December 20th marked our first month as Naval Innovation Advisory Council fellows, stationed in Silicon Valley. Imagine an aviator and a SWO standing at the doorstep of Silicon Valley; it has been an experience akin to Alice’s entry into wonderland. As we’ve been exposed to several corporate cultures centered on innovation, one theme continues to prevail: TRUST. Trust requires vulnerability and leads to profound mutual respect. With trust comes openness, and with openness comes true innovation. Without trust, the best ideas remain close to people’s chests. With openness, people are more apt to engage in difficult conversations, an essential component… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by LCDR Drew Barker & LT Kristen Wheeler in Innovation, Marine Corps, Navy, Policy, Training & Education | 
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After the Russian moves in to the Crimea, there was a fair bit of goofing at the old Russia hands in the Pentagon who were excited after years of being ignored, shuffling around the halls waving dusty Harvard Graphics slides to anyone they met – but that cute phase is long past. Almost everyone appreciates that, while not the Soviet Union, the Russian bear still demands respect. Encouraged by their victory over the USA in the strategic direction in Syria – expect Russia to continue to push the envelope of their regional influence back to her traditional boundaries. In line… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by CDRSalamander in Foreign Policy, Navy, Strategy | 
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“The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible.” -President Dwight D. Eisenhower Character is the most fundamental and indispensable quality of leadership. As junior officers, we serve as a critical link between the enlisted sailors and senior officers. Without the vital component of steadfast moral integrity, our ability to accomplish the mission would be severely degraded. Too often we have seen the results of epic failures in an individual’s character. These events erode the public trust in our military, but more importantly, it erodes the trust our enlisted men and women have in… Read the rest of this entry »

USA (Feb. 28, 2012) The high speed, aluminum catamaran Sea Fighter (FSF 1) returned to its Panama City, Fla., homeport on Feb. 28, 2012, after almost four months in the Mobile, Ala., shipyard. Sea Fighter, an experimental craft, is used to evaluate the hydrodynamic performance, structural behavior, mission flexibility, and propulsion system efficiency of high speed vessels at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division.

Many, many years ago, as a newly minted Ensign fresh out of the clutches of the Naval Academy, I participated in a wargame that considered one of the Cold War’s more dangerous possibilities. The wargame scenario postulated a combined attack by a Soviet Backfire Bomber regiment in coordination with an ECHO II class SSGN on a NATO convoy bringing reinforcements to Europe in response to a Soviet invasion. The game was run by Larry Bond, at the time known more for his design of the “Harpoon” the wargame ruleset. Having been accepted into the Navy Nuclear Power program with plans… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Paul Povlock in Books | 
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Editor’s Note: This semester the Naval Academy plebes in my naval history class were asked to write their ten page research paper on one of the former Commandants. 4/C Andrew Obst wrote his on Rear Admiral James Winnefeld, Sr. (USNA 1951), who served as Commandant from 1976 to 1978. Because of his contributions to Naval Institute Proceedings, Admiral Winnefeld is one of the featured authors in the Warrior Writers exhibit, on display at the Naval Academy Museum through 31 January 2016. Rear Admiral Winnefeld passed away a few weeks after meeting with 4/C Obst. What follows is what 4/C Obst… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by MIDN 4/C Andrew Obst in Navy, Uncategorized | 
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Please join us for a special 2PM (EST) early edition of Midrats for Episode 310: Fleet Battle School How do you design a game that has practical tactical application to the naval tactician? Even more ambitious, how do you make one accessible and understandable with the goal of making it a mobile wargame for eventual use by sailors and warfare commands. For today’s show we will discuss one of the projects of the CNO’s Rapid Innovation Cell (CRIC), the game “Fleet Battle School.” Our guests to discuss this game, gaming in general, and its practical application will be three individuals… Read the rest of this entry »

when blogging

“Consider that everything is opinion, and opinion is in thy power.” –Marcus Aurelius, Meditations Everyone is entitled to their opinion. One of the great benefits of the Information Age is that it is easier than ever to write, publish, and share one’s opinions with a wide audience. Blogging, as we practice it today, is no longer the purview of one narrow group of individuals, nor is it geographically limited to one’s parents’ basement. With largely ubiquitous Internet access, anyone can write a blog, and anyone can read a blog. Including junior sailors. Which is what makes the recent rhetoric coming out… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by LT Roger Misso in Aviation, Navy, Policy | 

In our up-or-out system, not everyone can or should have a full active duty career option. By design, you need a large cohort of the young that will neck-down over time in to a small wedge at the top. Performance, boards, and life decisions of service members have always helped the culling as people progressed over time. That many people leave early, even very promising people, is a requirement of our system. This simple fact should not be seen by itself as bad. With the many variables as are in retention, especially with abrupt budget derived demand shocks, adjustments will… Read the rest of this entry »


Honor training has become a pillar of officer education with all commissioning sources incorporating honor lessons into their curricula. While the Navy focuses its efforts to discourage dishonesty at the individual level, it largely neglects addressing organizational incentives which promote such behaviors. Recent incidents in the Navy show further honor and character education will have limited returns unless leaders fix the structures, promoted by a growth in requirements, which promote dishonesty. CMC Kingsbury’s candid discussion of the Nuclear Power Prototype Training Command (NNPTC) cheating scandal illuminates the tension between honesty and demands from superiors.[i] He attributes “normalized deviance” as the… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Jeffrey Withington in Uncategorized | 
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Please join us on Sunday, 6 Dec 2015 at 5pm EST (US) for Midrats Episode 309: Law and the Long War: When a nation of laws goes to war, their laws go with them. In a decade and a half of fighting terrorism, the laws that define our actions overseas and at home have morphed as the threat and strategy for dealing with it has. From fighting ISIS, operating with and in failed states, dealing with the expanding “refugee crisis,” to keeping the balance between security and safety – what has the legal shop been up to? Our guest for… Read the rest of this entry »

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