Thursday, December 1, 2016

Conduct as officers

"Unless and until officers conduct themselves at all times as officers, it is useless to demand and hopeless to expect any improvement in the enlisted ranks.
Matters of correct attitude, personal conduct, and awareness of moral obligations do not lend themselves to control by a set of rules or to scientific analysis...Many methods of instruction and different approaches to teaching them will present themselves. Each naval officer must consider himself an instructor in these matters and the future tone of the naval service will depend on the sincerity which he brings to this task."
Admiral T. C. Kinkaid
United States Navy
1947

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Certain Aspects of Our Profession Are Fundamental - They Should Never Change


Rear Admiral James S. McFarland and I carried on a regular correspondence for almost 20 years. He was a great mentor and a conscientious note/letter writer. This last response was just before his death in February 2003. We had been exchanging ideas about the future of cryptology in our Naval profession. He was committed to the idea that some aspects of our profession were fundamental and should never change.

He was deeply proud of the 10,000 or so Sailors that comprised the Cryptologic Community. He, more than most, understood the value of those Sailors to the Navy and its mission. He believed in taking care of those Sailors and the Sailors knew it.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Your True North

Boxing the Compass - Finding our True North and staying true to it

Most of us have come to understand that leadership is about character, not characteristics.  We know what our values are and sometimes struggle to stay true to those values when we see that our seniors continue to progress while not demonstrating that same strict adherence to our Navy core values.  

Some in our community have found strength in maintaining their 'true North' by creating something they have called their personal "Board of Directors" (BoD).  Entrepreneur Bill George has a decent book out called TRUE NORTH GROUPS.  He knows that, with the challenges we face these days, we require additional help to stay on track.  We cannot rely on just ourselves or our commands to help us stay on track.  We need Shipmates in 'our circle of trust'  with whom we can have in-depth discussions and share intimately about the most cherished things in our lives and careers while we serve our country around the world.  

Whatever you choose to call it, you need to have Shipmates you can count on in the toughest of times - the people who will follow-through on things 'because they said they would.'

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Handwritten letter


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.

Catherine Field - The New York Times

Friday, November 25, 2016

Right and True

"If it is not right, do not do it; if it is not true, do not say it."

Marcus Aurelius

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

MAD DOG MATTIS on being "too busy" to read - same applies to being too busy to write

"… The problem with being too busy to read is that you learn by experience (or by your men’s experience), i.e. the hard way. By reading, you learn through others’ experiences, generally a better way to do business, especially in our line of work where the consequences of incompetence are so final for young men.

Thanks to my reading, I have never been caught flat-footed by any situation, never at a loss for how any problem has been addressed (successfully or unsuccessfully) before. It doesn’t give me all the answers, but it lights what is often a dark path ahead.

With TF 58, I had w/ me Slim’s book, books about the Russian and British experiences in AFG, and a couple others. Going into Iraq, “The Siege” (about the Brits’ defeat at Al Kut in WW I) was req’d reading for field grade officers. I also had Slim’s book; reviewed T.E. Lawrence’s “Seven Pillars of Wisdom”; a good book about the life of Gertrude Bell (the Brit archaeologist who virtually founded the modern Iraq state in the aftermath of WW I and the fall of the Ottoman empire); and “From Beirut to Jerusalem”. I also went deeply into Liddell Hart’s book on Sherman, and Fuller’s book on Alexander the Great got a lot of my attention (although I never imagined that my HQ would end up only 500 meters from where he lay in state in Babylon).

Ultimately, a real understanding of history means that we face NOTHING new under the sun. For all the “4th Generation of War” intellectuals running around today saying that the nature of war has fundamentally changed, the tactics are wholly new, etc, I must respectfully say… “Not really”: Alex the Great would not be in the least bit perplexed by the enemy that we face right now in Iraq, and our leaders going into this fight do their troops a disservice by not studying (studying, vice just reading) the men who have gone before us.

