Saturday, February 28, 2009

Sustain a world of liberty and justice

"For in this modern world, the instruments of warfare are not solely for waging war. Far more importantly, they are the means for controlling peace. Naval officers must therefore understand not only how to fight a war, but how to use the tremendous power which they operate to sustain a world of liberty and justice, without unleashing the powerful instruments of destruction and chaos that they have at their command."

Admiral Arleigh Burke, CNO, 1 August 1961, Change of command address at Annapolis, MD

Friday, February 27, 2009

Some Folks Just Never Get The Message

Today's technology allows a Naval message to be transmitted completely around the world in .2 seconds, yet it may take an eternity for the message to make it from the outside of our heads to the inside. And...some folks just never get the message. You know what I am talking about.

A good officer knows he should take a little more than his share of the blame and a little less than his share of the credit. That's just how it is done. Sailors see right through us. We're not fooling anyone except, perhaps, ourselves.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Stand Up !! Don't...

The level of discipline is in large part what the officers in any unit choose to make it. The general aim of regulations is to set an overall standard of conduct and work requirement for all concerned. Training schedules, operational directives and other work programs serve the same end. But there is still a broad area in which the influence of every officer is brought to bear. To state what is required is only the beginning; to require what is stated is the positive end. The rule of courtesy may be laid down by the book; it remains for the officer, by setting the good example for his men, to stimulate their acceptance of orderly military habits. A training schedule may stipulate that certain tasks be carried out, but only the officer in charge can assure that the work will be done faithfully.

The level of discipline should at all times be according to what is needed to get the best results from the majority of dutiful individuals. THERE IS NO PRACTICAL REASON FOR ANY STERNER REQUIREMENT THAN THAT, AND THERE IS NOT MORAL JUSTIFICATION FOR COUNTENANCING ANYTHING LESS. Discipline destroys the spirit and working loyalty of the general force when it is pitched to the minority of discontented, undutiful people within the organization, whether to punish or to appease them. When this common sense precept is ignored, the results invariably are unhappy.


The key is "steady strain on all lines." If you can maintain steady strain on all lines, there is never a need for "safety, liberty behavior, cultural, security, sexual harassment, financial, core values or any other kind of STAND DOWN. STAND DOWN means you have lost your focus. Don't do it!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Don't let this happen to us !!

Send your ideas to the Vice Commander, Naval Network Warfare Command's Executive Assistant/Flag Aide or the Information Warfare Officer Community Manager -

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Collect and Disseminate the Truth

Everyone should do all in his power to collect and disseminate the truth in the hope it may find a place in history and descend into posterity.

Colonel Robert E. Lee

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Carrier Strike Group Commander's Dilemma

  • The intelligence he has is not the intelligence he wants.
  • The intelligence he wants is not the intelligence he needs.
  • The intelligence he needs is not the intelligence he can obtain.
  • The intelligence he can obtain costs more than he wants to pay.
As a Carrier Strike Group Commander once confided to his N3, "Oh, I really don't understand these intelligence and C2W reports produced by my staff. However, I have to have them for planning purposes."

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Ignorance Management - Risk Reduction

This thesis analyzed Joint Vision 2020 and DoD Transformation technical concepts in the context of the “Cooperative Maritime Strategy for the 21st Century.” It hypothesizes that Decision Superiority requires a renewed emphasis on the fundamentals of decision making.

The thesis introduces the concept of Ignorance Management as a risk reduction concept to help focus decision makers, and the IT professionals who support them, on getting the “right information, to the right people, at the right time.” The concept of Information Readiness Levels is explored as a means to help operational forces more objectively gage the ability of the information architecture to support decision making in the context of specific missions. One finding is that technical convergence has occurred and the promise of network-centric operations is becoming more fully realized as organizational and cultural evolution accelerates.

Examples of organizational evolution are provided, including a survey of portfolio management and Communities of Interest policies. The thesis concludes with a case study of the Universal Core, an interagency information sharing initiative that exemplifies enterprise behavior, including political, technical and cultural progress in this area.


by Daniel M. Green, September 2008

Friday, February 20, 2009

Information Operations Vision - Refreshed

Our vision is to capitalize on our dual asymmetric advantages; our talented and highly motivated people and our cutting edge technology to deliver overwhelming information superiority to naval and Joint commanders. Achieving this vision requires the continued development of our people and the creation and sustainment of robust programs that deliver Information Warfare capabilities, including new strategic concepts, tactics, techniques, procedures, training, and new acquisition programs of record. As we continue our evolution as Information Warriors, we must maintain our unparalleled expertise and relevance as the premier military Signals Intelligence and Cryptologic force.

