Archive for August, 2012

29th

The Wisdom of a King

August 2012

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We’ve been here before – it is common in this line of work. It goes by different names and given heft by different charters.

When does a leader need to backoff – and when does a leader need to get in to fine-granularity leadership? The more senior a leader gets – what is a constructive level of detail?

This time around this habit gained steam with “Intrusive Leadership” and the belief in that if we have a long enough shafted screwdriver with a finely engineered head, then by-golly we can get things right!

Is it people or process? A bit of both? Perhaps. Is it required, or is it simply one leader’s reaction to D&G higher up?

After awhile, even the best “Intrusive Leadership”/micromanaging/helicopter-leadership/etc reaches a point of diminishing returns by either excessive detail or context. Those at the receiving end feel frozen from action and look for a point of pivot where they can get some relief, while those at the giving end believe that the more they do of the same, the further away from what is needed they find themselves. Everyone is frustrated, and results suffer.

This week over at my homeblog, we’ve had a little fun with CNSL’s SHIPS ROUTINE message, but in all seriousness shouldn’t one ask; is this an efficient and effective way of doing business at that level?

It brings up two broad questions; are we excessively micro-managing our leaders from the highest levels, and are we making prudent use of Record Message Traffic?

As I understand it, the message we highlighted is just one of a series that’s been getting rolled out this summer (the first being about small arms), and the messages are just the *highlights* from the upcoming re-publication of SURFLANT Regulations. It is a good thing to update and clarify how things should be done … but do we really need CNSL to put out a messages (as opposed to regulations promulgated via different means) that prescribes details so minor they wouldn’t even make it in to the POD? Is that a good habit for others to copy?

ALL COMMODES, URINALS, SINKS, SHOWERS, AND DRAINS MUST BE CLEAN AND OPERABLE. SHOWER CURTAINS, MATS, BULKHEADS, AND DECKS MUST BE CLEANED AND SANITIZED TO PREVENT MILDEW.

We call it “Record Message Traffic” or “Messages,” but I always preferred the Royal Navy “Signals” – mostly because it frames the medium better. There should be very few “signals” – and those that exist should be short, direct, and of such importance that other delivery methods are inadequate – otherwise the important things get drowned out in the signal-to-noise ratio.

When, as leaders, do we get too far in to the weeds to the point that we can’t do our jobs because we are too busy doing others’ job? When is too much – just too much?

Well, as one of my commenters pointed out – when in doubt, benchmark the best. At the beginning of the year that would end with our nation in a World War, Admiral Ernest J. King, USN, then CINCLANT, put it well;

CINCLANT SERIAL (053) OF JANUARY 21, 1941

Subject: Exercise of Command — Excess of Detail in Orders and Instructions.

1. I have been concerned for many years over the increasing tendency — now grown almost to “standard practice” — of flag officers and other group commanders to issue orders and instructions in which their subordinates are told “how” as well as “what” to do to such an extent and in such detail that the “Custom of the service” has virtually become the antithesis of that essential element of command — “initiative of the subordinate.”

2. We are preparing for — and are now close to — those active operations (commonly called war) which require the exercise and the utilization of the full powers and capabilities of every officer in command status. There will be neither time nor opportunity to do more than prescribe the several tasks of the several subordinates (to say “what”, perhaps “when” and “where”, and usually, for their intelligent cooperation, “why”), leaving to them — expecting and requiring of them — the capacity to perform the assigned tasks (to do the “how”).

3. If subordinates are deprived — as they now are — of that training and experience which will enable them to act “on their own” — if they do not know, by constant practice, how to exercise “initiative of the subordinate” — if they are reluctant (afraid) to act because they are accustomed to detailed orders and instructions — if they are not habituated to think, to judge, to decide and to act for themselves in their several echelons of command — we shall be in sorry case when the time of “active operations” arrives.

4. The reasons for the current state of affairs — how did we get this way? — are many but among them are four which need mention: first, the “anxiety” of seniors that everything in their commands shall be conducted so correctly and go so smoothly, that none may comment unfavorably; second, those energetic activities of staffs which lead to infringement of (not to say interference with) the functions for which the lower echelons exist; third, the consequent “anxiety” of subordinates lest their exercise of initiative, even in their legitimate spheres, should result in their doing something which may prejudice their selection for promotion; fourth, the habit on the one hand and the expectation on the other of “nursing” and “being nursed” which lead respectively to the violation of command principles known as “orders to obey orders” and to that admission of incapacity or confusion evidenced by “request instructions.”

