Musings, leadership tidbits and quotes posted by a retired Navy Captain (really just a high performing 2nd Class Petty Officer) who hung up his uniform a bit too early. He still wears his Navy service on his sleeve. He needs to get over that. "ADVANCE WARNING - NO ORIGINAL THOUGHT!" A "self-appointed" lead EVANGELIST for the "cryptologic community". Keeping CRYPTOLOGY alive-one day and Sailor at a time. 2015 is 80th Anniversary of the Naval Security Group.
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Commanding Officer of Naval Air Station Pensacola "temporarily removed"
Captain William P. Reavey (EA-6B/NFO), an Aviation Officer Candidate School graduate in Pensacola in 1984, who returned to Pensacola as its Commanding Officer in 2008 was "temporarily removed" on 26 February by Rear Adm. Tim Alexander. The admiral is the commander of Navy region southeast. Captain Reavey's Executive Officer, Commander Greg A. Thomas, will serve as acting commanding officer until completion of the inquiry into allegations of misconduct by the Commanding Officer.
VIDEO ANNOUNCEMENT HERE.
Let's hope this really is a temporary thing and that they complete their investigation quickly and Captain Reavey is returned to his command. It's not often that the Navy makes the comment that a CO has been "temporarily removed" from command. The expectation must be that he will be exonerated, though much damage has already been done.
It is important to remember that more than 1500 officers carry the title of Commanding Officer in the Navy and less that 30 of those officers are relieved of their duties each year. Captain Reavey is the 6th, this year.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
One of my favorite new OPSEC posters
Friday, February 26, 2010
What every Marine knows
Thursday, February 25, 2010
What every Sailor in the Navy already knows
Chiefs - Anchor Up
We as leaders have the responsibility to uphold the credibility this mess has earned over the course of a century. Leadership is counting on you, your Sailors are counting on you and I am counting on you.
Keep an eye on one another, take swift and appropriate action if you see someone steering the wrong course, don’t be afraid to ask questions if you see something that your instincts tell you may be unusual, and always set the standards for the Sailors you serve.
Chiefs, anchor up.
And, again, in a shameless act of self promotion, here is my PROCEEDINGS article, "Anchor Up" posted by the Chiefs in their GOATLOCKER about 3 years ago.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Great opportunties ahead
Captain Metts was considered for selection to Flag rank and is awaiting the results of the FY11 Information Warfare Flag officer selection board with his eligible contemporaries, potentially the single most diverse group ever considered for Information Warfare Officer Flag at the same time.
REAR ADMIRAL LOWER HALF
-----INFORMATION WARFARE (161X)------
SR INITIAL ELIGIBLE - HAWS, G. J. 018363-00 01 DEC 06
JR INITIAL ELIGIBLE - DOLLAN, J. A. 018596-00 01 OCT 07
If selected, he will be the first Black Flag officer in the Information Warfare/cryptologic community. The board also had the opportunity to select the community's first female, its first PhD, and its first Japanese American Flag officer. Announcement of the selection results for that board are pending. Last year's results were announced in June. Standing by.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
WANTED - Ensign Steven E. Shaw - and his sister Becky too!
America's families are sending us men and women like him with a decent upbringing and we owe it to them not to mess it up with the way we conduct our education and training, or by the poor example that we sometimes provide. I think he has it just about right. To the Navy's great advantage, his twin sister Becky is also a USNA graduate. The Navy is twice blessed by this patriotic family !!
Ensign Shaw is a young officer in the mold of Admiral Stavridis' "THINK, READ, WRITE, PUBLISH". I like that a lot.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Information Dominance Corps Warfare Program and Insignia Approved by CNO
Members of the IDC will now be authorized to wear this new warfare insignia after successful completion of the warfare qualification requirements outlined in a forthcoming PQS/OPNAV Instruction. The new insignia is expected to be available in August 2010.