Rear Admiral Edward H. Deets III
Vice Commander
Naval Network Warfare Command

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Leaders in Total Information Dominance

More than ever before, IO is being recognized as essential to military operations at all levels of warfare. IO, due to its importance and nature as an integrating strategy, has been accepted by the US Department of Defense and the US Navy as a critical capability that should be utilized to the fullest extent whenever appropriate.
The Information Professional (IP) community, one of the US Navy’s newest, has a unique opportunity to become the Navy leaders and experts in the realm of Information Operations (IO). The IP qualification process is a good place to begin. This thesis offered recommendations for the incorporation of IO into the IP Intermediate Qualification (IQ) Process, particularly the PQS that all IP Officers are required to complete.

The intent was not to simply add more work to the process for the IP Officer. Instead, the results of the research are offered as an input to the ongoing community-wide effort to review and streamline the entire IP qualification system. The overall thesis and the research conducted to complete it followed a systems engineering approach to ensure that a viable and effective framework was used. It is hoped that the recommendations will be accepted by the IP community leadership and used to help the IP community as a whole continue to be the Navy leaders in the area of total Information Dominance.


Diego Velasco, Jr.
September 2005

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Good American Man

What we have a right to expect of the American boy is that he shall turn out to be a good American man.

The boy can best become a good man by being a good boy–not a goody-goody boy, but just a plain good boy.

I do not mean that he must love only the negative virtues; I mean that he must love the positive virtues also. ‘Good,’ in the largest sense, should include whatever is fine, straightforward, clean, brave and manly.

The best boys I know–the best men I know–are good at their studies or their business, fearless and stalwart, hated and feared by all that is wicked and depraved, incapable of submitting to wrongdoing, and equally incapable of being aught but tender to the weak and helpless.

Of course the effect that a thoroughly manly, thoroughly straight and upright boy can have upon the companions of his own age, and upon those who are younger, is incalculable.

If he is not thoroughly manly, then they will not respect him, and his good qualities will count for but little; while, of course, if he is mean, cruel, or wicked, then his physical strength and force of mind merely make him so much the more objectionable a member of society.

He can not do good work if he is not strong and does not try with his whole heart and soul to count in any contest; and his strength will be a curse to himself and to every one else if he does not have a thorough command over himself and over his own evil passions, and if he does not use his strength on the side of decency, justice and fair dealing.

In short, in life, as in a football game, the principle to follow is: Hit the line hard: don’t foul and don’t shirk, but hit the line hard.

Theodore Roosevelt

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

More than 15 years into this "new" IO field

Wargame shows perils, potential of information warfare
Defense Daily
by John Robinson

For all the years the military has played wargames, it has never taken a serious look at information warfare until this year (1995). In addition to fighting two major regional wars in far flung locations, military planners in this year's exercise at the Naval War College in Newport, R.I., had to deal with problems at home caused by information warfare. The exercise was held between July 10-28, 1995.

Cyber-terrorists did everything from disrupting air traffic control for commercial aircraft to jamming communications for commercial ships. The scenario laid out a series of apparently unrelated events in the civilian world that disrupted logistics efforts supporting the war.

"Initially, they all looked like independent events," Captain Marty Sherrard, deputy director of the Navy's Command and Control Warfare Division, who participated in the wargame, told Defense Daily in an Aug. 4 interview. "It later became clear that it was part of an attack."

Military planners found that traditional methods of gathering intelligence were not effective in recognizing the threat. Instead, they relied on information gathered from the commercial world. With over 90 percent of bulk military data passing through commercial channels today, and perhaps an even higher percentage in the future, the exercise brought home an important point: if commercial communications are vulnerable, then so is the military.

Military planners came away from the exercise with the understanding that they will have to fight wars much differently in the future.

"Instead of having intelligence and reconnaissance systems looking for something, you may have to rely on people in industry reporting," Sherrard said.

For that reason, representatives from the major telecommunications companies participated in the wargame this year. The military apparatus also lacks a central body dedicated to monitoring commercial activities that could be relevant to war planning.

"Who do people in industry pick up a phone and call if something happens?" Sherrard said. "Right now, we don't have such a body to pull this together."

Meanwhile, military planners were using offensive information warfare in the simulated regional wars. They discovered that it gave the enemy the same problems they were fending off at home.

The beauty of IW (information warfare) is that you don't have to pay the price of standing armies, expensive aircraft and tanks," added Captain Rocco Caldarella, director of the Navy's Command and Control Warfare Division. "You can level the playing field with a couple of computer hackers."

"All the players came away with the appreciation that Information Warfare affects them," Rear Adm. James Stark, head of the Navy's War College, told Defense Daily in an Aug. 4 interview.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Leadership problem - Integrity lacking

Seventeen senior enlisted sailors (E-7 or above) and one junior officer (O1 to O3) in the reactor department of the aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower were disciplined in connection with senior-level cheating on a written nuclear exam while underway late last year, according to several Navy sources familiar with the matter.

