Tuesday, August 31, 2010
For my independent research as one of the 2010 Pruett Fellows from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I chose to study Walter Damrosch’s role in the early years of the music appreciation movement in the United States. Damrosch committed himself to exposing his audiences to both European “masterworks” and new compositions by American composers. For a brief time, he acted as the impresario of his own opera company in the 1880s which made tours throughout the United States. Damrosch also served as a conductor with the Metropolitan Opera Company in the 1890s, and as the conductor of the New York Symphony Society from 1885 until the Society’s merger with the New York Philharmonic in 1928. He conducted the premieres of George Gershwin’s American in Paris and his piano concerto, as well as works by Deems Taylor, Charles Loeffler, and John Alden Carpenter.
At the end of the 1920s, Damrosch extended his efforts to expose American audiences to “the best music” beyond the concert hall. He began conducting regular radio broadcasts of classical music. In 1927, NBC presented a series of lecture-concerts with Damrosch conducting, and in 1928, Damrosch began his Music Appreciation Hour for children on the same network. The MAH continued until the spring of 1942. Damrosch designed his broadcasts for children so that they might be part of a school’s regular curriculum, and NBC produced an instructor’s manual and student notebooks for each season to be used in the classroom. The purpose of these broadcasts, which were divided into four series designed for different age groups, was to “open up the vast and important field of music to the younger generation… and to initiate them into the beauties of the works of the great music masters” (Instructor’s Manual for Music Appreciation Hour 1929-1930, Broadcasting Materials, Box 15, Folder 1, Damrosch-Blaine Collection).
For this project, I worked primarily with the Damrosch-Blaine Collection. I am interested in what pieces Damrosch programmed as part of his presentation of “masterworks” that would form the basis of music appreciation for his audiences, as well as how he used these pieces to illustrate and explain broader concepts. The transcripts of Damrosch’s broadcasts, his correspondence, and the instructor’s manuals and student notebooks in the Damrosch-Blaine collection reveal an important connection between the works Damrosch chose to present and his methods. Damrosch programmed primarily Romantic orchestral pieces. He used Beethoven’s fifth and ninth symphonies and Wagner’s Ring Cycle and Tristan each year, and he regularly programmed works by Berlioz, Mendelssohn, and Brahms. At the same time, he omitted later composers, arguing that “children should not be confused by experiments. Only that which has been proven worthy should be used to build the foundation of their knowledge.” The instructor’s manuals and student notebooks in the collection reflect Damrosch’s continuing process of refining his methods for teaching his radio students. Damrosch had a systematic approach to teaching informed listening. He began with recognition of the instruments in the orchestra and the broad categories like “fun in music” or “fairy tales in music.” He illustrated these broad categories of music with different pieces each year. For the more advanced students, Damrosch presented listening for complex forms and historical styles. The pieces he programmed for these series were more consistent from year to year.
In addition to the Damrosch-Blaine Collection, I also worked with papers in the Damrosch-Mannes and the Damrosch-Tee Van Collections, as well as the NBC History Files held in the Recorded Sound Division. The NBC Collection includes recordings of many of Damrosch’s broadcasts and internal reports on the successes and weaknesses of the MAH.
Monday, August 30, 2010
SEATTLE, Wash. --The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency today (4:30 p.m. Pacific) authorized the use of federal funds to help Washington State fight the Slide Creek Fire burning in Stevens County.
FEMA Regional Administrator Ken Murphy said the state’s request for federal fire management assistance was approved after it was confirmed that the fire was threatening 165 homes near the community of Arden. The fire, which started 26 August, had burned in excess of 1,000 acres of federal and private land at the time of the request.
“The Slide Creek Fire is a sober reminder that this active wildfire season is far from over,” said Murphy. “FEMA is committed to assisting our nation's firefighters in getting them access to the resources they need to quickly extinguish fires that threaten lives and property.”
The authorization makes FEMA funding available to pay 75 percent of the state’s eligible firefighting costs under an approved grant for managing, mitigating and controlling designated fires.
Federal fire management assistance is provided through the President’s Disaster Relief Fund and made available by FEMA to assist in fighting fires that threaten to cause a major disaster. Eligible state firefighting costs covered by the aid must first meet a minimum threshold for costs before assistance is provided. Eligible costs covered by the aid can include expenses for field camps; equipment use, repair and replacement; tools, materials and supplies; and mobilization and demobilization activities.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
This review is from: Leadership: Texas Hold 'Em Style (Paperback)
I recently authored a book on leadership, and so, I have some very specific thoughts and ideas about what it means to be an effective leader. As a result, I tend to be somewhat skeptical of other leadership books, which often tend to be of the flavor of the month variety, and are often lacking in substance. I was pleasantly surprised to see how closely the content in Leadership - Texas Hold'Em Style, aligned with my thoughts beliefs on the subject.
Authors Andrew Harvey and Raymond Foster have used their combined experience and wisdom to outline and describe critical leadership behaviors and characteristics, which have been field tested and proven effective in practice. The authors cleverly use poker analogies, stories, and other examples, to enhance the reader's understanding of the subject matter, and to demonstrate how the concepts explained can be implemented as part of a comprehensive leadership strategy.
There are many jewels in this book, waiting to be unearthed by leaders, new or tenured, who have a desire to better understand and implement effective leadership strategies in this very complex arena.
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships leadership changed hands Aug. 20, in a ceremony at the Washington Navy Yard.
Rear Adm. David H. Lewis relieved Vice Adm. William E. Landay, III, as the Program Executive Officer, Ships, assuming responsibility for the design and acquisition of all Navy non-nuclear surface ships.
Sean J. Stackley, assistant secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, delivered the keynote address, praising Landay's efforts and stressing the deep responsibility and historical importance of the office while serving in a time of war.
During Landay's tenure as PEO, the Navy started fabrication on seven ships, christened 11, delivered 16 and commissioned or accepted 14 ships, while also delivering more than 400 boats and craft to the Navy and allied nations. As PEO Ships, Landay emphasized the importance of design maturity prior to starting ship construction, encouraged efficient work sequencing to drive production efficiencies and embraced acquisition strategies to encourage competition. These efforts helped drive risk out of shipbuilding programs and have allowed the Navy to move more rapidly towards the award of fixed-price shipbuilding contracts.
"This is truly a great time to be a shipbuilder," said Lewis. "The quality of the people in the PEO is the best I have ever seen, and the internal plans and processes are superb."
Lewis takes charge of the PEO after serving as the vice commander of the Naval Sea Systems Command. Other previous assignments include the Navy secretariat staff; Aegis Shipbuilding Program Office; Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Bath, Maine; and Readiness Support Group, San Diego.
Lewis' previous major command assignment was as the program manager of the Aegis Shipbuilding Program Office in PEO Ships, where he helped deliver seven Arleigh Burke-class (DDG 51) guided-missile destroyers and procured another 10 ships of that class. He holds a Master of Science degree in Computer Science from the Naval Postgraduate School.
Landay leaves PEO Ships to serve as director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency in Washington, D.C.
"Navy shipbuilding is more than just a profession, it's a passion," said Lewis. "Anyone who is fortunate to be part of it soon gets caught up in excitement."
Saturday, August 28, 2010
MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- More than 100 Sailors from Naval Support Activity (NSA) Mid-South volunteered to perform grounds maintenance and facility upkeep at the Tipton County Museum, Veterans Memorial Nature Center Aug. 25.
Sailors, chief petty officer selectees, performed the community service project as part of their training process designed to prepare them for the increased duties and responsibilities as a Navy chief petty officer.
This is the 11th year that Naval Support Activity Mid-South has volunteered to help the non-profit organization.
During the process of transitioning from petty officers to chief petty officers, each selectee is assigned an experienced sponsor to assist and guide them to becoming leaders. Together, the sponsor and selectee perform a variety of mental and physical exercises in addition to performing community service projects.
