J. F. Leahy

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Honor, Courage, Commitment: Navy Boot Camp
J. F. Leahy  More Info

Ask the Chief: Backbone of the Navy
J. F. Leahy  More Info

Lost at Sea: An Enlisted Woman's Journey
Rebecca Anne Freeman  More Info

According to the book description of Honor, Courage, Commitment: Navy Boot Camp, “Through words and pictures, J. F. Leahy chronicles the transition of eighty-one men and women from civilians to sailors at the U.S. Navy Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Illinois. Revealing a side of today's youth that many will find surprising, his examination of the unique American institution--popularly known as boot camp--offers a look into the hearts and minds of a group of young people who are a cross section of the nation. The work sheds light on the controversy over gender integration and helps bridge the gap between the military services and the society they serve.


During the fall of 2000, the author was granted unlimited and unprecedented access to the recruits from the time they arrived at Chicago's airport until their graduation. Observing their training evolutions first hand, he interviewed them at every opportunity and surveyed them through a series of his own specially designed reaction papers. He watched them as they struggled through obstacle courses and learned how to fight shipboard fires. He listened as they shared their feelings, and he cheered them on as they faced the challenges of "Battle Stations" and tested their physical, mental, and moral preparations before entering the fleet. Leahy also shared their pride at the final parade and graduation ceremonies. Both eye-opening and inspiring, his guide will be valuable to future recruits and those who influence them, as well as those who have been there and want a reminder of that special time in their lives.”

J. F. Leahy, a Navy veteran and university professor.  J. F. Leahy spent four years on active duty during he Vietnam War, including a tour with Mobile Construction Battalion One in Vietnam.  After discharge from the United States Navy, J. F. Leahy joined the Coast Guard Reserve serving as a Radioman First Class at Coast Guard Radio Station New Orleans.  J. F. Leahy is the author of Ask the Chief: Backbone of the Navy and Honor, Courage, Commitment: Navy Boot Camp.  He is also the co-author of Lost at Sea: An Enlisted Woman's Journey.


According to the book description of Ask the Chief: Backbone of the Navy, “Whenever sailors are confronted with "unsolvable" problems-be it a fouled anchor or paint that won't dry-they often throw up their hands and exclaim, "We'd better ask the Chief." That refrain, heard for generations throughout the Navy, is the theme for Jack Leahy's newest book. Written at sea, his book provides a compelling picture of the Chief Petty Officer's community in the U.S. Navy. As a guest of the Chief Petty Officer's mess aboard USS George Washington during Operation Enduring Freedom, Leahy was granted complete and unfettered access to all areas of the massive carrier and the other ships in her battle group. He interviewed nearly one hundred Navy Chiefs from the aviation, surface, submarine, and special warfare communities and recounts their stories of daily life at sea. In doing so, he presents the true backbone of the modern Navy: the wisdom, character, and dignity of the Chief Petty Officer's community. This book of contemporaneous oral history follows the format that proved so successful with Leahy's earlier book on Navy boot camp. Color photographs help bring the story to life.”

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