“Administrative and/or disciplinary actions were taken” against the 18 crew mem­bers “associated with the compro­mise.” Of those, 11 were adminis­tratively transferred out of the re­actor department either to other ships, other commands or else­where on the Eisenhower.

From the Navy Times

Being a leader

"Being a leader, you love your men. You love your men. A lot of people don't understand that. You love them like brothers."

Christopher McGurk
Staff Sargeant, United States Army
Iraq and Afghanistan combat veteran

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Remember the Maine - Remember the Man - Chief Gunners Mate John Turpin - 15 Feb 1898

John Turpin was a messman aboard the battleship USS MAINE. He went on to become the first Black Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy.

John Henry "Dick" Turpin was born on August 20th 1876 in Long Branch, New Jersey. He was 20 when he joined the Navy on 4th November 1896. He was a "Mess Steward" aboard USS MAINE when she was sent to Havana, Cuba to protect Americans in 1898. On February 15th 1898, an explosion took place aboard USS MAINE, and according to Apprentice Ambrose Ham, who recalled that Dick Turpin was trying to in vain to save the life of Lt. F. W. Jenkins, when he was ordered by Lt. George Holman to "go below and get some cutlasses" thinking that the MAINE was being attacked by Spanish forces. Turpin, seeing that the MAINE was quickly sinking, chose to dive overboard, and soon found another man clinging to his back. He was quickly rescued safely and taken to Key West aboard the USS OLIVETTE.

In July 1905 Dick Turpin was about to encounter another Naval Disaster, when the boiler exploded aboard USS BENNINGTON in San Diego Harbor, accordingly Turpin was nominated for the Medal of Honor, for saving the lives of his fellow shipmates. In 1915 Turpin was involved in diving operations for a sunken submarine in Honolulu, Hawaii and qualified as a "Master Diver". He is also credited with being involved with the invention of the underwater cutting torch.

On June 1st 1917 Turpin became Chief Gunners Mate aboard the USS MARBLEHEAD, until he was transferred to the Fleet Reserve on March 8th 1919 and he remained in that rank until he retired on 5th October 1925.

When Turpin was not on active duty, he was employed at the Puget Sound Navy Yard, in Bremerton, Washington as a "Master Rigger". From 1938 and throughout World War II, Turpin made "inspirational visits" to Naval Training Centers and Defense Plants, and was a "Guest of Honor" on the reviewing stand in Seattle when the first black volunteers were sworn into the Navy shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Turpin never wanted to part with the Navy, and according to one article, he requested "mobilization" at age 65 when World War II broke out. His request was denied, but Turpin "forgot his age" and managed to remain a "Reservist". He lived in Seattle later in life, and was in several parades honoring him.

Over 6 feet tall, he was an impressive-looking, popular figure, who broke color barriers both in the Navy and in Bremerton. Everybody knew him, and when kids would see him, they would swarm around him, recalls Al Colvin, former Mayor of Bremerton.

Chief John Henry "Dick" Turpin died in 1962, sadly though there are no official records of Turpin ever receiving his "Medal of Honor" Turpin was a true Navy man and a great American. When he passed away in 1962, his six pall bearers were all Chief Stewards: Allen, Grant, Webb, Davis, Webb, Alley.

John Henry “Dick” Turpin was simply known as Dick Turpin to his friend’s according to a long time neighbor that lived near him since the late-1930’s. When he visited the local Navy Ships they would “pipe him aboard” with the same respect of an Admiral. Not only was he known for his bravery on the USS MAINE and USS BENNINGTON but he also was one of the top Navy Hard-Hat Divers.

He never had the benefit of a diversity program. He received no help from affirmative action. He did it all of his own desire and volition. He did it the way it should be done - his own hard work and motivation. He overcame every obstacle.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Servant Leadership

In approximately 600 B.C., the Chinese sage Lao Tzu wrote The Tao Te Ching, a strategic treatise on servant leadership:

The best servant leaders:
  • Forget about themselves
  • Attend to the development of others
  • Support excellent workers
  • Help elevate the bottom ten percent
  • Know that the diamond in the rough - is always found “in the rough.”

Friday, February 13, 2009

IW/C2W for the Naval Expeditionary Task Force Commander

The bottom line to a Commander of a Naval Expeditionary Force is how Information Warfare (IW) and Command and Control Warfare (C2W) can increase the operational effectiveness of the force responding to a contingency. To get there, one must examine the national strategic role of IW, the traditional role of the Naval Expeditionary Force, and the operational role of C2W. From these, an operational level approach to IW/C2W can be developed that is both consistent with strategy and doctrine and useful to the Commander of a Naval Expeditionary Force.

Blast from the past: Commander Marty Kurdys, Naval War College Paper 1996

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Navy is already one of the Top 100 Best Places to Work in America

Now, how do we get it on the Fortune Magazine list?

