Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Certain Aspects of Our Profession Are Fundamental - They Should Never Change

Rear Admiral James S. McFarland and I carried on a regular correspondence for almost 20 years. He was a great mentor and a conscientious note/letter writer. This last response was just before his death in February 2003. We had been exchanging ideas about the future of cryptology in our Naval profession. He was committed to the idea that some aspects of our profession were fundamental and should never change.


He was deeply proud of the 10,000 or so Sailors that comprised the Cryptologic Community. He, more than most, understood the value of those Sailors to the Navy and its mission. He believed in taking care of those Sailors and his Sailors knew it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Recall to active duty

Click on photo for bio

Shipmates,

I am hearing that RADM Sean R. Filipowski has been recalled to active duty.  This is unusual.  I have not heard from him since he retired.  Seems to have gone off the grid.  My letters to him at his farm in NY have gone unanswered. 

Any info?

Thanks
Mike

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Slackness in command




https://www.azquotes.com/quote/41598

The atmosphere of a Navy or a ship is created by the attitude of the officers. Officers are obligated to insure that each of their subordinates knows that the senior officers, and the Navy, do care about men as individuals. Each person in the Navy must have assurance that his progress, his training, his career, and his performance of duty are of concern to the Navy.

Slackness in Command. All major catastrophes in the loss of discipline in all organizations have been preceded by a general slackness in the command. The old saying that a taut ship is a happy ship is still true. The reason is that on a taut ship the officers and the men know where they stand and what is expected of them. There can be complete dependence on one's associates, for lack of reliability will be brought up with a round turn. On such ships, all men do a day's work, not just the conscientious ones. There are no soft billets in a taut outfit. The officers and the men are on the job and require others to be on the job. Chiselers and transgressors are promptly punished while their offenses are still minor.

From:  General Discipline in the Navy, ADM A.A. Burke

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Feedback to my CO in 2003.

Ensigns, don't try this at your command

This is a summary of my 360 degree feedback to a former commanding officer. Skipper, there's no doubt you're going to be a leader in the community; these things may help you.
  • You are a great speaker. Be careful not to lose the feeling behind the words. Words have meaning; actions have con­sequences. Ensure your actions match your words. Some Sailors actually listen to every word. They can sense any hint of insincerity. 
  • Your command philosophy should be written down and distributed widely in the command. This is a huge reason for the CNO's success in the Navy. We all know where he's going and we talk about it. The command wants to follow you. Tell us where you want to go. 
  • Respect our time. Typically, ten or more people are always awaiting your late arrival at some function (staff meeting, wardroom meetings, dinners, graduations, etc). If people believe that you are willing to consistently waste their time, they will stop feeling guilty about wasting yours. 
  • Be consistent with your administration of military justice. It's easy to punish junior members in the command for trivial violations. Applying the same standards across the board does not always work. In fact, the more senior the individual is, the more accountable they should be held for their action or inaction. Everyone is watching and judging. 
  • When senior officers visit the command, maximize their exposure to the junior Sailors of the command. They will benefit the most. 
  • Take your junior officers, Chiefs, and Sailors to lunch or simply go have lunch with them in their mess. Everyone will learn a lot, especially you. 
  • Invite your key command leaders to your home for a social event so they can see how it's done. Juniors need to see how their seniors do this. It's part of the learning process. 
  • Share information with your department heads. It is astounding how much information a commanding officer is exposed to and that is not shared with the department heads. Distributed information is enormously powerful. Your department heads can keep a secret if there is a requirement for secrecy. Trust them. 
  • Don't play favorites with members of the wardroom. It hurts the wardroom and it hurts you. 
  • Focus your calendar on the command 's mission. Ceremonial events and public relations are important, but your time should be spent on those areas the commanding officer can directly influence for the greatest benefit to the command's mission. 
From my January 2007 PROCEEDINGS magazine article "360-Degree Feedback: Can We Handle the Truth?"  You can subscribe to PROCEEDINGS (the professional journal of the U.S. Navy) HERE.


