Saturday, December 31, 2011

10 Reasons I've Enjoyed Posting To This Blog Over The Past Year

In no particular order.

1.  It allowed me to engage with a wonderful author and to write the Chapter 1 opening vignette for a Wall Street Journal/Amazon best-selling business book.  Dr. Stephen Covey and Bono 'open' for me.
2.  It gave me the opportunity to help a Pulitzer prize winning author with research for his story on The SeaWitch in TIME magazine.
3.  It has allowed me to remain connected to the Navy's cryptologic community, which I love.
4.  It earned me an invite to speak at a Women In Defense forum and to contribute ideas to numerous professional publications.
5.  It has allowed others to freely express their frustrations on a variety of topics important to them.
6.  It allowed me to expand the network of Sailors of all paygrades that I mentor and with whom I share lessons learned.
7.  It allowed me to collaborate with the former CNO on avenues to gain recognition of the Navy as a TOP 50 Employer in the United States.
8.  It allowed me to keep alive the memory of some stellar Sailors.
9.  It has allowed me to write everyday, which I love.
10.  It has connected me to some great Navy veterans and many others who proudly serve today.

Friday, December 30, 2011

10 Signs Your Skipper May Not Like You and 10 Signs That He/She Just Isn't That Into You

1.  He has the promotion list with your name on it and he makes you wait outside his office for 40 minutes stewing over it before sharing the good news with you.
2.  She doesn't answer your letters or e-mails.
3.  He won't endorse any of your requests to higher authority.
4.  She insults you in front of family and friends at every opportunity.
5.  He takes all the credit for good deeds and blames failures on you.
6.  She never repays her $$$ debt to you.
7.  He's happy to have you do all of his 'dirty' work and does all the fun stuff himself.
8.  She NEVER respects your time or that of your subordinates.
9.  He never accepts any of your suggestions or recommendations.
10.  She tells you, "You know, I just don't like you."

AND, here is something from Alison Green at US NEWS and WORLD REPORT on 10 signs that your boss just isn’t that into you:

1. You ask for more feedback and don’t get it.
2. He doesn’t introduce you to important contacts.
3. She turns your raise request down without much explanation.
4. He doesn’t trust you to get your work done.
5. You imply you’re looking at other jobs and she doesn’t seem to care.
6. You hear little positive feedback.
7. She never asks for your advice.
8. You have trouble getting his attention.
9. She shows no interest in trying to solve your problems.
10. He tells you (he's not that into you). See my #10 above.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Role of The Crew in Command Excellence

It is the crew, led by the officers and Chiefs, who must ultimately accomplish the command's mission. The crew is where "the keel meets the water." Without a top-performing crew, no command can be successful.

Commanding Officers of superior commands are particularly adept at molding their crew into a highly unified, spirited, fighting team with a laser-like focus: accomplishing the command's mission. When asked, these crews can not only clearly describe the command's philosophy and goals, but they also voice wholehearted support of the CO and his approach. Because the CO, XO, officers, and Chiefs frequently explain what they want done and why, the crew knows what is expected of them and feels a part of the team. The result is enthusiasm, motivation, and pride in the command. These crews often praise their CO with the ultimate accolade: "I'd go to war with him." In average commands, the crew may not be sure of the command's philosophy or may withhold their total support of it.

The crew in superior commands also live up to the high standards demanded by their officers and Chiefs. They know that when they succeed, they will be recognized and rewarded; equally well, they know that when they make mistakes, they will be told and corrective action taken. Their commitment to upholding the command's standards generates a strong sense of responsibility for their individual work areas. They act on the principle that if you're going to do something, then do it right, and do it right the first time.

Crew members of superior commands realize that success depends on a team effort. They don't act or do their jobs in disregard of the rest of the command. They communicate frequently, coordinate activities, and help each other out when necessary. In addition, they are careful about following the chain of command. They know that violating it disrupts teamwork, creates confusion, hurts morale, and hinders leadership.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2012 Cryptologic/IW Leadership Lineup

1. VADM Michael S. Rogers - 1810
Commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/TENTH Fleet

2. RADM William Leigher - 1810
Director of Warfare Integration for Information Dominance (OPNAV N2/N6F)

3. RDML Sean Filipowski - 1810
Deputy Director of Operations, U.S. Cyber Command

4. RDML Jan E. Tighe - 1810
Director, Decision Superiority, OPNAV N2N6F4

5. RDML Willie Metts - 1810
Deputy Chief of Tailored Access Operations, National Security Agency

6. Mr. Mark Neighbors - Former 1610
Special Assistant to Vice Admiral Kenneth Card

7. Mr. Jerome Rapin - Former 1610
Director - Cyber, Sensors and Electronic Warfare - OPNAV N2N6F3

Rear Admiral Michael A. Brown will have a retirement ceremony at the United States Naval Academy on 13 January 2012. We thank him for his selfless service to the Navy and the Nation and for his leadership in the cryptologic community.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Give Your Officers A Little More Praise

"Hereafter, if you should observe an occasion to give your officers and friends a little more praise than is their due, and confess more fault than you can justly be charged with, you will only become the sooner for it, a great captain. Criticizing and censuring almost everyone you have to do with will diminish friends, increase enemies, and thereby hurt your affairs."

Benjamin Franklin in a note to Captain John Paul Jones

Monday, December 26, 2011

Sharing Information


Sharing what one knows is intuitive. This is particularly true within the Navy and Marine Corps where teamwork is held in the highest regard. Excellent examples of intuitive knowledge  sharing are Navy Chief Petty Officer messes and Company Non-Commissioned Officer  discussions within the Marine Corps.  

However, the consistent application of knowledge management concepts, techniques, tools, and technologies will improve knowledge identification, sharing, and re-use. In turn, this will help optimize decision-making, improve efficiency and effectiveness of task accomplishment, and empower the Naval warfighter.  

Knowledge management fosters collaboration across organizational boundaries, time and space, and links people who have the requisite tacit and explicit knowledge with those who need it to do their job.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Bad Detailing Assignments

I loved hearing this from a detailer buddy of mine recently :

"There really isn't any such thing as a bad Information Warfare/Cryptology assignment.  There are only different kinds of good assignments."

I'm not going to argue with that.  Sign me up for another tour.

USS NEW YORK (LPD-21) XO fired for fraternization - unduly familiar relationship

The Executive Officer of the amphibious transport dock USS NEW YORK (LPD-21) was fired on 21 December for having an “unduly familiar relationship” with a female member of the crew, the Navy announced Thursday.

Commander John Pethel was relieved by Captain Mark Scovill, commander of Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 8, and was given a punitive letter of reprimand for fraternization, according to a statement by Naval Surface Force Atlantic.

Commander Pethel has been temporarily reassigned to SURFLANT. Lieutenant Commander Ethan Mitchell has assumed responsibilities as Executive Officer.

Commander Pethel had been Executive Officer since January 2011.  He almost survived a year.  He was relieved as Executive Officer in November while under investigation and was awarded Nonjudicial Punishment in December.

