Saturday, February 28, 2015

B Armstrong's - The Thinking Professional versus The Practical Officer

In conclusion today, I leave you with the knowledge that the pursuit of professional writing and personal professional study has a long history in the maritime service. It is true, there appear to be very few members of the Flag Ranks who published in the pages of Proceedings before they became important enough to have a staff to help them write.

Read it all over at CIMSEC HERE.

Friday, February 27, 2015

NCDOC Technical Director Recognized as DON IT/IM Person of the Year

The Department of the Navy (DoN) Chief Information Officer recently congratulated the 2015 Information Technology Award winners.  Among them was:
Mr. Robert W. Boshonek, NCDOC Technical Director, Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command for providing exceptional leadership and technical expertise to Navy Cybersecurity. His conceptualizing of the “War Room” was paramount to the success of the largest cyber operation in Navy history. He drove the creation of the cyber remediation list to harden Navy networks, and his work with "Task Force Cyber Awakening" is bringing additional security to combat systems and hull, maintenance, and electrical systems. He was a critical player in the Joint Information Environment/Joint Regional Security Stack (JRSS) discussions, which will completely reshape the DoD information network and create an entirely new governance structure. The vast cybersecurity knowledge and dynamic leadership provided by Mr. Boshonek were instrumental in shaping the future of Navy and DoD cybersecurity.
Bravo Zulu.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Action Officers Rejoice !! Ashton Carter bans PowerPoint within DoD

Washington DC - In a move aimed at regaining funding lost through sequestration, the newly confirmed Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter, has banned PowerPoint presentations within the Department of Defense.

RADM John Kirby was asked for comment but could only reply, "It's not my job (anymore), man."

Various budget groups within DoD have estimated that nearly all funds lost to sequestration will be recovered through the time saved by over 4,000 action officers no longer working on 'point'-less PowerPoint presentations.

All action officers will be required to complete the Admiral James Stavridis "CONCISE WRITING" "Gobbledygook Has Gotta Go" course.

Quotable quote - "If your boss insists upon PowerPoint briefings for decision-making, find a new boss."

Bryan McGrath's counterpoint on a well-crafted PowerPoint is HERE

Coming in April - You can order your copy now

As organizations grow, the demands on leadership change. The same old moves won't cut it any more. In Chess Not Checkers, Miller tells the story of Blake Brown, newly appointed CEO of a company troubled by poor performance and low morale. Nothing Blake learned from his previous job seems to help him deal with the issues he now faces. The problem, his new mentor points out, is Blake is playing checkers—he needs to play chess or he's going to lose.

The early days of an organization are like checkers: a quick game with mostly interchangeable pieces. Everybody does a little bit of everything, the leader included, and things are so frantic you just have to react as fast as you can. But as the organization expands, you can't just keep jumping from activity to activity. You have to think strategically, look ahead, leverage every employee's specific talents. That's chess. And this approach creates unprecedented levels of performance.

Adapting four strategies from the game of chess, Miller reveals four moves high-performance organizations make. 

They (1) bet on leadership, (2) act as one, (3) win the heart, and (4) excel at execution. 

Chess Not Checkers is an accessible and easily applied guide to help leaders elevate their own leadership and the performance of their entire team.

You can pre-order your copy HERE.  

Mark Miller is pretty awesome.  You can follow his blog HERE.  And on Twitter HERE.


"To be a leader worth following there must be alignment between the values you preach to the organization and the values you live out in every facet of your life."

Andy Stanley

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Truth sells itself.

Truth gets you through situations nothing else will.

Looking dumb is oodles better than lying.

The risk of false accusations is one of those risks that accompany success and senior leadership positions.  The only way to insure yourself against this risk is to be publicly, privately and deliberately squeaky clean.

Integrity ensures you solve and do not ignore real problems.  It acts as a forcing function for needed improvements.

Lack of integrity on the part of an individual is often a key indicator of a deeper problem in the organization of unit.

