Monday, February 28, 2011

Ordinary Soldier - Last U.S. veteran of WWI fades away

Frank Woodruff Buckles (February 1, 1901 – February 27, 2011)  was the last living American veteran of World War I (WWI).

His advice on living - "When you feel like you're going to die - don't."

Information Dominance Corps (IDC) - Mid Career Course Underway - Lifelong Learning

IW Leaders  (Request Widest Dissemination)
A pilot offering of the new Information Dominance Corps (IDC) Mid-Career Course will be held 28 February - 11 March 2011 at the Navy-Marine Corps Intelligence Training Center (NMITC), Dam Neck, VA.  As your IWO Community Leader, I have been personally involved in this initiative along with the other IDC Community Leads and VADM Dorsett; we made this a top priority.  Several months ago I asked CAPT Jill Newton to serve as our IW principal in this effort; she's done a tremendous job. 

This is a great opportunity that will bring sustainable mid career training to our IW LCDRs.  With strength in numbers, and knowledge of the importance of our skills in the Navy today and tomorrow, I am confident that this mid career course will be an enduring success.

This course is geared to newly selected or pinned IDC LCDRs.  Topics include focus areas applicable to all communities in the IDC, as well as community-specific topics.  
RADM Ned Deets
Naval Network Warfare Command

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Professional Foolishness

In my days on active duty as a Navy officer, I spent a fair amount of time keeping abreast of the more significant strategy and policy issues related to military service.  I dutifully read the National Security Strategy, National Military Strategy, Forward From The Sea, the Naval Operating Concept, Joint Operating Environment and other such documents. 

Recently, I spoke with an active duty Navy Commander and asked what she thought of the latest National Military Strategy issued by Admiral Mullen.  She looked at me like I had two heads.  She said she'd not read the latest version, nor any previous version.  She told me it was for people above her paygrade.  I may be alone in thinking this way, but I think it is every Armed Forces Officer's responsibility to read and understand such things.  She didn't mind telling me that I was foolish for thinking that because, she assured me, none of her peers think such a thing.

I hope that is not really the case.

Admiral Mullen says we are at a Strategic Inflection Point (SIP). A SIP occurs when a major change takes place in our operating environment. It could be a major change due to introduction of any number of new technologies. Or, a major change due to confronting radically different fiscal environment. Or, it be a change in the Navy's values, or the values of  this great country. Almost always the SIP hits the organization in such a way that those in senior leadership are among the last ones to notice. Today's SIP is no different.

For more about Admiral Mullen's discussion of Strategic Inflection Points, go HERE.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Dangerously enthusiastic about his duties - Ensign John Harvey, new guy aboard USS ENTERPRISE

I have been listening to Admiral Harvey's talk at the Surface Navy Association Symposium about leadership for the third time. I know that I will be listening to it again, and again.  I never tire of it.  It is one of the very best presentations in that type of forum that I have seen.  I downloaded it to my iPod Touch.  It's a keeper.  His easy, sincere manner of speaking is uncommon.  Admiral Harvey has posted with Admiral Stavridis about their respective experiences aboard ship.  Listening to his presentation and reading about their experiences is a great learning experience - even today., for a retiree. We are rarely exposed to this type of candor from serving Flag officers.  Go back to SWONET and watch his video.  It's inspiring.  You can watch it HERE.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

NMCI - five minute old network?

“NMCI is not a 10-year-old network. The NMCI program is 10 years-old, but NMCI is a completely modern, five-minute-old network. We have upgraded and maintained NMCI with cutting-edge technology deployed on it since the beginning. All aspects of NMCI are state-of-the-art and state-of-the-shelf today.”

– NMCI Program Manager
Captain Scott N. Weller

Latest issue of CHIPS magazine is HERE.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Make all of your deeds good. Your deeds (good and bad) live on long after you've forgotten.

Our deeds are like children that are born to us; they live and act apart from our own will. Nay, children may be strangled, but deeds never: they have an indestructible life both in and out of our consciousness.
George Eliot

Sunday, February 20, 2011


You have to love Jeff Bacon's sense of humor.  More of Jeff can be found HERE.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Distinguished DUKE NROTC Grads

NROTC Admirals from Duke University

  • ADM Frank Bowman (Retired) Bachelor of Science, 1966 Service Selection: Submarines.
  • RADM Jack Calvert (Retired) Bachelor of Arts, 1958 Service Selection:  Aviation.
  • RADM Edward (NED) H. Deets III (Active Duty) Bachelor of Arts, 1979 Service Selection: Aviation.
  • RADM Charles Hamilton II (Active Duty) Bachelor of Science, 1974 Service Selection: Surface.
  • RADM Grant Hollett, Jr. (Retired) Bachelor of Science in Engineering, 1964.
  • RADM Stephen Johnson (Retired) Bachelor of Science Service Selection: Submarines.
  • RADM Robert Marlay (Retired) Bachelor of Arts, 1971.
  • RDML Glenn Phillips (Retired).

