The Navy: Four Stripes in the Graveyard

Navy Captain Richard G. Alexander, 45, was one of the most promising young four-stripers in the fleet. Last year the Navy Department rewarded that promise by giving him command of the U.S.S. New Jersey, which will become the world's only operational battleship when it is recommissioned this April. Last week the Navy Department revealed that Alexander had exercised the most ignominious prerogative open to a blue-water sailor: he formally requested that he be relieved of his command of the New Jersey. The request was promptly granted, and he was given shore duty.

Alexander's humiliation derived from his bold backing of...

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