Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Truth sells itself.

Truth gets you through situations nothing else will.

Looking dumb is oodles better than lying.

The risk of false accusations is one of those risks that accompany success and senior leadership positions.  The only way to insure yourself against this risk is to be publicly, privately and deliberately squeaky clean.

Integrity ensures you solve and do not ignore real problems.  It acts as a forcing function for needed improvements.

Lack of integrity on the part of an individual is often a key indicator of a deeper problem in the organization of unit.

No matter what you have heard, personal integrity is in itself an excellent armament.  There is always room at the top for an honest man.

A single lie can deed your soul to the devil for eternity.

From my Shipmate and occasional mentor - Rear Admiral Dave Oliver Jr.


Former9212 said...

I recently read an Army War College monograph re: integrity among Army officers, and the necessity to "get creative" when it comes to reporting to ISICs that certain tasking is complete, where the amount of time needed to complete all tasking is up to two months more that the time allowed to do so. One could credibly accuse Army senior leadership of creating/tolerating a climate that all but requires an officer to violate his integrity to ensure ISICs, etc., are satisfied. I don't think things are all that different for our Navy. Thoughts?

CPO Smith (retired) said...

Former 9212

I think lying is just part of the culture, although we don't call it what it is. The CO who won't let you CASREP, the misrepresented PRT participation scores, inflated advancement results, SUPER inflated awards and FITREPs. All lies, but we don't call them that.

James L. Hammersla said...

At FIRST COMMAND, I saw things that blew my mind. I saw people who shot-gunned training records to pass an inspection, a CPO who ran a security program terribly for 11 1/2 months and then went into a flail-ex for two weeks to get ready for an inspection. I was a SUB DSO and saw some of the same things but with regard to maintenance of the ship (the magical tool that you must have as part of an inventory, only 3 exist in Groton) so they are passed from boat to boat to fudge readiness.

At SECOND COMMAND, I was an Airborne DSO. Some things were different (NAVAIR is real serious about safety) but some things were the same. I eventually was a Department Head and the IG coordinator and got another lesson in integrity. Multiple divisions (DIVO's and LCPO's) who were fudging training stats, inspection stats, readiness reports ... information that skewed them to be doing their job when they really weren't.

Onboard USS THIRD COMMAND, some of the same games. I didn't let my Division or when I was the Department Head, I did my best to not let the Department play them. For months, at PB4T or schedule meetings I was always reporting substandard readiness numbers. The other Department Heads offered me advice on how to skew my numbers to not highlight myself but I kept on reporting the truth while working towards the plan I developed to get it better. For a while I wasn't overly popular, but eventually I was able to get the equipment we needed (not on loan but permanently get us our gear), training got accomplished & documented, mission was done … legitimately. The really odd thing was that people were happier in the end having their own equipment, being legitimately trained and qualified for their jobs than when things were half-assed. It took pain and hard work to get there, but the attitude of the Department shifted for the better. When the time came for our annual Fitness Reports which was about halfway through the pain / hard work phase of this I had low expectations for my FITREP since I was always dinging myself to the XO & CO. I was rated as the #1 O3 on the ship, ahead of the Surface Warfare Officers. The report was amazing and I give a lot of credit to that report for my selection from the BZ to O4. The CO made it very clear that he knew what I was doing, and that he appreciated me doing my job the right way ... despite the pain I inflicted on myself in doing it.

My basic principle was and is that I don't tolerate it stuff like this; be honest with yourself, be honest with your people, be honest with your boss. No one can fix a problem they don't know about. Be smart, know the instructions, know what is your responsibility and what is someone else's, be realistic ... a bad situation won't get fixed overnight. Use the system, make it work as intended and allow your boss to know what is going on and use the feedback loop. Did you fail an inspection because there aren't of those magic tools, or enough money to send people TAD to get required training, or hours in the day to accomplish all the CBTs in a day even if people were up for 36 straight hours.

The mentality that "well, the powers that be know all about that problem, and they're working on it or that they don't care" doesn't cut it … you need to do something about.

I get why some Army officers lie. I don't think it is ALL of them, I don't think all Navy officers lie or all of anyone in the military does. But the bottom line is that there is a point in both the enlisted and officer career paths where your career is/should be less important than doing your due diligence to your duty, future promotion be damned. When (if) you get to that point says a lot about you as a person.

HMS Defiant said...

Truth is a virtue all by itself. It has a sleek and shiny pelt. I had back to back to back to back CHENG tours. Power and light, they stayed on. Fire Control Officer on a DD, who the fuck cares? You cannot bring the dark.

Playing with others, well, you had to be there. I wouldn't recommend the navy to anybody I know.