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!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

American Patriot Celebrates His Birthday Today !! 56 years of service to our great Navy.



Captain Clyde C. Lopez, United States Navy - retired, celebrates his 74rd birthday today.  This great American enlisted in the Navy in October 1955 and served for 40 years, retiring in 1995.  And yet, still HARD at work for his beloved U.S. Navy.
 
His illustrious Navy career would fill volumes.  It is sufficient to say that he was a Sailor worthy of being called a Shipmate by all who know him.


He was born on this day in 1937 in Santa Rosa, New Mexico.

Sir, Happy Birthday SHIPMATE !!

He is still serving our great Navy and Nation today - in a civilian capacity.  Talk about service!

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)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Unity Of Command

Unity of command ensures that a member reports directly to and receives orders from only one individual. One person must have control over one segment of the organization and that individual is responsible for issuing all orders and receiving all reports from that segment. To ensure all personnel know whom they direct and to whom they report, the lines of authority must be clearly established.

Keep it clear and unambiguous.

From: OPNAVINST 3120.32C Navy SORM

Friday, November 18, 2011

Chief of Naval Operations on Authority, Responsibility and Accountability of Commanding Officers


We have to hold standards for our commanding officers. I believe in the charge of command. I believe that for the authority and the responsibility we give our commanding officers, there is an accountability factor. However, I think that we have to help them to succeed.

I would describe it as sort of a three-pronged approach:

(1) We have to have a consistent screening process -- that as these folks come forward, we are comfortable that we have screened consistently.
(2) We have got to help them with character development. Stress affects different people differently. Some folks handle it well. They find the proper relief. Others don’t handle it well; maybe their personality changes to a certain degree. And they have to understand that they are role models.
(3) When in command, help them succeed. We have taken some recent unfortunate failures and made case studies of them -- ashore, afloat, maybe where somebody had a personality change, became mean. They had anger issues, and then somebody just made a bad decision. 

Put those case studies together and provide it for the kids -- they’re all kids to me. Provide it for the candidates as they come up in school and review these and say, so where did this go wrong? Where did this individual maybe go wrong? Where could we in the chain of command have helped him above and below?

[There is another] piece I would mention to you. We talked about this at the three- and four-star conference, and an interesting aspect came out in Naval Special Warfare Command. They have sea buddies, a peer assigned to check on each other.  Command is a lonely position sometimes. You are out there; those below you cannot really hang out and share your concerns. [The idea is] to encourage peers to develop a network so that you can have somebody to talk to and say, you know, I am feeling this, that or the other thing, and before you go awry or off course maybe you have that conversation.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Kind Of Leader We Are Dealing With

What kind of Flag officer leader personally debriefs his Lieutenant Commander staff officers on their Fitness Reports?

The kind that actually believes 'people are our most important asset.'  It's one thing to "talk the talk"; it's another thing entirely to "walk the walk." 

You know who I'm talking about.  He's the real deal.

More authentic leadership is coming.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

How Generals Respond

How does an O-10 General Officer respond to an O-6 Navy Captain when the Captain offers constructive criticism?  Just the way you would expect the O-10 to respond - with promptness and alacrity.  When I told General Stan McChrystal recently that I loved his McChrystal Group website but thought that his presence on YouTube could be improved, he said "Thanks" and they were doing just that - IMPROVING!  The General has some awesome leadership tips on YouTube and his group plans to add many more.  You can check out his leadership tips HERE.  This group has their 'stuff' in one sock.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Spirit of Hope Award Winner - CTR1 (IDW/SG/SW/AW) Jamar Salters

THE SPIRIT OF HOPE AWARD IS NAMED FOR MR. BOB HOPE, AND IS PRESENTED ANNUALLY BY THE WIEGAND FOUNDATION TO INDIVIDUALS OR ORGANIZATIONS THAT EMBODY MR. HOPE'S FIVE DECADE-LONG COMMITMENT AND SERVICE TO MILITARY MEN AND WOMEN.
CTR1(IDW/SG/SW/AW) JAMAR SALTERS WAS NOMINATED BY THE COMMANDING OFFICER, NAVY INFORMATION OPERATIONS COMMAND (NIOC) HAWAII, FOR HIS SELFLESS DEVOTION, DEDICATION, AND COMMITMENT TO HELPING MORE THAN 3,300 SAILORS REACH THEIR EDUCATIONAL AND PROFESSIONAL GOALS; HIS COMMITMENT TO MOTIVATING FELLOW SAILORS FOR COMMUNITY SERVICE THROUGH THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A MILITARY SERVICE MEMBER VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATION; AND HIS TIRELESS SERVICE AND SUPPORT TO THE COMMUNITY AND FAMILIES THROUGH INVOLVEMENT IN NINE SEPARATE VOLUNTEER FUNDRAISING, EDUCATIONAL, AND COMMUNITY PROJECT EFFORTS.

