Monday, November 30, 2009

2009 Annual Commanding Officer Firings On Pace With Historical Trends

On average, the Navy publicly fires 12 (about 1.2%) of its Commanding Officers annually (accurate statistics are not available on XO firings). In Accordance With (IAW) Navy Regulations, the Navy gives broad authority and responsibility to its commanding officers - afloat and ashore - who number more than 1,000 (commands as listed in the Navy's Standard Distribution List (SNDL)). A single mistake can usually end a career. Some criticize this as a "zero defects mentality". But, let's be honest - these are usually huge mistakes. Grounding and collisions are costing the Navy 100s of millions of dollars. In these cases, the Navy has no alternative but to fire the responsible Commanding Officer (and usually several other responsible officers, Chief Petty Officers and Sailors).

Nor is the Navy shy about firing its Commanding Officers for personal misconduct, ranging from extramarital affairs, false travel claims, illegal or improper use of government property to alcohol abuse (typically resulting in a DUI/DWI which comes to the attention of Navy authorities). Several Navy Captains who were certain Flag selectees have seen "their Flag" flushed down the toilet over DUIs.

The Navy Inspector General's reports in 2005 and 2008 found that Commanding Officers were more likely to be fired for improper behavior than for poor job performance (groundings, collisions, failed inspections, creating a poor/hostile command climate, etc). One of the reasons for this is that in this age of information sharing, more improper behavior is being reported by command members than in years past. More than half of the Commanding Officers were fired because of misbehavior.

Navy IG reports note that a "CO's failure to follow established regulations, laws, moral or ethical principles, occasionally after being counseled, was the primary cause of most" of the actions. The report also found that most dismissals for misbehavior involved adultery (often with the wives of subordinates) or alcohol abuse.

For my part, more open discussion of the reasons for firing Commanding Officers would serve to better educate others on appropriate behavior demanded of Navy officers selected for command. Navy Regulations set the standard (Article 1131 below) - the Commanding Officer need only live up to it.

1131. Requirement of Exemplary Conduct.
All commanding officers and others in authority in the naval service are required to show in themselves a good example of virtue, honor, patriotism and subordination; to be vigilant in inspecting the conduct of all persons who are placed under their command; to guard against and suppress all dissolute and immoral practices, and to correct, according to the laws, and regulations of the Navy, all persons who are guilty of them; and to take all necessary and proper measures, under the laws, regulations and customs of the naval service, to promote and safeguard the morale, the physical well-being and the general welfare of the officers and enlisted persons under their command or charge.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Command Climate

As CO, I consider my most important job to be creating the right command climate. To me, the right climate is one where each individual has maximum opportunity for initiative and achievement. All focused on getting the job done. The tools for creating the right climate are called good leadership techniques. Anybody who has risen to command should be able to preach leadership. But as CO, more than any other time in my life, I realized that actions do speak louder than words. If the CO doesn't practice what he preaches, he can't expect anyone else to. I believe fair, consistent leadership is the most essential element of command. Without it there is no hope of creating the climate necessary for mission accomplishment.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Competitive Category: Information Warfare

1. Joint Experience
2. Cyber Operations and Planning
3. Language, Regional Expertise, and Culture Experience
4. Expeditionary Warfare
5. Naval Special Warfare Experience
6. Acquisition Corps
7. Space Cadre

The selection board convened on 02 NOV 09 for - INFORMATION WARFARE REAR ADMIRAL (LOWER HALF). The board's work is complete. The waiting and guessing - and second guessing begins. The officers considered were those with lineal numbers between (and including) these two gentlemen listed below. If the Chairman of the JCS and CNO's diversity goals hold, the selections will receive plenty of scrutiny - whichever way it goes.

SR INITIAL ELIGIBLE - HAWS, G. J. 018363-00 01 DEC 06

Friday, November 27, 2009

Command Excellence - Admiral Nimitz

Fleet Admiral (FADM) Chester Nimitz created command excellence in every command he was a part of. He did not broadcast his expectations, but conveyed them subtly to his officers. He demanded excellence not for his sake, but for the sake of the men themselves and their own prides and self-fulfillment.

Nimitz believed that sound strategy is based on knowledge, information and technical experience. He gave an order and relied on his men to do what they thought best under a given situation. He once said "horses pull harder when the reins lie loose." Nimitz kept his door open to his men. He believed the best ideas did not come from the top, but often from the men.

Commander Michael A. Strano

"I'm still learning every day. I still try to do my best and refuse to worry about things over which I have no control." - Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Commander, TENTH Fleet - the man

Some of the reasons why VADM McCullough was chosen by the Chief of Naval Operations to command TENTH Fleet and Fleet Cyber Command:

  • He is an intense, nuclear-trained engineer.
  • He understands the technological intricacies of cyberspace far better than his contemporaries.
  • He advised the CNO on countering the emerging ballistic-missile threat to surface ships.
  • He absolutely understands the intersection of strategy and technology.
  • He brings profound technical depth to bear on a number of crucial military questions (cyber included).
From: Loren B. Thompson's (PhD) article over at Lexington Institute

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Motivating the Crew - Flag Correspondence

This is a letter from former Commander, Naval Security Group Command - RDML (at the time) James S. McFarland while I was Officer in Charge of Naval Security Group Barbers Point, Hawaii. I received this note almost a year into my tour (to the day). He sent a note of thanks to all the places he visited and to many of the hot running young Sailors he met along the way.

RDML McFarland had just visited our small detachment on a worldwide tour that took him to over a dozen Naval Security Group sites in the Far East and through SouthWestAsia. His hand was blistered and calloused from all the hands he shook of the Sailors he met. When he visited my detachment, he already knew all my Sailors by name. I'm not sure if it was good staff work or simply a great memory.

He corresponded regularly with his Commanding Officers and Officers in Charge. He sent a quarterly letter to the entire Naval Security Group claimancy once a quarter to keep everyone on the same page.

On these trips he usually brought a couple of the reps from the CNSG HQ to listen to issues and provide 'on the spot' assistance where they could. On this trip, he brought a recent lateral transfer to the cryptologic community by the name of Andrew M. Singer. You could tell instantaneously that this guy had it all in one seabag. The NSG team had a great visit with my crew. The crew went on to win two Meritorious Unit Citations, one Navy Unit Citation, the National Security Agency's TOP TEN Signals Award and honorable mention for our Sailor retention program. Not to mention - the three RADM G. Patrick March Awards for language proficiency - all presented by RADM March himself.

RDML McFarland's letters served as great motivation for me and my crew. I had nominated one of my linguists (Tim Kalvoda) for a Flag Letter of Commendation for achieving the SILVER level in the Samuel F.B. Morse Award program. RDML McFarland had his awards secretary (Mary Jo Crisp) call me to say, "If you don't mind,RDML McFarland would like to upgrade his award to a Navy Achievement Medal." RDML McFarland was just that kind of man. All of our linguists were dual-qualified (and mostly self-taught) as Manual Morse operators and Tim Kalvoda had achieved a level of expertise that some Cryptologic Technician Collection (CTRs) were not even capable of reaching.

