Friday, October 24, 2014

We (cryptologists/Information Warfare Officers) don't do that

How often do you hear "we don't do that" when you ask about some new possibility, idea, mission, career opportunity or function?

I had a breakfast discussion with a Shipmate in D.C. recently and we talked about possibilities.

We talked about the 1610 who wanted to be an astronaut - but we don't do that.  Until Captain Ellis A. Fiedtkou-Leonard did.

We talked about the 1610 who wanted to fly as a linguist in the EA-6B - but we don't do that.  Until CDR Mike Makfinsky did.

We talked about the 1610 who wanted to work on the Vice President's staff - but we don't do that.  Until Captain Rich Wilhelm did.

We talked about the 1610 who wanted to be the Naval Attache to Moscow - but we don't do that.  Until Captain Dick Hutchinson did.

We talked about the 1610 and CTI2 females who wanted to fly in EP-3s - but we don't do that.  Until LT Barb Doyne and CTI2 Nancy Johnson did.

We talked about the 1610 who wanted to be the Naval Attache to South Korea - but we don't do that.  Until CDR Jim Kim converted to FAO and made Captain and did.

We talked about the potential for an IW officer to be a Vice Admiral - but we don't have a 3 star billet to fill.  Until Vice Admiral Michael Rogers filled it.  (Now we have a 3 star and a 4 star.)

We talked about the CTICS who wanted to be a regular contributor to USNI Proceedings magazine - but we don't do that.  Until for the first time in the 138 year old history of the magazine, CTICS Jim Murphy did.

Don't let "WE don't do that" keep YOU from doing it!

Help me out with your own "We don't do that" comment below.


Anonymous said...

1610s don't have command of intel units. Until Captain Don Darnell commanded NMITC.

Anonymous said...

IWOs don't get the cyber stink of social media on them. Until RADM Bill Leigher started using FB, Twitter, blogs, CryptoCore, Foursquare and more.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ May 7, 2013 8;20AM

But be aware that all of the other IW leaders are noticeably absent from social media or any other regular communication medium. Maybe they know something Bill doesn't.

Jim Murphy said...

Captain Lambert, thank you for including the column in the post. It's quite humbling to be included in that list of accomplishment, particularly since my authorship of the Proceedings column was the result of an opportunity presented by a great mentor and not through any specific effort of mine.

Next month will be the 4-year anniversary of From the Deckplates, I'm still amazed the column has lasted this long, and that it ever was considered as a regular addition to the magazine.

All the best and V/R

Mike Lambert said...


Thanks for 'doing that thing that you do'.

Congratulations on your 4 years!

Again in the May issue, I ripped out your article and there wasn't much else worth reading.

All the best

Jim Murphy said...

Captain, there are probably others who rip out my article and keep the rest of the magazine.


A Shipmate said...

I don' remember talking about any of this.

Bob Moseley said...

I remember many spirited conversations revolving around CTIs supporting SPECWAR. There was strong resistance from some senior CTIs who said, "we don't do that, it isn't cryptology". 10+ years fighting 2 ground wars with CTI support has aptly demonstrated the shortsightedness of that logic.

Mike Lambert said...

Bob Moseley,

Thanks for adding that one. I appreciate it.

NSG Historian said...

Those were some incredible 1610s

Class of 1996 Captains

Ellis A. Fiedtkouleonard
Richard M. Hutchinson III
Barry L. Ketterer
Thomas M. McCaffrey
Philip D. Ray

What a classy group of officers and gentlemen.

From the interwebs said...

Having served in subs, aboard ship, in acft, ashore in a variety of demanding billets, I can tell you that IWs are as relevant as they make themselves. As an IW, one has the opportunity to make DRAMATIC and far reaching contributions - right into the WHITE HOUSE like Captain Rich Wilhelm (former CO NSGA Misawa) or in the shuttle mission specialist program like Captain Fiedtkou-Leonard. I could write a dissertation on relevance of the IW officer. The limits of your contribution are directly related to your willingness to work - the harder/smarter you work, the farther you will go. We have a legacy of FREAKING incredible officers, CPOs and Sailors who have contributed immeasurably to the security of the nation through their individual and collective efforts in cryptology/IW or whatever you might want to call it. We have had IWs PCS afloat who have made believers of SWOs and done the same for submariners. By the same token, we have had some small number of incompetent folks turn these same people into HATERS of all that we do. I had two post command (one SWO/one sub) department heads at C7F whose only goal was to get CTs off the ship/staff. The sub CO had a bad 1610 divoff experience on USS Phoenix. He still made Captain but HATED all CTs/1610s. Again, we have some URL Flag officers who ABSOLUTELY believe in what we bring to the table. We need to increase that number. That is an IMPOSSIBLE task for someone who believes we don't have relevance.

An industrious, self-motivated 1610/6440/7440 has always been able to break through as a leader/trail blazer in everything we have attempted. Think of the first among us to qualify in USN subs and then CDR Clint Lyons doing it on an Australian sub and Captain Kevin Hooley leading the way with SPEC WAR and the SEAL Teams, our guys on PCs, RADM Singer on the precursor to our catamarans, the first guys to do HFDF, run a satellite system, remote signals from ship to shore, the first to embed a computer attack worm, CDR Mike Makfinsky our first guy in the EA-6B, our first guys to strap a receiver into a LAMPS helo and go out on successful SIGINT missions, Legion of Merit Award winner CPO Scott Hendren aboard submarine, you get the idea - the list is ENDLESS - ENDLESS.


SWO DOG said...

Most of this looks like olden times, what have you done lately info dominators?

James Hammersla said...

Vince Lombardi said "The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand."

We can succeed no matter what 'job' we are assigned if we want to. To do so we just have to be willing to put in the hard work, dedication and the desire to succeed that is required.

Spooky dog said...

We have been the linchpin in taking down countless targets....when was your last surface war?

Anonymous said...

We win one every day at sea. When was the last time you didn't spy on Americans?

Anonymous said...

SWO DOG, we are doing our job correctly if you only hear about the "olden times." If what we do/did were public knowledge, then the adversary would be able to prevent us from doing what we do.

LCDRLDO/6440 said...

SWO DOG: Surface contact bearing 239 relative. CBDR. Do your job. We'll do ours. Everyone wins.

Anonymous said...

So, no shame. My question asking you when you stopped spying on Americans has been there for a week and nobody here answered.

It's what I expected. Anelli what do you think about officers and other folk who sacrificed their lives, their fortunes and their honor in order to spy on fellow americans?