A year ago, the Chief of Naval Operations’ first monthly RhumbLines update was appropriately focused on making the Navy a “Top 50 Place to Work” during his tenure. This goal is both admirable and achievable.

Each year since 1998, Fortune Magazine has published its list of the Top 100 Best Companies to work for in America. How do we get the Navy on this list by 2011? We’ve got to get started today and the CNO has energized the process through his personal commitment. In a way, it’s almost like winning the lottery – you’ve got to buy a ticket to have an opportunity to win. Buying the ticket in this case means engaging The Great Place to Work ® Institute.

To be considered for the list being published in 2009, this had to be accomplished by the 10th of March 2008. We missed that boat !!

Officially, government agencies are precluded from entering the competition. In my opinion, the Navy is already a Top 50 Best Company in America. So much so that I have been bold enough to recommend to the Chief of Naval Operations and the Director of the Navy Staff that they approach GPW Institute and ask for a waiver, or at least an informal evaluation based on GPW Institute’s criteria.

Looking at the 2008 list of top 100 companies, the Navy is a legitimate contender for a rightful place on the list. We may not necessarily be at the level of number one GOOGLE ® in every competitive category, but we’ve come a long way over the past 10 years in all the areas of ‘Best Company’ criteria: benefits, job growth, pay, turnover, women, minorities and, in particular, something the GPW Institute calls the Trust Index©. This index consists of 57 statements that cover credibility, respect, fairness, pride, and camaraderie - the five dimensions that correspond with the Great Place to Work® Model©. Their trust index provides the basis for the majority of the score for companies being evaluated for consideration as a top 100 company. Central to being recognized as a ‘Best Company’ is meeting the GPW Institute’s definition of ‘a great place to work’. The Navy must be a place where employees “trust the people they work for, have pride in what they do, and enjoy the people they work with”. I think we meet their demanding criteria today.

A great workplace is measured by the quality of the three, interconnected relationships:
  • The relationship between employees and management.
  • The relationship between employees and their jobs/company.
  • The relationship between employees and other employees.
That being the case, Navy scores very well in each Trust Index© area and works every day on further self-improvement through Lean Six Sigma and other similar processes. For credibility and respect, various Zogby International and FOXNEWS surveys of the U.S. population found that the military is viewed as the top profession for credibility and respect with a 27% favorability rating, while businessmen and women earned only 2%.

For fairness scoring, one need look no further than the Navy’s promotion processes which, in the enlisted ranks, tests and promotes Sailors without regard to race, sex, religion or ethic origin. Chief Petty Officer and officer promotion boards make great effort to ensure that women, ethic and racial minorities are all properly considered and represented by promotion lists. We have a myriad of Equal Opportunity and diversity programs across the Navy which demonstrates the EXTREME lengths to which the Navy goes to ensure a fair working and promotion environment.

Our EO and diversity programs are equal to or better than any found in industry today. For pride and comaraderie, consider the closeness of our various warfare communities and other Navy commands. Who can argue with the pride or camaraderie found in the SEAL, Navy SEABEES, SWO, submarine, CPO or aviation communities; not to mention all the ships at sea? Nowhere is that pride and camaraderie more evident today than on YOUTUBE™. Check out the pride shown by Navy Carrier Aviation Squadrons ‘numa numa’ or ‘pump it’ videos, the Women of CVN76 - USS Ronald Reagan or USS ESSEX LHD-2 ‘Iron Gator’. These are but a few of the hundreds of examples which show people who, despite the most demanding personal circumstances imaginable, take great pleasure in their work and in the Shipmates they work with. This pride and comaraderie is pervasive throughout the Navy – at all levels of command. Any of these Navy communities could challenge GOOGLE for the #1 spot in pride and camaraderie.

Still not convinced that the Navy is a Top 100 Best Company to work for in the United States? Consider the following:
  • We have a total volunteer force of 640,000 selflessly dedicated and professional people willing to deploy around the world at a moment’s notice. Only the military can attract these numbers of committed career professionals.
  • Our career force retention levels exceed those of industry, despite the considerable personal sacrifice demanded of our employees.
  • Our benefits package (as a whole) is among the best available. We areworking to extend our benefits packages to include: Telework, extended pregnancy and parenthood leave, sabbatical programs, flex-work schedules, career on ramps and off ramps, 24 hour extended child care, 3 tour geographic stability, life coach pilot programs, and greater flexibility in job selection.
  • What other company regularly reaches out to the world community during natural disasters and other crises?
  • What other company can get similar industries to agree on a strategic plan to carry all those companies forward through the 21st century as our Maritime Strategy is doing?
Are we in the Top 100? Damn right! Add us to the list. We belong there!