No matter what you have heard, personal integrity is in itself an excellent armament.  There is always room at the top for an honest man.

A single lie can deed your soul to the devil for eternity.

From my Shipmate and occasional mentor - Rear Admiral Dave Oliver Jr.

Friday, February 20, 2015

U.S. Navy Program Guide 2015

The 2015 Navy Program Guide is available HERE.  Lots of great info about Navy programs and capabilities.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Put this in the hands of every Sailor

You can read the full document HERE.  This was published in April of 2014.  I've heard from several senior Navy education and training stakeholders that they had not seen the strategy before this week.  I don't know if the Navy intended this as an outward facing public affairs document or an internal roadmap.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Something else the CNO has published that O5s and O6s are unlikely to read because they are TOO BUSY

As a former budget person (Navy bean counter), Navy Planning Guidance has always been an important read for me.  There is so much to be gleaned from these pages for any analyst worth their budget beans.  Guidance for 2015 is a little more than a month away but this guidance from 2014 is well worth reading.  You can read it all HERE.

  • Naval aviation gets 30 pages. 
  • SWOs get 33 pages. 
  • Submariners get 7 pages. 
  • Information Dominance gets 55 pages!

Navy Cyber Warfare Development Group's 4th Anniversary

Navy Cyber Warfare Development Group - established four years ago, today

Rear Admiral Bill Leigher, Deputy Commander, Fleet Cyber Command/TENTH Fleet presided over the establishment ceremony for Navy Cyber Warfare Development Group on 18 February 2011.  Captain Steve Parode assumed command on that date from Captain Diane Gronewold (now the Executive Director).

Captain Andy Stewart is the current CO of NCWDG. Commander Donovan Oubre is the Executive Officer.  Diane Gronewold is the Executive Director. Commander Bartel is the N3.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Cyber ATTACK - Much overused. Not EVERYTHING we call an attack is an attack.

"Since many reports call everything - pranks, embarrassing leaks, fraud, bank robbery and espionage - a cyber attack, the strategy led to expressions of concern that the United States would be shooting missiles at annoying teenage hackers or starting wars over Wikileaks," he wrote. "In fact, the strategy sets a very high threshold that is derived from the laws of armed conflict for defining a cyber attack. Nothing we have seen this year would qualify as an attack using this threshold."

Jim Lewis at CSIS HERE.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Military Writers Guild

The Military Writers Guild exists to gather writers committed to the development of the profession of arms through the exchange of ideas in the written medium. Through its members, The Guild will encourage an open dialogue from diverse perspectives, thereby supporting the study of military affairs, spread knowledge of the military profession, and increase the assistance available to those writing in the national security space. The Guild will help foster a strong peer ecosystem focused on writing about military affairs through our ability to, “Advocate, Collaborate, and Promote.”

You can try to join HERE.  Make Admiral Stavridis proud !! 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Some Leadership Excellence Criteria for your consideration - Malcolm Baldrige Foundation