"The ability to give back to our community by helping to maintain a museum that remembers those who have served before us is an honor in itself," said Chief Engineman Stephen R. Lynn, one of the volunteers.
"Thank you to the citizens of Tipton County for building the Veterans Memorial, Nature Center and museum and for allowing the NSA chief petty officers and chief petty officer selects the opportunity to spend a day making it a better place."
The Covington Parks and Recreation Department as well as the city of Covington, Tenn. and Tipton County officials were thankful for the continued support of the chief petty officers and chief petty officer selects.
"Maintaining such a large facility is an expensive and time consuming endeavor," said Alice Fisher, Tipton County Museum director. "We feel very fortunate to have adopted such a wonderful group of people. As always, this group of Sailors performed much needed ground and building maintenance, saving the City of Covington and Tipton County large amounts of maintenance funds. We cannot get volunteer help like this anywhere else. They do a wonderful job, and we are thankful to have been chosen as one of their annual community projects."
The museum, a part of Covington's Parks and Recreation Department, sits on 20 acres of land, most of which is a wooded wildlife sanctuary with a half-mile walking trail.
"Maintaining the trail, the wetland and pond areas, the landscaped museum grounds, and the building itself is just a tremendous job for museum officials and the Covington Parks and Recreation Department," said Fisher. "The NSA chief petty officers and chief selects have indeed played a major role in making this a beautiful area."
The selectees will be promoted to chief petty officers in a pinning ceremony Sept. 16 at NSA Mid-South.
Navy Recruiting Command (NRC) consists of a command headquarters, two Navy recruiting regions and 26 Navy recruiting districts which serve hundreds of recruiting stations across the country. NRC's mission is to recruit the best men and women for America's Navy to accomplish today's missions and meet tomorrow's challenges.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Defense Media Activity-San Antonio
8/24/2010 - SAN ANTONIO (AFNS) -- When Tech. Sgt. David Bales got the call that an Airman he supervised was drunk and talking about "ending it all," he immediately drove to the dormitory. He'd been around too many successful and attempted suicides to just attribute "ending it all" to a case of drunken rambling.
As an intelligence Airman, Sergeant Bales has worked with Airmen who have attempted suicide and some who've succeeded. Worse, he saw first-hand the toll suicide takes on the loved ones left behind when his best friend killed himself.
Intelligence is one of three career fields most at risk for suicide, said Lt. Col. Michael Kindt, the Air Force Suicide Prevention Program manager.
"When I heard this Airman was mentioning suicide and drinking, I was shocked," Sergeant Bales recalled. "She didn't have any of the textbook signs. She didn't give away her possessions or show up to work late, nothing like that. She was just a good Airman. I didn't even know she had an alcohol problem."
Sergeant Bales said that after the Airman opened the door to her room, he could tell she had been drinking heavily.
"There were bottles everywhere," he said. "The first thing I did was ask her to go outside. I wanted to remove her from that environment."
As the Airman was heading out of the room, Sergeant Bales said he noticed a bottle of pills on her counter.
After they were outside, he asked her directly how many pills were in the bottle and if she had tried or thought about hurting herself.
"She said no at first, but it's something you expect to hear when you ask that question," he said. "I felt like something else was going on, that she was just telling me what I wanted to hear, so I pressed her. Eventually she said she had thought about it."
Sergeant Bales told the Airman to get her shoes, and he took her to the hospital where doctors eventually found out she had ingested dozens of aspirin. With this clear demonstration of intent to do harm, he stuck with her.
"I stayed in the hospital with her, and when we got back to her room, I helped her dispose of the alcohol," he said. "I didn't want to leave her in an environment where she would be tempted to spiral down again. I didn't know she was having problems but I wanted her to know I was there to talk about them.
"When my friend committed suicide, nobody knew he was having problems," he said.
In this situation, Sergeant Bales employed suicide prevention techniques by removing the Airman from the environment and taking her to professionals who could help.
He said he attributes his involvement to the suicide prevention training he's learned throughout his Air Force career and to the NCO corps.
"As an NCO, we're supposed to take care of our Airmen," he said. "It's something that's ingrained in me."
Sergeant Bales was called to the Airman's dorm a second time. After 30 days of alcohol counseling, the Airman spiraled back into depression. When she called Sergeant Bales for help, he didn't hesitate. Again he took the Airman outside, removed her from the situation and listened.
"She went from asking for help to telling me she hated me," he said. "She was very intoxicated and I just let her vent. She was hurting and eventually we went back to the first sergeant and medical help."
Today the Airman is undergoing another round of alcohol counseling as Sergeant Bales prepares to retire.
Looking back on his Air Force career, Sergeant Bales said he has noticed the change in suicide prevention in the Air Force culture.
"When I came in the Air Force in 1996, I don't remember hearing anything about suicide prevention," he said. "Now (intelligence Airmen are) doing face-to-face training. I think we're on the right track. It comes down to asking the question. You don't want to know someone is hurting after it's too late."
Monday, August 23, 2010
Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs
8/23/2010 - ATLANTA (AFNS) -- The Air Force's highest ranking officer was awarded one of the Air Force Sergeants Association's top honors during the organization's Professional Airmen's Conference and International Convention here Aug. 18.
In pre-taped remarks, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz accepted the 2009 Excellence in Military Leadership Award by thanking Airmen and their families for their selfless service and sacrifice.
"There is no higher honor than to serve those who so steadfastly serve our country ... to stand with them, by them and for them always," General Schwartz said.
AFSA officials said they presented the award to the general in recognition of his proven leadership and unwavering commitment to Airmen and their families.
"I'm deeply humbled by this recognition, especially as my thoughts are on the more than 680,000 total force Airmen who, on a daily basis, perform acts of noble service to our country, and who are really the ones who accomplish the mission of the United States Air Force," General Schwartz said.
Air Force Office of Business Transformation
8/23/2010 - ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) -- Highlighting a new Department of Defense-led program designed to produce money-saving ideas that improve the way the DOD operates, Air Force Undersecretary and chief management officer Erin C. Conaton is encouraging civilian and military employees to share their ideas online at www.defense.gov/invest.
The multi-service focused contest, called the Innovation for New Value, Efficiency & Savings Tomorrow Awards, runs Aug. 9 through Sept. 24, and is part of Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates' drive to save $100 billion over the next five years.
According to the INVEST Awards website, the keys to successfully taking home one of 25 cash awards are ideas that are thorough, cost effective, low risk, simple to implement, yield multi-faceted savings and have a high return on investment.
Ms. Conaton said the Air Force strongly supports Secretary Gates' overall campaign for greater efficiency.
"I encourage everyone to submit their ideas online for consideration," she said. "All ideas will be evaluated without names attached, so please be candid."
Encouraging efficiencies across the Air Force is a part of Ms. Conaton's role as CMO.
For more information about the INVEST Awards program, visit www.defense.gov/invest
American Forces Press Service
ABOARD THE USS RHODE ISLAND, Aug. 23, 2010 - Ask the officers of this Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine which of this year's policy changes will be the harder to implement -– the one that will assign women to subs or the one that bans smoking -– and they answer without hesitation.
"No smoking!" Master Chief Petty Officer Robert McCombs, head of the sub's engineering department, said during an Aug. 16 media visit to the submarine, while his accompanying crew nodded in agreement.
Earlier this summer, the Navy chose 21 women, mostly from this year's Naval Academy graduates, to be the first women to serve on submarines. They began the 15-month training process in July, and will be posted on the Tridents in the fall of 2011, Navy officials said. The ban was overturned, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus has said, because the service was missing out on too many talented potential recruits.
Officers on board the Rhode Island were quick to say that the addition of three women officers to the crew next fall will be an asset.
"Women will bring a lot to submarines," McCombs said. "Most of us have worked with women before, so I think the only real issue will be logistics and berthing."
