What Advice Would NCOs Like to Give to Unseasoned Officers?

This question originally came from Quora and, like others, I took it and ran with it a bit more than I could… and probably still missed some valid points. 

Oh, these topics really make me smile with all sorts of great answers from folks too numerous and well-spoken to list with any brevity.

Speaking from an aviation standpoint, I can offer my own perspectives and will break them down to both Warrant and Commissioned Officers with further points for Aviation Branch (AV) and Medical Service Corps (MSC) folks.

In general:

Fly the bird. Simple enough in theory, but more difficult in practice. To effectively “fly the bird,” one has to have the confidence in their own abilities, the situational awareness of their environment, and the desired end result. Getting “behind the bird” is a bad thing – you will know it, you will try to compensate, and you will exacerbate the problem to the point where the cycle will only end in flames, smallish pieces, and a vignette on what not to do. Not only that, those with experience will know the moment you are on the wrong side of the “curve of correctedness” and they will be watching to see how you are managing.

No, they are NOT about to crash. Oahu, 1997 (Source: author.)

Continue reading “What Advice Would NCOs Like to Give to Unseasoned Officers?”

Thoughts on Charlottesville, VA

This is one of many questions I have responded to on Quora. Perhaps I may make this a frequent addition to this blog… perhaps not. I would say that I am ambivalent about it, but I’m doubtful about being certain on this idea. 

How does it make United States veterans (especially combat veterans) feel, to see Americans fighting one another in the streets? Continue reading “Thoughts on Charlottesville, VA”

Echoes of the Silent Service

This was an earlier paper which was inspired by my own digging into the “behind-the-scenes” world of museum boat management and operations. Originally, it was going to end up being much longer, but I was limited by the assignment instructions. In this form, however, it is sufficient enough to cover the general idea of what an outsider’s perspective is on the topic of museum administration. 

This perspective/opinion is currently under revision…

USS Drum, 2014. Source: author.


Submarine museums are scattered all throughout the United States – from Hawaii to New Hampshire. These grey sentinels symbolize the legacy of a time long gone and offer a glimpse of the last remaining artifacts of the efforts and leadership of men and women during some of the most influential events in recent history. Although their battles in times of war have been won, they continue to be involved in another fight – this one against nature, politics, carelessness, and greed. Therefore, preservation of these historic vessels should remain the primary motivation behind the actions and motivation of submarine museum staff. Continue reading “Echoes of the Silent Service”

Motivation and Ted Talks

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day and we were discussing creative outlets. He’s a poet at heart and was a mariner by trade, and our conversations have ranged a wide variety of topics – from the evolution of leadership during the Second World War, to the source of inspiration, and finally – why we write.

Continue reading “Motivation and Ted Talks”

Turkey, Leadership, and the Fire Pit

Originally posted November 27, 2015.
A post-Thanksgiving dinner brought the topic of my paper on Charles A. Lockwood,’s leadership during the Second World War and the feedback of the host was especially appreciated due to his prior service as an officer in the U.S. Navy:
“You wrote that Lockwood had both ‘transactional’ and ‘transformational’ leadership skills. Do you think most leaders have both types of leadership skills? Do you think a good leader must have both?”

Continue reading “Turkey, Leadership, and the Fire Pit”


Originally, this was posted January 15, 2016 – a few days before I received my DD-214 marking my official retirement from the Army after 20 years’ service… Since then it has been improved upon a bit…
Hoist training, Oahu, 2009.
“…That’s why I don’t believe you can fail. You only fail if you give up. The second you decide ‘Aw, I’m not gonna do it’… ‘Aw, I’ll just give up’, that’s YOU making that choice. You’re the one choosing to fail. You have to make the decision to fail. Whereas, if you don’t ever make that decision, you say ‘No… I’m just going to keep on going until it friggin’ happens’, well, then you don’t fail. You’re just in the process of making it happen.” Jeb Corliss (@ 8:58)

Continue reading “Jump”

On Redacted

I just realized that this post was missing from this blog. As it is pretty much the cornerstone of my views on participating in many discussions on social media, I feel that it is important to include this explanation for the sake of the reader. 

As I have been retired since March 1, 2016, I realize that much of my professional concerns may be put to rest. However, given that I have not yet found my next career, I shall always be careful what is posted, my stance on selective participation and deliberate posting will remain… 

Continue reading “On Redacted”