His bio follows:
Commander John Pethel was born in Sumter, SC and joined the  United  States  Navy  upon  graduating  high  school  in Mount Pleasant, SC in 1986. Completed Naval Aircrew School and Aviation Rescue Swimmer school in 1987 with subsequent operational tours in Helantisubron Twelve in Atsugi,  Japan  (USS  MIDWAY  CV-41)  and  Helantisubron Eight in San Diego, California (USS INDEPENDENCE CV-62). Shore duty was served as an instructor at FASOTRAGRUPAC from 1992-1995. In 1995, was selected to attend Officer Candidate School with Division Officer tours in USS TAYLOR (FFG-50), and USS KITTY HAWK (CV-63) from 1996-1999. Attended the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA and received a Master’s of Arts for National Security and Affairs in the summer of 2001.  Surface Warfare Department tours were conducted in USS TORTUGA (LSD-46) from 2002-2003 and USS WASP (LHD-1) from 2003-2005, both as the First Lieutenant. Shore duty assignment was as the Deputy Director for a NATO program while attached to the US Joint Forces Command from 2005-2007, with follow-on orders to serve as the Amphibious  Placement Officer in Millington, TN from 2007-2008. Volunteered for an Individual Augment while assigned to Millington and served 8 months in Kandahar, Afghanistan working with the Afghan National Army. Upon completion of the Afghanistan tour, served as the Assistant Personnel Officer on the Staff of Commander, Naval Surface Forces Atlantic until reporting in USS NEW YORK (LPD-21) as the Executive Officer in January 2011.

CDR Pethel has received the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (2), the Navy Commendation Medal (3), Navy Achievement Medal (3) and various unit awards and decorations.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A thought

"Be ashamed to retire from the Navy until you have won at least one victory for your Sailors."

Paraphrasing Horace Mann

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Accountability

"Men will not trust leaders who feel themselves beyond accountability for what they do."

Admiral Kinnaird R. McKee
Director, Navy Nuclear Propulsion (1982-1989)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Inordinately Fortunate

I was inordinately fortunate during my early professional career.  I worked for some truly awful leaders.

Thus during the subsequent free time that life sometimes provides, I always had a full wagonload of professional grist waiting to grind.  The important questions were always the same.  Why had my bosses acted without apparent thought?  Why didn't my supervisors understand the effects their actions had on people?

Why had our team always done everything the hard way?

I had spend hours on these questions.

For the answers to these and other penetrating leadership questions, read Rear Admiral Dave Oliver, Jr.'s book, LEAD ON! A Practical Approach to Leadership  

You can get a preview HERE.

My signed copy is available for loan.  Shoot me an e-mail.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Standing of The Whole Is Essential

Character  and  standards  of  personal conduct  remain  of  highest  importance, as has always been true of military leaders. The effective naval officer of the present and future, like his brother of the past, must regard his commission as a career, not a mere job. He dedicates himself to the high ideals of military leadership.  Some who receive commissions, all being  human, will  prove  unequal to these standards (e.g. the 22 COs fired in 2011). There  have been a  few  unfortunate  events of  recent years, well  known  to most people, which  have weakened  the standing  of the  Armed  Forces in  the eyes of many people. To whatever extent this feeling persists, to that degree the security of the nation has been compromised. People will not entrust willingly their sons or husbands to military leadership, even in time of emergency or  war, unless  they have abundant faith in the character as well as the professional competence of the great mass of military leaders. The presence of a  few  names of  national  prominence  will not  alone  suffice. Ensigns  and  lieutenants  are  important,  as  captains  and  admirals  are  important.  The standing of the whole is essential. Enlisted  men  will not  willingly and  effectively train  or  fight if  they have doubts  where there should  be confidence.

From: The Naval Officer's Manual

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The reality of an organization is in the hearts and minds of men

"Charts, lines of command, and directives do not create organizations by themselves.  They are a pattern, but the reality must be in the hearts as well as in the minds of men."

The Honorable James Forrestal
Former Secretary of Defense

Friday, December 16, 2011

Developing A 5000 Year Old Mind

Jay Luvaas, the great American and Civil War historian, once said, "There is no excuse among professional officers for not having a 5000 year old mind." What he meant was across the sweep of recorded time, the literature of war lays at our feet nearly the sum total of man's warfare experience. In these works, there are lessons to be found that provide guideposts for virtually every challenge or dilemma we may encounter on the modern battlefield; new technologies notwithstanding.

General John R. Allen
United States Marine Corps

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Myth of the DADT Forced Lie

Retired Admiral Mike Mullen said repeal of DADT was a matter of INTEGRITY for him.  He said DADT forced service men and women to lie every day about who they were.  Just for the record, I know three gay Captains with more than 82 years of Naval service between them. So far as I know, they never lied once about who they were  (certainly not to me).  And, they don't lie today.  All served honorably; all retired honorably - as many gay Sailors in every paygrade have.  No one forces anyone to lie.  Lying is a choice; one's sexual preference may not be and I appreciate that. For those who believe they were FORCED to live a lie - the truth may not have been as damaging as you believed.  In any case, lying or not - thank you for your service.

David Ignatius says, "Mullen knows that his greatest legacy will be a cultural and legal issue — ending discrimination against gays in the military by dismantling the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. He did it for reasons of conscience and never looked back. It was a moment of leadership, pure and simple." 

BTW, Admiral Mike Mullen didn't dismantle DADT.  He simply added his important voice to endorsing the President's position for repeal of DADT just as previous Chairmen had added their important voices in support of their President endorsing DADT.  Rarely do we hear a JCS Chairman publicly voice opposition to the President's position.  That would take incredible courage.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sexist ? - You decide

14 December 2011

Hello Mike
Thank you for your past participation in the NavyWomen eMentor program.  Since that program sunsetted, and our AcademyWomen eMentor is restricted to women only, I'm sorry to inform you we had to delete your profile from the program.  However, we are currently talking with several organizations regarding launching new eMentor programs that might apply to you, so please periodically check back to our site (http://academywomen.org/e-mentorprogram.php) for announcements of new programs.  
Warm regards,
Shannon


From where I sit, I am deeply saddened by this.  I have faithfully carried out my responsibilities and have mentored a number of Navy men and women, young and old, every color of the spectrum and most ethnicities to greater levels of success (From E-1 to O-7).  I never concerned myself with anything other than their desire to be helped and my willingness to help.  Now I am told that I am the wrong sex to help.  I don't do DIVERSITY THURSDAYS but this would be a good subject to discuss.  I think I may have been discriminated against.  You can always catch Diversity Thursdays over HERE.  Check in tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Mastering the Electromagnetic Domain

Electronic warfare (EW) and cyber operations are increasingly essential to defeating the sensors and command and control (C2) that underpin an opponent’s A2/AD capabilities. If the adversary is blinded or unable to communicate, he cannot aim long-range ballistic and cruise missiles or cue submarines and aircraft. Today, Navy forces focus on deconflicting operations in the electromagnetic spectrum or cyber domains. By 2025, the Fleet will fully operationalize those domains, more seamlessly managing sensors, attacks, defense, and communications, and treating EW and cyber environments as “maneuver spaces” on par with surface, undersea, or air.

From the CNO's Navy 2025: Forward Warfighters (click on the title to read the CNO's article in PROCEEDINGS Magazine

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Day We Cryptologists Cried

Our Shipmate Howie Ehret passed away over the weekend at age 70 - way too young and far too busy to die, but the good Lord took him anyway.

For 30 years, Howie Ehret served as an officer in the Navy, a life of constant movement that took him all over the world on ships and submarines. Rarely, he said, did he live anywhere more than a few years. So when he retired in 1992, he was determined to sink the community roots he never could as a globe-crossing naval officer.
 
“I spent 30 years defending the American way of life,” he said. “Now I want to participate in it.”

