Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Great American's Birthday Today




Captain Clyde C. Lopez, United States Navy - retired, celebrates his 80th birthday today.  This great American enlisted in the Navy in October 1955 and served for 40 years, retiring in 1995.

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 !!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Sad news


LCDR Bob Morrison, USN, retired, reported that CTA1 Jerry Oster passed away at 71 years of age on September 26, 2017 in Las Vegas.  Jerry was our Admin Chief for several years at Naval Security Group Detachment Atsugi, Japan in the early 1980s.  I was saddened to hear that news.  He trained some good CTAs who went on to make Chief Petty Officer - CTAC Michael Schuenke and CTAC Frank Zakravsky.  May Jerry rest in peace.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A couple of things about caring for Sailors that I learned at my first command - 1977-1979



Learning is a lifelong process.   "Stop learning - stop living" someone wise once told me.  First commands offer an incredible and long-lasting learning experience if you really pay attention.  I like to think that I did pay attention.

Some of the leadership best practices I picked up from then Captain James S. McFarland (a career long mentor and later-in-life friend):

- When Sailors reported to the command, he wrote letters to the parents letting them know that their son/daughter had arrived safely in a very distant Misawa, Japan and that his Chiefs would take care of them.  Commands which make this time are remembered long after the Sailor departs.  Some commands have the Department Head or Executive Officer do this.

- Most Sailors were sent to the Naval Air Facility (NAF) Misawa photo lab for their "official Navy photo".  Little did the Sailors know that the CO actually sent these photos back to the parents.  Captain McFarland also sent a copy of my Sailor of the Quarter (SOQ) photo to my parents, as well - along with a copy of "The Misawan" newspaper's SOQ announcement.  Sent in 1979, my family still has these.  Getting a photo of their Sailor means a lot to parents.  If you doubt it, ask a parent!

Monday, November 13, 2017

VADM Jan E. Tighe


Perhaps a more important Naval figure than RADM Grace Hopper.  

Only time will tell.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

The supreme quality is missing in a few of our senior officers

The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible.

DWIGHT DAVID EISENHOWER

Friday, November 10, 2017

Worth repeating

Not everyone can be a Sailor


A man or woman can be false, fleeting, a liar or a coward - in every way corrupt and still be an outstanding engineer, doctor, a great artist, cryptologist or a computer wizard.  But there's one thing they can't be and that is a Sailor or a Naval officer.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

What can be more important??



"Mike,

Thanks for your continuing engagement on the vital issue of leadership -- at the end of the day, what can be more important to our Navy and our nation?"

Admiral James Stavridis

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Writing is writing




Planning to write is not writing.  Outlining a book is not writing.  Researching is not writing.  Talking to people about what you are doing, none of that is writing.  Writing is writing.

E. L. Doctorow


Today, I received letters from two NIOC COs, a NIOC XO, a NIOD OIC, a retired Navy Captain colleague, my sister, a priest and a NWC graduate attending the Warfighting school.  As you can imagine, it was a very good day for me. These men and my sister understand what it means to write.  

As per H.L. Mencken's example, I will send out my responses by day's end.  I will be writing.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Remembering my friend, mentor and lunch partner


http://www.robcannonphoto.com
Back in 1981, the Chief of Naval Personnel, Vice Admiral Lando W. Zech Jr. made a very wise detailing decision.  He sent CWO3 Wallace Louis Exum to teach celestial navigation at Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island.  I was one of hundreds of his students at OCS.  Both men influenced my Navy career greatly.  VADM Zech signed off on my first set of orders in June of 1982, sending me to Atsugi, Japan to fly with Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron ONE (VQ-1).  Thirty years later, both men were still in touch with me and we developed into great friends.

Sadly, Vice Admiral Zech passed away six years ago in January and is no longer with us, except in spirit.  The last time I saw him, he was in good spirits.  He was ill and weakened from his lengthy hospital stay - but his spirits were high. We talked a little bit about the USNA honoring him and a few of the other guys recently for being Captains of their varsity baseball teams over the years.  He was very proud of his years at the United States Naval Academy.