P.S. This note was rejected by USNI PROCEEDINGS magazine about a year ago. I am NOT bitter !!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Library for DOD IO Center For Excellence

In a memo from Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense, “The Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) is hereby designated the DoD Information Operations Center for Excellence. In that capacity, NPS shall facilitate development of Information Operations as a core military competency and innovation.”

Commander, US Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) will serve as Operational Sponsor for the Center on behalf of the Combatant Commands. The Secretary of the Navy and Commander USSTRATCOM will develop a charter for the Center on Wolfowitz’s approval, in coordination with the Under Secretaries of Defense for Policy and Intelligence, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and other DoD officials as appropriate.

The charter will address oversight and activities of the Center, including graduate education, research, research opportunities, and transformation. As a tool to enhance the IOCFE USSTRATCOM is looking into the development of a digital library which will specifically provide resources for the Information Operations Community. This thesis conducts a preliminary requirements analysis for the development of a digital library. Successful development of this digital library is expected to effectively enhance the operational areas of Information Operations and Information Warfare within the Department of Defense.


Trisha Francis
September 2006

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

No Fair Ambition We Cannot Realize

"We must be bold and vigilant lest daily cares cloud our longer vision of the task that lies ahead and of the fair fortunes at our command....But this unity, this understanding, this sense of interdependence is the heart of the business. Without it we shall make no headway. With it there is no fair ambition we cannot realize."
Anthony Eden - Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Monday, February 9, 2009

Trust and Influence in the Information Age

Leaders must create the vector – the direction – to drive the organization forward. Commanders must communicate a clear, consistent message that includes (but is not limited to) command intent, guidance, objectives, operational priorities, rules of engagement, and ethics. Operational trust is the lynchpin for networked operations. Leaders must learn the skills to influence their subordinates, peers, and even their commanders, if they want to hold power in the Information Age.

Military leaders and scholars alike debate the existence of a revolution in military affairs (RMA) based on information technology. This thesis will show that the Information RMA not only exists, but will also reshape how we plan, operate, educate, organize, train, and equip forces for the 21st century.

This thesis introduces the Communication Technology (CommTech) Model to explain how communication technologies affect organizations, leadership styles, and decision-making processes. Due to the growth in networking enterprises, leaders will have to relinquish their tight, centralized control over subordinates. Instead, they will have to perfect their use of softer power skills such as influence and trust as they embrace decentralized decision-making.

Network Centric Warfare, Self-Synchronization, and Network Enabled Operations are concepts that provide the framework for integrating information technology into the battlespace. The debate that drives centralized versus decentralized control in network operations is analyzed with respect to the CommTech Model. A new term called Operational Trust is introduced and developed, identifying ways to make it easier to build trust among network entities.

Finally, the thesis focuses on what leaders need to do to shape network culture for effective operations.

KEY LEARNING: To maintain control of subordinates, some commanders may be tempted to control the flow of information. However, information denial is unrealistic when redundant multi-path networks are formed, especially when the Sailor depends on the network to accomplish his mission. There will always be ways around roadblocks on the information superhighway. With access to information, subordinates will be better informed than past generations were. This leads to better decisions and ideas from younger people. When they want their ideas heard, they can disseminate them in many more directions than just the chain of command. With the internet, everybody has access to a soapbox.

Nicole Ilene Blatt
December 2004

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Trident Warrior Experimentation Process

The Chief of Naval Operations defines FORCEnet as the “operational construction and architectural framework for Naval Warfare in the Information Age which integrates warriors, sensors, networks, command and control, platforms and weapons into a networked, distributed combat force, scalable across the spectrum of conflict from seabed to space and sea to land.”

The Trident Warrior experiments are the Navy’s premier FORCEnet Sea Trial experiments. The purpose of the Trident Warrior experiments is to provide “speed to capability” and to develop supporting tactics, techniques, and procedures.

The purpose of this thesis will be to provide a basic overview of the Trident Warrior Experimentation Process. Through a step-by-step analysis, this thesis will explain and justify the many steps required to complete a successful experiment/experimentation campaign.

Kevin Barrett
June 2005

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Match Virtue to Necessity - Separate Appetites from Real Requirements

But for all the difficulties we face, I believe this moment also presents an opportunity – one of those rare chances to match virtue to necessity. To critically and ruthlessly separate appetites from real requirements – those things that are desirable in a perfect world from those things that are truly needed in light of the threats America faces and the missions we are likely to undertake in the years ahead.
As I’ve said before, we will not be able to “do everything, buy everything.And, while we have all spoken at length about these issues, I believe now is the time to take action. I promise you that as long as I remain in this post, I will focus on creating a unified defense strategy that determines our budget priorities. This, after all, is about more than just dollars: It goes to the heart of our national security.

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates to the Senate Armed Services Committee 27 January 2009

Friday, February 6, 2009

Medals belong to the boys

"I don't think there is an officer who gets a medal who wouldn't say it really belongs to the boys."