We are also moving forward with efforts to consolidate all of the IDC officer communities under a single 18XX series of designators enabling further synergy across the communities and establishing a common designator for cross-detailing assignments. The proposed new numbering scheme is as follows:
1800 - Meteorology/OceanographyThe approval of these new warfare insignias is a significant and historic milestone for all of us. I hope you share CNO's and my enthusiasm about clearly establishing Information Dominance as a key warfighting capability of the U.S. Navy.
1810 - Information Warfare
1820 - Information Professional
1830 - Intelligence
1840 - Cyber Warfare Engineer
1850 - Any IDC qualified officer billet
VR DJD (VADM Jack Dorsett)
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Historically Accurate ?
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Unnamed Lieutnant Commander
C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S !!
Remember, this tour is not a half-marathon. PACE YOURSELF for the long haul. Do great things for the boss !!
Friday, February 19, 2010
"Navy Cryptology and Technology" on FACEBOOK
The link above takes you to Navy Recruiting Command's latest Facebook fan page, "Navy Cryptology and Technology", featuring the Cryptologic Technician community. The page went live last week. The Information System Technician (IT) and Submarine Electronics Computer Field (SCEF) ratings are also highlighted.
We anticipate members of the Information Dominance Corps, Information Warfare, CT, IT and SECF communities will visit the site, help to populate the page, and respond to questions and comments. Our goal is to bring potential future Sailors and future Sailors in the Delayed Entry (Enlistment) Program into contact with those who already know about the Navy (today's Sailors, retirees, veterans, etc); and ultimately provide a friendly environment for potential recruits to research the many opportunities available in America's Navy. The more authentic the conversations, the more the site will be perceived as a credible source of information; therefore, the engagement of your CT's, IT's, and SECF's is vital.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
USS TRUXTUN (DDG103) Commanding Officer is fired for...wait for it...."loss of confidence".
Team Truxtun no longer includes Commander Weber. He has been removed from the official U.S. Navy USS TRUXTUN website. Weber graduated from Vanderbilt University and was commissioned via their NROTC program.
Of note, Thomas Truxtun (17 Feb 1955 - 5 May 1822) wrote and published several books, including the Navy's first book of signals (in 1797) titled: Instructions, Signals, and Explanations, Ordered for the United States Fleet.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Iwo Jima - 65th Anniversary
CWO4 Exum, today, as every day, I salute you!
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Number Four On Our Countdown - Another Skipper Fired
An unspecified complaint was lodged against CDR Merritt in November. RDML Lorge fired the commander on 12 February for "loss of confidence in his ability to command".
He is still listed as CO on the Navy's NSA-North Potomac website.
2010 CO firings by the numbers:
1. Captain John Titus - Navy Supply Corps School Athens, Georgia
2. Captain Holly Graf - USS Cowpens
3. Captain Glen Little - Charleston, South Carolina Naval Weapons Center
4. Commander Scott Merritt - NSA North Potomac
Monday, February 15, 2010
Captain Van Valkenburgh was a letter writer
In a letter to a relative, Faith Van Valkenburgh Vilas, Dated November 4, 1941, Captain Van Valkenburgh wrote: "We are training, preparing, maneuvering, doing everything we can do to be ready. The work is intensive, continuous, and carefully planned. We never go to sea without being completely ready to move on to Singapore if need be, without further preparation. Most of our work we are not allowed to talk about off of the ship. I have spent 16 to 20 hours a day on the bridge for a week at a time,then a week of rest, then at it again.
"Our eyes are constantly trained Westward, and we keep the guns ready for instant use against aircraft or submarines whenever we are at sea. We have no intention of being caught napping."
He was killed during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 while 'fighting his ship'.
The only remains they found of his was his United States Naval Academy class ring.
His Medal of Honor citation reads:
"For conspicuous devotion to duty, extraordinary courage and complete disregard of his own life, during the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor T.H., by Japanese forces on 7 December 1941. As commanding officer of the U.S.S. Arizona, Capt. Van Valkenburgh gallantly fought his ship until the U.S.S. Arizona blew up from magazine explosions and a direct bomb hit on the bridge which resulted in the loss of his life."