Besides being an athlete, he was very much an old school nuclear submariner and later a surface warfare officer. My goodness, how he loved the Navy and his family.  After his retirement from the Navy, he was Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  He leaves behind a wonderful widow - Jo, 5 beautiful daughters and many grand children.  And, he leave behind a very sad Shipmate who still grieves deeply and tries to keep his memory alive in all ways that he can.  Farewell Admiral Zech.  Those who knew you - loved and respected you greatly.  Those who didn't - missed out on a great experience.  I said my good-byes at Arlington National Cemetery but they were in no way - final good-byes.  You will remain fresh in my memory.

His obituary:

ZECH LANDO W. ZECH. JR Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy (Ret.) Former NRC Chairman Lando W. Zech, Jr., age 87, a retired Navy Vice Admiral who later served as Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission died on Sunday, January 9, 2011. Admiral Zech, a resident of Falls Church, VA was born in Astoria, Oregon and spent his youth in Seattle, Washington, where he attended Roosevelt and Lakeside high schools. He was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1941. At Annapolis, he played varsity baseball and basketball. In his senior year, he captained the baseball team. Admiral Zech served 39 years in the Navy after his graduation from the Naval Academy in 1944 with the World War II Class of 1945. His first assignment was to the destroyer USS JOHN D. HENLEY (DD 553) in the western Pacific where he participated in the second battle for the Philippines, the Iwo Jima and Okinawa campaigns and on picket station duty off the coast of Japan during the last days of the war. After the war and a second destroyer tour on the USS HENRY W. TUCKER (DD 875), Admiral Zech volunteered for submarine duty and subsequently commanded four submarines, USS SEA ROBIN (SS 407), USS ALBACORE (AGSS 569), and after nuclear power training, USS NAUTILUS (SSN 571) and USS JOHN ADAMS (SSBN 620). He later commanded the guided missile cruiser USS SPRINGFIELD (CLG 7). Upon his selection to flag rank, he served as Commandant of the Thirteenth Naval District in Seattle, WA, the Chief of Naval Technical Training in Memphis, TN and as Commander, U.S. Naval Forces, Japan in Yokosuka. After his selection to Vice Admiral he served as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Manpower, Personnel and Training and Chief of Naval Personnel in Washington, D.C. He retired from the Navy in 1983. Admiral Zech graduated from the Armed Forces Staff College, the National War College and received a Masters Degree in International Affairs from George Washington University. In addition to campaign and foreign service medals he was awarded two Distinguished Service Medals, two Legions of Merit and the Navy Commendation Medal. On retiring from the Navy he was appointed a Commissioner and later Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission by President Ronald Reagan. During this 5 year appointment he visited all 110 nuclear powered plants in the United States and many plants overseas including Chernobyl after the accident in the then Soviet Union. After retiring from the NRC, he served on the Board of Directors of the Commonwealth Edison Company (now Exelon) for another 5 years and later as a Nuclear Safety consultant. Admiral Zech had been a resident of Falls Church since 1983. He was a parishioner of the Cathedral of Saint Thomas More in Arlington, VA, a supporter of the U.S. Naval Academy, the Archdiocese for the Military Services, U.S.A., the National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton and a member of the Army Navy Country Club. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Josephine K. Zech; five daughters: Janet Z. Cocke (James) of Richmond, VA, Joanne Z. Lyons (Coleman) of Atlanta, GA, Nancy Z. Cunnane (Robert) of Coto de Caza, CA, Carol M. Zech of Arlington, VA and Patricia Z. Nelson (Kirk) of Sammamish, WA.; his 12 grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Also surviving are his brothers, Dr. Robert J. Zech and Dr. Jerome M. Zech, both of Seattle. He was preceded in death by his brother John R. Zech. 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Your True North

Boxing the Compass - Finding our True North and staying true to it
Most of us have come to understand that leadership is about character, not characteristics.  We know what our values are and sometimes struggle to stay true to those values when we see that our seniors continue to progress while not demonstrating that same strict adherence to our Navy core values.  

Some in our community have found strength in maintaining their 'true North' by creating something they have called their personal "Board of Directors" (BoD).  Entrepreneur Bill George has a decent book out called TRUE NORTH GROUPS.  He knows that, with the challenges we face these days, we require additional help to stay on track.  We cannot rely on just ourselves or our commands to help us stay on track.  We need Shipmates in 'our circle of trust'  with whom we can have in-depth discussions and share intimately about the most cherished things in our lives and careers while we serve our country around the world.  

