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.
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.”