Sunday, February 14, 2010
More on correspondence
Pilfered from the CRANE paper site
Saturday, February 13, 2010
More gnashing of teeth about writing (or lack thereof)
E-mail is one of several insidious aspects of technology. E-mail offers great mobility and efficiency. However, e-mail lacks the authenticity of handwritten and verbal (face to face) communication. E-mail has been described as a perversion of actual handwritten letters and notes. Thus, we'd have to say text messages and tweeting are a perversion of e-mail.
This is going to become a problem because even though most people are tech savvy, they simply don't know how to write. I don't mean composing something meaningful on their laptops or netbooks - although that, too, is fast becoming a problem - I mean that people literally don't know how to write. Legible cursive handwriting is becoming almost non-existent.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Black Naval Aviator Number ONE
The U.S. Navy honored Jesse Brown by naming an escort ship after him—the USS JESSE L. BROWN. He was the first black naval aviator to die in combat and flew with VF-32 from the USS Leyte Gulf (CV-32).
Thursday, February 11, 2010
COMMAND EXCELLENCE REVISITED BY ADM HARVEY AND FLTCM HOWARD
Click on the image for a downloadable copy of the Command Excellence Guides from the 1980s. Everything that is old - is new again. It's all good stuff and it works. These are cleaned up copies of the Navy study on Command Excellence. These materials are part of the 'deskload' for the PCO/PXO course in Newport, Rhode Island. These have been distributed free of charge to all Commanding Officers of Navy Information Operations Commands worldwide for the past 6 years.
PAAUZOVW LSGG2345 0412152-UUUU--RHMFIUU.
ZNR UUUUU ZOV RHOLSGG2345 REROUTE OF RUCBCLF7740 1101757 ZUI RUCOMCA9920 0411620
P 101617Z FEB 10 ZYB
FM COMUSFLTFORCOM NORFOLK VA//N00//
TO ALLANTFLT BT UNCLAS PERSONAL FOR COMMANDERS, COMMANDING OFFICERS, OFFICERS IN CHARGE, FORCE MASTER CHIEFS, AND COMMAND MASTER CHIEFS FROM ADM HARVEY AND FLTCM HOWARD
SECINFO/-/-// MSGID/GENADMIN/COMUSFLTFORCOM NORFOLK VA//
SUBJ/PRACTICES OF SUCCESSFUL COMMANDS//
GENTEXT/REMARKS/1. FOR THE PAST SIX MONTHS, FLEET MASTER CHIEF HOWARD AND I HAVE BEEN VISITING A LARGE NUMBER OF FLEET UNITS, GETTING TO HEAR DIRECTLY FROM OUR SAILORS AND OUR LEADERSHIP TEAMS. AS WE COMPARE NOTES FROM OUR VISITS, WE OFTEN DISCUSS WHAT REALLY STRUCK US ABOUT A PARTICULAR SHIP, AVIATION SQUADRON, SUBMARINE, OR EXPEDITIONARY UNIT. AS YOU MIGHT EXPECT, THERE ARE SOME COMMANDS THAT STAND OUT FROM THE REST FOR ALL THE RIGHT REASONS, AND THERE ARE A FEW (VERY FEW FORTUNATELY) THAT STAND OUT FOR THE WRONG REASONS.
2. WHAT FLEET HOWARD AND I HAVE BEEN DOING IS LOOKING AT THE POSITIVE "STAND-OUT" COMMANDS AND ASKING OURSELVES WHAT MADE THE DIFFERENCE FOR THAT PARTICULAR UNIT, WHAT MADE THEM GOOD? AFTER ALL, MANY OF OUR UNITS HAVE BEEN DEALT RELATIVELY SIMILAR HANDS WHEN IT COMES TO PEOPLE (MANNING NUMBERS AND EXPERIENCE LEVELS), TRAINING (FUNDING FOR SCHOOLS, NECESSARY STEAMING DAYS, AND FLYING HOURS), AND MAINTENANCE (SPARE PARTS SUPPORT, DEPOT LEVEL REPAIR SUPPORT, AND SCHEDULED AVAILABILITIES) - GIVEN ROUGHLY SIMILAR RESOURCES AND TALENT DISTRIBUTIONS WHAT MAKES SUCH A BIG DIFFERENCE FOR SOME UNITS THAN OTHERS?