What a great crew ! What a great Admiral ! What a great man ! And, I heard that Andrew M. Singer guy turned out to be a pretty good cryptologist - even if he had been a SWO first.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The New Main Battery - N2/N6

“Unless you make bold changes to your information capabilities and … take some risk by developing more comprehensive approaches as to how you manage the electromagnetic spectrum … and the flow of information, there is a potential that the United States and the U.S. Navy would begin to lose that competitive advantage."

VADM Jack Dorsett
Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Dominance

“The Navy has made a commitment to bring together ISR, cyber, C4 [command, control, communications and computers], EW [electronic warfare], space and other information capabilities into a single organization, the Information Dominance Corps. Information has become the main battery of the Navy’s arsenal.”

Rear Admiral (select) Sean R. Filipowski
Director, Cyber, Sensors, and Electronic Warfare

The New Main Battery
The Navy realigns its organization toward information dominance

By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor

Leader Responsibility - Building Resilience & Mental Hardiness In Subordinates

In work groups such as the military, where individuals are regularly exposed to a range of stressors and hazards, leaders are in a unique position to shape how stressful experiences are processed, interpreted, and understood by members of the group. The leader who by example, discussion, and established policies communicates a positive construction of shared stressful experiences exerts a positive influence on the entire group in the direction of his or her interpretation of experience—toward more resilient and hardy sensemaking. Leaders can increase mental hardiness and resilient responding in several ways:
  • Set a clear example, providing subordinates with a role model of the hardy approach to life, work, and reactions to stressful experiences. Through actions and words, demonstrate a strong sense of commitment, control, and challenge, responding to stressful circumstances with an attitude that says stress can be valuable, and that stressful events always at least provide the opportunity to learn and grow.
  • Facilitate positive group sensemaking of experience, in how tasks and missions are planned, discussed, and executed, and also as to how mistakes, failures, and casualties are spoken about and interpreted. For example, do we accept responsibility for mistakes and seek to learn from them, or do we blame others and avoid responsibility (and learning)? Leaders build resilience by setting high standards, while addressing shortfalls and failures as opportunities to learn and improve. While most of this “sensemaking” influence occurs through normal day-to-day interactions and communications, it can also happen in the context of more formal after-action reviews, or debriefings that focus attention on events as learning opportunities, and create shared positive constructions of events and responses around events.
  • Seek out (and create if necessary) meaningful and challenging group tasks, and then capitalize on group accomplishments by providing recognition, awards, and opportunities to reflect on and magnify positive results (such as photographs, news accounts, and other tangible mementos).
  • Through example and policies, communicate a high level of respect and commitment for unit members. This fosters a strong sense of commitment to the surrounding social world, or Mitwelt.
  • Anticipate high-stress events such as deployments and combat, taking opportunities beforehand to build mental hardiness among subordinates, especially subordinate leaders, by sharing experiences, imparting sensemaking skills, and focusing on organizational cohesion.
From: To Build Resilience - Leader Influence on Mental Hardiness

Defense Horizons - A National Defense University Publication

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Iconic Cryptologic Technician Maintenance Master Chief - CTMCM George Theis Says 50 Years of Service Is Enough - Retires 01/10

CTMCM (ret) George Theis is concluding his 50 year Navy career in January 2010.

His note to the cryptologic community he served for a half century:

"I wanted to retire in 2010 because I first enlisted in the Navy in Oct 1960 and wanted to say I served, in one capacity or another, for 50 years (even if not day-for-day). After graduation from EM"A" school at Great Lakes, en route to my first duty station, the USS CONWAY DD-507 home ported in Norfolk, I married Marie my high school sweetheart. Diane, our first daughter, was born while in Norfolk. She is now an ARLING and just retired from active duty last year after 22 years in the Navy. Like me, upon retiring she has taken a civil service position and is currently working at Ft Gordon. That's why we're retiring and moving to Augusta, GA to be near the rest of the family.

Chief Wyatt (first name Chief) was my first supervisor on the ship. He taught me what it meant to be a sailor, which established the foundation for the rest of my career. I have many great memories from the ship, including the three med cruises and many visits to the Caribbean with lots of interesting liberty. The French Rivera in the summer, Naples with a visit to Pompeii, Athens with a visit to the Acropolis, Aqaba, Jordon with a visit to Petra, even a port visit to Bandar Abbas, Iran (not many people today can say they have been to Bandar Abbas), Djibouti, Bermuda, Montego Bay and even GITMO. The most memorable experience during the four years on the ship was during the Cuban Missile Crisis. CONWAY was part of the BG that surfaced a Russian submarine. We had been tracking the sub for the better part of a week and would periodically tossed grenades over the side to get their attention. The sub finally surfaced at 2230 and when we went to GQ they announced "this is not a drill." Apparently the sub ran out of fuel and the batteries went dead and they had to come up. In the morning when we secured from GQ, the sub was dead in the water, with a helo hovering over it and five tin cans circling her, like Indians around a wagon train. After a couple of hours, we left one ship with the sub and rejoined the carrier to continue to enforce the blockade.

At the end of my first enlistment as an EM2, I reenlisted to convert to the CTM rating. While waiting for orders to ET"A" school at Great Lakes (there was no CTM"A" school at the time) I spent several months at the Receiving Station in Anacostia, Md. Met some VERY interesting people there and even did some brig chasing, not quite as exciting as the Last Detail (they had the wisdom not to give me a sidearm), but memorable none the less.

After ET"A" school, next duty station was NAVCOMMSTA Cheltenham, MD. First job was with Technical Research-Ship Special Communications System (TRSSCOM), the Navy's first SATCOM system. We used the natural satellite (the moon). The system was used to link with our AGRs and I was on watch when the LIBERTY was hit. Took a while to figure out why she failed to come up on schedule, but I'm sure you know the rest of the story, so I'll skip the details. Another milestone while there, I PM'ed R-390 serial number one. Found out first ten R-390s were sent to Cheltenham in 1949 for field test and serial number one was still there in mid-60s. We continued to use the R-390 into the 90s, so I'd say the Navy go their money's worth out of those receivers. Another notable event, I first met Grady Gamble while there. He was the driving force in G-40 at CNSG for decades. I considered Grady a good friend and mentor and was saddened by his passing.

After Cheltenham, it was back to Great Lakes for another year to attend ET"B" school. While there, our second daughter Debby was born. Following "B" school it was on the Adak, via Pensacola for my only "C" school. While a Pensacola, I was initiated as a Chief Petty Officer in Oct 1970. As a new Chief, I was fortunate to work for Master Chief Bill Maurer, who taught me how to be a Chief. I was honored when Bill requested I follow him to Homestead, FL after leaving Adak. While at Homestead, I was selected for the ADCOP program and transferred after about 18 months to attend Florida Junior College in Jacksonville, FL. I graduated with an Associate Degree in Management with a 4.0 GPA.