Stay tuned to this blog for the 360-degree feedback I received from everyone following my command tour. It's a very interesting and eye opening experience.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Genius

“Everyone is born a genius, but the process of living de-geniuses them.” 

— R. Buckminster Fuller


For my Shipmate Sean - don't let them de-genius you in your new role. 

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Words of Wisdom from our Shipmate Commander Fred W. Kacher, former CO USS STOCKDALE

"Ethics is not a sometime thing. It is the small everyday decisions that, if handled badly, can erode your moral landscape.”

Commander Fred W. Kacher offers three tips that he has tried to follow in his career: 

do not ignore the little voice in your head, 

do your best in all things at all times, and 

be ready to do the right thing every day, 

because “you don’t get to choose when you’ll be tested.”





Friday, September 28, 2018

Benjamin Franklin's Thirteen Virtues for your consideration



  1. Temperance. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation. 
  2. Silence. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
  3. Order. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time. 
  4. Resolution. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
  5. Frugality. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.
  6. Industry. Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions. 
  7. Sincerity. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly. 
  8. Justice. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
  9. Moderation. Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve. 
  10. Cleanliness. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation. 
  11. Tranquillity. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  12. Chastity. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation. 
  13. Humility. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

My soapbox - writing in 'longhand'


You can read about it HERE.  They were reading my mind.  I have 2 boxes (100 each) of Crane envelopes stamped and ready to go with notecards for the remainder of 2018.  E-Bay provided 100 Admiral Chester Nimitz 50 cent stamps  and I have 100 Forever AIRMAIL stamps. I am prepared to write 1000 notes and letters for the year ending 2018.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

We have a duty to remember their sacrifice - Cryptologic Technicians Earn Purple Hearts

Since the Revolutionary War, the Purple Heart, the world's oldest military decoration in use, has been awarded to service members who have been wounded or killed during any action against an enemy of the United States.


NOTE 1: I have filed three separate requests (two under the Freedom of Information Act) with the Navy for a list of Cryptologic Technicians who have earned the Purple Heart in the Global War On Terror (Overseas Contingency Operations). The Navy (NNWC/OPNAV/Navy PAO) has yet to respond. If you are aware of a CT who has earned the Purple Heart, please leave me a comment.

NOTE 2: I received a note from Navy Safe Harbor - they don't maintain information on those wounded in combat. On 10 January 2010, I received a note from OPNAV stating that they are routing my request to another office for consideration. 

Update: on 25 September 2018 - 8 1/2 years after my initial request - still no answer from the Navy on the number of CTs awarded the Purple Heart in Iraq and Afghanistan).


I have 5 on my list so far.

CTT1 Steven P. Daugherty (deceased)
CTM3 Matt O'Bryant (deceased)
CTI1 Aaron Windle (shot)
CT2 Chad Kueser (mortar round) lost both legs
CTRCS (SW/FMF) David B. McLendon (deceased)

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

New Readers' Poll

People who read this blog can be divided into four groups. 

  • 25% like it for the right reasons.
  • 25% hate it for the wrong reasons.
  • 25% like it for the wrong reasons.
  • 25% hate it for the right reasons.
I'm not sure which group concerns me more.

Friday, September 14, 2018

What Makes A Good Petty Officer? Admiral Arleigh A. Burke has a few ideas.


"Good Petty Officers know what their uniform, their Navy, and their flag stands for. They are proud members of the best fighting organization in the world. The United States Navy.

Good Petty Officers are concerned with their Sailors' individual welfare and their future. They pat their Sailors on the back when they do well, and give them hell when they need it. That way they make better Sailors and make progress. They teach their trade. They encourage. They inspire. They are consistent. They are competitive. Their outfit is the best. They assume responsibility. They give their Sailors responsibility. They pass the word. They create team spirit.

Good Petty Officers put their hearts and souls into their work. They radiate enthusiasm and spark. They know the Navy. They know their rates, and they genuinely appreciate what they know.

