Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Motivating the Crew - Flag Correspondence

This is a letter from former Commander, Naval Security Group Command - RDML (at the time) James S. McFarland while I was Officer in Charge of Naval Security Group Barbers Point, Hawaii. I received this note almost a year into my tour (to the day). He sent a note of thanks to all the places he visited and to many of the hot running young Sailors he met along the way.

RDML McFarland had just visited our small detachment on a worldwide tour that took him to over a dozen Naval Security Group sites in the Far East and through SouthWestAsia. His hand was blistered and calloused from all the hands he shook of the Sailors he met. When he visited my detachment, he already knew all my Sailors by name. I'm not sure if it was good staff work or simply a great memory.

He corresponded regularly with his Commanding Officers and Officers in Charge. He sent a quarterly letter to the entire Naval Security Group claimancy once a quarter to keep everyone on the same page.

On these trips he usually brought a couple of the reps from the CNSG HQ to listen to issues and provide 'on the spot' assistance where they could. On this trip, he brought a recent lateral transfer to the cryptologic community by the name of Andrew M. Singer. You could tell instantaneously that this guy had it all in one seabag. The NSG team had a great visit with my crew. The crew went on to win two Meritorious Unit Citations, one Navy Unit Citation, the National Security Agency's TOP TEN Signals Award and honorable mention for our Sailor retention program. Not to mention - the three RADM G. Patrick March Awards for language proficiency - all presented by RADM March himself.

RDML McFarland's letters served as great motivation for me and my crew. I had nominated one of my linguists (Tim Kalvoda) for a Flag Letter of Commendation for achieving the SILVER level in the Samuel F.B. Morse Award program. RDML McFarland had his awards secretary (Mary Jo Crisp) call me to say, "If you don't mind,RDML McFarland would like to upgrade his award to a Navy Achievement Medal." RDML McFarland was just that kind of man. All of our linguists were dual-qualified (and mostly self-taught) as Manual Morse operators and Tim Kalvoda had achieved a level of expertise that some Cryptologic Technician Collection (CTRs) were not even capable of reaching.

What a great crew ! What a great Admiral ! What a great man ! And, I heard that Andrew M. Singer guy turned out to be a pretty good cryptologist - even if he had been a SWO first.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

McFarland was the best NSG the Navy ever saw.