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The United States Naval Institute (USNI), based at the United States Naval Academymarker in Annapolis, Marylandmarker, is a private, non-profit, professional military association that seeks to offer independent, nonpartisan forums for debate of national defense issues. Established in 1873, it claims 65,000 members, mostly active and retired members of the United States Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.

The Institute dates from October 9, 1873, when 15 naval officers gathered at the Academy's Department of Physics and Chemistry building in Annapolis, to discuss military history and strategy. A 1936 Act of Congress gave permission to locate its headquarters on The Yard, but the organization has no official or funding ties to the Academy or the U.S. Navy.

The Institute publishes magazines and books and runs several annual conferences on security matters in Washington, D.Cmarker., San Diegomarker, Californiamarker, Norfolk, Virginiamarker and elsewhere in the United States.

The Institute's mission is: "to provide an open forum for the exchange of ideas, to disseminate and advance the knowledge of sea power, and to preserve our naval and maritime heritage." It supports the professional development of its active-duty members by providing articles, books, and digital content about military career challenges.

The Institute maintains one of the world’s largest private collections of military photographs: more than 450,000 images of people, ships and aircraft from all branches of the armed forces. The photographs date from the American Civil War to the present.

In 1999, the organization dedicated its new headquarters, named Beach Hall to honor the contributions of Edward L. Beach, Jr. and his father and namesake, Edward L. Beach, Sr., who served as the Institute's secretary-treasurer.

Publications and products

The monthly magazine Proceedings is the Institute’s flagship publication. Published since 1874, it is the third-oldest continuously published magazine in the United States. It has carried articles by Secretaries of Defense Caspar Weinberger, Dick Cheney, and William Perry; journalists Bob Woodward, Ben Bradlee, Evan Thomas, David Hartman, and Thomas Ricks; every Secretary of the Navy, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and top leader of the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. The magazine also publishes articles by other men and women serving in the military.

The USNI bimonthly Naval History magazine explores the role of sea power in U.S. history. Contributors have included historians David McCullough and James M. McPherson; former sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen such as Ernest Borgnine, Gene Hackman, and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.; newsman Walter Cronkite, who covered the Invasion of Normandymarker in 1944 for United Press; and NBC television anchor Tom Brokaw.

USNI’s "Naval Institute Press" imprint publishes several dozen new books each year. Its twice-yearly catalog includes works on history, biography, professional military education, and occasional works of popular fiction, including Tom Clancy's first novel, The Hunt for Red October; and Stephen CoontsFlight of the Intruder. Among the professional development titles are The Bluejacket's Manual, Naval Shiphandling, The Marine Officer’s Guide, and The Coast Guardsman’s Manual.

The Institute’s Web site includes reader forums and the Get the Gouge site aimed at younger readers.

In 2007, USNI produced Americans At War, a series of video interviews with U.S. combat veterans of conflicts dating to World War I. Former President George H. W. Bush, Senators Bob Dole, Daniel Inouye, Bob Kerry, and other men and women described how combat changed their lives. The series was broadcast on Public Broadcasting Service television stations nationwide.

In December 2008, the Naval Institute launched a blog whose writers include Navy Admiral James G. Stavridis and Admiral Thad Allen, the Commandant of the Coast Guard.

References

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