Vice Admiral Henry C. Mustin, USN (Ret.), a career surface warfare officer, combat veteran, and fleet boss renowned for his tactical brilliance and demanding leadership style, and who oversaw the development of many of the ship and guided missile systems that are at the heart of the fleet’s power, passed away on 11 April 2016 at 82 years of age. He leaves a large family, countless shipmates, and many more whose careers and lives he impacted by way of his leadership and his example to mourn his loss. The eulogy that follows was delivered at his memorial service at the Naval Academy… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by RADM Thomas C. Lynch, USN (Ret.) in Navy | 
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A few years back, a group of psychologists ran some tests on groups of first-grade students in the U.S. and in Japan. The researchers gave each group of students an impossible math problem, then sat back to watch how long the kids worked on the problem before giving up in frustration. On average, the groups of American kids worked at it for less than 30 seconds before quitting. The Japanese kids, however, worked and worked on the problem; each time, the researchers cut them off after an hour and told them that the problem was impossible to solve. The take… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Jeannette Haynie in Innovation, Marine Corps, Training & Education | 

Over the past few months there has been a lot of focus on the bias women in the Marine Corps face throughout their careers and the subsequent attitude that they are unable and unexpected to fulfill the same standards as male Marines. Indeed, this is a kind of sexism has existed since women have started serving in the United States military, despite proof that refutes nearly every argument against their service. Yet a form of sexism also permeates the Navy. Sexism is surprisingly, or perhaps unfortunately unsurprisingly, aimed at the men in the Navy. Members of the fleet openly share… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by CTR3 Nichole Reed in Navy | 
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Please join us for a May Day show on – no shock here – 1 May 2016 at 5pm EDT for Midrats Episode 330: “Terrorists on the Ocean” with CAPT Bob Hein, USN: When does the Long War go feet wet? Given the track record of the preceding couple of decades, it was expected shortly after the start of this phase of the war after 911, that terrorists would take the war to sea. There was an incident now and then, but the threat never really played out to the extent we thought early on. Recent events point to the… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Mark Tempest in Coast Guard, Maritime Security, Navy, Podcasts | 
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Fixing Navy Acquisition

April 2016


RADM Mat Winter, chief of naval research, appears before the House Armed Services Committee to testify on the DoD FY2017 science and technology programs. U.S. Navy photo

Introduction In a recent essay, “An Acquisition System to Enable American Seapower,” Navy Captain Mark Vandroff and retired Navy Commander Bryan McGrath argue that “radical changes to the acquisition system are required” in order to save American seapower.[1] Their example of a program that would have benefited from such changes—the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78)—does not, unfortunately, prove their point. Even if their changes had been in place in 2002, the decisions that led to the cost and schedule problems that have bedeviled CVN-78 could still have occurred. Background: The Subsystems of Defense Acquisition Before describing their proposed reforms, Vandroff… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Tom Hone in Navy | 
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110524-N-GS507-210 PENSACOLA, Fla. (May 24, 2011) Students from the Center for Information Dominance (CID) Corry Station, Cryptologic Technician Collection Seaman Recruit Ben Lowden, of Brownsberg, Ind., Cryptologic Technician Networks Seaman Apprentice Alicia Sutliff, of Jacksonville, Fla., and Cryptologic Technician Technical Third Class Steven Tometczak, of Reno, Nev., preview the Integrated System for Language Education and Training program (ISLET), which is being tested by the CID-based Center for Language, Regional Expertise and Culture (CLREC) and the Academic Consortium for Global Education (ACGE). Conceived as an alternative to traditional computer-based training and classroom instruction, ISLET employs online social networking, interactive role-play, competitive gaming and speech recognition to create an immersive environment for collaborative learning. (U.S. Navy photo by Gary Nichols/Released)

Today’s cyber world is getting more complex. For those charged with ensuring information systems remain secure the question remains – how can we be certain we are taking the right actions when we continually hear of systems penetrated, information stolen, and resources plundered due to nefarious cyber actors? Is our confidence in our cybersecurity efforts based on reality or something else? In Thinking, Fast and Slow, Nobel prize winner Professor Daniel Kahneman explores the manner in which we think. To ensure cybersecurity efforts will be successful, we must first understand how we think, and how the way we think impacts… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by CAPT John Zimmerman in Cyber, Innovation, Navy, Training & Education | 

If you have not already, before you go further in this post, I highly recommend that you read the recent and important article by Admiral William H. McRaven, USN (Ret), A warrior’s career sacrificed for politics. Seriously, click the link, read, and then come back. Now that you’re back, I suspect that at first blush many of you had a similar reaction that I did; a rush of agreement and relief that a senior officer has come to the defense of a colleague who, as many of us have seen with our own friends and colleagues, was caught in the… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by CDRSalamander in Navy | 
radio announcer

Due to circumstances beyond his control, Mr. Roggio had to postpone his visit with Midrats. He will appear at a later date. In lieu of his appearance, CDR Salamander and Eagle1 held a “free for all” discussion of current events. You can find our “Spring Time Free-for-All” here. We regret any inconvenience.  


The world keeps waking up from history – in this case a quarter century nap it seems. During the Cold War, the maritime choke points between Greenland, Iceland, and the UK were key to the defense of Europe. This “GIUK gap” represented the line that Soviet naval forces had to cross in order to reach the Atlantic and stop U.S. forces heading across the sea to reinforce America’s European allies. It was also the area that the Soviet Union’s submarine-based nuclear forces would have to pass as they deployed for their nuclear strike missions. In response, the United States and its… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by CDRSalamander in Aviation, Maritime Security, Navy, Strategy | 
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Smart people in the last few years expended a lot of effort asking the question, “Where is our strategy?” From “Pacific Pivots” to “Offshore Balancing” to “Leading from Behind,” as a culture, the national security chatterati and professionals have been grasping for a good “Ref. A” that looked like anything close to strategic thought – even if in reality some of them are only rough operational concept outlines. As such, heads turned when CNO Richardson announced last week, Adm. John Richardson, the current CNO, is seeking to accelerate learning and information processing and reportedly has decided the eight months each… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by CDRSalamander in Innovation, Navy, Strategy | 
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