Saturday, May 31, 2008

Profession noble in execution

"No profession or occupation is more pleasing than the military; a profession or exercise both noble in execution (for the strongest, most generous and proudest of all virtues is true valor) and noble in its cause. No utility either more just or universal than the protection of the repose or defense of the greatness of one's country. The company and daily conversation of so many noble, young and active men cannot but be well-pleasing to you."

Michel Eyquem De Montaigne
1533-1592, French Philosopher, Essayist

Friday, May 30, 2008

WWII - Unsung heroes of cryptology

"Technical research and development played key roles in the victory at sea--reflected most dramatically in the wartime application of radar on U.S. surface ships, submarines, and aircraft. The unsung heroes of cryptology and intelligence made decisive contributions throughout the war."

Captain Edward Beach

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Value of the IW Community

"In my mind, the value of the Information Warfare Community lies in the expertise of the Information Warfare Officers, the Cryptologic Technicians, civilians and government contractors supporting them. To sustain the IW Community, we must encourage those habits in ourselves and our subordinates which develop and improve the IW Community's underlying body of knowledge. We need to do this through both formal and informal collaboration. Ideally, we ought to get to a genuinely collaborative environment where we value "learning" more than "knowing". Wouldn't that be great?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Question where the organization is headed

“Few things are more vital to an organization than someone who has the moral courage to question the direction in which the organization is headed and then the strength of character to support whatever decision is made.” “That is real loyalty.”

Mullen said officers — even ensigns and second lieutenants — have an obligation to speak up when they think things aren’t going well and to ask tough questions of their superiors when those questions are required. Officers then must support whatever decision superiors make — or resign their commissions if they feel they cannot, he said. Officers must “obey the orders we have been given, carrying them out with the professionalism and loyalty they deserve, or vote with our feet.”


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Expect opposition

"Don't be afraid to think for yourself - to take risks, and try new things. You may meet resistance along the way - expect opposition - but don't be dissuaded. Progress in life has come generally from those who swim upstream."

Donald Rumsfeld, former Secretary of Defense

Monday, May 26, 2008

Cryptologists give warfighters the edge

"I think the other services have a loss they can never recoup. The cryptologic community has been responsible for giving the edge to our warfighters in winning more battlefield successes than any single community within the military. Cryptologists have the only skill sets to tell enemy intent. Any intelligence officer can tell you enemy location; enemy movement; and enemy order of battle; but it takes a special skill to determine enemy intent.

We (cryptologists) always like to point to the World War II success at the Battle of Midway as the crowning moment in cryptology. Hal Holbrook plays Commander Joe Rochefort in the movie "Midway" where they (cryptologists) break the Japanese code. Today, we still have those different colored housecoats like the ones he wore in the movie. Mine is blue and hangs alongside my raincoat collection.

I think as time progresses and certain documents become declassified, other significant successes will come to light, but as we move into the future, the Navy will be the only service with a trained cadre of personnel capable of taking the cryptologic skills of the past into the information warfare of tomorrow."

Captain David E. Meadows, United States Navy - retired - in an interview with Christy Tillery French

Author of THE SIXTHFLEET series, his lastest book FINAL RUN was released on 6 May 2008.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sailors should be running the world

“Sailors, with their built-in sense of order and discipline, should really be running the world.”

Admiral (Lord) Louis Mountbatten

It is a little known fact (in American circles) that Lord Mountbatten was a signals officer (cryptologist/communicator?). He graduated first in his class from the Signals course. He was the senior Signals officer in the British Navy. He also wrote their first comprehensive text on wireless communications.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Focus on tomorrow's problem

“If a ship has been sunk, I can't bring it up. If it is going to be sunk, I can't stop it. I can use my time much better working on tomorrow's problem than by fretting about yesterday's. Besides, if I let those things get me, I wouldn't last long.”

Admiral Ernest J. King

Friday, May 23, 2008

How might we have done better

Here's a lesson worth learning from Major General Hunter Liggett, commander of the American Expeditionary Force's I Corps in the Argonne Forest, in World War I.

On 12 November, 1918, twenty four hours after the Armistice, General Pershing visited the I Corps headquarters, and found the corps commander pouring over his maps. "Don't you know the war's over?" asked a bemused Pershing. Liggett replied, "I'm trying to see where we might have done better."

We must always ask ourselves - "how might we have done better."

