Monday, June 30, 2008
The time will come when you must stand alone in making a difficult, unpopular decision, or when you must challenge the opinion of superiors or tell them that you can’t get the job done with the time and the resources available . . . There will be moments when your entire career is at risk."
Secretary of Defense, Dr. Robert Gates
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Naval Aviator Number One
At the age of 14 Ellyson saw a fleet of Navy ships enter the harbor at Hampton Roads, Virginia, and was so impressed by the sight that he decided Navy life was for him. Soon after, he boarded a northbound train for Annapolis, hoping to enroll in the Naval Academy. At Annapolis an official asked him why he wanted to become a Navy officer and Ellyson replied without hesitation, "I saw the Fleet come in." "Spuds" loved the Navy so much that he once told his wife, "Even you come second." The only thing he loved as much as the Navy was accomplishing things before anyone else. By 1911, he had successfully merged both passions, becoming the Navy’s first pilot.
-- Taken from the website - http://nationalaviation.blade6.donet.com
- Ellyson was the first naval officer assigned to aviation duty.
- He assisted in the search for a shipboard launching device for airplanes and on September 7th, 1911 made a successful take-off from an inclined wire cable device.
- In 1912 further development led to his successful catapult launching in a seaplane and the Navy’s first flying boat.
The Library of Congress holds most of the written documentation of CDR Ellyson's life. Included in that documentation is the correspondence he shared with with wife, friends, family and fellow Naval Aviators. In today's world there is very little correspondence shared in that way. E-mail and telephone calls are the primary means of communication. Unfortunately for all of us, those exchanges are not recorded for history and thus that rich history is greatly reduced. The value of the written word, largely forgotten, becomes that much more valuable. Heed Admiral Jim Stavridis' words to "read, think, write, publish."
Saturday, June 28, 2008
The Captain carried them all.From The Cruel Sea by Nicholas Monsarrat, as quoted in DESTROYER CAPTAIN by Admiral James G. Stavridis, Commander, U.S. Southern Command
For him, there was no set watch, nor any
established time to rest and retreat from the
harsh conditions of the sea.
He was wonderfully reliable, uncomplaining,
and ready to take any watch, no matter the hour
or the situation.
He was the kind of Captain to have.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Former Secretary of the Air Force, Michael Wynne
"Mike has demonstrated a willingness, at great personal cost, to live by the same standards of accountability he has instilled in so many people over so many years." Secretary of Defense, Dr. Robert Gates upon SECAF's resignation.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
We examined the Navy’s structure, its force development, its doctrinal documents, and its technology acquisitions for the past decade and the next decade to forecast how the demand for domain-specific expertise may change in the future. The areas of domain-specific expertise with the strongest evidence of increasing future importance to the Navy are: (top three)
• Information Warfare
• Information Operations
• Information Technology
From the RAND Report Developing Senior Navy Leaders - Requirements for Flag Officer Expertise Today and in the Future - 2008
He said the problem is based upon a “Napoleonic command and control” structure that makes the cyber organizations fight over who’s in charge. “The technology is not what paces us, it is the culture,” he said. One of the other challenges is building a force of cyber warriors, Cartwright said. He said the military has to figure out the appropriate skills, schools and rank structure to build a force capable of both the “defend and operate skills” and the “exploit and attack skills.”
General James E. Cartwright, VCJCS, USMC
Once those forces are determined, the organizations will have to be built in such a way that they can present those forces to combatant commanders for employment. He said the backbone of the cyber warfare force needs people who are able to use constant innovation and adapt to constant change.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
- Format: HARDCOVER BOOK
- Publish Date:5/12/2008
- Price: $25.99
- Size: 6" x 9"
Five visitors have been selected to get a free copy of this book.