Lieutenant Commander Carter Bennett, WWII

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Let us dare ...

The Value of Information Superiority To The Decision Maker Is Not Uniform

The importance of information superiority has been emphasized as a critical capability that future joint forces must be able to achieve. No longer simply a future concept, it is being officially defined and incorporated in doctrinal publications like Joint Publication 3-13, "Information Operations." Unfortunately, our ability to effectively measure its contribution relative to other battlefield systems remains limited. This research focuses on exploring the limits of the contributions that information superiority can make, examining the sensitivity of information superiority to varying information quality, and comparing those contributions with other contributing factors to battlefield results. Furthermore, an effort is made to identify some of the risks associated with using information superiority as a force multiplier.

The value of information superiority is not uniform, but is strongly influenced by force ratio and force size. This does not suggest that information superiority has no value; on the contrary, we measured the added value in this study. However, it does suggest the possibility that our zeal for information superiority should be tempered by the fact that force size plays a significant role as well.

There are “knees in the curve” at both ends of the force size spectrum.

First, force size must be increased to a certain level before information superiority can be utilized to its maximum extent. Second, once a certain force level is reached, information superiority begins to decrease in value. This is another reminder of the importance of striking the balance between sensor and shooter and why this area of research is so important.

Additionally, this relationship suggests that information capabilities should not be viewed as a simple add-on to force capability, but that the values of force size and information are dependent on one another. Thus, force development must incorporate and evaluate the combined capabilities of information systems and combat equipment, and not assess these capabilities individually.


John B. Jackson, III

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

ADM Stavridis - Hero of Strategic Communication

By Donna Miles American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 3, 2009 - Talk to just about anyone at the U.S. Southern Command staff, and they'll describe their commander, Navy Adm. James G. Stavridis, as a renaissance man.

He's a voracious reader, an author, a whiz on the tennis and squash courts and a linguist who, after mastering French and Spanish, now is studying Portuguese so he can communicate with his Brazilian counterparts in their native tongue.

Stavridis also has embraced technology, becoming the first combatant commander to use Facebook and a personal blog to convey the importance of partnership and cooperation to confront threats facing Latin America and the Caribbean. It's a message he shares every time he travels to the 45 countries and territories in his area of focus.

In a region highly unlikely to experience all-out war, Stavridis calls communication the most important tool in his arsenal. "In this hemisphere, we are in the business of ideas, not missiles," he said. "Our main battery, so to speak, is communication."

Stavridis' focus on communication begins in his West Miami headquarters. After 33 years of military service, he told American Forces Press Service, he's learned that being a leader demands being able to communicate vision and expectations.

"You have to be the 'writer in chief,' and you have to put your own pen to the paper -- or in these days, your own fingertips to the keyboard," he said. The bottom line, he said, is that a leader must "own the message" and be able to articulate it.

Stavridis solicits feedback, too, keeping the communication lines open in both directions. He holds near-weekly all-hands meetings with his headquarters staff and frequently updates and responds to his online blog report, "In the Americas." He also circulates routinely throughout the headquarters to check in with staffers at every level, and he schedules time with U.S. embassy country teams when visiting the region to hear directly from them.

His advice to U.S. Merchant Marine Academy graduates at their commencement in June summed up his openness to feedback. "Do not be afraid to question your seniors," he told the class. "Even as the youngest member of the team, you need to have the curiosity, the commitment and the courage to stand up and be part of the leadership conversation."

"Few things are more vital to an organization," he added, "than young officers and leaders who have the moral courage to help shape the direction in which the organization is headed, and then the strength of character to see it through."

The message reflects the commander's philosophy Stavridis introduced when he became the first Navy officer to command SOUTHCOM in October 2006.

That philosophy, prominently posted on the command's Web site, spells his expectations of his staff as well as himself: civility, quiet confidence, creativity, teamwork and collaboration, determination, honesty and integrity.

They're the same qualities Stavridis began honing as a brigade leader during his senior year at the Naval Academy, and that earned him the Navy League's John Paul Jones Award for Inspirational Leadership in 1998 during Destroyer Squadron 21's deployment to the Arabian Gulf.

Today, this leadership style sets the tone for his command at Southcom.

"I would put civility at the top of the list," Stavridis said, emphasizing the benefits of a friendly, collegial workplace that brings out the best in its people.

"It's a word we don't use enough in our society," he continued. "It means taking an approach where you never lose your temper and you are polite and kind to everybody around you. You bring the best of yourself to the workplace and try to rise above the daily pressures. And you
encourage everyone in your organization to take that same approach."

Stavridis also calls on his staff to demonstrate calm and steadiness without letting egos impede progress. He encourages a never-ending quest for improvement and a refusal to give up when the going gets tough. He urges teamwork, and demands that his people abide by the rules and tell the truth without flinching.

