Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Certain Aspects of Our Profession Are Fundamental - They Should Never Change

Rear Admiral James S. McFarland and I carried on a regular correspondence for almost 20 years. He was a great mentor and a conscientious note/letter writer. This last response was just before his death in February 2003. We had been exchanging ideas about the future of cryptology in our Naval profession. He was committed to the idea that some aspects of our profession were fundamental and should never change.


He was deeply proud of the 10,000 or so Sailors that comprised the Cryptologic Community. He, more than most, understood the value of those Sailors to the Navy and its mission. He believed in taking care of those Sailors and his Sailors knew it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Recall to active duty

Click on photo for bio

Shipmates,

I am hearing that RADM Sean R. Filipowski has been recalled to active duty.  This is unusual.  I have not heard from him since he retired.  Seems to have gone off the grid.  My letters to him at his farm in NY have gone unanswered. 

Any info?

Thanks
Mike

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Slackness in command




https://www.azquotes.com/quote/41598

The atmosphere of a Navy or a ship is created by the attitude of the officers. Officers are obligated to insure that each of their subordinates knows that the senior officers, and the Navy, do care about men as individuals. Each person in the Navy must have assurance that his progress, his training, his career, and his performance of duty are of concern to the Navy.

Slackness in Command. All major catastrophes in the loss of discipline in all organizations have been preceded by a general slackness in the command. The old saying that a taut ship is a happy ship is still true. The reason is that on a taut ship the officers and the men know where they stand and what is expected of them. There can be complete dependence on one's associates, for lack of reliability will be brought up with a round turn. On such ships, all men do a day's work, not just the conscientious ones. There are no soft billets in a taut outfit. The officers and the men are on the job and require others to be on the job. Chiselers and transgressors are promptly punished while their offenses are still minor.

From:  General Discipline in the Navy, ADM A.A. Burke

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Feedback to my CO in 2003.

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.

Monday, October 1, 2018

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. 

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Words of Wisdom from our Shipmate Commander Fred W. Kacher, former CO USS STOCKDALE

"Ethics is not a sometime thing. It is the small everyday decisions that, if handled badly, can erode your moral landscape.”

Commander Fred W. Kacher offers three tips that he has tried to follow in his career: 

do not ignore the little voice in your head, 

do your best in all things at all times, and 

be ready to do the right thing every day, 

because “you don’t get to choose when you’ll be tested.”





Friday, September 28, 2018

Benjamin Franklin's Thirteen Virtues for your consideration



  1. Temperance. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation. 
  2. Silence. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
  3. Order. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time. 
  4. Resolution. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
  5. Frugality. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.
  6. Industry. Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions. 
  7. Sincerity. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly. 
  8. Justice. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
  9. Moderation. Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve. 
  10. Cleanliness. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation. 
  11. Tranquillity. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  12. Chastity. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation. 
  13. Humility. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

My soapbox - writing in 'longhand'


You can read about it HERE.  They were reading my mind.  I have 2 boxes (100 each) of Crane envelopes stamped and ready to go with notecards for the remainder of 2018.  E-Bay provided 100 Admiral Chester Nimitz 50 cent stamps  and I have 100 Forever AIRMAIL stamps. I am prepared to write 1000 notes and letters for the year ending 2018.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

We have a duty to remember their sacrifice - Cryptologic Technicians Earn Purple Hearts

Since the Revolutionary War, the Purple Heart, the world's oldest military decoration in use, has been awarded to service members who have been wounded or killed during any action against an enemy of the United States.


NOTE 1: I have filed three separate requests (two under the Freedom of Information Act) with the Navy for a list of Cryptologic Technicians who have earned the Purple Heart in the Global War On Terror (Overseas Contingency Operations). The Navy (NNWC/OPNAV/Navy PAO) has yet to respond. If you are aware of a CT who has earned the Purple Heart, please leave me a comment.

NOTE 2: I received a note from Navy Safe Harbor - they don't maintain information on those wounded in combat. On 10 January 2010, I received a note from OPNAV stating that they are routing my request to another office for consideration. 

Update: on 25 September 2018 - 8 1/2 years after my initial request - still no answer from the Navy on the number of CTs awarded the Purple Heart in Iraq and Afghanistan).