Whatever you choose to call it, you need to have Shipmates you can count on in the toughest of times - the people who will follow-through on things 'because they said they would.'

Saturday, November 4, 2017

From the Commander, TENTH Fleet strategic plan


Accountability: 


For those who depend on us, we will always deliver what we say we deliver.

For those on whom we depend, we will always be clear and exact in communicating our needs.


Words have meaning.  We're missing the mark by a wide margin in both cases above.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Accountability


"Men will not trust leaders who feel themselves beyond accountability for what they do."

Admiral Kinnaird R. McKee
Director, Navy Nuclear Propulsion (1982-1989)

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Landmark decision for the Navy - Standup of OPNAV n2/N6

8 years ago.  How far have we gone?
EFFECTIVE 02NOV09, N2/N6 ASSUMES RESPONSIBILITY FOR INTELLIGENCE, INFORMATION, INFORMATION WARFARE, CYBER, COMMUNICATIONS, NETWORKS, OCEANOGRAPHY, AND SPACE, AS WELL AS MARITIME DOMAIN AWARENESS AND NAVY UNMANNED SYSTEMS. OPNAV RESOURCES ASSOCIATED WITH INFORMATION-CENTRIC PROGRAMS ARE CONSOLIDATED UNDER N2/N6 SPONSORSHIP.

THE STAND UP OF N2/N6 REPRESENTS A LANDMARK TRANSITION IN THE EVOLUTION OF NAVAL WARFARE, DESIGNED TO ELEVATE INFORMATION AS A MAIN BATTERY OF OUR WARFIGHTING CAPABILITIES, AND FIRMLY ESTABLISH THE U.S. NAVY'S PROMINENCE IN INTELLIGENCE, CYBER WARFARE, AND INFORMATION MANAGEMENT. 

TOWARD THIS END, THE STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES OF N2/N6 ARE TO:
A. ELEVATE INFORMATION TO A CORE NAVY WARFIGHTING CAPABILITY.

B. FUNCTIONALLY INTEGRATE INTELLIGENCE, INFORMATION WARFARE, INFORMATION/NETWORK MANAGEMENT, OCEANOGRAPHY, AND GEOSPATIAL INFORMATION FOR INFORMATION AGE OPERATIONS.

C. DELIVER ASSURED COMMAND AND CONTROL AND INFORMATION ACCESS TO OPERATIONAL FORCES.


D. BOLDLY INTRODUCE GAME-CHANGING CONCEPTS, STRATEGIES, AND CAPABILITIES.


E. COORDINATE RESOURCE INVESTMENT TO DELIVER INFORMATION-CENTRIC CAPABILITIES AND COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES.


F. AGGRESSIVELY ACCELERATE EXPERIMENTATION AND INNOVATION WITH INFORMATION CAPABILITIES.


G. DELIVER DEEP MULTI-INTELLIGENCE PENETRATION AND UNDERSTANDING OF POTENTIAL ADVERSARIES, MELDED WITH DEEP MULTI-DOMAIN UNDERSTANDING OF THE OPERATING ENVIRONMENT.


H. DELIVER REMOTELY PILOTED, UNATTENDED, AND AUTONOMOUS CAPABILITIES ADAPTIVELY NETWORKED TO EXTEND REACH, PENETRATION AND PERSISTENCE IN DENIED AREAS.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Genius


“Everyone is born a genius, but the process of living de-geniuses them.” 

— R. Buckminster Fuller


For my Shipmate Sean - don't let them de-genius you in your new role. 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A naval officer


recognizes her responsibilities and therefore does not accept them lightly. A Naval officer understands that her word is her bond, exercised by everyday actions and daily decisions. A Naval officer will not waft through life selfish or disconnected, like someone who carries a fickle mind. A Naval officer, the genuine article, will not make promises she cannot keep, and chooses her words as carefully as she does her commitments. And because a Naval officer honors her words, she is in turn honored in her actions.

Monday, October 30, 2017

You are a Navy man


You are a Navy man, part of the largest and strongest seagoing force in the world. When you were sworn in and put on your uniform for the first time, you became part of a great tradition. All the brave men who have gone before you, and those who will follow you, make up an unbroken chain of courage and devotion to duty that should make you proud to wear your uniform. 