Navy officials have said the Ohio-class submarines will need minimal to no modifications to accommodate the first group of women. The Rhode Island has two state rooms with doors that lock, and two bathrooms with two showers each. One bathroom with showers was designated "female-only" for certain times during the media visit, and a separate bathroom without showers was for women only during the 24-hour visit.
That's not to say the permanent addition of women will be easy.
Master Chief Petty Officer Jeffrey Bottoms, chief of the boat for the Rhode Island, said the cultural change "will take some getting used to," but "if they can do the job, we'll take them."
The Navy's strict policies against fraternization and sexual harassment have been in place since the ban on women serving on surface ships was lifted in the mid-1990s, Bottoms noted. "I think after this happens we will say, 'Why didn't we put women on board years ago?'" he said.
Meanwhile, the smoking ban, which was enacted after studies showed second-hand smoke is a problem, will go into effect on submarines in January. The ban will hit hard on subs where smoking is common. On the Rhode Island, half of the crew smokes, McCombs said.
Preparing the crew for the smoking ban has included smoking cessation programs and efforts to make smoking inconvenient, such as limiting smoking time and the number of sailors who smoke in the boat's smoking area at any given time, McCombs said.
"This is a very high-stress job," he said. "We push our crew very hard every day, 12 to 18 hours a day, and smoking is how they relax. Some people are saying they don't want to stay on subs" because they can't smoke.
"Cessation programs should start in boot camp," he added.
Lt. Eugene Mendez, the Rhode Island's assistant weapons officer, wore a smoking cessation patch on his arm to prepare for the January deadline to stop smoking. As for the addition of women, he said, the submarine culture has changed since he joined it 20 years ago to more readily accept women on board.
"We've always worked hard, but we used to play really hard, too," Mendez said. "We had fewer married [crew members] back then, so this was your family."
While the submariners' bond still is tight, Mendez said, those changes affected camaraderie, and adding women will, too.
"It definitely will affect the submarine force," he said.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
MONTEREY, Calif. (NNS) -- The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff spoke to Naval Postgraduate School faculty, students and staff Aug. 10 as part of the Secretary of the Navy Guest Lecture Series, a year after his induction into the NPS Hall of Fame.
In his lecture in King Auditorium, Adm. Mike Mullen recalled his days attending lectures in the hall and walking the campus as an officer planning to screen for a command position.
"I was in Operations Research and the reason I enjoyed that in particular was because of its application of real world problems," Mullen said. "I was able to take my education and apply it to the things that were important to me from a career standpoint."
Mullen added that strong institutions can make a big difference in a person's life, whether it's an educational institution, or a personal institution, such as one's family.
"Annapolis was one such for me, and another has been the Naval Postgraduate School," Mullen said. "It made a huge difference in my life and my career and one of the reasons I come back here … NPS is exceptionally well lead, and it's important to give back because this institution gave me so much."
Expressing a combined understanding of the needs of the joint forces and the inevitability of change into the future, Mullen spoke about the challenges that lie ahead for men and women in uniform and the best way to prepare for those challenges. He emphasized vigilance in Middle East affairs, the health of the forces, and prioritization in strategic planning as key areas of current focus and moving forward.
"My wife and I just spent all day up at Fort Lewis in Washington where 17,000 soldiers are returning from the wars this year," he said. "The real challenge we have is to meet the needs of the soldiers who have been under this enormous pressure … as well as their families who have endured that same stress and challenge. How we do that and handle the health of our force and the challenges that are there has a great deal to do with not just succeeding in the wars that are around, but also in the future of our military."
In addition to supporting the soldiers at home and abroad, Admiral and Mrs. Mullen are well known for their advocacy for the benefits and needs of the military family. He recently voiced a strong opinion in favor of removing the 'yes/no box' on military paperwork that gives the service member the choice to have family contacted by the service while he or she is deployed. This leaves many loved ones behind without the support and assistance that they may need from the military. In his lecture, Mullen maintained that position and emphasized that support for families is instrumental to the success of the armed forces.
"We've been a Navy family for over 40 years and family support has always been critical in military service, and I have seen it grow to a level that is unprecedented since these wars started," Mullen stressed. "It's actually very simple for me [to say that] we would be unable to carry on our missions without the incredible support that we have had from our families. I believe the family readiness issue is directly tied to our military readiness not just now but in our future in ways that we really haven't thought through in the past. So we are focused on that, investing in that, making sure that our families are every bit as ready to handle the challenges of our missions as our military members."
Echoing sentiments from a speech he gave the day before at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Mullen emphasized the issues of change within the forces and the strengthening of garrison leadership, both areas that impact mission preparedness and success. Despite some weaknesses in the early 2000s, Mullen noted, the leadership within the forces is structured and better prepared to handle the challenges both home and overseas.
In his role as the principal military advisor to President Barack Obama, Mullen sees first hand how different services must unify in support of a common mission. As he addressed the diverse NPS student population packed into King Auditorium, he noted the importance of maintaining unity throughout the forces and establishing a familiarity within each service, and about what the other branches do.
"You should take time to interact not just with members of your community, not just with members of your service, not just with members of the United States military, and not just with the military," Mullen emphasized. "What I see as Chairman is the continuing improvement and integration of joint services in providing operations, doctrine and training. I think it's a growing requirement. Taking the time to think through these pretty tough problems is what I hope you are doing here."
Similarly, and equally important, he noted, is establishing relationships with other militaries around the world to work together on common issues. Part of that international understanding can come from the international community represented on the NPS campus, Mullen noted, where opportunities for students to broaden their experiences and understandings abound.
"When I think about our military today, as I do our country, we have moved well beyond any single military or any single country doing it alone," Mullen said. "We've got to have partners in the future. As I look at the war in Afghanistan right now, the 46 countries who have military personnel supporting the efforts in Afghanistan … that's a huge statement of support -- not just military support but political support, and proper prioritization of the dangers that exist in that part of the world."
"It's a real privilege to serve today," he concluded. "We are in great shape, but I don't take that for granted. We've got to focus on being the right military for the future as well."
Mullen became the 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in October 2007, having served for more than 40 years in the Navy culminating in the 28th Chief of Naval Operations from 2005 to 2007. He graduated from NPS in 1985 with his Master's of Science degree in Operations Research.
Friday, August 20, 2010
4th Space Operations Squadron
8/20/2010 - SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (AFNS) -- Two weeks ago, I began a journey leading the 4th Space Operations Squadron through a tragedy. This was not something I ever wanted to do, but there were many lessons learned for me, our squadron, and, I hope, for all of you reading this commentary.
On July 19, I was informed that one of my squadron members had died and that it appeared to be a suicide. This notification started a process for my squadron that will continue for months. it is a process of grieving, of honoring our friend and fellow Airman's life, of taking care of the Airman's family, of ensuring his estate was taken care of, and lastly asking a lot of "why" questions. I hope after you read this commentary, you walk away with the knowledge that life is incredibly precious and suicide is a permanent solution to temporary problems.
Unfortunately, I was off station when I was notified of the suicide and had to travel back. However, that travel time allowed me time to think about what I had missed in this lieutenant's life. Were there stressors that we overlooked? Were there things going on that we brushed aside?
This was a tough internal battle in my mind, because this lieutenant was an outstanding performer. He was doing all the right things to excel as an Air Force officer and as a space operator.
As I began to talk to others in the squadron who knew the lieutenant well, I heard about some stressors in his life that hadn't been brought up to leadership. I also heard some say they knew he was struggling in some areas of life, but they never thought he would do something like this.
There was a theme that some of the closest people to him knew he was having problems, but none of them put any of these together to realize he might be overwhelmed.
One lesson I learned from this experience is that we need to take care of each other, be the wingman that we talk about. I think some of his friends were concerned that he would be angry with them if they talked to him about his stressors, or they were afraid he would get in trouble if they told supervisors. Again, none of them thought he would do anything to hurt himself, so none of them pushed him to seek help or told supervisors that he might need help.
