Monday, March 2, 2015

Bias for action

"What we think, know, or believe in is, in the end,
of little consequence.
The only consequence . . . is what we do."
(Haines, 1995)

Sunday, March 1, 2015


USS MISSISSIPPI (SSN 782 - VIRGINIA Class Fast Attack) Commanding Officer, Commander Tory Swanson, was fired on Friday, 27 February due to loss of confidence in his ability to command.

Captain Harry Ganteaume, Commander, Submarine Squadron ONE, based at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam fired Commander Swanson, who had been in command since April 2013 only 10 (23 months).

A command investigation into the circumstances leading to Swanson's relief is ongoing. Swanson was USS MISSISSIPPI's second commanding officer.  

Captain John McGrath, USS MISSISSIPPI's first CO, led the crew from the beginning of construction through the attack submarine's christening, commissioning, Post Shakedown Availability, culminating in the first change of command in April 2013.

Commander Swanson has been administratively reassigned to the staff of Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.

H/T to LT Justin Rogers. I missed this news completely.

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.