It was then off to Edzell, Scotland where I had the good fortune to work for Master Chief George Thompson. He showed me that to become a Master Chief, you had to learn to manage as well as lead and I attribute his mentorship for my later advancement to both Senior and Master Chief. While in Scotland, in addition to a visit to Lock Ness to look for the monster, several trips to London, touring many castles, and placing second two years in a row in the Navy's European Chess Tournament, I was advanced to Senior Chief Petty Officer.

My next duty station was at NAVCOMMSTA Rota, Spain. My first job was to run the Fleet Electronic Support (FES) shop where I was able to reconnect with my Navy roots and again work with the fleet. I consider Rota my best tour. In addition to the many great people at the command, the food was incomparable, wine was cheap, and the family and I were able to fit in many, extensive site seeing excursions including Italy, Morocco, Portugal, and all over Spain. I also completed my Bachelors Degree and as a crowning achievement, I was advanced to Master Chief Petty Officer before I transferred in 1982.

After 30 days leave in the states to allow the children to get reacquainted with their grand parents and other family members, we reported to NSGD Yokosuka, Japan for our third consecutive overseas tour. I again ran the FES and served with many great people. We lived in Yokohama and I had the "pleasure" of navigating Route 16 twice a day for three years. Traffic in Japan, makes the H1-H2 merge look like a drive in the park. We also did a lot of site seeing and partook of many culinary delegacies, like sea urchin, jelly fish, natto (fermented beans) and fugo (blowfish, which can be deadly if not prepared properly). It was in Japan when I first meet LT Jim Newman who was the Div Off on the USS JOUETT. Jim already had orders to the PACFLT staff and when the ship pulled into Yokosuka for repairs, he stopped by the FES and we had lengthy discussions on DIRSUP operations in the Pacific and readiness of the carry-on systems. After reporting to the staff, he and I coordinated frequently during the next year. It was through Jim's persuasive efforts that RADM McFarland, then Captain, decided it would be beneficial to have a senior CTM on the PACFLT staff to help manage the FES' and afloat cryptologic equipment resources and that I would be the ideal candidate to fill the position. RADM McFarland initiated the action to get me orders to the staff, and as they say, the rest is history. After reporting to the staff in 1985, Jim was my first boss and he took me under his wing, showing me how a staff functioned and he took me back to DC, showing me around the Pentagon and introducing to key players at OPNAV, SECGRU and NSA. Then I know it took all of Jim's considerable powers of persuasion to convince CDR Ivan Dunn that I knew the issues well enough and was capable of effectively representing the staff at various conferences and that I should go instead of Jim. Hopefully my actions since, have justified Jim's confidence in me and have validate his mentorship. After six years on the staff, as I approached 30 years service and was getting ready to retire, RADM Stevens, then Captain, called me into his office and asked, "If he created a civilian position on the staff, would I be willing to take the job after I retired?" Flattered that he judged my service good enough to retain after retirement, I told him I would be honored to continue to serve him, the staff, CNSG, the Navy and the country. So with the Admiral's good blessing, I retired from active duty, shifted from khakis to an aloha-shirt and again as they say, the rest is history. Of note, at the time I retired, I was not only the senior CTM, by time in rate, I was also the senior CT in the Navy.

As I have announced my pending retirement, many have said, "What are we going to do when you're gone?" As flattering as it is, that my efforts over the years are appreciated by so many, I know full well that no one is indispensable, least of all me. I then usually respond by asking, "Who was Grady Gamble, Roy Hill, Howie Ehret, or other icons from our community's past who set policy and influenced actions world wide, on a much greater scope and for longer than I have. With rare exception, they usually say, "Never heard of them." I consider it a great honor to even be mentioned in the same context as the above gentlemen, and like them, as the years past there will be fewer and fewer people who will remember my name or what I did. Some one will take the job after me and make it theirs, doing things their way and the fleet, the staff, and the Navy will continue to go forward and as it should be, what ever legacy I may have left, will pass into history.

Before I transmit this missive, (which is already much longer than I initially planned) and sign off for the last time, I can't resist making one last appeal to our senior leadership to take the necessary action and allocated sufficient resources to properly reconstitute the CTM rating. I would like nothing better than have one of my grand children join the Navy and become a CTM, but in good conscience I couldn't recommend they choose the rating as it is now and that saddens me very much. It's unquestioned that the actions over the past four or five years have broken the rating and set our young sailors up for failure. I feel strongly that as leaders we should find this unacceptable. As leaders we have an obligation to take care of our sailors and it's my opinion, with regards to our young CTMs, we are failing them. Plus, in my opinion, our community has a very strong requirement for a technically competent, highly skilled, maintenance work force, similar to what the CTM rating use to be, to support the IW community in the future as it tries to quickly adapt to the technically agile adversaries we will no doubt face. I know we are in a VERY austere funding environment, but as ADM (Archie) Clemins used to say, "While there isn't enough money to do everything, there is always enough money to do the right thing." Clearly properly training our young sailors and improving the readiness of our IW systems is the right thing to do. If, as we rebuild the rating, we limit its focus primarily to afloat systems, we will be missing an opportunity to structure our future work force to meet the technical challenges we will encounter in the future. I feel strongly it will require the focused attention and dedicated action by our senior leadership in order to make the decisions necessary to properly restructure the rating and I pray that they will make that commitment. As many could attest, I could write many, many more pages on this topic alone, but I've made my point so I'll step off soapbox and leave to our leaders heed this call to action and do the right thing.

I have been blessed with a great career and a wonderful life. Even in retrospect, there is little I would change. I can't think of a better career than the Navy and would still want to begin as a snipe on a tincan. In addition to seeing much of the world, I feel it gave me a much broader prospective then if I had been a CTM for my entire career. And the memories that stands out the most in my life is the many wonderful people (far too many to mention) I have known and worked with over the years. It's become clear as I've grown older that the relationship with people you know is more important then the things you do during your life. So to each of you, if you ever find yourself in Augusta, please give us a call and we'll get together to swap sea stories, catch up with old times and create new memories together.

Before I close, I have to give a special tribute to my family, with out whose support my career would not have been possible. To may daughters, Diane and Debby, I couldn't be prouder of the women you have grown to be and the three beautiful grand children you have given us and who will give us untold joy over the coming years as we work very hard to spoil them rotten. And to my wife, Marie, my high school sweetheart and life long companion, it is you who always may every house we lived in a home and we will walk hand-in-hand for the remaining years of your life, no doubt discovering new joys as we done in the past.

As I request permission to go ashore for the last time and I close this chapter on my Naval career and Marie and I begin the next phase of our life together, I would like to bid you all a fond aloha and the wish that each of you enjoy fair winds and following seas for the rest of your days."