  1. Leads the organization in setting and owning organizational vision and values
  2. Guides the creation of strategies, systems, and methods to achieve performance excellence and ensure organizational sustainability
  3. Creates and ensures a supportive and collaborative environment
  4. Shares high performance practices with others
  1. Builds a customer-focused culture and integrates customer engagement as a strategic concept
  2. Creates a focus on anticipating changing and emerging customer and market requirements
  3. Ensures differentiation from competitors through the development of organizational knowledge, skills, and core competencies 
  1. Embeds learning, improvement, and innovation throughout their organization
  2. Engages in personal learning seeking input from others
  3. Develops future organizational leaders  
  1. Builds and fosters an organizational culture which focuses on workforce engagement, satisfaction, development and well-being
  2. Seeks the views and suggestions of all workforces members
  3. Creates an organizational focus on building internal and external partnerships
  1. Develops and recognizes a capacity for rapid change and for flexibility in operations
  2. Leads and inspires the organization to make transformational changes despite ever-shorter cycle times
  1. Creates a focus on short- and longer-term factors that affect the organization and its future marketplace success
  2. Leads the pursuit of sustained improvement and innovation
  3. Ensures that organizational planning anticipates future marketplace and technological influences
  1. Builds an environment that empowers the workforce to take intelligent risks
  2. Enables innovation to flourish and create value for stakeholders
  3. Inspires and rewards innovative behavior by workforce members
  1. Compels the organization to measure performance at all levels to drive high performance
  2. Uses data and analysis in decision making
  3. Challenges the organization to extract larger meaning from data and information
  4. Builds and ensures a workforce that has the knowledge and skills to manage the organization’s operations by fact
  1. Acts as a role model for ethical behavior, public responsibility, and actions leading to societal well-being and benefit
  2. Motivates the organization to excel beyond mere compliance with laws and regulations
  3. Drives environmental, social, and economic betterment of the community as a personal and organizational goal
  1. Leads the organization to achieve excellent performance results
  2. Defines and drives the organization to exceed stakeholder requirements and achieve stakeholder value
  1. Sets a systems perspective across the organization so that the organization and all of its parts are viewed as a whole
  2. Causes holistic thinking and cross-functional collaboration

Thursday, February 12, 2015

This doesn't appear to be correct - Can this really be the BIGGEST cyber challenge facing the Navy??

Vice Admiral Jan E. Tighe is reported to have said that the biggest cyber challenge facing the Navy is the protection of sensitive but unclassified (SBU) information that resides outside of its networks

From this ARTICLE.  Do we need a Task Force SBU?? Is someone aware of which organization is tasked with working to resolve the biggest cyber challenge facing the Navy?

Seems like this would be addressed in the DoD's Risk Management Framework for cyber. 

Your Chance to Influence The Navy's New Slogan

"HOOK "EM HORNS" has already been used.
Remember how the Navy in the U.S. is moving away from the whole “Global force for good” message, into something a little more, uh, aggressive?
The Navy is looking for a new slogan, and is accepting up to three ideas from anyone who wants in.
The Navy is taking ideas until February 24. Submissions only require a name, phone number, and email address, along with up to three slogans.
Each slogan will begin with “America’s Navy,” followed by some sort of additional phrase.
Navy Times readers will vote on their favorite slogan among a group winnowed down by a panel. Navy leaders will also be given the top ideas.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

This will come as a shock to some of you

Photo from Navy Times (reports are that they are no longer smiling)
"All Navy officers, particularly our senior leadership in positions of unique trust and responsibility, must uphold and be held to the highest standards of personal and professional behavior."

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus in his remarks after censuring three senior Naval officers.  NJP for an enlisted Sailor for similar offenses would have seen fines, reduction in rate, very likely restriction and extra duty. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Advice for today

“Greater collaboration among our Commanding Officers would allow them to capture each other's bank of collective intelligence.”

It would help FCC and C10F.

Monday, February 9, 2015

New Senior Military Advisor for Cyber

No. NR-044-15
February 09, 2015

Flag Officer Assignments

The Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert announced today the following assignments:

Rear Adm. (lower half) Sean R. Filipowski, selected for the rank of rear admiral, will be assigned as senior military advisor for cyber, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Washington, District of Columbia.

Filipowski is currently serving as director, Warfare Integration Directorate, N2/N6F, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, District of Columbia.
 U.S. Department of Defense
 Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs) 

A Naval Officer Worthy of Your Attention and Deep Admiration

Her appearances on David Letterman are legendary.  Her explanation of a nanosecond blew him away. She shares a grave site close to her husband at Arlington National Cemetery. She is the second Navy woman to have a ship named for her.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

A Promise From The Past - LONG Forgotten

NETWARCOM Strategic Plan 2006-2010

Execution of the plan: Responsibility for each part of the plan is clearly indicated in the document. Tier I goals are collectively owned by the Commander, Vice Commander, and Deputy Commander (the strategic leadership team).