As a Navy man you are, in a special sense, a good citizen of these United States. Your uniform alone does not entitle you to special privileges, rather it obligates you to set high standards of conduct and performance of duty. At home, and on duty abroad in foreign countries, you will be under constant observation as a representative of the United States government. Be sure that no careless act of yours brings discredit to your uniform or to your country's flag. 

Service in the Navy can be whatever you make it. It takes some time to understand and become adapted to the ways of the Navy, for going to sea in ships and aircraft is a tough, serious business, particularly in these troubled times. If you must work hard and at times miss a leave period or a few liberties in your home port, remember that you chose a man's job when you joined the Navy

From THE BLUEJACKET'S MANUAL 

NOTE: The Bluejackets Manual has just been reissued.  I would guess this has changed in its wording to be more inclusive.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

More Command Excellence - Not Rocket Science


• Lead by Example – Leaders have to change their own attitudes and behaviors before they can expect their Sailors to change.

• Listen Aggressively – Leaders don't simply listen, they hear what their Sailors say to them . They know that those on the deckplates are the ones most familiar with how operations can be more effective.

• Communicate Purpose and Meaning – Leaders help their Sailors understand (collectively and individually) how their work contributes to the success of the overall mission, as well as understand how that work supports the personal goals they have for themselves.

• Create a Climate of Trust – Leaders trust and cultivate trust from their Sailors. Without trust, the barriers that prevent excellent performance will never be lowered.

• Look for Results, Not Salutes – Leaders maximize performance by making their Sailors grow. Leaders experience success only when their Sailors experience success.hey success.

• Take Calculated Risks – Leaders know that taking prudent, calculated risks can help maximize performance.

• Go Beyond the Navy's Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) – Leaders see standard operating procedure as a guideline, because SOP may not change as rapidly as the environment and competition. Leaders foster a climate that encourages their Sailors to come up with better and more innovative ways to accomplish the mission.

• Strengthen Others/Build Up Your People – Leaders focus on making their Sailors grow and create an environment where all Sailors win, thereby making the entire command stronger.

• Generate Unity of Purpose – Leaders work to not only change undesirable behaviors but to alter the underlying attitudes. By working toward a mutual respect for all Sailors, they level the playing field, permitting all Sailors to perform at the highest levels.

• Cultivate Quality of Life – Leaders actively integrate fun into the work experience. Leaders want their Sailors to have as much fun from 6 am to 6 pm as they do at home from 6 pm to 6 am.

From Navy Command Excellence Seminar - Navigating a New Course to Command Excellence as implemented by CDR D. Michael Abrashoff on USS BENFOLD and as he wrote in It's Your Ship. Also see Command Excellence and the Wardroom.

Friday, October 27, 2017

What I told my CO. My boss and I were the same paygrade.

Ensigns, don't try this at your command

This is a summary of my 360 degree feedback to a former commanding officer. Skipper, there's no doubt you're going to be a leader in the community; these things may help you.
  • You are a great speaker. Be careful not to lose the feeling behind the words. Words have meaning; actions have con­sequences. Ensure your actions match your words. Some Sailors actually listen to every word. They can sense any hint of insincerity. 
  • Your command philosophy should be written down and distributed widely in the command. This is a huge reason for the CNO's success in the Navy. We all know where he's going and we talk about it. The command wants to follow you. Tell us where you want to go. 
  • Respect our time. Typically, ten or more people are always awaiting your late arrival at some function (staff meeting, wardroom meetings, dinners, graduations, etc). If people believe that you are willing to consistently waste their time, they will stop feeling guilty about wasting yours. 
  • Be consistent with your administration of military justice. It's easy to punish junior members in the command for trivial violations. Applying the same standards across the board does not always work. In fact, the more senior the individual is, the more accountable they should be held for their action or inaction. Everyone is watching and judging. 
  • When senior officers visit the command, maximize their exposure to the junior Sailors of the command. They will benefit the most. 
  • Take your junior officers, Chiefs, and Sailors to lunch or simply go have lunch with them in their mess. Everyone will learn a lot, especially you. 
  • Invite your key command leaders to your home for a social event so they can see how it's done. Juniors need to see how their seniors do this. It's part of the learning process. 
  • Share information with your department heads. It is astounding how much information a commanding officer is exposed to and that is not shared with the department heads. Distributed information is enormously powerful. Your department heads can keep a secret if there is a requirement for secrecy. Trust them. 
  • Don't play favorites with members of the wardroom. It hurts the wardroom and it hurts you. 
  • Focus your calendar on the command 's mission. Ceremonial events and public relations are important, but your time should be spent on those areas the commanding officer can directly influence for the greatest benefit to the command's mission. 
From my January 2007 PROCEEDINGS magazine article "360-Degree Feedback: Can We Handle the Truth?"  You can subscribe to PROCEEDINGS (the professional journal of the U.S. Navy) HERE.


