Sunday, May 31, 2009

Ask the Corporals and Captains

Corporals (E-4) and captains (O-3) are the heart of our armed forces, yet too often they are ignored when discussing strategy. Before talking to members of the press, they are reminded to “stay in your lane”; that is, don’t answer questions above your paygrade. That might be decent advice for a normal evening news sound bite, but not when attempting to get to the bottom of a matter that’s so crucial to our nation’s best interests.

Another reason those in the ranks are rarely asked for their professional opinions is the flawed assumption that they can provide feedback any time they choose. This is true in theory, but in practice, many have learned from experience that their advice is too often dismissed or ignored and are hesitant to offer up what might be perceived as controversial whining or “out of their lane” pontificating, unless it is vigorously solicited.

From the Armed Forces Journal
Ask the corporals and captains
Lt Col Glen Butler
United States Marine Corps

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Make It Count

"Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts."

Albert Einstein (Genius)

Make sure that what you are doing 'counts', even if it's not being counted.

Mike Lambert (Not a Genius)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Cast Off All Lines and Set Sail

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. . . Explore. Dream. Discover."

Mark Twain

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Solving the Commander Crisis

The number of com­manding officers relieved of their duties is a serious threat to the Navy, one the service can’t seem to shake. Commanders are fired at the rate of more than one per month.

While it’s possible to view this as a positive
the Navy holds its leaders accountable the matter raises questions about how officers are screened for command; how they are trained and prepared for the job; and what is expected of them once they are in charge.

Three threads seem to come up in this context, all of which point to possible systemic prob­lems: (1) significant maintenance failures, perhaps related to un­dersized crews, not enough training and inadequate yard periods; (2) underway accidents, possibly indicating training and experience shortfalls; and (3) im­proper personal behavior, typi­cally including either alcohol problems, extramarital relation­ships or both.

From Navy Times - 4 tips for the new SECNAV

AND MORE FROM A NAVY TIMES EDITORIAL circa 2005 - not a whole lot has changed

The Navy won’t tolerate CO shenanigans, that much is clear.

What’s not clear, however, is exactly what sort of behavior won’t be tolerated.

Six commanding officers have been fired in the past six weeks, and at least one more case remains under investigation. The skipper of the frigate Samuel B. Roberts remains in command after the ship went dead in the water or possibly ran aground near Argentina.

The Navy is understandably loath to publicly humiliate a fallen leader. In most cases, sackings are explained with a terse, three-word descriptor: “loss of confidence.”

Five of the six recent firings were unrelated to mishaps or operational errors. So it’s unclear what caused these sudden losses in confidence. Possible causes range from incompetence to fraternization to an allegation that a captain struck one of his sailors.

Only in the case of Cmdr. E.J. McClure, skipper of the destroyer Arleigh Burke, do we know why she lost her job: She ran her ship “soft aground” in a Norfolk-area shipping channel, officials confirm. Other circumstances surrounding that grounding, however, remain under investigation, including the status of Destroyer Squadron 2 commodore Capt. Ralph “Larry” Tindal, who was aboard the ship at the time of the incident.

There are limits to privacy concerns. Warship commanders don’t deserve a free ride when their personal behavior fails to meet Navy standards. They have been through a rigorous selection process and their numbers are a precious few. They hold a special trust. And when they violate that trust, they shouldn’t get a free pass to their next assignment.

This recent rash of firings comes only two years after another run in which more than 20 COs were fired from their commands in 2004 and 2005. Bringing these matters to the fore helps make clear what the Navy’s standards are, and what the penalties can be for violating those standards. Hiding the truth may protect the guilty, but it does little to inform or assist the innocent. Instead, by trying to avoid scandal, leaders fuel the rumor mill.

By getting the word out, other leaders can learn from these past mistakes, rather than be doomed to repeat them. The Navy takes care to make sure that happens in the operational realm. But because the risks are no less severe when it comes to personal conduct, it should treat those issues in no less a public light.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Hacked ! Technical Difficulties

U.S. Navy Regulations

An officer should be thoroughly acquainted with the U.S. Navy Regulations. These have been compiled throughout the years. They are based on the accumulated knowledge of generations of naval officers. Each article has some history behind it and has been purposely recorded to prevent repetition of an error. Certainly one cannot go wrong if he follows to the best of his ability these regulations. Of all the professional books available to the inexperienced officer none is more valuable to him as the U.S. Navy Regulations.

