Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Protecting Your Signature/Endorsement

Since most of the letters, memoranda, staff papers, messages, regulations, directives that leaders sign will be prepared by members of their staff, leaders should do an "integrity check" before they sign the paper. The most common violation of integrity is in the personnel system. The admiral who states "this is the best Captain, Commander, or Lieutenant that works for me" can only do this once a year, or he undermines his credibility with the personnel and promotion system. Carelessness in this process hurts all the officers because his signature and endorsement lose all value, and, in fact, sometimes becomes more of a negative factor.

In a similar vein, Naval officers should never be in the business of writing their own personal awards for Fitness Reports/evaluations for approval by higher authority. Most can hide behind the idea of "I just provided bullet input." If your immediate boss doesn't know enough about your performance to write your award himself, maybe you shouldn't get one.

Paraphrased from Maj Gen Perry Smith's Assignment Pentagon

General George Washington said it best:
"Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called - conscience!"

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