Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Thanksgiving Story

Another story about Captain's Mast from U.S. NSGA Yokosuka circa 1997-2000.

Muster aboard ship is taken very seriously aboard ship.  It should be taken equally seriously ashore.

We had a young female Sailor who was troubled.  From my previous post about Captain's Mast (Redemption through remediation), readers understand my sensitivity to being on time for work.

This young Sailor was late for work one particular morning and was reported as Unauthorized Absence (U/A) from morning muster.  That was as far as the Leading Petty Officer (LPO) went: he reported her as U/A.  Nothing more was done by her division, even though the barracks was about a 1/2 mile away..

Understand that our Sailors were just becoming accustomed to a Commanding Officer (me) who actually required a daily muster report.  

I inquired about the whereabouts of the Sailor.  The XO, division officer, division Chief and LPO reported that her whereabouts were unknown.  I asked if anyone had checked for her in her barracks room.  They had not.  The Command Duty Officer (CDO), a Senior Chief, was dispatched to the barracks to try to locate her.

As it turned out, she had over-medicated herself and the Senior Chief found her semi-conscious in her rack (bed).  What might have happened to her if we had not checked on her?  An ambulance was called and she was transported to the base hospital a few blocks away.  This was apparently a suicide attempt/ideation.  Lots of baggage here that I won't go into but a Captain's Mast was pending for previous offenses.  Of course, she was administratively debriefed and lost her clearance.  Bottom line:  she was fortunate to have someone concerned enough about her whereabouts to physically check on her and verify she was okay.  The Senior Chief may have saved her life that day. I think that he did. Some would call this 'intrusive leadership'; I call it servant leadership and caring about your Shipmates.

((NOTE: A HOTLINE call was made by a command member to the Commander, Naval Security Group Inspector General (IG) about the Commanding Officer (me) concealing this episode and failing to properly report a suicide attempt.  Of course the complaining Sailor was not aware of our various messages and phone calls to our Immediate Superior In Command (ISIC) and other links in the chain of command within 30 minutes of our learning of the suicide attempt from the hospital.))  For your edification, the previous CO was removed from command by the CNSG IG after failing two successive IG inspections.  I fielded more than my share of IG Hotline Complaints, Article 38 Grievances and Congressional Inquiries early in my command tour.  Sailors (at all paygrades through E-8) had become accustomed to trying to solve their problems through anonymous complaints to various IG and Congressional offices.  It took nearly two years to regain their trust and confidence - the previous CO had crushed their trust and confidence and was relieved for cause.  We worked hard and got there together.  It was a painful process.  Not for the faint of heart.

I was in the habit of being in contact with the loved ones and parents of our Sailors.  This Sailor was no different. I'd written her mother on several occasions so she knew who I was and we at least had that connection. I called her mother and let her know what was happening and that her daughter was safe and sound.  This was right before Thanksgiving and her mother had already purchased a plane ticket to Japan at considerable expense.  She feared she would not be able to make the trip to see her daughter due to the pending Captain's Mast and the restrictive punishment that was sure to be imposed.  I assured her that I would postpone the Captain's Mast until after her trip to Japan.  She came to Japan, had a wonderful time with her daughter and provided the soothing guidance that only a mother can provide.  Following Captain's Mast, the Sailor was separated from the Navy for reasons that should be clear to everyone.  Not everyone is meant to spend a career in the Navy.

Like other Sailors who went to Mast, she made a complete recovery.  It seemed to get her to pay attention to the problems she needed to face and modify the behaviors she needed to correct.  I am happy to say that she served our country again in Iraq in a different capacity and served with pride and distinction under hostile conditions.  She'd grown up.  The Navy helped her do that.

Some may think this is airing dirty laundry.  It's not.  It's  matter of record, if you know how to check the record.  There are so many lessons in this one experience with this one Sailor that I could write a short book on the many leadership lessons learned.

Zero defects Navy?  I don't think so.  This Sailor had MANY chances to correct her behavior before being separated from the Navy.  She made many choices not too.  No doubt she'd make different choices today. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

VADM Train to replace VADM Branch as N2N6

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus has nominated RADM Liz Train for a third star and she should replace VADM Ted Branch as the N2N6.

Lots of details to follow.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

U.S. Navy Information Operations Command Yokosuka, Japan - Recent Exploits

  1. NIOC Yokosuka's team consisting of 88 Sailors and civilians who provide and deploy trained Information Warfare (IW) officers and cryptologic enlisted personnel, expertise, and equipment to support Signals Intelligence (SIGINT), Information Operations (IO), Fleet Electronic Support (FES) functions, Global Signals Analysis Lab (GSAL) functions for naval surface, sub-surface, air, and Coalition forces assigned to Commander, SEVENTH Fleet in the Western Pacific theater. NIOC YOKO's Sailors have:
    •   Worked on behalf of Commander, Seventh Fleet (C7F) staff to deliver technical cryptologic operational analytics, contributing to a 150% performance increase for cryptologic operations in the Western Pacific.
    •   Dispatched one Direct Support Officer for 133 days to the USSOUTHCOM AOR to test experimental intelligence collection equipment and develop new tactics for intelligence support to Counter-Narcotics Operations. In addition, NIOC YOKO deployed one Information Technician First Class Petty Officer for a 6 month deployment onboard the USS COLE in support of Sixth Fleet Cryptologic Operations, providing I&W and valuable intelligence collection to Naval and Joint commanders. Of note, nine Sailors Deployed to six ships in the Seventh Fleet AOR to provide I&W and valuable intelligence collection. 

On the way out . . .

In his interview with Charlie Rose, before announcing his resignation as Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel went on to note that a good leader prepares their institution for future success, saying that “the main responsibility of any leader is to prepare your institution for the future. If you don’t do that, you’ve failed. I don’t care how good you are, how smart you are, any part of your job. If you don’t prepare your institution, you’ve failed.”