 In 1992, he retired from the Navy and went to work in Sonoma County, California and for 20 years he extended his Navy leadership skills into the civilian community where he made an incredible difference.

"Show me someone who has a bad word to say about Howie and I'll show you a liar," says his friend, Rusty Smith.

Excerpts from the Sonoma County Press Democrat

22nd Navy Commanding Officer Fired - Call on the Field is "under review"


Commander Jonathan Lee Jackson, commanding officer of VAQ-134 (based in Whidbey Island and embarked in USS CARL VINSON), was fired on 8 December for (1) conduct unbecoming an officer and (2) violation of the Navy’s sexual harassment policy.  Commander Jackson was accused of creating and supporting a hostile work environment in his EA-6B squadron.

According to the Navy's Naval Air Forces Command spokesperson, Commander Jackson had a pattern of making inappropriate and derogatory remarks toward subordinates.

He is the 22nd Navy commanding officer to be fired in 2011.

BEFORE YOU MAKE UP YOUR MIND ABOUT THIS, YOU MUST READ THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY HERE. His subordinates, peers and superiors ALL disagree with the Navy IG's findings

Fortunately, the Commander, Air Wing SEVENTEEN, Captain Stephen McInerney, has tossed the challenge flag on the field of play. We are awaiting a 'booth' review of this call by Commander, THIRD Fleet. 

Thanks NEPTUNUS LEX.

Common Data Set Initiative

Readers,

I must admit that in the interest of full transparency, I have not been using the standards established by "The Common Data Set Initiative" when counting readers of my blog.  I should be calling you "click throughs" vice "readers".  I have no idea if you are actually reading the blog.

USNA Professor Fleming is onto the Academy for the same mistake.  Apparently the USNA is triple counting its applicants for admissions.  You can read the story at Navy Times.  It reflects a mildly deceptive practice.  We Navy guys learn to inflate statistics (among other things) at an early age.  I don't think there is a foul involved, just a different method of counting.  Most of us are accustomed to 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... Seemingly, the admissions office counts instead by the 3, 6, 9, 12, 15 ... method. It's fine once you figure out the counting method.

Regardless of how the counting is done, lots of great young men and women are seeking admission to the Academy.  It's not necessary to artificially inflate those numbers.  I am just now learning that I was counted among those who applied to the Academy in 1974. I did ask for an application but never completed it.  Apparently, that brief interest of mine was sufficient to count as having applied.  I am glad to contribute to inflating the numbers for admission to the class of 1978 - one of the best classes ever!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

No other truth

“I see man’s mind cannot be satisfied unless it be illumined by that truth beyond which there exists no other truth.” 

Dante - Paradiso IV.124-126.

That is what motivates me.  The search for the truth of the truth - truth absolutely.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ancient History Drudged Up Yet Again - "Repurposed" for today

Following the Chief of Naval Operations' lead in repurposing  previous work, I am  repurposing  this letter I sent to RADM Singer in 2005.

10 February 2005

Admiral,

As I read more and more about "deep change", I believe that the detailing process is one of those areas where the community can make a radical change in the way our officer human capital is assigned. This is not in any way meant to impugn any of our current or past detailers.

I believe each of our assignments could have specific skill sets assigned to them which allow those involved in the detailing process to make more informed decisions about which officer is detailed to which job. (This process would allow us to match existing skills to requirements as well as put an individual in a job where they could demonstrate growth of additional skills). One might argue that we have been doing this but we really haven't. Using myself as an example, I was told that I was the "perfect" fit for Captain Arbogast's job in OSD transformation and the perfect fit for the Joint Staff J6K Information Assurance job. The only real qualifications I had for either of these jobs was that I met the prerequisite prior sea duty and post-command requirements - without any expressed attendant skills gained in those jobs. The defining factor was my PRD. I was not a good fit for either job. (Some might argue I'm not a good fit for any O-6 job.)

In the past we have assigned officers to jobs largely based on PRD, previous assignments and desires of the individual. If we were to identify the specific skills of each assignment objectively, I believe we would be better able to match individuals to jobs.

I've been told by several of our officers that the detailer has told them that they can't go to a senior sea duty job because they don't have experience in a junior sea duty job. I was told this myself in 1995 before going to C7F as the CRC/Assistant Fleet Cryptologist (I was a flyer and not suited for sea duty). This is plain wrong. In fact, with consideration given to "deep change", officers with prior sea duty may be exactly the wrong individual to send to sea in the senior sea duty jobs. There are some excellent officers with limited (or no) sea duty who possess exactly the skills we want (I believe) in those officers you will send to sea in the senior sea duty assignments (integrity and real understanding of our cryptologic capabilities and the limitations of IO). Prior PCS afloat and Direct Support (DIRSUP) officers don't necessarily develop the skills we need for the officers assigned afloat in the future. We need new thinking in this area.

As you look at areas to consider for "deep change", I think detailing should be near the top of the list as this is key to our Human Capital Strategy (HCS).

Vr/
Captain Mike Lambert, USN
Staff Director, Office of the Secretary of Defense
Detainee Task Force
3A750 703-697-0967

Friday, December 9, 2011

Just Promoted Last Week !! Congratulations RADM Leigher!!

Navy Flag Officer Biography

Rear Admiral William E. Leigher

Director of Warfare Integration for Information Dominance (OPNAV N2/N6F)

Rear Admiral William E. Leigher
Rear Adm. Leigher, a native of Appleton, Maine, was commissioned as an ensign at Officer Candidate School, Newport, R.I. in 1981.  He graduated from the University of Southern Maine in 1980 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and attended the Naval War College, graduating in 1994 with a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies.

His initial assignment was aboard USS Thorn (DD 988) as a communications officer. In 1984, he reported to the Surface Warfare Officers School in Newport, R.I., as the fleet communications instructor. In 1987, he was selected for lateral transfer and subsequently designated a naval cryptologic officer. Later in 1987, Leigher was assigned to U.S. Naval Security Group Activity Hanza, Okinawa, Japan, as a division officer responsible for fleet and national signals intelligence operations. In 1990, he was assigned as the staff cryptologist for Commander, Cruiser-Destroyer Group Two in Charleston, S.C. During this tour, he completed two deployments embarked in USS America (CV 66), which included combat action during Operations Desert Storm, Desert Shield and Southern Watch. In 1992, he was assigned to the Office of Naval Intelligence Detachment, Newport, R.I., as a war-gaming specialist.

In 1995, Leigher was assigned to U.S. Naval Forces Europe in London, England, as the cryptologic operations officer. In 1998, he reported to commander, Naval Security Group Command, Fort Meade, Md., for assignment as deputy director for Information Technology and Communications, and was subsequently assigned to the Pentagon as the executive assistant to the deputy director for Cryptology. In 2002, he reported to the National Security Agency, serving as a Senior Operations Officer in the National Security Operations Center. In July 2004, he reported as the deputy director for Information Operations at Naval Network Warfare Command and subsequently served as the commanding officer Naval Information Operations Command, Norfolk, Va.

Upon his promotion to flag officer in June 2008, he was appointed as the director of Information Operations on the Staff of the Chief of Naval Operations. In December 2009, he was assigned as deputy commander for U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet. In July 2011, Leigher returned to staff of the Chief of Naval Operations in his current position as, Director of Warfare Integration for Information Dominance, and was promoted in December 2011.

