Thursday, February 15, 2018

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.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Unhappy Sailors

Unhappy Sailors can be the Navy's greatest source of learning.  What are your unhappy Sailors telling you?  Are you listening?

Saturday, January 27, 2018

A call for a more honest service

Turns out that the Navy is not the only service lying to itself.  You can read about the Army experience HERE.

Thank you

Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Captain carried them all

For him, there was no fixed watch, no time set aside when he was free to relax and, if he could, to sleep. He was strong, calm, uncomplaining, and wonderfully dependable. That was the sort of captain to have.

- Nicholas Monsaratt, "The Cruel Sea"

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Monday, December 11, 2017

Smartest person in the room? Not by a long shot.

I met with a small group of IDC officers some years back and one of my fellow Captains wanted to make sure all of us understood he was the smartest guy in the room.  It wasn't a declarative verbal statement. But, you readily understood his intent. He professed his sincere apologies for arriving late to our meeting.  It wasn't long before he made it known that his schedule was way overbooked and he really didn't even have time for the meeting we were currently involved in and he would have to depart early.  Thank goodness one of his Sailors brought him his coffee and he had time to take a few sips before he jaunted off for his next meeting for which he was already late.  Good thing he was a Captain and those 40 Sailors didn't mind waiting.  Quite the busy man.

He wasn't the smartest person in the room, nor was he even the smartest man in the room.  Self importance is not a virtue in most environments requiring servant leadership.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Crosspost from Proceedings Magazine - Become a member

From the Deckplates - A Mistake Should Not Kill a Sailor's Career

Mistakes Happen 

Before enlisting in the Navy, I was in college working toward a bachelor’s degree in business. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, but what I didn’t want to do was graduate college with no career goals and a load of debt. So I joined the Navy. 
I was the first in my family to join the military, and I taught my family the importance of military service. I scored high on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test and signed a contract to be a linguist specializing in modern standard Arabic. I breezed through boot camp and found myself at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California. Life was easy, and I was doing well in school. I had friends, and we spent all week studying our languages and most weekends together drinking and blowing off steam. I was getting good grades, volunteering, and had all my required duty qualifications. What could go wrong? 
Life went on like this for about six months. The night that forever altered my career started when a couple of my shipmates came back late for curfew. They were returning from a party I had attended, and it was discovered there had been drinking. The command led a monthlong investigation until every person who had attended the party was identified. Every one of us was sent to a disciplinary review board. 
Suddenly, I went from being an asset to the Navy to being expendable. I was told the Navy didn’t need me, the Navy couldn’t trust me, and that I would be lucky if I were allowed to stay in the Navy. I went to captain’s mast. My departmental leaders assured me they would vouch for me. Unfortunately, my captain let no one speak on my behalf. This led to me being awarded every nonjudicial punishment (NJP) except administrative separation. I lost half a month’s pay for two months and was demoted, put on restriction, given extra military instruction, and kicked out of school. In addition, the entire command was required to witness the captain’s mast at 0400. 

Life after NJP 

Life after NJP was terrible. No one would look at me or speak to me, and everything I had worked for was taken. I served 30 of my 45 days of restriction before receiving new orders and leaving the command. I was sent to the USS  America (LHA-6) as an undesignated Sailor. 
Being an undesignated Sailor was demoralizing. I hadn’t been in the Navy long enough to use tuition assistance to go to school; I had no advancement to study for; and I was surrounded by negativity. I worked with Sailors who had been undesignated for years, trying and failing to get picked up for a rating. I spent weeks on end working from sun up to sun down, and for what? I was told I wasn’t going to get a real job because of my record and that I should take whatever the Navy gave me. Day after day, the reasons to give up expanded. 

Overcoming Adversity 

I finally realized that if I wanted my life to change, I would have to change. From then on, I picked up collateral duties, started pushing to acquire more qualifications, and went after my enlisted surface warfare pin. 
Although these new goals changed my attitude, I still had to learn how to ignore the negative words from those around me. When I had been on my ship for a year, it was time to apply for a job. I decided to try for information systems technician, understanding that I was unlikely to get the job because of my record. As I waited for the results, I continued working toward my goals, and a month later I earned my surface warfare qualification. I was the first sailor in my department to get pinned. The day I got pinned also was the day I found out I had been picked for the information systems technician job. I cried tears of joy when I learned I would be getting new orders and leaving behind my past. 
Over the next three months, I earned my enlisted air warfare pin as well as my enlisted information dominance pin. Yet, again I was told it would be impossible to get what I wanted. I was even told that leaving with three pins would “hurt the integrity of the program” because I was only a seaman. I was determined, however. I earned my third pin the same day I departed the ship. I was the first seaman on the ship to earn the enlisted information warfare pin, and the first sailor on the ship to complete all three warfare programs. 

Invest in Sailors 

Over the past three years I have seen an incredible gap in leadership. Sailors of all ranks and rates have made mistakes and been knocked down, yet more senior Sailors show no compassion for junior Sailors in these situations. Putting down our Sailors after they get into trouble, questioning their character, and stripping them of opportunities sets them up for further failures and tells them that the Navy will not take care of them. How can we trust these Sailors to fight for the Navy and defend their ship if they don’t believe the Navy will fight for them? If we want our Sailors to look out for each other and us in both good times and bad, then we, as leaders, must do the same and fight for them. 
The Navy should offer training to Sailors who are awarded NJP and counseling on how they can turn their careers around. These Sailors need to hear from other Sailors who have been in trouble that it is possible to overcome those obstacles. They need support, leadership, and guidance. NJP is the punishment; there is no reason the rest of their careers also should feel like a punishment. Right after NJP is our greatest opportunity to provide guidance and care to our Sailors. We need to look out for all Sailors, but especially those who are having difficulties. Building strong and resilient Sailors creates Sailors we can trust to stand by our side and carry out the mission. Overcoming adversity is one of the most important traits we can instill in our shipmates, and life after NJP is our best opportunity to do so. 

