Today's sailors have too little appreciation of their heritage. To counter this problem, Thomas J. Cutler has compiled a history of our naval heritage in the form of A Sailor's History of the U.S. Navy. The work is unique in two important ways. First, it is written thematically rather than chronologically. This allows recent history to be blended with more distant (but important) events in ways that will reinforce the timelessness as well as the timeliness of the U.S. Navy, thereby having a greater appeal to today's sailor. There are a number of themes being used--the most obvious are manifested in chapters with the themes of "honor," "courage," and "commitment," but others serve as useful vehicles as well; for example, there is a chapter called "What's in a Name?" that briefly discusses how ships have been/are named and then uses the many ships that have carried the name "Enterprise" as the theme for presenting significant portions of the Navy's history.
The other unique characteristic of this history is that it focuses wherever possible on the roles of ALL sailors rather than just the officers. That is not to say that Jones and Decatur are not there, but that the emphasis is along the lines of "the crew of the Bon Homme Richard fought on into the night..." rather than "Jones fought..." Also, there are plenty of individual sailor heroes who can stand alongside the Perrys and the Farraguts (Boatswain's Mate First Class Williams who won the Medal of Honor in Vietnam, Dorie Miller of Pearl Harbor fame, Gunner's Mate Third Class Paul Henry Carr at the battle off Samar, etc.). Some emphasis upon what it was like to be a sailor (working and living conditions) at different times is included as well.