Leigher wears the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit (three awards), the Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three awards), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (two awards), and various unit and campaign medals.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Words of Wisdom from our Shipmate Commander Fred W. Kacher, former CO USS STOCKDALE

"Ethics is not a sometime thing. It is the small everyday decisions that, if handled badly, can erode your moral landscape.”

Commander Fred W. Kacher offers three tips that he has tried to follow in his career: do not ignore the little voice in your head, do your best in all things at all times, and be ready to do the right thing every day, because “you don’t get to choose when you’ll be tested.”

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale - One of the five characteristics of a leader

Must Be a Moralist

First, in order to lead under duress, one must be a moralist. By that, I don’t mean being a poseur, one who sententiously exhorts his comrades to be good. I mean he must be a thinker. He must have the wisdom, the courage, indeed the audacity to make clear just what, under the circumstances, the good is. This requires a clear perception of right and wrong and the integrity to stand behind one’s assessment. The surest way for a leader to wind up in the ash can of history is to have a reputation for indirectness or deceit. A disciplined life will encourage commitment to a personal code of conduct.

My article about the VADM James Bond Stockdale Inspirational Leadership Award winners is HERE.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

All Flag Officer Challenge

An unnamed junior officer suggested the following challenge to the new Chief of Naval Operations:

"Captain, if I could ask the CNO to do one very visible demonstration of his leadership, I would ask that he challenge all of his Flag officers to report their no B.S. semi-annual Navy Physical Readiness Test (PRT) scores and body fat percentages for their staffs to see.  We have seen a renewal of the culture of fitness in our own command with our CO/XO/CMC weighing in and testing with us.  It's very motivating and gives great visibility for our Command Fitness Leader (CFL) and our Command Fitness Team (CFT)."  "We kick ass on the Navy PRT !!"

The Navy's PHYSICAL READINESS page is HERE.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Say Thanks Before It Is Too Late

Norman B. Macintosh - "N.B."
Recently, while facing a perplexing budget issue, I was telling a colleague of mine about a great professor who I was fortunate to have at Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California.  He taught an excellent course called the 'Social Software of Financial Accounting'.  He was either a singularly impressive professor or I am suffering from an increasingly poor memory because I can't recall another professor's name from that time.  Norman B. "NB" Macintosh was on loan to us from Queen's University in Canada where he was Professor Emeritus.  Dr. Macintosh received both research and teaching awards from the Canadian Academic Accounting Association during his career ("distinguished contribution to thought" and "outstanding educator," respectively).

The conversation with my colleague brought to mind the fact that I had allowed my correspondence with "NB" (nota bene ~ meaning to 'note well') to lapse.  I was determined to renew my correspondence with him and send him a note of thanks for the lasting impression he made on my education and my thinking.  I searched for his address in the international 411 directory and also found him in the Queen's University faculty directory.  I wrote my letter and searched for additional details about what he had been up to since NPS.  To my great dismay, I came across an "In Memoriam Tribute" to him on the Queen's School of Business website from 19 May 2011.  My heart sank.  I was too late.

The lesson for me (and perhaps for you) is not to wait too long to say thanks to those who have helped expand our minds and who have demanded more of us than we thought ourselves capable.

Thank you professor N.B.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Findings of fact from the USS PONCE Hotline Complaint Investigation

The news media requested (via FOIA) the reports of investigation behind the firing of Commander Etta Jones, Commanding Officer of USS PONCE.  There are plenty of 'lessons learned' in the report and its endorsement by the ISIC and in the legal review.

This activity sounded inappropriate to me.

While the ship was in port Bahrain, RDML Klein (Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group Five) requested an "all girls" photo and invited all of the female officers to dinner at her home.
(Encl 8, 15, 17, 18, 39)
 


The male officers were not invited to the dinner at RDML Klein's residence and several felt this to be a distinct professional disadvantage. (Encl 15, 18)

I doubt that RDML Meg Klein intended for this dinner to look the way it looks.  The Navy actively encourages Flag officer mentoring for various affinity groups and this probably falls into that category.

You can find the reports HERE and HERE.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Your closest companion

So, Soldiers, Airman, Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen – “…when you have shut your doors and darkened your room, you will find yourself in the company of the closest companion, the most reliable ally, and the warmest friend you will ever know: your own conscience.”

Senator Bob Kerrey

Friday, December 2, 2011

See it through

"Few things are more vital to an organization 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."

Admiral James Stavridis
Mentor & Friend

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Long letter to my Junior Officers as I departed command in June 2000

In August of 1982, after Officer Candidate School and SERE/DWEST school and some leave, I reported to NSGD Atsugi to face my first division in the Navy and the Naval Security Group as a brand new Ensign. Damn, I was excited and nervous, eager and unsure. Looking back on those early days of my Navy life as a commissioned officer, I have asked myself, from my perspective as your outgoing Commanding Officer, what might be of interest to each of you – my first junior officers.

The word “purposeful” kept coming back to me, and it occurred to me that you, as naval officers (first, and cryptologists second) for the next generation, are more important now than perhaps at any other time in our brief Naval Security Group history. The United States Navy is the only true over-the-horizon worldwide deployable force in the world, and RADM Whiton has re-invented cryptology for a Navy-Marine Corps Team which has the most visible forward presence on the world stage and certainly here in Yokosuka, Japan - forward deployed with the Navy's SEVENTH Fleet.

My friend and former boss, CDR Jack Dempsey used to keep a flight journal back in the 80’s while we were flying with Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron ONE (VQ-1) in which he started each page with a borrowed quote from Charles Dickens’ A TALE OF TWO CITIES. Each page started with - “These are the best of times, these are the worst of times…” Can we have it both ways? You are fortunate at the command to have some of the very best and brightest Sailors in the Naval Security Group. You have a chance to lead the entire claimancy in all areas of cryptology if you choose to do it. It won’t happen by accident. You have to make it happen. That’s your job.

You guys (and gals – with LTjg Kim and ENS Sabedra here) will lead our Sailors at this turning point in our claimancy’s history. And so I want to you to know just how “purposeful” and important I believe you are, and second, what I believe each of you has got to do at a very personal level to seize what could be the best of times in our community’s history and then you can start your own journal with…”these are the best of times….”

From day one, you are not only division officers and sometimes Department Heads, but you are ambassadors for the Navy’s Core Values, the CNO’s 4 Stars of Equal Magnitude and the cryptologic community’s Strategic Plan (Maritime Cryptologic Architecture, the Maritime Concept, etc). PASS THE WORD. I genuinely believe your involvement is critical to RADM H. Winsor Whiton’s and RADM Joseph D. Burns’ plans that will carry the community through most of your careers (if you choose to have one in the Navy). The Sailors and Chiefs you will help lead will be more “purposeful” - and far more challenged - than ever before. As a result, your genuine leadership will be more “purposeful” and more valuable than ever before. You are the ones who will have to deliver U.S. Naval Security Group Yokosuka’s promise of “Quality Cryptologic Integration For The Fleet” on a daily basis.

