“Now the great secret of its power lies in the existence of the enemy—a live, vicious enemy—in the next room waiting feverishly to take advantage of any of our mistakes, ever ready to puncture any visionary scheme, to haul us down to Earth.” -- William McCarty Little, 1887
Our building, McCarty Little Hall, is named for Lt. William McCarty Little (1846-1915), who was instrumental in developing Naval War College’s wargaming techniques. In 1884, Little left active service after losing sight in one eye and began volunteering in the library of a new war college. In 1886, he introduced wargaming and soon became the U.S. Navy’s first expert in the field. One of his earliest activities including working alongside NWC’s second president, Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan, to develop a system of graphical representations behind historic naval battles.
In 1903, to honor Little’s contributions to NWC, Congress passed a special act that promoted him to captain and permanently assigned him to the college faculty. He served on the faculty and continued to develop wargaming for 30 years, retiring in 1915.