From Colonel Adolf Carlson's National Defense University paper - "A Chapter Not Yet Written"

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The McCain Line - long and strong

The McCain men - John Sidney McCain Sr, Jr, III and IV and Jimmy create quite a lineage of service to the Navy, the Marine Corps and our Nation. Two 4 star admirals, a Captain, a USNA midshipman and a combat hardened United States Marine.

Politics aside, these men share a sense of patriotism that must rival that of the Sullivan brothers. An Arleigh Burke destroyer proudly sports their name and is certain acknowledgement that our Navy values their service. America is lucky to have men such as these. They are strong threads in the rich fabric of leadership that have woven the cloth of our nation.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Navy Wife

She lived in 40 homes, raised four children, "kept the books and made life rich in tiny nooks," her husband wrote a few years ago in a poem titled "Tribute to A Golden Partner."

You raised morale on many ships, solved many family problems on ocean trips.

"She was an important member of the official party, meeting with Navy wives, American and allied, helping them with their problems, raising their spirits, and calling my attention to many things I had no other way of finding out about," Zumwalt said of his loving wife, Mouza Coutelais-du-Roche Zumwalt.

From her obituary in the Washington Post after her death on 25 August 2005.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Mickey Mouse - Elimination of


Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, Z-Gram 57 (extract)

Monday, May 19, 2008

VADM Bernard F. Roeder - First Commander of the Naval Security Group

Acknowledged as the first Commander of the Naval Security Group, VADM Bernard F. Roeder graduated with distinction from the United States Naval Academy in 1931. Admiral John S. McCain was a classmate of his at USNA.

His first assignment was in Long Beach, California aboard USS LEXINGTON in 1936. He served in the predecessor organization of the Naval Security Group performing communications, planning and direction finding activities twice before assuming command of the entire organization.

He served as COMNAVSECGRU from Nov 1957 - Jun 1960.

In the early 1960s, the Navy recognized that there was a requirement for a survivable communications platform immune to hostile military action. This communications link would connect the President to our Nation's ballistic missile submarines. As Director of Naval Communications, RADM Bernard F. Roeder, tasked Lieutenant Jerry O. Tuttle (JOT) with creating this unique platform with the succinct direction "Take charge and move out!" The acronym, TACAMO, was born.

From 1965-1966, he was Commander, Amphibious Force, Pacific Fleet.

From 1966-1969, he was Commander, FIRST Fleet embarked in USS SAINT PAUL (CA-73).

He died in 1970 from a heart attack while serving on active duty.

If you have addition information or a photo of VADM Roeder, please e-mail me.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sunshine patriots

"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph."

Thomas Paine in 1778, warned Americans about false patriots who wave the flag on sunny days, but fail to uphold liberty in stormy weather.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Armed Forces Day

"Today let us, as Americans, honor the American fighting man. For it is he--the soldier, the Sailor, the Airman, the Marine--who has fought to preserve freedom. It is his valor that has given renewed hope to the free world that by working together in discipline and faith our ideals of freedom will always prevail."

Admiral Forrest P. Sherman

Eye of the tiger

"Times of change have a way of placing a premium not on narrow, specialized knowledge, but on breadth of understanding and clear thinking. For this, our military education system is the best in the world.

We produce officers who, while well trained in their technical specialties, can also calmly gaze into the eye of the tiger when it comes to problems of international politics, grand strategy, force modernization and restructuring, or the complex consequences of future technology.

I place my faith in them. They are in for some exciting times."

Admiral David Jeremiah

Friday, May 16, 2008

A remarkable Sailor was born on this date

CTT1 (SW) Steven Daugherty was born today (my birthday) in 1979. No one thought he would leave this earth before he was 30, 40, 50 or even 60 years old. But, the young man is gone. Gone, but not forgotten. No. Not by a long shot.

He was from Barstow, California and really never intended to join the Navy. He was a student in my schoolhouse at the Naval Center for Cryptology at Corry Station, Pensacola. We had about 8000 students graduate in a year. So, I can't say that I even recall who he was. That won't keep me from remembering him.

After his time at Corry, he served in the typical billets of our young Petty Officers. He went to sea and advanced reasonably quickly. While at Navy Information Operations Command Norfolk he became interested in the SEALs and qualified to deploy to a U.S. Navy SEAL team operating in Iraq. He advanced to Petty Officer First Class (E-6) at a pretty good pace.

On 6 July 2007 (my daughter's birthday) he was killed in Iraq by an improvised explosive device (IED).

