Archive for June, 2011

 “Here may be a good place to dispel two long-held myths: one, that the organization serves and always has served only the highest-ranking officers of the sea services; and two, that the purpose of this first meeting was to discuss how the Navy was going to cope with a depleted and deteriorating post-Civil War Fleet. Rear Admiral John L. Worden (pronounced WERE-den)—skipper of the USS Monitor during her epic battle with the CSS Virginia in the 1862 Battle of Hampton Roads—presided over the first meeting. But the bulk of the group consisted of commanders, lieutenant commanders, lieutenants, a Marine captain, a chief engineer, a medical director, and a pay inspector.”

From For Those Who Dare By Fred L. Schultz (emphaisis added)

Is that truly the case anymore? Here are the first sentences in the biographies of the current members of the Naval Institute Board of Directors:

 “…over 30 years of experience providing international strategic and financial advice to corporations, institutional investors, sovereign governments and private families.”

“…is a past president of the Independent Community Bankers of America, and presently serves on the ICBA Tax Committee. He is also a former president of the Iowa Independent Bankers Association.”

“…was a staff member of the House Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee, where he ultimately held the position of Republican chief counsel. While with the committee, Mr. < – – > was directly involved in the development of legislation leading up to the enactment of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990.”

“…is an International Consultant with The SPECTRUM Group based in Alexandria, Virginia, which he joined in 2007. Prior to that he was President of Raytheon International, Europe, headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. He was responsible for all Raytheon business planning and development in Europe, and held this position for eight years.”

“…is the CEO of Genesis IV, an executive consulting firm headquartered in Northern Virginia. From March 2009 until 2010, he was Acting Secretary of the Navy. Previously he served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Installations and Environment). Prior to becoming the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (I&E), Mr. Penn was the Director, Industrial Base Assessments from October 2001 to March 2005.”

“…was born in Pleasantville, New York, the son of a USAAC officer. Six generations of his family were military officers among them five West Point or VMI graduates. He is a direct descendant of Commodore Thomas Truxtun, one of the earliest heroes of the U.S. Navy and Colonel Archibald Henderson, the 5th and longest serving Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps. “

“…With an economics degree from the University of Virginia, < – – > entered the U.S. Navy in 1972 and for the next 36 years was steeped in the practical side of planning, execution, and organizational leadership. “

“…is a historian and author on American naval and strategic history. His War Plan Orange: The U.S. Strategy to Defeat Japan, 1897-1945, published by the U.S. Naval Institute Press, received wide acclaim from senior cabinet and military leaders and the press.”

“…is a cofounder and Advisory Director of Trident Capital. From 1990 to 1993, < – – > served as the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Financial Management) and Comptroller of the Navy. From 1987 to 1990, he held several senior positions in the Office of the Secretary of Defense in Washington, D.C. From 1981 to 1987, < – – > was a Managing Director of Morgan Stanley & Co. Earlier in his career, he was a Senior Vice President with Dillon Read & Co.”

“…is chairman of Innosight, an innovation-based consulting and executive training firm focused on helping companies and institutions innovate for new growth and transformation. He co-founded the firm with Harvard Business School professor and best selling author on innovation, Clayton M. Christensen. “

“…was elected Vice President at Booz Allen Hamilton in 2005 and became a Senior Vice President in 2009. In 2003, < – – > was appointed by President Bush as executive director of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB). In May 1998 she was confirmed by the Senate to serve as first deputy director of central intelligence for community management.”

“…was born and raised in Syracuse, New York. He was graduated from Syracuse University in 1965 with a BA in History and was a 3-year Varsity Lacrosse letterman.”

“…retired in October 2009 having served 35 years in the Navy. Her last position was Director, Command, Control, Communications and Computer Systems, The Joint Staff. She is now consulting and serving on the Boards of several corporations. She is also serving on a Blue Ribbon Panel reviewing the FAA’s IP-based Wide Area Network outage experienced on November 19, 2009. “

“…was formerly the Managing Director of Morgan Stanley’s Merchant Bank, Chairman of Morgan Stanley Capital partners and Chairman of Morgan Stanley Venture Partner as well as a Director of Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated and a member of the Firm’s Management Committee. “

I am certain some will quibble over “but…four sentences down it says” or some other such thought. The first sentance or two, to me, say what that individual holds important – how they want to be introduced to someone. The rest is important, and the real level of military service from these individuals will be covered in future posts.

In their introduction to the membership – in their “here is who I am” – only 2 mention active duty service. 1 mentions significant contributions to either the Navy as a civilian. 1 mentions significant contributions to the Navy as an Institute author. Do these biographies indicate any semblance of the spirit of the founders of the Institute?

I don’t think so.

Again, from For Those Who Dare:

…the most potent participants in the Naval Institute’s Independent Forum have been Sailors, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, and Merchant Mariners who wrote and continue to write about things that concern them. These have not been professional writers. But they are the ones—the pilots, the ship drivers, the equipment handlers, the ones with first-hand experience—who possessed what long-time Proceedings Editor-in-Chief Fred Rainbow called “the passion to make it happen.”

Can anyone point out articles, speeches, statements or provocative thought from these individuals (the esteemed author aside, of course)? Not the official utterances of position, but the thoughts and opinions of the person over the things that concern them about the Navy, the Marine Corps, the Coast Guard, or the Institute itself?

For those who wonder…the Annual Meeting was over a month ago. There was supposed to have been a Board Meeting this week to discuss the Annual Meeting, the questions and comments raised there, and the challenge to the vote held this spring.

At the Annual Meeting the membership was promised a dialogue over the future of the Institute. Has anyone seen the beginnings of a dialogue from the leadership of the Institute? Or a report on the search for a new CEO?

While the Annual Meeting is behind us, this issue is not dead and the challenge to the Institute’s spirit and soul is not over.

Zimmerman knew.

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