Friday, November 5, 2010

Skipper, I have a news flash for you..

"You're not the smartest guy in the wardroom.  You're not the smartest guy in the command.  You're not even in the top ten." 

Ten years ago, I knew I had some real smart Sailors in my command.  The smartest among them were not in my wardroom or in the Chief Petty Officers mess.  They were all Whitehats.  All had put their educations on hold as they served their country.  Today, 10 years later, they have completed another phase of their educations.  Among the 150+ Sailors, 20 have completed their Masters Degrees and two are PhDs.  Those are some smart Sailors.  Yes indeed, we had a fine group of men and women serving at U.S. Naval Security Group Activity Yokosuka, Japan.  B.Z.  and thank you for your service.

Navy education programs work.  Be sure to take advantage of every training/education opportunity that comes your way.

6 comments:

Anathema said...

While I agree that COs (or anyone) should not assume they are the smartest people in the room - it's also a mistake to equate education with intelligence...

Sean Heritage said...

That surely is the case down here at OUR command. The key is to acknowledge, celebrate and leverage that fact for the good of the team, while helping everyone to get better in the process. I have witnessed too many COs feel threatened when they hear that very news. If I am ever the smartest guy in the room, I'll leave, for that group is in trouble.

sagegenx said...

Great site! As a former CTI who went on to complete both a Masters degree and soon a PhD in Organizational Psychology, I appreciate your comments greatly. And as I continue my service coaching veterans transitioning from active duty to civilian leadership roles, I am hopefully giving something back to the great Navy leadership to which I was exposed! Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Education is great and I think it has it's place. However, education and degrees do not produce leaders. MCPON Scott tried to make degrees mandatory in the Chief's Mess and this was not the correct direction for Chiefs. Chiefs need to be on the deckplates mentoring Sailors (enlisted and officers). If a CPO is too busy taking his online courses rather than actually leading he is failing the whole organization.

Additionally, if the enlisted force is gaining Bachelors, Masters, and PhDs and an Ensign only needs a Bachelors, why is the enlisted force not compensated with equal pay? The Os and Es jobs are blurred and the pay scale needs to reflect this.

Rubber Ducky said...

The CO may not be the smartest person on a ship (whatever 'smartest' is) but - it comes as a surprise to many COs - she is usually the most experienced. Which is a bit daunting if you're that person and are facing problems that no one has seen before.

I found myself at sea as a brand-new CO in the Navy's oldest diesel submarine just coming out of a major shipyard overhaul. We had a big leak on the packing gland of our port shaft, we couldn't get adequate fuel pressure running surfaced, and one of our bulkhead flappers absolutely refused to shut. We fixed the packing gland, opened the gooseneck topside to find a big piece of industrial canvas restricting the fuel flow, and undid the bulkhead flapper to remove a DC wedge in the vent line (love those yardbirds; also had a piece of A/C piping left in the vent line go through the battery ventilation fan when we took a good down angle submerged and utterly destroy this vital piece of gear). I wasn't expert on any of these, but I was still the captain and had to honcho the investigations and sign off on the repair decisions - no one else had ever seen quite this set of problems and they all looked to me for magic (or at least the ability to fake magic convincingly).

Smart or not, skipper, you're the skipper. And you wouldn't be there if the system had doubts about your ability. As Bull Halsey said, "When your in command ... command!"

cutiepiedavide said...

Happy 74th B-Day Ret. USN, Capt. Clyde Lopez,
I must say, I like the cut of his Jib! I faired well, after serving the USN, under your Command. I am proud to have been under one of the famous seven Lopez brothers with Presidential citations. I ran for President in 2004, against Pres. George W. Bush. So, as one of your own shipmates, my career has been full of success! My succeses, Actor, Model, Dancer, Performer, Entertainer, Professional Activist, Humanitarian, Historian, & Writer have kept my life full.

Heartfully, Queen of Hearts~ CA USA