Friday, October 31, 2008

Leader vs 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 30, 2008

Caring 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 29, 2008

Train and Educate

The Navy’s Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education Strategic Vision states the following:
“Professional education is key to the development of competencies, professional knowledge and critical thinking skills…Education is a strategic investment in the future of our Navy.”

I couldn’t agree more. The increasingly dynamic and complex nature of the evolving security environment demands that we take bold steps to develop the talented, innovative, and highly educated Naval Intelligence force our nation requires. Therefore my #1 priority is to Recruit, Train, and Educate a highly professional and diversified workforce. That is not just a bullet on a slide but a personal goal I am deeply committed to. Commensurate with its importance, I am dedicating significant personnel and financial resources to make it a reality for Naval Intelligence. We will invest in the education of our workforce and our Nation will reap the return on that investment many times over.

VADM Jack Dorsett in his 25 October 2008 DNI Update Memo on Education

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The kind of officers we are looking for

Selfless leaders who value diversity and create an ethical command climate through their example of personal integrity and moral courage.

Mentally resilient and physically fit officers, who inspire their team to accomplish the most challenging missions, including leading in combat.

Technically and academically proficient professionals with a commitment to continual learning.

Critical thinkers and creative decision makers with a bias for action.

Effective communicators.

Adaptable individuals who understand and appreciate global and cross-cultural dynamics.

Role models dedicated to the profession of arms, the traditions and values of the Naval Service and the constitutional foundation of the United States.

VADM Jeff Fowler

USNA 78, Superintendent U.S. Naval Academy

Monday, October 27, 2008

Power of Alignment

Admiral Vern Clark, the chief of naval operations (CNO) for the U.S. Navy, said, "Better alignment enhances mission accomplishment and reduces costs through organizational and process efficiencies. ... When an organization is aligned, everyone from junior to senior shares an understanding of the goals and purposes of that organization, allowing them to contribute to their fullest. ... Aligning our organization is an ongoing effort that involves continual assessment of processes and systems."

A focus on alignment, however, doesn't denigrate actions related to strategy, Fleet and National customers, our Sailors, and processes. Just the opposite: A focus on alignment enables organizations to more fully capitalize on strategy. What must also be kept in mind is that alignment, like any kind of health, isn't a state of static perfection -- it's a constantly changing condition. What is perfect alignment in one warfare area/officer community may be a misalignment in another. Since the environment can change frequently and sometimes unpredictably, maintaining alignment is a constant process. Attaining alignment ... is a never-ending process of identifying and doggedly correcting misalignments that push the Navy (NETWARCOM) away from its core ideology or impede progress.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Suspects in Terrorist Attack on CTM3 Matt O'Bryant Arrested


The Associated PressPosted : Friday Oct 24, 2008 12:33:01 EDT

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Police arrested four men in connection with last month’s suicide attack on a hotel that killed 54 people, including a sailor and an airman, authorities said Friday.

The four are suspected of “indirect involvement” in the blast at the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, police chief Ahmad Latif said. They are the first known arrests in the Sept. 20 attack that ended the lives of Navy Cryptologic Technician 3rd Class (Maintenance) Matthew J. O'Bryant, 22, of Duluth, Ga., and Air Force Maj. Rodolfo I. Rodriguez, 34, of El Paso, Texas.

The attack was a reminder of the gathering threat posed by Islamist militants in nuclear-armed Pakistan. Latif said the men were arrested in different parts of Punjab province but gave no more details. They were brought before an anti-terrorism court where a judge gave police permission to hold them for questioning for one week.

Militants in Pakistan have launched more than 90 suicide attacks on civilian, military and western targets since July 2007, killing nearly 1,200 people, according to military statistics. Authorities have said they suspect the Marriott blast was carried out by terrorists based in the tribal regions near the border with Afghanistan.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


17 October 2008

Dear Captain Lambert,

Your submission, "Excellence in Global Maritime Knowledge Must be Unconstrained by Any Particular Organizational Construct," has been evaluated for publication in the U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, but I regret to inform you that it did not survive the competition for the limited space in our pages.

Many thanks for keeping us in mind.

Paul M. Merzlak
Managing Editor

Friday, October 24, 2008

Effective communication

Effective communication is the result of a deliberate strategy, and training and education in the profession is a key to achieving success to its fullest extent. The risks can be high, but the rewards are also high. There is no satisfaction quite like that of seeing the positive results of your efforts in print or on the air, or watching your Sailors act on new Navy policy because they understand it.

