Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Sailor needs to be "about something"

A Sailor needs to be “about something” at his or her core and feel deeply why some things are worthwhile and others are worth everything. Whether a Sailor resolves this well or poorly, rightly or wrongly, the effort is crucial to being fully human.

It is especially important in the case of Sailors as well as others for whom honor is quintessential. Conscience, duty, orders, leadership, professionalism, loyalty, courage, and judgment—and their evil opposite qualities—all derive from the inner development of a person.

This progress may be advanced in silence and solitude, through reflection, or amidst a profusion of difficult, even stressful activities. But, it must be advanced; there must be progress. There must be growth.

From writings on the foundation of moral obligation
- William G. O'Neill

Monday, March 30, 2009

Sailor - Shipmate - Priest, Rest Your Oars

James S. Zmyslo
with a smile to soften the hardest of hearts

Friend, Shipmate, Sailor, Priest, cryptologist

April 21, 1952 - March 25, 2009

Our Shipmate and fellow cryptologist, The Reverend James S. Zmyslo, of State College, Pennsylvania entered into eternal rest on Wednesday, March 25, 2009. Born in South Bend, Indiana, Father Zmyslo entered the United States Navy after graduating from college. During his distinguished 20-year Naval career from which he retired as a Lieutenant Commander in 1996, Father Zmyslo attended the Naval Postgraduate School, in Monterey, California where he received a Master's degree in Electrical Engineering.

Father Zmyslo moved to State College to work at the Penn State University Applied Research Laboratory (Promoted to Associate Research Engineer in July 2000) and later opened a State College office for Klein and Stump (now Centurum, Inc.), a defense contract company from Virginia. In 2004, Father Zmyslo entered The General Theological Seminary in New York City. Upon graduation, he was ordained to the ministry of The Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania on June 2007. Father Zmyslo accepted the chaplaincy at Penn State University. He had also served at Saint Andrew's (State College) and Saint John's (Bellefonte) Episcopal Churches.

Father Zmyslo is survived by his loving wife, Charlotte; stepson, Jeffrey Bishop; one sister, Paulette Calkins (Patrick); two brothers, Ron (Sharon), and Alan (Lynn) Zmyslo; as well as nieces and nephews.

Internment of his ashes will take place at Arlington National Cemetery on Wednesday, June 10, 2009, at 3 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in honor of Father Zmyslo may be made to The Episcopal Campus Ministry, c/o Jean Beierlein, 484 Orlando Avenue, State College, PA 16801.

Note of remembrance from Captain Tom Botulinski: Jim was a retired Cryppie who worked for us when we were KSI; a fine Naval officer and a brilliant engineer. He ran our Penn State office doing work for NIWA. Many of you will remember him; he sometimes visited us at the old Arlington office. A super guy...one of the kindest and nicest men you will ever meet. Jim heard the call to the ministry a few years ago and left KSI to become a Priest. I recall that he did his summer internships in several hospitals in Pennsylvania, caring for grieving family and friends in the emergency rooms. Father "Z" is going to be missed by many. R/ Tom

Sailors Are Our Most Important Asset . . .

"I don't think the 'leadership' (Blogger's note: 'leadership', as yet unidentified - the head guy in the Navy maybe - who is in charge of EVERYTHING) who made this decision took into account just how important ball caps have become to Sailors," said Command Master Chief (SW) Tom Meglin, the top enlisted Sailor onboard the transport dock ship USS San Antonio. "There's a lot of bad feelings among Sailors about this issue. Sure, it's only a hat, but to these men and women it means something, it means a lot for sure."

For some, it's even worse that the well-liked hat is being replaced by something they don't like.


Living in blissful ignorance

"Most of us, most of the time, live in blissful ignorance of what a small, elite, heroic group of Americans are doing for us night and day. As we speak, all over the globe, American Sailors, submariners and aviators are doing something very dangerous. 'People say, Well, it can't be too dangerous because there are no wrecks.'

But the reason we don't have more accidents is that these are superb professionals; the fact that they master the dangers does not mean that the dangers aren't real. Right now, somewhere around the world, young men (and women) are landing … aircraft on … pitching decks … at night! You can't pay people to do that: they do it out of love of country, of adventure, of the challenge. We all benefit from it, and the very fact that we don't have to think about it tells you how superbly they're doing their job -- living on the edge of dangers so the rest of us need not think about, let alone experience, danger."

~ George Will, ABC News Commentator

Sunday, March 29, 2009

My kind of guy - General Mattis - USMC

"My intent is that every individual at this command has a bias for action. Consciously examine your words and actions to prevent a 'not my job' or 'business as usual' attitude. Our success will require innovative thinking, a spirit of cooperation, dedication, hard work and sacrifice. Our nation and its men and women deployed in harm's way deserve no less."

The quote is from his guidance on Irregular Warfare.

The letter above is to his men in IRAQ. He has a reputation for straight talk.