Stay tuned to this blog for the 360-degree feedback I received from everyone following my command tour. It's a very interesting and eye opening experience.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Excellence is the standard



"Admiral Rickover was the genius that gave a generation of naval officers the idea that excellence was the standard."

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Navy - Top Leaders


Top leaders inspire their teams to perform at or near their theoretical limits. By making their teams stronger, they relentlessly chase “best ever” performance. They study every text, try every method, seize every moment, and expend every effort to outfox their competition. They ceaselessly communicate, train, test, and challenge their teams. They are toughest on themselves; they routinely seek out feedback, and are ready to be shown their errors in the interest of learning and getting better. When they win, they are grateful, humble, and spent from their effort. By doing all these things, great leaders bring their teams to a deeply shared commitment to each other in the pursuit of victory. 

Are you a Navy leader? Has someone in your chain of command shared this with you?

Have you attended a Navy leadership course? Has this been shared with you?

Makes you wonder if the Navy is serious about this, doesn't it.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Station Hypo is 2 years old - BZ!!

From my blog on 30 September 2015 . . .

A small team of bloggers would like to invite you to a recently established blog called Station HYPO. Please join us as we remember the past, recognize the present and explore the future of Naval Cryptologic community. 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Command Excellence - The Wardroom

Navy Information Operations Command Hawaii, for example - 
 The wardroom at NIOC Hawaii:
•    Is Cohesive
•    Matches CO-XO Leadership
•    Raises Concerns with CO and XO
•    Takes Initiative
•    Does Detailed Planning
•    Takes Responsibility for Work-Group Performance

The wardroom is the interface between the senior officers of the command, who make the policy, and the senior enlisted, who carry out the tasks of the command. The wardroom is responsible for developing and imple- menting plans that achieve the goals set by the CO and XO. In top commands, the department heads and division officers make sure these plans are specific, deciding who is to do what, when, and how. They gather information from chiefs and other relevant sources, and are careful to coordinate their department's or division's activities with other work going on.

This means that the wardroom must work as a team with the CO and XO. In superior commands there is more congruence between the wardroom and the CO-XO on command    philosophy    and leadership style than in average commands. Everyone is headed in the same direction. They identify with the goals set by the CO and XO and with how the CO and XO wish to accomplish them.

Officers of superior commands take initiative in several ways. They try to find new and better ways to do their jobs, and when they see that something needs to be done, they do it without waiting to be told. They are often willing to do more than they are required to do in order to achieve the command's mission. And they readily ask for guidance or information from the CO or XO if they believe these are necessary to accomplish their jobs or to develop themselves professionally. They also raise command issues with senior officers before those issues turn into serious problems.

One of the greatest strengths of wardrooms of superior commands is their sense of responsibility for the performance of their subordinates. This leads them to try to anticipate problems before they occur, to take responsi- bility when a problem does occur that they should have prevented, and to hold their personnel accountable for meeting the command's standards. There is a strong sense of ownership and pride.

Finally, superior wardrooms support division officers, who, although they outrank enlisted personnel, are among the youngest people in a command and are relatively inexperienced when it comes to hands-on technical knowledge and management know how. Thus, department heads must do their own jobs and also attend to the needs of their junior officers.

FOR MORE ON COMMAND EXCELLENCE, GO HERE.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Won't - Can't


A Naval officer who won't lead has no advantage over one who can't lead.

