Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Great American's Birthday Today




Captain Clyde C. Lopez, United States Navy - retired, celebrates his 80th birthday today.  This great American enlisted in the Navy in October 1955 and served for 40 years, retiring in 1995.

His illustrious Navy career would fill volumes.  It is sufficient to say that he was a Sailor worthy of being called a Shipmate by all who know him.


He was born on this day in 1937 in Santa Rosa, New Mexico.

Sir, Happy Birthday SHIPMATE !!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Sad news


LCDR Bob Morrison, USN, retired, reported that CTA1 Jerry Oster passed away at 71 years of age on September 26, 2017 in Las Vegas.  Jerry was our Admin Chief for several years at Naval Security Group Detachment Atsugi, Japan in the early 1980s.  I was saddened to hear that news.  He trained some good CTAs who went on to make Chief Petty Officer - CTAC Michael Schuenke and CTAC Frank Zakravsky.  May Jerry rest in peace.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A couple of things about caring for Sailors that I learned at my first command - 1977-1979



Learning is a lifelong process.   "Stop learning - stop living" someone wise once told me.  First commands offer an incredible and long-lasting learning experience if you really pay attention.  I like to think that I did pay attention.

Some of the leadership best practices I picked up from then Captain James S. McFarland (a career long mentor and later-in-life friend):

- When Sailors reported to the command, he wrote letters to the parents letting them know that their son/daughter had arrived safely in a very distant Misawa, Japan and that his Chiefs would take care of them.  Commands which make this time are remembered long after the Sailor departs.  Some commands have the Department Head or Executive Officer do this.

- Most Sailors were sent to the Naval Air Facility (NAF) Misawa photo lab for their "official Navy photo".  Little did the Sailors know that the CO actually sent these photos back to the parents.  Captain McFarland also sent a copy of my Sailor of the Quarter (SOQ) photo to my parents, as well - along with a copy of "The Misawan" newspaper's SOQ announcement.  Sent in 1979, my family still has these.  Getting a photo of their Sailor means a lot to parents.  If you doubt it, ask a parent!

Monday, November 13, 2017

VADM Jan E. Tighe


Perhaps a more important Naval figure than RADM Grace Hopper.  

Only time will tell.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

The supreme quality is missing in a few of our senior officers

The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible.

DWIGHT DAVID EISENHOWER

Friday, November 10, 2017

Worth repeating

Not everyone can be a Sailor


A man or woman can be false, fleeting, a liar or a coward - in every way corrupt and still be an outstanding engineer, doctor, a great artist, cryptologist or a computer wizard.  But there's one thing they can't be and that is a Sailor or a Naval officer.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

What can be more important??



"Mike,

Thanks for your continuing engagement on the vital issue of leadership -- at the end of the day, what can be more important to our Navy and our nation?"

Admiral James Stavridis

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Writing is writing




Planning to write is not writing.  Outlining a book is not writing.  Researching is not writing.  Talking to people about what you are doing, none of that is writing.  Writing is writing.

E. L. Doctorow


Today, I received letters from two NIOC COs, a NIOC XO, a NIOD OIC, a retired Navy Captain colleague, my sister, a priest and a NWC graduate attending the Warfighting school.  As you can imagine, it was a very good day for me. These men and my sister understand what it means to write.  

As per H.L. Mencken's example, I will send out my responses by day's end.  I will be writing.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Remembering my friend, mentor and lunch partner


http://www.robcannonphoto.com
Back in 1981, the Chief of Naval Personnel, Vice Admiral Lando W. Zech Jr. made a very wise detailing decision.  He sent CWO3 Wallace Louis Exum to teach celestial navigation at Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island.  I was one of hundreds of his students at OCS.  Both men influenced my Navy career greatly.  VADM Zech signed off on my first set of orders in June of 1982, sending me to Atsugi, Japan to fly with Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron ONE (VQ-1).  Thirty years later, both men were still in touch with me and we developed into great friends.