Master Chief Theis,

Thank you for acting as mentor to countless PACFLT and Naval Security Group Matmen and for training so many of our Sailors (officers, Chiefs and Petty Officers. Sincerely appreciate all you did personally and professionally for me and my Sailors at U.S. Naval Security Group Activity Yokosuka, Japan. Your expert guidance and mentorship helped us earn the Commander, Naval Security Group Command Maintenance Award in 1997 and then again in 1998. Your work on Fleet Electronic Support for the future and maintaining the CTM rating are certainly important parts of your legacy. I know many men and women who are proud to say they were "THEIS TRAINED", the hallmark of cryptologic maintenance excellence. I count myself among them.

Vr/Captain Mike Lambert

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Sailor's Sacrifice For Our Freedom

Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Chad Kueser doesn't remember much about the day in Iraq that he lost both legs to an enemy mortar round.

"I'm not sorry I went in to the Navy at all, and would do it again," said the Naaman Forest High School graduate, who said he wasn't able to discuss his activities in Iraq.

Cryptologic Technician 2nd Class Chad Kueser is recovering at the Center for the Intrepid at Brook Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, after losing both his legs in a mortar attack in Iraq. Kueser is participating in the Navy Safe Harbor Program, which helps him handle retirement paperwork, complete his personnel records, and other issues.

You can write to our heroes there at:

Center for the Intrepid
3851 Roger Brooke Drive
Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234

Friday, November 20, 2009

Disruptive Leadership Explained - A Bit

Success in today's defense establishment requires a very different leadership approach. Disruptive leaders are applying techniques that change the game and overturn the status quo. Successful disruptive leaders are employing leadership models that ultimately lead to unprecedented growth and progress for their communities.

VADM Dorsett seems to have an almost uncanny ability see connections in the larger systems of which he is a part, has embraced shared assets and opportunities, and is cutting through the chaos to make a better future for our Navy.

I use VADM Jack Dorsett as the most recent example of disruptive leadership in the Navy because he has aggressively moved the naval intelligence community forward in a very short period of time by (among many initiatives) helping establish four intelligence centers of excellence. He accomplished this in February 2009 to provide a concentrated focus and increased levels of expertise. In doing this, he demonstrated his capacity for additional responsibility.
  • Nimitz Operational Intelligence Center is responsible for Maritime Domain Awareness, intelligence products for Maritime Operations Centers and the Fleet, and Global Maritime Intelligence Integration.
  • Farragut Technical Analysis Center produces integrated assessments and intelligence on current and future adversary weapons, platforms, combat systems, ISR and cyber capabilities to prevent technological surprise to the Fleet.
  • Kennedy Irregular Warfare Center delivers tailored reach-back and forward-deployed services to Navy Special Warfare and Navy Expeditionary Combat Command forces engaged globally.
  • Hopper Information Services Center improves interoperability and enables enhanced access to ONI products and expertise via a service-oriented architecture.
Recognizing his disruptive leadership skills, the Chief of Naval Operations gave VADM Dorsett a mandate to mature the Information Dominance Corps (IP, Intel, METOC, IW) to meet ever-expanding requirements of their fleet, joint, and national customers.

Earlier this week, VADM Dorsett hosted the inaugural IDC Flag Panel. This panel establishes synergy among the IDC at the Flag/SES level. Attendees at the panel were: JCS VJ6, Vice Commander NNWC, Oceanographer of the Navy, Director-National Maritime Intelligence Center, OPNAV N2/N6C, Director Total Force Management, PEO Space Systems, NCIS, COS-OPNAV N2/N6S, FORCM NNWC, and OPNAV N2/N6 SEA.

Note: VADM Dorsett's approach to change was described to me by a senior Information Warfare Officer in this way: "While all the other guys were approaching change as 'eating the elephant one bite at a time', Jack Dorsett swallowed the transformation elephant (IW, IP, INTEL, METOC) whole and asked for dessert." She added, "The Navy of 2010 and beyond requires bold, decisive leaders with integrity, vision and purpose. The IDC ship has left the pier with VADM Dorsett at the helm. If you're not onboard and need/want to be, you'd better get in line for the COD. Seating may be limited."

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Vice Admiral David J. "Jack" Dorsett - Superb Example Of A Disruptive Leader

Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Dominance (N2/N6) and Director of Naval Intelligence (DNI)

Vice Admiral David J.  "Jack" Dorsett

Vice Admiral David Dorsett was born in North Carolina, raised in Virginia, and graduated from Jacksonville University (Florida) in 1978. His early career included duty on HMS Gavinton (M1140), USS Elliott (DD 967), USS Oldendorf (DD 972), and as executive officer in USS Dominant (MSO 431).

Dorsett’s subsequent operational assignments included duty as: deputy assistant chief of staff for intelligence for commander, 6th Fleet; intelligence officer on USS Ranger (CV 61) deployed for Operations Southern Watch and Restore Hope; assistant chief of staff for intelligence for commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command during Operations Desert Fox, Southern Watch and Resolute Response; and command of the Joint Intelligence Center, U.S. Central Command.

During his initial shore duty, Dorsett served as an analyst and then operations officer at FOSIC U.S. Naval Forces Europe, providing intelligence support during Operations El Dorado Canyon, Attain Document and Prairie Fire. He subsequently served: at the U.S. Naval War College on the Chief of Naval Operations' (CNO) Strategic Studies Group; at the Joint Intelligence Center Pacific; at OPNAV, and the Office of Naval Intelligence.

As a flag officer, Dorsett has served as: special assistant to the director of Naval Intelligence; director of Intelligence (J2), U.S. Pacific Command; director for Intelligence (J2), U.S. Joint Staff; and, director of Naval Intelligence (N2), CNO. In November 2009, Dorsett assumed office as the first deputy chief of Naval Operations for Information Dominance (N2/N6).

Dorsett possesses significant experience in national security affairs (Europe, the Middle East) and in strategic planning. He graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval War College and Armed Forces Staff College, and was awarded a master’s degree from the Defense Intelligence College.

From the Navy's website.

The Actual Diversity We Are Really Looking For

..."Diversity of thoughts, ideas, and competencies of our people, keeps our Navy strong, and empowers the protection of the very freedoms and opportunities we enjoy each and every day."...

Admiral Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operations

From the Chief of Naval Operations Diversity Policy

NOTE: Let's give the CNO full credit for the full message. I think this is the real diversity we're looking for - thought, ideas and competency (These things are available from people of every color, ethnicity, nationality.) I'm onboard with that. It matters not the color of a person's skin, ethnicity or nationality. Our Navy needs the diversity of thought, ideas and competency - let's leave the 'other' diversity alone. Photo is CNO talking to a bunch of highly trained submariners from USS LOUISIANA who had just been awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation for demonstrating sustained superior performance while setting fleet standards of excellence in administration, engineering, supply, personnel programs and community support.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fair Winds RADM Pat March

A funeral service for RADM G. P. March will be held in the St. Andrew's Chapel at the U.S. Naval Academy on Friday, 4 December at 1100, followed by a procession to the Columbarium and inurnment with military honors.

The newspaper obituary for ADM March was in the Olympia, WA, OLYMPIAN. There is a provision for people to make comment in a guest book for the family. The guest book for George Patrick March will remain online until November 20, 2009, after which it will no longer be available to read or add an entry. Link for the obituary.