If these qualities sound straight out of a textbook on leadership, it could be from one Stavridis penned himself. Since his commissioning at the U.S. Naval Academy in 1976, he has written or co-written "Command at Sea," "Watch Officer's Guide: A Handbook for all Watch Officers," "Destroyer Captain: Lessons of a First Command," and "Division Officer's Guide."

Stavridis said he took many of his leadership lessons from heroes in his own life. He counts among those heroes his father, retired Marine Corps Col. P.G. Stavridis; Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman who, as a lieutenant, served as Stavridis' company officer at the U.S. Naval Academy; and retired Navy legend Vice Adm. Cutler Dawson,
Stavridis' long-term mentor.

Stavridis said he also takes inspiration from historical leaders. He considers Army Gen. George C. Marshall "a profoundly good leader who was interagency before interagency was cool." And he admires Winston Churchill, not just for his intellect and sheer energy, but also "for his ability to communicate and craft a message."

The biggest lesson he said he takes from these heroes is that a leader's job is to serve.

"If there is an absolute piece of bedrock" to his leadership philosophy, Stavridis said, "that's it."

"Leadership is about service," he explained. "The job of a leader is to understand what all of the people in his or her organization are seeking to achieve in their lives and how they are trying to reach their goals. The leader is the facilitator who, in this sense, is the servant to the crew."

The result, Stavridis said, is an organization that shares a common vision and works together to achieve it.

"I believe in the Wikipedia concept," he said, referring to the online encyclopedia that depends on the public for its entries. "The way Wikipedia was built was through millions and millions of people contributing together. And that's what a leader can facilitate, creating a Wikipedia-like thinking within the organization.

"Because none of us -- and no leader -- is as smart as all of us thinking together," he said.

NETWARCOM Strategic Plan 2006-2010

Execution of the plan: Responsibility for each part of the plan is clearly indicated in the document. Tier I goals are collectively owned by the Commander, Vice Commander, and Deputy Commander (the strategic leadership team).

Tier II goal owners are accountable for accomplishing strategies and removing barriers, identifying resources, and tracking progress. These goal owners may establish a virtual team when needed to determine a Plan of Action and Milestones for their goals, and then monitor progress.

Each month, the strategic leadership team will review progress in achieving goals.

This plan will ultimately be linked to all existing NETWARCOM headquarters functions (Weekly Activity Reporters (WAR), military FITREPS and evaluations, civilian awards, civilian/contractor/resource allocation, etc.).

The entire NETWARCOM Strategic Plan will be reviewed annually.

Stakeholders will be kept informed of progress in goal achievements.

NETWARCOM Strategic Plan 2006-2010

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Ignorance Management

Donald Rumsfeld is credited with this legendary remark back in February 2002:
“ we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns - the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”
Known Knowns

The bottom left quadrant is the simplest, it describes the things that we know we know. Here, the real sixty-five thousand dollar question is whether the information and knowledge we have is actually used in making decisions.

Unknown Knowns

Moving north, we have the things we don’t know we know. Rumsfeld never actually covered this ignorance domain, but what the heck, we’ll still give him credit. This is the area where knowledge and information management kicks in: people who are making decisions are not aware of relevant and important information and knowledge that the organization already possesses. So this is where structured knowledge and information audits can help to raise the visibility of knowledge and information assets to those who can usefully deploy them.

Known Unknowns

In the bottom right domain we have the things we know we don’t know, but need to: the gaps, the worrying but significant questions that we feel need answers. This is the domain of business and competitive intelligence. We need to frame precise questions, and then figure out the kind of information and knowledge carriers or sources that are likely to hold answers to these questions (experts, research reports, publications, website?), where these sources are likely to be found, the channels where this information flows. We also need to have a good sense of how to judge the relative authority and value of the sources. Once found, of course, they migrate into the known knowns domain, as candidates for use.

Unknown Unknowns

This is the domain that creased up the American media when Rumsfeld pronounced. These are the most difficult things to pin down, the things we don’t know we don’t know. Sometimes the importance of this domain shows up in a general sense of unease, that things seem too simple, that there’s something going on that we are not equipped to see. I’ve shown this here as an open domain, and this is where we go prospecting, blundering around in the fog carefully bumping into things and giving them shape as questions. Once they are fairly well-formed as questions, we have known unknowns, and can start a structured search for answers. In this domain, curiosity, sensitivity to details, noticing and exploring differences of perception among different people, and alertness to small changes, are all invaluable practices. Itemizing our basic assumptions and challenging them produces very good candidates for known-unknown questions. If we want to pick up weak signals of important changes that require an early response, then we need to be particularly sensitive to what we know or assume about our stakeholders and how that changes over time, also our capabilities mapped against those of our competitors, and other changes in our external environment. This is the domain where structured frameworks such as Porter’s Five Forces come into their own, because the use of these structures almost always shows up gaps in our thinking and knowledge.