5. Let us consider certain facts: first, submarines operating submerged are constantly confronted with situations requiring the correct exercise of judgment, decision and action; second, planes, whether operating singly or in company, are even more often called upon to act correctly; third, surface ships entering or leaving port, making a landfall, steaming in thick weather, etc., can and do meet such situations while “acting singly” and, as well, the problems involved in maneuvering in formations and dispositions. Yet these same people — proven competent to do these things without benefit of “advice” from higher up — are, when grown in years and experience to be echelon commanders, all too often are not made full use of in conducting the affairs (administrative and operative) of the several echelons — echelons which exist for the purpose of facilitating command.

6. It is essential to extend the knowledge and the practice of “initiative of the subordinate” in principle and in application until they are universal in the exercise of command throughout all the echelons of command. Henceforth, we must all see to it that full use is made of the echelons of command — whether administrative (type) or operative (task) — by habitually framing orders and instructions to echelon commanders so as to tell them ‘what to do’ but not ‘how to do it’ unless the particular circumstances demand.

7. The corollaries of paragraph 6 are:
(a) adopt the premise that the echelon commanders are competent in their several command echelons unless and until they themselves prove otherwise;

(b) teach them that they are not only expected to be competent for their several command echelons but that it is required of them that they be competent;

(c) train them — by guidance and supervision — to exercise foresight, to think, to judge, to decide and to act for themselves;

(d) stop ‘nursing’ them;

(e) finally, train ourselves to be satisfied with ‘acceptable solutions’ even though they are not “staff solutions or other particular solutions that we ourselves prefer.”

Verily.

One does wonder how Admiral King would react to the goings-on in our Navy. A man whose own daughter stated,

… her father was “the most even-tempered man in the Navy. He is always in a rage.”

Odds are, he wouldn’t take kindly to retired CDRs commenting on his messages. Good odds, methinks.



I’ve sat through hundreds of navigation briefs as various control stations explain to the Captain and crew their role in safely taking a ship sea. Likewise I’ve sat through almost as many replenishment at sea briefs. Both have a significant component of risk management, so much so that operational risk management “ORM” is so embedded in our culture that its become commonplace and we have become complacent.

In those navigation or replenishment briefs there is an approved and lauded solution, typically provided by the local Afloat Training Group. And it’s fine. It just doesn’t do anything more than meet the criteria that ORM has been addressed.

But if all that’s being done is a “check in the block” is ORM really being addressed?

A new paper from SRA brings forward 5 areas that lead to complacency. 5 “Neglects” in risk management.

1. Probability neglect – people sometimes don’t consider the probability of the occurrence of an outcome, but focus on the consequences only.
2. Consequence neglect – just like probability neglect, sometimes individuals neglect the magnitude of outcomes.
3. Statistical neglect – instead of subjectively assessing small probabilities and continuously updating them, people choose to use rules-of-thumb (if any heuristics), which can introduce systematic biases in their decisions.
4. Solution neglect – choosing an optimal solution is not possible when one fails to consider all of the solutions.
5. External risk neglect – in making decisions, individuals or groups often consider the cost/benefits of decisions only for themselves, without including externalities, sometimes leading to significant negative outcomes for others.

Where do these fit within the subject of navigation or replenishment briefs?

Probability neglect: Every brief speaks of grounding or collision and they do so because of the consequence, not the probability. That means that precious time is spent talking about things that are very unlikely to occur. There is an opportunity cost there.

Consequence neglect: Honestly, this is something Navy writ large does well. To the point that we overemphasize the consequence and oversimplify the solution path.

Statistical neglect: The Surface’s Navy’s slavish devotion to Cold War stand off ranges is probably the single best ORM example for statistical neglect, even if it is outside the normal navigation or replenishment detail. Ships can, and do, pass safely within 500 yards of each other. Why then do so many Commanding Officers insist on being contacted about every ship that will pass within 10,000 or in some cases 20,000 yards?