Be the wingman. Life is too valuable to worry about what people will think because you ask them if they need help. At the very least, make sure you talk to someone about this and let an outsider give you advice on whether you need to speak up to leaders or supervisors.
I did have the honor of greeting this lieutenant's parents at the airport and spent two days with them as we walked through the necessary paperwork and conducted a memorial service.
In a conversation with the lieutenant's family, they pleaded with me to develop programs in the Air Force for members to seek help without affecting their careers. I had to swallow the lump in my throat and tell the family members about all the programs the Air Force does have for members to seek help when life seems out of control.
I discussed with them the ability to see a military family life consultant, Airman and Family Readiness Center counselors, chaplains, and of course, mental health providers.
I started to wonder if we weren't getting the message out to our Airmen, but then remembered all the base bulletins with this information, the commander's calls where people from the MFLC, A&FRC and chaplains briefed these programs. I remembered the suicide training we received and how it covers the avenues for help.
I began to believe that our Airmen don't believe it is true. With any death in the Air Force, leaders and investigators from the Office of Special Investigation review the member's life, specifically the last few days.
As I looked at this lieutenant's life in hindsight, I was made aware of those stressors about which his friends knew. I can honestly say had I known about them, I would have ensured this lieutenant sought help. Additionally, there doesn't seem to be anything in his life that would have caused him to be in trouble or effected his career. However, even if there were something in his life that would have required administrative or disciplinary action, I wish I was doing that instead of him being gone.
Life is incredibly valuable; there is nothing else worth more. I remember what it was like to be a lieutenant and wonder if something was going to affect my career or not. The lesson learned here is your life is more valuable than your career and you can walk through anything if you are alive. If you take your own life, than we can't work together to deal with your problems. All of us will, someday, take off our uniforms and transition to another period in our lives. No matter what is going on in your situation, remember that you can get through it and there are people and agencies here to help.
Lastly, I learned how much hurt there is after a suicide. The family of this lieutenant was left with so many questions. At our squadron memorial, the father spoke to many members from our base. After he talked of how proud he was and how much he loved his son, he pleaded with everyone in attendance to never let this happen again. He begged the Air Force members to seek help. He said how he now knew of all the organizations available to help and wished his son had sought them out. He was hurting so much and wished he could help his son now.
This sentiment wasn't only shared by the family, but also members of the squadron. There were so many Airmen who were hurting: his flight members, the members of his former crew and friends he had known in his short Air Force time. They, like me, were asking: "What did I miss?", "How could I have helped him more?" and "Why would he resort to this?" They weren't coming up with good answers. They missed their colleague, their friend and their brother-in-arms. The final lesson learned is that suicide hurts the ones you leave behind; they are left with a hole in their lives that only you could have filled.
In conclusion, I ask that if you are feeling overwhelmed, if you are depressed, if you just feel like you can't take it anymore, you will seek help from someone; a chaplain, a specialist from the MFLC or the Mental Health Clinic, your friends, anyone.
Don't give in to the misconception that it will hurt your career. Suicide is the ultimate career ender. For the wingman with friends going through rough times, please talk to them. Not everyone is going to commit suicide because times are hard, but you have to ask the tough questions to see where they are. If it appears they are overwhelmed, help them look to the helping agencies, and in a last resort, ask someone else to help.
It is the least we can do as wingmen to make sure someone is going to be OK. If we don't, then we could lose another Airman, and family and friends will be hurting again. I truly miss my squadron mate and I can only hope this situation will help another Airman to make the right decision, because life is precious.
NAPLES, Italy (NNS) -- Commander, Navy Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia (EURAFSWA) and Commander, Maritime Air Naples held a change of command ceremony Aug. 20 aboard Naval Support Activity Naples, Italy.
Rear Adm. Tony E. Gaiani relieved Rear Adm. David J. Mercer as commander, EURAFSWA, and commander, Maritime Air Naples.
The outdoor ceremony was attended by distinguished NATO, U.S. and Italian government officials. Italian Navy Vice Adm. Maurizio Gemignani, commander, Allied Maritime Command Naples, was the ceremony's presiding official.
Vice Adm. Michael Vitale, commander, Navy Installations Command, the ceremony's guest speaker, reflected on the ongoing changes at Navy installations in the region and around the world.
"It's a new era. If we ever wanted to reinvent our shore platform, now is the time. It is why we select shore leaders like Adm. Mercer and Adm. Gaiani," said Vitale.
During Mercer's tenure, he assumed administrative and operational control over Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, U.S. Africa Command's only base on the African continent, only months after reporting to Naples as commander, Navy Region Europe in March 2008.
In 2009, Mercer facilitated Navy Region Europe's merger with Navy Region Southwest Asia, leading the command through an official name change that now reflects its broader area of responsibility. The region currently includes six major military installations on three continents.
For his outstanding service and devotion to duty, Mercer was presented with the Legion of Merit at the ceremony.
"Everything Rear Adm. Mercer and his team have accomplished here in EURAFSWA in the past 31 months has prepared [Mercer] well for his next assignment in Washington, D.C.," said Vitale. "To [Mercer] and the team, I say well done and thank you."
Mercer attributed EURAFSWA's milestones to the team of installation and region personnel serving as the logistics and support arm of U.S. Naval Forces Europe, U.S. Naval Forces Africa and U.S. Naval Forces Central Command.
"I can't tell you how gratified I am with what you've been able to achieve. Thank you for making good on many of the promises I made to our superior officers," said Mercer.
While directly addressing Italian dignitaries in attendance, Mercer thanked them for providing U.S. personnel a wonderful place to live and work.
"Italy and the United States have been very good, strong allies since World War II," said Mercer. "We appreciate all you've done for us, and we thank you for your hospitality."
Mercer was relieved by Gaiani, a fellow naval aviator who previously commanded Navy Region Midwest.
Gaiani was warmly received by Italian attendees during the ceremony when he opened his remarks in their native tongue.
"This assignment is sort of a homecoming for me. I come home again to naval aviation, as commander, Maritime Air Naples. I come home again to NATO, in my third assignment to the alliance," said Gaiani. "And, I come home again to Italy, which is where Colleen and I served in our first assignment, which seems to be a just few years ago now.
"Colleen and I are thrilled to be back in beautiful Italy, and thrilled to have this opportunity that this change of command represents for us," said Gaiani.
As region commander, Gaiani oversees a total workforce of 4,417 host nation employees, U.S. employees and military members responsible for providing efficient and effective shore service support to U.S. and allied forces in the Europe, Africa and Southwest Asia area of responsibility.
As Commander, Maritime Air Naples, Gaiani coordinates NATO maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) activity in NATO's Southern Region area of operations in the Mediterranean. In addition, he maintains command and control of assigned MPA forces in support of Allied Maritime Command Naples – one of three component commands under Allied Joint Force Command Naples.
6 Questions to Help You Build Trust on Your Team
9:41 AM Thursday May 28, 2009
by Lieutenant Colonel Diane Ryan | Comments (11)
Whether you're a new college graduate, were laid off, or are seeking a job change, this guide will help ensure that your next move is the right one.
This post is part of our Frontline Leadership series, looking at what business leaders can learn from today's military.
The ongoing economic crisis coupled with the appearance of one scandalous headline after another describing the latest crook to run off with somebody's life savings have done much damage to Americans' ability to trust one another. While a fair amount of skepticism may be practical at times, building trust both between individuals and within organizations is absolutely critical to overall wellbeing and effectiveness. And nowhere is this requirement more important than in relationships in which the life of one person may, in specific situations, depend on the actions of another. That's why examining the processes of building and maintaining trust between military personnel in the extreme environment of combat may provide practical considerations that apply to leaders in many different contexts.
