Behind the scenes of any international military confrontation, a dedicated team of warfighters labors around the clock to support the operational mission. These men and women come from all walks of life and professions—career warriors, logisticians, engineers, information systems experts, doctors, lawyers, chaplains, public affairs officers; brand new sailors, mid-career hopefuls, and seasoned veterans. Their stories seldom appear in national media. They don’t carry weapons. They don’t sail the ships, fly the airplanes, drop the bombs, or storm the beaches. Look for them behind desks and computers aboard the most sophisticated floating command and control platform in the world: the fleet flagship. Armed with complex, redundant technologies, these modern warriors bring to bear their collective training, knowledge, and experience to inform the fleet commander’s critical decisions—high stakes judgments that must either avert war altogether or guarantee decisive victory if the shooting starts.
The men and women on a fleet commander’s staff work long hours in an austere and stressful environment, separated from families, loved ones, and comforts of home. Like all who travel the road of human condition, each one has a unique story—of joy and pain, love and disappointed love, hopes and fears, triumph and tragedy. Amid the realities of war and threat of war, their human sojourns become all the more provocative and inspirational. The fictional FLAGSHIP! Series portrays those stories.
Over the course of a twenty-year navy career, I was privileged and honored to serve alongside the sailors and marines who dedicate their lives to keep the peace around the world and to protect our American ideals and ways of life. The actual men and women of the flagship far overshadow my imaginary characters in upholding navy core values of honor, courage, and commitment. While some may struggle with personal flaws and challenges, they seldom fail to rise above them to execute sometimes horrific missions.
The people and situations in this novel are make-believe. The real military men and women who do the nation’s work every day are true American heroes who never pale in the face of a real or potential enemy. God bless them all, keep them safe from harm, and return them intact in body and spirit to their loved ones at home.
Bravo Zulu and Semper Fidelis.
– MJK (DoK)