The Information Dominance Corps

has been created within the U.S. Navy to more effectively and collaboratively lead and manage a cadre of officers, enlisted, and civilian professionals who possess extensive skills in information-intensive fields. This corps of professionals will receive extensive training, education, and work experience in information, intelligence, counterintelligence, human-derived information, networks, space, and oceanographic disciplines. This corps will develop and deliver dominant information capabilities in support of U.S. Navy, Joint and national warfighting requirements.

Extract from OPNAVINST 5300.12 The Information Dominance Corps.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Breaks My Heart - Never Thought I Would See Something Like This

Sailors from Navy Information Operations Command Georgia were disciplined following the collision of USS HARTFORD and USS NEW ORLEANS on 20 March 2009. Details are available in the 102 page JAG MANUAL Report. The story is here in Navy Times. This hurts.

Among the JAGMAN Investigation recommendations:
  • appropriate administrative action be taken for the Direct Support Element Officer based on his poor performance and inadequate supervision of his team.
  • appropriate administrative action be taken for the ESM Supervisor based on his poor performance and inadequate supervision of his team.
  • appropriate administrative action be taken for the ESM operator based on his poor performance.
Navy Information Operations Command Georgia took appropriate administrative action concerning the performance of the three Direct Support Element (DSE) team members.

To my knowledge, this is the first instance of DSE personnel being disciplined for their involvement in a casualty aboard ship.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


"Experience is the worst teacher. It gives the test before presenting the lesson."

Vern Law

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Navy as a TOP 100 Employer

The Navy is already one of the Top 100 Best Places to Work in America. Now, how do we get it on the Fortune Magazine list?

The Chief of Naval Operations’ first monthly RhumbLines update for 2008 was appropriately focused on making the Navy a “Top 50 Place to Work” during his tenure. This goal is both admirable and achievable. Each year since 1998, Fortune Magazine has published its list of the Top 100 Best Companies to work for in America. How do we get the Navy on this list by 2011?

We’ve got to get started today and the CNO has energized the process through his personal commitment. In a way, it’s almost like winning the lottery – you’ve got to buy a ticket to have an opportunity to win. Buying the ticket in this case means engaging The Great Place to Work ® Institute. To be considered for the list being published in 2009, this has to be accomplished by the 10th of March 2008. Officially, government agencies are precluded from entering the competition. In my opinion, the Navy is already a Top 50 Best Company in America. So much so that I have been bold enough to recommend to the Chief of Naval Operations and the Director of the Navy Staff that they approach GPW Institute and ask for a waiver, or at least an informal evaluation based on GPW Institute’s criteria.

Looking at the 2008 list of top 100 companies, the Navy as a legitimate contender for a rightful place on the list. We may not necessarily be at the level of number one GOOGLE ® in every competitive category, but we’ve come a long way over the past 10 years in all the areas of ‘Best Company’ criteria: benefits, job growth, pay, turnover, women, minorities and, in particular, something the GPW Institute calls the Trust Index©. This index consists of 57 statements that cover credibility, respect, fairness, pride, and camaraderie - the five dimensions that correspond with the Great Place to Work® Model©. Their trust index provides the basis for the majority of the score for companies being evaluated for consideration as a top 100 company.

Central to being recognized as a ‘Best Company’ is meeting the GPW Institute’s definition of ‘a great place to work’. The Navy must be a place where employees “trust the people they work for, have pride in what they do, and enjoy the people they work with”. I think we meet their demanding criteria today.

A great workplace is measured by the quality of the three, interconnected relationships:
  • The relationship between employees and management.
  • The relationship between employees and their jobs/company.
  • The relationship between employees and other employees.
That being the case, Navy scores very well in each Trust Index© area and works every day on further self-improvement through Lean Six Sigma and other similar processes.

For credibility and respect, various Zogby International and FOXNEWS surveys of the U.S. population found that the military is viewed as the top profession for credibility and respect with a 27% favorability rating, while businessmen and women earned only 2%.

For fairness scoring, one need look no further than the Navy’s promotion processes which, in the enlisted ranks, tests and promotes Sailors without regard to race, sex, religion or ethic origin. Chief Petty Officer and officer promotion boards make great effort to ensure that women, ethic and racial minorities are all properly considered and represented by promotion lists. We have a myriad of Equal Opportunity and diversity programs across the Navy which demonstrates the lengths to which the Navy goes to ensure a fair working and promotion environment. Our EO and diversity programs are equal to or better than any found in industry today.

For pride and comaraderie, consider the closeness of our various warfare communities and other Navy commands. Who can argue with the pride or camaraderie found in the SEAL, Navy SEABEES, SWO, submarine, CPO or aviation communities; not to mention all the ships at sea? Nowhere is that pride and camaraderie more evident today than on YOUTUBE™. Check out the pride shown by Navy Carrier Aviation Squadrons' ‘numa numa’ or ‘pump it’ videos, the Women of CVN76 - USS Ronald Reagan or USS ESSEX LHD-2 ‘Iron Gator’. These are but a few of the hundreds of examples which show people who, despite the most demanding personal circumstances imaginable, take great pleasure in their work and in the Shipmates they work with. This pride and comaraderie is pervasive throughout the Navy – at all levels of command. Any of these Navy communities could challenge GOOGLE for the #1 spot in pride and camaraderie.

Still not convinced that the Navy is a Top 100 Best Company to work for in the United States? Consider the following:
- We have a total volunteer force of 640,000 selflessly dedicated and professional people willing to deploy around the world at a moment’s notice. Only the military can attract these numbers of committed career professionals.
- Our career force retention levels exceed those of industry, despite the considerable personal sacrifice demanded of our employees.
- Our benefits package (as a whole) is among the best available. We are working to extend our benefits packages to include:
o Telework, extended pregnancy and parenthood leave, sabbatical programs, flex-work schedules, career on ramps and off ramps, 24 hour extended child care, 3 tour geographic stability, life coach pilot programs, and greater flexibility in job selection.
- What other company regularly reaches out to the world community during natural disasters and other crises?

- What other company can get similar industries to agree on a strategic plan to carry all those companies forward through the 21st century as our Maritime Strategy has done?

Are we in the Top 100? Damn right! Add us to the list. We belong there!

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Letter To My Junior Officers - Circa 2000

In August of 1982, after OCS and SERE/DWEST school and some leave, I reported to NSGD Atsugi to face my first division in the Navy and the Naval Security Group as a brand new Ensign. Damn, I was excited and nervous, eager and unsure. Looking back on those early days of my Navy life as a commissioned officer, I have asked myself, from my perspective as your outgoing Commanding Officer, what might be of interest to each of you – my first junior officers.

The word “purposeful” kept coming back to me, and it occurred to me that you, as naval officers (first, and cryptologists second) for the next generation, are more important now than perhaps at any other time in our brief Naval Security Group history.
The United States Navy is the only true over-the-horizon worldwide deployable force in the world, and RADM Whiton has re-invented cryptology for a Navy-Marine Corps Team which has the most visible forward presence on the world stage and certainly here in Yokosuka, Japan - forward deployed with the Navy's SEVENTH Fleet.