Other Distinguished Alumni

  • General Walter Boomer, USMC (Retired) Bachelor of Arts, 1960.
  • Richard Nixon received his law degree from Duke University in 1937 and became a Lieutenant Commander as a ground officer for the US Naval Air Transport. He is the only Duke Law graduate to become President of the United States.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Navy Cyber Warfare Development Group - established today

Rear Admiral Bill Leigher, Deputy Commander, Fleet Cyber Command/TENTH Fleet presided over the change of command ceremony and renaming/ establishment ceremony for Navy Cyber Warfare Development Group.  Captain Steve Parode assumed command and provided a motivational speech for his new officers, Chiefs, Sailors and civilians.  BZ to all hands.

NIOC Suitland Change of Command - 18 February

Captain Steve Parode will relieve Captain Diane Gronewold as Commanding Officer, Navy Information Operations Command Suitland at 10 a.m. on 18 February 2011 at the Women In Military Service for America Memorial.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Complacency in cryptology and intelligence

The biggest enemy in this business is complacency."

—Rear Adm. Andrew M. Singer, USN

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Exhausted All Possibilities

"When you have exhausted all possibilities,
remember this – you haven’t."

Thomas A. Edison

Keep thinking; 
recharge those batteries. 
The solution may be only an amp or two away.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Known and Unknown

I made the time over the weekend to read the first 317 pages of former Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld's book, Known and Unknown.  It's a great read and I have been enjoying it.  He is a fascinating individual and true patriot.  I worked for him for my final two years on active duty as Staff Director for the Detainee Task Force (Geren-Maples Group).  I was happy to find some of our Detainee Task Force work in his archives HERE among the responses to many of his SNOWFLAKES.  I know there are plenty of haters out there but I found the Secretary to be patient, tireless, a real gentleman, superb athlete, true patriot, tremendous leader, forward thinker and a very thoughtful boss.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Say Thanks !

There is precious little praise and appreciation in most work environments. Even those leaders who are good about giving positive feedback can tend to reserve it for "above and beyond" moments. Yet, the routine work that our Sailors are expected to do every day often goes unnoticed and under appreciated. Genuine gratitude goes a long way in engaging Sailors and binding them together. Make it a point to thank your Sailors. Don't only focus on the extra mile they may have gone, but on the ordinary things they do to make your command function. Be specific: explain the behavior or task that you are grateful for and the positive impact it has on you and the command.You'll be surprised by what a simple "thank you" will mean to your Sailors.

Adapted from the Harvard Business Review.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Cyber Intelligence Unclassified Tradecraft - RADM Mike Rogers/RDML Willie Metts

Put this on your calendar for 7-8 June 2011 in San Antonio Texas.  Full agenda is HERE.

Looking at how the cyber threat today is approached within the U.S. Intelligence Community and within the Department of Homeland Security, one can see improvements, but also continuing capability gaps.  On the classified side, intelligence plays a key role in the cyber battle.  Many would argue there are complementary, but perhaps underutilized, assets in the unclassified environment.  The challenge is finding ways to identify those capabilities and integrate and fully leverage them. 
Focus Questions
  • What value would you place on unclassified intelligence tradecraft as a complement to efforts to track and warn of cyber threats?
  • Can partnering mechanisms across government and industry be put in place to disseminate unclassified situational awareness and warnings to both the public and private sectors?  
  • Is an unclassified cyber collection plan possible?  If so, how would you assess its potential impact?
RADM Michael Rogers, USN
Director for Intelligence
Joint Chiefs of Staff

