Sunday, March 31, 2013

Bias toward action

"What we think, know, or believe in is, in the end,
of little consequence.
The only consequence . . . is what we do."
(Haines, 1995)

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Lieutenant Commander Seth Lawrence - 2013 Winner of Captain Joseph Rochefort Information Warfare Officer Distinguished Leadership Award

LCDR SETH LAWRENCE
CAPTAIN JOSEPH JOHN ROCHEFORT WAS A MAJOR FIGURE IN THE U.S. NAVY'S CRYPTOLOGIC AND INTELLIGENCE DEVELOPMENT FROM 1925 TO 1947. HE HEADED THE NAVY'S FLEDGLING CRYPTANALYTIC ORGANIZATION IN THE 1920'S AND PROVIDED SINGULARLY SUPERB CRYPTOLOGIC SUPPORT TO THE U.S. FLEET DURING WORLD WAR II, LEADING TO VICTORY IN THE WAR IN THE PACIFIC. AT THE END OF HIS CAREER (1942-1946), ROCHEFORT SUCCESSFULLY HEADED THE PACIFIC STRATEGIC INTELLIGENCE GROUP IN WASHINGTON. ROCHEFORT DIED IN 1976. IN 1986, HE POSTHUMOUSLY RECEIVED THE PRESIDENT'S NATIONAL DEFENSE SERVICE MEDAL, THE HIGHEST MILITARY AWARD DURING PEACETIME, FOR HIS CONTRIBUTIONS DURING THE BATTLE OF MIDWAY.
THE INTENT OF THE CAPTAIN ROCHEFORT IW OFFICER DISTINGUISHED LEADERSHIP AWARD IS TO ANNUALLY RECOGNIZE THE SUPERIOR CAREER ACHIEVEMENT OF ONE IW OFFICER. IN THE SPIRIT OF CAPTAIN ROCHEFORT, SPECIFIC CONSIDERATION IS GIVEN TO LEADERSHIP, TEAMWORK, OPERATIONAL CONTRIBUTIONS AND ADHERENCE TO THE PRINCIPLE BY WHICH HE SERVED, "WE CAN ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING PROVIDED NO ONE CARES WHO GETS THE CREDIT."
Lieutenant Commander Seth Lawrence is currently serving as the Executive Officer of Navy Information Operations Command Pensacola, Florida.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Bad day for NOSC CO - Navy Fires CO number SEVEN

As reported by NAVNEWS, Rear Admiral Bryan Cutchen, Commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command fired Captain Jay Bowman, Commanding Officer, Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) Fort Dix, N.J.,  on March 27, due to loss of confidence in his ability to command.

The firing was the result of an investigation that raised concerns over Captain Bowman's ability to effectively command. 

Captain Bowman's Executive Officer, Lieutenant Commander Derek Dwyer has assumed command on an interim basis.  

Captain Bowman is the second NOSC Commanding Officer fired this month and the seventh Navy Commanding Officer fired in 2013.

For more news from Commander, Navy Reserve Force, visit www.navy.mil/local/nrf/.

Big Day Today for my Shipmate - LCDR Mark Boggis


The Officer in Charge
United States Navy Information Operations Detachment Seoul
requests the pleasure of your company at the
Change of Charge Ceremony at which
Lieutenant Commander Julio Sanchez, United States Navy
will be relieved by
Lieutenant Commander Mark L. Boggis, United States Navy
on Friday, the twenty-ninth of March
at ten o’clock
in the South Post Chapel, Yongson Army Garrison, Bldg 3702
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Thursday, March 28, 2013

No brainer

When someone tells you "it's a no brainer", they usually want you to suspend the use of your brain and accept the judgment of their brain.  Don't get caught in this trap.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sailors are our most important asset

"Decide what's important and do everything you can to 
live like you believe it."

Mark Miller
@Leaders Serve
23 March 2013
Tweet

Right now, our Sailors question your beliefs.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Navy Fires its SIXTH Commanding Officer in 2013

NOSC Rock Island, Illinois
Navy Reserve Lieutenant Commander Jack O'Neill, Commanding Officer, Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) Rock Island, Illinois was fired by Captain George Whitbred, Commander, Navy Region Midwest Reserve Component Command (NRWRCC).  LCDR O'Neill was fired on 19 March due to Captain Whitbred's loss of confidence in his ability to command.

The relief occurred as the result of an investigation into allegations of hazing during a drill weekend as well as other command climate issues. LCDR O'Neill has been temporarily reassigned to the Army Garrison at Rock Island Arsenal in Rock Island, Illinois. 