I have 5 on my list so far.

CTT1 Steven P. Daugherty (deceased)
CTM3 Matt O'Bryant (deceased)
CTI1 Aaron Windle (shot)
CT2 Chad Kueser (mortar round) lost both legs
CTRCS (SW/FMF) David B. McLendon (deceased)

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

New Readers' Poll

People who read this blog can be divided into four groups. 

  • 25% like it for the right reasons.
  • 25% hate it for the wrong reasons.
  • 25% like it for the wrong reasons.
  • 25% hate it for the right reasons.
I'm not sure which group concerns me more.

Friday, September 14, 2018

What Makes A Good Petty Officer? Admiral Arleigh A. Burke has a few ideas.


"Good Petty Officers know what their uniform, their Navy, and their flag stands for. They are proud members of the best fighting organization in the world. The United States Navy.

Good Petty Officers are concerned with their Sailors' individual welfare and their future. They pat their Sailors on the back when they do well, and give them hell when they need it. That way they make better Sailors and make progress. They teach their trade. They encourage. They inspire. They are consistent. They are competitive. Their outfit is the best. They assume responsibility. They give their Sailors responsibility. They pass the word. They create team spirit.

Good Petty Officers put their hearts and souls into their work. They radiate enthusiasm and spark. They know the Navy. They know their rates, and they genuinely appreciate what they know.

Good Petty Officers recognize that success comes from the effort of a larger number of people, not just one or two. The whole organization has to function well, not just a few members."
ADM Arleigh A. Burke

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Problems in the Chief Petty Officer Mess and the Navy, in general? A note from 71 years ago.

As the new Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) works to resolve problems in the Chiefs' Mess and across the Navy, I was reminded of this.
"Unless and until officers conduct themselves at all times as officers, it is useless to demand and hopeless to expect any improvement in the enlisted ranks.
Matters of correct attitude, personal conduct, and awareness of moral obligations do not lend themselves to control by a set of rules or to scientific analysis...Many methods of instruction and different approaches to teaching them will present themselves. Each naval officer must consider himself an instructor in these matters and the future tone of the naval service will depend on the sincerity which he brings to this task."
Admiral T. C. Kinkaid
United States Navy
1947

Saturday, September 1, 2018

HANDWRITTEN NOTES NEVER GO OUT OF STYLE - Aaron Stearns - Bourbon and Boots

@LeahDieterich on Twitter
Check out BOURBON AND BOOTS

In the South, we love to be social.  It's part of our heritage and culture.  You know, waving at the driver in the car when you pass and speaking to a total stranger in the grocery store parking lot.  Another tradition still alive and well in the South is handwritten thank you notes.  Thank you notes never go out of style and express a personal touch that you took the time and effort to express your gratitude. There is something about a handwritten note that expresses a sincerity that just can't be emoted through a quick email or a text message. Since we are all tethered to our mobile devices it's certainly more convenient to shoot out a quick "thanks" text, but that 's the whole point, its convenient for you, not taking a level of effort on your part to slow down and genuinely gather your thoughts to show the person you cared enough to invest some of your time in them.  You may not like the hassle of sending them, but you know how good it feels to receive them. It's always a joy to see that handwritten note in the mail box.  Why not slow down a bit truly and truly express your feelings with a handwritten note.  It is sure to convey your sincerity and will brighten their day.  We've put together some suggestions to ensure your efforts are as genuine and charming as an be.  We hope you enjoy, use this tips, and share with your friends.

  • Buy stationery. Embossed cards with complementary envelopes look much better than folded notebook paper stuffed in a plain envelope. You don't have to splurge on embossed or monogrammed stationery from a specialty store. You can find decent sets at office supply stores and online.
  • Personalize it. Not just in the personalized stationery, but in what you actually say. If you’re going to see the person in the future, refer to the event and say you’re looking forward to it. If the person gave you a silver picture frame, don’t simply thank them for it, but add, “I plan on using the frame for a wedding picture in my living room.”
  • Even if it’s late, send a note. Don’t feel embarrassed. It’s better to send a late thank you than none at all.
  • Take your time. An illegible note won’t do much good and neither will one with scratch marks all over it. Use a nice, fine point pen, so the ink won’t bleed or smudge. Traditionally, thank you notes are written in cursive. Sometimes this can look like a mess if your cursive is not up-to-par, so use your best judgment and do what you think looks best.
  • Send thanks for trivial things. Why not? Whether it’s for a casual get-together or for a neighbor who collected your mail and watered your plants while you were gone, a hand-written note is the best way to show your appreciation. It may also ensure that you’ll get the invite or extra help in the future.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Integrity

First you find yourself overlooking small infractions that you would have corrected on the spot in the past.