Good Petty Officers recognize that success comes from the effort of a larger number of people, not just one or two. The whole organization has to function well, not just a few members."
ADM Arleigh A. Burke

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Problems in the Chief Petty Officer Mess and the Navy, in general? A note from 71 years ago.

As the new Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) works to resolve problems in the Chiefs' Mess and across the Navy, I was reminded of this.
"Unless and until officers conduct themselves at all times as officers, it is useless to demand and hopeless to expect any improvement in the enlisted ranks.
Matters of correct attitude, personal conduct, and awareness of moral obligations do not lend themselves to control by a set of rules or to scientific analysis...Many methods of instruction and different approaches to teaching them will present themselves. Each naval officer must consider himself an instructor in these matters and the future tone of the naval service will depend on the sincerity which he brings to this task."
Admiral T. C. Kinkaid
United States Navy
1947

Saturday, September 1, 2018

HANDWRITTEN NOTES NEVER GO OUT OF STYLE - Aaron Stearns - Bourbon and Boots

@LeahDieterich on Twitter
Check out BOURBON AND BOOTS

In the South, we love to be social.  It's part of our heritage and culture.  You know, waving at the driver in the car when you pass and speaking to a total stranger in the grocery store parking lot.  Another tradition still alive and well in the South is handwritten thank you notes.  Thank you notes never go out of style and express a personal touch that you took the time and effort to express your gratitude. There is something about a handwritten note that expresses a sincerity that just can't be emoted through a quick email or a text message. Since we are all tethered to our mobile devices it's certainly more convenient to shoot out a quick "thanks" text, but that 's the whole point, its convenient for you, not taking a level of effort on your part to slow down and genuinely gather your thoughts to show the person you cared enough to invest some of your time in them.  You may not like the hassle of sending them, but you know how good it feels to receive them. It's always a joy to see that handwritten note in the mail box.  Why not slow down a bit truly and truly express your feelings with a handwritten note.  It is sure to convey your sincerity and will brighten their day.  We've put together some suggestions to ensure your efforts are as genuine and charming as an be.  We hope you enjoy, use this tips, and share with your friends.

  • Buy stationery. Embossed cards with complementary envelopes look much better than folded notebook paper stuffed in a plain envelope. You don't have to splurge on embossed or monogrammed stationery from a specialty store. You can find decent sets at office supply stores and online.
  • Personalize it. Not just in the personalized stationery, but in what you actually say. If you’re going to see the person in the future, refer to the event and say you’re looking forward to it. If the person gave you a silver picture frame, don’t simply thank them for it, but add, “I plan on using the frame for a wedding picture in my living room.”
  • Even if it’s late, send a note. Don’t feel embarrassed. It’s better to send a late thank you than none at all.
  • Take your time. An illegible note won’t do much good and neither will one with scratch marks all over it. Use a nice, fine point pen, so the ink won’t bleed or smudge. Traditionally, thank you notes are written in cursive. Sometimes this can look like a mess if your cursive is not up-to-par, so use your best judgment and do what you think looks best.
  • Send thanks for trivial things. Why not? Whether it’s for a casual get-together or for a neighbor who collected your mail and watered your plants while you were gone, a hand-written note is the best way to show your appreciation. It may also ensure that you’ll get the invite or extra help in the future.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Integrity

First you find yourself overlooking small infractions that you would have corrected on the spot in the past.

Soon you are a participant in these infractions. "After all," you say, "Everybody's doing it."

All too soon you find yourself trapped. You no longer can stand on a favorite principle because you have strayed from it.

Finding no way out, you begin to rationalize, and then you are hooked.

The important fact is, the men who travel the path outlined above have misused the very basic quality and characteristic expected of a professional military man, or any other professional man for that matter.
They have compromised their integrity.
Admiral Arleigh A. Burke, NAVAL LEADERSHIP - Voices of Experience

Note from a reader of the blog: Admiral Burke also included that quote, with the same attribution, in an article entitled "Integrity" in the "Proceedings of the Naval Institute" journal, in their Leadership Forum. I copied the quote from that article. IIRC, the article appeared there in the 1980's.