Watch Officer's Guide
3rd Edition

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Heart of An Officer

"The system of naval officer development we have today is fundamentally a product of the Cold War, with a very strong emphasis on technical education and a career pattern dominated by platform-related assignments. In a career chock full of requirements, “wickets” to be hit, those officers who in the past have received rigorous preparation for joint or interagency command did so more by their own force of will than by the design of the Navy’s personnel system. The Navy’s current generation of joint leaders has risen to joint command despite an educational and career system that has seldom been conducive to their acquisition of joint and regional knowledge or development of strategic communication skills.

Competing demands on naval officers’ time, education, and career assignments have made it increasingly difficult to prepare these officers to be joint leaders in an international and interagency setting. To be sure, since the end of the Second World War the Navy has supported an expansion of several joint educational and assignment initiatives (attendance at the war college, completion of a joint tour, etc.). However, in parallel with the Navy’s acknowledgment of the need for more joint education has come an increased requirement for officers to gain technical education, earn technical subspecialties, and take platform related duty assignments.

With the Navy career already packed in order to meet such demands, one may ask how a larger number of Navy officers can find time for more rigorous joint, interagency, and international preparation. It is doubtful that officers can attain additional joint, interagency, or international preparation without hazarding their technical and platform expertise. It is in that sense that the current Navy career model may have reached its limit. It is increasingly inefficient and stressed by attempts to accommodate the emerging joint, interagency, and international requirements. But to transform the career model from“roadblock” to a “bridge” that leads to a more adaptive officer corps will not be easy. A first step in the task is to understand where the roadblock came from, who built it, and why."

The Heart of An Officer
Naval War College Review
Admiral Jim Stavridis and Captain Mark Hagerott

Extreme Leadership

"An extreme leader is somebody who is really acting as a leader beyond their position or their title. True leadership is about the act of transformation. Somebody who's really leading is involved in changing their piece of the world for the better in some way, shape, or form.

They might be involved in trying to change the whole world for the better, and I say that's terrific for people that have that level of influence.

But for the rest of us we're involved in changing some piece of the world. It could be the world of our team, the world of our company, the world of our industry, the world of our customers, but there's some intent to look around the environment and make it better.

The person who steps up to do that, and enlists other people to help to do what it takes to make that kind of change happen is what I call the extreme leader."

Steve Farber

Extreme Leader

Artwork by Gretchen Pisano

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

Memorial Day originated in 1868, when Union General John A. Logan designated a day in which the graves of Civil War soldiers would be decorated. Known as Decoration Day, the holiday was changed to Memorial Day by 1888, becoming a holiday dedicated to the memory of all war dead. It became a federal holiday in 1971, and is now observed on the last Monday in May.

May God Bless our war dead and keep our warriors safe.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Navy Information Warfare Community

...leads the Navy’s effort in Information Operations while maintaining a leading role in the naval and joint intelligence communities through our expertise in Signals Intelligence. Enabling the commander to know the information environment and act within this environment to achieve desired effects is a challenge our community must meet. Forging a closer relationship with Navy operational commanders, educating and training our community to develop greater proficiency and skills, and providing technical systems necessary to defend, sense or attack as required in order to achieve information superiority in the information environment is a major focus of our near term community actions. By strengthening our enterprise within the intelligence community, investing our resources wisely and integrating more fully in operational commanders and planners, the Information Warfare community will become more integral to the Navy’s destiny in the 21st century.

From the Navy IW Vision Statement 2007

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Chief is A Chief

In the Navy I grew up in; a Chief was a Chief. Belay that! A Chief was The Chief! The Chief’s job was taking care of the mission and the Sailors who did the jobs required to complete the mission. Further, the representation of the “Chief” as used in that statement is a fouled anchor…period. Everyone got that? In case not, and because this is so important: A FOULED ANCHOR—PERIOD!

Oh, you have a star on top of yours, or perhaps two stars! Well bully for you! I’m glad the numbers worked out in your favor, and I’m happy your paycheck got a little bigger, but that’s all that happened, Shipmate. You didn’t suddenly become wiser, or better otherwise, than your contemporaries, so be careful not to let the stars fool you into thinking you’ve risen above the fouled-anchor (PERIOD!) definition of a Chief. Say this again: “A Chief is a Chief, and the fouled anchor represents a Chief.” If, about now, you’re thinking “I earned this promotion over my peers” —if any of those I’s survived your transition, if you don’t genuinely have an attitude of simply being grateful that the numbers worked out for you, then you really missed the mark during your transition. That’s a rhetorical statement, don’t try to defend yourself (because your “I’s” will surely give you away!).