Captain Samuel Langhorne Clemens
USNish, retired

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Correspondence is history kept alive



While in command (1997-2000) of U.S. Naval Security Group Activity Yokosuka Japan, my Executive Officer (LT Bob Duncan) and I would meet at the command at 0630 or so each morning to spend 30-45 minutes handwriting letters to a different set of parents or relatives of our Sailors to let them know what 'their' Sailor was up to. One in 20 (5% or so) letters generated a response from a grateful parent or relative. The letter above is one such letter. The XO and I cared deeply about each of the 200 or so Sailors under our charge. Some of them understood and some didn't. Some came to that understanding later as they transferred to 'less caring' commands. Some still don't understand.

One of the most heart-warming examples of the meaning of all this correspondence came on two separate occasions for my Command Master Chief - CTMCM(SW) Ronald N. Schwartz. In 2003 when he retired, his Mother and Father (Ron and Sandra) brought a notebook to his retirement ceremony (over which I presided) at Corry Station, Pensacola Florida (where he started his cryptologic career as a student). The notebook was filled with the letters I sent them regarding the Master Chief's many accomplishments helping me lead our Sailors. There were many letters and news articles sent as he accomplished a great deal. I was gratified to see his parents had kept every letter. In 2007, I saw those same letters in a notebook in plastic liners at a far less joyous occasion when the Master Chief passed away tragically in an accident. Those letters meant so much to his parents because they reflected a detailed accounting of his very successful career history. His parents and I still exchange letters as I keep them informed of our efforts to keep his name and memory alive in the Navy.

Monday, October 16, 2017

10000 hour rule - Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell's latest book OUTLIERS talks about what separates the stars from everyone else. It isn't raw talent. It is sheer persistence--those who practiced harder did better, and those who practiced insanely hard became wildly successful. Can the same be applied to Naval leadership? 

Gladwell dubs this phenomenon the "10,000-hour rule."

I think this can be applied equally to leadership. Becoming truly great at anything -- (leadership included) -- requires ten years of experience and 1,000 hours of practice per year. "Ten thousand hours is the magic number of greatness," he argues.

What are the elements of 'deliberate practice'? It's designed explicitly to improve performance -- the little adjustments that make a big difference. It's repetitive, which means that when it's time to perform for real, you don't feel the pressure. It's informed by continuous feedback; practicing leadership only works if you can see how you're improving.

 Bits and pieces paraphrased (and others cut and pasted) from HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

You are a leader, if ....


Pulled from the Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command handbook available HERE.

I encourage you to read some thoughts from the most prolific Cryptologic Warfare Officer thought leader - you can find him HERE.  Thank you Captain Sean Heritage for allowing so many to play in your wake.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

On Loyalty - Up, and down the chain of command

(From Written on the Wall)

While the fabric that has held society together has worn thinner in our modern age, it is still loyalty that lends the cloth its strength. It is loyalty that keeps the world functioning. We could not conduct business transactions or personal relationship without it. Loyalty is the idea that we are who we say we are and we will do what we say we will do. It is the hope that the integrity with which we initially encountered someone will endure indefinitely.

It’s also what keeps us unified. We live out our lives as part of agreed upon norms that allow us to operate from day to day. We need to know who we can count on. We all understand that ideally, friends will have your back, lovers will remain true, and businesses will not cheat you out of your money. When someone is disloyal, they break from these expectations and weaken the trust that holds us together.

From The Philosophy of Loyalty by Josiah Royce
Harvard Lecture Series 1908

Thursday, October 12, 2017

American Military Officers Are Different

American military officers are different. We train you to be able to make hard decisions – that is your job. As an American, you have been imbued with basic beliefs, about human decency, freedom of speech and worship, and equality. 

When your conscience tells you that these moral tenets are being violated, it is time to take a moral stand – this is expected of you.

Former Secretary of the Navy, John Dalton

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Selection for command


Congratulations on being successfully screened and selected by senior members of your community for command –– it has the potential to be the best assignment you will ever have in the Navy during your long career.  To help you get off on the right foot, some of your predecessors would offer some suggestions to help with your preparation.

To start with, you'll need a personal command philosophy and initial focus. Three reasons: (1) you have to have a well-formulated plan if you're going to take your command to new levels of performance excellence, (2) for much of what you actually accomplish in your command tour, you must first establish a focus in your initial 1-2 months, and (3) your first few weeks in command will haunt you over your entire tour if you aren’t prepared to hit the deck running.

Those Sailors entrusted to your charge want and need to be led from day one of your command tour.