We can argue about whether Steven Daugherty was a hero or not. We can't argue about his patriotism. There is no doubting that.

Carry on - a remarkable Sailor died today

"Our charge today is clear: Carry on.

Lead with zeal, serve with pride, learn about and honor our heritage . . . and that will be the Admiral Boorda legacy and the only really fitting memorial and with it will come the strength to carry on.

God Bless you, Admiral Boorda. We love you and will forever miss you."

MCPON John Hagan

Thursday, May 15, 2008

RADM Eugene S. Ince

RADM Eugene S. Ince was the seventh Commander, Naval Security Group Command from August 1978 - September 1980. He was a Naval Aviator who served with VA-115 (ARABS). He also served on the Staffs of Commander - SEVENTH Fleet, CINCPACFLT and CINCLANTFLT. He served on active duty from June 1949 to October 1980.

If you have additional information about RADM Ince, please shoot me an e-mail.

Here is a story by RADM Ince and his wife

An Evening at Waldorf
A true story about a young couple in love and the magical thing that happened to them at the most famous hotel in the world

By Jean and Bud Ince

Bud: One rainy October evening, 30 years ago, I sat in my room at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, staring at a navigation lesson and thinking of Jean. I had met her the previous August in Chicago and had fallen in love. Three days later I was back in Annapolis, surrounded by rules and regulations, while she was a thousand miles away, surrounded by eligible bachelors. Things looked bleak, indeed.

There was one bright spot on the horizon. Jean was coming to Philadelphia for the Army-Navy game in November. We had been invited to spend the weekend with my uncle and aunt in New York. If there was any hope for me, that weekend was going to have to be one she would never forget. I shoved my books aside and wrote the following letter:

The Manager
The Waldorf-Astoria
New York City, New York

Dear Sir:

On Saturday, November 27th, I expect to pick my way across the prostrate bodies of the West point football team to a seat in Municipal Stadium where a girl will be waiting. We will hie away to the railroad station and entrain for New York. Once there we will take a taxi to your hotel, and that, dear sir, is where you and the Waldorf-Astoria come in.

I am very much in love with this young lady, but she has not yet admitted to an equivalent love for me. Trapped as I am in this military monastery, the chances I have to press my suit are rare indeed. Therefore, this evening must be the most marvelous of all possible evenings, for I intend to ask her to be my wife.

I would like a perfect table. There should be candlelight, gleaming silver and snowy linen. There should be wine and a dinner that will be the culmination of the chef's career.

At precisely midnight, I would like the orchestra to play "Navy Blue and Gold" very softly. And then I intend to propose.

I would appreciate it very much if you could confirm this plan and also tell me approximately what the bill will be. I am admittedly not getting rich on $13 a month, but I have put a little aside.

Very truly yours,
E. S. Ince
Midshipman, U.S.N.

The minute the letter was gone I regretted having sent it. It was callow, smart-alecky and, above all, presumptuous. The manager of the most famous hotel in the world was certainly not interested in the love life of an obscure midshipman. The letter would be thrown into the wastebasket where it belonged.

One week went by and then another. I forgot about the letter and tried frantically to think of some other way to convince Jean in 36 hours that she should spend the rest of her life with me. Then one morning I found on my desk an envelope upon which was engraved "The Waldorf-Astoria." I tore it open and read:

Dear Midshipman Ince:
Your very nice letter has been receiving some attention from our staff here. Just for fun I am going to attach the suggestions of our Ma tre d', the famous René Black. "Black pearls of the Sturgeon from the Caspian Sea, stuffed into the claws of lobsters, and eulogizing the God of the Oceans. "The Filet of Pompano known as the Demoiselle of the Atlantic, placed in a paper bag with the nomenclature 'Greetings from the Poseidon.' "The Breast of Chicken served in a little nest to represent the safety of the ketch, with its escort of vegetables and green salad."

"An excellent dessert bearing the nomenclature 'Ritorna vincitor' from Aida, and little galettes. A sweet liqueur to seal the anticipation.

"The price of this manoeuvre, including wines, champagne, gratuities, flowers and music, will be in the vicinity of one hundred dollars, with which we hope your little cache is fortified for complete victory."

Frankly, unless you have private resources, I think it is entirely unnecessary to spend so much money. I would be happy to make a reservation for you in the Wedgwood Room and will see to it that you have a very nice table, the best of attention, flowers - and you and your girl order directly from the menu whatever intrigues you. You certainly can have a couple of cocktails and very nice dinners and a bottle of champagne for one third of what René Black suggests. However, you are the only one who can make the decision so let me know how you would like to have us arrange your little party.

