Monday, October 27, 2014

Admiral Michelle Howard to the Master Chief Leadership Mess Symposium

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Mike Stevens began his annual Leadership Mess Symposium in Suffolk, Virginia, October 21, which included more than 100 fleet, force, and flag-level command master chiefs.

The symposium is designed to be a forum for the Navy's top enlisted leaders to come together to hear about current issues, programs and practices from MCPON and other senior leaders. 

Admiral Howard spoke on three topics - three cultures - that are a high priority for her: gender integration, cyber, and ethics.

"Those are the three things I want to talk to you about today," said Howard. "And what's great is they are three things that cut across the fleet, they cut across the Armed Forces and literally they are issues that cut across America and the folks we bring into the Navy." 

"Probably the hardest challenge leaders have is taking ownership of themselves, and making sure that they are always positive examples, that they always have this great attitude and that they control themselves."


My kids' Mom said...

"Probably the hardest challenge leaders have is taking ownership of themselves, and making sure that they are always positive examples, that they always have this great attitude and that they control themselves."

Yes, indeed! Thank you for brining this up. There is a huge problem, more and more common, with the leaders in the navy not conducting their private lives in accordance with the navy's core values and rules and thus the integrity and credibility of the entire organization is put in jeopardy. There are command triads saturated with such moral decay that it has huge detrimental effects on all the navy families attached to the command, and beyond, and nothing is being done about it. When the top leadership is engaging in unacceptable behavior, who is left to enforce rules of ethical and moral conduct? Even worse, when admirals are made aware of what is going on they many times choose to look the other way since they do not want dirt on their desks. This is going on right now, in this very community, as this is being written. We all know about it! I am disgusted beyond words. To call it hypocrisy is an understatement!

More and more names of COs we thought were great guys are indeed ending up on the "Men behaving badly list"

What it all boils down to is the inability to gracefully handle power.


What I would like to know is if the admirals that are aware of this will do something about it or are we going to promote men with questionable characters to the top positions in our country. And should cheaters really have a top secret security clearance? Just a humble question.


Anneli Kershaw

Navy Grade 36 Bureaucrat said...

Call me cynical, but those master chiefs have a lot to discuss. The Chief's Mess has made themselves less relevant by forgetting that they have to balance tradition with work. More and more I see the E-5/E-6 making it happen while the E-7s and above go off to "do chiefly things" of which we never see any benefits. Increasingly I find as an officer that I'm the one correcting mistakes and setting the example because the chief knocked off of work around 1400.

My guess? Not much will happen. I like Master Chief Stevens, but I don't envy his job one bit. It's still an uphill battle for me, so I can't imagine what he has to work with.

Anonymous said...

No miss. You are quite wrong. I would like to invite your attention to the seminal works of Mr. Lederer. It is possible that you would find, "All The Ships At Sea" and Ensign O'Toole and Me" of interest. He is also the man that wrote, "The Ugly American" and some other notable books.

The thing is, as he gracefully alluded to, no man objects to any man finding females alluring and worthy of a good chase. It's hard wired. Men and women are attracted to each other.

You imply immorality when you lambast the navy for allowing men to be attracted to the women they have at hand and vice versa. I served 30 years and never had a single woman complain and we did things you cannot even imagine since I suspect all your imagining comes from the experiences a crypie enjoys in the comforts of an office.

You and the Navy assume that any man who is attracted to women is a 'man behaving badly,' but, you have to admit, we really went after men attracted to men before DADT and you have never seen vindictive pointless mean until you watch the female XO of a Destroyer or Submarine tender go after the lesbians. God that was vicious and totally mean.

I served as an officer on a number of ships where the CO or XO or both were total horn dogs. Do you want to know how much impact it had on the rest of us.....? NONE AT ALL.

Men don't actually care about it. I will grant you that woman care about it, practically to the exclusion of anything else.

Do you want to know who the very first men to go into the women are. It's who you think but top it up with a glance at the admirals. If you thought Bill Clinton as CINC was a solitary case of power gone mad, try to imagine your typical flag officer with whole offices of floozies.

I know who you are and we have been in mutual agreement about any number of things here but this time I believe that you missed the mark.

Think about it.

A distinguished looking fit, trim, powerful executive is having sex with women. He might not be married. So all men who are having sex must feel shame? Petraeus? He failed to keep his vow. Kelly? He was merely accused to death. Leaders are not sexual examples to anybody and morality DIED when DADT became the law. You and all the rest lost the moral battle when this country decided that moral wasn't based on any moral code.

Nope. Not ever.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't mind commenting at NavyGrades place but he makes that more hard then it has to be. I like his comment here but I'll just be brutally honest. As a DIVO and later as a CHENG and later as a Task Group leader, if I ever needed to have something done, I went to a PO2 and said do it.

I had a master chief who tried to counsel me that I should use the chain of command.

If a CHENG tells a P02 to do something, it get's done to the complete satisfaction of the CHENG.

If you tell a First Class PO to do anything it may or may not get done. Tell 87& of chiefs today to get something done by sundown and they'll tell you they are too busy with CPO mess issues or CPO training.

I think most who read here don't understand what I'm talking about. That happens all the time. I was Chief Engineer on two ships and XO of two others. Almost any PO2 has the experience, knowledge, training, and skills to employ them instantly. After they get promoted, it's like they married you and they want to discuss or debate orders with you as if they had the right.

The very worst of them, by far, are Master Chiefs. It's like you can't tell them, order them, or get them, to do anything.

They used to be the guys with briefcases when I was in the Middle East. Experts of no value to me.