Tier II goal owners are accountable for accomplishing strategies and removing barriers, identifying resources, and tracking progress. These goal owners may establish a virtual team when needed to determine a Plan of Action and Milestones for their goals, and then monitor progress.

Each month, the strategic leadership team will review progress in achieving goals.

This plan will ultimately be linked to all existing NETWARCOM headquarters functions (Weekly Activity Reporters (WAR), military FITREPS and evaluations, civilian awards, civilian/contractor/resource allocation, etc.).
The entire NETWARCOM Strategic Plan will be reviewed annually.
Stakeholders will be kept informed of progress in goal achievements.

NETWARCOM Strategic Plan 2006-2010 (THE LINK IS DEAD - as are the ideas originally expressed)  Excellent ideas, poor execution.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Writing helps in more ways than you may think

"Writing is one of the most effective ways to access an inner world of feelings that is the key to recovering from genuine trauma and everyday stress alike."
From an article - Why You Should Write Yourself a Letter Tonight HERE.

Friday, February 6, 2015

As one of the most prolific letter writers in Virginia, I was authorized to extend National Handwriting Day into a National Handwriting Month celebration from 23 January to 23 February

The lost art of handwriting is one of the few ways we can uniquely express ourselves. There’s something poetic about grasping a writing instrument and feeling it hit the paper as your thoughts flow through your fingers and pour into words. So, letter writers around the world suggest you take advantage of National Handwriting Month from January 23 to February 23 and use a pen or a pencil to rekindle that creative feeling through a handwritten note, poem, letter or journal entry.

Handwriting allows us to be artists and individuals during a time when we often use computers, faxes and e-mail to communicate. Fonts are the same no matter what computer you use or how you use it. Fonts lack a personal touch. Handwriting can add intimacy to a letter and reveal details about the writer’s personality. Throughout history, handwritten documents have sparked love affairs, started wars, established peace, freed slaves, created movements and declared independence.

"Though computers and e-mail play an important role in our lives, nothing will ever replace the sincerity and individualism expressed through the handwritten word - and if you can write in Kanji or Katakana, or Hiragana even better," said Commander Andy Reeves, the Executive Officer of U.S. Navy Information Operations Command Yokosuka Japan.

The purpose of National Handwriting Month is to alert the public to the importance of handwriting (after all, isn't that what hands are for?). According to people who really matter, National Handwriting Month is a chance for all of us to re-explore the purity and power of handwriting. 

With and against the wind

To reach a port we must sail, sometimes with the wind, and sometimes against it. But we must not drift or lie at anchor.”

 – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

For our friend Sean Filipowski (N2N6F) at the Pentagon

From the awesome cartoonist and retired Navy Captain Jeff Bacon.

We promise it will be more fulfilling when you are a 2 star !!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Month-long celebration continues - U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. TENTH Fleet - Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class David Finley

FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. - U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet continued a monthlong celebration of its fifth year of operations during a ceremony at Fort George G. Meade, Md., Feb. 2.

The event included a cake cutting and remarks from Vice Adm. Jan E. Tighe, commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet.

"It has been five years of operational excellence from this staff and the entire community," said Tighe during a worldwide video teleconference with leaders from the entire Fleet Cyber Command operational domain. "Thank you for helping drive that culture and never forget that we are the fleet." 

Fleet Cyber Command was established and 10th Fleet recommissioned Jan. 29, 2010. U.S. Fleet Cyber Command reports directly to the Chief of Naval Operations as an Echelon II command and is responsible for Navy networks, cryptology, signals intelligence, information operations, electronic warfare, cyber and space. 

Tighe reviewed the command’s accomplishments over the past five years of operations, which included highlights such as, most recently, the launch and operation of the third Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite; NC3 upgrades; expanding and maturing distributed Signal Intelligence operations; fighting and maneuvering the network during Operation Rolling Tide.