Wise words from a SCPO friend of mine.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Righting the Ship

Overheard in the blogosphere -

"The only way we are going to be able right this ship is to let her sink to the bottom and put her up in blocks. Prepare to scuttle the ship."

"Let's put her on an even keel."

There's a metaphor in there somewhere.
Assemble the VBSS team on the fantail.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Navy Core Values

It’s nice that we’ve fashioned Navy Core Values posters to hang on our walls as reminders. The Navy Core Values laminated card for our wallets is nice too. But, those things are just reminders.

Sailors do not learn values from a list on a poster or laminated card. They learn those values by seeing them put in practice. They learn the values of their Leading Petty Officers (Chiefs and Division Officers - You better make sure that you are happy with the values of our LPOs). It’s easy to memorize the book definitions of our core values— honor - courage - commitment. The challenge is to internalize what each value means and understanding how our Sailors learn them from us. Our core values are the Navy's keel; all else is built upon the keel. Our Sailors learn those values from us—Navy leaders. Teach them well !

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

One Valuable Lesson - Analyze & Act Faster

"Those who capture this computing power and the corresponding speed of the information flow are going to have a tremendous advantage. I don't care where you look in the spectrum of warfare. Throughout history, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen have learned one valuable lesson: If you can analyze, act and assess faster than your opponent, you will win!'"

from "Information Operations: The Fifth Dimension of Warfare"
Remarks as delivered by Gen. Ronald R. Fogleman, Air Force chief of staff, to the Armed Forces Communications-Electronics Association, Washington, April 25, 1995. Defense Issues, Vol. 10, number 47.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

FY10 RDML Results May Have Been Delayed By A Leak of Aviation Community Results

Got word today that the FY10 RDML results may have been delayed due to a potential leak of aviation community results. Not sure if that is the case - but it sure seems like a reasonable explanation. (Keep in mind that this year's E8/E9 Reserve results are delayed due to a problem with the selection board. So, these things happen.) The information source is generally reliable. Stay tuned. Last year's results were released nearly 45 days earlier (first week of April 2008).

Monday, May 18, 2009

Flag Officer Development

The Navy has an Executive Development Program that is designed to mentor and develop officers selected for flag rank. It is based on researching corporate executive development models.

Each Flag officer has a personalized United States Navy Senior Leader Development Plan. This plan includes a Competence Level Assessment, which is the key document for exchanging career information between protégées and their mentors.

There are nine identified competencies for flag officers:
- Leadership
- Change management
- Human capital management
- IT management
- Financial management
- Joint operations
- Fleet / staff operations
- Reserve affairs

((I am betting that our next 1610 Flag has many of these competencies in their portfolio. Hope we get the news soon.))

Interesting article/post from CDR Michael Junge (former CO USS Whidbey Island) on Flag Officer Selection - WHAT DOES A DUCK LOOK LIKE? - Naval Flag Officers In 2002.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Culture in the USN - Information Warfare

An important element of the Navy culture does not have ancient roots, but is rather a function of the evolution of the Navy and, to a great extent, the evolution of technology and hardware.

Moreso than members of the other services, the Sailor identifies with a specific warfare specialty or community. The Army has its infantry, artillery, and armor officers, for example, but the centripetal force of the information warfare, surface, submarine, aviation, INTEL, and special warfare communities in the Navy exceeds anything their comrades in arms in other uniforms know.

While some of this power comes from parochialism, there is a more substantial reason for it. No matter their branch, all Army officers operate on, or very near to, the ground. Land warfare is their specialty; they work on the ground. In contrast, Information Warfare officers operate on the surface of the water, some underneath it, others fly high above it, and still others use the water as the springboard for special operations on land: different warfare community, different medium in which they operate.

IWOs think differently because they have to—the varying mediums in which Information Warfare officers operate demand it.

Surface warfare officers see themselves as the “backbone” of the naval service, involved in all facets of our nation’s defense from power projection ashore to maritime interdiction operations and law enforcement. Submariners take pride in being known as the “Silent Service,” referring not only to the stealthiness of their platform, but also to their culture of not discussing their specific operations with others.

