Wednesday, December 17, 2014

This gem of a book is free - TAKING CHARGE by MGen Perry Smith


... "There is a reason why this is a valuable book: its messages jump out at the reader, not only because they are unmistakably authentic, coming from the mind of a man who has been there himself, but because they also come from the pen of a natural teacher. Perry Smith has a feel for what kind of questions will arise in the minds of his audience and answers them as he goes along. Major General Smith was a "teaching" Commandant of the National War College who could regularly be found in front of a classroom explaining complex things in simple, understandable terms to genuinely interested listeners. He is a master of the art of explanation, which means he is also a master of the art of teaching, which almost always means, as it does in this case, that he is a natural leader as well."

Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale

Link to the book is HERE.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Said no DH, ever ...

"XO, I sincerely appreciate all your help with my department."

Said no CO, ever ...

"I have all the resources I need."

Best of her time - A cryptologist worthy of our considerable attention


One of the best cryptanalysts of her time, Agnes Meyer Driscoll, worked for the Navy as a civilian and was recruited into the Navy as a Yeoman Chief Petty Officer. Known to some as "Miss Aggie" and "Madame X", she was a math and music teacher before joining the Navy in 1918. The Navy introduced her to her life's work in cryptology.

Following World War I, except for a few years in the 1920s when she worked for another cryptographic pioneer, Edward Hebern, Agnes continued in cryptology with the Navy and other organizations (including NSA) for the rest of her career. She is credited with making breaks into most of the Japanese naval codes (JN25) that OP-20-G worked on. 

An interesting side note, she was responsible for training Joseph Rochefort and Laurence Stafford, who would lead the OP-20-G during World War II.

In the Navy, she was without peer as a cryptanalyst. Some of her pupils, like Ham Wright, were more able mathematicians but she had taught cryptanalysis to all of them, and none ever questioned her talent and determination in breaking and ciphers.

Among her uniformed naval colleagues, she was held in the highest esteem throughout her long career, which continued from the office of naval communication to the Armed Forces Security Agency, and then to the National Security Agency.

She was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in 1971 beside her husband Michael Driscoll, a DC lawyer and veteran of WWI.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

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

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Imperfect boss

"Bosses who think they’re great, are the most frightening. It’s usually the strongest leaders who have the lowest tolerance for their bosses’ bungles. Strong leaders think, “I’d never treat MY team THAT way...which PROVES he’s a jerk.” The truth is, he’s just an imperfect human doing the best he can. Just like you."

Karin Hurt
Multiplier of the Year
Selected by the Wiseman Group

From her book OVERCOMING AN IMPERFECT BOSS

Friday, December 12, 2014

VADM Jan E. Tighe - U.S. Fleet Cyber Command: Answering the Evolving Threat

While much is in the news about the national mission and U.S. Cyber Command, the military services’ roles in supporting CYBERCOM as well as their own forces is often less understood. Please join us for a discussion with VADM Tighe about the evolution of the Navy’s Fleet Cyber Command to support strategic and operational missions to overcome the challenges of increasingly advanced cyber threats. The discussion will cover a range of technical and organizational approaches being advanced, and how they aid in 10th Fleet's broad mission as the Navy’s operational authority for cyber, networks, cryptologic/signals intelligence, information operations, electronic warfare, and space capabilities.

YouTube Video is HERE.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Said no XO, ever...

"I'm completely caught up."

New Executive Officer at Navy Cyber Warfare Development Group - Deputy Commander of Task Force 1090


Commander Donovan Oubre recently relieved Captain (select) Boswyck Offord as the Executive Officer of NCWDG and Deputy Commander, Task Force TEN NINETY. Captain Offord will report to OPNAV N2N6F3 in the new year.

NCWDG (TF1090), as the Navy's Center for Cyber Warfare innovation, is a command of about 210 Sailors and civilians directed by TENTHFLT/ FLTCYBERCOM to discover and exploit adversary vulnerabilities and deliver cyber tactics and capabilities to the Fleet.

Captain Andy Stewart is the Commanding Officer of NCWDG and Commander, Task Force TEN NINETY.
DISL Diane Gronewold (Captain, USN, retired) serves as the Executive Director of NCWDG.

Admiral Rickover mused...



"Today many of our naval leaders are actually “cheerleaders,”  making heroic attempts to keep the Navy together with endless exhortations and lectures on the value of leadership. Yet they, themselves, are not knowledgeable enough to instruct or to see that the work has been done properly. What we must recognize is that the purpose of the Navy is to defend the country, not to provide a place for comfortable careers. Because our officers are the cutting edge of our military strength, we can make no compromise with their ability or integrity."

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Sound familiar?

The Navy is raising a generation of officers who believe that technical training is not essential and that they can rely on management techniques to make decisions.

Admiral Rickover

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Everything honorable and glorious

"It follows then as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious."
General George Washington, 1781

Monday, December 8, 2014

Admiral of the Cyber Sea


“No matter how long I live, no matter how many more different jobs I may have, I have already been given the highest reward I’ll ever receive, the privilege and the responsibility of serving very proudly in the United States Navy.”

Rear Admiral Grace Hopper


Vice Admiral Jan E. Tighe is the new "Admiral of the Cyber Sea" as a Ph.D. and the Navy's Senior Engineer leading our Navy's TENTH Fleet and Fleet Cyber Command.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

16th Anniversary of my failure to screen for command - while in command !!



As a Lieutenant Commander, I assumed command of Naval Security Group Activity Yokosuka, Japan (a Commander command) in January 1997 from LCDR Eric Newhouse (the interim CO). The CO previous to Eric had been relieved 6 months earlier, after failing two successive Inspector General inspections - leaving behind demoralized Sailors and a fractured command.

The "Failure to Screen for Command" letter arrived after I had been in command for 23 months and a few days before I put on Commander. Sixteen years later, I remain amused that the Navy bureaucracy put me in O5 command early as a senior O4 and failed to screen me for the job I was already in for nearly two years.  19 days later I received a letter from OPNAV authorizing me to "frock" myself to Commander.

I was not completely surprised by the "FAILURE TO SCREEN FOR COMMAND" letter because a Lieutenant from BUPERS had called two weeks earlier to inform me that I had "FAILED TO SCREEN". What did surprise me was the fact that I had failed to screen for command - a job that I had held for two years, already and no one in my operational or admin chain of command was aware of the failure.

Thankfully, I didn't lose my day job. I post this letter for those who have had to deal with the pain of "Failure of Selection" - whether it be for promotion, command or some other program you desperately want. It's a very painful and emotional thing, one which we try very hard to comprehend. No one ever explained how I failed to screen for a job I already had and was ranked #1. A year later, I "successfully screened" for the assignment that I had been doing for 35 months.