The Defense Industrial Base (DIB) Sector includes the Department of Defense, government, and the private sector worldwide industrial complex collaborating to meet military requirements.  The DIB is an encouraging initiative for developing a trusted cyber sharing and cooperative partnership between the government and industry.  Nonetheless, what still is missing is an ability to deliver 24/7 unclassified cyber intelligence reporting that provides situational awareness (SA) and indications and warning (I&W).  This session will explore how unclassified tailored and focused intelligence tradecraft can contribute to cyber SA and I&W, along with how to create a sharing environment for the effective exchange of cyber related information between the private and public sectors.
Focus Questions
  • What are the key components of cyber SA?
  • Are there unique attributes related to cyber I&W?
  • Are there existing public-private sector partnerships that provide potential models of how cyber SA and I&W could be provided?
  • What intelligence tradecraft is germane to cyber SA and I&W?
Session Chair
CAPT Joseph Mazzafro, USN (Ret.)
Intelligence Community Strategic Plans and Business Development
Oracle Corporation (National Security Group)
Session Speakers
RDLM (select) Willie Metts, USN
Director of Intelligence
United States Cyber Command

Friday, February 11, 2011

Letter writing - history on paper

A good handwritten letter is a creative act, and not just because it is a visual and tactile pleasure. It is a deliberate act of exposure, a form of vulnerability, because handwriting opens a window on the soul in a way that cyber communication can never do. You savor their arrival and later take care to place them in a box for safe keeping. 

Yes, e-mail is a wonderful invention. It links people across the world, destroying in an instant the hurdle of geography that confronts snail mail. Yet it is by its nature ephemeral and lacks the spark of character that only handwriting can provide. When you get an e-mail, you can never be sure that you are the only recipient — or even that it’s original. 

We have always liked to pore over the letters of great figures like Winston Churchill and Abigail Adams for the insight this offers into their lives: the writing, the crossings-out, the very feel of history on paper. 

The entire article is HERE in the NEW YORK TIMES.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

10 years later - Japanese Continue to Mourn Their Loss - Ehime Maru Sinking

Commander Scott Waddle (graduated top of his class from the Naval Academy) was selected from a highly competitive field of 250 submarine "command qualified" officers to command the USS Greeneville fast attack submarine.  Waddle became the Commanding Officer of  Greeneville in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in March of 1999.  He was a "rising star" in the Navy submarine community, a man of incredible integrity.

On February 9, 2001, Commander Waddle's "star burned out".  On that fateful day, Commander Waddle forever changed the lives of 35 Japanese families (9 of those families lost a family member) forever when he hurriedly gave the order to perform an emergency surface maneuver that caused his 9,000 ton Los Angeles Class submarine to slice through the Ehime Maru, a 500 ton Japanese fishing and training vessel, killing nine people on board.

The Navy's investigation concluded that Commander Waddle, rushed his crew through mandatory safety/surfacing procedures while demonstrating an emergency surfacing drill for the benefit of 16 civilian VIP guests touring the 360-foot nuclear-powered submarine. Greeneville's rudder sliced into the hull of the Ehime Maru causing it to immediately sink in 200 feet of water off the island of Oahu, Hawaii.

The Navy's report said Waddle rushed through surfacing procedures because he didn't want the submarine's  16 VIP guests to be late returning to Pearl Harbor. Waddle did not attend the memorial on Wednesday.  Several Japanese indicated they would not attend the memorial if he were present.

Waddle was reprimanded by a military court of inquiry but was allowed to retire as a Commander with full Navy retirement, which drew criticism in Japan that the punishment was too light. Waddle personally apologized to the Japanese shortly after the incident. Waddle's lawyer was Charlie Gittens, an infamous military defense attorney.  Based on the findings and recommendations of the court of inquiry, Waddle was taken to Admiral's Mast, where he was found guilty of committing two violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice: dereliction of duty and negligent hazarding of a vessel. He was "detached for cause" from his position as CO, which was documented in his Navy officer record. He submitted a request to retire, which was approved, and he retired effective October 1, 2001.

The Navy settled with the families of the 35 Japanese victims for $16.5 million. Damage to the Greeneville was $1.8 million; loss of Emihe Maru was $8.8 million; cost of recovering the Ehime Maru from the ocean floor was $60 million. Following the incident, Waddle wrote a book (THE RIGHT THING) and became a consultant and motivational speaker. Scott Waddle is self-described as an inspirational speaker, consultant and executive coach who has presented to thousands of audiences nationwide and abroad.  His "Gold Star Speakers Bureau - Our Word is Gold" fee to speak on the following topics is between $10,000-$15,000 per event:
  • Failure Is Not Final
  • Saying, "I'm sorry" Works
  • Communicate Effectively! It Doesn't Have To Be Lonely At The Top
President Bush said, "And like any good commander, he's taken the heat, he's taken the hit...This is an officer who bears all the responsibility, and to me, that says something about the man's character."  

