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”

“Don’t Shoot! We’re Republicans!” – The Chaotic Tale of the USS Porter

One of the more interesting aspects of history is how the occasional tale is often overlooked, like those surrounding an American Fletcher-class destroyer – the USS William D. Porter – and the key events in this destroyer’s rather short, but chaotic, career.


Continue reading ““Don’t Shoot! We’re Republicans!” – The Chaotic Tale of the USS Porter”

Influences of Interwar Doctrine and Training on the Successes of U.S. Submarines in the Pacific Theater of Operations During the Second World War

Photo caption: USS Harder (SS 257) off the coast of Woleai during the rescue of Ensign John Gavlin, April 1, 1944. (Source:


Current trends in leadership training often overlook historic examples of effective leadership – the developmental processes and the results of the professional background of leaders in an operational environment. The development of the submarine influenced the outcome of both the First and Second World War, but it was the leadership of the American submarine skippers in the latter conflict which provided examples of legendary and effective leadership. This thesis will address the question of how the interwar period influenced the doctrine and formal professional education of submarine skippers. Most importantly, however, will be the discussion of the contributing factors which combined to force a rapid evolution in leadership and employment of these submarines: technology, enemy, and internal bureaucratic resistance, to name a few factors. Continue reading “Influences of Interwar Doctrine and Training on the Successes of U.S. Submarines in the Pacific Theater of Operations During the Second World War”

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”

Controversy and History

A recent conversation on Facebook provided the inspiration and momentum to organize my thoughts on the around the removal of Confederate statues and monuments in New Orleans, LA. Sometimes, what one initially says actually can be surprisingly succinct:

History is like cooking – the end result is flavored by everything added during the process. Once something is added, it can never be taken away. You can add more to counteract too much of one ‘bad’ ingredient, but that original ingredient is still there.

Continue reading “Controversy and History”