Solution neglect: This one is simple. All to often we take solutions off the table before we even get a chance to start framing the problem. This is most often found on ships that are mono-decisional – those that only say “yes” or only say “no”. Not every person needs to be onboard for every underway period. Not every person needs to be on the lines for every replenishment. But sometimes someone does need to get underway and miss something at home. Simple examples, but what other ways do we rig the ORM game by ignoring a potential solution? Or, does Ops, who had CDO and had to deal with some messy issue, really need to stand Officer of the Deck? Changing the watchbill might be the right thing to do – even if it is at the last minute. Routinely changing the watchbill at the last minute? That’s something else.

External risk neglect: Again, not an easy fit to the “check in the block” navigational or replenishment detail but a Navy issue all the same. Moving a person or part from one ship to another for an underway period or an inspection. Forgetting to notify local officials that you are getting underway from a liberty port – or forgetting to ask the pilot what ships are coming in or out that day.

By sticking with the canned ORM we are hurting future generations or surface warfare officers by subjugating their original and creative thinking to a “just get it done” mentality. Navigators, when you plan your next brief think about these things for ORM:

When was the last time the ship got underway? What did we do right? What did we do wrong? Have we done that wrong thing before? Why?

What’s the weather predicted and how will that change the ORM slides? Low visibility increases the risk of grounding or collision – if a ship has difficulty with electronic navigation. Bad weather can certainly slow the transit speed down. How does that impact your knowledge of traffic in the channel?

Who’s new to the ship? What distractions are there that can get in the way of a safe and focused detail? These things are mentioned in the brief…but never seem to make it into the ORM section.

What other realistic and likley problems are there that ships will encounter every day that can and all to often do lead to accidents? And why aren’t those being addressed during ORM discussions?

If ORM remains a check in the block for an inspection, we will see more, not less, mishaps in coming years.



In February, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus approved the name of the newest Littoral Combat Ship for Representative Gabrielle Giffords, the Arizona Congresswoman who was critically injured in a January 2011 shooting in her Tucson district. Today, in what will be a decidedly less controversial decision, the Secretary should consider naming the next Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier after American hero, icon, and patriot Neil Armstrong. This is fully in keeping with the Secretary’s report to Congress on the policies and practices of naming Navy ships.

Though we never met, I feel a particularly close bond to the first man to walk on the moon. I was born and raised in West Lafayette, Indiana—home of Purdue University, where Armstrong studied and received a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering in 1955. After the U.S. Naval Academy, Purdue has educated more astronauts (22) than any other school, including Eugene Cernan, a fellow naval officer and the last man to walk on the moon in 1972. My high school stands less than a mile from the campus’s Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering; a bronze statue of Armstrong as a student graces its plaza.

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Neil Armstrong, first man on the Moon, Naval Aviator, and Korean War Veteran.

“I have made certain achievements in my life and been recognized many times, but, there is no achievement I value more highly then when I received the wings of gold…”

Fair winds and following sea to a man who even before his death belonged to the ages.



Sunday, 5pm (Eastern US), join us for Episode 138: “Your Mother Wears Combat Boots” by Midrats on Blog Talk Radio

For the career minded Naval professional, to have a chance for the greatest advancement and promotion, you have to push and push hard. The reputation you build in your first 10 years sets the tone for the rest.

Except for very rare exceptions, there are no second chances. There are no pauses – one iffy set of orders – one poorly timed FITREP, and you are on an off-ramp. You must work harder, you must sacrifice, and if you are to have a family young, you need a very strong support structure.
For men – there is always the “put it off” option; wait until post O6, then start. For women though, there are some hard biological facts.

The average American woman gets married at age 26. For college-educated women the average age at first birth was 30. If you want to have more than 2 kids, you need to start earlier. You need to time it right – and Mother Nature has her own schedule that doesn’t often match yours.

With women making up more of the military than ever, what are the challenges out there biological, cultural, psycological, and relationship wise to “making it happen?”
You can’t have it all – but how do you get the best mix you can?
We will have two guests on to discuss. For the first half hour we will have Major Jeannette Haynie, USMCR, a 1998 graduate from the US Naval Academy, AH-1W Cobra pilot, and currently a Reservist flying a desk at the Pentagon and working through graduate school – and fellow blogger at USNIBlog.
The second half of the hour, our guest will be Robyn Roche-Paull, US Navy Veteran, wife of a Chief, ICBLC, and author of the book Breastfeeding in Combat Boots.