LCDR O'Neill is a graduate of the Army Command & General Staff College, served aboard USS NASSAU (LHA-3 4) and with the staff at Amphibious Squadron ELEVEN.  He has a degree from Regent University.

The Navy has taken a hard turn on hazing incidents and established a Navy Office of Hazing Prevention (N137) (NAVADMIN 034/17) to track hazing incidents like the ones at NOSC Rock Island.   Our Navy fosters a culture of dignity and respect for every Sailor, and hazing has no place within our Navy culture.  Hazing prevention remains a Navy leadership priority. One incident is one too many. It is the responsibility of every Sailor to ensure that hazing does not occur in any form at any level.

LCDR Gregory Cissell, a member of NRWRCC’s staff, has been named interim CO of NOSC Rock Island until a properly command screened replacement can be named.

Other COs fired in 2013:

1.  Commander Thomas Winter: CO USS MONTPELIER - loss of confidence in his ability to command.
2.  Commander Luis Molina: CO USS PASADENA - loss of confidence in executing his duties.
3.  Commander Nathan Sukols: CO USS JACKSONVILLE - due to loss of confidence in his ability to command.
4.  Captain David Hunter: CO Maritime Expeditionary Security Squadron 12, Coastal Riverine Group 2 due to “unprofessional behavior.”
5.  Commander Corey Wofford: CO USS KAUFFMAN - due to lackluster leadership.

Indifference

Do your meetings have purpose?  What decisions are made? What actions are required?

We armor ourselves against the cutting remark, the ad hominem attack, the person who just doesn't like our stuff.


But all of this is the feedback we get when we touch a nerve and are doing work that matters enough to care about.

No, the worst sort of feedback is no feedback at all - indifference.
From Seth Godin HERE.

More Dilbert HERE.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Captain Timothy J. White selected for Flag

IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 182-13                                                                          March 25, 2013
                               Flag Officer Announcements

             Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced today that the President has made the following nominations:
          
             Navy Captain Timothy J. White for appointment to the rank of rear admiral (lower half).  White is currently serving as commanding officer, Navy Information Operations Command  Maryland, Fort George G. Meade, Md.

 U.S. Department of Defense
 Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)

 On the Web: http://www.defense.gov/releases/
 Media Contact: +1 (703) 697-5131/697-5132
 Public Contact: http://www.defense.gov/landing/questions.aspx or +1 (703) 428-0711 +1

Captain Timothy White

Commanding Officer

Captain White was commissioned in 1987 with a bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering.  He was then assigned to USS MISSOURI (BB-63), where he participated in Operation EARNEST WILL, RIMPAC 88/90, PACEX89, and Operations DESERT SHIELD/STORM.   He graduated from the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey CA, in 1993 (MS Systems Technology), and was assigned to NSA/CSS, Fort Meade, Md.

Capt. White served in the Naval and Aerodynamic Weapons Systems Technical Analysis directorate, and the National Security Operations Center (NSOC) as a Senior Watch Officer/Group Coordinator, and completed two National Intelligence Support Team (NIST) deployments to Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina in support of Commander, NATO Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) and Commander, NATO Implementation Force (IFOR).

 After earning a diploma from the Naval War College and completing JMPE Phase 1, he was subsequently assigned to C5F/COMUSNAVCENT in Manama, Bahrain.  He established the Naval Security Group Activity Bahrain (now Naval Information Operations Command Bahrain) as the Plankowner Commanding Officer from 1999-2001.  Captain White then completed JPME Phase 2 and was awarded a diploma from the Joint Forces Staff College, National Defense University in the Fall of 2001.

 From Fall 2001 to Fall 2004, he was assigned to the Pentagon OPNAV staff, in direct support of the Director for Naval Intelligence as the Navy Joint Military Intelligence Programs (JMIP) and Tactical Intelligence and Related Activities (TIARA) Policy, Programs, and Requirements Officer.

 He is a 2008 graduate of the National Defense University/Industrial College of the Armed Forces, (MS National Resources Mgmt).  Prior to his assignment to USCYBERCOM (Plankowner) as Director, Commander’s Action Group, he served at STRATCOM/JFCC-NW as D/J2 and Chief of Staff.

Capt. White’s most recent operational Fleet assignment was to Commander, United States SEVENTH Fleet as A/COS Information Operations (N39), embarked onboard USS BLUE RIDGE (LCC-19).