Leader Development

Self-development is the third domain of leader development and an essential component of lifelong learning (first introduced to Navy training by Admiral Vern Clark). Self development is a goals-based, feedback driven program of activities and learning that contributes to professional competence, organizational effectiveness, and professional development. Individual and organizational assessment and feedback programs in the operational and institutional domains, linked to developmental actions, grow competent and confident leaders, and result in trained and ready organizations and units. Developing leaders to meet the needs of the service and the nation requires agile and innovative leader development and education systems.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

“Cyber Transformation”

REAR ADMIRAL BILL LEIGHER, Director, Information Operations (OPNAV N3IO/N39), U.S. Navy will be on a distinguished panel at THE 2009 EASTERN CONFERENCE ON INFORMATION OPERATIONS in WASHINGTON, D.C. • APRIL 30TH– MAY 1ST, 2009.


RDML Leigher's presentation will include a discussion of:

• Intersection of Cyberspace and the Maritime Domain
• Critical Processes and Interdependencies
• Proven Cyber Warfare Operations

For more information and the brochure, click HERE. DON'T MISS IT !!

Information Operations Functional Area

Unique purpose of Information Operations Functional Area.

Information operations (IO) are the integrated employment of the core capabilities of electronic warfare (EW), computer network operations (CNO), Psychological Operation (PSYOPS), military deception (MILDEC), and operations security (OPSEC), in concert with specified supporting and related capabilities, to influence, disrupt, corrupt, or usurp adversarial human and automated decisionmaking while protecting our own. IO engage enemy, adversary, neutrals, and others in the information environment to influence perceptions, affect actions, and generate a range of effects in the information environment. IO includes the use of capabilities to influence perceptions of foreign and friendly audiences.

Information Operations Officers are warfighters, personally and professionally prepared to deploy worldwide at all times.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Sailor Development

If you are in a leadership position, when was the last time you sat down with your Sailors in a structured, formal manner to help them plan their lives and careers? Do your people see an EVAL or FITREP form only twice a year at midterm counseling and report time, or is there ongoing, steady feedback going on? Every month, can you honestly say that you've helped Sailors along in their career journey?

From CAPT G. Mark Hardy III, USNR, National VP for Professional Development

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Jim Stavridis - A Leader for the Ages

And, A Leader in Our Time

"Certainly the majority of what I learned was about myself — especially my own failures, challenges, and responses. I found the limits of my ability, but in doing so liberated myself from fear of failure. I also learned a great deal about what it takes to lead a ship successfully, which includes above all the ability to encourage and trust your crew. People, in my experience, will almost always become what you convince them they are — so if you are encouraging and positive in your approach, they tend to respond in overwhelmingly positive ways. I also found a great deal of value in spending time walking the ship and engaging in dozens of small but important conversations each day with as many crew members as possible. Finally, I found a real enjoyment in trying to teach the younger officers in the wardroom what I had learned along the way about shiphanding, tactics, and leadership. Fundamentally, a Captain is a servant and a teacher to the crew; what I learned was how to balance those two things."

Admiral James Stavridis in an interview with Jim Dolbow on USNI Blog about his book DESTROYER CAPTAIN

NOTE: I am pleased to say that I served with him when he was the Senior Military Assistant to the Hon. Donald H. Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense and that he considers me a friend.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

No Longer Indespensible

“A man doesn’t begin to attain wisdom until he recognizes that he is no longer indispensable.”

Rear Admiral Richard E.Byrd,
USNA Class of 1912, Alone (1938)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The United States Navy

“There is no black Navy, no white Navy—just one Navy—the United States Navy.”

Admiral Elmo R.Zumwalt Jr. USNA ’43,
“Equal Opportunity in the Navy”(1970)

Monday, March 23, 2009

New ideas are not to be feared

“I was always being asked by the Navy brass what a destroyer skipper needs to know about Immanuel Kant; a liberally educated person meets new ideas with curiosity and fascination. An illiberally educated person meets new ideas with fear.”

Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale ’47,
quoted in Newsweek,1 September 1980

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Communication is the key

One of the keys (to success) is to be communicating with each other so everybody knows where they are - constantly, even as things change. And a lack of communication in that regard, from a leadership perspective, is going to let an organization drift.

Admiral Mullen

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Navy Performance Excellence

"In sum, the empirical results from the analyses support the notion that leadership plays a central role in influencing organizational operations and systems. In turn, while managing and developing human resources directly impacts the performance results outcome and implementing strategic quality plans directly impacts the customer focus outcome, managing quality processes is the one dimension that has a significant and meaningful relationship with both the leadership dimension (the driver) and both desired outcomes. The basic management tasks of leaders - gathering and utilizing information, planning strategically, effectively managing and developing organizational employees, and designing a well-oiled process for producing outcomes - create the critical outcomes related to the organization. The direct personal impact of the leader on key organizational outcomes - namely performance results and customer focus - is, by and large, FICTION. Unless leaders can influence the organization through its systems, they have little hope of affecting bottom-line results. Management in the trenches, it seems, more than management from the mountaintop is the key to quality outcomes."