Perhaps most important is the understanding that trust must be a two-way street. While it is imperative that subordinates have trust in their leader, this will never happen without reciprocity. In a combat team, all members are mutually interdependent, meaning everyone has a specific job to do — jobs that often require a significant amount of risk to life or limb. Soldiers must trust their leader to make decisions that minimize risk where possible, and the leader must trust that soldiers will carry out their orders despite any hazards for the overall benefit of the team. Recent research by my West Point colleagues Colonels Tom Kolditz and Pat Sweeney indicates that there are several factors which influence and facilitate building this mutual trust building, including shared values, relationships that foster cooperation, and perceived competence.
For much of my own military career I took the trust-building process between myself and other soldiers, both leaders and subordinates, for granted. It was only after returning from my most recent deployment to Iraq and spending three years in the civilian world finishing my graduate degree that I began to sense that there was something special about how we cultivate trust in the Army. My first clue was when I had the occasion to ask a university administrator, himself a veteran, for a fairly substantial policy exception that I truthfully did not expect to be considered. When he granted my request without batting an eye I was taken aback. After I stammered out a surprised thank you, I exclaimed "But you don't even know me" to which he quickly replied "Oh I do know you, because I know what you stand for and I know you'll do the right thing." Our shared values served as a precursor for instantaneous mutual trust that developed and deepened over the course of our professional relationship. I recognized that this was not an isolated incident and that the values I share with my own leaders, peers and subordinates often serve as the figurative handshake upon which all subsequent trust is built.
In my experience these shared values facilitate cooperative relationships and intimacy at much faster rate in the military than in many civilian professions. There are many factors that might contribute to this phenomenon. Perhaps it's because we move around so much that we feel a sense of urgency to get to know each other more quickly. Maybe it's the time we spend together riding in dusty HMMWVs and sitting in foxholes sharing even the most mundane details of our lives in an attempt to pass the time until we get back to civilization. But mostly I think it's because we want to know almost everything about the people we potentially face death with. These deep personal relationships — that I have come to consider familial in many cases— cement the bonds of trust.
Inherent in both initial perceptions and long-term trust building is competence in the form of technical and tactical proficiency. In other words, do subordinates believe that a leader knows his or her job well enough so as not to needlessly jeopardize their safety and wellbeing? I vividly remember the pressure of leading my first convoy operation as a brand new lieutenant — ten hours through the hills and winding roads of the Bavaria. Although I exuded confidence (at least that's how I remember it), inside I was terrified of getting lost and ruining my credibility with the platoon forever — which thankfully did not occur. What I did not know at the time was that approximately 10 months later I would be executing a similar exercise across the Arabian Desert as part of Operation Desert Storm, where so much more was riding on my performance as a leader. Had I not demonstrated competence early on, my soldiers would have lacked trust in my ability to keep them from harm's way, and our overall effectiveness as a unit would have suffered tremendously.
While most businesses are not subject to circumstances similar to combat, many of the trust-building processes practiced in the military are nevertheless applicable, particularly when an organization faces crisis. Asking the following questions has the potential to facilitate trust building within your own organization:
- Do I place trust in my employees as a prerequisite to earning theirs?
- What are my organization/profession's shared values and culture?
- Have these values been articulated within the organization to the point they are internalized and go without saying?
- How much do I know about my employees and their families and how well do they know me?
- What experiences can I offer to increase cooperation and familiarity in ways that are appropriate and rewarding?
- And last but certainly not least, does my personal competence inspire trust in my subordinates?
Finding ways to build confidence in people who only have to look as far as the daily news to find numerous reasons why not to trust may be challenging, but ultimately well worth the effort.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Dr. Vernon Grose, D.Sc.:
“DISCIPLINES OF THOUGHT….As might be expected, the first set of disciplines involves thinking. The systems approach employs orderly inductive logic. That simply means to think or reason by going from particular facts to general conclusions. This type of thought is also the backbone of the scientific method. The inverse – deductive thought, which reasons from general principles to specific conclusions – is also used at times. But it is of less importance …. A second mental discipline seeks totality of understanding. The objective of this discipline is omniscience, or unlimited knowledge of a system, its use environments, and its risks. This idealistic goal is never reached, of course, even though is vigorously pursued. Two quite different kinds of understanding are combined …. Theoretically understanding is related to comprehending how all the elements in a system (for example, physical plant, products produced, personnel employed, management policies, and accounting methods) are intended to interact with one another. In contrast, practical understanding is knowing how these factors actually work together in a real world …. The third discipline of thought – continued challenge in depth – emphasizes the fact that professional managers can never relax in the comfort of all their analyses. Constant vigilance and sustained questioning – ‘What if such and such happens?’ – is essential …. The three disciplines of thought collectively identify the problems that must be solved in the system. They also produce a qualitative picture of the system … DISCIPLINE OF TECHNIQUE …. The problems that have been identified by disciplines of thought are next resolved by a second set of disciplines – those of technique …. Specific mathematical tools used in risk management are not expounded here. However, Boolean algebra and set theory – as well as probabilistic logic, statistical mechanics, and other calculative modeling methods – are widely employed to solve complex problems in a system …. Complexity of most systems also forces the use of system analysis methods to solve difficult problems. Several types (for example, Fault Tree Analysis or Hazard Mode and Effect Analysis) that are used extensively in risk-related issues …. Automatic processing capability by computers makes a considerable technical contribution to solving system problems. For example, many functions formerly performed by people can be much more rapidly and efficiently done by computers …. These three problem-solving techniques, taken together, also produce quantitative assurance that the system is adequate for its intended objectives …. DISCIPLINES OF PROCEDURE … One of the greatest differences between the systems approach to problem solving and other choices lies in this third set of disciplines. In fact, it is the easiest way to tell whether a problem has been attacked systematically or not …. stimulated the establishment of procedural disciplines. Paperwork and records are anathemas to everyone who has to create them. Yet, because of complexity, it is necessary to have a documented trail, for several reasons. First, in complicated situations, objective review by someone other than the person who perform a function is generally required. Second, …, you need it not only for failure analysis but for success analysis as well! Otherwise, you have to always start over at ‘square one.’ …. There are two major disciplines of procedures. The first – system engineering procedural requirements …. Results of work completed – such as Functional Flow Block Diagrams, resource allocation sheets, and trade-off studies – are documented and retained for future reference …. Complete, unambiguous technical writing is another ideal never reached. But to the degree that the documented information is both complete and free from misunderstanding, the decision-making workload is reduced. This is true both at the time of decision and at later times of reconsideration…..”
Incidentally, many people erroneously think of computers whenever they hear the word “system.”
Graphics and source corresponding to these three disciplines are viewable at http://bit.ly/9XR8IO
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
From Center for Personal and Professional Development Public Affairs
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- The Center for Personal and Professional Development (CPPD) has expanded its operational stress control (OSC) training with eight new eLearning courses designed for Navy leaders.
The interactive courses are now available on Navy eLearning to petty officers, division officers, department heads and senior enlisted personnel.
"These web-based offerings are part of the Navy's effort to embed OSC concepts across all education and training programs," said Cmdr. George Michaels, CPPD's director of training. "This latest curriculum builds on the foundational courses already taught to more than 142,000 Sailors, family members and health care providers. While these first courses provided all Sailors with the insight and guidance they need to navigate stress from day-to-days operations, the latest content is aimed at leaders at all levels and can be used to support commands' specific learning needs."
The OSC course delivery is intended to reach Sailors and commands through a variety of platforms. Mixing delivery methods, such as instructor-led and online courses, helps address differing learning styles. In addition, regular reviews of existing courses keep the most up-to-date information available to the fleet, while development of additional lessons, such as those in the Leadership Core Continuum (LCC), build on the latest research and information available.
The newly developed enlisted OSC courses include: Petty Officer 3rd Class, CPPD-OSC-PO3-1.0; Petty Officer 2nd Class, CPPD-OSC-PO2-1.0; Petty Officer 1st Class, CPPD-OSC-PO1-1.0 g; and Chief Petty Officer, CPPD-OSC-CPO-1.0.
