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.

Posted by CTR1(SW) H. Lucien Gauthier III in Marine Corps, Navy

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  • Byron

    Concur. Damn fine way of making the point, YN2, BZ.

  • SwitchBlade

    Well Stated!

  • Grandpa Bluewater

    Nailed it. Thanks, Gramps

  • todd zeigler cpo(ret)

    huzzah! keep right on the direction you are going

  • +1

  • KhakiPants

    …and I can add nothing.

    But I think, YN2, that many around these parts believe you could be a great officer, with a unique and valuable perspective to bring to the table.

  • Byron

    You could make the case that YN2 should go to OCS…but I’ll make the case that he’d make a hell of a great Chief. For some reason, I think that’s important and that YN2 Gauthier would be a more important asset to the Navy as a Chief Petty Officer than he would as an ensign.

  • YN2,
    Well-stated. I recall enjoying much more freedom of maneuver when I was a PO2 than as a Navy Captain on the Joint Staff. You’re a bright young man worthy of joining the CPO mess or the wardroom. The beauty of it is that it is your call.

    USNI PROCEEDINGS is our forum so long as we make it so. We have given up a great many things through INACTION. Let this not be another.

  • +1
    w/r, SJS

  • SB


    The young Petty Officer gets it, why does the board not? Perhaps it is time for them to go.

  • Jerry Hendrix

    Yeah, what he said.

  • Aubrey

    I don’t think Lucien has made a post here where I didn’t think to myself “…that is a smart, smart man.”

    My two cents is that you can make a hugely valuable contribution to the Navy in the Chief’s mess – more so, I think, than as a JO. But whatever you choose I see nothing but success…

  • Byron

    +100, for what everyone else said…both about YN2 Gauthier and what he said.

  • Obviously wise beyond his years.

    Again, if a YN2 can “get it” why can’t the board?

  • The board gets “it,” just an entirely different “it” than YN2. The problem is that they won’t share their motivation for change with the members, while YN2 has made a compelling case against.

    BZ, as usual.

  • BJ Armstrong

    Well said YN2.
    For some thoughts on junior members of the wardroom, CDR Salamander was kind enough to post my thoughts on his site:


    Well said YN2. You’re (they’re) right, the choice is yours. However, consider this, your continued time in the enlisted force will strengthen it more than you know. More enlisted these days are far further educated than ever before. If anything, you will change peoples perceptions as you meet them. Someday down the road, there needs to be change. Not sure how or what, but something needs to give.

    A bit about me to stew on if it helps… Made CMC in 15 yrs, hold a Masters (regional accredited & top 70 ranked college – in case anyone wanted to blast me…) Hoping to be a doctoral candidate this month – same college (considering being a college proff when I retire). I now have 19+ yrs. My dilemma: there is no program for me, and when do I retire? I am basically (on paper) just as qualified and educated as an 04-06 – experience varies. Instead I get paid a lot less, but do have the liberty of managing my own schedule, sailors and the perks that come with being a CMC…. So, the folks like me, which are out there, I hope are blazing some sort of newer path. If nothing at all, we make life at our commands and for our commanders a bit easier. We also hold our heads a bit higher too. :^)

    Again, thanks for your posts. Always a pleasure to read them. You have a gift many other don’t, so keep them coming.

    Also you are free to maneuver, per se, until you reach the height of your paychart. Then, you are still free (more so than senior officers) but may get a call from time to time. :^) My advice, keep nudging the line.

    Stay frosty!

  • Old Air Force Sarge

    Outstanding YN2!
    Good officer = their weight in gold
    Good noncom = priceless

  • CDR Tom O’Malley, USN (Ret)