"The Navy Performance Excellence Guidebook is designed to help foster this change. It provides leaders a management framework to guide their commands through a perpetual cycle of improvement, including a five-step strategic planning process with an easy-to-use performance excellence self-assessment. Though crafted “in house” by Navy experts, the Guidebook draws extensively from collaboration with outside agencies and organizations from whose own transformation initiatives we can learn."

Admiral Michael Mullen

Friday, March 20, 2009

Blockade that metaphor

Remember "Don't give up the ship"?

Or, "You may fire when ready, Gridley"?

What about "Damn the torpedoes—full speed ahead"?

Commander James Cannon, skipper of the destroyer USS Mullinnix, tried unsuccessfully to add his own ringing battle cry to the Navy's lexicon of heroic challenges. As Mullinnix arrived for a third tour off Vietnam, Commander Cannon announced:

"We are ready to step in the batter's box and belt a few pitches with hard stuff now that the contract is signed for our third season with the big leagues."
Somehow that never made it into the history books.

If you have a battle cry or great quote related to Information Warfare, I'd love to hear it. Just post it as a comment.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

"Quis custodiet ipsos custodies"

"Who watches the watchmen?"

Who is tracking our 'certified ethical hackers'?

I'm wondering. You might be too.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Do not refer to the captain by name. He is simply - The Captain.

—Recruit’s Handbook, USS West Virginia (1935)

The beginning of wisdom is to call things their right name.


NETWARCOM Strategic Plan-Cyber Domain

Today, NETWARCOM is DoD’s only command that combines in a single organization all of the skills necessary to operate across the Cyber domain. The current NETWARCOM mission set, with responsibilities in ALL aspects of Information Operations, including Computer Network Operations and Information Assurance, already mirrors the mission sets being examined for inclusion in a DoD-level Cyber command. NETWARCOM is operationally aligned to those organizations that execute DoD-level Cyber functions (STRATCOM, NSA/JFCC NW, DISA/JTF GNO) and is organized to respond for Navy when called on.

EVERY NETWARCOM subordinate command contributes uniquely to our Cyber mission. As Cyber becomes an ever more increasing part of our military lexicon, those of us who work in the NETWARCOM domain must begin to think of ourselves not as communicators, cryptologists, intelligence officers, space cadre, or in terms of our RL/URL communities, but as Cyber professionals, a blended Team that delivers fleet readiness and operational capability in Cyberspace.

Publicly available from the NETWARCOM website:

NETWARCOM Strategic Plan 2009-2013

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Setting Organizational Strategy

For much of the 20th century, “leadership” in the Navy has meant “control.” Senior Navy leaders established formal structures and processes. They handed Sailors detailed instructions and specifications that directed them to perform specific tasks in a precise manner. Ships, squadrons and commands operated in well-defined stovepipes and their processes/systems were very hierarchical.

These organizations no longer operate in the same way they did during the last century. Today’s Sailors have different expectations than did Sailors of their parents' and grandparents' generation when they served. The world is more complex. and so is the Navy. Sustained performance improvement in the Navy can be achieved only by seeing and managing interrelationships across the entire enterprise, rather than by asserting and hoping for linear cause and effect.

Arie de Geus, former coordinator of strategic planning at Royal Dutch Shell, published an article in the Harvard Business Review in 1988 called Planning as Learning, in which he proposed that the ability to continually rethink one’s purpose and methods was not just a valuable technique, but the single factor most responsible for competitive advantage. As long as the Navy possesses the ability to innovate and to develop its Sailors, it would always remain one jump ahead of their competitors. This is the essence of strategic management.

Paraphrased from "The Strategy Bridge Approach to Strategic Management" written by the President and CEO of Strategy Bridge International, Mark A. Wilson. His privately owned firm is five years old on 17 March 2008. He is a retired Navy Reserve Captain. For more information contact:

Strategy Bridge International, Inc.
9 North Loudoun Street, Suite 208
Winchester, VA 22601- 4798


Leadership - Followership: Give and Take

Transformational Information Warfare leadership requires a reciprocal process of problem-solving and innovation within the IW community. Effective leadership and productive followership in the IW community require critical thinking and the sharing of meaning through effective communication. Therefore, effective group behavior within the IW community requires special attention to all aspects of communication cycle (receiving, processing, and sending information) and to all forms of expression (written, oral, and nonverbal). We're trying to move to the upper right hand quadrant of the graphic on the right. All of this is predicated on our genuine concern for our subordinates.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Leadership Challenges in The FLEET

By Donnie Horner - Naval Academy Class of 1961 Chair and distinguished professor of leadership education in the Department of Leadership, Ethics, and Law at the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA).