The full NTSB report is HERE.
Court of Inquiry Report is HERE.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Alter the status quo or lose the competitive advantage

"Unless you quite frankly alter the status quo, take some leap ahead and, in some cases, some risk by developing more comprehensive approaches to how to manage the electromagnetic spectrum and how you mange the flow of information, there's the potential the U.S. and the Navy would lose that competitive advantage."

VADM Jack Dorsett

CBS Interactive Business Network
Defense Daily October 9, 2009

Monday, February 7, 2011

Learning to Operate in Cyberspace

An article by Rear Admiral William Leigher, Deputy Commander, Fleet Cyber Command/TENTH Fleet, can be found at United States Naval Institute in the February issue of PROCEEDINGS magazine. I am a huge fan of leaders who put their thoughts on paper so we can read, debate and improve our understanding of their views.  Non-USNI members can read the article HERE

Whether you're involved in national defense or concerned about preserving our naval heritage, the U.S. Naval Institute has a membership level that's perfectly suited to you. Membership is open to all -- you don't have to be a naval officer to belong. Join now and support our 137-year mission of defending America through the power of ideas.

Admiral Stavridis is equal parts

"Two sorts of writers possess genius; those who think and those who cause others to think."

Joseph Roux

In Admiral James G. Stavridis - the Navy gets both.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

What is Handwriting?

An ancient art? A modern-day tool? A universal skill? Something intensely personal? Something we take for granted? Or a skill many struggle to master?

Handwriting may be some or all of these things. For some it is purely an art form, and the neatness and accuracy of the presentation is the main focus. For others, it needs to be a functional tool which allows them to put ideas on to paper, effortlessly and fast. Here, the look of the script is less important than the fluency of the script. For all of us, there are times when we need handwriting for one purpose and times for others.
Our handwriting is very personal, a part of our self-image and an expression of our personality, just as the way we dress and present ourselves is. We all have a view on how our handwriting appears to others and would sometimes like that image to be different!

Handwriting is a means of expressing language, just like speech, and it also leaves a lasting trace. Some call it 'Language by Hand'. It is a physical way of expressing thoughts and ideas and a means of communicating with others.

Mark-making is basic to man. Symbolic representation for others to interpret is uniquely human and it is known that man has engaged in writing since cave paintings were first discovered. However, the production of the symbols of any writing system is not something which comes naturally, like walking or jumping. We cannot write unless we have been taught how to, a fact which is sometimes ignored. The formations of the symbols within each writing system have ideal movement patterns, and the spatial relationships between symbols and the directional conventions on the page have to be communicated between generations.

Handwriting is a very complex skill to master, one which involves linguistic, cognitive, perceptual and motor components, all of which have to be coordinated into an integrated fashion. Although we take it for granted, some people, young and old, find handwriting very difficult to perform and feel they need help to perfect the skill. Support from those with expertise and experience is nearly always appreciated.

To write is to be human.


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Hurtful truths

I was reminded:

"Mike, your blog is both good and original;
but the part that is good is not original,
and the part that is original is not good."

An unoriginal ?friend? paraphrasing Samuel Johnson.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A thought

“A little present-tense suc­cess, for­gi­ves a lot of past-tense failure.”

From a friend of Hugh MacLeod's over at Gapingvoid.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


"Don't say it's impossible! Turn your command over to the next officer. If he can't do it, I'll find someone who can, even if I have to take him from the ranks!"

General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Gone Eight Years Now - Admiral Jim McFarland - greatly missed

A native of Portland, Oregon, Rear Admiral McFarland graduated from Lewis and Clark College. His Naval career began in 1953 when he enlisted in the Naval Reserve. As a Third Class Petty Officer (YN), he was commissioned in 1957. After Communications School in Newport, Rhode Island, he spent four years in Hawaii working in Signals Security and making training and communications readiness visits to over 200 U.S. Navy ships. Staff duty in Washington, D.C. with Commander Naval Security Group followed from 1961-1963. This was followed by operational assignments at Karamursel, Turkey, and on USS Belmont (AGTR-4) as the Special Operations Officer.

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  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 James S. McFarland passed away on Saturday, 1 February 2003, at 8:00 p.m. At the Admiral's request, there was no funeral service. His ashes were scattered on the beach, near his Annapolis home.

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.