I really like being an Enlisted blogger. The reason why is best summed up by a conversation I had a few weeks back with a Colonel with whom I work. To set the stage a little, you need to know that he was in a suit and tie at the time of the meeting, as he just back from a function that required such attire. Just the same, this Col. also has a doctorate.
Col: Those were some good points you made in the meeting.
Me: Thanks Sir.
Col: Have you ever considered becoming an Officer?
Me: Well, the thing about being Enlisted, is that when I make a half way decent point, it sounds twice as good; no one expects it.
Col: Heh, yeah.
But, just the same there is another side to being an Enlisted blogger. I can’t really be an advocate for much. The number of toes I can end up stepping on if I say too much, or if I am assumed to be speaking in an official capacity when I’m not. Or, even if anyone starts to think that I am speaking way too far out of my league is a rather easy thing to do, at least I assume it to be. I hope to never truly test that assumption out (without very good reason).
In this forum, I am more free to maneuver than anywhere else. Granted, I speak incessantly on Facebook on all kinds of matters. But, that is entertainment to me, my real intent there is not to ensure the best case for my Navy. But, here at this blog – in this forum – it is. I need that freedom of navigation because only I know the waters in which I sail. In this, I mean that I am incredibly discreet regarding the job I do today. I don’t do a secret squirrel job, nor do I even have a Classified computer on my desk. I just like keeping my duties here (and I do consider it a duty to post here) and at SHAPE separate.
A Man’s judgement is best when he can forget himself and any reputation he may have acquired and can concentrate wholly on making the right decision.
Admiral Raymond Spruance
Having just finished the biography of Admiral Spruance, I thought it fitting to include that here – note that I hold an organization in the same sentiment as given by the Admiral.
A forum (system) should always be transparent. In a properly constructed system, the agents of that system exert an influence that makes the system greater than the sum of its parts. It should seem that the agents (individuals) who make up the system is all that exists. In the case of this forum and every forum of USNI, all that should seem to exist are the words and the discourse of the individual agents. Which is why I am troubled by the following:
An independent forum advocating…
The forum should advocate nothing, rather it must be the individual agents of that forum that advocate anything on their own volition – the system inherits its independence from the agents, it doesn’t imbue its agents with that independence.
Now, if the forum is, in fact, advocating anything, how does that then reflect on the individual agents? How could that then reflect on the duty station of the agent? Must I assume an agenda in posting here, in being a member (not a life member yet, but I’ve always renewed since 2008…)?
Keep me and all future Enlisted writers independent and free to maneuver. Be an advocate for us in as much as you will lend us your ear and then help us learn the art of writing and discourse. You need not advocate any more than that to help ensure the future of my Navy and our Nation.
- On Midrats 21 Dec 14 – Episode 259: The Islamic State – rise and world view, with Craig Whiteside
- On Midrats 14 Dec 14 – Episode 258: COIN, Cyber, and Lawfare: the continuity of war in to 2015
- On Midrats 7 Dec 14, Episode 257: “Clausewitz – now more than ever, with Donald Stoker”
- And so, our Navy finds its Memory Hole
- To Defeat ISIS, Hawkeyes Required