Uniquely, Information Warfare officers
operate in the highly-classified Air, Surface and Subsurface environments regularly and some have even qualified as mission specialists on the NASA Space Shuttle.


So far as I know, IW is the only officer specialty that operates in ALL Navy environments.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A remarkable Sailor was born on this date -- Rest in Peace Steven -- 16 May 79 - 6 Jul 07

CTT1 (SW) Steven Daugherty was born today (my birthday) in 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.

Navy Dedicates Premiere Joint Warfare Lab to Honor Sailor Killed by IED
Story Number: NNS090529-25
Release Date: 5/29/2009 4:24:00 PM

By Troy Clarke, Naval Surface Warfare Center Corona Public Affairs

NORCO, Calif. (NNS) -- The Navy dedicated the latest addition to the nation's premiere Joint Warfare Assessment Laboratory at the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Corona May 28 at a ceremony to honor a Sailor killed by an improvised explosive device.

The Daugherty Memorial Assessment Center, a 39,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art center, bears the name of Cryptologic Technician (Technical) 1st Class Steven Phillip Daugherty and commemorates the work NSWC Corona is doing to combat the IED threat that killed Daugherty July 6, 2007.

"The Daugherty Memorial Assessment Center nearly doubles Corona's secure analysis and assessment area and significantly enhances our ability to do collaborative performance assessment," said NSWC Corona Commanding Officer Capt. Rob Shafer to the overflow crowd of more than 450 attendees. "It will stand as an ever-present reminder of Steven - and to every Sailor, Soldier, Airman, and Marine who has given their life in defense of this country. This dedication commemorates his sacrifice and recognizes the groundbreaking work NSWC Corona is doing to help combat the threat of IEDs against our armed forces."

Daugherty's parents, Tom and Lydia, attended the dedication ceremony with one of their sons, Air Force Staff Sgt. Richard Daugherty. Each of the four Daugherty children has served in the armed forces, and two are currently in the air force.

"Steven was proud to serve his country," said his mother Lydia. "He took pride in his work and always did the best he could."

Daugherty recently received one of the nation's top awards in the intelligence community for his bravery and contribution to cryptology.

"It was an honor for the Intelligence Community to bestow one of its highest awards on Steven – the National Intelligence Medal for Valor – in deep appreciation for his example of courage," said Dennis C. Blair, director of National Intelligence, about the dedication. "It is entirely fitting that the Department of the Navy has honored the memory of Cryptologi[c] Technician Tactical First Class (SW) Steven P. Daugherty by giving his name to its new Assessment Center at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Corona Division."

"To the elite Corona engineers, I say this: As you go about your good work supporting the men and women in uniform, may this building serve as an ever-present reminder, a monument to heroes, named after Steven Daugherty, our hero," said Senior Executive Dr. William Luebke, NSWC Corona's incoming technical director. "Never forget how important the work we do here is for them fighting over there. For truth in performance means dominance on the battlefield. It is our mission, it is our purpose, it is our calling."

U.S. Rep. Ken Calvert, whose congressional district encompasses NSWC Corona, and Col. Tom Magness, Los Angeles district commander for the Army Corps of Engineers, also spoke at the ceremony. Magness served as the senior engineer trainer of the National Training Center Sidewinder team at Fort Irwin, Calif., when he worked with Corona analysts on counter-IED efforts.

In addition to supporting counter-IED efforts, the Daugherty Memorial Assessment Center greatly enhances NSWC Corona's ability to support key national missions. With it, NSWC Corona can provide Strike Group interoperability assessment needed to certify ships for deployment; provide critical flight analysis for all Navy surface missile systems; and provide performance assessment of Aegis and Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense ships throughout their entire lifecycle. NSWC Corona can also centralize, process, and distribute the Navy's combat and weapon system data on one of the largest classified networks in the Department of Defense.

Following the dedication, the Daugherty family toured the facility and learned how Corona analysts are helping defeat the threat that killed their son and brother.

"He would have been very humbled by it all," Daugherty's mother said about the building dedication. "He would have said he was just doing his job."