3. THE MORE WE STUDY THE ISSUES AND THE MORE WE HEAR FROM THE FLEET, THE MORE WE SEE THAT THE "STAND-OUT" COMMAND LEADERSHIP TEAMS ARE ABLE TO NAVIGATE THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE FLEET RESPONSE PLAN, EFFECTIVELY RESPOND TO THE MANY DEMANDS OF VARIOUS EXTERNAL PROGRAMS FOR TIME AND ATTENTION, AND AT THE SAME TIME, TEND TO THE FUNDAMENTAL PROGRAMS THAT WE FIND UNDERPIN EVERY SUCCESSFUL COMMAND.
4. HOW DO THEY DO IT? FIRST, THERE IS OUTSTANDING COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION BETWEEN THE CO, XO, AND CMC - THE COMMAND LEADERSHIP TEAM IS UNIFIED AND ALIGNED. PRIORITIES ARE UNDERSTOOD AND RESOURCES ALLOCATED ACCORDINGLY; THE ISIC AND THE CREW ARE BROUGHT INTO THE PLANNING BASED ON THESE PRIORITIES. MOST IMPORTANTLY, THEY DONT TRY TO DO IT ALL, EVERY DAY. THE PRIORITIES THEY SET REALLY MEAN SOMETHING; JUDGMENT CALLS ARE MADE AND ACTED ON, BASED ON THE PRIORITIES THAT HAVE BEEN EXPLAINED UP AND DOWN THE CHAIN OF COMMAND. THE ABILITY TO SET CLEAR, AND CORRECT, PRIORITIES AND DECISIVELY ACT ON THEM BUILDS THE CONFIDENCE OF THE CREW AND ENABLES FURTHER INITIATIVE BY THE CREW.
5. SECOND, THERE IS AN ABILITY TO REVISIT PROGRAMS AT THE RIGHT TIME; MECHANISMS EXIST THAT CAN FOCUS COMMAND ATTENTION ON AREAS THAT HAVE BEEN PLACED LOWER ON THE PRIORITY LIST FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME, BUT COULD, IF COMPLETELY IGNORED, CAUSE SIGNIFICANT PROBLEMS DOWNSTREAM. WHEN I WAS XO OF USS LONG BEACH (CGN 9), MY CAPTAIN EXPLAINED THIS CONCEPT TO ME USING THE IMAGE OF THE "PLATE-SPINNERS" YOU SOMETIMES SAW ON VARIETY SHOWS - BE SURE YOU GET BACK TO THE FIRST PLATE YOU STARTED SPINNING BEFORE IT STARTS TO WOBBLE UNCONTROLLABLY AND FALLS OFF THE BALANCE POLE. EVERY SO OFTEN, EVERY PROGRAM GETS A LITTLE "SPIN" TO HELP KEEP IT ON TRACK.
6. THIRD, IN OUR FRONT-RUNNING UNITS THE FOUNDATIONAL PROGRAMS THAT KEEP OUR SAILORS AND UNITS READY, HEALTHY, AND WHOLE ARE VERY STRONG. THE OUTSTANDING COMMAND LEADERSHIP TEAMS ARE TRULY "BRILLIANT ON THE BASICS"; THEY'VE GOT THE FUNDAMENTALS DOWN COLD AND NEVER FORGET THAT BEFORE YOU CAN MAKE THE BIG PLAY THAT WINS THE GAME, YOU MUST BE ABLE TO BLOCK AND TACKLE PERFECTLY. SOMEWHERE IN THE CHAIN-OF-COMMAND, SOMEONE IS ALWAYS GIVING A "SPIN" TO THESE FOUNDATIONAL PROGRAMS.