Capt. White assumed command of Navy Information Operations Command Maryland in September of  2011 where he oversees a command of 2000 of the Navy’s finest Sailors and civilians and serves as Commander, Task Force 1060 responsible for the execution of cyber and non-kinetic operations for Commander Tenth Fleet.

Leading Friends


A definition of friend leadership


Friend leadership occurs when a peer, within a predominantly homogeneous group, is selected by someone outside the group to oversee, guide, and care for his group and accomplish objectives that are imposed externally, as well as developed internally.  This homogeneous group is similar in age, experience, and expertise.  Typically, the group has been together for an extended period of time and interacted as peers, without any senior-subordinate relationship.  The peer who has been raised to a leadership position also has a number of close personal relationships with individuals within the group.  Friend leadership is a distinct subset of peer leadership, differentiated by the group’s homogeneity and intimate social ties.  When a West Point cadet becomes a Platoon Commander, when an Air Force Academy cadet becomes the Wing Commander, when a Naval ROTC midshipman becomes a Battalion Commander, these individuals will, by definition, be leading friends.
 

The unique characteristics of friend leadership


Friend leadership has a unique set of characteristics that cause this type of leadership to be particularly demanding.  Though some of these attributes can be found in more traditional leadership settings, they have a tendency to dominate in friend leadership.  These characteristics are:

-       The friend leader is trying to find the balance between leading and maintaining friendships.
-       The friend leader typically has limited leadership experience at the level to which appointed.  This results in a crisis of confidence.
-       The leader is experiencing loyalty tensions—the tension among loyalty to the organization, loyalty to the group, loyalty to individuals, and loyalty to himself.
-       The friend leader has limited authority to punish or reward his subordinates.
-       Some members of the group feel jealousy towards the appointed friend leader.
-       Some members of the group question the selection process that elevated the peer to a leadership position.
-       Conflict resolution between the friend leader and group members is particularly challenging.

Because of these unique attributes, friend leaders need to develop and demonstrate certain personal attributes and implement specific strategies to become successful.  These attributes and strategies are outlined in the following sections.

From Colonel Arthur J. Athens' paper
Leading Friends  

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Smart Sailors and JOs

There are some very smart Sailors and Junior Officers out there who both care deeply about what they are doing and have the knowledge, insight and experience to give us ideas that can significantly improve many fundamental aspects of how we do business today.

You own the future.

You have a professional obligation and vested interest to shape the capabilities and culture of tomorrow’s Fleet.
  • Think deeply 
  • Question continuously 
  • Debate rigorously 
  • Read broadly 
  • Write boldly 
  • Write boldly (repeated for emphasis)
  • Communicate your ideas to leadership
RADM Terry Kraft
Commander Navy Warfare Development Command
10 October 2012

RADM Kraft's full brief is HERE.  Members of the IDC are active and involved in this process.  If you have an interest in making a difference by being the difference, contact CTRC Andrew Krueger, SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific in San Diego. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Has your wardroom discussed this?

Collaborative leadership is a powerful tool and in that spirit, we offer the attached document for your consideration. It was written by a group of passionate junior officers and senior enlisted Sailors and is fully endorsed across the IW/CT Community Flag Deck. The words did not originate with us, but our commitment to them will be unambiguous:
  • Cultivate Specialized Expertise 
  • Take Collective Ownership 
  • Invest in Core Competencies 
  • Foster External Partnership 
We expect that our collective actions as a community will be aligned with these guiding principles, as well as the overall culture outlined in the document, and we ask you to hold each of us accountable for the same. The perception of our actions being misaligned with these words would be counter- productive, so we ask for honest, constructive, and regular feedback. Tell us what we need to hear, not what you think we want to hear, and we ask that you make the same philosophy clear to those under your charge . Please make time to read this document and discuss it with your peers, seniors, and subordinates. Don't let this document be a piece of "shelf-ware". We must each do our part to turn these words into meaningful action .

The entire document is available HERE.

Overheard in the P-Way



Commander, if you don't believe one Sailor can change the Navy, then you, sir, are not he.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Information Dominance Roadmap 2013-2028 & Navy Cyber: The 5th Operational Domain



Just released by Rear Admiral William E. Leigher, the full roadmap is available HERE.

Also newly available is a video - Navy Cyber: The 5th Operational Domain HERE.

What Kind of Work Fills Your Day?

Scott Belsky breaks down our work into 5 categories.  He's on the mark with most of this.  When you are working as hard as you are, it's important to know where to invest your time.  You can find Scott HERE.