Naval Surface Warfare Center Corona is the Navy's only independent assessment agent and is responsible for gauging the warfighting capability of ships and aircraft, analyzing missile defense systems, and assessing the adequacy of Navy personnel training. The base is home to three premiere national laboratories and assessment centers, the Joint Warfare Assessment Lab, the Measurement Science and Technology Lab, and the Daugherty Memorial Assessment Center, which are instrumental in fulfilling NSWC Corona's mission and supporting the nation's armed forces.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Expanding Our Knowledge

An Information Warrior faces a complex and dynamic operating environment. To conduct an accurate Vulnerability Assessment and Risk Analysis of the enemy force (or a friendly force), a multitude of cause and effect relationships must be examined. Many times the person at the battle scene conducting the assessment may lack experience and/or knowledge, precluding a time-sensitive and effective assessment

The author proposes a framework for a global network of expert systems and decision support systems to conduct the Vulnerability Assessments and maintain Information Warfare readiness through realistic training. The author also presents a Vulnerability Assessment and Risk Analysis heuristic with the objective of expanding the knowledge base and decision speed at the on-scene commander level. In achieving and implementing this global network, numerous benefits can be realized, including increased speed and efficiency in the receipt of intelligence information, thereby allowing for improved decision making capabilities. Since the technology and know-how are already available, this vision of the global network is attainable and can be successfully implemented and operated.

LT Debra A. Lankhorst
Naval Postgraduate School Masters Thesis
Using Expert Systems to Conduct Vulnerability Assessments

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Increased Trust In Each Sailor

I have stressed the need to place increased trust in each Sailor and want to continue and expand this recognition of confidence. In return each Sailor must assume added responsibilities for his own appearance, conduct, and performance. In case the latter has not been fully understood, commanders and commanding officers must reemphasize to all hands that military courtesies, including customary saluting and deference to seniors, and adherence to traditional standards of cleanliness, neatness, and smartness will continue to be an integral part of our Navy as they have been since our beginning. Those standards are essential elements of a proud and professional force. Commanding officers continue, as always, to have responsibility and full authority to enforce these standards.

Chief of Naval Operations

Nearly 40 years ago

Some things don't change much; while other things don't change at all.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Welcome Sailor Bob Visitors !!

Please leave a comment. SWOs are always welcome here.

A Need In Our Navy For Factual Information

There is great need in our own Navy now for factual information. Information must be fed continuously to be effective; it must be given by every medium available; and it must be given by each senior to his subordinates.

It is the job of all officers in top billets in the Navy to explain the plans and the future of the Navy to their service. Later, when the situation permits, it would be desirable if the senior officers were assisted in this duty by a very few qualified personnel, but there is danger in establishing an officer for this purpose too soon.

For the dissemination of such information can be effective only if it is accomplished by many people. As an example, every issue of every Navy publication should have some article in it about the future of the Navy as a whole organization. Many do now. They should be encouraged.

There is a converse to this lack of information being passed down. Unless there is dope coming down, little goes up. Information must be exchanged.

If seniors do not inform their juniors of items of interest, juniors will not feel a strong compulsion to inform their seniors of items of possible interest. No commander can command even a division well unless he is informed of what is going on within his command.

Admiral Arleigh A. Burke

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Navy Promotion System & Selection Boards

Officers must have confidence in the promotion system or discipline will be jeopardized. Unless the best officers are promoted, faith of other officers and enlisted men in the integrity of the system will be shaken. It is essential that officers be promoted who will be best qualified to lead in battle.

They must have other qualifications, such as good administrative and technical ability and a wide array of knowledge also, but the rest of the Navy must have absolute confidence in those selected. Should the less qualified personnel be selected, there will come a time in battle in which the Navy will fail because of its leadership. Like begets like, and inadequate personnel, once they have moved up sufficiently to be on a selection board, will themselves be apt to select other inadequate personnel.

Admiral Arleigh A. Burke
Chief of Naval Operations

Interesting article/post from CDR Michael Junge (former CO USS Whidbey Island) on Flag Officer Selection - WHAT DOES A DUCK LOOK LIKE? - Naval Flag Officers In 2002.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Commanders Can Not Reassign Their Own Responsibility

Discipline and Command

Discipline is a function of command. Juniors as well as seniors must be made responsible for and be cognizant of their responsibility. Commanders can not delegate or reassign their own responsibility. Morale problems cannot be turned over to the chaplain or the dispensing of justice to the legal expert. Specialists must be naval officers first and specialists second, and work for the commanding officer rather than function separately. Command must have the authority necessary for the exercise of its responsibility.