If you do not think you are more “purposeful” and important than at any other time in our community’s history… think again. SECGRU’s vital leadership today is reflected by the leadership positions cryptologists hold throughout the Department of Defense – Captain Rich Wilhelm (a former 1610) served in the Vice President’s office as recently as 5 years ago, many are serving on the Staff of the Secretary of Defense and on the Joint Staff in key positions while others are serving the SECNAV directly. We live in a world of global communications, connected economies, and instantaneous video coverage of world and local events. The result often means that a decision made by you - while running a SSES on BLUE RIDGE, leading a team on JOHN S. MCCAIN or CURTIS WILBUR , or simply running your division here at the command - could have immediate and substantial impact on the Sailors under your charge and …perhaps…even world events. Your leadership must be “purposeful”, and you bear a tremendous responsibility. You have to CHOOSE to make a difference. It is a choice. It is your choice. Do something or do nothing – you decide. Don’t let things happen by accident – MAKE THINGS HAPPEN.

A famous Admiral whose name escapes me at the moment said “there is… no career in the world that encompasses the daily physical and mental demands of that of one in a nation’s Navy.” I would argue further that only unrelenting loyalty, as demonstrated by many in the Navy provides the necessary foundation to lead effectively. There are some officers, Chiefs and Sailors that would have us believe the opposite… that loyalty is a dying characteristic in this Navy. I say that the loyalty we value so much is more “purposeful” than ever, as an asset for and example to the American public we are sworn to protect.

As the value of your loyalty and leadership is being debated around you, I urge you to pay attention to and join in the debate. Retired CDR Mike Loescher wrote in a USNI PROCEEDINGS magazine article that the Naval Security Group was broken. RADM H. Winsor Whiton responded that, “ NSG isn’t broken and that this an exciting time to be a cryptologist”. I share the Admiral’s view. I’m excited. Certainly, we all have to guard against mediocrity and against attacks on our time-tested core values and against other charges that diminish our effectiveness. I sought to bring positive changes for this command. You’ve all been helpful in that respect. I thank you for that. Our team effort earned the command recognition through the award of a meritorious unit commendation. That doesn’t happen every day.

As I emphasize that your leadership is more “purposeful” than ever. Let me turn now to what I believe you must do, individually, to bring effectiveness to your leadership skills, as you chart a new course for the command with CDR Sean Filipowski in the new millennium and one of the few great turning points in our claimancy’s history. Because you will be so “purposeful” to our community’s future, I believe you must go beyond the bedrock fundamentals of leadership.

Some of you have heard me drone on and on about Traits of Leadership which date back two thousand years… ((They are in every book on Naval Leadership – this is not new stuff.)) I’ve given each of you the basic library of Naval leadership books. Take the time to read them. There’s good stuff in there.

A leader is trusted, a leader takes the initiative, a leader uses good judgment, a leader speaks with authority, a leader strengthens others, is optimistic and enthusiastic, never compromises absolutes, and leads by example. Lots of great Covey “Seven Habits” in there. We’ve covered all that before, haven’t we? You HAVE to take that stuff onboard and make it a part of your daily life.

I believe you should adhere to these timeless traits of leadership. But today, I believe you must also apply something more… you must apply adapted traits of leadership… that is, techniques appropriate to your particular style and situation. You can achieve it only one way… by staying connected to the Sailors and Chiefs you are entrusted to lead.

It is time for each of you to do a tactical and strategic level re-focus to adapt and apply your own leadership styles appropriate to the times. In short, you will have to build upon the bedrock fundamentals of leadership. You must have a solid foundation if you plan to put anything on top of it. I tried to give you the tools to establish a solid foundation.

The best leaders in our Navy have always found ways to build upon the basic foundations of their leadership skills. Because each of you is so important to the future of our community, I also urge you to invest some time and effort in looking for answers within yourselves, to a question that is being asked more frequently today. “Are we losing the Navy spirit?” Some believe that because our Sailors so rarely actually go into harm’s way… that because technology is removing them from the actual battlefield, on a physical level we will lose the guts to fight effectively when the time comes. Some have suggested that we don’t even have the strength of character we once had. I don’t believe that.

The Navy spirit is not only physical courage at sea…courage that must be present in the face of physical danger. That is important, and that deserves our full attention. But the Navy spirit is also the ability to cope with the stresses involved with day-to-day leadership of our Sailors and Chiefs.

Hardship, stress and fear…exist for a Sailor whose ship, while far at sea on seemingly calm waters, can face an incoming missile attack during a long-range engagement. Technology will not change that fact much. We must address how we can develop the Navy spirit within our Sailors in all scenarios.

When I worked for Admiral Whiton in the Comptroller’s office (he was a Captain then), he kept a placard on his wall with the mission of the Navy as defined in Navy Regulations, Chapter Two. It said simply: “The Navy… shall be organized, trained and equipped primarily for prompt and sustained combat incident to operations at sea.” Every one of us needs to understand the mission of the Navy in its most basic form.

How can you instill the Navy spirit and genuine understanding of the Navy’s mission in the Sailors and Chiefs you are charged to lead? The Navy has invested a great deal of time and money preparing you. They will invest a great deal more. It is time to do your part, for it is how you return the Navy’s investment that will bring it value; that value is limitless, but it depends on you. GET BUSY!

I challenge each of you to search within yourselves for ways now, to build upon the framework of leadership you are learning … and develop a strong support structure that will serve you and those you lead when you are asked to go do the Navy’s business – however mundane it might seem at any given moment. I am talking about a very personal structure of character that is most appropriately developed through experience. 25 years of experience takes nearly 25 years to get - there are no F*ing shortcuts. Make the most of every experience you have. When character is involved – promise me this – you will always go the long way and never take shortcuts. There aren’t any. Trust me, I would have found them in my exhausting search for them over the past 25 years. Where character is concerned, I have always tried to go the long way. It’s a much better trip. Take my word for it.

The real challenge for each of you, however, is that the Navy may not give you the luxury of time and experience to build your foundation. When you walk across your own ship’s brow PCS for the first time (Paul Lashmet on ESSEX; Andy Reeves on FIFE so far), you may be called upon to lead decisively that very day. Your skills as a Naval officer will be put to the test from the very start – your skills as a cryptologist on that ship may never be tested. BE A NAVAL OFFICER FIRST AND FOREMOST – that’s what you are! The cryptologic stuff is secondary and it will remain so. Remember Admiral Whiton’s brief – "we do cryptology because we have a Navy – not we have a Navy to do cryptology.”

Truly great leaders in history did not sit idly by and wait for experience to find them. They aggressively sought to build their own personal foundations of character, on a daily basis. Colonel Teddy Roosevelt , General Colin Powell and LT John F. Kennedy knew that their chosen military and political lives would present them with immediate and unrelenting challenges – all certainly more daunting than anything we have yet faced. They knew their “crowded hour,” could arrive at any moment. That is one reason they all worked to build their physical abilities to match their intellectual capabilities. Somehow, I knew that the Navy’s PRT program had some relevance in here somewhere. Physical fitness is important also. But it’s only part of the overall picture of a Naval Officer.

The leadership, the spirit and the strength of character displayed by Colonel Roosevelt, General Powell and President Kennedy were more products of their own pursuits, above and beyond the framework they had been given. As a result, they were “purposeful” to their time and are revered in history. Who can say today what your legacy will be? I will just tell you that you are working on it now. DON’T MESS IT UP.

All of them led their Sailors and soldiers from the heart, and had something more, crafted from the environment around them… the character of a man like Admiral Arleigh Albert Burke… the strategic vision of Admiral Chester Nimitz in the heat of a tactical nightmare… the innovation of Admiral Elmo Zumwalt with his phenomenal understanding of race relations and Admiral Hyman Rickover’s creation of the submarine force… the dynamic leadership of great Marines like General Lejeune and more recently General Krulak and a personal hero of mine from USS Blue Ridge – Colonel Bill Wesley. What will you do, not just to be “purposeful”, but to be enthusiastically followed during the personal challenges that will surely come for each of you, in these, the best of times in the history of our claimancy?