Get to know, network, and collaborate with your fellow commanding officers––irrespective of your career field or warfare specialty. If you are exceptionally successful, you will all become senior officers together before you know it. You will need one another. If you regard each other as competitors, you will hurt yourselves, your chain of command, and potentially - the Navy. Don’t get lost in the “glory of being the boss.” You’ll find the command experience produces many challenges along with equal measures of reward and disappointment.

Now is a good time to send a short thank you to family members and any mentors that helped you during your career. An e-mail won't suffice for this important task.  As you've certainly already been taught –– the personal touch of a hand-written note shows good breeding and professionalism.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Archer A. Vandegrift writing about Moral Courage

Moral courage involves both the fortitude to do what is right in the face of not just failure, but disgrace, and the willingness to set aside profound personal considerations. Military education emphasizes and rewards "boldness"; taking calculated risks to win. But that same education inculcates limits on acceptable risks. 

Junior officers at the beginning of service typically envision physical courage as at or near the pinnacle of martial virtues and are apt to overlook or diminish moral courage. Those who go on to extended careers discover that physical courage is commonplace in American armed forces, but that a depth of moral courage is an indispensable quality for higher command and that it is rarer than physical courage - or boldness.

LEADERSHIP EMBODIED

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Five Characteristics of Weak Leaders as exhibited by General McClellan

@MichaelHyatt talks about General McClellan's characteristics HERE.

1. Hesitating to Take Definitive Action

2. Complaining About Insufficient Resources
3. Refusing to Take Responsibility
4. Abusing the Privileges of Leadership
5. Engaging in Acts of Insubordination

DON'T DO THESE THINGS.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Michael Hyatt - I am a fan

I don't advertise but I really like what Michael Hyatt has to say about journaling, goal setting and productivity.


He's on Twitter @michaelhyatt

You can read more about his FULL FOCUS PLANNER HERE.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Leader versus boss

"People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. 
The leader works in the open, and the boss in covert. 
The leader leads, and the boss drives." 

Theodore Roosevelt
American tough guy

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Do you truly care about your Sailors?

Admiral Nelson also deeply cared about his men, paying particular attention to their health. The admiral understood the two time tested principles of leadership: accomplish the mission and take care of your people. A leader can not be successful in the long run without following both of these mutually supportive tenets. Nelson’s men were aware of his devotion to them. His personal interest in every aspect of their training ensured that their actions in battle ultimately did not require his physical presence or direction when the battle was joined.


From Former SECNAV John Dalton's Trafalgar Night Speech 15 October 1988

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

From the archives - 9 years ago

Information Warfare Officer Leadership Changes

Rear Admiral Edward H. Deets III, Vice Commander, Naval Networks Warfare Command, presided over a Change of Command and retirement ceremony on Friday, 17 October 2008 at the National Maritime Intelligence Center in Suitland, Maryland for Captain Robert A. Zellmann. Captain Zellmann concluded 28 years of Naval service as a key leader in the cryptologic and information warfare community. He is a 1980 graduate of The Citadel with a B.S. in Physics. In 1994, he led the Naval Security Group Command's (CNSG) "Information Warfare Tiger Team" that developed the initial Chief of Naval Operations' policy which designated NSG as the Navy's executive agent for information warfare. For the 14 succeeding years, he has been a key leader in formulating and executing information warfare capabilities for the Navy - ashore and afloat.

Captain Diane K. Gronewold assumed command of Navy Information Operations Command - Suitland. She had previously served as a division officer at NIOC-S predecessor command - Naval Information Warfare Activity (NIWA) when (then) Commander Bob Zellmann was her department head. Captain Gronewold's father was in attendance at the Change of Command. Both RADM Deets and Captain Zellmann said that Captain Gronewold was "the perfectly qualified officer" to assume command. She has a B.A. in Mathematics, a B.S. in Physics and an M.S. in Electronics Engineering.

The Change of Command/Retirement ceremony was PUNCTUATED by CWO2 David Kivi's (from NIOC Ft Meade, Maryland) amazing and truly inspirational delivery of "THE WATCH".