Rear Admiral Arleigh A. Burke, USN

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Defending the Navy Culture

“Fundamental to the value of our Sailors is culture; it’s our culture that makes our Sailors different. Clearly the training and equipping does, but it’s the culture of the Navy and the culture of innovation that make our Sailors so very different: they simply get the job done, they identify a problem, they self-organize, they execute well, they’re collaborative and when the time comes for them to leave, they put their responsibilities into a package to turn over to a successor who can be more successful than they were. That is something that we as a Navy can never lose and that’s the culture that exists today.”

Admiral Gary Roughead in his May Rhumblines, CNO Monthly Update

Plain and simple - Sailors find a way, day in and day out, despite every obstacle put in their way, to get the job done. Always have - always will.

PLEASE NOTE: Nearly 13 years ago James Webb gave a speech entitled "DEFENDING THE NAVY'S CULTURE" A few of his comments:

If the Navy is to regain its soul and its respect, the answer lies not in some additional program but in the right kind of leaders, at every level of command. Leaders who understand that the seemingly arcane concepts of tradition, loyalty, discipline, and moral courage have carried the Navy through cyclical turbulence in peace and war. Leaders who are imbued with a solemn duty to preserve sacrosanct ideals and pass them on to succeeding generations, leaders who know that this obligation transcends their own importance and must outlast their individual careers. Leaders with the courage to articulate the inviolability of these ideals to the political process. Leaders who will never allow a weakening of these ideals in exchange for selfpreservation.

It's time to give the Navy back to such leaders. There can be no more important task over the next few years. Without officers who will defend the Navy's culture and take decisive action when it is needed, there will be nothing but continuing chaos. With them, as they have shown throughout the Navy's history, no challenge is too great; anything is possible.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


The most disciplined thing I’ve ever done in my life is the act of writing a book.”

- Jim Webb, (Virginia Senator and former Secretary of the Navy under President Ronald Reagan), as featured in an Esquire interview by K.K. Ottesen, 2008

Friday, May 8, 2009

It's Time, To Be Navy

Twenty five years ago, MCPON Billy Sanders was leading an enlisted force that was gradually downsizing, and he was stressing a need to keep our ranks filled with the best possible people.

He turned his attention to the Chiefs and said that there was no room for mediocrity. He addressed the entire group and told the master chiefs, senior chiefs and chiefs that, "it's clear from your years of service that you have made a career decision to remain in the Navy — that's not enough. It's time to be a professional military man or woman."

"It's time," Sanders wrote, "to be Navy."

Anchor Up, Chiefs - Be Navy !

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Cyberspace is at the bottom of the ocean

"The world of cyber is going to dominate thinking and investment in a significant way over the next few years. Cyber, as many folks would look at it, if you look at the ubiquitous power point slides that have a little lightning bolt going up to the satellites and running around down to earth. That’s not cyber space. Cyber space is on the bottom of the ocean because 95 percent of what moves in cyber space moves on cables that rest on the bottom of the ocean. That’s the maritime domain. That’s the domain of the United States Navy. And the entire undersea area or resources, I believe the resource competition in the future will also drive what we do and where we do it."

Admiral Gary Roughead
Chief of Naval Operations
May 1, 2009
Center for International and Strategic Studies forum in Washington

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Restore Naval Intelligence To A Place of Prominence And Dominance; Navy intelligence is on the move once again

"I would also say that with the elevation of our director of naval intelligence to three-star rank, Vice Admiral Jack Dorsett (who’s in the audience), we have also moved forward with initiatives there to restore naval intelligence to a position of prominence and dominance."

Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Gary Roughead at the Sea-Air-Space Exposition on 4 May 2009

CNO talked about a number of programs and initiatives underway in the Navy - but only mentioned one Naval officer by name - Jack Dorsett (interesting!!).

And a bit from earlier that week to CSIS:

I also had the opportunity to elevate the Director of Naval Intelligence to a three-star position and that has significantly changed and put the Navy’s intelligence structure back into the game in a big way. And the officer that is filling that position, VADM Jack Dorsett, is the best in the business in my book and he has really set us on a good vector as it applies to intelligence in the world that we live in today.

Through his leadership we stood up the National Maritime Intelligence Center out in Suitland, Maryland. We’ve also created four other intelligence centers: the Nimitz Operational Intelligence Center which aligns our global network operations centers and provides intelligence to them; the Farragut Technical Analysis Center which is focused on scientific and technological research, development and proliferation of foreign technologies; the Kennedy Irregular Warfare Center which supports Navy Special Warfare and our Expeditionary Combat Command; and the Hopper Information Services Center which provides the mission related information technology.