We have been fighting on this planet for 5000 years and we should take advantage of their experience. “Winging it” and filling body bags as we sort out what works reminds us of the moral dictates and the cost of incompetence in our profession. As commanders and staff officers, we are coaches and sentries for our units: how can we coach anything if we don’t know a hell of a lot more than just the TTPs? What happens when you’re on a dynamic battlefield and things are changing faster than higher HQ can stay abreast? Do you not adapt because you cannot conceptualize faster than the enemy’s adaptation? (Darwin has a pretty good theory about the outcome for those who cannot adapt to changing circumstance — in the information age things can change rather abruptly and at warp speed, especially the moral high ground which our regimented thinkers cede far too quickly in our recent fights.) And how can you be a sentinel and not have your unit caught flat-footed if you don’t know what the warning signs are — that your unit’s preps are not sufficient for the specifics of a tasking that you have not anticipated?

Perhaps if you are in support functions waiting on the warfighters to spell out the specifics of what you are to do, you can avoid the consequences of not reading. Those who must adapt to overcoming an independent enemy’s will are not allowed that luxury.

This is not new to the USMC approach to warfighting — Going into Kuwait 12 years ago, I read (and reread) Rommel’s Papers (remember “Kampstaffel”?), Montgomery’s book (“Eyes Officers”…), “Grant Takes Command” (need for commanders to get along, “commanders’ relationships” being more important than “command relationships”), and some others. As a result, the enemy has paid when I had the opportunity to go against them, and I believe that many of my young guys lived because I didn’t waste their lives because I didn’t have the vision in my mind of how to destroy the enemy at least cost to our guys and to the innocents on the battlefields.

Hope this answers your question…. I will cc my ADC in the event he can add to this. He is the only officer I know who has read more than I.

Semper Fi, Mattis"

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Captain Clyde Lopez celebrates his 79th Birthday Today

Captain Clyde Lopez

Captain Clyde Lopex, Athens, 1989


Captain Clyde C. Lopez, United States Navy - retired, celebrates his 79th birthday today.  This great American enlisted in the Navy in October 1955 and served for 40 years, retiring in 1995. 

His illustrious Navy career would fill volumes.  It is sufficient to say that he was a Sailor worthy of being called a Shipmate by all who know him.


He was born on this day in 1937 in Santa Rosa, New Mexico.

Sir, Happy Birthday SHIPMATE !! 

I salute you !!

Monday, November 21, 2016

The power of ideas in the Information Warfare Community



TED (owned by The Sapling Foundation) fosters the spread of great ideas. It aims to provide a platform for the world's smartest thinkers, greatest visionaries and most-inspiring teachers, so that millions of people can gain a better understanding of the biggest issues faced by the world, and a desire to help create a better future. Core to this goal is a belief that there is no greater force for changing the world than a powerful idea. Consider:
  • An idea can be created out of nothing except an inspired imagination. 
  • An idea weighs nothing.
  • It can be transferred across the world at the speed of light for virtually zero cost.
  • And yet an idea, when received by a prepared mind, can have extraordinary impact.
  • It can reshape that mind's view of the world.
  • It can dramatically alter the behavior of the mind's owner.
  • It can cause the mind to pass on the idea to others. 
 OUR COLLABORATION ACROSS THE  INFORMATION DOMINANCE CORPS IS CAPABLE OF CHANGING THE MANNER IN WHICH THE NAVY CONDUCTS  COMBAT AT SEA AND PREVENTS WAR. 

OPNAV N2/N6 is actively seeking your ideas.  SHARE THEM. Create a better future for our Navy. It's where you'll spend the rest of your career.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Motivating the crew - worth repeating


This is a letter from former Commander, Naval Security Group Command - RDML (at the time) James S. McFarland while I was Officer in Charge of Naval Security Group Barbers Point, Hawaii. I received this note almost a year into my tour (to the day). He sent a note of thanks to all the places he visited and to many of the hot running young Sailors he met along the way. RDML McFarland had just visited our small detachment on a worldwide tour that took him to over a dozen Naval Security Group sites in the Far East and through SouthWestAsia. His hand was blistered and calloused from all the hands he shook of the Sailors he met. When he visited my detachment, he already knew all my Sailors by name. I'm not sure if it was good staff work or simply a great memory.