1. Reactionary Work
Let's face it, a great deal of your time is spent responding to messages and requests - emails, text messages, voicemails, and the list goes on. You are constantly reacting to what comes into you rather than being proactive in what matters most to you. Reactionary Work is necessary, but you can't let it consume you.

2. Planning Work
At other times, you need to plan how you will do your work. Planning Work includes the time spent, scheduling and prioritizing your time, developing your systems for running meetings, and refining your systems for working. By planning, you are deciding how your energy should be allocated, and you are designing your method for getting stuff done. The best workflows are highly personalized and occasionally borderline neurotic, but they keep us engaged. It may not sound sexy, but Planning Work helps you become more efficient and execute on your  goals.

3. Procedural Work
Of course, there are many motions we go through every day that are neither reactionary nor strategic. Procedural Work is the administrative/maintenance stuff that we do just to keep afloat: making sure that the bills are paid or preparing tax returns, updating a deck for a business presentation, or tracking old outbound emails to confirm that they were addressed/solved. Procedural Work is important, but we must remember to remain flexible in our approach to it. Procedures backfire when they become antiquated and remain only out of habit, not necessity.

4. Insecurity Work
Insecurity Work includes the stuff we do out of our own insecurities - obsessively looking at certain statistics related to your company, or repeatedly checking what people are saying about you or your product online, etc. Insecurity Work doesn't move the ball forward in any way - aside from briefly reassuring us that everything is OK - and we're often unconscious that we're even doing it. 

5. Problem-Solving Work
Creativity becomes most important during Problem-Solving Work. This is the work that requires our full brainpower and focus, whether it be designing a new interface, developing a new business plan, writing a thoughtful blog post, or brainstorming the features of a new product. Whether you're working solo or as a team, you're leveraging raw creativity to find answers.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Character, Knowledge and Application

"Just as the diamond requires three properties for its formation--carbon, heat, and pressure--successful leaders require the interaction of three properties--character, knowledge, and application. Like carbon to the diamond, character is the basic quality of the leader. But as carbon alone does not create a diamond, neither can character alone create a leader. The diamond needs heat. Man needs knowledge, study, and preparation. The third property, pressure--acting in conjunction with carbon and heat--forms the diamond. Similarly, one's character, attended by knowledge, blooms through application to produce a leader."

- General Edward C. Meyer, Former US Army Chief of Staff

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Take the current when it serves



 “There is a tide in the affairs of men, Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.”

- Shakespeare

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

If you can't help 100, help just 1.

And, if you are the over-achiever I know you to be, help 2.

Help our Wounded Warriors HERE.

Priorities

"Skipper, if your officers, Chiefs and Sailors don't know what your command's top three priorities are, your command may not have any."

Paraphrasing my former boss, Donald H. Rumsfeld
From his new book to be released in May - "RUMSFELD'S RULES"

Monday, March 18, 2013

PRINCIPLES OF NAVAL LEADERSHIP

1. Know yourself and seek self-improvement.
2.  Be technically and tactically proficient.
3.  Know your subordinates and look out for their welfare.
4.  Keep your subordinates informed.
5.  Set the example.
6.  Ensure the task is understood, supervised and accomplished.
7.  Train your unit as a team.
8.  Make sound and timely decisions.
9.  Develop a sense of responsibility among your subordinates.
10. Employ your command in accordance with its capabilities.
11. Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions.

From the 2013 Naval Leader Planning Guide available on Navy Knowledge Online.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Who is a writer?

“A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”

― Thomas Mann,
Essays of Three Decades

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Writing - do it in private

“Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.”

― Robert A. Heinlein

Friday, March 15, 2013

Cryptologic Technician Technical Chief (IDW/SW) Christian Michael Pike

Chief Petty Officer Christian Michael Pike, 31, of Peoria, Arizona died March 13 in Landstuhl, Germany as a result of combat related injuries sustained on March 10 while conducting stability operations in Maiwand District, Afghanistan. He was assigned to West Coast-based Naval Special Warfare Support Activity ONE.  He attended Peoria high school, graduating in 2000. Chief Pike joined the Navy in 2001 and following recruit training in Great Lakes, Illinois, he was assigned to the Naval Technical Training Center Corry Station for Cryptologic Technician Technical (CTT) "A" School followed by assignment to USS CLEVELAND.  In 2007, he transferred to Navy Information Operations Command Georgia before reporting to Naval Special Warfare Support Activity ONE on July 25, 2011.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

After the decision has been made - We need 9 parts action to 1 part further thinking