Tighe also recalled the storied history that stretches back decades in making Fleet Cyber Command. 

“We have built this on the rich heritage that came before … the Naval Computer and Telecommunications Command, Naval Security Group, and Navy Space Command collapsing into NETWARCOM and now becoming exclusively operational at Fleet Cyber Command,” Tighe said. 

“I think the heritage and commitment to excellence of all those organizations played into who we are today. We are going to continue to make them proud,” she went on to say.

Tighe also emphasized the growth the Navy has seen in recent years in Information Dominance and cyber warfare capabilities.

“Our evolution as part of the overall Information Dominance Corps and warfighting area is significant,” said Tighe. “The establishment of N2N6 in 2009, Fleet Cyber Command in 2010 and now Information Dominance Forces in 2015 is a maturation process that codifies us as a warfighting domain and I think we are going to continue to build on this foundation.”

The Navy Information Dominance Forces Type Command was established on Jan. 28, 2015 and is responsible for the man, train, equip and readiness mission for all Navy Information Dominance capabilities afloat and ashore.

Tighe briefly previewed the updated Command Strategy for U.S. Fleet Cyber Command, focused on five high level goals:

1. Operate the Navy network as a warfighting platform
2. Conduct tailored signals intelligence (SIGINT)
3. Deliver warfighting effects
4. Create shared cyber situational awareness
5. Establish and mature Navy’s Cyber Mission Forces.

She stated that these goals will drive toward achieving the command’s vision, which is “…to conduct operations in and through cyberspace, the electromagnetic spectrum, and space to ensure Navy and Joint/Coalition freedom of action and decision superiority while denying the same to our adversaries.”

She went on to say that this will be accomplished, “…through our collective commitment to excellence and by strengthening our alliances with entities across the U.S. government, [Department of Defense], academia, industry and our foreign partners.” 

The final strategy document will be available at the end of February.

Tighe closed by wishing the command a happy fifth birthday and thanking the world-wide team again.

U.S. Fleet Cyber Command serves as the Navy Component Command to U.S. Strategic Command and U.S. Cyber Command, and the Navy’s Service Cryptologic Component Commander under the National Security Agency/Central Security Service, exercising operational control of Fleet Cyber Command mission forces through 10th Fleet (C10F). 

C10F is the operational arm of Fleet Cyber Command and executes its mission through a task force structure similar to other warfare commanders.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


"Officers complete nearly 20 years of professional development in most communities before assuming command, but most unrestricted-line communities do not even mention ethics in a classroom environment until prospective XO/CO courses. To rise to the moral and ethical challenges of command, an officer must impose upon himself a similarly systematic curriculum of character development. Only by admitting it could happen to each of us, recognizing situations where moral failure could occur, and subsequently developing strong ethical habits throughout a career can an officer safeguard against a relief in command due to personal misconduct."

From a very good article in January 2014 issue of PROCEEDINGS magazine by LT Lawrence Heyworth IV

Note: In the past year, the Navy has moved its mandatory online ethics training behind an NMCI firewall making it even more difficult for Sailors to complete required training.  That doesn't make too much sense.

Monday, February 2, 2015

I lost a blog follower over the weekend ... please come back.

Rules and Tools for Leaders - From my mentor Maj Gen Perry M. Smith, PhD

Chapter 3 - Setting Standards

Personal and Institutional Integrity

Integrity is not something that can be put on and taken off as we go to and from work.  People whose character is weak while outside of the job do not have the character required to be leaders.  For instance, an individual who engages in ... adultery..., cheats on tax forms or even cheats at golf is also likely to violate standards of institutional integrity at work.  When such a person is placed in a leadership position, the final result is often either short-term or long-term failure; when at the top, he or she will do serious damage to the organization or institution.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Admiral James S. McFarland - Gone 12 Years - NOT FORGOTTEN

LCDR James McFarland - Bronze Star Winner for combat action in Vietnam.
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.