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This is a quote from the book I am reading:

Gorelick wrote a memo, alerting her superiors that the group was expanding the scope of its inquiry.  “in light of the breadth of critical infrastructures and the multiplicity of sources and forms of attack.”  It was no longer enough to consider the likelihood and impact of terrorists blowing up critical buildings.  The group---and, ultimately, the president---also had to consider “threats from other sources.”

What to call these “other” threats?  One word was floating around in stories about hackings of one sort or another: “cyber.”  The word had its roots in “cybernetics,” a term dating back to the mid-nineteenth century, describing the closed loops of information systems.  But in its present-day context of computer networks, the term stemmed from William Gibson’s 1984 science-fiction novel, Neuromancer, a wild and eerily prescient tale of murder and mayhem in the virtual world of “cyberspace.”

Michael Vatis, a Justice Department lawyer on the working group who had just read Gibson’s novel, advocated the term’s adoption.  Others were opposed; it sounded to sci-fi, too frivolous.  But once uttered, the word snugly fit.  From that point on, the group—and others who studied the issue—would speak of “cyber crime,” “cyber security,” “cyber war.”

I am currently reading Dark Territory, the secret history of CYBER War by Fred Kaplan. The book gives examples from Desert Storm of the resistance of commanders to accepting intelligence from cyber and using both that intelligence and other aspects of cyber warfare in battle.  Alumni from the Classes of ’41 and ’42 have told me they had the same problem trying to introduce the use of RADAR into the fleet in early WW II so people haven’t changed much in their acceptance of new ways to accomplish old jobs; however, the secrecy that surrounded RADAR is certainly far different from cyber.  Anyone today who reads a newspaper or interfaces in any way with the media should be fully aware of cyber warfare and how it is, and has been for a long time, used to hack into our government, military, industry and personal computers.  Everyone is now concerned with the security of their various devices, as witness the fight between Apple and the Justice Dept.  Cyber is now a principal intelligence-gathering tool and is ignored at great risk.

In 2003 we gave the Academy our 2M+ $ Information Technology endowment and it has given the Academy a jumpstart by establishing a Science and Information Technology (SIT) major.  Phil Rogers 9th Co. tells me that the SIT major represents 37% of the total credits required for graduation.  In addition, it is now possible for a midshipman to acquire a double major, one in Computer Science and one in Information Technology.  In reading this you must keep in mind that this field is changing so fast it is difficult for the curriculum to stay even, let alone stay ahead of it.  To help maintain what lead we may have you should consider designating any money you plan to give to the Foundation to our endowment #824800.  Phil Rogers 9th Co. tells me that there are several in the Class of 2016 actually graduating with a degree in Cyber Operations.

Scribe’s note:  Thank you Phil for trying to keep me up to speed so our Class can bask in knowledge of our good work.  Also, although I’m only two chapters into the above-mentioned book I find it fascinating.  Thank you Jim Beggs 10th Co. for bringing it to my attention.  The book is available through Amazon.

I now have the minutes from the fall 2015 COCP meeting.  The first order of business was to elect a new chairman since ADM Mustin was ill (he has since crossed the bar).  Captain Spencer Johnson was nominated with LCDR  “Murph” McCarthy nominated as Vice Chairman.  Nominations were unanimously approved.

The new Commandant, Colonel Stephen Liszewski, USMC presented a short power point presentation covering, among other things the Superintendent’s priorities: Character, Cyber, and International Engagement.  Be a team player and team builder, do your duty, give 100% to prepare yourself to go into harm’s way, seek moral, mental, physical excellence, do the difficult right and remember that fatigue will lead to cowardice.  The commandant echoed his predecessor ‘s positive pressure with a purpose.  Plebe summer is meant to overload them and force failure.  This will force decisions and risk taking so that they understand consequences.  He reported that a review of the honor matters.  He is pleased with the results.  He wants to keep the honor system as it educates, shapes and inspires the Brigade of Midshipmen but the concept must be continually owned by the Brigade.

There were several presentations on fundraising including requests for donation toward the Cyber building, construction of which will begin as soon as the garage being built by the O Club, and a new building in the Yard to house the Alumni Association and the Foundation.

The last COCP meeting was in April of this year and I will fill you in as soon as I receive the minutes.

A good snail mail from Ernie Castle 3rd Co.:

“I suspect many of you get it from your doctors too: ‘for a person your age, you are in pretty good shape; lose ten pounds, come back in six months.’  Jean and I still enjoy travelling by car, but she is the primary driver.  We go twice a year to Myrtle Beach, SC, to the Island Vista Inn on the ocean shore and arise early enough to watch the sun come out of the ocean.  We also have annual mini-vacations at the Bavarian Inn (WV) and Big Meadows in the mountains where we see the occasional bear.  The animals at each place are a major attraction for me.

Jean is the same size she was at eighteen, food for her is incidental.  She belongs to a swimming/zoom bah club which when “in action” is two dozen grey heads bouncing up and down in the water.  Jean tries to prevent daytime naps to enable nighttime sleep, but sometimes I drift off.  We are trying to get me onto the “oldest living grads” list!

Wonderful wishes to Great ’48—BEAT ARMY.”  Sincerely, Ernie

At our last luncheon Charlie Mertz 13th Co. apprised me that our Memorial Fund, as of 4/30/16, stands at $5,286.82.

Helen Orr writes that she has moved with Ralph into assisted living quarters since she is no longer able to care for him herself, though she pretty much does so, even now.  Her email and phone numbers are the same but the mailing address is now-- Helen B. Orr, 16455 E. Avenue of the Fountains, Apt. C 214, Fountain Hills, AZ. 85268.

The short period between the last column and this one has not been bad with regard to loss of Classmates and Wives.  Only one of each:
          18th Co. Hurt, D.A., Jr.               4/14/16  #
                   # biography in 50 Year book
          Ransom, Mary  3/27/16 wife of Charles Ransom (deceased) 11th Co.   She attended the New York School of Interior Design and also attended Goucher College to pursue a degree in elementary education and was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority.  She sang with the Goucher College Glee Club and in December of 1947 the glee clubs from Goucher and the Academy joined forces for a performance of Handel’s Messiah where she met Charles.  They were married in ’49 and raised 3 girls and two boys.

The next column is due on 6/27 and I’m hoping many of you will have provided some clue as to how you are getting along.  Helga and Bob Smith  18th Co. told me at our luncheon on 5/13 that they were departing for a river cruise in Europe and would visit relatives at the beginning and the end of the cruise.  As I have said before some of us are still out and about, travelling afar and enjoying life.  We pray that those of us, who now stay home, for whatever reason, are also enjoying life.  Please give me some input.