Sunday, March 30, 2014

I am sorry. What was the question?

S. Gross from The New Yorker Magazine
Ask These Questions to Make Sure Thinking is Focused on What is Relevant
  • Am I focused on the main problem or task?
  • How is this connected? How is that?
  • Does my information directly relate to the problem or task?
  • Where do I need to focus my attention? 
  • Are we being diverted to unrelated matters?
  • Am I failing to consider relevant viewpoints?
  • How is your point relevant to the issue we are addressing?
  • What facts are actually going to help us answer the question? What considerations should be set aside?
  • Does this truly bear on the question? How does it connect?

From  Think about it.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Quote of the day about Admiral Mike Rogers

“As he has approached all things, he’ll do [the job] in a very thoughtful, principled way.”

ADM Gary Roughead

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Opportunity to outrun the storm of the Navy's looming retention problem

Commander Guy Snodgrass has some advice for the CNO and CNP about a looming Navy retention problem.  You can read his full post on the USNI blog HERE.

There is much to be said about communicating "THE WHY".  You can  follow what Simon Sinek has to say about "WHY" HERE.

1. Enable Commanding Officers to Better Communicate with Sailors (Align Navy Messaging) 

In today’s 24/7 media environment – where sailors are bombarded with information – it’s more important than ever for our “Stay Navy” message to be aligned across all levels, or we risk eroding trust and confidence because of conflicting information. This requires senior leadership to determine desired strategic end states, construction of appropriate messages, and the sharing of that message across all levels. 

There are several ways we can improve our “Stay Navy” message to better inform the Fleet and aid retention: 

First, expand on existing products. The Navy is a geographically dispersed organization, which makes the timely sharing of information critically important. Senior leadership receives near weekly Chief of Naval Information talking points, helping ensure that admirals and senior executive service members are “on message” regarding forecasted areas of interest. Why not tailor a version for officers that are in command? Pushing a tailored version of the Chief of Naval Information’s current talking points to unit leadership will arm deckplate leaders with the “whys” behind current decision-making, providing access to relevant and timely background information. The commanding officer, or officer in charge, can subsequently tailor this information to share the importance of their mission with the Sailors they lead – necessary when conveying that our Sailors serve with a purpose. This product should include quarterly updates regarding programs that directly impact sailors, including information on changes to Career Navigator and 21st Century Sailor.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Tom Peters' Rant

People ... in enterprise, in government ... are by and large well intentioned.  They'd like to get things done.  To be of service to others.  But they are thwarted ... at every step of the way ... by absurd organizational barriers ... and by the egos of petty tyrants (be they corporate middle managers, or army colonels, or school superintendents).

We don't have to take it anymore.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Ideas are meant to be shared

“We are often better served by connecting ideas than we are by protecting them.”  

Steven Johnson, Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation

Connecting ideas is important; connecting the right ideas with the right people at the right time is even more important.

Monday, March 24, 2014

He Never Stopped Fighting

Executive Officer Tip 2013-088 (#88 of 140)

I have provided the NPC Collateral duty list for your convenience.  Your duties at the NIOC will be different but is it a good starting point because their format is Better Than Average (BTA).  BTA is a good place to start on your way to EXTRAORDINARY.  If you hold your Collateral Duty holders accountable for doing what the instruction says, you are in good shape.  If you don't, you will be miserable at IG time.  Challenge your Sailors to provide a monthly/quarterly report on the work they have done on their collateral duty(ies).  They can include the reports at semi-annual counseling and EVAL time.  Some of their collateral duty reports may be worthy of inclusion in your Command Operations Report.  Pay attention: some collateral duties require a specific paygrade.  If the CO waives that, make sure there is a letter to that effect so the IG knows that a deliberate decision was made and you know what you are doing.

Are you EXTRAORDINARY yet?  What does your Golden Anchor Package for 2013 look like?  How is that coming along.

Sunday, March 23, 2014


Congratulations to LCDR Chuck Hall on his selection as the 2014 Captain Joseph Rochefort IWO Distinguished Leadership Award Winner!!

RMKS/1. Captain Joseph John Rochefort was a major figure in the U.S. Navy's development of cryptologic and intelligence capabilities from 1925 to 1947. He headed the Navy's fledgling cryptanalytic organization in the 1920's and provided singularly superb cryptologic support to the U.S. fleet during World War II, leading to victory in the Pacific. At the end of his career (1942-1946), CAPT Rochefort successfully headed the Pacific Strategic Intelligence Group in Washington. In 1986, he posthumously received the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his contribution during the Battle of Midway.

2. Commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. TENTH Fleet is pleased to announce this year's winner of the Captain Joseph J. Rochefort Information Warfare (IW) Officer Distinguished Leadership Award.

This year's selectee is LCDR Charles H. Hall, USN, Naval Special Warfare Development Group.

3. The competition was exceptional with 13 nominations. Congratulations to the following other nominees for their significant leadership contributions to the IW mission:

LT Miles G. Alvarez, USN, NIOC Whidbey Island
LCDR Gregory S. Cardwell, USN, NCWDG
LCDR Christopher D. Eng, USN, USPACOM
LT Kenyatta M. Jones, USN, USS JOHN C. STENNIS
CDR John W. Olvey, USN, SIMBA
CDR Marc W. Ratkus, USN, NIOC Colorado
CDR Michael Riggins, USN, NIOC Texas
LT Ian D. Roberts, USN, NR NIOC Tacoma
LCDR Chad M. Smith, USN, NIOC San Diego

4. LCDR Hall will receive recognition from the U.S. Naval Cryptologic Veterans Association, a plaque commemorating his selection and his name will be added to a display in the heritage room at FLTCYBERCOM/COMTENTHFLT.

5. Congratulations and well done. Released by VADM Michael S. Rogers, Commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. TENTH Fleet.

Friday, March 21, 2014

A leader worth following

The Navy is missing out. Our Sailors could all be learning more. Living out their purpose. Leading and being led by people who inspire and enlighten them, give them strength and allow them to grow.   We believe Sailors deserve the best leaders—leaders worth following. 

Shamelessly stolen from 

Some of their beliefs:

  • We believe that leaders should think and behave differently.
  • We believe that certain behaviors serve as the framework of a leader worth following:
    • Simplicity - brings clarity to the complex.
    • Creativity - fosters an atmosphere that allows others to dream.
    • Bravery - possesses a posture of unrelenting boldness.
    • Beyond You - leverages influence for the sake of others.
    • Insight - resolves to consistently do the wise thing.
    • Vision - moves towards a preferred future with little deviation.
    • Culture - architects the conditions to win.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


People who know me know what a huge fan I was of Rear Admiral James S. McFarland.  Admiral McFarland's son Jeff just named his son James S. McFarland.  That fills me with joy.

Command Excellence - Training and Development

We have seen that COs of superior commands ensure that training is effective. To do this, they explicitly emphasize the importance of training to the crew, monitor the quality of training, try to get special training billets, work hard to get schedules with time to follow through on planned training, and make sure that training is realistic and linked to combat readiness. Here we further develop this theme by presenting what the command as a whole does to support training. 

Specific ways in which superior commands promote training and development are as follows:
  • ·  Value of Training Is Recognized
  • ·  Training Is Kept Realistic and Practical
  • ·  Training Programs Are Monitored and Evaluated
  • ·  All Levels Participate in Training and Development
  • ·  Command Emphasizes Professional Development and Career Planning

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

It takes hard work

Captain Arleigh Burke
"Leadership is a difficult but not impossible quality to acquire. Any individual who really wants to be a leader can be one. It takes hard work. It takes knowledge. It takes enthusiasm. But it can be done." 

-- Admiral Arleigh Burke

Monday, March 17, 2014

Executive Officer Tip #2013-052 - Paragraph 3. Action/Responsibilities

I continue to do my XO research.  I am always on the look out for potholes you may encounter.  I've included OPNAVINST 1040.11 about Retention and Career Development.  I have highlighted the XO responsibilities on pages 11, 12 and 13.  My point is multi-faceted.  Your XO notebook should have those pertinent pages from all OPNAVINSTs.  In the "olden days", they used to call it "Paragraph 3 leadership".  Paragraph 3 used to be titled 3. Action (or Responsibilities).  Now, OPNAV does not even follow their own directives on how to construct an OPNAV INSTRUCTION.

