The Navy's traditions live on in the hearts of those who serve

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The candle of America's greatness is flickering!

When a candle is just about finished, the candle flickers wildly and then goes out!  There are many indicators that this is where America is today.  Why do I say this?  Let's see;  Today the Pentagon admitted that China had hacked the computers of our Nation's defense industry and the Pentagon and retrieved the engineering secrets of 20 of our major defense systems including the AEGIS system!!  Yesterday, the army announced they were canceling the competition to update teh military's combat rifle and will just go back to what we had 20 years ago!  Yes, an M4 with full auto is what we had 20 years ago.  Yes, a heavy barrel is a plus, but you still have a .22 caliber bullet that has limited on shot kill power!  Then there is our Navy which is smaller and less capable than the Navy of 1905!  Someone commented on my previous posts on the LCS ships uselessness.   This reader commented that the LCS was the fault of the Reagan administration.  No, it was not.  The LCS came from the policy of "From the Sea" a Littoral look at war at Sea, which was written in 1992!  Then there is Gays in the Military, Women in combat, trying enemy combatants as U.S. criminals,  and an administration caught in multiple lies, illegal practices, and political witchcraft!

Our term as the World's greatest power is over.  China, North Korea, the Soviet Union, Iran, the Muslim world, all have at least as good a military as we do and they have the resolve to use it.  We look weak to our enemies and what is worse, they KNOW we are.  All the money and lives we lost in Iraq were for nothing!  Iraq is right where it was before we invaded.  Afghanistan is in the same condition it was before we invaded also.  Somalia is still a mess,  as is Libya, Egypt, and the rest of the Arab world!  And we are powerless to do anything about it.  Think I am wrong?  Look at the truth about the brutal murder of our Ambassador in Benghazi!  We did nothing.  America is impotent in the eyes of the world.  We are right where we were when Jimmy Carter was President and our Embassy personnel were held hostage for over 400 days.  We did nothing!!

Why I feel, no, I know that we are done is that there are no leaders on the horizon to restore America to her greatness and no resolve of the American people to accomplish this goal.  No, America is no longer a world power.  We will join Great Britain in the trash heap of "Also Ran" countries.  Weak, impotent, and whimpering in the corner.

The internment of American citizens?

During World War Two, the newspaper magnate, William Randolph Hearst, conducted what was called "Yellow Dog Journalism".  He, through editorial articles in his newspapers, convinced the American people, and therefore the politicians,  that Japanese people, living in America, were a threat to our War effort.    It did not matter to Hearst how long a Japanese person lived in America or is they were naturalized or even native born American citizens!   Because of this smear campaign, Japanese Americans were interned in camps.  Their property was seized and they were falsely  accused of being disloyal to their country, that being America.

I was not alive when this atrocity was visited on these Americans.  But as I learned of it from history classes and the stories of my parents, I wondered how a nation could become so frightened of people that had lived in their country, their neighborhood, as their fellow citizens.  I have seen documentaries on William Randolph Hearst's "Yellow Dog Journalism" and until just recently, I did not understand the rush to intern these Americans be cause they looked different than others.

But recent events in Boston and even a review of the the attack on the World Trade Towers brings the same fear to my mind today as Hearst fostered in 1941.  The recent attacks during the Boston Marathon actually did come from individuals living in America, as one of us!  One of the brothers even became a naturalized citizen!  They were hidden in plain sight.  Their college classmates knew them, drank with them, smoked pot with them, probably had sex with them, and still did not know who they really were or what they were capable of.  Some of their friends even helped them destroy evidence of the attack and texted with them after the attack!   This is the most frightening thing about this attack.

The Mosques in America are being used to radicalize Muslims.  There is irrefutable proof of that.  At least two Imam's have been identified as recruiters for our enemy.   The Army Major that killed and wounded American soldiers in Texas was radicalized by one of these Imams in America!  The enemy is truly at our doorstep.  For the first time since the War of 1812, our enemy in on our country, living next to us, going to college with our sons and daughters, and even serving in our Military!

While I am not going to join Mr. Hearst, yet, in calling for the internment of our present enemy, I would really like to hear one Muslim cleric condemn what their fellow Muslim's did at Boston, or Texas, or New York!   I do believe we, as citizens, need to keep our eyes open, our heads on a swivel, and our powder dry.  Because, the wolf is stalking us and he is living among us.  When he shows himself, we must be ready.