But communication success is certainly not easy, and cannot be expected with one attempt.

Some communications researchers claim that it takes "seven touches" for a concept to be successfully communicated. People must hear it, see it, feel it, pick it up, turn it upside down, shake it and hear it again before they’ll remember anything substantial about it. We need more than a deliberate strategy; we need persistent presence on the communication front.

Admiral Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operations in the 2008 Navy Playbook

Thursday, October 23, 2008

No Arts of Compromise

THE Old Navy had terms for such a man as he -- sun-downer, hard case, shell back. For him there were no arts of compromise; he knew nothing of the subtleties of flattery. He was, in his own words, strict but fair. He believed in keeping men and ships up to the mark: he preferred a taut ship to a happy one.

Admiral Ernest J. King


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Senior Naval Officers Refuse Awards

Washington D.C. 26 December 1919 - Secretary Josephus Daniels has reconvened the Naval Board to reconsider naval awards as the result of the refusal of Admiral Sims to accept a medal and the general criticism which has arisen over the awards and honors approved by the Secretary.

Following the recent refusal of Admiral Sims to accept the Distinguished Service Medal, it was learned that honors awarded them had also been refused by Vice Admiral Hilary P. Jones and Captain Raymond Hasbrouck.

The correspondent adds that further rejection of awards are expected and that Rear Admiral Henry T. Mayo, who was allotted the Distinguished Service Medal, will officially decline the honor.

Reports here tonight are that half a dozen others, singled out for honors, intended to refuse them.

Special to The New York Times.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Courage of his convictions - the Aid for Operations resigns his post

Admiral Fiske has the courage of his convictions and they are founded on knowledge and experience. He believes that what he said about the bad condition of our Navy before the House Committee on Naval Affairs last December was strictly true; that it is unprepared for emergency and has lacked facilities for training its men for war work. Granted that the Admiral may be a trifle pessimistic and inclined to look to the dark side, no testimony whatever in contradiction to his statements has been forthcoming.

The country has abundant faith in its Naval officers, while it has no reason to be confident of the good judgment of the civil head of the Navy. Perhaps Secretary Daniels is as well fitted to his exhalted position as many of his predecessors, but these are perilous times and there is a widespread desire to have our defenses put in good order. It seems that the statements of an officer of the large experience of Admiral Fiske should be heeded. It is not to be doubted that he has the good of the Navy and of the country at heart.

The withdrawal of Admiral Fiske from his post as Aid for Operations in the Navy Department is not a matter of trifling importance. As the foremost among the advisers of the Secretary, his appointment to the new post of Chief of Naval Operations seemed logical. The report is that the Admiral has requested to be transferred because he is not in accord with the policy that prevails at the department. What is that policy? The people would like to know. Is it chiefly concerned with the prevention of the use of alcoholic liquor and the appointment of new chaplains? Does it depend altogether on the Secretary's conception of himself as a headmaster in a school? If so, it is perhaps an amiable and well-meant policy, but it does not meet present requirements.

The inference that an experienced officer like Admiral Fiske would prefer not to take up the responsibilities of Chief of Naval Operations under the present conditions, is somewhat disturbing.

The New York Times, April 4, 1915

Monday, October 20, 2008

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

Sunday, October 19, 2008

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".

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Information Warfare Officers

Guiding Principles:

(1) Warfare Competency: IW officers lead Navy IW missions by employing a thorough knowledge of the tenets of IO, sensor/weapons, national systems' capabilities and limitations, and how to optimally use them for “effects-based” warfare. IW officers develop tactics, techniques and procedures to realize tactical, strategic and advantages at sea and ashore.

(2) Leadership: Leadership is a core competency for all Navy Officers. IW officers are engaged, seize the initiative, motivate people, effectively apply resources and execute IW missions.

(3) Professional Expertise: IW officers require knowledge of engineering and technology (i.e., knowing how the signal or protocol was designed to function) and the human elements of adversaries through language and cultural awareness. They build expertise through a combination of formal education and experience gained through successive career milestone tours.

From the NPC IW Officer Webpage

Worth reading INFORMATION OPERATIONS - Warfare and the Hard Reality of Soft Power

Friday, October 17, 2008

Leadership in the "DIGITAL AGE" - Business Icon Jack Welch

“The Internet…ushers in a whole new level and scope of employee engagement. Leaders should welcome this development, and most do, but it’s a mistake to treat it lightly. Once employees engage you by speaking out, albeit electronically, they expect to hear back. We would suggest that it can be just as damaging for a leader not to respond to feedback as it is not to ask for it at all.”