As the diagram suggests, the Rumsfeld Ignorance Management Framework is all about dynamics: prospecting in the unknown unknown domain to generate useful questions, which can be sourced in the known unknown domain, and brought across to the known knowns for application and use. Similarly, with internally held knowledge, auditing and publicizing the presence of relevant knowledge, so that it too can become incorporated into known knowns and usefully applied. It’s all about enlarging the known knowns domain through disciplined practices and activities in the domains of ignorance.

Turns out, he knew what he was talking about. Click here for more about Ignorance Management.

All of the above is from the website -

Monday, February 2, 2009


Lieutenant Commander Cesar Rios wrote his Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) Masters' thesis RETURN ON INVESTMENT ANALYSIS OF INFORMATION WARFARE SYSTEMS which generated a great deal of discussion and additional writing/analysis in the acquisition and research communities. His case study on the Cryptologic Carry-On Program (CCOP) is featured in the book MODELING RISK. LCDR Brian Prevo, the OPNAV N2 Sponsor for CCOP, asked for the assessment. Lots of great collaboration between OPNAV and NPS.

Thesis Topic: Millions of dollars are spent each year on quick reaction capability (QRC) Information Warfare (IW) and intelligence collection systems. These information technology (IT) systems are used to fill existing capability gaps at the Fleet, theater and strategic level. Managing these portfolios of equipment as an investment requires that program managers be able to maximize the benefits of the systems in a systematic manner while considering the impact of cost throughout the enterprise.

To successfully accomplish this task, it is essential to develop a means and methodology to measure the performance of the IT investments in an objective manner. As of yet, no acceptable measure of their performance or benefit has been developed to determine whether the systems are yielding an adequate level of performance or return on investment (ROI).


Cesar G. Rios, Jr.
September 2005

For more on this cryptologic/information warfare rockstar, you can read his case study in Modeling Risk: Applying Monte Carlo Simulation, Real Options Analysis, Forecasting, and Optimization Techniques (Wiley Finance) (Hardcover) $125.00 !!

Or, you can read his case study in the book for free HERE. It's in GoogleReader.

You can read more about his study HERE.

LCDR Cesar Rios' important work led to additional study and research and the MBA PROFESSIONAL REPORT "The Concurrent Implementation of Radio Frequency Identification and Unique Item Identification at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane, Indiana as a Model for a Navy Supply Chain Application" By: Ernan Obellos, Travis Colleran and Ryan Lookabill in December 2007.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Admiral James S. McFarland Passed Away Six Years Ago Today - We Miss You, Sir !

A native of Portland, Oregon, Rear Admiral McFarland graduated from Lewis and Clark College. His Naval career began in 1953 when he enlisted in the Naval Reserve. As a Third Class Petty Officer (YN), he was commissioned in 1957. After Communications School in Newport, Rhode Island, he spent four years in Hawaii working in Signals Security and making training and communications readiness visits to over 200 U.S. Navy ships. Staff duty in Washington, D.C. with Commander Naval Security Group followed from 1961-1963. This was followed by operational assignments at Karamursel, Turkey, and on USS Belmont (AGTR-4) as the Special Operations Officer.

In 1967, he left the Staff, U.S. Atlantic Fleet for Vietnam, where he served primarily in support of U.S. Marine Corp Forces in support of tactical ground operations. The Armed Forces Staff College was next followed by a tour as Middle East Operations Officer. In 1971, he became the first Office-In-Charge of the Navy's Current Support Group (CSG) in Rota, Spain where the unit earned the Navy Unit Citation for its support of the U.S. SIXTH Fleet during the Yom Kippur War and the 1974 Cyprus crisis. He returned to the Staff, U.S. Atlantic Fleet from 1975 to 1979. His next assignment was as the Commanding Officer of the Naval Security Group Activity (NSGA) Misawa, Japan where he assumed command on 5 March 1979.

In 1981, Rear Admiral McFarland assumed duty as Chief, Naval Forces Division, at the National Security Agency (NSA); and in 1983, was assigned as the Assistant Chief of Staff for Cryptology, Commander U.S. Pacific Fleet; Director, Naval Security Group Pacific (DIRNSGPAC). Early in 1985, he was selected for Flag Rank. His last assignment was as Commander of the Naval Security Group Command (CNSG) from August 1986 to July 1990. Rear Admiral McFarland was also assigned as the Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence (DNI) for the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO).

Some of his personal decorations include the Bronze Star with Combat distinguishing device, Meritorious Service Medals and the Joint Service Commendation Medal.

RADM McFarland was married to the former Paula Ann Wiise of Macon, Georgia for twenty-five years. He has six children, Scott, Brett, Suzanne, Jeffrey, Matthew, and Kelly. Mrs. Paula McFarland resides in Annapolis, Maryland.