7. BELOW IS A SUMMARY OF WHAT FLEET MASTER CHIEF HOWARD AND I VIEW AS THE FUNDAMENTAL PROGRAMS ESSENTIAL TO MAINTAINING THE HEALTH OF THE FORCE AND THE READINESS OF THE FLEET. WHILE CERTAINLY NOT ALL-INCLUSIVE OR APPLICABLE TO EVERY COMMUNITY, EVERY DAY, THEY ARE THE ONES SOMEONE IN YOUR CHAIN-OF-COMMAND NEEDS TO BE "GIVING A SPIN" ON A REGULAR BASIS:
A. COMMAND READINESS
(1) DAILY QUARTERS FOR MUSTER, INSPECTION & INSTRUCTION
(2) EDVR MANAGEMENT
(3) PQS AND WARFARE SPECIALTY QUALIFICATION
(4) 3M/PLANNED MAINTENANCE SYSTEM
(5) OPERATING AND SAFETY PROCEDURES (NAVY OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY PROGRAMS, EOSS, CSOSS, NATOPS, NSTM COMPLIANCE)
(6) ZONE INSPECTION PROGRAM
(7) DIVISION/DEPARTMENT IN THE SPOTLIGHT
B. SAILOR READINESS
(1) COMMAND SPONSOR/INDOCTRINATION PROGRAMS
(2) PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT/CAREER DEVELOPMENT BOARDS
(3) ADVANCEMENT QUALIFICATION AND PREPARATION
(4) PETTY OFFICER INDOCTRINATION/COMMAND-DELIVERED LEADERSHIP
(5) INDIVIDUAL AUGMENTEE SUPPORT
(6) PHYSICAL READINESS PROGRAM
(7) MENTOR PROGRAM
C. COMMAND HEALTH AND WHOLENESS
(1) OMBUDSMAN/FAMILY SUPPORT GROUP PROGRAMS
(2) EQUAL OPPORTUNITY PROGRAMS
(3) SEXUAL ASSAULT PREVENTION AND RESPONSE PROGRAMS
(4) ALCOHOL AND DRUG ABUSE PREVENTION/URINALYSIS PROGRAMS
(5) SUICIDE PREVENTION/STRESS CONTROL PROGRAMS
(6) VEHICLE SAFETY PROGRAMS
(7) LIBERTY INCIDENT MITIGATION/LIBERTY AS A MISSION
8. ADMIRAL J. C. HARVEY JR., COMMANDER, U.S. FLEET FORCES AND FLTCM(SW/AW) TOM HOWARD, SEND.//
THINK ! Cyber Sea - Admiral Jim Stavridis
We all know that the world is changing at an unprecedented rate and in sometimes seemingly unpredictable ways, in large part due to the advent of the cyber age. It has brought with it new ways of connecting with one another; amazing advances in education; in commerce; telemedicine; terrain mapping...and, of course, cyber warfare. There has been much discussion of late about what constitutes a cyber attack, and about terrorist use of the internet to not only conduct attacks, but to recruit, proselytize, fundraise, and plan.
All of this leads to a very understandable and important tension between the desire for openness and the very legitimate concerns over protection of our networks. And all of us in the uniformed services today are wrestling with this: we want to be on Facebook and Twitter; on the other hand, we want to protect our networks. Simply put, we've got to find the right balance so that we can do both.
Article 5 is the heart of the North Atlantic Treaty. It says that an attack on one shall be considered an attack on all. But in 1949 when the treaty was written, no one could have conceived of this cyber world. As a result, we need to talk more practically about what defines an attack. Moreover - while every nation has its own approach to privacy, its own law enforcement structures, its own systems and networks and technologies - we must construct international, interagency approaches and codes of conduct in this important domain.