To order “all stop” is unusual for any organization of any size in any business. Doing so twice in one year may hint at the depth of the problems faced.

The typical recent query from young officers goes something like this: “Why, Professor, is the leadership you teach and the leadership we learn not in line with what we’ve encountered in the fleet?”

One junior officer in Mayport, Fla., explained: “I typically get thrown off the bridge at least once during a watch by a senior officer in some sort of profanity-laced tirade. Most of the time I have no idea what I did to cause the explosion.” **NOTE: Some Admirals are trying to fix this - more and more Commanding Officers are being relieved for "poor command climate".

Maybe there’s more to the recent calamities than “poor seamanship and weak navigation skills” — these being perhaps only indicators of more significant problems. Maybe there’s something more deeply wrong with the Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) culture — something that produces a dysfunctional command climate which erodes effectiveness, teamwork, cohesion and war-fighting skills.

“There’s definitely a SWO culture. Thrive off of getting as little sleep as humanly possible, think Aegis is the greatest thing to happen to the human race, make fun of the folks who ‘don’t get it,’ talk down about the non-watchstanding supply rates, and you’re ‘in.’ It’s a bit like high school. SWOs eat their young. You earn respect for ripping into people and just being generally ‘hard-core.’ ”

“SWOs eat their young. Your job: stay on the good side of the bullies, the feared and unrelenting senior officers on your ship. Avoid being on the receiving end of their wrath. I am ashamed to say that I contributed to this culture to avoid finding myself on the other side of the table. To deal with the bullies, you become a bully. And, if you survive, you wear your SWO pin ‘like a badge of honor.’ ”

These comments provide a classic illustration of in-groups and out-groups, and the enormous amount of wasted energy that goes into their formation and maintenance. Far from reinforcing the value prioritization of ship-shipmate-self, these groups create conflict, inhibit information flow, and have a negative effect on the good order and discipline of the unit.

In fairness, several SWOs reported highly contrasting cultures on their ships which produced inherently positive experiences. These SWOs report senior leaders who are “civilized, respectable, tactful, knowledgeable men” that were like father figures and teachers whom you cared more about letting down than fearing an impending eruption. However, these SWOs were quick to add that theirs was not the normal experience and not indicative of the dominant SWO culture. “My ship was an anomaly,” was a typical refrain.

Something is amiss. If the descriptions of the dominant SWO culture are accurate, then it’s no wonder ships are running aground, boats are colliding and sailors are being lost overboard.

Think about it: Verbal abuse. Public degradation. Sleep deprivation. Fear. Temperamental outbursts. High school antics. Bullying. These descriptors are more indicative of hazing rituals than meaningful combat training aspiring to build watch team cohesion and capable war-fighters.

It should be acknowledged that any thoughtful, contemplative leader understands that there are times when emotionally charged engagement and public denigrations might be necessary and appropriate. Purposefully wonton, reckless, replicated behaviors would qualify for such a response.

Read the full article in NAVY TIMES here.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

"Attentive Versus Intrusive" Leadership

It is never a waste of time for the Division Officer to talk to his Sailors about their personal problems. Even though the problem may seem small to the Division Officer, it will normally be very important to the individual Sailor concerned, and therefore, must not be dismissed lightly. Regardless of what the problem is, it must be given the same consideration as you would to the Sailor's performance onboard the ship.

Even worse than ignoring a Sailor's personal problem would be for an officer to ridicule, treat with sarcasm, or try and 'brush off' any one who takes him into his confidence on matters of any sort. Sailors have committed suicide because at a point in time in their lives when they were benumbed with problems, no one took them seriously.

A Division Officer will grow in the esteem of his Sailors only if he treats the problems of their personal lives with respect. This does not mean that he should create an atmosphere that promotes bypassing the Chief Petty Officers in the chain of command. Rather, he should build up the prestige of his Division Chief to the extent that their subordinates will seek his counsel and guidance first, rather than bringing all their problems to the Division Officer himself.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Fired, Fired, Fired, Fired and ...Fired

Five Commanding Officers have already been fired this year. On a pace to reach 24. It could be a new record.

We are ahead of our pace for last year. In recent days...

The commander of Explosives Ordnance Disposal Group 2, Capt. Thomas Sitsch, was fired Friday the 13th of March for “loss of confidence in [his] ability to command.”

The Commanding Officer of USS Port Royal was fired for running his ship 'hard aground". Damage estimates are in the 40-60 million dollar range. When will we see a court-martial for this kind of offense? We routinely take Sailors to courts-martial for stealing 5oo to 200,000 dollars.

Lt. Cmdr. Matt Tucker, who commanded USS Persistent, was relieved by the commander of Mine Countermeasures Squadron 2, Capt. Robert Hospodar, just over three weeks after Naval Station Ingleside, Texas-based USS Devastator underwent a scheduled examination by the Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV). The results of the INSURV are now classified to minimize the risk to the U.S. Navy by limiting dissemination of our vulnerabilities which could be exploited by our adversaries.