Our most effective Naval officers are those who can think for themselves and are capable of thinking long and hard before jumping to conclusions.  Once the decisions are made by senior leadership, it's time to act.  Most of the thinking (and arguing for your point of view) has been completed.  At that point we need 9 parts action to 1 part more thinking.  Get busy.  CNO and others are waiting.  And, they should not have to.  There is much work to be done.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

CNO's Guiding Principles - A refresher

  • Our primary mission is warfighting. All our efforts to improve capabilities, develop people, and structure our organizations should be grounded in this fundamental responsibility.  
  • People are the Navys foundation. We have a professional and moral obligation to uphold a covenant with Sailors, Civilians and their families to ably lead, equip, train and motivate.
  • Our approach should be Joint and combined when possible. However, we own the sea, and must also be able to operate independently when necessary. 
  • Our primary Joint partner is the U.S. Marine Corps. We must continue to evolve how we will operate and fight as expeditionary warfare partners. 
  • At sea and ashore, we must be ready to part with Navy roles, programs and traditions if they are not integral to our future vision or a core element of our mission.  
  • We must ensure todays force is ready for its assigned missions. Maintaining ships and aircraft to their expected service lives is an essential contribution to fleet capacity 
  • Our Navy Ethos defines us and describes the standard for character and behavior. 
  • We must clearly and directly communicate our intent and expectations both within and outside the Navy. 
  • I believe in the “Charge of Command. We will train and empower our leaders with authorities commensurate with their responsibilities.
I hope someone in your chain of command has discussed this with you on some level.  If not, seek them out and ask why not?  This should end up in the Chiefs Mess, the wardroom and in the Plan of the Week.  Help get it there.  Bring it up.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

What Mentoring Means

To mentor someone and help them achieve something worthy:
1) Understand who they are, and what makes them itch
2) Support them to unreasonable lengths
3) Challenge them to demonstrate what they really can be/do
4) Help them surprise themselves. 
This is just Paul Hudnut's opinion. No facts support this post.
By the way, this is also good advice for how to love someone.

I hope that I am living up to Paul's thoughts on mentorship since they are very close to my own. Thanks Paul.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Never enough Stockdale...

Leadership must be based on goodwill. Goodwill does not mean posturing and, least of all, pandering to the mob. It means obvious and wholehearted commitment to helping followers. We are tired of leaders we fear, tired of leaders we love, and most tired of leaders who let us take liberties with them. 

What we need for leaders are men of the heart who are so helpful that they, in effect, do away with the need of their jobs. But leaders like that are never out of a job, never out of followers. 

Strange as it sounds, great leaders gain authority by giving it away. 

VADM James Bond Stockdale
Military Ethics
“Machiavelli, Management, and Moral Leadership.” 1987

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Last Month of Year of the Chief Petty Officer

These are the last few days of the Year of the Chief.  1 April 2013 will mark the 120th Anniversary of the Chief Petty Officer.  By any measure, the past year has not been the best one for our Navy Chief Petty Officers.  Having been raised by Chiefs since first joining the Navy on 14 July 1975 and enjoying their support for 30 years, I can understand their trepidation over the changes involved with embracing CPO 365.  Back in 2007, I enjoined our Navy Chiefs to "Anchor Up, Chiefs ! Reset The Mess" HERE.  MCPONs Campa and West adopted my anthem and MCPON Stevens continues with "ZEROING IN ON EXCELLENCE", which the Navy has been championing since the 1980s.  We need to keep working together to, again, make "Ask The Chief" the highest form of professional compliment rather than the pejorative it has become alongside "Shipmate".

Friday, March 8, 2013

Retirement Announcement

In his monthly OPNAV N2/N6 Newsletter, Vice Admiral Kendall Card announced he would retire in about six months.

This is his note to the Information Dominance Community:

"In case you have not heard, I have decided to retire from active duty and will hang up my uniform for the last time in about six months. These kinds of decisions are never easy, but I have enjoyed a wonderful 35 years in service to our country and I am proud to say that the last two years as head of the IDC have been the best of all! I am enormously proud of what we have accomplished together, and completely confident you will continue to excel, and lead the Navy into the next phase of modern warfare. My relief has not yet been identified, but you can rest assured the CNO will pick the right flag officer, and I am certain you will all provide him or her with the same level of outstanding support you gave me; our Navy needs nothing less than your best! In the meantime, I refuse to slow down, particularly given the budget uncertainties and operational challenges we face over the next several months. I will keep you fully apprised as this transition unfolds, but for now, let’s all maintain the full court press!"