I can't help but compare the cyber domain with the sea. It has taken mankind thousands of years to sort out how we operate and sail at sea. Over the course of two thousand years at sea, we've generated charts; we have developed customary international law; we've created buoy systems; we've created global navigation nets. And in the 1980s the international community came together and drafted the Law of the Sea Convention. It is an incredibly complex document, with 160 parties, that took more than ten years to negotiate. It lays out a comprehensive set of rules that deal with all matters relating to the law of the sea.
Now think about this in the cyber sea. We've been navigating the cyber sea for maybe 20 years. We don't have buoys, we don't have charts...arguably, we don't even have basic norms of behavior. And we don't have 1,000 years to figure it out. We need to begin a robust international, interagency, public/private dialogue about this cyber sea so that we can over time reach a shared understanding of the rules that govern cyberspace.
For those of you who are interested in more on this topic, I'm attaching here the transcript of a presentation I gave earlier this month at the Armed Forces Communication & Electronic Association (AFCEA). I hope you enjoy it, and I hope it causes you to think more about this important subject.
Admiral Jim Stavridis' Briefing to AFCEA
Courtesy of Commander Vince Scott, USN
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Nice to get a mention in Federal Computer Week
Navy Cyber Command sets sail
- Feb 05, 2010
Navy officials revived a bit of the service's storied history last week when they unveiled the Fleet Cyber Command, which will take charge of the service’s offensive and defensive operations in cyberspace, with Vice Adm. Bernard McCullough at the helm.
The new command, based at Fort Meade, Md., alongside the National Security Agency and the Defense Department’s Cyber Command, is part of the recommissioned 10th Fleet. As military history buffs will tell you, the 10th Fleet was originally established during World War II to combat German U-boats.
Adm. Gary Roughead, chief of naval operations, compared navigation of the cyber domain to the Battle of the Atlantic, reports our Amber Corrin in Defense Systems, a sister publication. “It’s similar today — we’re in a domain, a sea if you will, where we are under duress,” Roughead said. “Cyberspace is a unique domain with different requirements, and the Navy must think differently to meet this new kind of challenge.”
The Air Force and Marines already have cyber commands in place, and the Army is expected to follow suit later this year.
Cyber operations are nothing new to the Navy. The service has developed considerable expertise in the areas of signals analysis and airborne expeditionary-based electronic warfare, notes Lance Bacon at the Navy Times.
“McCullough acknowledged the strength in and necessity of teamwork,” Bacon writes. “He said the Fleet Cyber Command’s ability to work with the sister services, academia, agencies, industry, allies and partners would be key to its success.”
A Navy cryptology expert using the handle “Captain” was pleased with the turn of events.
“I suspect that Adm. Ernest J. King — commander of the original U.S. 10th Fleet — would be proud that 'his' fleet has been re-established,” Captain writes on the blog “I Like the Cut of His Jib.”
But one of Captain’s readers was not impressed. “I ‘suspect’ Adm. King would be aghast that ‘his’ 10th fleet was resurrected and handed over to a bunch of techno-geeks,” the anonymous commenter said.
CNO to Navy Flags on DADT Policy Review
Sent: Tuesday, February 02, 2010 21:49
Subject: US Code Title 10 § 654: Policy Concerning Homosexuality in the Armed Forces
Fellow Flag Officers:
In last week's State of the Union Address, President Obama reinforced his desire for the Congress to repeal the law barring open homosexual service in the military.
This afternoon during SASC testimony, Secretary Gates and ADM Mullen articulated the way ahead on this issue, naming GEN Carter Ham, commander of U.S. Army Europe, and the Honorable Jeh Johnson, DoD General Counsel, to lead a DoD working group on the effects of changing the current law and policy.
This working group is tasked to complete its work within a year and will examine three areas. First, it will reach out to the force and their families to understand their views and attitudes about the potential impacts of repeal. Second, it will examine all of the changes to policy and regulations that may have to be made if the Congress repeals the law. Third, it will examine the potential impacts of a change in the law on military effectiveness, including how a change might affect unit cohesion, recruiting and retention, and other issues critical to the performance of the force.