However, the next time one of these radicalized Muslims attacks Americans, I will be among the first to call for the use of internment camps once again.  Our very way of live is in peril!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Who was really responsible for killing Osama?

Just who is responsible for the killing of Osama Benladin?  For the first time, I will reveal the truth.  I arrived in Washington D.C as the Gunner's Mate Detailer in October of 1980.  President Reagan was elected that November and inaugurated January 1981.  Sometime the spring of 1981, an Enlisted Assignment Document changing the Rating of a Chief Navy Counselor back to his original Rating of Chief Gunner's Mate!   I was overwhelmed with anger!  This action was taken without my vote as was the published policy.  I went searching, no, HUNTING to find out who perpetrated this crime.

Why was it a crime.  Because Chief promotion spots were hard to justify and one of these precious billets had just been taken by someone I felt did not deserve it.   I quickly found out that the decision had been solely made by the SEAL Detailer.  I charged to his desk!  I immediately began to berate this Master Chief SEAL.  He took my diatribe for a few minutes.  Evidently they teach SEALS the ability to suffer fools!  When he had his fill of my foul language, he told me;  Don; I need this man for his special skills.  You do not know what he is going to do and I can't tell you.  You are dismissed!  I steamed off!

Fast forward to late 1987.  I was selected as the Surface Forces, U.S. Atlantic Fleet Force Master Chief position.  In this position, the Atlantic Fleet SEALS were represented by me.  Soon after I took this responsibility I was invited to visit a SEAL team by the Command Master Chief.  He gave me directions to the location of this Command and I was perplexed at the location.  But, I showed up at the appointed time.  This was my first introduction to SEAL Team Six.

SEAL Team Six was established by President Ronald Reagan in 1981.  The first Commanding Officer was Commander Richard Marcinko.  He built a team of exceptional SEALS with capabilities far beyond ant other SEAL team.   They reported directly to the President.  They did not wear uniforms, nor did they carry ID cards or dog tags.  They had long hair and beards and could fit in on the streets of any world city.  The were true Commandos!

During this visit, I met the Chief Gunner's Mate that I so violently argued against.  He gave me a tour of his Armory and I apologized for being such an ass. While I will not tell you all I saw and experienced,  I will tell you I was overwhelmed with they capabilities and dedication.  You will also notice, that unlike the Vice President, I will not tell you anything I still believe is sensitive.

Now, to the point of this blog.  President Obama utilized SEAL Team Six to carry out the mission to remove Binladen.  But he only used what President Ronald Reagan established and equipped.  He stood on the shoulders of great men and took the credit solely for himself.  Credit he does not deserve.   President Reagan is responsible for the successful mission to bring Osama Binladen to justice.  Without his foresight back in 1981, Binladen would most likely still be at large.

Thank you President Reagan, for your insightful leadership!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Fundamentals of Leadership, Part Three

Let's see, we talked about leadership and accountability.  Let's talk about working with the opposite sex.  There are three rules when working with, working for, or havein someone of the opposite sex work for you.

Rule One;  You can't screw the hired help!
Rule Two;  You can't screw the boss!
Rule Three:  You can't screw your shipmate!

Conclusion: Sex with anyone that is stationed with you is not good for your career!  Many Officers and Chiefs seem to forget these rules and get fired for violating them.

You can add rules like, treat everyone, regardless of their sex, the same.  But, that makes sense.  But your generation does not do sensible things.  So, maybe this should be rule Four!

But, remember the first three rules because violating them will get you fired!

Fundamentals of Leadership part two

OK, I gave you three fundamentals of Leadership, now I will give you some rules of Accountability.

First;  If YOU broke it, You FIX it!!  If a person who is subordinate to you has issues, it is your job to correct them.  How, Set the example, see Rule one from the last blog.  Then, train the individual in the out come your expect.   Then, show the person HOW to do the job correctly.  The, let the person try it himself with your oversight.  Critique the results, in a positive manner and have him try again.  Finally, let the person do it on his own.  Never lower your standards.  Raise theirs!

This rule also applies to equipment, barracks, what ever.  If you break something, don't tell on of your subordinates to fix it, YOU fix it and set the example while doing it!

Second;  Punishment is the last resort and only punish the individual responsible for the problem.  It is better to train, correct, and set the example of the expected outcome than punish someone for doing a bad job.   I remember in Boot Camp, on the first night.  We did not have uniforms or even our first haircut.  But, our Company Commander taught us how to properly make our bunks!  The proper hospital covers, how to fold our blankets, hot tight the sheets were supposed to be.  Our Company Commander made a bunk!  Then, he had us make our bunks.  Then he showed us where we went wrong and had us remake our bunks until we got it right.  That was 44 years ago and I can still make my bunk correctly!