I’m a big fan of Captain D. Michael Abrashoff’s leadership methods and his books. His latest, IT’S OUR SHIP – The No Nonsense Guide to Leadership is the third in a series based on his command tour aboard USS BENFOLD (DDG65) and building on his experiences with leaders in the business world. In this third book, I see Michael’s growth as an author and as a leader. The third book includes some snippets from the story outlined in his first best seller – IT’S YOUR SHIP. Sure to be a best seller in its own right, IT’S OUR SHIP provides a great blend of Michael’s own story with those of other proven leaders in the business world. These are stories worth telling and Michael tells them exceedingly well. In his latest book, he takes you back to USS Benfold, then to
I come at the three books (the second was GET YOUR SHIP TOGETHER) from a different perspective and much more critical eye than most readers. I was commissioned the same year (1982) Michael was – though from Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island rather than the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. We both assumed command in 1997 (though my command was a shore command) and we both worked for the Secretary of Defense (though mine was Donald H. Rumsfeld – as fine, patriotic, and honest a man as ever served (twice) in that demanding position). When I assumed command, I was taking over for an interim caretaker Commanding Officer who was nurturing a command back to health after two failed Inspector General inspections (somewhat like the Operational Propulsion Plant Examination that USS BENFOLD had failed before Michael assumed command). I know first-hand the challenges of command. I retired as a Navy Captain in 2006 with a career spanning 30 years of service as an enlisted Sailor and a commissioned one. I am a Navyman. I fully appreciate the context of his books and the purpose for which they were written. Read these books, apply the principles and watch your people grow, succeed and surpass your expectations.
I know that the leadership principles that Michael outlined in all three books work. They work extraordinarily well, when properly employed. They worked for him, they worked for me, they work for Commanding Officers at sea and ashore today, and they will work for you. Captain Abrashoff is a masterful leader and brilliant storyteller. I’ve gone back to do some research and can’t validate that “virtually all 310 Sailors were deeply demoralized” or that “clearly his (the former CO’s) leadership had failed”, as Michael has described the situation. I say this, because statements like these are toned down a bit in his second and third books, which shows Michael’s growth as both author and leader. While this over-dramatization tells a better story, Arleigh Burke destroyer Sailors are the cream of the crop of surface Sailors. Michael started off in a far better position than a reader might otherwise think, though he and his crew faced significant challenges and overcame them together to achieve remarkable successes by any measure.
Commander Abrashoff assumed command of a nearly new Arleigh Burke destroyer and inherited a crew that suffered the natural trials and tribulations of pre-commissioning a ship and ‘bringing her to life.’ The truth of the matter is that three of the officers under the former CO and the former CO himself are all Navy Flag officers today – the enlisted Sailors of that first crew went on to enjoy great success as well. The first CO of USS BENFOLD was certainly doing something right and continues to do well on active duty today. I think it’s more a matter of different approaches to leadership – there are many ways to effectively command an Arleigh Burke destroyer.
I give you my own insight so that you understand fully that there is no doubting that Commander Abrashoff’s approach is successful – and he fills you with genuine confidence that you can be equally successful (that in itself is a sign of a good leader). Leaders everywhere would do well to make his three books a part of their libraries – but only putting them on the shelf after they have devoured every word. I remain a student of leadership and Michael’s books have contributed greatly to my education. I could have used them at the start, in the middle and at the end of my Navy career. I read and reread them today. And I will, again, tomorrow. I hope you'll join me. You will not regret it.
From February 1946 to June 1949, Dyer was assigned to the Naval Security Station, 3801 Nebraska Avenue, Communications Support Activity in Washington, DC (precursor to the Naval Security Group) as chief of processing and technical director. In 1947, he was designated the first (?) Navy Special Duty Officer (Cryptology). Dyer was a leading member of the Navy contingent that joined the fledgling Armed Forces Security Agency in June 1949 and, along with Captain Laurance Safford, was in charge of all daily AFSA operations.
Taken from the National Security Agency website.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
"Idealists write history's stirring chapters; cynics read those chapters and seem not to understand. Choose to be an idealist. There have always been those who contend that what's wrong with the world is America. Don't believe it."
Former Secretary of Defense, Donald H. Rumsfeld
Monday, June 23, 2008
I asked the good Lord when I took over this responsibility to give me the wisdom to know what is right and the courage to do it. To the best of my ability, I've done that. I made a promise about 38 years ago to Guido Farinaro, Chubby Hale, Whitey Travers, Mike Witt, Little Joe Arnold, Freddie Williams, John Miller, that I would serve this country in whatever capacity I could for as long as I could, and try to do it in a way that would pay respect to the sacrifice that they made following Second Lieutenant Peter Pace in combat."