I will work with my fellow Service Chiefs and the Chairman to provide the President, the Secretary of Defense and Congress our best military advice. I also expect your full cooperation with the DoD-wide review as we move forward.
We who wear the uniform have an obligation to abide by the current law and any future changes to the law. As leaders, we will work in a thoughtful and deliberate manner to provide our best military advice, and we will do so in the same professional and extraordinary manner in which we do all things in our great Navy.
NOTE: If someone has a copy of the Commandant of the Marine Corps Memo to his General Officers on this subject, please post a copy.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Rare and Natural Gifts
Monday, February 8, 2010
Sunday, February 7, 2010
What makes a good petty officer
Saturday, February 6, 2010
In the Navy today we appear to be moving away from the presumption of integrity and sound judgment rather than moving toward this ideal. “Getting ahead” is becoming an end unto itself. Successful professional development of our Sailors across the board is suffering as a result.
Is our quest for promotion and command motivated by the ideal of service to the nation, the Navy and her Sailors, or has it become more of an exercise in getting one’s “promotion ticket punched”?
In the Navy's attempts to attract and keep diverse talent, we have accepted the false assumption, that bright young men and women will only be satisfied as Naval officers if we promise them all rapid advancement ahead of their contemporaries. It's a false promise.
In the rush to see our Sailors (in all paygrades) advanced, we are denying them an opportunity to mature and develop in knowledge and wisdom in each rank before taking on the responsibility of the next.
We need to stop and examine ourselves honestly and do what the Army has called a "tactical reset." We've allowed our standards of excellence to slip precipitously low. Let's at least get it re-centered.
Friday, February 5, 2010
Overheard in the OPNAV passageway
"May I also make a plea that our supposedly established senior leaders try to sound a little less arrogant when talking or writing about integrity. It seems to be a subject that engenders in people the conviction that they have had the gift of divine revelation about it. Some of you are coming very late to the game.For obvious reasons, the active duty Captain speaking would like to remain anonymous and on the job.
I for one am more than ready to admit that I don't know all about it, that I have never stopped learning about it, and that I have continued throughout my life to make mistakes in it. We can all go on learning - but, for God's sake gentlemen - have the humility and good sense to admit you compromised yours long ago."
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Make history or write it? Why not both?
"“Naval officers prefer to make history rather than write it—because of which preference they probably do a better job of the former.”— Admiral Ernest J. King 1942 quoted in Naval War College Review.
And then, there are those Naval officers who are eminently qualified to do both - Admiral James Stavridis - historian and history maker.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Developing Future Military Leaders
The Department will continue to work to ensure that America’s cadre of commissioned and non-commissioned officers are prepared for the full range of complex missions that the future security environment will likely demand. Too often, a focus on weapons acquisition programs and overall force structure crowd out needed attention concerning how the Military Departments generate, train, and sustain their leaders. As part of our commitment to ensure that tomorrow’s leaders are prepared for the difficult missions they will be asked to execute, DoD will place special emphasis on stability operations, counterinsurgency, and building partner capacity skill sets in its professional military education and career development policies. Examples of DoD efforts in this area include:
- Building expertise in foreign language, regional, and cultural skills. We will continue our emphasis on enhancing these skills in general purpose force officers during pre-accession training. Given the inherent link between language and cultural expertise and mission success, this area requires continued focus.
- Recognizing joint experience whenever and wherever it occurs in an officer’s career. Until recently, wartime service in combat zones—where joint and multinational operations are common—was not recognized as fulfilling the requirements of joint service for purposes of promotion. Reserve Component officers will also have the opportunity to have their joint experiences recognized to earn the same qualifications as their Active Component counterparts.