Best wishes.
Cordially yours,
Henry B. Williams

P.S.: I think your delightful letter inspired our Mr. Black.

I was thunderstruck with excitement and gratitude. But also dismayed. I didn't have even close to one hundred dollars saved. Regretfully, I wrote Mr. Williams that he had made a closer estimate of my resources than had Mr. Black, and I would appreciate it if he would reserve a table for me.

Days went by with no confirmation of my reservation. I was sure that my letter had never reached Mr. Williams, or that the whole thing had been taken as a joke. Finally, it was the weekend of November 27. The Brigade of Midshipmen watched their inspired team hold highly favored Army to a 21-21 tie in a thrilling football game. Afterward, I rushed to meet Jean, and she was just as pretty and wonderful as I had remembered her.

On the train to New York I showed Jean the letter from Mr. Williams. I told her that I wasn't sure we had a reservation, or whether we should even go to the Waldorf. We decided that we should.

We walked into the lobby. To the right, at the top of some steps, was the Wedgwood Room. There was a velvet rope at the bottom of the steps, and another at the top, with a major-domo posted at both places.

A crowd of fashionably dressed couples was waiting for admittance. I looked at Jean, and she at me.

Finally, I gulped, "Here goes," and went fearfully up to the first major-domo. "Sir," I said, "I am Midshipman Ince, and I wonder if you happen to have a reservation for me."

Like magic he swept away the rope! "Indeed we do," he said, and we saw the headwaiter at the top of the steps smiling and saying, "Midshipman Ince?" "Yes, sir," I managed. "Right this way," he said, and snapped his fingers. A captain led us across the room toward a beautiful table. Two waiters were leaning over it, lighting tall white candles...

Jean: Walking ahead of Bud, I looked in amazement at the table. Centered between the candles in a low white vase were flowers, a white stephanotis and pink sweetheart roses. When the red-coated waiter seated me I saw a box at my place. I opened it and found a corsage of white baby orchids.

The menu was hand-painted in watercolor. A gray Navy ship steamed toward the upper righthand corner, and highlighted on the left was a sketch of a girl's head with blue lovebirds in her hair.

At the moment our excitement over the flowers, the table and the menu had subsided to a point admitting of intrusion, our waiter said to Bud, "Would you like a cocktail?"

We agreed that we would like a Manhattan, and that was the only question we were asked all evening.

The dinner began. Silver sparkled and crystal glistened in the candlelight. Eddy Duchin and his orchestra played in the background. Service was constant, attentive, unobtrusive, and each course was more lovely than the one that came before it.

About halfway through our dinner a distinguished gentleman with silvery-gray hair and a large Gallic nose approached our table. "I am René Black, I just came over to make sure that you were not angry with me." Bud leaped to his feet and I beamed, as we poured out our thanks to the man who had planned this evening. He drew up a chair and sat down and talked, delighting us with anecdotes of his continuing love affair with his wife and of the origin of omelets, and a wonderful tale of a dinner party he gave his regiment in France during World War I. When we asked him if he had painted the menu, he smiled, turned it over, and quickly sketched the head of a chef with his pen. Under it he wrote, "Si l'amour ne demande que des baisers à quoi bon la gloire de cuisinier?" (If love requires only kisses, of what use is the fame of the cook?)

After Mr. Black left, I looked at Bud. I had made plans to come to see the Army-Navy game and to spend the weekend with him. But I wondered how I would feel about the dashing midshipman I had met so briefly last summer.

Now, here we were in the Waldorf-Astoria in New York. We had just talked with the famous Ren Black; we had been served a dinner to delight royalty and were sipping wine together. How wonderful!

Bud: A few moments later Eddy Duchin left his bandstand and came to our table. The legendary orchestra leader was warm and friendly as he talked about the great game Navy had played that afternoon; he himself had served in the Navy during World War II. When Jean's attention was distracted for a moment, he leaned over to me and whispered, "'Navy Blue and Gold' at midnight. Good luck!" He rose, grinning, and walked back to his piano.