The OSC officer courses are all online courses and include: Division Officer, CPPD-OSC-DO-1.0; Department Head, CPPD-OSC-DH-1.0; Senior Enlisted, CPPD-OSC-SE-1.0; and Command Leadership, CPPD-OSC-CL-1.0.
To access these courses, visit Navy Knowledge Online at www.nko.navy.mil, click on "Navy eLearning" and conduct an advanced search for the appropriate catalog code or course title. You can also choose "Browse Categories," then select "All Catalog Items," then "Department of the Navy (DON) Training" followed by "Environmental and Safety." The training can be located in the "What's New" box at the bottom of the Navy eLearning homepage.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
by: CDR Glynn Smith
Yesterday, Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp had the opportunity to address the Coast Guard Chief Petty Officers Association (CPOA). The CPOA gathers annually to discuss issues affecting the Service and to share leadership experiences. Adm. Papp took the opportunity to offer his thoughts on the role of a chief petty officer in today’s Coast Guard.
“We have wonderful men and women, who are performing heroic deeds on a near daily basis, but they need your leadership, chief petty officer hands-on leadership, to ensure they perform their challenging maritime missions safely, professionally and effectively,” said Papp.
Admiral Papp fully supports the chief petty officer’s role in taking a keen interest in their shipmate’s well being and professional development. Senior leadership look to chiefs to be engaged in the issues of the day and mentor both junior enlisted and officers. He suggested that chiefs should be proactive and approachable for the shipmates they lead.
“So my charge to you today is to assert yourselves, grab the reigns and lead,” Papp said. “You are unique in that you have the ability to influence the largest number of crew members in our Service.”
As an example, Admiral Papp recalled the story of a young ensign who was called into the Chief’s Mess. The assembled chiefs told him that that he could do better and they wanted him to be successful. The chiefs also wanted the junior officer to be comfortable enough to come to the Chief’s Mess and ask for guidance. They knew that if Ensign Papp was successful, their ship would be successful and the Service would be successful.
“That’s foundational chief petty officer leadership; reaching out to junior officers and petty officers when they are headed in the wrong direction,” said Papp, adding, “Your deck plate and hangar deck leadership is vitally important, because you forge your shipmates into leaders.”
Admiral Papp explained to convention attendees that the role of a chief petty officer could not be more critical to Service success than it is today. The Coast Guard has been stretched thin with people on the front lines carrying the load and those standing the watch back home pulling extra duty to cover gaps.
“Chiefs mentor and teach junior officers and petty officers, and thereby inspire and instill leadership values in junior people which place them on a course to success,” Papp said. “As we move forward, your leadership will be critical to their continued success.”
Sunday, August 15, 2010
“…We meet at a college noted for knowledge, in a city noted for progress, in a State noted for strength, and we stand in need of all three, for we meet in an hour of change and challenge, in a decade of hope and fear, in an age of both knowledge and ignorance. The greater our knowledge increases, the greater our ignorance unfolds. …Despite the striking fact that most of the scientists that the world has ever known are alive and working today, despite the fact that this Nation’s own scientific manpower is doubling every 12 years in a rate of growth more than three times that of our population as a whole, despite that, the vast stretches of the unknown and the unanswered and the unfinished still far outstrip our collective comprehension. …. This is a breathtaking pace, and such a pace cannot help but create new ills as it dispels old, new ignorance, new problems, new dangers. Surely the opening vistas of space promise high costs and hardships, as well as high reward. … If this capsule history of our progress teaches us anything, it is that man, in his quest for knowledge and progress, is determined and cannot be deterred. The exploration of space will go ahead, whether we join in it or not, and it is one of the great adventures of all time, and no nation which expects to be the leader of other nations can expect to stay behind in the race for space. …We have vowed that we shall not see space filled with weapons of mass destruction, but with instruments of knowledge and understanding. …We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won, and they must be won and used for the progress of all people. ….The growth of our science and education will be enriched by new knowledge of our universe and environment, by new techniques of learning and mapping and observation, by new tools and computers for industry, medicine, the home as well as the school. Technical institutions, such as Rice, will reap the harvest of these gains. …Well, space is there, and we're going to climb it, and the moon and the planets are there, and new hopes for knowledge and peace are there. And, therefore, as we set sail we ask God's blessing on the most hazardous and dangerous and greatest adventure on which man has ever embarked….”
Friday, August 13, 2010
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Four Surface Warfare officers graduated from the University of San Diego (USD) School of Business Administration Master of Science in Global Leadership (MSGL) program Aug. 6.
The MSGL program is an interdisciplinary degree that examines the challenges of leadership, ethics and business in the international marketplace.
"The MSGL program uses a blended learning model that combines traditional classroom instruction with on-line learning to provide a cutting edge global business leadership degree that can be achieved while in active duty," said retired Capt. Bob Shoulz, director of the School of Business Administration. "Almost everything we study and discuss has direct application to the decisions military leaders will have to make as they become more senior."
The 16-month program is focused on educating influential community members to make a positive impact on the fast-paced global marketplace by overcoming challenges commonly faced due to cultural boundaries. "We place a high priority on cultural understanding and the role it plays in successful leadership across international and cultural boundaries," Shoulz added.
The program has received great feedback from Surface Warfare graduates.
"Coming back from sea duty and participating in this program has helped to round out my military education," said Lt. Tin Tran, currently serving as fleet liason officer at Naval Surface Warfare Center Corona. "The curriculum complements what I do as a Surface Warfare officer, and I'll go back into the fleet with an expanded global perspective on my role as a naval officer."
The ceremony, held at USD's Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice, featured keynote remarks from author Dr. John Stoessinger, recipient of the distinguished Bancroft Prize for History for The Might of Nations, previous acting director for the Political Affairs Division at the United Nations and current distinguished professor of global diplomacy at USD.
"This is a very joyful occasion," Stoessinger said to the new graduates. "I know the education you have received will help you to make more well-informed decisions in your positions as influential members of our global community."
Since its establishment in 1999, the MSGL program has graduated more than 400 leaders from all walks of life, including government, military and business professionals.
NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- During a change of command and retirement ceremony aboard USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), Vice Adm. Melvin G. Williams Jr. was relieved as Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet and Director, Combined Joint Operations from the Sea Center of Excellence (CJOS) by Vice Adm. Daniel P. Holloway Aug. 12.
The change of command also served as a retirement ceremony for Williams after 32 years of naval service as a commissioned officer.
As 2nd Fleet commander since 2008, Williams was responsible for the operations and training of 130 ships and submarines, the assigned aircraft and expeditionary forces – including four carrier strike groups, four Amphibious Ready Groups and three Marine Expeditionary Units. Williams also served as director, Combined Joint Operations from the Sea Centre of Excellence, a NATO-support organization with 13 member nations.
Addressing the audience, Williams thanked the many people who supported 2nd Fleet's mission and vision.
"As a result of the tireless and highly effective efforts of our staff, our commanders, and our troops, it is my assessment that our vision has been realized and our mission was accomplished with a high level of excellence," he said.
Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Adm. J.C. Harvey, Jr. presided over the ceremony, praised Williams' contributions, and welcomed Holloway.
"A truly special part of today's ceremony is the personal relationship I have with both these officers - I've served with them both over the years and am proud to call them my friends. They are officers of exceptional talent, truly dedicated professionals who have rendered great service to their nation," said Harvey.
Prior to assuming command as the 48th U.S. 2nd Fleet commander, Holloway most recently served as director, Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education (N13). He is a 1978 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and was the Carrier Strike Group 12/USS Enterprise (CVN 65) Strike Group commander from February 2007 to August 2008.
"I am very happy to be back in Norfolk – the quintessential Navy town. It will be a pleasure to work again with Second Fleet and our Hampton Roads community – the standard-bearers for Fleet and Family support," Holloway said during the ceremony.