In any case, the XO has lots of responsibilities and you'll have to tend to them all.  When there is a compliance problem and the ISIC comes in to take a look, they go to paragraph 3 Actions/Responsibilites of instructions and point out where you failed to live up to your responsibilities which were so clearly outlined for you.  You can see what I am saying.  An ordinary XO can't see that stuff.  As an Extraordinary XO, you will have a great handle on it.  If you need help with this, have your YN2 pull all the paragraph 3 information from all the pertinent instructions and you'll be all set.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Executive Officer Tip # 2013-091 - A little about awards

What does an MSM mean if the #1 CO and the #10 CO share the same level of award?  What does it mean to award an MSM to the #1 CO at the O5 level, if LCDR AOs on the staff get the same award? Our awards process is out of order.  Nearly all can see it and agree to it but who will fix it?  No one !  How many officers are still writing their own awards?  Too many.  It's just wrong on so many levels.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Executive Officer Tip #2013-050

I've gone back in the history books to look for help for you both.  I found "On His Watch: Admiral Zumwalt's Efforts to institutionalize Strategic Change".  The scale of what you and the CO must do is not as large but the approaches he took provide some great lessons.  You have already probably taken advantage of the first lesson and that is "get started" before you have to start.  He and a small staff began their work about 30 days before he became CNO.  You're preparing yourself now for your new responsibilities.  Zumwalt called his effort "Project 60" which included 22 discrete initiatives he planned to undertake within the first 60 days of becoming CNO.  As you discussed at CLC PXO school, the CO has about 100 weeks in command.  Those 100 weeks are valuable and can't be wasted.

You and the CO will be looking at:
1) What might be done?
2) What can be done?
3) What should be done?
4) What will you actually do?

Once you come up with your 100 week plan, you should share it with the command.  Be bold and share it with your ISIC and higher command.

Zumwalt said the best advice he received from the former CNOs was to "have a follow-up system on what has been done to carry out your plans, otherwise they just won't get done.
Work with an eye toward building repeatable process and procedures that will sustain the command and her Sailors when you are going.  Get everyone there working toward consistent incremental improvement.  A huge goal can be achieved with small steps if you are moving things forward 24/7/365.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Cryptologic Technician Technical Chief (IDW/SW) Christian Michael Pike

Chief Petty Officer Christian Michael Pike, 31, of Peoria, Arizona died March 13, 2013 in Landstuhl, Germany as a result of combat related injuries sustained on March 10 while conducting stability operations in Maiwand District, Afghanistan. He was assigned to West Coast-based Naval Special Warfare Support Activity ONE.  He attended Peoria high school, graduating in 2000. Chief Pike joined the Navy in 2001 and following recruit training in Great Lakes, Illinois, he was assigned to the Naval Technical Training Center Corry Station for Cryptologic Technician Technical (CTT) "A" School followed by assignment to USS CLEVELAND.  In 2007, he transferred to Navy Information Operations Command Georgia before reporting to Naval Special Warfare Support Activity ONE on July 25, 2011.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Two notable Marines: Top Rogers and PVT Roznowski - generations apart (This was written in 2002)

First, let me tell you that it is a true honor and privilege to be a part of this ceremony today.  I love the United States Marine Corps.  I love the Marines.  In fact, I am a proud member of the Marine Corps family.  For you to fully understand how I feel about TOP ROGERS, I have to tell you about another Marine.  50 years ago this month, my wife's Uncle Richard Roznowski shipped out from San Diego to Korea.  He was a private fresh from Recruit Training at Parris Island in South Carolina.  He was trained as a machine gunner.  In high school, he was a boxer and football player at St. Joseph's Catholic school in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  50 years ago during the Korean War, I think that it was every Catholic mother's secret wish that one of her sons would become a priest to ensure his ascent into heaven.  I'll tell you that at that time in our country’s history it was every father's wish that his son would become a Marine and raise some hell.  And that was no secret.

    Richard spent less than one month in Korea.  In September of 1951, a Navy Chaplain and a Marine Corps Reserve Officer visited 1304 Guns Road in Bellevue, Wisconsin and delivered an American flag, a prayer book for Catholic servicemen, 3 medals including this Purple Heart and a letter from his Commanding Officer.  Richard was dead.  I cannot recount the grief of his mother Elouise, his father Bernard or his brother Jerry.  But, I don't doubt that Richard fulfilled both his parents' wishes - He certainly made it into heaven and he even raised some hell.

    So, I ask each of you today to consider that words have meaning and actions have consequences.  Why do I tell you this?  Because you need to know that I am going to use some words to describe Top Rogers that have lost their meaning through overuse in our every day language.

    I met Top Rogers nearly 10 years ago and I've followed his career with keen interest ever since.  He is the finest Marine I have ever been associated with in my 26 years of Naval service.  I have not said before this of any other Marine.  I will never say it again.  I do not mean to even remotely suggest to you that Top Rogers is a politically correct Marine.  He is not, was not, and never will be.  He speaks his mind freely to all who will listen, kind of like our Master Chief John Vincent.  So, don't ask him what he thinks unless you really want to know.  Because, he will tell you.  And you, in all probability, will not like it. 