Soon you are a participant in these infractions. "After all," you say, "Everybody's doing it."

All too soon you find yourself trapped. You no longer can stand on a favorite principle because you have strayed from it.

Finding no way out, you begin to rationalize, and then you are hooked.

The important fact is, the men who travel the path outlined above have misused the very basic quality and characteristic expected of a professional military man, or any other professional man for that matter.
They have compromised their integrity.
Admiral Arleigh A. Burke, NAVAL LEADERSHIP - Voices of Experience

Note from a reader of the blog: Admiral Burke also included that quote, with the same attribution, in an article entitled "Integrity" in the "Proceedings of the Naval Institute" journal, in their Leadership Forum. I copied the quote from that article. IIRC, the article appeared there in the 1980's.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Remembering Steven Daughtery

We have a duty to remember - 11 years ago today 6 July 2007

CTT1 (SW) Steven Daugherty was born on 16 May 1979 in Apple Valley. No one thought he would leave this earth before he was 30, 40, 50 or even 60 years old. But, the young man is gone. Gone, but not forgotten. No. Not by a long shot.

He was from Barstow, California and really never intended to join the Navy. He was a student in my schoolhouse at the Naval Center for Cryptology at Corry Station, Pensacola. We had about 8000 students graduate in a year. So, I can't say that I even recall who he was. That won't keep me from remembering him.

After his time at Corry, he served in the typical billets of our young Petty Officers. He went to sea and advanced reasonably quickly. While at Navy Information Operations Command Norfolk he became interested in the SEALs and qualified to deploy to a U.S. Navy SEAL team operating in Iraq. He advanced to Petty Officer First Class (E-6) at a pretty good pace.

On 6 July 2007 (my daughter's birthday) he was killed in Iraq by an improvised explosive device (IED).

We can argue about whether Steven Daugherty was a hero or not. We can't argue about his patriotism. There is no doubting that.

Obituary:  CTT1 (SW) Steven Phillip Daugherty, USN, 28, passed away July 6, 2007, on duty in Baghdad, Iraq. He was born May 16, 1979, in Apple Valley. Besides his love for the Navy, he enjoyed playing his guitar and spending time with family and friends. He is survived by his parents, Thomas and Lydia Daugherty of Barstow; a son, Steven P. Daugherty Jr. of Tacoma, Washington; two brothers, Robert Daugherty of Omaha, Nebraska, and Richard Daugherty of Colorado Springs, Colorado; a sister, Kristine Daugherty of Killeen, Texas; and his grandmother, Pearl Watkins of Yermo. A graveside service with full military honors was conducted in Arlington National Cemetery Tuesday, July 24, 2007, at 10 a.m.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Staff work


The following memorandum has been reproduced countless times by military and civilian organizations since World War II and has become a widely accepted definition of what effective staff members do.  The original source of the memorandum is unclear.  Some reports indicate that the memo was issued in January 1942 by the Provost Marshal General, U.S. Army.  It has also been attributed to Brigadier G.E.R. Smith, a member of the Royal Canadian Army, who released it in 1943, while he was serving as Deputy Director of Supplies and Transport, First Canadian Army.


COMPLETED STAFF WORK

1  The doctrine of “completed staff work” will be the doctrine of this office.

2  “Completed Staff Work” is the study of a problem, and presentation of a solution, by a staff officer, in such form that all that remains to be done on the part of the head of the staff division, or the commander, is to indicate his approval or disapproval of the completed action. The words “completed staff action” are emphasized because the more difficult the problem is the more the tendency is to present the problem to the chief in piece-meal fashion. It is your duty as a staff officer to work out the details. You should not consult your chief in the determination of those details, no matter how perplexing they may be. You may and should consult other staff officers. The product, whether it involves the pronouncement of a new policy or affect an established one, should when presented to the chief for approval or disapproval, be worked out in finished form.