Sadly, Vice Admiral Zech passed away six years ago in January and is no longer with us, except in spirit.  The last time I saw him, he was in good spirits.  He was ill and weakened from his lengthy hospital stay - but his spirits were high. We talked a little bit about the USNA honoring him and a few of the other guys recently for being Captains of their varsity baseball teams over the years.  He was very proud of his years at the United States Naval Academy.

Besides being an athlete, he was very much an old school nuclear submariner and later a surface warfare officer. My goodness, how he loved the Navy and his family.  After his retirement from the Navy, he was Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  He leaves behind a wonderful widow - Jo, 5 beautiful daughters and many grand children.  And, he leave behind a very sad Shipmate who still grieves deeply and tries to keep his memory alive in all ways that he can.  Farewell Admiral Zech.  Those who knew you - loved and respected you greatly.  Those who didn't - missed out on a great experience.  I said my good-byes at Arlington National Cemetery but they were in no way - final good-byes.  You will remain fresh in my memory.

His obituary:

ZECH LANDO W. ZECH. JR Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy (Ret.) Former NRC Chairman Lando W. Zech, Jr., age 87, a retired Navy Vice Admiral who later served as Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission died on Sunday, January 9, 2011. Admiral Zech, a resident of Falls Church, VA was born in Astoria, Oregon and spent his youth in Seattle, Washington, where he attended Roosevelt and Lakeside high schools. He was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1941. At Annapolis, he played varsity baseball and basketball. In his senior year, he captained the baseball team. Admiral Zech served 39 years in the Navy after his graduation from the Naval Academy in 1944 with the World War II Class of 1945. His first assignment was to the destroyer USS JOHN D. HENLEY (DD 553) in the western Pacific where he participated in the second battle for the Philippines, the Iwo Jima and Okinawa campaigns and on picket station duty off the coast of Japan during the last days of the war. After the war and a second destroyer tour on the USS HENRY W. TUCKER (DD 875), Admiral Zech volunteered for submarine duty and subsequently commanded four submarines, USS SEA ROBIN (SS 407), USS ALBACORE (AGSS 569), and after nuclear power training, USS NAUTILUS (SSN 571) and USS JOHN ADAMS (SSBN 620). He later commanded the guided missile cruiser USS SPRINGFIELD (CLG 7). Upon his selection to flag rank, he served as Commandant of the Thirteenth Naval District in Seattle, WA, the Chief of Naval Technical Training in Memphis, TN and as Commander, U.S. Naval Forces, Japan in Yokosuka. After his selection to Vice Admiral he served as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Manpower, Personnel and Training and Chief of Naval Personnel in Washington, D.C. He retired from the Navy in 1983. Admiral Zech graduated from the Armed Forces Staff College, the National War College and received a Masters Degree in International Affairs from George Washington University. In addition to campaign and foreign service medals he was awarded two Distinguished Service Medals, two Legions of Merit and the Navy Commendation Medal. On retiring from the Navy he was appointed a Commissioner and later Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission by President Ronald Reagan. During this 5 year appointment he visited all 110 nuclear powered plants in the United States and many plants overseas including Chernobyl after the accident in the then Soviet Union. After retiring from the NRC, he served on the Board of Directors of the Commonwealth Edison Company (now Exelon) for another 5 years and later as a Nuclear Safety consultant. Admiral Zech had been a resident of Falls Church since 1983. He was a parishioner of the Cathedral of Saint Thomas More in Arlington, VA, a supporter of the U.S. Naval Academy, the Archdiocese for the Military Services, U.S.A., the National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton and a member of the Army Navy Country Club. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Josephine K. Zech; five daughters: Janet Z. Cocke (James) of Richmond, VA, Joanne Z. Lyons (Coleman) of Atlanta, GA, Nancy Z. Cunnane (Robert) of Coto de Caza, CA, Carol M. Zech of Arlington, VA and Patricia Z. Nelson (Kirk) of Sammamish, WA.; his 12 grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Also surviving are his brothers, Dr. Robert J. Zech and Dr. Jerome M. Zech, both of Seattle. He was preceded in death by his brother John R. Zech. 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Your True North

Boxing the Compass - Finding our True North and staying true to it
Most of us have come to understand that leadership is about character, not characteristics.  We know what our values are and sometimes struggle to stay true to those values when we see that our seniors continue to progress while not demonstrating that same strict adherence to our Navy core values.  

