The United States Navy is a disciplined command-and-control organization that moves over and under over 140 million square miles of the earths oceans. It is in this environment that Commander Donald S. Inbody began his daily regimen of recording that day’s events, starting with his Change of Command ceremony on 21 May 1996 as the 20th Commanding Officer of the USS Duluth LPD-6 while deployed to the Western Pacific area of operations.   The intent of his journal was to keep track of his ships activities through to the end of that deployment. 

     Captain Inbody was the very first person to take command of USS Duluth at the rank of Commander.   Prior to that time, all USS Duluth C.O.’s had achieved paygrade of O-6, Captain.   Captain Inbody commanded the ship in 1996 & 1997. Most members of the crew have very little interaction with the ship’s Commanding Officer, and know very little about what the C.O. does, what he thinks and worries about and tend to forget that he is a “regular guy,” with a family back home, just like the rest of us.   The crew tends to be unaware of the C.O.’s concerns about promotions and next duty assignments, just as the rest of us.

     There are many acronyms listed throughout the journal.   Those acronyms are defined in the appendix attached to the end of the journal.   In the process of recording his activities, the ships activities and his thoughts, Commander Inbody gives specific names, dates, and locations.   The Commander spent many hours weighting the pros and cons of redacting the names of his superiors and subordinates throughout the journal.   Ultimately, in the interest of the historical value, he left the document as he had originally written.   This journal stands as an excellent example of his and the crew’s dedication to their ship, the US Navy, and the United States of America. 

     Commander Inbody subsequently continued his journaling past the completion of the deployment on through until 9 November 1997, near the end of assignment as the Commanding Officer.   The Change of Command to the next Commanding Officer was held on 19 December 1997, with Commander Paul Cruz.

     To let you know what transpired after Duluth and the culmination of his career, Don Inbody did go on to be promoted to the rank of Captain.   His next duty station was, in fact, the one in Japan he ponders in the journal.   After retiring at the rank of Captain, Don Inbody went back to school and achieved a PhD in Political Science, ultimately relocating to Texas and becoming a Senior Lecturer at Texas State University.

     We are deeply grateful to Captain Don Inbody, for sharing this wonderful piece of history with all of us and for allowing all of us to share in his inner thoughts as the Commanding Officer of USS Duluth LPD-6.


Don Rowe and Dave Watson

December 22, 2017



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