Join us live (or listen later) here or pick the show up on our iTunes page here.



I’m still really on the fence when it comes to reenlisting or not. It’s not from want of advice, I’ve had tons of really good advice coming from a lot of really good people. But, yeah, I still am not 100% sure if I want to stay in or not.

I mean, the Navy has been amazing to me, absolutely amazing. In four years I did what I expected to take 20. But, that’s the kicker, I did in four what I expected to take a career. So, now what?

Yesterday I was talking with a Sergeant that works with me, the conversation included the first talk of how what I do now can be transitioned over to someone else, it included the statement ‘it will take some of the pressure off you,’ and that one short comment actually did just that. Along with knowing the transition is slowly beginning, I also have sort of started feeling like a regular Sailor again–almost to the point where I expect people to call me YN2 again. So, this sense I’ve started to have has taken me to the point of wanting to stay in, of wanting to see what is next.

But, staying in means I cannot have as much of a voice in talking about what I think is wrong in the Navy, and I think there is a lot of things wrong in the Navy, a lot. It also means college is going to take a lot longer, and my education not as good as it could be. It means I will not be credentialed as quickly, as many have advised me to become.

But, I do have a plan.

Get through ‘A’ School, and through a duty station, probably in/around DC. Then apply for the sabbatical program in the Navy, and finish whatever schooling I have left.

But, even with this plan, I don’t want to leave SHAPE. I doubt that anyone who reads this blog dislikes my Boss, ADM Stavridis. But, I also doubt many people who read this blog have worked for him. Trust me, he’s even better to work for than his reputation lets on. I know that anywhere else I go in the Navy, the ideas will not be as good, the drive to bring good ideas forward will not be as earnest, and I will miss all of this so terribly much–Please, all of you out there, prove me wrong in that, let me know who next to go work for as a CTR, I beg you.

I don’t care that I will become just another CTR2 out there in the Fleet–in fact I miss the Fleet. But, I do care about not being around ideas. And that is why I want to get out, because in a very real sense, I know that in four years I’ve worked in that once-in-a-generation Command.

Anyway, we’ll see. Next week, I’ll have my mind made up. I’ve been on the fence regarding this for far too long. The Navy isn’t a bad gig, and I know you’ve just read 500 words worth of first-world problems. But, hey, problems are problems, right?



The U.S. Naval Institute lost a good friend earlier this week with the passing of Rear Admiral Robert McNitt at age 97. Tall, slender, friendly and invariably gracious, the
admiral was the personification of the word “gentleman.” Long-time Naval Institute volunteer George Van served on board the destroyer Taylor (DDE-468) during the Korean War, when McNitt was the commanding officer. Van remembers his skipper as, “the finest naval officer I ever met.”

In the 1960s, then-Captain McNitt was a member of the Naval Institute’s board of control, which provided governance for the organization and also reviewed articles for publication in Proceedings.

McNitt was an experienced seaman, starting before he became a Naval Academy midshipman in 1934. He had a lifelong interest in sailing. Among his achievements was serving as a crew member during Newport-to-Bermuda yacht races in the late 1930s.

In 1996 the Naval Institute Press published his book Sailing at the Naval Academy: an Illustrated History.

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Disappointment. That is a very good word to use. Joint Chiefs Chairman General Martin Dempsey applied it recently. It seems the General, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the senior Officer in our Armed Forces, is “disappointed” that former service members have strongly expressed opinions regarding the conduct of Administration officials, including the President.

“If someone uses the uniform, whatever uniform, for partisan politics, I am disappointed because I think it does erode that bond of trust we have with the American people,” Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey said in an interview with Fox News while flying back from a trip to Afghanistan and Iraq. “Is it useful? No, it’s not useful. It’s not useful to me.”

He further commented:

“People don’t want us to be another special interest group.”

Those are curious words coming from General Dempsey. For several reasons. The events of the last three-plus years, including the words and actions of senior Officers in the Armed Forces, have put paid to the idea of a non-political military. The incessant pushing of “diversity” and identity politics, the immediate and unconditional collapsing to the desires of special interest groups, public proclamations of personally-held beliefs as directive moral standards, all have eroded the concept of detached and apolitical military leadership.