This is really sound advice for our NIOC Commanding Officers, also.  Think about how you prepare your command for future success.  We typically do CRI/IGs on commands and the new CO has the burden of cleaning up the last mess.  How do we really assess 'success' in command?  FITREPs state how an ISIC feels about the CO but where is the actual objective evaluation of performance of the command - promotion/advancement rates, PRT scores, retention rates, command awards/recognition, language proficiency?  In many cases, success = completing the tour.  How many times have you seen a CO leave with an MSM/LOM and the ISIC tells the new CO - fix command morale and its other problems? We need to break the cycle.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Do things worth the writing

"If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth the writing.” 

B. Franklin

Sunday, November 23, 2014


1. The purpose of this message is to solicit nominations for the Captain Joseph Rochefort Information Warfare (IW) Officer Distinguished Leadership Award.
2. Captain Joseph John Rochefort was a major figure in the U.S. Navy's cryptologic and intelligence development from 1925 to 1947. He headed the Navy's fledgling cryptanalytic organization in the 1920's and provided singularly superb cryptologic support to the fleet during World War II, leading to victory in the war in the pacific.  At the end of his career (1942-1946), Rochefort successfully headed the Pacific Strategic Intelligence Group in Washington. Rochefort died in 1976. In 1986, he posthumously received The President's National Defense Service Medal, the highest military award during peacetime, for his contributions during the Battle of Midway.
3.  The intent of the Captain Rochefort IW Officer Distinguished Leadership Award is to annually recognize the superior career achievement of one IW officer.  In the spirit of Captain Rochefort, specific consideration will be given to leadership, teamwork, operational contributions and adherence to the principle by which he served,  "We can accomplish anything provided no one cares who gets the credit."
4.  IW officers (181x, 644x and 744x) ranging from CWO2 to Commander are eligible for the award with consideration given to contributions while serving as both IW officers and cryptologic technicians.
5.  Nomination procedures:
A.  Peer nominations will be the only source of nominations. Only commissioned officers who are themselves eligible to be selected in the selection year may nominate one peer. The nomination will be made on a two page, signed letter containing the full name and unit of the peer nominated with typed justification (which will be held in confidence) based on the criteria.  The nomination letter will be forwarded directly to COMFLTCYBERCOM awards via email at: fcc_c10f_nsah_awards(at) NLT 6 Feb 2015.
B.  Nominations will be reviewed by a selection board of Captains designated by COMFLTCYBERCOM. Final selection will be made by the commander.
6.  Award selection will be announced via naval message. Presentation venue of the award will be accomplished at the U.S. Naval Cryptologic Veterans Association annual convention to be held in mid May 2015.  Individual commands are responsible for funding travel if selectees intend to participate in awards presentation.//

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Captain Clyde Lopez

Captain Clyde Lopex, Athens, 1989

Captain Clyde C. Lopez, United States Navy - retired, celebrates his 77th birthday today.  This great American enlisted in the Navy in October 1955 and served for 40 years, retiring in 1995.  And yet, he's still HARD at work for his beloved U.S. Navy.

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 !!

He is still serving our great Navy and Nation today - in a civilian capacity.  Talk about Service!

Friday, November 21, 2014


VADM Jan E. Tighe's staff was working on a tight timeline to deliver a new strategy by 21 November according to an e-mail to her Commanding Officers, Assistant Chiefs of Staff and Special Assistants. 

Strategic Plan Development Timeline:
- 21 Nov:  FCC/C10F Strategic Plan released

Did Executive Leadership Group (ELG) deliver?

From my former XO, LCDR Steve Ritz, NSGA Kunia Hawaii

"Every man is guilty of all the good he didn't do."

 -- Voltaire

Don't find yourself being TOO guilty.  Do as much good as humanly possible.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

How unethical behavior starts...from Harvard Business Review

“The safest road to Hell is the gradual one — the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts,” wrote C. S. Lewis. Our research backs up both Lewis’s intuition and the anecdotal evidence: People often start their misconduct with small transgressions and then slide down a slippery slope.

The rest is here

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Monday, November 17, 2014

Loss of one of our legendary Cryptologic Technicians

LAKEWOOD, NJ - Alexander Myroslav Motruk died peacefully Sunday, November 9, 2014 at home. He was 71. Born in Long Island City, Queens, NY, he resided in Annapolis, MD for 36 years before settling in Lakewood earlier this year, and prior to that on Naval bases around the globe, serving his country that he so loved and dedicated his work and life to defending.

Alexander was a 20-year U.S. Navy veteran, active in military service from 1961-1980, where he served as an enlisted sailor, serving on aircraft carriers and on submarines through the Vietnam War, with stations around the globe from the French Riviera to Egypt and the Middle East, to Germany, Turkey, and to the far reaches of the Pacific Ocean. With his family, he traveled to stations in Shirley, Massachusetts, Winter Harbor Maine, Rota, Spain, and to his final active post in Fort Meade, MD. He achieved the rank of Chief Petty Officer prior to his first retirement in 1980, and continued on to serve his country working for the U.S. Navy as a Cryptoanalyst and Naval Intelligence Officer for another 33 years, until his final retirement in April 2013 from Navy Cyber Warfare Development Group in Suitland, Maryland. During his service he received numerous accolades and awards, he went on international special assignments, he debriefed Vice Presidents, worked tirelessly to support the efforts of our military and the Naval Intelligence Agency, and into death, he held true to his oath to defend and protect the United States, never revealing the details of his work.

Interment will be held at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA at a later date.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Go Make A Ruckus

We owe it to our community to be incredibly generous and connected and to do the hard work.

Seth Godin video is HERE