((LATE ADDITION: 15 JUNE 2011:  I have heard that the BCNR has reversed Captain Gospodar's decision to "Detach" LCDR Matt Tucker "For Cause".  I am not sure what all that entails.))

The CO and XO of the Japan-based dock landing ship USS Tortuga were fired Thursday, according to a Navy statement. Commanding officer Cmdr. John Zuhowski was fired by Rear Adm. Richard Landolt, commander of Amphibious Force 7th Fleet (CTF76), because of “a loss of confidence in his ability to command,” the statement said. Landolt also fired Zuhowski’s executive officer, Lt. Cmdr. Dennis Burke, the statement said, but no specific reason was provided for his relief.

The Sailor Prefers His Talks 'Neat'

"A Sailor does not want to be mustered on someone else's mess deck to hear a succession of vague and long-winded discourses on nothing in particular. Neither does he enjoy false heroics or "flannel". Like his tot, the Sailor prefers his talks 'neat'...make certain you have something quite definitive to say, and work out exactly how to say it beforehand. If Winston Churchill has to rehearse all his speeches, there is no reason why you should not."

Royal Naval Officer's Guide, 1943

Friday, March 13, 2009

Leadership Malpractice

A flawed strategy is almost always the product of failures further up (the chain of command) in the decision making process. This process begins with diagnosis - identifying the correct problem or opportunity. It is followed by having the appropriate input - the information and insight necessary to understand the problem or opportunity - and throughput - the ability to reach the most appropriate and impacting conclusions from the data and situational analysis and connecting them to strategies.

Paul Kinsinger, "Holding leaders accountable for leadership malpractice," March 1, 2009 Thunderbird Knowledge Network


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Tough Decisions & Recovering From Failure

Tough Decision

The hardest decision? I think the most difficult decisions I’ve had to make are when I have had to relieve (fire) terrific people who have shown in their professional ability an inability to do what I expected of them. And in some cases, particularly, where they have made a major mistake from which personally they can recover but in the command in which I find – or we find ourselves, they – it’s my judgment that they leave.

And I also believe – and this is not a strength of many people – that when people are – when they’re performance is not matching up – and I try to do this, I’ve done this a long time. I look them in the eye, and I say it’s not matching up. People want to – they want to know where they stand, even if they’re not – even if it’s not what they think. And the worst thing we can do is lead them along thinking everything is okay. And then at the end of an evaluation period, crush them. They need to know early what they have to do to improve their performance.

So I think that in general, the hardest decisions I’ve ever had (to make) involve people.

Recovering From Failure

Student: You spoke of several failures in your career and that through perseverance you’ve pulled yourself up from them, and I think that’s an important quality in a leader. Can you name one of those specific failures and how you did that?

Admiral Mullen: Well, I indicated I loved the Navy because it gave me commands. It gave me three ships and two of them I bombed out of very badly, temporarily. The first one that I talked about – and as a young CO – a young lieutenant – you’re still Captain of the ship. So, you know, literally, the first time I got the ship underway, had a pretty bad incident and was written a piece of paper that would end my career – official, in-my-record piece of paper. And I worked for two years to get that piece of paper out – there are processes to do that – and then it took me 11 years to recover, professionally, from that time.

And then the other one was as a very senior officer command at the captain level, major, major ship and I failed a major inspection in front of the world on what was then the best ship in the Atlantic fleet. So publicly, pretty embarrassing, and I would not have survived that had I not had a couple of admirals who saw some potential there and decided not to end my career. So it was their mentorship – and then in both cases, I worked pretty hard to recover – learned the lessons because, as I indicated, it’s not that I failed as much as what did I learn and did I improve, and I worked pretty hard to do that.

Remarks by Adm. Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the National Youth Leadership Forum on National Security

Transparency and Alignment

“If you remember nothing else from my remarks today, remember these two words, ‘alignment’ and ‘transparency’. Those are the two themes we will focus on as we deal with the very real challenges we face today in the distribution of the most skilled and motivated Sailors our Navy has ever seen.”

“Alignment ensures that our efforts are applied to the problem and not to each other. It also empowers our subordinates to act on their own in support of our efforts without permission. Transparency makes it clear to our constituents and their families what we’re doing and why. It helps build trust between us and the Sailors we serve.”

Rear Adm. Donald P. Quinn
Commander, Navy Personnel Command (NPC) & Deputy Chief of Naval Personnel (CNP)

Note: I can remember two words - alignment and transparency. Here's hoping our Sailors and their families get some of that in the detailing process.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Blue Ocean Strategy

Never use competition as a benchmark – instead make it irrelevant by creating a leap in value for both Sailors and the Navy itself. We're not competing with the Intelligence or the Information Professional communities. Our contribution to the Navy and Joint mission is unique. The question becomes - HOW DO WE CREATE A LEAP IN VALUE FOR OUR SAILORS AND THE NAVY/JOINT WARFIGHTER SIMULTANEOUSLY ?