My friend and former boss, CDR Jack Dempsey used to keep a flight journal back in the 80’s while we were flying with Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron ONE (VQ-1) in which he started each page with a borrowed
quote from Charles Dickens’ A TALE OF TWO CITIES. Each page started with - “These are the best of times, these are the worst of times…” Can we have it both ways? You are fortunate at the command to have some of the very best and brightest Sailors in the Naval Security Group. You have a chance to lead the entire claimancy in all areas of cryptology if you choose to do it. It won’t happen by accident. You have to make it happen. That’s your job.

You guys (and gals – with LTjg Kim and ENS Sabedra here) will lead our Sailors at this turning point in our claimancy’s history.
And so I want to you to know just how “purposeful” and important I believe you are, and second, what I believe each of you has got to do at a very personal level to seize what could be the best of times in our community’s history and then you can start your own journal with…”these are the best of times….”

From day one, you are not only division officers and sometimes Department Heads, but you are ambassadors for the Navy’s Core Values, the CNO’s 4 Stars of Equal Magnitude and the cryptologic community’s Strategic Plan (Maritime Cryptologic Architecture, the Maritime Concept, etc). PASS THE WORD. I genuinely believe your involvement is critical to RADM Whiton’s and RADM Burns’ plans that will carry the community through most of your careers (if you choose to have one in the Navy). The Sailors and Chiefs you will help lead will be more “purposeful” - and far more challenged - than ever before. As a result, your genuine leadership will be more “purposeful” and more valuable than ever before. You are the ones who will have to deliver U.S. Naval Security Group Yokosuka’s promise of “Quality Cryptologic Integration For The Fleet” on a daily basis.

If you do not think you are more “purposeful” and important than at any other time in our community’s history… think again. SECGRU’s vital leadership today is reflected by the leadership positions cryptologists hold throughout the Department of Defense – Captain Rich Wilhelm (a former 1610) served in the Vice President’s office as recently as 5 years ago, many are serving on the Staff of the Secretary of Defense and on the Joint Staff in key positions while others are serving the SECNAV directly. We live in a world of global communications, connected economies, and instantaneous video coverage of world and local events. The result often means that a decision made by you - while running a SSES on BLUE RIDGE, leading a team on JOHN S. MCCAIN or CURTIS WILBUR , or simply running your division here at the command - could have immediate and substantial impact on the Sailors under your charge and …perhaps…even world events. Your leadership must be “purposeful”, and you bear a tremendous responsibility. You have to CHOOSE to make a difference. It is a choice. It is your choice. Do something or do nothing – you decide. Don’t let things happen by accident – MAKE THINGS HAPPEN.

A famous Admiral whose name escapes me at the moment said “there is… no career in the world that encompasses the daily physical and mental demands of that of one in a nation’s Navy.” I would argue further that only unrelenting loyalty, as demonstrated by many in the Navy provides the necessary foundation to lead effectively. There are some officers, Chiefs and Sailors that would have us believe the opposite… that loyalty is a dying characteristic in this Navy. I say that the loyalty we value so much is more “purposeful” than ever, as an asset for and example to the American public we are sworn to protect.

As the value of your loyalty and leadership is being debated around you, I urge you to pay attention to and join in the debate. Retired CDR Mike Loescher wrote in a PROCEEDINGS magazine article that the Naval Security Group was broken. RADM Whiton responded that, “ NSG isn’t broken and that this an exciting time to be a cryptologist”. I share the Admiral’s view. I’m excited. Certainly, we all have to guard against mediocrity and against attacks on our time-tested core values and against other charges that diminish our effectiveness. I sought to bring positive changes for this command. You’ve all been helpful in that respect. I thank you for that. Our team effort earned the command recognition through the award of a meritorious unit commendation. That doesn’t happen every day.

As I emphasize that your leadership is more “purposeful” than ever. Let me turn now to what I believe you must do, individually, to bring effectiveness to your leadership skills, as you chart a new course for the command with CDR Filipowski in the new millennium and one of the few great turning points in our claimancy’s history. Because you will be so “purposeful” to our community’s future, I believe you must go beyond the bedrock fundamentals of leadership.

Some of you have heard me drone on and on about Traits of Leadership which date back two thousand years… ((They are in every book on Naval Leadership – this is not new stuff.)) I’ve given each of you the basic library of Naval leadership books. Take the time to read them. There’s good stuff in there.

A leader is trusted, a leader takes the initiative, a leader uses good judgment, a leader speaks with authority, a leader strengthens others, is optimistic and enthusiastic, never compromises absolutes, and leads by example. Lots of great Covey “Seven Habits” in there. We’ve covered all that before, haven’t we? You HAVE to take that stuff onboard and make it a part of your daily life.

I believe you should adhere to these timeless traits of leadership. But today, I believe you must also apply something more… you must apply adapted traits of leadership… that is, techniques appropriate to your particular style and situation. You can achieve it only one way… by staying connected to the Sailors and Chiefs you are entrusted to lead.

It is time for each of you to do a tactical and strategic level re-focus to adapt and apply your own leadership styles appropriate to the times. In short, you will have to build upon the bedrock fundamentals of leadership. You must have a solid foundation if you plan to put anything on top of it. I tried to give you the tools to establish a solid foundation.

The best leaders in our Navy have always found ways to build upon the basic foundations of their leadership skills. Because each of you is so important to the future of our community, I also urge you to invest some time and effort in looking for answers within yourselves, to a question that is being asked more frequently today. “Are we losing the Navy spirit?” Some believe that because our Sailors so rarely actually go into harm’s way… that because technology is removing them from the actual battlefield, on a physical level we will lose the guts to fight effectively when the time comes. Some have suggested that we don’t have the strength of character we once had. I don’t believe that.

The Navy spirit is not only physical courage at sea…courage that must be present in the face of physical danger. That is important, and that deserves our full attention. But the Navy spirit is also the ability to cope with the stresses involved with day-to-day leadership of our Sailors and Chiefs.

Hardship, stress and fear…exist for a Sailor whose ship, while far at sea on seemingly calm waters, can face an incoming missile attack during a long-range engagement. Technology will not change that fact much. We must address how we can develop the Navy spirit within our people in all scenarios.

When I worked for Admiral Whiton in the Comptroller’s office (he was a Captain then), he kept a placard on his wall with the mission of the Navy as defined in Navy Regulations, Chapter Two. It said simply: “The Navy… shall be organized, trained and equipped primarily for prompt and sustained combat incident to operations at sea.” Every one of us needs to understand the mission of the Navy in its most basic form.

How can you instill the Navy spirit and genuine understanding of the Navy’s mission in the Sailors and Chiefs you are charged to lead? The Navy has invested a great deal of time and money preparing you. They will invest a great deal more. It is time to do your part, for it is how you return the Navy’s investment that will bring it value; that value is limitless, but it depends on you. GET BUSY!

