In the Army if it is not specifically authorized in regulations, it is forbidden. In the Navy if it is not specifically forbidden in regulations, it is authorized.I have seen this before. My experience is that it is true.
I am thinking that the Lowell Blogger, "The New Englander," might find this to be true as he leaves the Navy and joins the Army National Guard.
My experience is that the Air Force tends to follow the Army's approach, but less so in the fighter community. The Marine Corps tends to follow the Navy approach.
When people are talk about consolidating the Services, or even consolidating certain support functions, it is important to include a discussion of the different cultures. Some of that cultural difference has to do with the different environments in which the Services operate. Other cultural differences have to do with the command and control relationships. In the Army there are few independent organizations with 200 to 1000 people. In the Navy those are ships and they are much more on their own. Further, the levels of command between the junior enlisted member and the commander seem to be fewer in the Navy.
The Services do talk about culture and cultural differences amongst themselves. Further, it is a subject of interest in a narrow academic area. Here is an article from the Winter of 2005/6, which talks mostly to the Army and Air Force. I am not sure I agree with it, but it is an example of such self-examination.
The late Carl Builder wrote about Service cultures. His book, The Masks of War, is a good examination of this subject. (I was honored by being footnoted in this book.)
All told, the aphorism at the beginning of this post is a good summing up of the differences in philosophy between two of our Services.
Regards -- Cliff