INTO THE BLACK
If it is my duty to guide my sailors on their floating citadel at sea, then let me always consider them first. Without them, I lead a city of steel without a heart.
If it is a betrayal to err on the side of life, then let me be the first to err, for my crew is my life. Without a crew, our warship is naught but a hollow threat.
Most importantly, if I am to rain destruction upon my nation's enemies, if it is my life's work to defend my nation, then let it be that my nation is worth defending.
If I have sacrificed everything I have to defend my nation, then it is my honor to surrender my life in the line of duty.
If it is my nation's will that I die in battle, I will queue up and leap willingly into said jaws, choking my enemy with every fiber of my being, every atom of my will.
All I ever ask is my leaders understand the sacrifice we make. The families we don't see, the rigors of preparation, the isolation and madness of waiting to a battle we pray never comes. A battle which should it ever truly arrive will define the future of our world.
On humble shoulders such a great weight always sits. Never casual, the threat of such is always around us, in us, under us, in our work, in every effort, lies the threat of the end of the world.
All I ask is my leaders consider the lives of my crew the same way I do, each unique, valuable, irreplaceable fragments of our nation's best and brightest lights; those citizens who place the values of the nation above their own existence.
A value worth recognizing; a value worth protecting. I value I see personally every day I am honored to work and live with them. To command them. To rely on them. To send them willingly to death.
All I ask is my leaders value the commitment of these brave individuals who grouse, complain, fight, love, hate, live and die to be free from tyranny. A tyranny we are supposed to fight against, not become.
Any leader who cannot understand it is the men and women aboard the machine, not the machine itself which fights the wars, any leader who cannot recognize to demean the spirit of those warriors is an infection, a gangrene of that fighting arm, which now undermined cannot fight, will not sacrifice, and cannot be expected to give their all in a battle for a nation that does not believe in them.
Such leaders should be scorned and removed, for they weaken the resolve of every fighting unit which they fail to lead with an understanding of their value.
They are the deaf, the blind and the dumb incapable of understanding the sacrifice for which they demand but should not get.
If I am to lose my command because I stood for my men in an hour we were not at war, were not supported, but were at as great a risk as any in our nation, that we would not be abandoned, left to die, under the pretense it was better that we die than to be recognized as people in need of protection from our nation.
I walk away from my crew, alive, proud and completely aware of the sacrifice I made. The same they would have made for me under any other, more terrible circumstance.
I am the captain of my ship. My job is to lead by example, to inspire my crew to the height of our nation's values, even when our leader's have forgotten.
We throw ourselves headlong into the darkness. Be worthy of our sacrifice. At this moment, all you have seeded... is doubt. An enemy greater than any threat you can imagine.