3  The impulse which often comes to the inexperienced staff officer to ask the chief what to do, recurs more often when the problem is difficult. It is accompanied by a feeling of mental frustration. It is so easy to ask the chief what to do, and it appears so easy if you do not know your job. It is your job to advise your chief what he ought to do, not to ask him what you ought to do. He needs your answers, not questions. Your job is to study, write, restudy and rewrite until you have evolved a single proposed action – the best one of all you have considered. Your chief merely approves or disapproves.

4  Do not worry your chief with long explanations and memoranda. Writing a memorandum to your chief does not constitute completed staff work, but writing a memorandum for your chief to send to someone else does. Your view should be placed before him in finished form so that he can make them his views by simply signing his name. In most instances, completed staff work results in a single document prepared for the signature of the chief, without accompanying comment. If the proper result is reached, the chief will usually recognize it at once. If he wants comment or explanation, he will ask for it.

5  The theory of completed staff work does not preclude a “rough draft”, but the rough draft must not be a half-baked idea.  It must be completed in every respect except that it lacks the requisite number of copies and need not be neat. But a rough draft must not be used as an excuse for shifting to the chief the burden of formulating the action.

6  The “completed staff work” theory may result in more work for the staff officer, but it results in more freedom for the chief. This is as it should be. Further, it accomplishes two things:

                        a. The chief is protected from half-baked ideas, voluminous memoranda, and immature oral presentations.
                       
                        b. The staff officer who has a real idea to sell is enabled more readily to find a market.

When you have finished your “completed staff work” the final test is this:  If you were the chief would you be willing to sign the paper you have prepared, and stake your professional reputation on its being right?  If the answer is negative, take it back and work it over because it is not yet “completed staff work.”

Friday, June 22, 2018

CWO4 Wallace Louis Exum Navigating Life - Steering One's True Course

Born on 10 May 1927, Wallace Louis Exum was the embodiment of true Navy leadership. He was a man who lived his life richly in our Navy’s history, has performed bravely in battle, written lovingly about our Navy’s past and has prepared so many young men and women to lead our Navy’s future.

The Navy brought onto its rolls an improbable leader and a truly remarkable individual in an underaged 16 year old Seaman Recruit named Wallace Louis Exum in September 1943. Born in Akron, Ohio and raised mostly in the Los Angeles, California area by his two very loving parents, “Wally” Exum knew he had to perform his patriotic duty and join his young friends fighting the war in the Pacific.

Seaman Exum had not been in the Navy long before he strayed from his true course. More than once, he ran afoul of the Navy’s rules and regulations. Somewhere early-on he earned the nickname “Bigtime” for his easy-going manner, his extra thick Navy mattress and his home-of-record -- Los Angeles. More than once he had some difficulty in finding his way back to his ship on time. But, he never did anything seriously wrong and NEVER ONCE did he ever do anything with malice against anyone.

17 February 1945 marked one of the many milestones in his life when he was wounded in battle as his Landing Craft Infantry (LCI-457) came under fire during the battle for Iwo Jima. On 17 February 1945, Landing Craft Infantry vessels supported underwater demolition teams (UDT), which conducted beach and surf condition surveillance and neutralized underwater obstacles. Japanese coastal batteries heavily damaged 12 of the vessels, resulting in 38 killed and 132 wounded. At 18 years old, Wally was among those many young men wounded who earned the Purple Heart Medal. The skipper of his LCI, a Lieutenant, won the Navy Cross.

Having won the war on both sides of the world, the military released many young men from the service. Wally Exum was among those men. But, somehow, he always found his way back to the Navy. He served in the Navy during the Korean War, Vietnam and throughout the Cold War. 

Over his career he found himself at sea for 18 years and gave the Navy and the nation 42 years of selfless service. His service took him around the world. He continues to serve the Navy in retirement today as a “Goodwill Ambassador”; his wonderful books tell the Navy’s story – and a wonderful story it is.

In 1981 at 55 years old, he was the first (and only) Chief Warrant Officer assigned as an instructor to the Navy’s Officer Candidate School (OCS) in Newport, Rhode Island. Somehow, the Chief of Naval Personnel, VADM Lando W. Zech had a personal hand in assigning CWO3 Exum to OCS. As a Celestial Navigation instructor, he would prepare hundreds of young men and women for successful careers as Naval officers – showing them all how to “navigate life – steering one’s true course”.