When I faced my first division at NSGD Atsugi in 1982 and in every assignment since including U.S. NSGA Yokosuka, I found, as you will, the Sailors and Chiefs returned the same level of loyalty and dedication to me that I devoted to them. More important, it is abundantly clear and readily apparent to the most casual observer that Sailors and Chiefs will quickly look past the veneer of your lineage (some of them went to better colleges than we all did and all of you went to a better college than I did) and the gold or silver (and blue) bars (and oak leafs) on your collar. Our Sailors and Chiefs have a unique ability to see past all that, and perceive the foundation you are building. They will know when you are on rocky ground. They will sense the weakness in you. They will perceive your character and all its inherent defects. Some great man once said, “The true character of a Naval officer cannot be hidden from his/her Sailors.” There is no place to hide. Lead, follow or GET THE HELL OUT OF THE WAY. Again – you get to decide.

If they find your character to be strong and true, they will go the extra mile for you. If they find you to be weak, prepare for the worst – it is bound to come. We’ve all seen it in its ugliest forms. At this period in our claimancy’s history, when our Sailors and Chiefs are so essential to our mission, there is no greater test of your mettle as a Naval officer, than leading Sailors and Chiefs who can count on your loyalty and your character. Be true to them. They will be true to you.

I am confident you will seize these days, whether or not they personally are for you …”the best of times or the worst of times”, to carry-on what we have started together at U.S. Naval Security Group Activity Yokosuka and develop your own personal foundations of character that will serve you well during the challenges each of you can surely expect in your own future.

Thanks for helping me get the command to where it is today. You all played a big part in that. You have been part of something very important and special to our community. You built a command from the ground up. That’s something you can really be proud of. I certainly am.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

And the Master Chief's First Question Was...


"Captain, how does this help our Sailors accomplish the mission?"

Word to the wise - always be ready to answer this question.  It is not always an easy answer.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Leadership Is Intangible


“Leadership is intangible, hard to measure, and difficult to describe. Its quality would seem to stem from many factors. But certainly they must include a measure of inherent ability to control and direct, self-confidence based on expert knowledge, initiative, loyalty, pride and sense of responsibility. Inherent ability cannot be instilled, but that which is latent or dormant can be developed. Other ingredients can be acquired. They are not easily learned. But leaders can be and are made.”

General C. B. Cates
19th Commandant of the Marine Corps

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Center for Information Dominance Units Corry Station & Monterey

Commander Sung, CO, CIDU Corry
(NAVY NEWS RELEASE)  In a move to make Navy Information Dominance training more mission-effective, the Center for Information Dominance (CID) officially stood up two new commands November 14.

The request for the new commands - the Center for Information Dominance Unit (CIDU) Corry Station and CIDU Monterey - was approved by the Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) the Honorable Ray Mabus, October 31, and announced by Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert the same day.

According to the message, the establishment of the new commands was in response to the "expanded size of the detachment and assigned cyber training mission."

This action disestablishes the two largest detachments within the CID Domain: CID Detachment (DET) Corry Station and CID DET Monterey.

Annually, CID Unit Corry Station, based at Corry Station in Pensacola, Fla., is responsible for training approximately 9,000 Navy and Joint Cryptologists, Information Systems Technicians and Information Warfare and Information Professional officers; while CID Unit Monterey, based at the Presidio in Monterey, California, is responsible for the training of approximately 1,200 Cryptologic Technicians (Interpretive) and Foreign Language Officers.

CID Commanding Officer Captain Susan K. Cerovsky, compared the shore-based commands to that of a newly-commissioned ship, during her remarks at the stand up ceremony for CID Unit Corry Station.

"The plank owners here at CID Unit Corry Station and at CID Unit Monterey can be justifiably proud to be part of the fine unit that we're about to establish," she said. "You are definitely in capable hands and I am most humble today to be able to pin Commander Luciana Sung as one of my commanding officers within the Center for Information Dominance domain."

In June 2011 Sung reported to Captain Cerovsky as her executive officer and officer in charge of CID DET Corry Station.

"Today is a historical day and all of us are part of it," Sung said at the conclusion of the ceremony. "We are now a command and you should be very proud. Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication."

In January 2010 Lieutenant Commander Thor Martinsen assumed duties as officer in charge of CID DET Monterey.

Like his instructors and their linguists-in-training, he is fluent in a second language. He has also seen several name changes at CID.

As the newly-appointed commanding officer of CID Unit Monterey, he welcomed friends and guests to the stand up ceremony at the Presidio. He also noted the command's metamorphosis as both its name and focus have changed to adapt to its evolving mission.

"Our Navy presence at the Defense Language Institute dates back to February 1976 (not the right date, as I attended in 1975), and while our name has changed multiple times during our 35 year history, our mission of training the very best Navy linguist and fleet-ready Sailors has remained consistent throughout. I am confident that this proud legacy of excellence will continue with our new command," Martinsen said. "It has been a privilege to serve as the CID Detachment Monterey officer in charge, and it's a great honor to be able to continue to serve as the first commanding officer of Center for Information Dominance Unit Monterey."

CID is the Navy's learning center that leads, manages, and delivers Navy and joint force training in Information Operations, Information Technology, Cryptology and Intelligence.

With a staff of nearly 1,300 military, civilian and contracted staff members, CID Corry Station oversees the development and administration of more than 168 courses at four commands, two detachments and 16 learning sites throughout the United States and in Japan. CID Corry Station provides training for approximately 24,000 members of the U.S. Armed Services and allied forces each year.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Admiral Malley's TEN Rules

VADM Ken Malley (Ret.) was Commander Naval Sea Systems Command and Director, Strategic Systems Programs.

1. Always tell the truth. And when the news is bad, tell it in a hurry.

2. Never bet your program on technology that exists only on a viewgraph.

3. Never shoot the messenger.

4. Do what is right for the program and the organization.

5. Never accept a task or job (or propose one) without the proper resources to accomplish same.

6. No matter what you think of your boss (or customer), if he or she does not end up being a hero, neither do you.

7. Your people have feelings, too. Treat them accordingly.

8. Your family deserves some of your time.

9. Have fun. If you are not having fun (frustration and fun can be one and the same), seek another line of employment.

10. Don’t ever let your emotions take charge. Do allow yourself to get upset once every two or three years—then pick your target carefully and fire for effect.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Admiral John Harvey's Ten Rules For ACTION OFFICERS (AOs)

  1. Always return emails and phone calls (ANSWER THE MAIL). If not, you become obsolete.
  2. Communicate, coordinate and collaborate with fellow Action Officers. You will be asked if your work was coordinated. There is seldom time for a “do-over.” 
  3. The coordination block of any memo should NEVER say “none.” Your job is to breakdown the bulkheads on the staff.
  4. You are expected to be the Subject Matter Expert in your area. Be brilliant on the basics.
  5. Learn how to prep emails for your boss based on his/her style.
  6. USE MICROSOFT OUTLOOK CALENDAR!! Focus on your boss’ calendar and ensure he/she is prepared in your area of expertise.
  7. Answer the question in the first sentence. Use sub bullets to support. Do NOT provide megabytes of info and expect your boss to weed through it. 
  8. If you know the question and understand the answer, you should be able to tell the story in 10 slides or less. If not, you do not understand the question or the answer. A picture is worth a thousand words if it is the right picture.
  9. Use your original thought. Be creative. Offer solutions to problems.
  10. Communicate effectively. Use plain English.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Improved - My Former Command

Awesome new command logo !!
On 15 December 1945, the first Communications Supplementary Activity Detachment (COMSUPACT Det) was established in Ohminato, Japan. When the Army evacuated the area in April 1946 the detachment was relocated to Yokosuka, and was redesignated as Communications supplementary Activity (COMSUPACT) Yokosuka. On 22 November 1948, NAVCOMMUNIT 35 was established and added a direction finding capability to COMSUPACT Yokosuka. A full rhombic antenna field was constructed in February 1949 to make the HFDF site fully operational. In 1950, Naval Security Group (NAVSECGRU) decided to shift net control of the Pacific HFDF net to Yokosuka from Wahiawa, Hawaii.

