Friday, April 10, 2015

Operational Pause till 1 May

I've unfortunately had quite a few things happen over the past few days that have made me rethink my position, career and line of work.  It's not been one thing per say, but a combination of things.  When your core gets shaken, sometimes you need to take a break and figure out what is important to you, and what your next trajectory is going to be.

So, I'm going to take a bit of a break while I figure stuff out.  I'll be back to regular blogging on 1 May.  You're always welcome to email though, and I'll still repost interesting things on the Facebook page.  I'll even still be at the Data Dilemma MMOWGLI game.  Be sure to come back in May though, and read through my older posts while I take my operational pause!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The only privilege

This weekend I stood watch with a team of four enlisted Sailors and three additional under instruction Sailors.  We managed to get a lot of work and training done, making significant qualification progress during an otherwise fairly dead time on the watchfloor.  Between the discussions on proper turnovers, relative military power and the occasional reference to the basketball game, no one ever bothered to discuss the fact that we all came from different backgrounds and had different skin colors.

Because the truth of the matter is, none of us cared.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Are you solving DoN's data issues?

NPS has sponsored another massive online game, this one dedicated to solving our data sharing vs. siloing problem. If you think you aren't affected by big data, you're wrong, and without your ideas we can't get better. Go join the fun here:

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Much ado about "Thank you"

If you read the Navy Times or the New York Times, you've probably come across a recent article by Matt Richtel called "Please Don't Thank Me for My Service."  You can also follow a VERY long discussion thread on Rally Point, and probably elsewhere, where plenty of service members are expressing their desire to not be thanked for their service.

Honestly, it's offensive and childish, almost on the same level as people who insist on a military discount anywhere they go.

We all know an idiot described above, the one military member that makes a big to-do about their service at every opportunity, when in reality there isn't much for them to talk about.  The "I don't want to be thanked" crowd would, on the surface, seem to be more noble than that, and certainly the NYT article plays to those ideas. 

There is a dark side to denying thanks though.  By not allowing someone to thank you, you deny that person the ability to give back.  You effectively say "I am so much better than you, you can't possibly understand how great I am, so your little efforts are meaningless."  I would call that sort of attitude a god-complex, similar to a brainiac pointing out how much smarter he is than everyone else around him.

Friday, March 13, 2015

PCS orders and the dividing of responsibility

Permanent change of station orders are a fact of life in the military, and in any given year 25-30% of the military moves.  You would think that by now executing the orders would be fairly routine, and yet how many people wind up messing up the process and causing grief for either the gaining or detaching command?  One of my friends recently had some bad experiences:

"As the gaining command, I had a sailor arrive without the proper security clearance.  The orders clearly stated that the security clearance was required.  As the command’s mission is conducted solely in a secure environment, this means the sailor is unavailable to be tasked.  Exacerbating the impact is that the sailor is a Chief.  Being shorthanded a Chief impacts everyone around him who now has extra tasking.  It is also personally embarrassing to the Chief, as he is unable to fill the role he was ordered to.  The mistake was not deliberate, as the clearance is common in the sailor’s rate.  The sailor had merely neglected to complete the necessary paperwork for his Periodic Reinvestigation, and had his clearance downgraded.  A simple mistake that a close eye on administrative requirements should have caught."

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

When you only have one job as the PAO and you blow it

I found this picture floating around Facebook, and it brought a smile to my face and demanded a meme be created. In celebration, I uploaded a new tracing page for PLA Navy Submarines on the Useful Files page.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

DOD Announces Operation Freedom’s Sentinel Qualifies for Campaign Medal

Afghanistan Campaign Medal, from Wikipedia

The Department of Defense announced today Operation Freedom’s Sentinel as a qualifying operation for award of the Afghanistan Campaign Medal. Additionally, the transition from Operation Enduring Freedom to Freedom’s Sentinel also marks a new campaign phase, “Transition II,” for the Afghanistan Campaign Medal.

Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Jessica Wright signed a memorandum authorizing these changes retroactive to Jan. 1, 2015. The qualifying Afghanistan Campaign Medal operations, campaign phases, and associated inclusive dates for each are as follows:

• ENDURING FREEDOM (Afghanistan) – Sept. 11, 2001 to Dec. 31, 2014
• FREEDOM’s SENTINEL – Jan. 1, 2015 to Current

Campaign Phase:
• Liberation of Afghanistan – Sept. 11, 2001 to Nov. 30, 2001
• Consolidation I – Dec. 1, 2001 to Sept. 30, 2006
• Consolidation II – Oct. 1, 2006 to Nov. 30, 2009
• Consolidation III – Dec. 1, 2009 to June 30, 2011
• Transition I – July 1, 2011 to Dec. 31, 2014
• Transition II – Jan. 1, 2015 to Current