Kendall Card
Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy
Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Dominance

This Has Always Worked For Me

More Jeff Bacon awesomeness can be found HERE.

By the way, I am a three time winner of Jeff Bacon's caption contests.
I think we share a common sense of humor.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

You know, I thought that I knew the guy who wrote this book

I worked pretty hard for a Captain who certainly could have written this book.  Turns out, he would have been about 50 years too late in the writing.  He certainly perfected the art of avoiding work.  Never did get his Ph.D. though and was neither a straight shooter nor a straight thinker.

That's my shot over the bow.

I just saw this book cover and it made me smile.  I've never been afraid of work of any kind.  But I've certainly worked for men and women who were.

I remember one boss telling me, "Hard work never killed anyone, but why take the risk?"  (I'm sure he stole that from someone else.)

Sometimes your boss's only purpose may be to serve as a bad example.  There's a leadership lesson in there somewhere.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Letting it go - just can't do it

One of my challenges has been to let go of things. I've said before that I have carried experiences and friendships with me over my 30 year Navy career from day one of boot camp in San Diego on 14 July 1975 to the last day of May in 2006 at the Pentagon. I am proud to say that I am still in touch with my Recruit Chief Petty Officer (RCPO) and several others from Company 929 in 1975 and with the Secretary of Defense from my 2 year assignment as his staff director for the Detainee Task Force. And I am still in touch with many folks from every assignment in between.   These aren't FaceBook, Twitter, Google+, TogetherWeServed, or LinkedIN connections - they are far more than that.

One of the tougher things to let go of is my time in charge - as OIC of NSGD Barbers Point, Hawaii and as Commanding Officer, U.S. Naval Security Group Activity Yokosuka (now Navy Information Operations Command). As the person in charge, I think we connect ourselves more to the legacy of those organizations where we held the ultimate responsibility and authority.  As Commanding Officer, it is particularly tough to let go of the team that you have led.  Over the years since command, I have watched MY Sailors grow to the point that three of them will be the Commanding Officer, Executive Officer and Command Master Chief of 'my' former command - U.S. NSGA Yokosuka this summer.  There is a great deal of shared pride in their many achievements.  And, another one of my Sailors also served as officer in charge of 'my' former detachment NSGD Barbers Point.  The circle of "our" leadership is expanding and remains unbroken.

Do you stay genuinely CONNECTED to your Shipmates or do you simply steam on?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

"Brilliant" on the basics? Some commands don't even have the light on.

If you were to assess your command in these six categories, how would you score?
The foundation for success in any command can, in part, be attributed to these six areas that form the enduring foundation upon which a successful career can be launched: 
1. Sponsorship/first 72 hours:
Proactive interaction by a sponsor and ombudsman can solve many issues before the Sailor and family arrives aboard. Paving the way for a smooth transition and making each Navy family feel like a genuine part of their new command can ensure a family commitment of support to enable success for all.
2. Assign a Mentor:
Leader’s should be proactive in mentoring; give junior Sailors and peers the benefit of your experience. There are formal and informal means in which to execute an effective mentorship program. Each of us can attribute our own success to a great mentor. Ensure our Sailors understand the value of senior and peer mentorship.
3. Indoctrination:
A great sponsorship program must be followed up by an effective indoctrination program. This will send a strong, positive signal that we value the talent and skills of the Sailor and we have a plan to integrate them into the team. Additionally it immediately sets the tone on what you expect of the Sailor and also what should be expected from you. Requirements and best practices can be found in OPNAVINST 1740.3C.
4. Leadership:
Career Development Boards (CDBs) - Leadership involvement, primarily by the CMC, the Chief’s mess and the Command Career Counselor, is critical to the success of every Sailor. CDBs are required within 30 days of a Sailor reporting aboard, and again at 6 and 12 months. (Many commands can't get EVALs/FITREPS done on time and you can imagine their success in accomplishing the CDB requirement).
5. Ombudsman program:
Ombudsman are trained to disseminate information from the chain of command to the families, including official command information, Quality Of Life opportunities, and community information. They can also provide referrals and are instrumental in resolving family issues before the issues require extensive command attention. Every Sailor and Family member should know the Command Ombudsman. How do you advertise your Ombudsman?
6. Recognition:
The end of tour should not be the only time a Sailor is recognized. Recognition can also include mid-tour awards, Flag Letters Of Commendation, letters of appreciation, and highlighting accomplishments in the POD and other public venues. Be creative, praise in public, and make your Sailors know they are appreciated. Something as simple as public recognition, a hand shake or a pat on the back often means more than an official award.