Saturday, January 21, 2017

If you went to MSOC, you may be eligible for JPME credit

Sharing a helpful email.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
We have gotten a truly overwhelming response to the initiative that gets partial JPME credit for graduating from MSOC. To make this easier for all, particularly OLP's Admin folks, please read the following that addresses most of the questions we've received via email and on the phone:

1. This applies to only those taking JPME I distance education through the Naval War College.  If you are taking distance ed from Air War College, there is no transferable credit.
2. It applies only to those taking distance ed through the web enabled and CD ROM methodologies.  It does not apply to Fleet Seminar Program students (including those at NPS).
3. MSOC counts toward distance ed JMO Blocks 4 & 5.
4. This initiative is grand-fathered back through MSOC class 12-16, that is all classes in NWC Academic Year 2012/13 and later. These are all classes that began after 1 July 2012.
5. To get the MSOC credit, we need to create a profile for you in distance education's data base.  To do that, we need the the data in the attached document. Please fill it out (minus PII: SSN and DoD number off ID card) and e-mail back to me. Before you start JMO call OLP Admin (401-841-3690/3685) to provide SSN and DoD# over the phone and your record will be complete.
6. Because we are working to catch up several years worth of data, your records will not be ready until you are starting JMO.
7. Call or e-mail me (NOT Admin) if you have questions, however, I do not have the ability to change eligibility dates or add Fleet Seminar Program students.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Working on a book!

My posting has been sporadic due to Christmas break (and I took more days than normal, gotta use up that leave balance!) but also because I'm working on a book, ideally part of a series on leadership. I'm on the ethics section, and wanted to share a small part of what I've written so far:

Our moral compass is built slowly over time.  You accumulate experiences, training and guidance that tells you what is right and wrong.  Drastic changes are rare and easy to spot.

     Your moral compass is more likely to suffer death by a thousand cuts than a sudden brittle fracture.  Worse, you are heavily influenced by those around you.  If your command climate permits questionable ethics, you'll be more likely to make poor ethical decisions.

     Germany was a perfect example of this.  I recommend reading Erik Larson's book "In The Garden of Beasts."  The book shows the perspective of Germany from the American ambassador, who watched it slowly decay over the reign of Hitler as Chancellor.  His daughter and wife noticed that although the German's were nice people, slowly over time they became increasingly harsh towards the Jews.  One quote is particularly telling:

     “Coordination' occurred with astonishing speed, even in sectors of life not directly targeted by specific laws, as Germans willingly placed themselves under the sway of Nazi rule, a phenomenon that became known as Selbtsgleichschaltung, or 'self-coordination.' Change came to Germany so quickly and across such a wide front that German citizens who left the country for business or travel returned to find everything around them altered, as if they were characters in a horror movie who come back to find that people who once were their friends, clients, patients, and customers have become different in ways hard to discern.”

     Remember that these people started off just like you and me.  Hitler's desire to exterminate the Jews eventually crept into most of his soldiers, no matter what their upbringing.  Or, in more blunt terms, you can't be a diamond in the mud, because at some point you become just another mud covered diamond.

     This isn't a defense of Germany's actions.  We can guard ourselves from ethical problems.  It starts with properly identifying the problem.  You won't face ethical dilemmas on some big scale, instead, it will be a small ethical decisions on a day to day basis that you need to be constantly getting right in order to maintain your moral compass.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Your BAH is going away

Yup, you heard me.  The National Defense Authorization passed.  You can read it here:

Everyone seems focused on the 2.1% pay increase.  I caught this note in the executive summary:

REPORTS ON A NEW SINGLE-SALARY PAY SYSTEM FOR MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES (SEC 604) - Not later than March 1, 2017, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the Committees on Armed Services of the Senate and the House of Representative a report that sets forth a plan to implement a new pay system. The new pay structure described shall assume the repeal of the basic allowance for housing and basic allowance subsistence for members of the Armed Forces in favor of a single-salary pay system.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Now that we have ratings...

...can we refocus on technical training?

While we can go back and forth about whether the rating removal was aimed at the word "man," or helping Sailors land civilian jobs, or some other reason, we missed that ratings were more than just a nice way to address ourselves.  Enlisted ratings linked Sailors to a promotion exam, which required them (at least up to E-6) to be knowledgeable in their rating.  The whole point of that was to keep our Sailors studying and staying sharp in their job.