Third;  Praise in public, punish in private!  And, yelling is not normally effective.  I worked for a Chief and one time I made a big technical mistake.  I was deathly afraid of telling him of my error, but I did.  He never yelled.  He simply said, order the parts, and when they come in, fix the gun mount.  Weeks went by and I beat myself up because I felt I let him down.  Finally, I asked the Chief why he had not yelled at me.  He said;  I did not have to, you already made yourself fell bad!

More later.

The fundamentals of Leadership!

Sometimes I forget that this generation of young adults have not been taught basic truths.  I see so many times, so called leaders making basic mistakes in leading men.  I see the same faults in fathers as they try to raise sons and daughters.   So, I thought I would offer a few basic principles, fundamentals, mandatory traits, of good old LEADERSHIP.  Yes, there are many of you who took management classes.  Well, you did not learn a thing because you were taught by people who never lead anyone!  I have, so listen up!

FIRST:  Don't ask. order, or expect anyone to do what you have not done!!  If you want a character trait exhibited, YOU MUST exhibit that trait, all the time!!!  For instance, parents, if you want your children to keep their rooms neat and clean;  Your room must be neat and clean.  Do as I say, not as I do, does not work!!  Military men, the correct order is;  Men, follow ME!  Not, Men, run over that hill and get killed, I will stay here where it is safe and do the paper work!

SECOND:  You must be the subject matter expert.  Leadership requires competency.  Your men will not follow a person who does not know where HE is going.  Same for parenting.  Share your experiences in life with your children.  Let them know that you were a "Kid" once.  Let them know the hard spots in life that you went through so they can avoid them.  Be the "Fount" of wisdom not the "Question Mark"!

THIRD:  Don't criticize your superiors in front of your subordinates.  If you were given an order to carry out, when you tell you subordinates, that order is now YOUR order!  You gave it, you get credit for the results, and you correct your subordinates for their mistakes.  An order give by you is your order, not your Superior's order.  The easy way is to say, we have to do this because I was told to.  That will not motivate your subordinates to follow you!

OK, I know that this generation has a short attention span.  Three principles is enough for now.  Review this, apply this, and teach this to others.  Expect these fundamentals from your boss and display these to your people!  You will be much better for it.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Memorial Day is approaching. Who do you remember?

In a couple of weeks, it will me Memorial Day.  What do you plan to do on this three day Holiday?  Travel, have friends over, go to an automobile race?   I have a suggestion;  Take your family to a National Cemetery for the Memorial Day remembrance.

Memorial Day is the one day that we, as a Nation, stop and remember those who gave their lives while on Active Duty in our Armed Forces.  The question is, to make this Holiday personal, who do you remember that died defending you!  Do you remember anyone who died defending freedom?  Did you forget them until this minute?

They may have gone to High School with you or to College.  They may have been your neighbor, your second cousin, or your brother.  Naturally, you remember those closest to you but after years pass, the memory fades.  I challenge you to rekindle the memories of your Hero!  Remember your friendship, your love, your experiences.  Recall to your active memory the emotions you felt when you first heard of their death.  That is the purpose of Memorial Day.  To remember those people that WE knew and the sacrifice that they made.

Who did I know that I remember on this day, and many others;  GMG1 Robert "Red" Mills, WO1 Robert Dalton, GMCS Sigfriet, GMCM Hass.  While I do not remember the exact day they died, I do know how they died.  Each one of these men were exceptional men who chose to serve our NAtion and died in that service.

Memorial Day is a personal holiday as well as a National Holiday.  Boy Scouts and Veteran's groups place small American Flags on each grave in the National Cemeteries, ceremonies are held, Taps is player, prayers are offered, all in the memory of OUR loved one.  Let us personally remember our Hero by visiting the National Cemetery closest to you and visit a grave, or even THE grave of you Hero.  Remember the sacrifice he or she made and how that death effected you.  The reflect on how many others have been impacted in the same way.

This is the purpose of Memorial Day.  To remember the cost of Freedom.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Senator Reid wants to mess with the Military Justice system to appease female activists!