When the Information Warfare Community offers the Navy a leap in value, it will quickly earn brand buzz and a loyal following among Navy and Joint warfighters. We've seen a very DIRECT validation of this fact with our Army, Marine and SEAL brethren in Iraq. IWOs and CTs are delivering a product they can't get anywhere else. And that product is saving life and limb.

Blue ocean strategy rejects the fundamental tenet of conventional strategy: that a tradeoff exists between value and cost.
  • The suggestion is that strategy is essentially a choice between differentiation and low cost.
  • The evidence is that in creating blue oceans – successful companies pursue differentiation and low cost simultaneously.
OPINION: With differentiation, we have done a good job by planning for and implementing the merger of CTA and CTO with other similar Navy ratings. We had lost our ability, over time, to sufficiently differentiate those ratings from their Navy counterpart ratings. We need to ensure that our other ratings CTM, CTI, CTT, CTR and CTN remain sufficiently differentiated from their Navy counterpart ratings. Similarly, differentiation of our Information Warfare Officers from their Intelligence officer and Information Professional officer counterparts will be critical to the future viability of the Information Warfare Officer community.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Once Upon A Time - Punctilious Correspondence

Correspondence With Naval Officers

All naval officers are expected to be punctilious with their personal correspondence. Letters written in a personal capacity or semi-official letters must be answered promptly by juniors and seniors alike. While it is the very height of discourteousness to 'forget' to reply, it is equally important to address the letter correctly.

The Chief of Naval Operations is always to be addressed as 'Dear CNO'. Other Flag Officers are to be addressed as 'Dear Admiral', irrespective of whether they are Rear or Vice Admiral. Alternatively, they may be addressed by the appointment they hold, for instance, 'Dear Commander, Fleet Forces Command'.

Officers of the rank of Captain and below may be addressed with only the rank or with the rank and name, for e.g. 'Dear Commander' or as 'Dear Commander Smith'. Civilians are addressed by their name or by their designation, (e.g., 'Dear Mr. Secretary' or as 'Dear Mr Gates'). Letters to juniors are to be similarly addressed with the only exception that if the officer is a close acquaintance the rank can be dropped and he can be addressed as 'Dear Jim'.

A semi official letter is ended with, 'Very respectfully', "Yours Aye', or 'Yours in Naval Service' - the former being the most formal of the three.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Chivalry, Courtesy and Impeccable Manners

A Naval officer is known for his chivalry, courtesy and impeccable manners. The changed socio-economic environment has also changed the social pattern. Though we must change with the changing times, this should not be allowed to impinge upon our traditions, core values and moral behavior.

Social etiquette is a code of behavior based on consideration and thoughtfulness. Etiquette is all about respect and dignity. Etiquette helps us to achieve control over our behavior. Adherence to etiquette by one and all, especially in the close environs in which we live and work, will help us in making our life not only graceful but also pleasurable.

Treat your fellow Naval officers with dignity and respect. Return their phone calls, respond to their e-mails, answer their messages/letters and give them the courtesy of a heads-up when crap is headed their way.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

In The Dream World of Navy Detailing

During his remarks, the head detailer discussed his three guiding principles:
  1. love our Sailors
  2. lean toward yes, and
  3. do the right thing.

“The first of these guiding principles is to love our Sailors. With this in mind, we treat every Sailor as a valued asset, with dignity and respect. We have provided and will continue to provide world-class HR (human resource) services and show them every day that the Navy is a great organization to be a part of. Saying ‘love our Sailors’ is unexpected, emotional, and it is a message that Sailors truly understand."

“Our second guiding principle is that we lean toward yes. Our default setting has been adjusted and set to ‘YES’. By making this change, we have constantly challenged assumptions and the status quo in pursuit of excellence. A positive culture has been created here at Navy Personnel Command where the easy answer is not always the right answer and we are willing to point that out.”

“The third and final principle is that we do the right thing. By upholding the highest standards of honesty, transparency, fairness, and responsibility we have increased the efficiency and effectiveness of this organization. We have carefully balanced our responsibility to be good stewards of the government, while always considering how best to serve the Navy, our Sailors, and their families.”

Okay, so it's not really that way. But we can dream, right?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Confidence in the leader

From the 1944 Naval Officer's Guide:

"Confidence in the leader promotes discipline; it is towards this end that we aspire in the American Navy. Cheerful, spontaneous cooperation and compliance to orders is the result of proper discipline under a respected leader.