Petty Officer Heck enlisted in the Navy when she was 20. She currently is a member of the precommissioning unit of the  Portland (LPD-27) in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

Monday, November 27, 2017

NSGA Yokosuka alumnus does well

From Station Hypo

On November 18th, 2017, and after an extremely successful tour, Captain Greg Emery was relived by Captain Mark Meade as Commanding Officer of Navy Reserve Navy Information Operations Command Georgia (NR NIOC GA). The ceremony was held aboard Fort Gordon, GA and was presided over by Rear Admiral James Butler, Deputy Commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet.

26773872899_fe2f294b5f_kCAPT Meade is also the regional commander for seven aligned NIOC GA units: NR NIOC GA – Pensacola, NR NIOC GA – Orlando, NR NIOC GA – Greensboro, NR NIOC GA – Great Lakes, NR NIOC GA – Fort Dix, NR NIOC GA – Detroit, and NR NIOC GA – Dayton.

Captain Meade’s biography follows.

CAPT Mark Meade (uncovered)
CAPT Mark M. Meade, USN
CAPT Mark Meade earned his commission from the United States Naval Academy on May 23, 1997.  After graduating from Cryptologic Division Officer’s Course (CDOC) (Pensacola, FL), CAPT Meade reported aboard U.S. Naval Security Group Activity (NSGA) Yokosuka, Japan as a Direct Support Officer.  During his three years in Japan, he made numerous deployments on three COMSEVENTHFLT surface vessels, earning his 1615 designator and designation as a Cryptologic Direct Support Element (CDSE) Division Officer.  CAPT Meade transferred to NSGA Denver in April 2002 where he served in the Chief of Staff Office as an Action Officer and the Inspector General Coordinator for the facility’s Commanding Officer.  CAPT Meade left Active Duty after six and one-half years of service, joining NR NIOC Colorado in January 2004.  At NR NIOC Colorado, CAPT Meade served as a Division Officer, Department Head, Executive Officer and eventually as the Acting Commanding Officer for the final 18 months of his tour, leading 35 Officers and Sailors. Following his tour in Colorado, CAPT Meade served twice as a Commanding Officer, leading the Officers and Sailors of NR NIOC Texas-St. Louis and NR NIOC Hawaii-Phoenix.  CAPT Meade returned from a mobilization to Jordan in 2015, and served for one year as the Navy Information Forces Reserve Southwest Regional Training Officer.
He presently is an Operations Research Analyst for MITRE in Colorado Springs, CO and graduated in March 2012 from Naval Postgraduate School, with a Masters Degree in Systems Analysis.
CAPT Meade is married to his wife Stacie of Tempe, AZ. They have three children and live in Castle Rock, CO.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

This just in from Seth Godin

The boss goes first

If you want to build a vibrant organizational culture, or govern with authority, or create a social dynamic that's productive and fair, the simple rule is: the rules apply to people in power before they are applied to those without.
It's easy to rationalize the alternative, to put yourself first. After all, you've somehow earned the authority to make an exception for yourself.
But when we avoid that temptation and expose ourselves to the rules first, obey the rules first and make the sacrifices first, our culture is more likely to stick.
The rules that matter the most are the ones about behavior, transparency and accountability.
People might hear what you say, but they always remember what you do.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Great American's Birthday Today

Captain Clyde C. Lopez, United States Navy - retired, celebrates his 80th 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 !!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Sad news

LCDR Bob Morrison, USN, retired, reported that CTA1 Jerry Oster passed away at 71 years of age on September 26, 2017 in Las Vegas.  Jerry was our Admin Chief for several years at Naval Security Group Detachment Atsugi, Japan in the early 1980s.  I was saddened to hear that news.  He trained some good CTAs who went on to make Chief Petty Officer - CTAC Michael Schuenke and CTAC Frank Zakravsky.  May Jerry rest in peace.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A couple of things about caring for Sailors that I learned at my first command - 1977-1979

Learning is a lifelong process.   "Stop learning - stop living" someone wise once told me.  First commands offer an incredible and long-lasting learning experience if you really pay attention.  I like to think that I did pay attention.

Some of the leadership best practices I picked up from then Captain James S. McFarland (a career long mentor and later-in-life friend):

- When Sailors reported to the command, he wrote letters to the parents letting them know that their son/daughter had arrived safely in a very distant Misawa, Japan and that his officers and Chiefs would take care of them.  Commands which make this time are remembered long after the Sailor departs.  Some commands have the Department Head or Executive Officer do this.

- Most Sailors were sent to the Naval Air Facility (NAF) Misawa photo lab for their "official Navy photo".  Little did the Sailors know that the CO actually sent these photos back to the parents.  Captain McFarland also sent a copy of my Sailor of the Quarter (SOQ) photo to my parents, as well - along with a copy of "The Misawan" newspaper's SOQ announcement.  Sent in 1979, my family still has these.  Getting a photo of their Sailor means a lot to parents.  If you doubt it, ask a parent!