I challenge each of you to search within yourselves for ways now, to build upon the framework of leadership you are learning … and develop a strong support structure that will serve you and those you lead when you are asked to go do the Navy’s business – however mundane it might seem at any given moment. I am talking about a very personal structure of character that is most appropriately developed through experience. 25 years of experience takes nearly 25 years to get. Make the most of every experience you have. When character is involved – promise me this – you will always go the long way and never take shortcuts. There aren’t any. Trust me, I would have found them in my exhausting search for them over the past 25 years. Where character is concerned, I have always gone the long way. It’s a much better trip. Take my word for it.

The real challenge for each of you, however, is that the Navy may not give you the luxury of time and experience to build your foundation. When you walk across your own ship’s brow PCS for the first time (Paul Lashmet on ESSEX; Andy Reeves on FIFE so far), you may be called upon to lead decisively that very day. Your skills as a Naval officer will be put to the test from the very start – your skills as a cryptologist on that ship may never be tested. BE A NAVAL OFFICER FIRST AND FOREMOST – that’s what you are! The cryptologic stuff is secondary and it will remain so. Remember Admiral Whiton’s brief – "we do cryptology because we have a Navy – not we have a Navy to do cryptology.”

Truly great leaders in history did not sit idly by and wait for experience to find them. They aggressively sought to build their own personal foundations of character, on a daily basis. Colonel Teddy Roosevelt , General Colin Powell and LT John F. Kennedy knew that their chosen military and political lives would present them with immediate and unrelenting challenges – all certainly more daunting than anything we have yet faced. They knew their “crowded hour,” could arrive at any moment. That is one reason they all worked to build their physical abilities to match their intellectual capabilities. Somehow, I knew that the Navy’s PRT program had some relevance in here somewhere. Physical fitness is important also. But it’s only part of the overall picture of a Naval Officer.

The leadership, the spirit and the strength of character displayed by Colonel Roosevelt, General Powell and President Kennedy were more products of their own pursuits, above and beyond the framework they had been given. As a result, they were “purposeful” to their time and are revered in history. Who can say today what your legacy will be? I will just tell you that you are working on it now. DON’T MESS IT UP.

All of them led their Sailors and soldiers from the heart, and had something more, crafted from the environment around them… the character of a man like Admiral Arleigh Albert Burke… the strategic vision of Admiral Chester Nimitz in the heat of a tactical nightmare… the innovation of Admiral Elmo Zumwalt with his phenomenal understanding of race relations and Admiral Hyman Rickover’s creation of the submarine force… the dynamic leadership of great Marines like General Lejeune and more recently General Krulak and a personal hero of mine from USS Blue Ridge – Colonel Bill Wesley. What will you do, not just to be “purposeful”, but to be enthusiastically followed during the personal challenges that will surely come for each of you, in these, the best of times in the history of our claimancy?

When I faced my first division at NSGD Atsugi in 1982 and in every assignment since including U.S. NSGA Yokosuka, I found, as you will, the Sailors and Chiefs returned the same level of loyalty and dedication to me that I devoted to them. More important, it is abundantly clear and readily apparent to the most casual observer that Sailors and Chiefs will quickly look past the veneer of your lineage (some of them went to better colleges than we all did and all of you went to a better college than I did) and the gold or silver (and blue) bars (and oak leafs) on your collar. Our Sailors and Chiefs have a unique ability to see past all that, and perceive the foundation you are building. They will know when you are on rocky ground. They will sense the weakness in you. They will perceive your character and all its inherent defects. Some great man once said, “The true character of a Naval officer cannot be hidden from his/her Sailors.” There is no place to hide. Lead, follow or GET THE HELL OUT OF THE WAY. Again – you get to decide.

If they find your character to be strong and true, they will go the extra mile for you. If they find you to be weak, prepare for the worst – it is bound to come. We’ve all seen it in its ugliest forms. At this period in our claimancy’s history, when our Sailors and Chiefs are so essential to our mission, there is no greater test of your mettle as a Naval officer, than leading Sailors and Chiefs who can count on your loyalty and your character. Be true to them. They will be true to you.

I am confident you will seize these days, whether or not they personally are for you …”the best of times or the worst of times”, to carry-on what we have started together at U.S. Naval Security Group Activity Yokosuka and develop your own personal foundations of character that will serve you well during the challenges each of you can surely expect in your own future.

Thanks for helping me get the command to where it is today. You all played a big part in that. You have been part of something very important and special to our community. You built a command from the ground up. That’s something you can really be proud of. I certainly am.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Managing Your Officer Career

A key part of managing your officer career will be the counseling you receive. However, the quality of the counseling you receive is only as good as its source. No matter what the advice or the source, the career decisions you make affect your career.

In general, the most reliable sources for career information are your Commanding Officer, Executive Officer and your detailer. COs and XOs are knowledgeable and experienced counselors, able to address both general and specific requirements for your career path. Other, similarly experienced senior officers can help with the detailed requirements of your technical specialty. There are many career considerations which do not change, such as the importance of sustained superior performance. For guidance on specific billet choices in a changing career path, you will need to contact your detailer. Your detailers
should know your qualifications, career needs, personal preferences and which billets are available.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Leadership Development At Your Command

One of the most effective and efficient ways to promote leader development throughout your command is to set the right conditions for it to occur. Experienced commanding officers know that there are three key components to creating an environment that promotes leader development.

The most important is that you, the commanding officer, are a role model for leader development. Next, you should establish a climate that encourages leaders to take risks, grow, and develop on their own initiative. Third, get to know the leaders within your command as individuals with unique skills, abilities, backgrounds, and goals.

Setting the conditions for leader development is merely performing your job in ways that signal leaders and Sailor throughout your command that leader development is highly important. It can have a big impact in return for minimal time and resource investment on your part.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Commander Danny L. Noles assumes command of Navy Information Operations Command - Bahrain

Congratulations to Commander Heidi K. Berg on a successful command tour. Fair winds and following seas in your next assignment. Bravo Zulu, Commander Danny Noles on your selection for command. Our Sailors are counting on your extraordinary leadership.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Separate "Standards and Conduct Board" Instruction Scrapped - Use the DRB process

MCPON West and his CPO Mess decided not to implement a separate "Standards and Conduct" board (SCB). West wants Chief Petty Officers to use the tools already available to them in the Disciplinary Review Board (DRB) process that they weren't using. West plans to put some structure to the current instruction.

MCPON West in the latest Navy Times - regarding implemention of Standards and Conduct Board.

"It (Standards and Conduct Board) was a highly successful pilot and the commands participating loved the process. In the end, we learned it is better to use what we learned to strengthen existing programs instead of putting new ones out there."

As a result, VADM Mark Ferguson, Chief of Naval Personnel (CNP) directed that the current instruction governing disciplinary review boards get a rewrite.

Earlier in 2009 - MCPON West.