    He will tell you that his Marine Corps is not the place for social experiments.  You don't need to talk to Top about equal opportunity because he doesn't believe in hyphenated Marines.  There are no Black Marines, White Marines, Hispanic Marines, Asian Marines or even Catholic or Jewish Marines.  These men and women are United States Marines, straight up, tried and true.  They truly are THE FEW - THE PROUD.  They are his Marines and this has been his Marine Corps - America's most valued institution -- fundamentally unchanged in over 225 years.  I don' think we would want it any other way.  I don't think America could afford to have it any other way.

    2 years ago, Marine Corps Commandant General Jones was satisfied that the Marine Corps was on the right track when he assumed command.  His first order to the Marines was "continue to march."  Top, as you conclude your career I say, "continue to march."  And I hope you make it into heaven because God knows you have raised enough hell.

Commander Mike Lambert's vignette at Top Roger's retirement ceremony at the Corry Chapel in 2002.

Monday, March 10, 2014

My favorite TED-like Talk

My conversation with CDR Heritage, the fearless one

Hugh MacLeod's amazing work is available at

I am a huge fan of TED talks and try to watch one each day for inspiration. This "TED-like" talk is a real good one from one of our Shipmates - Commander Sean Heritage.  I've wanted to do one of these TED Talks myself and read the book about How to Deliver A TED Talk.  Doing so requires one to be fearless and fortunately Sean Heritage is exactly that. Below is his introduction to the talk.  It's only 19 minutes long and is well worth your time.

"It was late December of 2012 and I had just finished my list of goals for 2013, or so I thought. The week prior to finalizing my list, a mentor had lent me the book How to Deliver A TED Talk.  He had known how much I enjoy watching TED Talks and that I had a desire to deliver one of my own someday.  During the drive to the Maryland Shore to celebrate New Year’s Eve with friends, I decided to take advantage of being a passenger and read the book. It didn’t take me long to decide that my list for 2013 was no longer complete.  I needed to add “Deliver a TED-like Talk” to the list. Given how selective TED is, I knew better than to commit to a true TED Talk, so I went with a “TED-like Talk” (goals ought to be both meaningful AND achievable, right?). Earlier in the year, I had lobbied my leadership to allow me and a couple others to create a TEDx Forum for the Navy’s Cryptologic Community (of which I am a proud member), but due to budget constraints I was understandably unable to get my seniors to “Yes”. Undaunted, I knew I would be able to find an opportunity to get outside of my comfort zone and deliver a TED-like talk to a willing audience. Sure enough, in February one of my proteges (who like so many others double as mentor) identified an opportunity and brought it to my attention. The National Security Agency (NSA) was hosting a TED-like Forum by the name of “Kinetics”. Committed to walk the walk, there was no way I was going to let this opportunity pass me by.  I pitched the Kinetics Team on my concept and they accepted immediately."

 You can watch the video HERE.

Check out Hugh MacLeod's amazing work HERE.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

XO Prep Recommendation 2013-049

In 2013, I sent out approximately 150 recommendations on preparing to assume and executing duties as Executive Officer. 

This is tip #049:

I was thinking you should prepare some things for the CO's arrival.  You should produce a mirror document of the CNO's Sailing Directions for your command.  You could also have your Sailors work on a Navigation plan to chart your way to Command Excellence.  Give your Sailors the pride of authoring their own plan.  And, you should begin work now on a "Position Report" for the CO to send to your Immediate Superior In Command (ISIC) at the 6 month point.  Your Sailors want to operate at a higher level - an EXTRAORDINARY level, if you will.  

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Isn't good "good enough"?

One of the skippers I tried to mentor some years ago had the attitude that good is "good enough".  No amount of talking, writing, cajoling, or even begging (by me and others) convinced him to change his mind.  I can't bring myself to think that he was right in his thinking. "Good enough" did get him promoted and it did get him a pretty nice medal from the Navy.  "Good enough" got him those things.  "Good enough" may be fine for the individual but the command deserves excellence for the Sailors.

What "good enough" didn't get:
  • promotions for the Sailors.
  • a command reputation for excellence or anything beyond mediocrity.
  • respect from Sailors, peers or seniors.
  • a command prepared for IG inspection.
  • recognition for the command's mission accomplishment.
  • Sailors' pride in their command.
The list goes on but then it becomes too specific.  I remain convinced that good is not "good enough."