VADM Zech was certain that CWO3 Exum was the right man to develop these young men and women into professional Naval officers. VADM Zech sent exactly the right man. By all reports CWO3 Exum was an excellent navigation instructor.

With few (if any) exceptions, the officer candidates loved their instructor. Frequently he would spend many extra hours in the evenings with the officer candidates, teaching them the finer points of using a sextant to “shoot the stars” – absolutely essential to celestial navigation.

His evening lectures always ended with the same admonition to the young people trusted to his care. “Remember, ladies and gentlemen”, he would always say, “you can shoot the stars but we never shoot the moon.” The groans from the officer candidates would follow him all the way back to the parking lot where he parked a beautiful convertible Cadillac that his “even more beautiful” Joyce (one of the two loves in his life – the other being his daughter Marilyn) had given to him.

Without their realizing it at the time, Warrant Officer Exum was teaching these young people how to navigate their lives – not just celestial navigation. He taught them good manners, courtesy, honesty, patience, teamwork, integrity and so much more. He taught hundreds of young men and women to be good Naval officers. Those officers went on to lead thousands of Chief Petty Officers and Sailors in our great Navy. It is reasonable to say that CWO Exum impacted the lives of tens of thousands of Sailors through his good work and leadership in Newport, Rhode Island. He helped produce countless Navy Captains and certainly a few Admirals for the Navy. Not too bad for a 55 year old Chief Warrant Officer who was originally uncertain about his ability to get the job done for his friend and mentor, Vice Admiral Zech.

Following duty as an instructor and Company Officer at Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island, CWO4 Exum was assigned as the Security Officer at the Fleet Activity Sasebo, Japan. Once again, he was challenged to put Sailors on their true course. He had no idea that he would be providing course corrections for his Commanding Officer. But, it didn’t matter. The CO was off course and it was CWO4 Exum’s duty to bring him back to the right course. Turns out the CO was violating Navy Regulations by allowing bulk sales of alcohol to Sailors during all hours of the day and was not attentive to many security issues confronting Fleet Activities Sasebo.Besides being against Navy Regulations, these bulk alcohol sales were creating all kinds of discipline problems among the Sailors in Sasebo – a lot of Sailors and a lot of alcohol are not a good mix. CWO4 Exum tactfully and discretely let the CO know that the bulk alcohol sales were prohibited by Navy Regs and were causing some discipline problems among the Sailors, as well as some black- market issues with the Japanese. CWO4 Exum also informed the CO about a number of security issues the base faced. The CO wouldn’t hear any of it. CWO4 Exum knew he had to get the CO on course to protect the CO from himself and to protect the Sailors. He told the CO he would take it up the chain of command. Anyone who knows anything about the Navy understands this put CWO4 Exum in a really tough spot. No one enjoys telling their CO that he’s wrong. And the CO sure doesn’t enjoying hearing it. But CWO4 Exum had long ago committed himself to “steering a true course”. CWO4 Exum filed his report and the CO promptly sent the Chief Warrant Officer to the psychiatric ward at the Naval Hospital Yokosuka, Japan. It was readily apparent to the doctors examining CWO4 Exum exactly what the CO had in mind. They kept CWO4 Exum aboard for a short period and released him back to Sasebo “fit for full duty.” Somehow the bulk alcohol sales ended soon thereafter and CWO4 Exum got the attention of the right people in the chain of command to the correct the many security deficiencies aboard Sasebo. Once again, this part of the Navy was back on its “one true course.”

And that is what his life is all about. You'd have found him teaching celestial navigation in the middle and high schools in Washington State from time to time. I am sure those students haven’t figured it out yet but ‘ol mister Exum was teaching them how to navigate life. Those kids were getting lessons in courtesy, teamwork, honesty and so much more. Count on CWO4 Exum to make sure all the charts are current, we’re steering by the stars, we’re taking the whole crew and everyone is steering “one true course”.

Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is a lesson in manliness.

This short piece won the "2010 LESSONS IN MANLINESS" contest sponsored by THE ART OF MANLINESS blog.