  •  The massacre at Fort Hood, perpetrated by a known radical Muslim jihadist whom the US Army managed to promote to field grade (for fear of not doing so?) who shouted “Allahu Akbar!” time and again as he murdered 13 and wounded 45, was followed immediately by the statement from Army Chief of Staff Casey that it would be tragic if “diversity was a casualty” of the murders.
  • Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen offering his unsolicited personal views, and then declaring anyone in disagreement to lack “integrity”. Followed by his severe criticism for LtGen Mixon for encouraging Soldiers to express their own opinions, albeit privately, to their elected officials, which is their right to do. Further assertion was that anyone who disagreed with the policy should “vote with their feet” and leave the service.
  • General Stanley McChrystal’s revelation as to which political candidate he voted for in 2008, among comments that led to his relief, went largely uncriticized, though the impropriety of such a remark was serious enough to elicit comment, and likely would have, had his political choice been otherwise.
  • The recent active push for women in the infantry, as Marine Captain Kate Petronio so accurately observed, not because of any remote belief that such a policy will increase war fighting capability, but is instead “being pushed by several groups, one of which is a small committee of civilians appointed by the Secretary of Defense called the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Service (DACOWITS)”. Political special interests, nothing more, to which the senior leadership has largely answered “three bags full”.
  • The recent appearance of uniformed military personnel at Gay Pride parades was authorized and encouraged by the Office of Secretary of Defense, with the preposterous (that is to say, knowingly untrue) assertions that the Gay Pride parade was not a political event, and the exception would somehow be “one time only”. DASD Bardorf’s statements are an out-and-out fabrication and in direct violation of the DoD Directive on the wearing of the uniform (1334.1).

Now, we have General Martin Dempsey expressing his “disappointment” with a group of Veterans who have served their country honorably and with distinction, exercising their First Amendment rights through expressing views of political opposition.

Perhaps General Dempsey can show us the legal precedent which limits the First Amendment rights of Veterans once they have left the Armed Forces to expressing only those views and opinions and those occasions that General Dempsey finds “useful”.

While he is at it, he can provide the citation in the Uniform Code of Military Justice, or ANY Federal statute in US Code, that prohibits Veterans from entering and participating in the political process.

The exercising of the rights safeguarded by our Constitution should NEVER, EVER be a cause for criticism from an active duty service member, let alone the senior Officer in our Armed Forces, who has done so in his official capacity, in that very uniform he calls so strongly to be “apolitical”.

That Constitution is the very document and safeguard which Veterans have all sworn their lives to support and defend. General Dempsey’s “disappointment” is nothing compared with the disappointment and disgust of many thousands who read his egregiously misguided comments. He is also sworn to support and defend that Constitution, not to help load it into the shredder, starting with the Bill of Rights.

No, the Armed Forces should not be a special interest group. But neither should they be willing toys of those special interest groups. There is little chance that they will be the former, but abundant evidence that they have become the latter. Senior Officers have been quite complicit in that. You want to look somewhere to end the “politics in uniform”, General Dempsey? Put your own house in order, and keep your mouth shut regarding Veterans exercising their First Amendment rights.

It is your job. Get it done. Or get gone.



Episode 137: Strategy and Diplomacy in the Broad View 08/19 by Midrats on Blog Talk Radio at 5pm, (EST):

Ships, aircraft, personnel numbers, and programs are interesting – but without context they are just expenditures.

The foundation question should always be; what are our national security requirements, and what is our strategy to meet them?

From Political to Strategic to Operational to Tactical – today’s Midrats will focus on the top two.

The Pacific Pivot, Air-Sea Battle, AFPAK, the “Arab Spring” and in an election year, various squabbles on the Potomac – the large pixels are moving.

Our guest for the full hour will be Dr. Robert Farley, assistant professor at the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce at the University of Kentucky. He blogs about security and maritime issues at Information Dissemination and Lawyers, Guns and Money.

Join us here (live or later) or listen later on our iTunes page.



Last Friday, I had the pleasure of attending a change of office ceremony for the Navy Chief of Information (CHINFO) in the “Sail Loft” of the Washington Navy Yard in Southeast Washington, D.C. It was a gala event, that paid tribute to the incredible work ethic, energy and achievements of RDML Denny Moynihan during his four and a half-years on the job. RDML Moynihan was relieved by RDML John Kirby, another super-charged officer who is highly regarded in the Navy and the Navy Public Affairs community for his support of Admiral Mike Mullen as Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff and most recently, as the military spokesman for Secretary Leon Panetta in OSD Public Affairs.