We were sipping a liqueur when the waiter told me there was a telephone call for me in the lobby. I followed him, wondering who in the world could be calling, only to find the headwaiter waiting just outside the door. He handed me the bill and said, "We thought you might prefer not to have this brought to your table." I turned it over fearfully and looked at the total. It was $33, exactly what I had written Mr. Williams I could afford. It was clear to me that this amount couldn't even begin to cover the cost of the evening to the Waldorf, and equally clear that the reason the bill was presented with such finesse was to save me embarrassment had I not had $33. I looked at the headwaiter in amazement, and he smiled and said. "Everyone on the staff hopes that all goes well for you."

Jean: Bud came back to the table gleaming, and, in answer to my curiosity about the telephone call, said, "It was nothing important. Shall we dance?" I felt his hand on my arm, guiding me gently to the dance floor. Other couples danced about us, chatting and smiling. I saw only Bud. We were living a fairy-tale evening, and it was all real. "I'm in Iove!" I thought. "How wonderful. I'm in love."

Bud: At five minutes till midnight, we were sitting at our table in a glow of happiness. Suddenly the wine steward appeared at my side with a small bottle of champagne. He opened it with a subdued "pop" and filled two crystal goblets with the sparkling wine. I raised my glass to Jean, and at that moment the orchestra drummer ruffled his drums. Eddy Duchin turned to us and bowed. He raised his hand and brought it down; suddenly we heard the melody of that most beautiful and sentimental of all college alma maters. "...For sailormen in battle fair since fighting days of old have proved the sailor's right to wear the Navy Blue and Gold." I looked at Jean, my wonderful Jean, and with a lump in my throat said, "Will you marry me?"

Jean: Bud and I were married the following June. Now, 30 years later, with our five children grown and the Midshipman a Rear Admiral, we sometimes turn the pages of the lovely wedding gift we received from Mr. Williams, a handsomely bound limited edition of the history of the Waldorf-Astoria. In it one can read of the princes and potentates, presidents and kings, who have been guests of that glamorous hotel. But there is one evening that is not included there, an evening in which kind, warmhearted, gently romantic men opened a door of happiness for a young couple in love. That evening is ours, and its testimony is Mr. Black's wedding gift. Framed and displayed in a place of honor on our dining-room wall, it is a watercolor sketch of a little chef tending his spit in an ancient kitchen. Printed in Mr. Black's familiar hand across the top, the words are repeated:

Si l'amour ne demande que des baisers à
quoi bon la gloire de cuisinier

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Capacity to lead

"I fundamentally believe that within each and every one of us lies the capacity to lead. No matter where we stand in the chain of command, we all have a responsibility to develop our leadership potential and that of the Sailors in our charge."

Admiral Michael G. Mullen,
former Chief of Naval Operations

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Is there a story out there that is more disheartening?

This story, if true, could not be any more disheartening. RADM Stufflebeem seemed to be a 'picture perfect' naval officer. If this is not true, I hope he will come to his own defense because I don't think anyone else will. If the DoD IG is guilty of a 'hatchet job', I hope that the IG resigns. I can't see RADM Stufflebeem walking away from this if it is a lie. I guess time will tell.

Monday, May 12, 2008

R E J E C T E D !!!

Received my first (ever) rejection from the United States Naval Institute PROCEEDINGS magazine. They rejected my article on "The Navy is already one of the Top 100 Best Places to Work in America." You can still read it at article.

We are in good shape

"As we "tighten up" the budget, reduce our strength and pay attention to various congressional mandates - lots of bum dope is going to seep out around the edges. It comes from people as well as Navy Times. I have noticed a tendency to assume the worst, kind of a "doom and gloom" attitude. Some of that is human nature - too much of it seems to be endemic to the Security Group.

We're going to work hard to give you straight, accurate dope - you work hard to make
sure our people are dealing with facts not fiction. Make sure the leadership stays in touch and keeps a positive attitude. We are in good shape and we'll keep it that way."

Rear Admiral James S. McFarland, 1988, as Commander Naval Security Group Command

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Extraordinary levels of effectiveness

"Network Centric Warfare (NCW) enhances the U.S. Armed Forces’ ability to combine into a seamless, joint, coalition warfighting force. When implemented, it takes full advantage of the trust we place in our junior and noncommissioned officers. As information moves down echelon, so does decision making. Thus, smaller joint force packages can possess more flexibility and agility and are able to wield greater combat power than before.

NCW generates new and extraordinary levels of operational effectiveness. It enables and leverages new military capabilities while allowing the United States and our multinational partners to use traditional capabilities with more speed and precision."