The discipline of fear, "cracking the whip", and threats of punishment is not applicable to our service, nor is it desirable. The American bluejacket is a citizen, who attended the same schools as the officer, who was brought up in the same kind of home, who has lived the same life, and who expects from those placed over him by virtue of their rank and experience the fair play and cooperation that he has been taught to expect as his right."

~ Commander Arthur A. Ageton, USN

Friday, March 6, 2009

Information Warfare Slate - What is it?

From the FAQ on Naval Personnel Command's Information Warfare page.

Webster's dictionary defines "slate" as: "A list of candidates for nomination or election." Which is exactly what we mean when we say "that billet is on the slate" or "I will put your name on the slate."

The "Slate" is a list of candidates that are being proposed by the detailer to the flag deck to fill key Information Warfare Officer community billets. There are two slates, the "LCDR slate" and the "CDR/CAPT slate." The "slate" is typically forwarded and briefed to the flag deck twice a year. If you want to be considered for a "slate" job, you need to contact the detailer early; Approximately 18 months prior to the fill date for the billet you want to be considered for or 18 months prior to the incumbent's PRD, if you are looking at the Information Warfare Officer List (IWOL).

Typical billets that are on the "slate" are: CO/XO, Afloat staffs IWO (CRC, DIWC), Major Staffs (NPC, OPNAV, NNWC, COCOMs), Key # Flt Staff billets, Key joint billets.

"The Slate" is the place to be. You have got to get on it !

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Sailors Matter Most

Sailors are the most important assets of a Division Officer. They are the one common denominator in all naval activities. Machinery can be repaired, and compartments repainted with routine ease, but tired, disheartened or demoralized Sailors cannot be restored to fresh energy and spirit without the employment of much time and skill.

To realize this latent energy takes wisdom and skill in human relations, but the rewards can be immeasurable. Sailors will perform more efficiently and will make more sacrifices for a leader they respect and trust, than for one who merely drives them along with the force of his impersonal and delegated authority. The measure of success of a leader with Sailors is a measure of success in his profession.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Route To A Better Navy

The route to a better Navy is not found by painting the smiley face bigger. Or by clapping louder. Honesty, honor and willingness to take a frank evaluation are the only ways to improve the Navy.

If that’s too hard, or you’re a star and have trouble digesting my sentiment, then get out of my service. Find employment at a next-gen Enron or something. It’ll pay better.

If this disgusts you, I invite you to call Congress.


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

In my 38 years of service...Management fads

From the March USNI PROCEEDINGS Magazine

...I encountered numerous fads, and none, repeat none, ever made my unit or me more combat ready or my office or command more efficient in the use of taxpayer-supplied resources. Over the years we weathered MBO, TQL/TQM, Matrix Management, Process Re-engineering, Team-Based Management, Zero Defects, ISO 9000 and, now Lean Six Sigma. Each time the fad-of-the-day required dedicated trainers, time devoted to being trained, a report structure that clogged the paperwork flow, and more. Those of us in charge at the times these fads came along put up with them because it was suggested that if we didn't, careers would be limited. Thus arose gundecking, sissimulation, lip service, and snickers in the wardroom and ready rooms. The American Sailor, too, could readily see that and the secondary effects were everywhere, except for growth in efficiency.

((What should be done instead?))

...Apply a leadership formula, which has worked time and again over the years:

Ensure that the people in your organization know clearly what's expected of them.

Ensure they have the right training.

Provide them the right tools.

Then, cheer them on.
Do that, and dollars will be saved and the next management fad will be even more irrelevant and better ignored. That would be good for the Navy and all who serve in it.

Vice Admiral Robert F. Dunn, U.S. Navy (Retired)

FULL DISCLOSURE: When I was on active duty, I was an "early adopter" of these management fads and every other Navy policy. I thought it was my responsibility to implement these programs and policies as a Naval officer. Little did I know that, even among the most senior leaders of the Navy, there was great resistance to implementing these fads, programs and policies. It's nice to see VADM Dunn point out his own opposition to these things although he "put up with them" so his career would not be 'limited'.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Navy Information Warfare Officer Training

Navy Information Warfare Officers play a vital role in defending our national security. Electronic warfare, computer network operations, psychological operations, military deception and operations security are some of the capabilities routinely employed to influence adversarial decision making while protecting our own capabilities.

Information Warfare Officers are directly involved in many aspects of Naval operations, deploying globally to support Navy and joint war-fighting requirements. They provide vital information to tactical-, theater-, and national-level decision makers. They serve within sea, air and shore commands around the globe. And, they lead cryptologic technicians in related activities — afloat and ashore.

The responsibility of the Information Warfare community (NNWC) is to deliver overwhelming information superiority that successfully supports command objectives. This is achieved through the application of Information Operations (IO) and Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) expertise. The work involves attacking, defending and exploiting networks to capitalize on vulnerabilities in the information environment. And ultimately, providing war-fighters, planners and policy makers with real-time warning, offensive opportunities and an ongoing operational advantage.

