Leadership Ideas, Information and News

Friday, March 30, 2012

Panetta Outlines Eisenhower’s Legacy of Leadership

By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 30, 2012 – Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta offered his perspective at a gathering here yesterday evening on what he termed the “strategic turning point” facing the nation.

Accepting the 2012 Dwight D. Eisenhower Award, presented by members of the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress during a dinner in his honor hosted by the group, Panetta said Eisenhower’s legacy of “compromise, patience, [and] conviction … remains valuable and instructive to all of us today.”

Eisenhower’s life of service, he added, offers lessons on the importance of statesmanship, of long-term strategic planning and of leadership in war and politics.

The secretary reminded the audience of the challenges America faces: the wear that follows 10 years of war; a diminished but determined terrorist threat; an uncertain global geopolitical situation; and a range of weapons that includes a growing nuclear menace and an elusive but pervasive cyber threat.

“At the same time we face this myriad of threat, we also face another national security threat: the long-term debt and the record deficits,” Panetta said.

To meet that threat, Panetta noted, he and “the entire leadership” of the Defense Department did the painful but necessary work of crafting “a new defense strategy for the long haul,” to shape a defense capability that will sustain the nation’s global leadership in a constrained spending environment.

The department must do its part “to help America put its fiscal house in order,” the secretary said.

“That’s because I agree with what President Eisenhower said in his first state of the union speech,” Panetta continued. “’To amass military power without regard to economic capacity would be to defend ourselves against one kind of disaster by inviting another.’”

The new defense strategy will produce a force that is small, agile, technologically advanced and able to confront aggression at any time or place, he said.

The process of developing that strategy and shaping defense spending plans to support it required the department, he said, to “make tradeoffs and that we put our long-term interest ahead of short-term political pressures.”

“But that’s the nature of governing,” the secretary continued. Over his career in public service, Panetta added, he has learned “that governing requires people coming together to get things done, not to pound their fists on the table, not to stand in the way.”

One of his greatest concerns as secretary, Panetta said, “is the dysfunction that we see in Washington.

“It threatens our security and it raises questions about the capacity of our democracy to respond to crisis,” he added. “But dysfunction is a political crutch, It’s a political excuse. It is not a part of the American spirit.”

Panetta said he hopes Congress will work with the department to implement the strategy and the budget, and “ensure that we have the strong military the country needs for the future.”

Another important lesson Eisenhower’s legacy provides, the secretary said, is the service and sacrifice of a single generation can leave all of us a better life.”

The Americans who have volunteered to be sent to faraway battlefields over the last 10 years are such a generation, Panetta said.

During his recent trip to Afghanistan, Panetta said he was “struck by how even in a tough situation, these dedicated young men and women remain intently focused on the long-term mission.”

The strategy International Security Assistance Force commander Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen and his forces have in place in Afghanistan is effective, Panetta said. Violence is down, the secretary noted, the Taliban are weakened, and Afghan forces are fighting alongside their U.S. and ISAF counterparts.

“We cannot allow the outrages of war to undermine” that strategy, he said.

Panetta acknowledged that the American and Afghan people are tired of war. That is understandable, he said, “but we must summon the will to see this strategy through to success.”

The secretary offered another quote from Eisenhower: “Without American leadership in the search, the pursuit of a just and enduring peace is hopeless. Nowhere in the world -- outside this land -- is there the richness of resources, and stamina, and will needed to lead what at times must be a costly and exhausting effort.”

Americans and their leaders, Panetta said, must summon the will to “fight for that American dream for a better life, but most of all, fight for a government of, by and for all people.”

Monday, March 26, 2012

FBI Multi-Cultural Youth Leadership Academy

The Portland Division is now accepting applications for the third annual FBI Multi-Cultural Youth Leadership Academy, which will be held August 22-24, 2012.

The academy was created in coordination with FBI Portland’s Multi-Cultural Advisory Council—which is composed of community leaders from cultural, religious, civic, and business backgrounds—in order to provide a positive environment for high school students to interact with law enforcement.

The academy is geared toward developing youth leaders by engaging them in team-building experiences, exposing them to careers in law enforcement, and teaching them to communicate across cultures. Participants will have direct interaction with law enforcement officials, including FBI special agents. Youth applicants are required to attend all three days of the academy.

To apply, both of the following items must be completed:

1. Application packet (contains requirements, application form, essay questions, liability waiver, and agreements)

2. Recommendation form (each applicant must be nominated by a member of the FBI’s Multi-Cultural Advisory Council, an FBI employee, coach, teacher, or local non-profit agency)

The application deadline is May 31, 2012. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance to the program via mail by June 15, 2012.

2011 Director’s Community Leadership Awards

The Memphis Division is pleased to honor Mr. Greg Lemon for his work as a member of the Nashville chapter of InfraGard. Mr. Lemon graduated from the FBI’s Citizens Academy in 2009 and immediately joined InfraGard, where he works to strengthen the partnership between InfraGard and the state of Tennessee’s Office of Homeland Security.

Mr. Lemon is vice president of the Nashville chapter of InfraGard. Despite his busy schedule and responsibilities as an adjunct professor of accounting at Middle Tennessee State University, he has worked tirelessly to support the outreach efforts of InfraGard.

In 2010, Mr. Lemon helped coordinate a tribute at the state capital honoring emergency first responders. The following year, Mr. Lemon organized a similar event to mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11. In October 2010, he worked with FBI Memphis to organize a cyber security banking event. Approximately 75 bank executives met with cyber agents from the Memphis Division, who provided tips on how to prevent computer intrusion.

2011 Director’s Community Leadership Awards

The Salt Lake City Division is pleased to honor the Blackfeet Housing Project’s Pikanii Action Team for its commitment to reducing binge drinking and drunk driving. In 2008, the housing project was awarded a grant by the Montana State Department of Public Health, and the Pikanii Action Team began identifying and implementing initiatives to address alcohol issues in the community.

The team worked to enforce responsible alcohol sales by vendors and supported a driving under the influence (DUI) task force with enhanced compliance checks. The team also developed a media campaign, organized a town hall meeting, and met with tribal officials. To achieve its goals, the action team established strategy groups to implement plans and create community awareness about the project. Although its grant funding was exhausted in May 2011, the team has continued its efforts through the passage of new ordinances and ongoing community outreach.

As a result of organized safety checks, the Pikanii Action Team saw a decrease in DUI violations, dropping from 484 violations in 2009 to 199 violations in 2010.

2011 Director’s Community Leadership Awards

The Sacramento Division is pleased to honor Women Escaping a Violent Environment (WEAVE) for its work supporting survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Sacramento County.

Established in 1978, WEAVE has matured from a small grassroots non-profit organization into a nationally recognized agency with 80 paid staff members and many active volunteers. WEAVE volunteers and community partners believe a key component to ending the cycle of violence and abuse is prevention and education. The organization’s staff and volunteers dedicate time and resources to educating the community about domestic violence in an effort to improve how the community responds to these issues.

WEAVE has been honored for its efforts by many organizations and officials, including the Nonprofit Resource Center, the U.S. Department of Justice, the governor of California, the Human Rights Fair Housing Commission, and the president of the United States.