To accommodate this change NAVCOMMUNIT 35 was expanded to 38 officers and 392 enlisted and was located in renovated building F-68. The HFDF net was activated in Yokosuka on 2 October 1950. On 15 January 1960, the Naval Security Department (NSG) was commissioned as the US Naval Security Group Activity (NSGA) Kami Seya. NAVCOMMFAC at Kami Seya was relocated back to Yokosuka as Naval Communications Station (NCS) Yokosuka. On 23 January 1968, the USS PUEBLO (AGER-2) was captured by the North Koreans. At the time of the attack NSGA Kami Seya was in communication with the ship.

There were six Sailors who were deployed on the USS Pueblo, they returned to NSGA Kami Seya 11 months later. On 1 August 1969, all NAVSECGRU elements at Yokosuka were consolidated under one command structure. Naval Security Group Detachment Yokosuka, Japan, a detachment of NSGA Kami Seya, was established. In March 1971 most of the operational functions were moved from NSGA Kami Seya to NSG Detachment Misawa, Japan. On 30 June 1971, NSGA Kami Seya was downgraded to NSG Detachment Kami Seya and NSG Detachment Misawa was commissioned as NSGA Misawa. Activities at Kami Seya and Yokosuka became detachments of NSGA Misawa. On 23 May 1984, NSG Detachment Kami Seya was recommissioned as an NSGA. In January of 1989 NSG Detachment Yokosuka became a detachment of Kami Seya again.

On 1 June 1995, NSGA Kami Seya was closed permanently and NSG Detachment Yokosuka was recommissioned as a Naval Security Group Activity under the command of Lieutenant Commander Kevin McTaggart. On 30 September 2005, Naval Security Group Command was disestablished and many NSG Activities were disestablished as well. Those that remained operational were recommissioned as Navy Information Operations Commands (NIOC) on 1 October 2005, including NIOC Yokosuka. On 29 January 2010, the US TENTH Fleet was recommissioned for Fleet Cyber Command. NIOC Yokosuka is currently subordinate to TENTH Fleet.

Skipper's Mantra

Overheard in the passageway at the last Commander's Conference:

“I get every bit of satisfaction from my Naval career that I could ever want by making sure my Sailors get everything they want from theirs."

That, sir, is a refreshing attitude!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Leading Sailors

Sorry, it's not for amateurs.

2005 Navy Inspector General Recommendations for Improving Commanding Officer Performance

Implementation of the following recommendations for improving commanding officer performance may potentially reduce future CO reliefs:

1. Incorporate a form of the “360° review” performance assessment tool, as championed throughout industry, into the PXO training track of all communities. Among other things, the “360° review” provides true performance feedback from non-traditional sources—an officer’s subordinates, as well as peers. While the SWO community is currently piloting such an assessment tool for a portion of its junior officers, a “360° review” for PXOs of all communities would be affordable, yet provide an exceptional performance-counseling tool for officers likely destined for command.  (NOT IMPLEMENTED)

2. Establish a short refresher course for all major command PCOs. Training should include assessing and mentoring subordinate COs, writing CO FITREPs, the DFC process, assessing subordinate units, civilian personnel matters, and pertinent issues from a major command perspective. (PARTIALLY IMPLEMENTED)

3. Incorporate into the surface warfare PCO pipeline a course on Operational Risk Management (ORM). The module should emphasize planning using a methodical, risk-based decision making process, with an increased emphasis on practical application. Include a rigorous exercise to demonstrate proper use of ORM principles during complex operational evolutions. (PARTIALLY IMPLEMENTED)

4. Institute formalized, command self-assessment process training beginning with the DH/PXO tour, to include a command self-assessment process review in all PCO pipelines. PCOs going to platforms or commands other than the type they spent their career in would especially benefit from this training. (NOT IMPLEMENTED)

From: Naval Inspector General Report on Commanding Officers Detached for Cause (2005)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Admiral Elmo Zumwalt would be 91 today

Admiral Elmo Zumwalt would be 91 years old today, had he not passed away from exposure to asbestos aboard Navy ships. He died on 2 January 2000 at age 80 from mesothelioma.

At 49, he was the youngest man to serve as Chief of Naval Operations. As an Admiral and later the 19th Chief of Naval Operations, he played a major role in U.S. military history, especially during the Vietnam War. A highly-decorated war veteran, Zumwalt reformed U.S. Navy personnel policies in an effort to improve enlisted life and ease racial tensions. After he retired from a 32-year Navy career, he launched an unsuccessful campaign for the United States Senate.

His son James is a retired USMC Lt Colonel. His grandson is a Navy EOD.

The long post below is from his son James to the citizen's postal advisory committee. PLEASE join us in this effort to have a stamp issued in Admiral Zumwalt's honor. Please send a short note to the committee at the address listed and ask them for their support for this worthy endeavor.



June 17, 2009

Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee
c/o Stamp Development
U.S. Postal Service
1735 North Lynn St., Suite 5013
Arlington, Virginia 22209-6432

Dear Committee Members:

The purpose of this letter is to request the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee (CSAC) consider the issuance of a postage stamp commemorating the life of Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr. While I am Admiral Zumwalt's sole surviving son and, obviously, have a personal interest in seeing him so honored, I would respectfully submit that his lifetime achievements clearly justify such an honor, regardless of the fact this request emanates from a family member. Allow me to briefly share some of those achievements.

While US postage stamps have been issued over the years commemorating men and women achieving great accomplishments, few exist recognizing those who have dedicated so much of their lives to leveling life's playing field for others unable to do so for themselves. A military man by profession, Admiral Zumwalt would prove himself not only to be of such an ilk, but a tremendous innovator and great humanitarian as well.

Admiral Zumwalt enjoyed an immensely successful naval career which involved a meteoric rise to the US Navy's top position. At the age of 44, he was the US Navy's youngest Rear Admiral; at 47, its youngest Vice Admiral; and at age 49 its youngest Admiral and Chief of Naval Operations (CNO). During a 37-year career, during which he fought three wars, Admiral Zumwalt committed his life to achieving equality for all serving in his beloved Navy. While his life as a junior officer was spent practicing this belief on a local command level, it was not until he became CNO that he was able to implement such beliefs on a service-wide basis through a series of very creative leadership initiatives. As reported in the December 21, 1970 issue of TIME Magazine featuring him on its cover, Admiral Zumwalt's initiatives brought the US Navy, "kicking and screaming into the 20th Century." The article went on to hail him as "the Navy's most popular leader since World War II."

