percentage of the globe is covered in ocean, not to mention all the coast line we need to protect! The class has gotten me excited about taking part in the next phase of the U.S. Navy’s evolution.”
* Depending on space availability, any student may take naval science courses and receive credit for the satisfactory completion of accredited courses; he or she does not, however, have any official status in the NROTC program or receive any of the benefits provided to NROTC students.
The department of naval science at Holy Cross educates students to serve as commissioned officers in the Navy and Marine Corps. The department was founded concurrently with the establishment of the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) program at the College. Military science is also offered through the Colleges of Worcester Consortium, including ROTC programs for the Army and Air Force at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.