Following graduation from the eleven-week Navy Information Warfare Basic Course at the Center for Information Dominance - Corry Station in Pensacola, Florida, IWOs will report to their first duty assignment. Many Information Warfare Officers serve at the National Security Agency, at the Pentagon, at Regional Cryptologic Centers throughout the country, and aboard ships, submarines and aircraft. Duties typically include:

* Leading Information Operations personnel, as well as advising Commanding Officers and embarked commanders
* Coordinating information warfare measures in exercises and operations
* Assuming responsibility for collection, processing, analysis and reporting of real-time signals intelligence
* Conducting Computer Network Operations (CNO)
* Developing and acquiring cutting-edge exploitation and defense systems

IWOs may have the opportunity to attend the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, to earn an advanced degree. The school offers advanced degrees (master's or doctoral) in many programs and, Information Warfare Officers may have the opportunity to pursue electrical engineering, information warfare, systems engineering, computer science and regional studies.

The Junior Officer Cryptologic Career Program (JOCCP) is a competitive three-year program to broaden your education and experience and includes an intensive internship at the National Security Agency that focuses on the fundamentals of cryptologic skills and leadership. Though not funded as a part of this program, IWOs are also encouraged to earn a master's degree in information systems and technology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, or at other educational institutions nearby.

IWOs may earn special pay such as sea pay and hazardous duty incentive pay for the performance of certain duties. IWOs may also earn Foreign Language Proficiency Pay for proficiency in select foreign languages.

Most prospective Information Warfare Officers attend Officer Candidate School (OCS), a 12-week Navy orientation school in Newport, Rhode Island. OCS will give individuals a working knowledge of the Navy and will prepare them to assume the responsibilities of a being a Navy Officer — morally, mentally and physically. They are challenged to live up to the highest moral standards and to uphold the Navy's core values of honor, courage and commitment. Training will involve memorization of military knowledge, academic courses and military inspections. Physical training will consist of running, calisthenics and aquatic programs.

After completing OCS, IWOs attend the eleven-week Navy Information Warfare Basic Course at the Center for Information Dominance - Corry Station in Pensacola, Florida. This course teaches the fundamentals of Information Warfare and includes:
  • Introduction to Security
  • U.S. Cryptologic System
  • Electromagnetic Theory
  • Satellite Fundamentals
  • Military Communications
  • Signals Collection Operations
  • Tactical Cryptology
  • Collection Management
  • Traffic Analysis
  • SIGINT Reporting
  • Information Operations
  • Computer Networks
This training provides the fundamental skills necessary to conduct cryptologic operations both afloat and ashore. Upon graduation, initial assignments for IWOs will typically be to one of the four National Cryptologic Centers in either San Antonio, Texas; Kunia, Hawaii; Augusta, Georgia; or Fort Meade, Maryland. There, the IWOs will gain additional leadership and management experience.

IW Officers will gain basic leadership and management experience, while completing their Job Qualification Requirements (JQR) for IW officers. These skills are increasingly important as an officer progresses more responsible duties and must motivate and lead our highly skilled enlisted technicians. While assigned to field activities, officers may be given the opportunity to deploy, in a TAD status, aboard combatant ships or submarines. In that capacity the officer is charged with providing tactical cryptologic support to the commanding officer and/or embarked staff. IW Officers will normally complete IWBC and one shore tour prior to assignment to an afloat billet as ship’s company.

Being a Navy Information Warfare Officer offers a rewarding career with a corps of Enlisted and Officer professionals. Some IWOs serve at the forefront of Naval operations worldwide and be on the cutting edge of information warfare technologies. Potential for IWO advancement and continuing education opportunities are the same as or better than in other Navy Officer communities. Career Officers often enjoy increased responsibility and challenges that can include command, Fleet Commander Staff duty, major staff duty and duty as Information Warfare Commander. The specialized knowledge and expertise gained as an Information Warfare Officer, coupled with a security clearance, may prepare IWOs for future employment with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or National Security Agency (NSA) should they decide to return to the civilian sector when their obligated service is finished.

Revised slightly on 03/31/09 and again on 05/11/09.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Take her down - USS GROWLER

The Growler's story is the story of Commander Howard W. Gilmore. From the bridge one black night, he spotted an enemy gunboat. He swung the Growler away to ready his torpedoes, swung back to attack. In the darkness he did not see that the enemy had reversed course and was bearing down on him. Too close to use torpedoes, and directing from the bridge, he rammed the Growler into the gunboat at 17 knots.

A moment after collision the sub-was raked with machine-gun fire. "Clear the bridge," Gilmore ordered. Four men, two of them hurt, slid down the hatch, but not Gilmore, who was helplessly wounded. His last order, in a crisp voice, was "Take her down." He had to say it once more before his executive officer closed the hatch, took her down, leaving his skipper to drown. The Growler made it home, to fight again.

From TIME Magazine, March 1951