While the beneficiaries of many of the changes Admiral Zumwalt implemented in the Navy were members of minority groups whose professional growth within the service had been stymied by overly restrictive regulations, he worked diligently to improve service life for all wearing the Navy uniform. What had prompted his selection in 1970 by civilian superiors over 33 more senior admirals was his advocacy for rapid and drastic changes in the way the Navy treated its uniformed men and women. And, once selected, he made such advocacy a reality, undertaking numerous initiatives that included: improving living conditions in the Navy; promoting the first female and first Afro-American officers to flag rank; allowing females to become naval aviators; opening up ratings for Filipino sailors whose service had long been limited to a steward's rating; eliminating demeaning and abrasive US Navy regulations that negatively impacted on a sailor's attitude without providing a corresponding positive enhancement of professional performance; etc. The positive impact of his changes was tremendous, as evidenced by the effect on re-enlistment rates. These rates were at an all-time low when he took command of the Navy in 1970; when he retired four years later, re-enlistment rates had tripled. Admiral Zumwalt's personal papers, on file at The Vietnam Center at Texas Tech University, include numerous letters from sailors written over the years expressing their personal gratitude for changes he made that impacted so positively on their decision to stay and make the Navy a career.

When Admiral Zumwalt retired from the Navy in 1974, it did not end his service to country. He continued in numerous capacities to fight for the oppressed. As Commander of US Naval Forces in Vietnam during the war, he was of the belief a commander's responsibility to his men survived the battlefield, prompting him to fight for US Government benefits for Vietnam veterans suffering from Agent Orange exposure.

By way of background, Admiral Zumwalt had ordered the use of the chemical defoliant Agent Orange during the war to reduce the high casualty rate his sailors were suffering. Heavy jungle concealment provided the enemy with the element of surprise in ambushes against US Navy boats operating in Vietnam's narrow waterways. The sailors onboard these boats stood a 72% chance of being killed or wounded during a twelve month tour. The use of Agent Orange improved survivability, reducing the casualty rate twelve-fold--to 6%. It was not known at that time, however, what the long-term health impact of Agent Orange would be on those who were exposed. In a bitter irony of the Vietnam war, one of those so exposed, later succumbing to Agent Orange-related cancers, was Admiral Zumwalt's namesake and my older brother--Elmo R. Zumwalt III. A book, entitled "My Father, My Son," tells the story of the love and devotion existing between the two men as, together; they fought the unsuccessful battle for young Elmo's survival. In 1988, the book became the basis for a made-for-TV movie of the same title which, interestingly, starred a CSAC member in the role of my father--Mr. Karl Malden.

Until Admiral Zumwalt led the charge for benefits for Vietnam veterans afflicted by Agent Orange exposure, not a single cancer had been recognized by the Veterans Administration for having a causal relationship. Appointed by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to conduct a pro bono study on the linkage of Agent Orange to cancers, Admiral Zumwalt analyzed hundreds of medical studies--studies that had found no correlation--until he showed how such studies were flawed--a phenomenal undertaking for someone with no medical background. He also found the US Government's medical review board, responsible for determining if such correlations were supported by existing medical evidence, lacked credibility as its members included physicians with personal ties to the very chemical companies that had manufactured Agent Orange.

Today, medical evidence has established that more than a dozen cancers are linked to Agent Orange exposure. And, as a direct result of Admiral Zumwalt's tireless efforts, Vietnam veterans are now receiving medical benefits.

Admiral Zumwalt's sense of duty and responsibility to his fellow human beings spurned him on to other great achievements. He was founder of The Marrow Foundation, which raised funding to undertake the matching of bone marrow donors and recipients. He served briefly as a US ambassador to the American Red Cross in Geneva. In the years after the Vietnam war, he worked diligently to successfully win the early release of his good friend and South Vietnamese counterpart in Vietnam during the war, Commodore Tran van Chon, from a communist re-education camp.

During his lifetime, Admiral Zumwalt gave extensively of his own time and energy to pro bono efforts. These included serving on the Board of Directors of charitable organizations such as the Phelps-Stokes Fund, Presidential Classroom for Young Americans Organization, National Marrow Donor Program, and Vietnam Assistance to the Handicapped Foundation; serving as the Chairman of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, the National Council of the Vietnam Center at Texas Tech University, and the U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation; serving as a member of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and the International Consortium for Research on the Health Effects of Radiation. One of Admiral Zumwalt's last contributions was to establish the National Program for Countermeasures to Biological and Chemical Threats at Texas Tech University, which later was named after him. This is a multidisciplinary academic research program that today conducts cutting-edge work to investigate and develop new strategies and technologies to protect military operating forces from such threats. Based on the terrorist threat facing 21st century America, his foresight in identifying such a threat and doing something about it was once again evidenced by his actions.

Tragically, years later, after having led this fight, Admiral Zumwalt would succumb to a service-related "environmental cancer" of another sort--asbestos--to which he had been exposed as a result of his naval service. In the early morning hours of the new millennium, at the age of 79, he passed away on January 2, 2000.

It was no wonder then, at his funeral on January 10, 2000, in addressing a standing room only Chapel service at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, President Bill Clinton described him as truly being a "Sailors' Admiral."

Among the numerous tributes made after the death of Admiral Zumwalt was one entered into the January 24, 2000 Congressional Record by Senator Russell D. Feingold of Wisconsin who said: "Admiral Zumwalt crusaded for a fair and equal Navy. He fought to promote equality for minorities and women at a time of considerable racial strife in our country and at a time of deeply entrenched institutional racism and sexism in the Navy...Admiral Elmo Zumwalt was a great naval leader, a visionary and a courageous challenger of the conventional wisdom. We will not see the likes of him again. We mourn his passing and salute his accomplishments."

Because of Admiral Zumwalt's commitment in life to improving the lives of others, a number of awards bearing his name--recognizing his accomplishments as a humanitarian and a visionary--exist today, not only in the US Navy, but in the private sector as well. The positive impact Admiral Zumwalt had as one of this Nation's great military leaders and humanitarians was recognized by two major events--one occurring during his lifetime and one following his death.

In 1998, Admiral Zumwalt was presented the Nation's highest civilian award by President Clinton--the Presidential Medal of Freedom--for service both to his Navy and country. And, in July 2000, six months after his death, the Navy announced a new class of warship--a vessel unlike any other ever built which represents the greatest technological advancement in the history of ship-building--would be named after my father, with the first ship of the class to be named USS ZUMWALT. (An artist's rendition of this unique looking surface ship, which, due to its stealth technology looks more like a submarine, is enclosed herein.) Construction of that ship is now underway. While I believe honoring my father with a stamp is warranted on his own merits alone, I would submit the Committee may want to consider issuing a stamp commemorating both the man and the ship. For when USS ZUMWALT is christened in 2013, it will usher in a whole new era in US Navy history. Future ships of the 21st century will be capturing many of the design features and unique capabilities for which the USS ZUMWALT has broken new ground.

One of my father's favorite quotes was Edmond Burke's admonition, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." My father lived his life by this creed. Not a minute of it was wasted doing "nothing." His life was dedicated to helping his fellow man. In my request that consideration now be given to issuing a US postage stamp in his name, it is my humble opinion such a man who lived such a life should now have that life commemorated by such a great honor.

Very respectfully submitted,

James G. Zumwalt
LCOL, US Marine Corps Reserves (Retired)