Vice Admiral Arthur K. Cebrowski
Director - Office of Force Transformation
Office of the Secretary of Defense

In my recollections of Admiral Cebrowski from the 1994-1995 timeframe, he was helping Rear Admiral Thomas F. Stevens, Commander Naval Security Group Command, socialize "Information Warfare" across the OPNAV Staff. Admiral Cebrowski was a futurist and really believed in the power of IW. He helped COMNAVSECGRU become the Navy's executive agent for IW implementation.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Network Centric Warfare is an exciting reality

"We are leveraging the explosion of information technologies to enable a fundamental change in the way our navy will operate in the 21st century. It’s called Network Centric Warfare, and it may be the most dramatic change in naval warfare since the advent of carrier aviation. By netting sensors and shooters in a seamless information and battle-management grid, we will achieve dominant battlefield awareness and by combining forward presence with network-centric combat power, we will close timelines, decisively alter initial conditions, and head off undesired events before they start, locking out our adversaries options, and locking in our success.

We call this “speed of command” and it gives us the ability to rapidly collect information, assess the situation, develop a course of action, and swiftly execute with overwhelming effect. Information dominance will give us the speed, deception and surprise necessary to create and exploit enemy vulnerabilities, to seize rapidly fleeting opportunities, and to shift the tactical and operational situation to our advantage. We will apply combat power in a high-tempo continuum, not in incremental steps, to keep the enemy disoriented and reactive, unable to take the initiative or carry out a coherent plan of action.

Network Centric Warfare is an exciting reality."

Former Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Jay Johnson in 1998 at the Current Strategy Forum

Friday, May 9, 2008

The First Navy SEAL

'I'll try it, Sir; I'll do my best.'

Lieutenant William Barker Cushing's words to the Assistant
Secretary of the Navy Fox before his successful sinking of the CSS Albemarle.

All through the civil war William B. Cushing
distinguished himself by signal acts of perilous adventure. He combined coolness and sound judgment with a courage unsurpassed, and on all occasions proved himself a valuable officer. (From his obituary in the New York Times).

Though SEALs did not exist during the Civil War, Cushing
has often been called 'the first Navy SEAL.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

America's first Admiral

"America's first Admiral possessed all the attributes of a great commander: intelligence, confidence, determination, and boldness. He remained aware of the overall tactical situation even as the battle raged around him and his ability to devine the decisive moment for action was almost uncanny.

Courage was Farragut's most prominent attribute. His courage arose from his stalwart sense of duty to God, country, the Navy and the men under his command. He was a good judge of character, confident in own officers' judgment and abilities, and was able to give them the leeway they needed to get things done.

He was honest, kind, approachable, sentimental, dignified without being stiff, and possessed a good sense of humor. The competent officers and men who served under him not only respected and admired him, but also had genuine affection for him."

From Dr. Robert J. Schneller's Jr's excellent biography

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

To my Sailors...

"If you care to do so, you can do something for me. That is take care of each other. Be honorable. Do what is right. Forgive when it makes sense, punish when you must, but always work to make the latter unnecessary by working to help people be all they really can and should be. My idea of one-on-one leadership really will work if you let it and honestly apply it. We have great leaders, and I know you'll succeed."

"Finally, for those who want to tear our Navy down, I guess I've given them plenty to write about for a while. But I will soon be forgotten. You, our great Navy people, will live on. I am proud of you. I am proud to have led you if only for a short time. I wish I had done it better.''

Admiral Mike Boorda, former Chief of Naval Operations

Admiral Boorda shot himself in the chest on 16 May 1996, my 40th birthday, while I was home on leave from COMSEVENTHFLT embarked in USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19) forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan. When I got the news shortly after 2pm that day, I was overcome by grief. I will never forget him or the day it happened. More than a year before his suicide, he had visited the Blue Ridge and got the Chiefs and Sailors all fired up over the Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist (ESWS) program. After his visit, the ship put on a full court press to get all the Sailors qualified ASAP. 1/2 of my First Class Petty Officers were assigned Extra Military Instruction (EMI) for being delinquent in their qualifications. In 1994-1995 I met Admiral Boorda many times while I was the Flag Aide to the Commander, Naval Security Group Command. Small in stature, the man was a GIANT among Sailors. I loved hearing him speak. I always thought he was talking to me personally. The Sailors loved him - every one of them. And with good reason, he was someone who loved them back. His suicide was a TRAGEDY for our Navy.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Information Warfare Officers

"The key to success for IW officers is first and foremost sustained superior performance in increasingly demanding operational and leadership tours, at sea or ashore, culminating in command or major command for Commanders and Captains.