Most leader-bosses are trying to embrace this—even when it scares them silly—because if they don’t they can’t hire. That’s right, engagement is high on the list of employee demands and not just by Millennials and if it isn’t there, well, it’s available somewhere else.

“…one aspect of leadership we believe the Internet won’t change because it can’t. Real leaders touch people… They get in their skin, filling their hearts with inspiration, courage, and hope. They share the pain in times of loss and are there to celebrate the wins.”

It’s called face-to-face and it’s where many leader-bosses are not cutting it. I see too many of them who embrace the orderly world of digital communications as a way to avoid messy, in person interactions—but it doesn’t work.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Mark your calendars

Defense Network Centric Operations (DNCO) 2008
Marriott Gateway - Alexandria, Virginia
1-3 December 2008

On 2 December 2008 at 10:15, Rear Admiral Bill Leigher is slated to deliver a briefing on "Operational Superiority in Cyberspace." Rear Admiral Leigher is the Director, Information Operations (N3IO)/Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence for Cryptology (N2C).

The conference purpose is to "Effectively Managing Defense Networks To Ensure Secure And Appropriate Information Sharing"

DNCO has partnered with leading publications and associations to provide a meeting place for the most innovative and forward thinking leaders in net-centric ops for both military and industry personnel that are focused on: Information Assurance, Interoperability, Network Security, Information Integration, Research and Development, C2, C2ISR, C3, C4, C4ISR, Information Analysis, Network Technology and Geospatial Solutions. Past summit participants have been eager to express their satisfaction of the timeliness and effectiveness of the presentations ensuring a gathering where leaders are able to assess where tomorrow's technologies can be leveraged to give the war fighter tactical advantage.

Key topics on this year's agenda include:

  • Evolving NCO policies
  • C4ISR
  • Information Assurance
  • Network Security
  • Spectrum Management
  • Interoperability
  • Future NCO Technologies

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

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


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 soldiers and 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

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A willingness to be alone - Former SECNAV John Dalton

"Character is the ability to place the needs of our Nation, our Navy, and our subordinates above our own personal desires. In this, character is good leadership, both by direction and by example.

What causes our Sailors and Marine to follow us into the danger of potential combat? What motivates them to stand a tough watch and work long hours? What inspires them to give their very best?

It's the trust and respect that our Sailors and Marines hold for those who lead them. It's the knowledge that naval leaders are looking after the best interests of their Sailors and Marines.

A leader stands for something…and that something is character. People choose to follow because they believe that that individual, that leader has the personal principles to make the right choice, the ethical choice when it comes to making a tough decision.

It requires courage to have character. It requires courage to admit mistakes and then take action to correct them. It takes courage to say "no" when it seems like everyone else in the crowd pretends not to notice, or worse yet, appears tolerant of immoral behavior--or a bad decision.

That's what it really takes to be a leader--a willingness to be alone while standing for something."

- Former Secretary of the Navy John Dalton

Captain Edward H. Deets III, (then) Commanding Officer, Center for Naval Cryptology, Corry Station, reminded us of former Secretary of the Navy John Dalton's important words about 'character and leadership' in his address to the Naval Cryptologic Veterans Association Spring Breakout - February 2003

Monday, October 13, 2008

I am a United States Sailor

I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America and I will obey the orders of those appointed over me.

I represent the fighting spirit of the Navy and those who have gone before me to defend freedom and democracy around the world.

I proudly serve my country’s Navy Combat Team with HONOR, COURAGE and COMMITMENT.

I am committed to excellence and fair treatment of all.

Happy 233rd Birthday to our great United States Navy !!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Global Commons - Space and Cyberspace

The "global commons" of space and cyberspace are vitally important to our way of life. Our civil, military, and commercial activities are dependent upon access to cyberspace and space-based capabilities, and we can expect future adversaries to attack these dependencies. Our dependence on these capabilities and their associated vulnerabilities requires us to focus our efforts to ensure US freedom of action in these domains.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

To All Navy Men

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.


Friday, October 10, 2008

"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

Thursday, October 9, 2008

“Traits to make me a successful officer”

Former Commander, Naval Security Group Command
- Rear Admiral George Patrick March, United States Navy, Retired

Belief in the importance of the mission of the Navy and the Cryptologic Community and the ability to articulate and pass that belief on to subordinates.