A short video of the ceremony is HERE.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Express Oneself in Writing

Learning to think as a naval officer requires expressing oneself in writing. Naval officers must be able to find the language in which to explain their thinking. Research and writing are inextricably linked and are at the center of the historical enterprise. Both aspects of the craft can be fun, as well as rewarding.  Give it a try.  You'll be better for it.

Admiral James Stavridis

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Difficult and challenging

“A ship at sea is a distant world in herself and in consideration of the protracted and distant operations of the fleet units the Navy must place great power, responsibility and trust in the hands of those leaders chosen for command. . . . This is the most difficult and demanding assignment in the Navy.”

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Everything Starts and Ends with Leadership

Admiral Pratt while CNO
"As the youth progresses onward to mature manhood, he reaps a harvest from experience, he gleans much knowledge from his studies, he learns concisely what the laws of the seaman require, and the rules of the art of war demand. . . . But who is there to tell him that toward the end of your career you cannot pick up new tools and use them with the dexterity of the expert unless you have spent a lifetime with them, tested the temper of their steel, and made them a part of your life’s equipment."

REAR ADMIRAL WILLIAM PRATT, LEADERSHIP

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

MULTIPLIERS - How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter

Some of our fellow naval officers drain all the intelligence and capability out of their teams. Because they need to be the smartest, most capable person in the room, these officers often shut down the smarts of other really smart Sailors, Chiefs, civilians and officers, ultimately stifling the flow of ideas. You know these officers, because you’ve worked for and with them. You may be working for one now.  If that's the case, sorry - it sucks to be you. On the other hand, if your boss is a 'multiplier', you are one very fortunate individual.

Consider the senior naval officer who, week after week, suggests new tasks and assignments for your team—never letting you complete any one task, forcing you to scurry to keep up with her thinking rather than think for yourself and contribute your own ideas. Or, the executive officer who, despite having more than 15 top-notch officers in the wardroom, admits that he listens to only a couple of people at weekly meetings, claiming “no one else really has anything much to offer.” These naval officers—we call them “diminishers”—underutilize people and leave creativity and talent on the table.

We can't afford to leave anything on the table.  Read Liz Wiseman's book and learn how to become a MULTIPLIER and not a DIMINISHER.   Drop me a note with your e-mail address and I'll send a few of you a complimentary autographed copy.

Monday, November 7, 2011

21 Skippers Fired - One common thread

The Navy Times has an article about 7 of the 21 skippers who have been fired in 2011.  The common thread among 7 of them was abuse of alcohol.  

The real common thread among the 21 skippers fired is that they didn't live up to the demanding personal and professional standards required of our commanding officers.

The Navy is interviewing the fired skippers to find out if there are some "hard lessons learned" that they can incorporate into training and the selection process.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Developing Senior Navy Leaders

The array of expertise required to be a successful leader in the U.S. Navy has become more complex. To be a successful Navy leader, it is no longer sufficient to be skilled only at surface, submarine, or air warfare. Additional kinds of expertise are needed to lead and manage the Navy of today and the Navy of the future. Furthermore, like its sister services, the Navy also has a large and distinct core of senior civilian leaders that continues to provide a broad array of in-depth business skills, as well as the continuity and stability of senior leadership.

We examined the Navy’s structure, its force development, its doctrinal documents, and its technology acquisitions for the past decade and the next decade to forecast how the demand for domain-specific expertise may change in the future. The areas of domain-specific expertise with the strongest evidence of increasing future importance to the Navy are:
  •  Information Warfare
  •  Information Operations
  •  Information Technology
  •  Surface Warfare
  •  Submarine Warfare
  •  Special Warfare
  •  Expeditionary Warfare
  •  Intelligence
  •  Logistics and Readiness
  •  Anti-Submarine Warfare
  •  Littoral Warfare
  •  Sea Basing
From the RAND Sjtudy: Developing Senior Navy Leaders - Requirements for Flag Officer
Expertise Today and in the Future

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Presidential Proclamation - November is National Military Family Month

“Just as our troops embody the courage and character that make America’s military the finest in the world, their family members embody the resilience and generosity that make our communities strong. Day after day, week after week, spouses resolutely accomplish the work of two parents, sons and daughters diligently keep up with homework and activities, and parents and grandparents patiently wait for news of their child and grandchild’s safe return. To these families, and to those whose service members never come home, we bear a debt that can never be fully repaid.”
 