"This is a Chief Petty Officer - driven initiative and it's putting the responsibility to develop Sailors exactly where it should be: in the Chief's Mess. Look for the Standards and Conduct Board instruction to hit the fleet later this summer and Navy-wide implementation soon after. Bottom line: the Standards/Conduct Board will replace the Disciplinary Review Board process and give the Mess the opportunity to weigh in on risky Sailor behavior before it gets to be a problem. Will this board take the place of NJP or Mast? Absolutely not. That’s not our call. I see this as a proactive vice reactive program to work with our Sailors early, identify potential issues and then resolve them prior to them becoming a factor in something bigger. It has been Fleet tested with very good results."

Bottom/Bottom Line: Commanding Officers do not want to codify CPO processes such as standards/conduct boards which undermine their UCMJ authority. You'll find sticky legal issues underlying CNP's decision to keep this in the DRB process.

Best and Fully Qualified

Mission success in any naval operation is dependent on skillful planning and proper timing. The skillful planning of a naval career is certainly no exception. While strong performance in tough jobs continues to be the cornerstone of success, certain professional goals should customarily be completed prior to selection/screening boards. Timing of these career goals remains a significant factor when considering the overall career picture.

The very nature of the job of a professional naval officer demands personal responsibility. Officers must take responsibility to review and update their service records to ensure they are complete and accurate. One obvious reason for this is to ensure that a selection board is provided with an accurate and up-to-date picture of past performance. In this manner, an officer optimizes their chances for promotion, while assisting the board in achieving its goal of selecting those officers who are “best and fully qualified.”

From NAVPERS 15627 - LDO/CWO Professional Guidebook

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Brief History of The Naval Security Group

The Naval Security Group traces its origins back to the first days of electromagnetic communications in the early part of the century. The history of naval cryptology has a long tradition of service to the Navy and the nation.

The Navy has been concerned with protecting its signals against unauthorized use since the Civil War. More dramatic developments in cryptology came after the advent of radio communications in the Navy about the turn of the century. Beginning almost with the first wireless transmission from a Navy ship in 1899, Sailors and Marines have been assigned duties in communications security and intelligence. They conducted numerous experiments in this new field of warfare during World War I and dedicated themselves to drawing appropriate lessons from this experience in the years following.

The Code and Signal section of the Naval Communications Service undertook some cryptologic duties when the United States entered the war in 1917. In July 1922, it was assigned the familiar organizational title OP-20-G, which was retained until after World War II. Between 1924 and 1935, the Naval cryptology service developed operationally, culminating in the formation of the Naval Security Group effective 11 March 1935. That date marks the first appearance of the word "Group" in the title of the Naval cryptology organization and is observed as the birth of the Naval Security Group.

A handful of officers and small cadre of enlisted personnel trained themselves during the interwar period in the specific skills and knowledge of Naval signals exploitation and security. These pioneers formed the nucleus of the Communications Intelligence Organization during World War II. At the height of the war, nearly 10,000 naval specialists participated in the world-wide activities of the Naval Security Group. Their contributions played a role in all major campaigns of the war.

After 1945, the Navy was reduced in size and the consolidation of functions became necessary. The Navy Cryptologic organization was renamed Communications Supplementary Activities in 1945 and the trend toward centralized control continued. Increasingly complex technology and more sophisticated equipment added new responsibilities and accelerated the movement toward career specialties in signal exploitation and security. In 1948, officer designators and enlisted ratings were established for cryptologic personnel. A closer alliance with Army and Air Force
cryptologists was formalized in 1949 with the establishment of the Armed Forces Security Agency. The title "Naval Security Group" was adopted in late 1950 and has remained the official name.

Naval Security Group personnel proved themselves in combat operations during the Korean conflict from 1950 through 1953. In 1952, the National Security Agency was created from the Armed Forces Security Agency, strengthening the bonds among service cryptologic elements. Experienced cryptologists who were veterans of both World War II and the Korean conflict continued to serve in the Naval Security Group throughout the decade of the 1950's. In 1956, the Naval Security Group Headquarters Activity was established, retaining the name until 1961 when it was redesignated the Naval Security Group Headquarters under the Director, Naval Security Group who assumed the title at the same time.

The eruption of hostilities in Southeast Asia and growing involvement of the United States Navy provided major impetus to the expansion of Naval signals exploitation and security in the 1960's. On 1 July 1968, the Naval Security Group Command was established under a flag officer. In March 1971, a reorganization within the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations formed the Signals Exploitation and Security Division; marking the separation of Cryptology from Communications for the first time in 50 years.

Until 2005 when CNSG was disestablished, the Commander, Naval Security Group Command was assigned additional duty in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations as the Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence. A 1610 Flag Officer still performs these duties but he does not carry the title CNSG. The Naval Security Group Command and Naval cryptologists serving world-wide existed for the sole purpose of supporting Naval and national operations which provide for and ensure the defense of the United States. Those personnel are now integrated into Naval Network Warfare Command, the National Security Agency, Navy Information Operations Commands, various other shore units and the operating forces of the United States Navy.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Command Excellence - One Fine Example

NIOD Groton provides cryptologic direct support systems installation, maintenance, and personnel augmentation support to U.S. Atlantic Fleet submarines.

In October 1959, the Naval Security Group designated its first Special Assistant for Naval Security Group matters and assigned him additional duty as Officer in Charge, Naval Security Group Detachment, Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet.

One year later, the Chief of Naval Operations designated that position as Officer in Charge, Naval Detachment and Director of Intelligence Special Security Officer for Deputy Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet.

In October 1972, the Detachment was designated Naval Security Group Detachment Groton under the command of Commander, Naval Security Group Command. The Detachment was commissioned a Naval Security Group Activity on 1 May 1980.

In October of 2005, the Detachment was designated a Navy Information Operations Detachment under the command of Navy Information Operations Command, Georgia.

In October of 2008, the Detachment was realigned under the command of Navy Information Operations Command, Norfolk. This realignment consolidated all East Coast Fleet Electronic Support (FES) installations and maintenance under a single command.

Lieutenant Commander Bernard T. O’Neill is the Officer in Charge of this fine group of Sailors. Sailors that he describes as "the finest Sailors in the Fleet."

Friday, November 6, 2009

An Information Warfare Icon Retires Today - Cindy Widick

In honor of

Captain Cynthia L. Widick, United States Navy

The Director, National Security Agency/Chief, Central Security Service
cordially invites you to attend
an award and retirement ceremony
on Friday, the sixth of November two thousand and nine
ten o’clock in the morning

Captain Widick began her military career as an Army linguist (Russian) in 1975. Among the great many things she has done: she has served at sea as the Commander, SEVENTH Fleet Cryptologist, was Commanding Officer of U.S. Naval Security Group Activity Naples, Italy and completed a staff tour at Commander, Naval Security Group Command in G10 - the training directorate.


Our former Chief of Naval Operations, Vern Clark, always liked to tell Sailors, “Go write our history”…well, Cindy did exactly that. And she wrote it quietly, with no fanfare as is her style.