Today, I learned that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wants to change the UCMJ to do away with the ability of the Appeals Officer to overturn a punishment or the entire verdict.   This knee jerk reaction comes from a case where a Naval Officer was accused of sexual assault by a female Naval Officer who stayed in his guest room.  The Naval Officer's wife was present the entire time and she testified that nothing happened and the visiting female Naval Officer caused a seen and was asked by her to leave.  The Court Martial convicted the Officer but the Admiral over turned the conviction.

Because of pressure from the Feminazis, Senator Reid wants to change the rules of Military Justice!   Never mind that the facts of the case do not support a conviction.  The truth is, most Military Officers are so frightened by a Sexual Harassment case that a blind, deaf, paralyzed eunuch would be convicted of sexual assault!  Of course, the Feminazis called this a result of the "Good old boys network"!  Never mind the facts!

This is just another illustration of the demise of the U.S. Military.  No enemy would dare bomb this place and end all this confusion!

CORRECTION;  One of my readers corrected me and my faulty memory.  The Officers involved in this case were Air Force Officers and NOT Navy Officers.  This is my mistake and I apologize for this inaccuracy.

I could lean on my Dementia as a cause but I will just accept responsibility without excuse.

Why no Master Chiefs?

The recent events in Benghazi required an investigation that used Admiral Mullen (Ret) and Ambassador Pickering (Ret).  Both men with stellar government careers.   The Air Force's Sexual Harassment czar gets fired for groping a female.  An investigation will ensue.  There have been other review boards, panels, and investigations, conducted by the government.  Retired military officer and retired elected official, retired appointed civilian, and retired Civil Servant, are used for these boards and panels.  My question is;  Why are Senior Enlisted Personnel utilized for these panels?  There are numerous retired E-10s from the Navy, Air Force, Marines, Army, and Coast Guard.  Why can't they be utilized in these boards and panels?  Are they slighted because they are Stupid Enlisted Trash?!  That's what I see.  Use the Officers because they are educated, smart, loyal. Use the Political appointees because they will not find anything that makes us look bad.  Used the retired politicians because they were part of the club.  But please, no Enlisted Personnel!  Even though they testified to Congress annually, Briefed the Service Secretaries, the Secretary of Defense, and even the President.

There are other things that bug me about the way Enlisted Personnel are treated.  Like the Navy Drill Team!  Or the Navy Band!  My view is, parade the stupid, untrainable, illiterate, Enlisted idiots and show the other Officers how well we trained these monkeys!  I am sure the other Services have examples as bad.  Also, Dam Neck STILL has an Enlisted and an Officers beach.  Trust me, out stench does not wash off on you.  These have been burrs under my saddle for a long, long, time!  Now, I am free to express them.  I will say that not all Officers are bad or hold Enlisted Personnel in disdain.  But I have run into enough of them to reinforce my opinions.

Do I sound angry.  I guess I am.  I am tired of the Enlisted Personnel of the Military being looked down on, suffered, and treated with disrespect.  Many of our Enlisted Personnel have advanced university degrees including Doctorates!  Many of these Very Senior Enlisted leaders have held levels of leadership and responsibility far above that of some political appointees.  Yet, Senior Enlisted continue to be treated like the red headed step children of the Military!  So yes, I am angry and you should be too.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The LCS fails again!

I read a report on the Bloomburg Report that that LCS cannot fulfill her mission as designed.  No kidding!  I told you so!  I hope they did not pay TOO MUCH for that report!!

Let's review;  The LCS is not sea worthy.  The LCS cannot replenish stores, ammo, or fuel underway.  The LCS crew is too small to meet the mission.  The LCS is under armed.  The LCS failed SHOCK trials.  That's a good start.

We are building LCS ships like Hostess used to make Ding Dongs!  However, the Ding Dong will survive a nuclear explosion and the LCS can't survive a rain storm!  Look friends, the Navy is wasting big money.  I remember when the FFG 7 class ships were being made.  The Admirals were complaining that the Perry Class ships could not fulfill their mission and lacked station keeping capabilities in the open ocean.  Heck, the FFG 7 is a BATTLE WAGON compared to an LCS.  Yet the Admirals are silent on the lack of capabilities of the LCS.

I might take this opportunity to remind you that Red China is building Aircraft Carriers and the Soviet Union is building Attack Subs and Ballistic Missile Subs at a rate greater than during the Cold War.  And we are building Cabin Cruisers with pop guns!

I honestly don't know what we can do about this situation.  The Zumwalt Class surface combatant looks good but we are only building two.  Maybe someone will wake up and shift money from the LCS line to the Zumwalt line.  But, probably not because it might make sense.