And all that has been done in about one year’s time and Navy intelligence is on the move once again.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

CNO Leadership Summit - Opening the Twenty First Century - 8 years ago

Looking to create a new model for the 21st Century, in 2001, the CNO Leadership Summit in Monterey, California identified 8 values: integrity, trust, honesty, respect, pride, hope, compassion, and loyalty. Over 260 participants (representing every paygrade from E-1 to O-10) used Appreciative Inquiry (AI) methods to focus on their high point experiences in the Navy.

After discovering commonalities and desired outcomes for the future, they referenced these strengths to create ‘provocative propositions’ and to generate pilot action plans for positive change.
Tangible outcomes include over 30 pilot projects such as 360-Degree Feedback, E-Mentoring, a Leadership Portal website, a Center for Positive Change, and additional summit work came out of these activities.

This summit also created a shared vision for the kind of leadership the Navy wants the participants to be; established a method to collect examples of exemplary leadership stories; focused on the importance of ‘self-talk’ and AI as a change management tool for leaders; empowered participants with an awareness of AI and the summit method; demonstrated the value of the methodology (four separate summits will address other complex issues); and helped participants leave with a heightened sense of possibilities that have a positive effect on retention.

The Summit enabled every voice at every level to be heard. The senior leaders present encouraged the junior people present to speak up and then they listened to what these junior people had to contribute. This encouragement allowed all voices to be heard. The real power came from everyone being willing to listen. Also, the CNO championed a quality process that engaged every level in the Navy in a conversation about one of the cornerstones of success—leadership. And then, the conversation went silent... SPEAK UP !!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Careless Leadership

A careless leader can wreak havoc on an organization, destroying unity and disgusting employees to the point where they start hiding from the turmoil, biding their time til they can escape to another job. Soon collaboration vanishes, people bicker, sabotage begins, and the workplace is totally dysfunctional.

Vital steps for bringing people together as a high performance unit primed for success include:
  • discouraging mindless rivalry
  • making collaboration a top priority
  • setting high standards
  • doing whatever you can to make the job fun
  • being generous with your praise
Captain D. Michael Abrashoff

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Best Dressed Sailor of 1945

The tradition-loving U.S. Navy was getting set to pitch a sea bag full of salt-rimed traditions overboard. Ready for the deep six were the square collar (origin: to protect blouses from tarred pigtails), the black neckerchief (to mourn the death of Lord Nelson), the bell-bottom trousers (to roll up easily for swabbing decks). For enlisted men, who had long envied the practical elegance of officers' uniforms while chafing at the lack of pockets and the tight fit of their own "monkey suits," it was good news. At shore stations and in the Fleet last week 2,500 bluejackets were putting a complete set of newfangled uniforms through a three months' test.

All hands would probably approve the neat working greys and baseball cap. Not so many would take to the new dress whites (see cut), which some sour old regulars thought would look fine on soda jerks. Best-looking of the lot were the dress blues with battle jacket and overseas cap—although they were still not up to the crisp splendor of Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King, wartime COMINCH and Chief of Naval Operations, who—looking like an embossed pillar of naval majesty surmounted by scrambled eggs—was named last week by Apparel Arts as the best-dressed Sailor of 1945.

January 14, 1946

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Navy Uniform You Wear

"Have an exhalted pride in the uniform you wear and all that it represents. Wear it correctly; wear it proudly. Salute it with respect when you meet it; behave in it in a seemly manner when you wear it; protect it when it is offended or in danger. It represents the fleet, the nation, your home, and your family. It is a symbol of all that is dear to you and all that men are willing to die for."

NAVPERS 16138-A (Restricted)
December 1948

The Sailors pictured are from the Center for Information Dominance - Corry Station, Pensacola, FL.

Friday, May 1, 2009


Success, up to the limits of one's innate abilities, is available to all:

- who dedicate themselves to their career,
- who are willing to work long and hard to prepare themselves,
- who recognize and develop the high character necessary to successful leadership,
- who love their fellow humans and show concern for their well-being, and
- who can communicate with other officers in a manner that inspires confidence and devotion to duty.

Edgar F. Puryear Jr.
American Admiralship