Readiness to undertake any mission and to accept the job assigned. I never campaigned for any certain position but rather tried to do the best I could at what the Navy decided I should be doing.

This is why, when I was the Assignment Officer (detailer) in BuPers, I sometimes wasn’t too sympathetic with young officers’ whining when they came into my office.

From the very beginning understood the importance of the Chief Petty Officers.

I have a facility for getting along with people, but, at the same time, I think I had an inherent sense of what was important and what was fair – both to the Navy and to the individual.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Command is the lodestone

In the military, (Admiral Mike) Mullen told the (Wharton Business School) students, command is the lodestone for leaders. “It’s the pinnacle,” he said, adding that accountability is fundamental to the joy and challenge of command because commanders find themselves having to put together teams to accomplish the missions they are assigned.

Command is built around trust – both up and down – and hinges on choosing the right people, Mullen said. The hardest job he has had in his 40 years in the military has been selecting personnel for the various missions, he told the audience.

Few people succeed by just “winging it,” the chairman said. He urged the young men and women to have a strategic plan and follow it. Leaders without a strategy or a plan are the ones who fail, he said.

Information is crucial to military and business success, Mullen said, but he noted that
the more senior a leader becomes, the more removed he or she is from what’s really going on.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Admiral Mike Mullen in a 3 October 2008 address to Wharton Business School

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Shaping the evolution of cryptology

The late CAPT George P. McGinnis, who served with distinction in World War II and helped lay the foundation upon which cryptologic work was conducted during the Cold War, has been nominated for induction into the National Security Agency/Central Security Service Hall of Honor at the National Cryptologic Museum in Washington, DC.

“George McGinnis was a remarkable man, a true American patriot, and a great personal friend to many of us in the cryptologic and information warfare community,” said RADM Edward H. Deets III, vice commander at Naval Network Warfare Command. “As one of the pioneers who helped shape the evolution of naval cryptology, Captain McGinnis deserves much of the credit for our success. His significant and lasting contributions to the security of the United States uniquely qualify him for this honor, and his selection would be a most fitting tribute.”

Born on May 11, 1919, in Iowa Park, TX, McGinnis was commissioned in the Naval Reserve in 1942 and was called to active duty shortly thereafter. He then completed postgraduate studies in electronics at Bowdoin College, Johns Hopkins University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. He was also the first cryptologic officer to graduate from the Naval War College.

He passed away on October 11, 2006.

Taken from INFO DOMAIN Magazine on the VERY MUCH IMPROVED -
Naval Network Warfare Command website

Monday, October 6, 2008

Information Warfare leadership

Information Warfare Officers are directly involved in every aspect of Naval operations, deploying globally to support Navy and joint war-fighting requirements. They provide vital information to tactical-, theater-, and national-level decision makers. (They) serve within sea, air and shore commands around the globe. And (they) lead cryptologic technicians in related activities — afloat and ashore.

The responsibility of the Information Warfare community is to deliver overwhelming information superiority that successfully supports command objectives. This is achieved through the application of Information Operations (IO) and Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) expertise. The work involves attacking, defending and exploiting networks to capitalize on vulnerabilities in the information environment. And ultimately, providing war-fighters, planners and policy makers with real-time warning, offensive opportunities and an ongoing operational advantage.

For more on Information Warfare careers click this link.

(Photo is Dave Odom as a Lieutenant)

Sunday, October 5, 2008


All hands should be aware of a renewed emphasis on accountability and individual responsibility (see ALNAV 150/87). At every NSG command, detachment and department, I expect a climate for accountability - an area where a positive attitude and atmosphere exist.

This means that we must have adequate resources to do our job; that everyone knows his/her responsibility; that all of our people are well trained; and that all hands know what to expect if they do a good job or what to expect if they don't or if they get into trouble. There must never be a perception that seniors adhere to one standard while juniors must adhere to another.

Everyone must know that COs/XOs/OICs/Dept Heads will be held as accountable as juniors. The proof of leadership will always be in how we take care of our people and how we accomplish our mission.

From the NSG Archives. RADM J.S. McFarland

Saturday, October 4, 2008

We adhere to values of integrity, professionalism and tradition.

We must conduct ourselves in the highest ethical manner in all relationships with peers, seniors and subordinates. Navy people do not lie, cheat or steal.

