Thursday, December 24, 2009

Practical advice for Commanding Officers

When I assumed command of U.S. Naval Security Group Activity in January 1997, I received the most practical advice from a fellow Commanding Officer and mentor, Captain Jerome Rapin, the CO of NSGA Kunia, Hawaii. His advice - "COMMAND!" I still have his letter and will post it as soon as I can scan it.

Most ironically, I made it to command without 'command screening'. The following year, the command screening board met and I 'FAILED' to screen for command. I was notified by a Lieutenant from BUPERS. Subsequently, the senior cryptologic detailer contacted me to advise that I would be allowed to remain in my current job (where I was ranked the #1 CO) and "not to worry because I would have another opportunity to screen for command the next year." I did get a letter from the Chief of Naval Personnel the following year congratulating me on my selection for command but cautioned that 'successful screening for command does not guarantee assignment as a commanding officer.' I wanted to write a letter back cautioning that 'failure to screen for command does not preclude assignment as a commanding officer.'

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


What kind of advice is that?

He may as well just have said, work.

He would have done better to say lead.

'Command' won't get much done.