By nature of his position as CHINFO, which supports the Office of the Secretary of the Navy and the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, RDML Kirby will have a direct impact on the Navy and Navy programs and people every day. He has myriad responsibilities that he will want to prioritize, but in many cases, the 24 hour news cycle will modulate and modify his priorities as current events involving U.S. Naval Forces unfold around the globe. As CHINFO, he will be one of the most important architects of the Navy’s Strategic Communications strategy.

Accordingly, he may want to examine our current “brand.” In enterprise terms, Strategic Communicators employ the marketing strategy of “branding” to focus on the objectives achievable with the goods and services that the company can offer its clientele. For example, the American Marketing Association (AMA) definition of a “brand” is a “name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers.”

Sounds very business-like doesn’t it? But, let’s agree that the Navy has achieved some incredible efficiencies by adapting industry best practices to streamline support to the warfighter-Lean Six Sigma for example. So it follows that we might embrace “branding” as a method of unifying our strategic message to a target audience.

Since I joined the Service, we’ve adopted many different brands, even before the term and the enterprise approach became popular. Do you recall:

“It’s Not Just a Job… It’s an Adventure!”

“Let the Journey Begin!”

“Navy, Accelerate Your Life!”

And our current brand. “Navy. A Global Force for Good!”

Defining the target audience is part of the discovery process in adopting a brand. Those in the Human Resources aspect of what we do tell me that the target audience is the quality young men and women that we recruit annually to join our Service. We want the best and brightest from the pool of eligible young Americans. With an all-volunteer force, opportunities to learn new skills and be assured of job security, although necessary, are not enough – you need an appealing tagline! Human Resource specialists tell me that our current brand sells well with the Millennial Generation. Those joining our ranks today want job skills and a career, but they also want to make a difference-to be a part of a global team that has a raison d’etre- i.e. to make the world a better place. Recruiting, however, is normally tied to the economy and right now, our recruiting and retention statistics are pretty good. That could all change in a heartbeat with a major change in our economy, so it makes sense to keep a regular drumbeat on the theme of recruiting. Our brand is intended to attract and retain the very best, our challenge is to identify the Navy as a choice worth considering in the minds of those choosing and the minds of those providing advice and counsel.

I wonder however, if new recruits are the only audience? Shouldn’t our brand also appeal to the American taxpayers and their direct representatives on Capitol Hill? To the teachers, counselors, parents and coaches—those figures America’s youth look to when trying to figure out their personal way ahead? The point is that the “brand” has to appeal to a broad audience, with different levels of experience and different perspectives. The challenge is to reach and appeal to this wide audience with a clear and concise message of who we are.

In the marketplace, brands appeal to consumers and stifle the competition. Consumers of our brand are the American people, who want a safe and secure environment with conflicts resolved far from our shores. Our competition in the market of national security could be a peer competitor, a downright enemy of the state, or worst case – apathy and the belief that national security is someone else’s job. So, how will our brand keep us moving forward and deter our adversaries? This is an important question, if in fact you subscribe to the theory that our brand has multiple target audiences. Could we or should we change our brand to send a different message or a message to a different audience. I don’t have a good answer to these questions, so I thought we might benefit from the wisdom of the crowd–hence the reason for this blogging effort?

The CNO has given us three simple tenets and only six words on which to base our day-to-day fulfillment of our duties: Warfighting First! Operate Forward! Be Ready! Does our brand convey these three tenets? Do we need more than one brand for more than one audience? Do we need a brand at all?

I always liked the poster of the Aircraft Carrier that you see in many Navy Facilities-”90,000 tons of diplomacy.” A picture is often worth a thousand words, but that picture combined with that caption conveys many things about our Navy and our great country. It champions our industrial base and the United States’ ability to construct and operate not one but eleven nuclear powered aircraft carriers. It illustrates our ability to operate from our sovereign territory—the flight deck of the carrier—anytime and anyplace where our national interests may be threatened or where a helping hand may be needed. It epitomizes our ability to take the fight to the enemy far away from our shores. Finally, it sends the message that when diplomacy or deterrence fails, standby! American resolve and wherewithal will be there, ready to act if called upon. Perhaps we should adopt a brand that does all that?



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