Moderate in stature but brimming with radical ideas and outsized ambition for himself and his country, Theodore Roosevelt entered the White House with fi rm views on how to strengthen the American military. He brought to the presidency a breadth of understanding and experience rare for a 42-yearold. As a student of history who wrote a well-regarded book on the naval aspects of the War of 1812, he appreciated the value of sea power and the advantages of technology. As the Assistant Secretary of the Navy in the year before the Spanish-American War, he understood the ways of Washington bureaucracy. As a member of the National Guard and later a Colonel in combat in Cuba, he knew the frustrations of logistics and the terror and exhilaration of battle.