It was more than strategy but an intellectual round table where everyone was respected regardless of rank for wasn’t just elderly admirals on The Board. They were given a problem. They interviewed inside/outside expertise, and even though the board had no real authority it gained the trust and cooperation of the other bureaus due to their expertise in various fields. That and it reported to Secretary of the Navy helped. Since they came from various areas of The Navy (surface warfare, submarine, air, etc.) they could bring their area expertise to the table with its capabilities and limitations and jointly formulate policy on strategy, tactics, operations and training all to maintain efficiency which saved dollars but more importantly saved lives and won WW2.
Once they hit upon a solution either in policy, training, tactics, design or technological evolution they sent it to the Naval War College to be war-gamed out or studied for further input. If it worked great if not back to the drawing board to interview and continue investigation.The book only uses the term once but refers to it as a “naval general staff” which no other navy had for various reasons.
Adm. King comes into being and he abolishes the board’s capabilities and service. Yet it is they who gave him the tools for victory in WW2 possibly not his brilliance or his dictatorial form of megalomania.
In the November 2020 USNI Proceedings, an insightful article makes the case for, among other things, restoring the General Board: “The Navy Must Build the Ecosystem of Strategy” by LCDR Ryan Hilger.