- Recognizing the critical role that professional military education plays in the development of military officers, the Department will work to ensure that all its educational institutions are resourced and staffed with the right mix of civilian and military experts who can help prepare the next generation of leaders. Given the continuing need to develop military leaders who can work effectively with a range of civilian counterparts, we will also look to expand opportunities for military officers to attend civilian graduate institutions.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
I Want My Former CJCS Back
Admiral Mullen just tweeted: "Stand by what I said: Allowing homosexuals to serve openly is the right thing to do. Comes down to integrity."
When I think of integrity, General Pace comes to mind instantly. He is a 'put the stars on the table' kind of man. And the SECDEF took them off the table. The other guy? Not so much. USMC principles are enduring; the other guy's - well, flexible. (As a VADM Stockdale Inspirational Leadership Award winner some years ago while a Commander (O5), Admiral Mike Mullen has run a dagger through my heart. I am bleeding out.)
When I was a whitehat in the mid 1970s, "Top" Turnage told me: "Squid, Marines are not hyphenated - there are no African American-Marines, Hispanic-Marines, Asian Pacific Islander-Marines, homosexual-Marines, or lady-Marines. I only see United States Marines. Period. A Marine is a Marine. The rest of you are .......s- well, you know what you are. You're not Marines!" Rear Admiral Doug Venlet knows what I am talking about.
The Commander's Authority
The Protection of Moral Standards and Character Education Program
The commander's authority over and responsibility for his personnel extend around the clock. He cannot limit his interest and concern to their working hours. He must include all activities affecting the fitness and readiness of personnel to perform military duties.
The commander's responsibility is a continuing and all embracing one. It concerns the subordinates' individual and group skills, including the maintenance and operation of equipment. The discipline and practice that develop automatic but understanding obedience are involved. The physical, mental, and spiritual health of personnel must be protected and developed. Everything, in short, that could mean the difference between success and failure in combat or between a man's living and dying falls within the commander's authority and responsibility.
To be charged with the lives of other men is a burden few leaders outside the military are required to bear. Every commander assumes this responsibility as part of his normal duties. This is a basic distinction between military command and other forms of leadership.
The Navy leader shares with his subordinates the high calling to a public profession. All Navy and Marine Corps personnel are sworn by oath to fight for the preservation of human values and human decencies, as defined and implied by the Constitution of the United States. Rightfully then, it is expected that their official and personal conduct will reflect an understanding and acceptance of these values and decencies.
Monday, February 1, 2010
Admiral James S. McFarland Passed Away Seven Years Ago Today - We Miss You, Sir !
In 1967, he left the Staff, U.S. Atlantic Fleet for Vietnam, where he served primarily in support of U.S. Marine Corp Forces in support of tactical ground operations. The Armed Forces Staff College was next followed by a tour as Middle East Operations Officer. In 1971, he became the first Office-In-Charge of the Navy's Current Support Group (CSG) in Rota, Spain where the unit earned the Navy Unit Citation for its support of the U.S. SIXTH Fleet during the Yom Kippur War and the 1974 Cyprus crisis. He returned to the Staff, U.S. Atlantic Fleet from 1975 to 1979. His next assignment was as the Commanding Officer of the Naval Security Group Activity (NSGA) Misawa, Japan where he assumed command on 5 March 1979.
In 1981, Rear Admiral McFarland assumed duty as Chief, Naval Forces Division, at the National Security Agency (NSA); and in 1983, was assigned as the Assistant Chief of Staff for Cryptology, Commander U.S. Pacific Fleet; Director, Naval Security Group Pacific (DIRNSGPAC). Early in 1985, he was selected for Flag Rank. His last assignment was as Commander, Naval Security Group Command (CNSG) from August 1986 to July 1990. Rear Admiral McFarland was also assigned as the Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence (DNI) for the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO).
Some of his personal decorations include the Bronze Star with Combat distinguishing device (for his time in Vietnam), Meritorious Service Medals and the Joint Service Commendation Medal.
RADM McFarland was married to the former Paula Ann Wiise of Macon, Georgia for twenty-five years. He has six children, Scott, Brett, Suzanne, Jeffrey, Matthew, and Kelly.