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

A Bronze Star with VALOR - worth noting - VALOR UNDER FIRE

A Bronze Star with VALOR - worth noting - VALOR UNDER FIRE

BRONZE STAR WITH COMBAT «V» and NAVY COMBAT ACTION MEDAL

In a brief ceremony at the Headquarters, Naval Security Group Command on 25 July 1969, the following citation was read to all assembled:

"The President of the United States of America hereby bestows to LCDR James S. McFarland, United States Navy, the Bronze Star with "V" Distinguishing Device (second award) and the Navy Combat Action Medal. The citation reads as follows:

On 13 April, 1969, Lieutenant Commander McFarland was assigned as liaison officer to the Fifth Special Forces Unit, THUONG DUC SFC, Vietnam. At approximately 1100 hours on the morning of the 13th, the camp was taken under intensive and extremely accurate mortar and rocket attack. Heavy casualties were inflicted on friendly forces within the first few minutes of the attack and within ten minutes seventy per cent casualties were suffered.

As the attack intensified, the enemy began preparations for a frontal assault of battalion size. The battle raged for over six hours with all perimeters subjected to heavy attack, including hand-to-hand fighting. During this action, LCDR McPARLAND distinguished himself by repeatedly rallying Vietnamese soldiersand directing effective zones of fire. Several times he left the relative safety of his perimeter bunker to assist In repulsing enemy infiltrators. On one such occasion he killed three enemy about to satchel charge the camp command bunker with automatic weapon fire and successfully turned back additional attackers with grenades.

LCDR McFarland's valor under fire is hereby awarded by presentation of the Bronze Star with "V" (second award) and the Navy Combat Action Medal."

Certified this 25th day of July 1969
William B. Clarey
Admiral United States Navy

Monday, October 2, 2017

"Command" is a marvelous instrument


"Command" is a marvelous instrument. Commanding Officers who fail to make the most of it to maximize mission accomplishment and Sailor development are cowards.

Captain John Mitchell
United States Navy

Saturday, September 30, 2017

A Little Bit of 'Thank You' Help - For those of you who are "thank you" impaired.


Sailors always remember a thank-you note, long after they forget what exactly they did to deserve it. Of course, there are the usual occasions to write thank you notes, but what is often more interesting are the unexpected ones.

A thank-you note is a gift in and of itself. Thank those Sailors for the great job they did on the Quarterdeck during the Commodore's visit, for the great job they did at Colors this morning, Thank them for the super job they did on the engineering inspection. Thank them for keeping the Command's 5-year safety record intact.

There are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to writing thank-you notes. Most would prefer that you follow this rough guideline.
1. Write the thank-you note.
2. Affix stamp.
3. Mail it. I have been using this formula for 40 years or so and have yet to have one note returned.
If you are the succinct type, a correspondence card works perfectly, as does a small foldover note. Punctuality counts – and it certainly appears more sincere. Generally speaking, the message is brief and usually consists of four parts.

1. The greeting. Dear Petty Officer Smith/Lieutenant Jones.

2. An appreciation of the item or favor.

"Thank you for the the great job on the IG inspection last week."

3. Mention how important it was.

"We couldn't have passed without your great work."

4. Sign off with an appreciation of their service.

"Thank you for your service in our great Navy." That’s it. That is all there is to it.
Good intentions don’t get the job done, and while everyone intends to express a thank you, not everyone does. If your thank-you note is tardy, don’t apologize for being late. You know you are late, and the person you are writing knows it. Just get on with it.

Adapted from Crane's Guidance on Correspondence

Friday, September 29, 2017

9 years ago. Rest your oars Shipmate - We will not forget your service to our great Navy and nation.

Matthew O'Bryant graduated from Theodore High School in 2004 as a full cadet colonel in the Army Junior ROTC. In 2007, he joined the Navy and became a Cryptologic Technician Maintenance (CTM).

Petty Officer Matthew O’Bryant and his wife of two years, Bridgette, whom he met at a youth revival in high school, moved to Fort Meade, Md., where he was stationed.

In 2008, he was in Islamabad, Pakistan, where there had been a bombing at the Marriott Hotel on September 20, 2008. Barbara and Tommy O’Bryant were notified the next morning that their 22-year-old son was killed in the bombing. His funeral service was September 29, 2008 at Calvary Assembly of God in Mobile where he attended church growing up and worked with the children’s church. He is buried at Serenity Memorial Gardens in Theodore, Alabama.