"I couldn't ask for a more superior team to lead or better shoes to fill. I join you all in wishing VADM Williams and his family 'fair winds and following seas'. We thank him for a lifetime of service and a legacy that will serve us and all future Sailors well," said Holloway.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
One of the ways Rotarians make use of the classification system is through the “Craft Talk.” A Craft Talk is a portion or perhaps a program within a meeting where members talk about their business. In a semi-formal sense, the person giving the Craft Talk is accomplishing two things: First, to some extent they are promoting their business or organization. Secondly, and often more importantly, they are letting the other members know their talents, expertise and skills so we know who to turn to for advice when we begin our next service project.
The purpose of this discussion thread is a virtual Craft Talk. If you are Rotarian, tell us about your business - your skills and talents. You don’t have to be a member of the San Dimas Rotary Club – just a Rotarian. Visit us, tell us about yourself at:
Me – I am a retired police lieutenant turned writer. I string words together and occasionally form sentences. You can find out more about my writings – books, blogs and articles at http://www.police-lieutenant.com/
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
NORFOLK (NNS) -- Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic (SUBLANT) held a change of command ceremony for the command's force master chief at SUBLANT headquarters in Norfolk July 26.
Force Master Chief (Submarines) Kirk Saunders relieved Force Master Chief Jeffery Garrison as SUBLANT force master chief.
Garrison served as the SUBLANT force master chief from October 2007 to July 2010. He will report to Commander, Navy Personnel Command in Millington, Tenn., as the Navy's command master chief detailer.
During the ceremony, Vice Adm. John Donnelly, commander, Submarine Forces/commander, SUBLANT, presented Garrison with a Legion of Merit medal. Garrison was cited for his impressive resourcefulness in providing the force commander and the master chier petty officer of the Navy valuable insight, guidance and deckplate perspective. He was also recognized for his visionary approach in implementing numerous initiatives, which positively affected more than 22,000 submarine Sailors in the Atlantic Fleet. In mentoring five group master chiefs, 15 squadron master chiefs and 91 chiefs of the boat, Garrison relentlessly delivered changes to senior enlisted leadership, which led to innovative growth and immensely contributed to the education of junior enlisted.
"I am looking forward to working with the force commander in continuing the legacy left by Force Garrison," said Saunders. "It is an honor and privilege in having the opportunity to help mold and influence the tremendous Sailors operating our submarine force. For me, it is the ultimate dream come true being selected as the force master chief, and having the chance to mentor and develop our senior enlisted leaders and enlisted force."
Saunders believes his previous assignments have prepared him for the challenges that are in his future.
"My opportunity to lead as both chief of the boat and a squadron command master chief has provided me an incredible insight to the difficulties and challenges we face day-to-day in the submarine force. The challenges I faced in those leadership roles and the efforts required to resolve them and persevere during adversity has prepared me well to lead at this level," said Saunders.
In the last several months there have been two huge social changes in the submarine force - women being assigned to submarines and smoking cessation on submarines - that will require tremendous leadership engagement in the chief's community.
"I believe the chief's mess leadership is critical in everything we do, not only in the submarine force, but in the Navy as a whole," said Saunders. "The acceptance of women to serve aboard submarines and eliminating smoking aboard submarines is no different. The submarine force's ability to benefit from the incredible leadership and expertise women will bring to our force will only make us better. Education across all levels of the chain-of-command will ensure there is a smooth transition in these cultural shifts, and the emphasis on professional behavior will guarantee that success. I have no doubt our chief's community will realize the benefit of these changes and lead the way in the transition."
"The submarine force has taken incredible measures to help Sailors who have chosen to kick the smoking habit. The use of both education by trained facilitators and nicotine replacement therapies have already been distributed to the force. Command leadership teams are taking a proactive role in limiting the use of tobacco on board their ships in an effort to gradually phase in to having smoke-free submarines. This change will not only benefit the smokers' long term health, but the health of the non-smoker receiving second-hand smoke. Although reluctance to change is normal, I have no doubt our senior enlisted leaders will lead the charge in accepting the changes," said Saunders.
Saunders joined the Navy in July 1987 and attended recruit training in San Diego, Basic Submarine School in Groton, Conn., and Torpedoman Class "A" School in Orlando, Fla.
His first submarine assignment was aboard the fast-attack submarine USS Richard B. Russell (SSN 687), homeported in Mare Island, Calif. There he qualified in submarines, earning the coveted silver dolphins. Other sea tours have included assignments aboard the Los Angeles-class attack submarines USS Norfolk (SSN 714), where he served as the torpedo division leading chief petty officer, and USS Boise (SSN 764), where he served as the chief of the boat.
His shore assignments include Navy Recruiting District Miami, Fla., where he served as a production recruiter, and recruiter-in-charge; Commander, Submarine Force, Atlantic Fleet where he served as the senior enlisted leader and weapons evaluator on the Tactical Readiness Evaluation Team; and Commander, Submarine Squadron 11 in San Diego where he served as command master chief.
Saunders is a graduate of the Senior Enlisted Academy Class 112 (Blue) and the Command Master Chief/Chief of the Boat Course Class 10.
He is entitled to wear the Meritorious Service medal (two awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation medal (three awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement medal (four awards), Navy Good Conduct medal (seven awards) and other unit and campaign awards.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is pleased to announce the finalists of the 2010 National Citizen Corps Achievement Awards. Administered by FEMA and implemented locally, Citizen Corps is the grassroots movement to actively engage civic leaders and the public in community safety and disaster preparedness. “These awards demonstrate the tremendous strides communities across the nation are making to increase government collaboration with community leaders and to include the public as partners in community preparedness,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate.
Presented in seven categories, these awards recognize innovative practices and achievements of Citizen Corps Councils across the nation to make our communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to manage any emergency situation. With over 2,400 registered Citizen Corps Councils nationwide, these award winners exemplify excellence in community emergency planning, foster successful public-private partnerships, prioritize collaboration, demonstrate creative and innovative local problem solving, and implement sound programs that can be modeled for use by other communities.
The award winners will be selected by a panel of emergency management leaders representing all levels of government, FEMA, National Emergency Managers Association, and the International Association of Emergency Managers. Award winners will be announced in September as part of National Preparedness Month.
These finalists represent the breadth of the community preparedness movement, with notable efforts from communities in over 20 states. A complete list of finalists and award category descriptions is available at www.citizencorps.gov/councils/awards/
Monday, August 09, 2010
USS ENTERPRISE, At Sea (NNS) -- The aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) is using its mentorship program while at sea Aug. 8 to help the crew focus on the basics that will increase their ability to succeed as the ship conducts its workups.
The mentorship program is modeled after the Navy's 'Brilliant on the Basics' concept announced in NAVADMIN 043/08, which focuses on six basic tenets for successful Sailors.
These fundamental principles encompass career development boards, sponsorship, mentorship, Sailor recognition, command indoctrination, and command ombudsman support.
Just as there are training and evaluation processes that ensure the ship is deployable, the mentorship program also prepares Big E Sailors for success in deployment and throughout their careers.
The mentorship program provides competent, successful and caring senior Sailors to give personal and professional guidance to junior Sailors and those new to the ship.
"There are two ways Sailors can receive mentorship," said Senior Chief Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) (AW/SW/EXW) Scott A. Bowman, Enterprise's command mentorship program coordinator. "Your divisional mentorship program representative assigns you a mentor when you check aboard. [You] can also receive a specific mentor by request and can then talk to the mentor about any needs [you] might have."
The program doesn't work unless accepted by the command as a primary tool for Sailor development.
"The mentorship program is a tool that can help get to the root of any problem," said Bowman. "It also helps Sailors professionally, allowing them to progress in their career path."
For mentors, it's a way they can help their shipmates in the short term while also guiding them toward long-term goals.
"It really helps to have someone who knows what you're going through to help you along the way," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) Airman Desian M. Joseph. "My mentor gives me job advice and informs me of what I need to do to improve my professional competitiveness."
