I’ve never been in the Navy or Merchant Marine. I’ve been a landlubber all my life. Having been something of a gymnast when I was younger, I suppose I’d be a little more adaptable to the pitching, rolling and yawing in heavy seas than the average landlubber, but I’ve never tried, so I can’t say I know for sure. Some of my friends have been or maybe still are, in some Navy somewhere, and I trust they’d know that this piece is written with tongue firmly in cheek. Then again, Navies are for networking, aren’t they? Here’s what I mean!
Navies are designed to show the flag
What better way to make a great impression that having a part of your fleet, or even just a simple cruiser, call at some port or anchor somewhere in the vicinity of the domain of some notable personage with whom you’d like to develop cordial relations? Bringing gifts go a long way, too!
Navies can help to improve the condition of places visited
The Ming Dynasty Admiral Zheng He made seven voyages to Southeast Asia, India and Africa during the Fifteenth Century. Those voyages were essentially relationship-building ventures and great marketing campaigns for the Ming Court. Technology transfers took place wherever the Fleet went. Food, medicine, agricultural best practices, clothing and many aspects of music and the arts were freely exchanged. Scholars, craftsmen, physicians and skilled men from many disciplines went ashore to provide free medical care for the local populace, make observations of “best practices” and spread goodwill in general.
Navies strengthen each other’s processes by participating in exercises
Exercise builds muscles, strength, stamina and endurance. Exercise helps one to acquire, develop and hone skills and competencies. Participating actively in joint exercises is beneficial to all parties.
Navies provide succour in places hit by disasters
Navies come equipped with the structure and organization, competencies, supplies and equipment to bring relief to places struck by both natural and man-made disasters. Task organizations are easily formed from existing ones to meet the needs of the moment. Navies are handy first responders to disaster-hit areas if those areas are not too far inland.
Navies encourage international trade
Trade occurs best in an atmosphere of security. Navies are pretty good at that, too! People seem to forget the ugly face of piracy because of the likes of Jack Sparrow. No one would want to live in or transact business in pirate-infested areas, to be sure!
Well, there you have it. Navies are for networking. Coming aboard?