The purpose of the Navy is to keep the sea lanes open!  Open for world wide trade.  Open for freedom.  Open for our defense.  Open for our Allies defense.  Open, PERIOD.  If our Navy is small, weak, undermanned, lacks capability, or sea keeping capabilities, we are in serious trouble.  Red China and the Soviet Union are building a Blue Water Navy.  Why aren't we?

When Chiefs were Chiefs

 I was on the USS Mullinnix when I was a young Seaman.  I have written before how I had my "Striker Board" in the chow line, conducted by Chief Sadowski.  He asked me my GCT/ARI and I replied "122".  He said, your a Gunner's Mate, muster with me in the morning!  But Chief Sadowski was much more to my early development than just my first Chief Gunner's Mate.  He was my mentor.

We were shooting Naval Gun Fire Support off the coast of Puerto Rico the winter of 1970.  Although I worked in Mount 51, this day, we were in Mount 52 shooting.  I do not remember why.  In any case, we had a hot gun and foul bore.   Chief Sadowski was in the gun mount working on the problem.  I was there too, handing the Chief tools and trying to learn.  All of the sudden, the Captain crawls up in the gun mount.  Chief Sadowski looks at the Captain and tells him in a very gruff tone; "Captain, you know you do not belong in this gun mount.  Get out!"

I thought, the Chief is in real trouble!  But the days past and nothing happened that I could see.  Finally, I asked my Second Class about the situation.  He told me, the Chief was right and the Captain knew it.  He also said, only a Chief could do that.  I learned a lot that day about leadership, being responsible, and being the technical expert.  I learned that I had to be right when it came to technical issues.  And that I had to be able to produce the technical documentation to prove I was right!   And finally, I had to stand up for the right technical decision, regardless of the consequences!

I promoted quickly in the Navy but it was not my doing.  It was because of the men who taught me, mentored me, lead me, and worked with me.  It is the Chief Sadowski's of the Navy that I owe my success too.  Thanks Chief!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Telephone calls

The best part of a Military background is friends!  Those people that you make lasting friendships with.  Those people that you have gone through the tough times with.  In peace time and in war, those friendships stood the test of time.  And even though you are far apart, a telephone call is all that is needed to make the connection new again.

Today was my Birthday.   I received telephone calls from my best friend and one of my closest friends from my Government Service days.  Both of these calls brought a warmth in my heart that only good friends can bring.  These are friends that are closer than a brother.

Friday, May 3, 2013

What was GOOD is now bad!

I was in the Navy, in uniform, from March 1969 to May 1989.  I served on five Destroyers, an Attack Squadron (A-6) and I was the GMG Detailer, an instructor at Gun School and the SURFLANT Force Master Chief.  I knew many sailors and met many more.  The vast majority of the men and women I knew and met were upright, moral, dedicated, patriots.   They did good things, stood up for what was right, and for the most part, came from middle and lower income families.  They found ways to bring themselves up, improve their living standards, gain education, and build a better life for themselves and their families.  Some of them made the Navy a career.  Some of them served Honorably for the period of time they took an oath to serve and left the Navy to build their careers in the civilian industries or as Police, Fire, Teachers, or other Public Servants.  But what ever career field they chose, they were the best of the best!

Today, I see things in the news that disturb me.  For instance, news reports that say the Military is going to Court Martial Chaplains or anyone else who Prays in Jesus name or talks about Christianity.  Or the story about the Russians, the Soviets, building up their nuclear arsenal while we disarm!  Or the fact that 10 states have legalized homosexuality.  Or that Colorado, California, and some other state have legalized marijuana.  Or, the fact that Christian Athletes are told to be quiet and are looked down on and a Gay Basketball Player is held up as a hero.   Or, the fact that the President let the Ambassador to Lybia and three other Americans get brutally killed, sexually sodomized, and parader around like prizes and he did nothing to help them or find their killers.  Or the fact that the same President blocked the investigate into the killings of those Americans.  Or, how about the fact that that same President wants to take guns away from law abiding citizens while giving guns to Mexican drug lords and gangs in Chicago!  Or the blatant disregard for the Constitution that  those Brave men and women I told you about earlier swore to support and defend.

I realize I am getting old and that my generation is getting toward the end of it's run.  But, if what I believed in and my compatriots believed in has gone out of style, then I might s well die.  Because what I held dear, what I loved, and what I believed in has died.