He corresponded regularly with his Commanding Officers and Officers in Charge. He sent a quarterly letter to the entire Naval Security Group claimancy once a quarter to keep everyone on the same page. On these trips he usually brought a couple of the reps from the CNSG HQ to listen to issues and provide 'on the spot' assistance where they could. On this trip, he brought a recent lateral transfer to the cryptologic community by the name of Andrew M. Singer. You could tell instantaneously that this guy had it all in one seabag. The NSG team had a great visit with my crew. The crew went on to win two Meritorious Unit Citations, one Navy Unit Citation, the National Security Agency's TOP TEN Signals Award and honorable mention for our Sailor retention program. Not to mention - the three RADM G. Patrick March Awards for language proficiency - all presented by RADM March himself.

RDML McFarland's letters served as great motivation for me and my crew. I had nominated one of my linguists (Tim Kalvoda) for a Flag Letter of Commendation for achieving the SILVER level in the Samuel F.B. Morse Award program. RDML McFarland had his awards secretary (Mary Jo Crisp) call me to say, "If you don't mind, RDML McFarland would like to upgrade his award to a Navy Achievement Medal." RDML McFarland was just that kind of man. All of our linguists were dual-qualified (and mostly self-taught) as Manual Morse operators and Tim Kalvoda had achieved a level of expertise that some Cryptologic Technician Collection (CTRs) were not even capable of reaching.

What a great crew ! What an awesome experience! What a great Admiral ! What a great man ! And, I heard that Andrew M. Singer guy turned out to be a pretty good cryptologist - even if he had been a SWO first.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Think you're too busy? You probably aren't !


This great news from our Shipmates at Station Hypo

uny042-375w
Congratulations to our incoming Commanding Officers, who will be taking command over the next year.
Major Command
CAPT Count will relieve CAPT Vernazza as CO, NIOC Georgia
CAPT Franklin will relieve CAPT Houff as CO, NIOC Texas
CAPT C. Slattery will relieve CAPT Finn as CO, NIOC Norfolk
CAPT J. Slattery will relieve CAPT Heritage as CO, NCDOC
CAPT Johnson will relieve CAPT Scheidt as CO, NIOC Maryland
CAPT Noles, CAPT Mole and CAPT Braswell will remain in the command bank for future slating.
Commander Command
CDR Smith will relieve CDR Eng as CO, IWTC Corry Station
CDR Herlands will relieve CDR Alexander as CO, NIOC Colorado
CDR Yates will relieve CDR Damsky as CO, NIOC Yokosuka
CDR Cadena will relieve CDR Zimmerman as CO, NIOC San Diego
CDR Barnes will relieve CAPT Corey as CO, Joint Targets Squadron
CDR Finke (1830) will stand up Cryptologic Warfare Activity 61
CDR Yusko will stand up Cyber Strike Activity 63
CDR Cegelske (1820) will stand up Cyber Defense Activity 64
CDR Harding, CDR Salazar and CDR Lawrence will remain in the command bank for future slating.
Congratulations!
v/r
The Team at Station HYPO  https://stationhypo.com

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Organized Bravery


I am an unabashed fan of the Information Dominance Corps Warfare Community leadership and here's why.

Much of the Navy's time is spent on Risk Management of all types (i.e., Liberty Risk, Operational Risk Management, Health Risk, Safety Risk, and the list goes on nearly without end.)

As Seth Godin has stated: "The purpose of the modern organization is to make it easy and natural and expected for people to take risks. To lean out of the boat. To be human."

In many Navy commands, the opposite is happening.  Risk is avoided at all costs.  Much time is spent avoiding that "one mistake" that takes you out of the promotion cycle.  Godin calls this "institutionalized cowardice"  Too many Sailors have the opportunity to say "that’s not my job.”  Don't be one of them.

What we are seeing more and more of in the IDC is that senior leadership is providing a platform for bravery instead. It's been awhile since the messenger has been shot. VADM Jan Tighe takes the message to the CNO personally for the community.  The IDC is embracing new ideas every day and the best chance you have of getting your idea adopted is to share it.  Put it down on paper and send it up the chain - VFR direct, if you have that much courage.  I check with N2N6 and FCC/C10F regularly and I can tell you - the messengers are ALIVE and WELL and so are the thinkers and doers. 

Go ahead, your leadership has made it natural and easy - BE BRAVE - share those ideas.  Lean out of the boat.