The program also makes mentors available for everyday life questions such as being deployed, purchasing a home, buying a vehicle and other personal and financial decisions all Sailors face throughout their careers.
"We'd be working through a busy day, and a question would come up and my mentor not only knew the answer, but he had his own experience to add," said Culinary Specialist Seaman Apprentice Cody S. Clark. "I think any method of mentoring is good for the Sailors' skills and professional growth."
Enterprise is at sea conducting work-ups leading to its 21st deployment.
Saturday, August 07, 2010
Imagine you are in an organization wherein one of your key leaders clearly does not share one of the primary organizational values. Through their conduct, they have repeatedly, over the course of many years, demonstrated that they do not believe this key value is important. Also imagine that the leader comes to you and now asks you to do, for them, this key organizational value. By example, the leader demonstrates the unimportance of the value except when it has personal value to them. This is not leadership by example, this is anti-leadership.
Commitment to organizational values, and leadership by example, are two primary traits a leader must have. An absence of one or the other is poor leadership; the combination of the two is anti-leadership. All leaders lapse, make mistakes and exercise poor judgment.
People and organizations survive this periodic poor leadership. However, when a leader demonstrates, over the long-run, that a primary organizational value is unimportant and they couple it with asking us to ignore “leadership by example,” we are faced with serious questions regarding their ability to lead us.
We determine what leaders value not by what they say, but by what they do. I think for the American follower one of the most disdainful statements may be “Do as I say, not as I do.” This paternalistic view is not leadership. Our history is replete with great leaders whom we admire, follow and emulate because of what they showed us, not what they told us. I am reminded of Lieutenant General Hal Moore, in We Were Soldiers, being the first to step off the helicopter into battle and being the last to leave the field of battle. Demonstrating what you and your organization values, is much more important than anything you will ever say.
Let me take a moment and remind you that being good at one thing does not necessarily mean you will be good at another. How many times in your life and career have you seen a leader come from one organization where they did well to yours where they were an abject failure? Indeed, we have a phrase for people who were promoted to positions of leadership based on their performance as a follower – the Peter Principle. In its truest form, the Peter Principle refers to organizations promoting people to the level of the incompetence. You were good at the follower job, so we give you the leader job until you move up the ladder based on prior performance and find the place where in you fail. Today, organizations work to identify behaviors that directly relate to the future leadership position. We look for behaviors that indicate you will flourish in the position for which you are applying; the past is guide to those clues.
Being a captain of industry does not mean you will be an effective public leader. The core values of business and public service are different and often at odds. You can be an outstanding business person but be a poor performer as a public leader. We shouldn’t look directly at your business performance, but at how your performance as a business leader demonstrates your commitment to public values.
The Right to vote is a primary American value. Moreover, Universal Suffrage did not begin with our Constitution. People had to fight for this Right for more than two hundred years. Indeed, around the world we see people braving abject poverty, intimidation and terrorism for the Right to vote. Perhaps, the Right to ballot is one of the overarching human values. Certainly, to be an American is to vote.
I know – you don’t think your vote matters. Well, in recent times, senate campaigns, presidential elections and a innumerable host of local issues were decided by very few voters. Every vote counts. Every ballot cast honors the people who fought for Universal Suffrage and those who have defended our freedom. It is simply an American value too important to overlook.
Which brings us to this passage from the September 29, 2009, issue of the Sacramento Bee.
“Whitman explained her reasons for not voting regularly at a campaign event in Davis: “I, like many Americans, was not as engaged as I should have been over the last 20 or 30 years," Whitman said. “I was focused on raising a family, on my husband's career; we moved many, many times, and it is no excuse. My voting record, my registration record, is unacceptable.”
As a potential public leader, Whitman did not find, in nearly 3 decades, some national, state or local issue compelling enough to motivate her to vote. However, now on the eve of gubernatorial elections in California she wants us to find her compelling enough to vote for. Clearly, this is “Do as I say” and not leadership by example; and, significant evidence that Whitman does not value the Right to vote as we should expect from our leaders. Had she shared this value, she would have found a way to cast her ballot.
Especially in the context of values, leaders must lead by example.
About the Author
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.) retired from the Los Angeles Police Department. He is the author or co-author of six books including Police Technology and Leadership: Texas Hold ‘em Style. He can be contacted through his website at http://www.police-lieutenant.com/
Thursday, August 05, 2010
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- More than 50 spouses of senior enlisted Sailors attended a Highlights in Leadership seminar at Naval Base San Diego's Fleet and Family Support Center July 28-29.
The training was developed specifically to help spouses understand the importance of their role in supporting the Navy's mission.
"This seminar is designed to provide you with the tools to be our eyes and ears at home while we are out there supporting the mission," said Capt. Rick L. Williamson, commanding officer, Naval Base San Diego.
The one-day Highlights in Leadership seminar, developed by the Command Leadership School (CLS) in Newport, R.I., is offered to senior enlisted spouses who have the potential to attend the Command Master Chief Spouse Leadership Course (CMCSLC) in Newport, or who were unable to attend when their spouses attended the Command Master Chief/Chief of the Boat (CMC/COB) Leadership course.
The training was led by Robin Witcher, lead instructor for the CMC Spouse Leadership Course taught in Newport. The Highlights course included topics such as team-building, communication, command support team relationships, group dynamics and conflict resolution.
"What a great opportunity for our spouses to understand what their spouses do, so they can assist them in their careers," said Navy Region Southwest Command Master Chief David Chmielewski.
Because of the popularity of the course the seminar was held for two consecutive days to ensure all San Diego-area spouses who were interested in attending could participate.
"This is a wonderful opportunity for the spouses in our region," said Kim McDonough, seminar coordinator and CMC/COB Spouse Leadership Course Advisory Board member for Navy Region Southwest. "All of our spouses were extremely excited about the opportunity to attend. I look forward to coordinating our next one."
Each day attendees worked collaboratively to identify the many resources available to help Navy leaders and their spouses overcome challenges as members of the command triad.
"The command triad, consisting of the commanding officer, executive officer and command master chief or chief of the boat, is a powerful element at any command," said Williamson. "Your role as the spouse of a CMC or COB is, or will be, a major factor."
The Command Leadership School offers Highlights in Leadership to senior enlisted spouses in multiple locations throughout the year with the assistance of the CMC/COB Spouse Leadership Course Advisory Board. In addition to coordinating local attendance and facilities, board members provide seminar support during the events to ensure the success of the events. The next seminar will held at Naval Station Pearl Harbor Aug. 26 and 27.
"The seminar has received rave reviews in other fleet concentration areas," said Capt. Bill Nault, director, Command Leadership School. "I'm convinced that everyone who attends will be equally energized and informed about leading our fleet and our Sailors."
Spouses who have a spouse selected to be a Command Senior Chief (CSC), CMC or COB have the opportunity to attend CMCSLC in Newport. The CMCSLC provides spouses with an in-depth program to develop their knowledge of the choices and contributions they make as the senior enlisted leader's spouse. Based on personal values and preferences, each spouse develops a personal vision statement and, together with their prospective CMC/COB/CSC, develops a Command Master Chief Tour Charter that is in alignment with each of their personal visions.
The CMCSLC is an intense, one-week course and is taught at the same time as the CMC/COB Leadership course.
"Attending the Command Master Chief Spouse Leadership Course is a great opportunity, and I would encourage any spouse who has the chance to make the time for the class," said Chmielewski.
"Senior enlisted spouses are seen as leaders," said Witcher, "Their experiences have given them the tools and resources necessary to help them become an integral part of the command support team."
The course also provides spouses with an awareness of leadership and management skills that can enhance positive contributions to the family, command, and community environments. The course does this by providing insight into issues that are likely to arise in connection with the new command responsibilities.
"You are every bit as much leaders as your spouses are," said Nault. "Part of our mission at CLS is to make sure you have the tools you need to succeed during your spouses' CMC or COB tour."