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Navy Way

Ever wonder how to do something in the Navy?  You don't usually have to wonder or guess.  If there is a way the Navy wants it done, you'll find guidance in a notice, instruction, manual or other directive.  The Navy way works nearly every time.  If you think your way is better, help rewrite the notice, instruction, manual or directive.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

CTICM(NAC) Beverly Berryman - Sailor Rest Your Oar

CTICM (Cryptologic Technician Interpretive Master Chief) Beverly C. Berryman, United States Navy, Retired, 68, of San Antonio, TX, died Tuesday, March 4, 2014, at Christus Santa Rosa Hospital Westover Hills in San Antonio, TX, after an unsuccessful fight against bone cancer. Funeral services will be held Wednesday, March 12th, at 1:00 PM at Martin Funeral Home in Waukon, IA, with Mike Ward officiating. Burial with military honors will be at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Waukon, where he will be interred with our dog Coco (whose ashes he has kept for 15 years so she could be buried with him). Friends may call from 11:00 AM until the time of service Wednesday at the funeral home. Lunch will follow at Farmers and Merchants Savings Bank in Waukon. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project at or the Gary Sinise Foundation at

Beverly Cooke Berryman was born February 4, 1946, in Front Royal, VA, the son of Lyle Cooke and Helen (Ramey) Berryman. He joined the United States Navy in 1966, and served with distinction for the next 28 years. Upon his retirement from the Navy, he attended Angelo State University in San Angelo, TX, and received a bachelor's degree in both history and Spanish. He married the love of his life Maureen Elizabeth Goltz, of Waukon IA, on June 29, 1968.  They spent their marriage traveling the world as Bev was transferred from one duty station to another until they finally settled in San Antonio.  

He enjoyed watching cowboy movies, reading, Wednesday lunches with his son John, and taking Mom shopping. He loved his country, he loved his wife, he loved his family, and he loved his Navy friends. Dad loved to laugh, and anyone who knew him knows that he took that to an all-time extreme when he almost choked to death laughing while watching the "Full Moon" episode of Designing Women.

He is survived by his loving wife Maureen Elizabeth Berryman; sons: Colin Thomas (Lara Nicole) Berryman and John Devon (Stephanie Nino) Berryman; grandchildren: Connor Michael and Samantha May Berryman; his sister Shirley Ann (Bill) Harper; his wonderful mother-in-law Sis Goltz; and brothers and sisters-in-law: Mike Goltz, Toni (Gary) Kolsrud, Tom Goltz, Frank (Patti) Goltz, Clark (Shelly) Goltz, Laurie Goltz; and many nieces and nephews.

Casketbearers will be his sons: Colin and John Berryman, brothers-in-law: Michael, Frank, Clark, and Tom Goltz, Gary Kolsrud, and Bill Harper, and his shipmate Rick Coffin. Honorary casketbearers will be Tom Botulinski, Don Alvord, and Brent Webb.  

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


“Leadership consists of picking good men and helping them do their best for you. The attributes of loyalty, discipline and devotion to duty on the part of subordinates must be matched by patience, tolerance and understanding on the part of superiors.”

Chester Nimitz

Monday, March 3, 2014

Take Full Measure of the Content of Your Character

"Can you be courteous in the face of an insult? Will you be harsh when your own treatment’s, unkind? Can you be compassionate when cruelty finds you? And will you be upright, when you or those you love are victimized? That is when you have to reach deep and take full measure of the content of your character. That is when you have to rely on your honor, your courage, your commitment, – core values that guide us in the Navy – and resolutely, persistently do the right thing. "

CNO - 2007

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Shout Out for our former NSGA Yokosuka Shipmate Chief Petty Officer Jonathan Routszong !!

Our former Naval Security Group Activity Yokosuka, Japan, Shipmate Jonathan Routszong continues his climb up the Navy career ladder.  I think CTMCS Terry Craft got him off to a great start with our Professional and Personal Excellence (PROPEL) program when Jonathan was just a Seaman. Reverend Royce Colley came from the program, as did CTNCS Brian Waggoner and CTTC Christin Rees and Antonio Dixon - among many others.

Chief Routszong was just selected for Chief Warrant Officer as an Information Warfare Technician.  The Chiefs' Mess loses an AWESOME Chief Petty Officer but the wardroom just picked up a great new Chief Warrant Officer.  Congratulations Chief !  We are all very proud of you.