Honesty is the cornerstone of our profession, and we must be truthful in our dealings with each other and with those outside the Navy. As professionals, we embrace mission accomplishment and improvement. Our commitment to teamwork and mission reflects traditions passed down since our founding more than 200 years ago.

These include patriotism, courage to meet the demands of our job, a genuine concern for our people and a belief in the fundamental principles of our spiritual and ethical heritage.

From The Navy Policy Book, Chapter 5, The Navy's Character and Reputation

Friday, October 3, 2008

A Leadership Approach That Worked

Some years ago, this leadership approach worked for Rear Admiral James S. McFarland who was Commander, Naval Security Group Command.

Taken verbatim from his personal notes:
My goal was to increase the sensitivity of our leaders to the needs and concerns of our Sailors. We had very uneven application of our 'people programs.'

- Task the Inspector general to randomly select commands to visit. Do not 'inspect' but listen - not to the leadership but to the Sailors.
- Conduct personal interviews with at least 1/2 of the command. Visit the families ashore.
- Get the pulse and document concerns - what works and what doesn't.
- Use imagination and creativity to bring our organization together as a family that shares , cares and gets the mission done right.

We addressed the problems immediately. Those endemic to the whole organization, we corrected with policy changes. Others uniques to commands, we assisted and advised. In two cases, I relieved the Commanding Officers for total insensitivity. The good people programs were adopted throughout the organization."

Thursday, October 2, 2008

"To get people to ardently desire what the leader wants them to do.”

Admiral Ernest J. King advocated for more communication and sound leadership.

When people are aware and understand where the organization is going, and why; when they understand their role, and why their contribution is vitally important; when they have the assets, resources, training and direction they need; when they are truly empowered, then they will do the right things for the right reasons and the right times. And you can follow your people to achieve your vision.

The challenge for leadership is to see where the organization needs to go, and why. Leadership needs to communicate that vision to the employees with sound and rational reasoning, and communicate it so that the employees will ardently want to move the organization, transform it if need be, from where it is today to what it needs to be to serve the customers best. Then we won’t need to tell people what to do. They’ll know. They’ll believe it. And they’ll do it without being pushed because they believe it’s the right thing to do.

Read the entire article:

By Edward Lundquist

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Strategy for Our People - Deficiency & Recommendation

DEFICIENCY: The Navy MPT&E roadmaps (click here for the Information Warfare Community Strategy for Our People) — containing implementation action plans, discrete tasks required to achieve the Strategic vision, and metrics, accountability methods, and timelines for completion are yet to be finished. Thus the implementation of the Navy's Human Capital Strategy (HCS) effort remains unfinished.

FINDING: Completing, communicating, and implementing a comprehensive human capital strategy will be essential to achieving the Navy and Marine Corps transformation goals.

RECOMMENDATION: The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) should take ownership of their services’ human capital strategy (HCS) and direct its prompt completion. Beyond that, the CNO should institute a process to review and update their HCS in light of changes in the strategic environment, future plans, and evolving experience with existing human resource policies. The completion of the services’ HCS should be done with the following criteria in mind:

1. Aligned. The HCS should be linked clearly to the services’ goals and missions, identifying the highest-priority “key success factors” required of personnel for organizational success.

2. Internalized. The HCS must be communicated to and broadly understood at all levels, in ways that clarify to individuals in each subunit how their efforts affect overall success.

3. Routinized. The HCS should routinely inform decisions, trade-offs, and resource allocations and should be embedded in everyday operating procedures (e.g., planning and budgeting, personnel reviews, external reporting).

4. Coherent. The HCS should promote coherence and synergies in human resource administration across specific domains (e.g., recruitment, compensation, training, and development). It should sustain a human resources “brand” that makes clear to current and prospective sailors and marines what is expected of them and what they in turn can expect of the organization.

5. Measurable. The HCS should describe desired outcomes that can be and are assessed with metrics.

6. Adaptable. The HCS should be dynamic, undergoing routine reassessment and adjustment in light of learning and of changing organizational and environmental contingencies.

7. Consequential. Supporting the HCS should represent (and must be perceived to represent) a significant element in the formal assessment and evaluation of leaders.

The committee recommends: an assessment of current proposed human resource strategies against this list of criteria and creation of a template simple enough in form and content that it can be used to articulate the key success factors and human resource strategy to diverse audiences at all levels of the naval services.

Manpower and Personnel Needs for a Transformed Naval Force
Committee on Manpower and Personnel Needs for a Transformed Naval Force, National Research Council
Copyright 2008