“As America asks ever more of military families, they have a right to expect more of us -- it is our national challenge and moral obligation to uphold that promise.”

And, for your sacrifices, we are going to give you a 1.6% pay raise.

“If we hold ourselves to the same high standard of excellence our military families live by every day, we will realize the vision of an America that supports and engages these heroes now and for decades to come.”

Friday, November 4, 2011

Intended for serious study by professionals

Naval Operations Concept 2010 (NOC 10) describes when, where and how U.S. naval forces will contribute to enhancing security, preventing conflict and prevailing in war. NOC 10 is not designed for a cursory reading; it is a publication intended for serious study by professionals.  You can read it HERE.  Are you a professional?  Have you given this serious study?  Are you really a Navy professional?  Have you even read it?   This is a self-graded test.  How did you do?  You know whether you need to be ashamed or not.  Report your results to your next superior in the chain of command.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Go Down Into the Holds of your Ship/Command

Horatio Nelson, the British admiral made famous for defeating Napoleon's navy  at the Battle of Trafalgar, had an unusual habit when at sea. He would go to the bottom deck and spend time with his most junior officers. In those days, this was just not done...an admiral socializing with the youngest ranks? It was unheard of. But Nelson didn't go down to tell them a thing or two. He didn't go below deck to whip them into shape. Quite the opposite. He spent time with them to get something from them. To get something they had lots of, more than any of his ranking officers: unbridled passion and blind optimism...and Nelson loved it!

Enthusiasm, optimism, passion.  Get some - your Sailors likely have some to spare if you aren't killing it.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Leader Sets the Example

The naval leader must set the example in all things.  Do you want your men to look smart?  Then you must be meticulous in your own dress.  Throw aside any non-regulation articles of uniform, refrain from wearing soiled or rumpled clothing, keep yourself clean and neat, your face shaved.  Do you want them to be courteous?  Then you must be courteous, to your juniors as well as to your seniors.  It is a rule that works both ways.  When your seniors are present with you before your men, you must be careful to do exactly the things that are expected of you.  Do you expect your men to be loyal?  Then you must be loyal, to those junior to you as well as to those who are senior.  Loyalty can never be over-emphasized.  And remember, it works both ways.

From:  The Naval Officer's Manual
Rear Admiral Harley Cope, USN-retired

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Command Excellence: The Commanding Officer/Executive Officer Relationship

Captain Susan Cerovsky
Commander Paul Wilkes
The ability of the CO and XO to work together is vitally important because their relationship impacts all aspects of the command. In superior commands the CO and XO work as a team and live up to Napoleon's dictum that "Nothing in war is as important as an undivided command." 

Although the CO and XO work together, the CO leads and the XO follows: there is never any doubt about who is calling the shots.  In superior commands, the XO actively supports the CO's policies, philosophy, and procedures. This does not mean that there is always perfect agreement. Differences, though, are dealt with in private. The XO may try to convince the CO to change her mind. But once the decision is made, the XO fully supports it; he does not attempt to undermine the CO in any way. As they say in one aviation squadron, "Fight in private; support in public."

The COs and XOs of superior commands accept that their roles are different and that they must work together to accomplish the command's mission. The CO has the big picture; the XO, the nitty-gritty. Thus, the CO establishes policy and procedures and holds the XO responsible for implementation. Duties and responsibilities need not be the same from command to command in the same community: in fact, each CO emphasizes different areas. What is essential, though, is that these roles be clearly defined and mutually agreed to.

Most COs in superior commands meet regularly with their executive officers to discuss long-range plans, tell them about upcoming activities, and get their ideas on preparing for these activities. The XOs, in turn, keep the CO informed about how plans are being carried out and do not hesitate to raise concerns requiring the CO's attention.

This is how it works at the Center for Information Dominance (CID) Corry Station, Pensacola, Florida and at other excellent commands throughout the Navy.