Successful IW officers strive to grow and develop by seeking jobs that are beyond their comfort zone. IW officers should understand the tenets of Information Operations, sensor and weapons, and national/strategic systems capabilities and limitations, and how to optimally use IW capabilities for “effects-based” warfare.

IW officers typically prove their value to the Navy during fleet operational tours where specific IW competencies are demonstrated and developed. To succeed in operational fleet tours, IW officers mcust understand and broker national/strategic systems and architecture, target and regional expertise, leading edge communications, networks and radar technology, and masters-level techniques for dominating the information domain.

IW officers deliver value to the nation through tours at National Security Agency Cryptologic Centers by capitalizing on warfighting competencies in joint and naval operations; understanding the kill chain; operations and contingency planning of IW, and, most importantly, knowledge of what the joint and naval commanders need most from national/strategic systems.

IW officers must be prepared to lead change and lead people. They must seize the initiative, motivate people, effectively apply resources, and execute the mission. These leadership traits coupled with sustained superior performance in operational assignments are the hallmark of success for IW officers and should guide the selection board when determining the best qualified officers for promotion."

RADM Edward H. Deets, in his SECNAV approved Information Warfare Community brief for promotion selection boards

Monday, May 5, 2008

Key to victory...Navy Information Warfare

"The key to victory has not been merely having new technology available, but how a warrior has been innovative and used that technology to his advantage in combat. Navy Information Warfare is no different – we need to approach every system, newly installed or already in place, with a long-term view of how to exploit the rapid development of information systems."

Admiral Robert Natter, former Commander, Fleet Forces Command

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Destroyer Captain

Lessons of a First Command This memoir of James Stavridis' two years in command of the destroyer USS Barry reveals the human side of what it is like to be in charge of a warship--for the first time and in the midst of international crisis.

By Adm. James Stavridis, USN,
Commander U.S. Southern Command

Check it out at

I bought 12 copies of this book and Admiral Stavridis was kind enough to inscribe each one personally for me. This book is excellent reading for students of leadership. I am reading it for the second time. I don't want to miss a single word. Very tough assignment to be a Commanding Officer of an Arleigh Burke destroyer. One man is responsible for about $1B worth of equipment and the lives of over 300 Sailors - the sons and daughters of America. They call him Captain.

Worth living for. Worth dying for.

"Son, there is no greater thing than to die for the country and principles that you believe in."

Vice Admiral John McCain

Intelligence in the right hands

"Forty years ago this summer, I began my first tour as an Ensign in Vietnam in the Mobile Riverine Force. As a 24-year old Line Officer in the Mekong Delta, I learned then what I’ve been reminded of ever since: lives are saved, and America’s cause is advanced, when the right intelligence is in the right hands at the right time.

That is the enduring mission of our Intelligence Community, and the animating force of our professionals.

I look forward to working with you to meet the challenges before us. As before in World War II and the Cold War, so much depends on our success."

J.M. McConnell
Director of National Intelligence

Friday, May 2, 2008

The "five B's"

Some people call these the "five B's".

The first one is -
Be honest. Tell the truth, do what is right. The rewards are many, though it won’t always be the easy thing to do.

Be decisive. Consider the facts, weigh the consequences, check that inner compass, and then make a decision. Don’t be wishy-washy, but don’t be afraid to listen to criticism.

Be upbeat. Enthusiasm is infectious, and doesn’t cost a penny and it pays huge dividends when times are challenging.

Be a team player. Know your position and play it well. It conveys to sports – it conveys to life - and it conveys a career in the service. Help those around you to be better at what they do. Don’t be afraid to tell the rest of the team when it is steering the wrong course.

Finally, be committed. Be committed to being the very best person that you can be.

Admiral Jay Johnson, former Chief of Naval Operations

Thursday, May 1, 2008

They row for freedom

"Before the Great Battle of Salamis, Themistocles, the Greek admiral, called his volunteers together - the men who would the next day literally row the galleys - the ships, the trireme galleys of war. And he said to them, "tomorrow you must row for your children. Tomorrow you must row for your parents. Tomorrow you must row for your city."

"And tomorrow," he said, "you must row for freedom."

"My friends, that is what everyone of your soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and coastguardsmen do today - they row for freedom."

Admiral James Stavridis, Commander Southern Command