Some in our community have found strength in maintaining their 'true North' by creating something they have called their personal "Board of Directors" (BoD).  Entrepreneur Bill George has a decent book out called TRUE NORTH GROUPS.  He knows that, with the challenges we face these days, we require additional help to stay on track.  We cannot rely on just ourselves or our commands to help us stay on track.  We need Shipmates in 'our circle of trust'  with whom we can have in-depth discussions and share intimately about the most cherished things in our lives and careers while we serve our country around the world.  

Whatever you choose to call it, you need to have Shipmates you can count on in the toughest of times - the people who will follow-through on things 'because they said they would.'

Saturday, November 4, 2017

From the Commander, TENTH Fleet strategic plan


Accountability: 


For those who depend on us, we will always deliver what we say we deliver.

For those on whom we depend, we will always be clear and exact in communicating our needs.


Words have meaning.  We're missing the mark by a wide margin in both cases above.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Accountability


"Men will not trust leaders who feel themselves beyond accountability for what they do."

Admiral Kinnaird R. McKee
Director, Navy Nuclear Propulsion (1982-1989)

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Landmark decision for the Navy - Standup of OPNAV n2/N6

8 years ago.  How far have we gone?
EFFECTIVE 02NOV09, N2/N6 ASSUMES RESPONSIBILITY FOR INTELLIGENCE, INFORMATION, INFORMATION WARFARE, CYBER, COMMUNICATIONS, NETWORKS, OCEANOGRAPHY, AND SPACE, AS WELL AS MARITIME DOMAIN AWARENESS AND NAVY UNMANNED SYSTEMS. OPNAV RESOURCES ASSOCIATED WITH INFORMATION-CENTRIC PROGRAMS ARE CONSOLIDATED UNDER N2/N6 SPONSORSHIP.

THE STAND UP OF N2/N6 REPRESENTS A LANDMARK TRANSITION IN THE EVOLUTION OF NAVAL WARFARE, DESIGNED TO ELEVATE INFORMATION AS A MAIN BATTERY OF OUR WARFIGHTING CAPABILITIES, AND FIRMLY ESTABLISH THE U.S. NAVY'S PROMINENCE IN INTELLIGENCE, CYBER WARFARE, AND INFORMATION MANAGEMENT. 

TOWARD THIS END, THE STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES OF N2/N6 ARE TO:
A. ELEVATE INFORMATION TO A CORE NAVY WARFIGHTING CAPABILITY.

B. FUNCTIONALLY INTEGRATE INTELLIGENCE, INFORMATION WARFARE, INFORMATION/NETWORK MANAGEMENT, OCEANOGRAPHY, AND GEOSPATIAL INFORMATION FOR INFORMATION AGE OPERATIONS.

C. DELIVER ASSURED COMMAND AND CONTROL AND INFORMATION ACCESS TO OPERATIONAL FORCES.


D. BOLDLY INTRODUCE GAME-CHANGING CONCEPTS, STRATEGIES, AND CAPABILITIES.


E. COORDINATE RESOURCE INVESTMENT TO DELIVER INFORMATION-CENTRIC CAPABILITIES AND COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES.


F. AGGRESSIVELY ACCELERATE EXPERIMENTATION AND INNOVATION WITH INFORMATION CAPABILITIES.


G. DELIVER DEEP MULTI-INTELLIGENCE PENETRATION AND UNDERSTANDING OF POTENTIAL ADVERSARIES, MELDED WITH DEEP MULTI-DOMAIN UNDERSTANDING OF THE OPERATING ENVIRONMENT.


H. DELIVER REMOTELY PILOTED, UNATTENDED, AND AUTONOMOUS CAPABILITIES ADAPTIVELY NETWORKED TO EXTEND REACH, PENETRATION AND PERSISTENCE IN DENIED AREAS.