General Lloyd J. Austin III - Selfless Warrior
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.
Wednesday, January 27, 2021
From 9 years ago - our new Secretary of Defense
Saturday, January 23, 2021
Professionalism of our cryptologic force
The professionalism of our force is built upon mastery of a core set of skills that every cryptologic professional must possess. It all starts with a deep understanding of the fundamentals of cryptology, and a requirement that our professionals think clearly, and convey their analysis and assessments just as clearly to our Navy and our nation's decision-makers.
Wednesday, January 20, 2021
A note to my Sailors from 21 years ago
The things that I discuss with each Sailor who reports aboard the command are very straight-forward. We've done all we can to eliminate guessing from the success equation. The leaders in this command are here to direct the accomplishment of the command's mission. People (our Sailors and their families) are a priority - that hasn't changed; but we have to accomplish the mission. We will do all we can as leaders of this activity to ensure that every Sailor has an equal opportunity to succeed in his/her naval career. We recognize that, for some, a career will only be a single enlistment and for others 20-30 years. In either case, you've got to make the most of it. Come to work on time, do your job correctly, do an honest day's work, treat your Shipmates with dignity and respect, add value to the things you do, pay your bills on time, be faithful to your spouse and family, and live the Navy's Core Values of Honor, Courage and Commitment. Do all that and I can virtually guarantee you will be a success - in the Navy and in life. Anything less is unacceptable. R/CO
Tuesday, January 19, 2021
One of the 5 characteristics of a leader
Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale - One of the five characteristics of a leader
Saturday, January 16, 2021
Three years ago today, we lost an amazing Shipmate - CTICS Shannon Mary Kent. We have a duty to remember her.
If you don’t know her already, it’s too late. She’s gone. But, it’s not too late to know about her. So, I’d like to help tell part of the story of this amazingly brave, sweet girl. She NEVER cowered – ever. I’d like for you to know enough about this brave, sweet girl to care about her, to care about her family (a husband (Joe) and two sons (Josh and Colt); sister (Mariah); Mom (Mary) and Dad (Steven) she left behind and perhaps to care enough about her legacy and memory to write a personal letter to the Acting Secretary of the Navy asking him to name a Navy destroyer after her – USS SHANNON MARY KENT. (How was that for a run-on sentence?)
She never once worried about recognition, but she is certainly worthy of it. 16 January 2019 marked the end of her young, vibrant, meaningful, and significant 35 years of life. She spent nearly half of her life in the Navy. She spent her professional career in the top secret world of the Navy Information Warfare Corps. She was practically unknown to the rest of the world. That is, until she was murdered by a terrorist who detonated an improvised explosive device in Manbij, Syria. 16 January 2019 marks the day that her existence and murder were made known to the entire world.
As a 19 year old, she joined the Navy in 2003 and attended foreign language school at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California. In seven short years she was able to distinguish herself as the top linguist in the Department of Defense while serving with the Naval Special Warfare Support Activity TWO in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She spoke Afghan-Dari, Arabic-Algerian, Arabic-Egyptian, Arabic-Gulf (Iraqi), Arabic-Levantine, Arabic-Standard, French, Portuguese-European, and Spanish.
Prior to her assignment in Syria, Shannon had previously deployed four times for combat operations on Navy Special Forces actions in Iraq and Afghanistan. She deployed twice with SEAL Team 10 and twice with SEAL Team 4. Syria was her fifth combat deployment in 15 years – and her ninth deployment overall. Where do we find such brave women? They come from all over America. SMK answered her Navy’s call to action nine separate times.
She spent much of her career in harm’s way. According to the Center for Military Readiness - “Since the attack on America on September 11, 2001, a total of 149 women deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, and Syria have lost their lives in service to America. Most Americans, and even members of the media, are not aware that 149 brave servicewomen have died in the War on Terrorism. With few exceptions, news stories about their tragic deaths usually appeared only in the military press, or in small hometown newspaper stories and television accounts that rarely capture national attention.” Six of those 149 women were serving in the Navy. Only one of those women took the fight to ISIS in Syria as part of Operation Inherent Resolve – Shannon Mary Kent.
She is the only enlisted woman ever to be honored with a memorial service in the USNA chapel. During that service she was awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, and a Combat Action Ribbon. About a month later, on 28 February 2019, General Nakasone, Director of the National Security Agency presided over a ceremony to add Senior Chief Petty Officer Shannon Kent’s name to the NSA/CSS Cryptologic Memorial Wall in a solemn ceremony.
Her Cryptologic Warfare Activity SIXTY SIX Shipmates say that CTICS (IW/EXW) Shannon Mary Kent exemplified the Navy’s core values of HONOR, COURAGE and COMMITMENT every moment of every day of her life. Her murder stunned her teammates. Many still have not recovered from the agony of her passing. She meant so much too so many.
Don’t allow the memory of Shannon Mary Kent’s extraordinarily significant life to disappear as we live our lives. She deserves to be remembered. Shannon’s death is a reminder that, as Katherine Center says, “We are writing the story of our only life every single minute of every day.”
Shannon Mary Kent’s story ended much too early. She wasn’t ready to stop writing her story. We owe it to her to keep writing it for her. So I ask you to please sit down and write a letter. She fought for you, won’t you join the fight for her?
Won’t you help keep the story of Shannon Mary Kent alive? Please send your letter to:
Captain Reiner W. “Mike” Lambert is a retired naval officer. He started his career as a Cryptologic Technician Interpretive Seaman (CTISN - Russian linguist) and attended the Defense Language School in 1975-1976. He was commissioned in 1982, commanded U.S. Naval Security Group Activity Yokosuka, Japan, and served as Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld’s Staff Director for the Detainee Task Force examining detainee abuse in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay Cuba. He retired in 2006 following that assignment. Today he runs The FARM at DEER HOLLOW with his wife Lynn. He is also a Principal with Top Corner Consulting.
Saturday, January 9, 2021
10 Reasons I'm Bringing My Blog Back to Life in 2021
In the past, my blog allowed me to:
Friday, January 8, 2021
One of the young people I mentor opened my eyes to the fact that something which I was having a very difficult time overcoming was not nearly as challenging as I was making it out to be. In the process of solving this complex (in my mind) problem, we came up with a new (in my mind) term for my inability to see past my own perceived limitations. I was suffering from what we call an "OBSTACLE ILLUSION". The obstacle was not real but I had created it in my mind and the illusion of a non-existent challenge prevented me from solving the problem.
Thursday, January 7, 2021
Give Your Officers A Little More Praise
"Hereafter, if you should observe an occasion to give your officers and friends a little more praise than is their due, and confess more fault than you can justly be charged with, you will only become the sooner for it, a great captain. Criticizing and censuring almost everyone you have to do with will diminish friends, increase enemies, and thereby hurt your affairs."
Benjamin Franklin in a note to Captain John Paul Jones
Tuesday, January 5, 2021
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 Rogers, 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.
Friday, January 1, 2021
A Simple Gesture to Start the New Year
By every measure, 2020 has been an incredible year - one filled with countless challenges. Everyone in the Navy certainly feels the added pressure of the steady demand signal for improvements in readiness and performance - even during the COVID pandemic.