General Peter Pace, Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, upon his retirement
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Admiral Arleigh Burke speaking about his superior, Admiral Marc A. Mitscher's, leadership abilities. From the book - LEADERSHIP EMBODIED - The Secrets to Success of the Most Effective Navy and Marine Corps Leaders.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Wickes commanded the Reprisal in the Continental Navy.
Friday, June 20, 2008
"So, I ask you: read, think, write, publish."
Admiral James G. Stavridis
Commander, U.S. Southern Command
Author of DESTROYER CAPTAIN
Thursday, June 19, 2008
"A commanding officer should discuss with his officers his philosophy of the mission and importance of the Navy; what he feels his ship contributes to the Navy’s mission, and what the persons in the ship can contribute to the successful accomplishment of the ship’s mission. These discussions should reveal to him which officers are motivated to employ leadership for improved efficiency and which require more motivation and direction.
Such discussions should leave no doubt in the minds of the officers as to the standards expected of them in personal conduct, appearance, and performance. The desired officer-man relationship and the reasons that it is necessary should be well understood by all of them.
The officers should realize that leadership will be recognized and rewarded with additional responsibility and that performance will be objectively and honestly evaluated in fitness reports.
The commanding officer can continue to demonstrate his interest in leadership through personal example, supervision, inspections, discussions, criticism, commendations, discipline, disseminating information, concern for the welfare of individuals, and the many other attributes that have long been required of a dutiful commanding officer, while being ever mindful of the danger of developing “a one man ship.”
Sometimes, we would do well to return to tried and true principles of Naval leadership. This is an excerpt from a Navy Education and Training (NAVEDTRA) Manual published in 1962.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
They have a sense of the command's mission and are committed to the command's goals. High morale, pride, and teamwork are evident at every level.
We need to share more of the best with the rest of the Navy. It is time to reaffirm not only our commitment to personal excellence, but also our commitment to command excellence."
Admiral C. A. H. Trost, Former Chief of Naval Operations
Graduated first in his class from the United States Naval Academy
Get your own Command Excellence materials here.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Secretary of Defense, R. Michael Gates
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Our country, and every Navy man and woman serving at sea or ashore, has the absolute right to expect that our commanding officers will be the finest, and the most responsible, we can provide. I intend to make it so."
Admiral James D. Watkins, U.S. Navy
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Army Secretary - Pete Geren
Friday, June 13, 2008
J. Michael "Mike" McGrath
Navy League National President
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause. Who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."
Theodore Roosevelt, The Man in the Arena
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Some may remember CDR Abrashoff from his command tour aboard USS Benfold. IT'S YOUR SHIP, his book about his very successful command tour, is a great companion tome to Admiral James Stavridis' book DESTROYER CAPTAIN which recently sold out its 'first edition' printing.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Monday, June 9, 2008
President Theodore Roosevelt
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Friday, June 6, 2008
Is it worth it? Every man must speak for himself. As for me, the answer is yes. It has been worth it, over and over again."
Rear Admiral James Calvert
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
"Our relevance lies in our ability to participate in, and add value to, time-sensitive targeting. Our success is measured by the degree to which we shorten the “kill chain” and control or destroy the enemy’s information environment. At the heart of our vision is the unambiguous acknowledgment that cryptology is a critical component of IO. We will achieve information dominance by taking advantage of our command of the sea with a network of highly automated, scalable sensors across all domains – air, sea, undersea and cyber. We will produce time critical information within the vulnerability windows of potential adversaries and deliver offensive, non-kinetic striking power."
Rear Admiral Andrew M. Singer - the final Commander, Naval Security Group Command
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
"The all-volunteer force is a national treasure, but it can’t be squandered. To sustain our Army, we must provide Army families with a quality of life equal to their service. As Army leaders, you must take care of Army families.”
Secretary of the Army Pete Geren to the USMA Class of 2008
Monday, June 2, 2008
Admiral Mike Boorda