Friday, October 28, 2016

Fullbore Friday

First, let's look at the latest "setting the bar low" cultural move.

Perhaps you thought it was a bit much to move the age to have a beer to 21 from the legal adult age of 18. Perhaps you thought it was insane to allow young adults to stay on their parent's insurance until age 26, an age many people have two kids of their own.

Chew on this from Dana Goldstein at The New Republic;
...some advocates and policymakers are citing research to argue 18 is still too young, and that people up to the age of 25 remain less than fully grown up.
Researchers are using the term “post-adolescence” or “extended adolescence” to describe this period of development in one’s twenties and early thirties. Social change is as important as biological change in understanding why some people in this age group are drawn to crime. Individuals who are “disconnected”—neither working nor in school—are more likely to get in trouble with the law. While fewer young women are disconnected today than in previous decades, the opposite is true for young men.
You can read the rest.

This isn't just about criminal justice either;
Adolescence no longer ends when people hit 18, according to updated guidelines being given to child psychologists.

The new directive is designed to extend the age range that child psychologists can work with from 18 years old up to 25.

It is hoped the initiative will stop children being 'rushed' through their childhood and feeling pressured to achieve key milestones quickly, reports the BBC.
In the name of all that is holy, we know this. My brain didn't make the flip until age 23 - but it didn't mean I was in "late adolescence" and should be treated like a child. If we are going to go down this route then fine; no one can vote until 25.

Actually, I might support that ... but let's get back on centerline.

OK, here is a thought; perhaps the problem with our young men (which you will find in the linked article) today is that we do not challenge them enough. We do not demand enough of them.

Anyone who has served in the military knows that young men and women can do incredible things. You can give them the highest responsibilities. Properly led and given clear guidance, there is no limit. Every day, you put your life in the hands of 18 and 19 year old people.

The concept is rather simple. Set an expectation; provide training and guidance. Provide fair and just consequences for their response to it, good or bad. Good things happen.

In a previous age where people developed later, had poorer education and health; what did we expect from them? How did they perform?

Let's look at James Lucas Yeo, born 1782;
...he joined the Royal Navy in March 1793 as a boy volunteer. ... as a midshipman at the age of 10.

In 1797, he was promoted lieutenant, and assigned to the HMS La Loire... He first saw action as a lieutenant aboard a brig in the Adriatic Sea. 
Look at your calendar. He was promoted to lieutenant at age 15 and was already in combat.
He distinguished himself during the siege of Cesenatico in 1800.
At age 18. This was not a one-off performance. Remember, he was leading men more than twice his age in ship's company, most likely.
While off the Spanish coast, he was sent to capture the Spanish vessels in the port of El Muros. Storming the fort, he succeeded in bringing out of the port every vessel, armed and unarmed. For this achievement, he was made commander, and given the HMS Confiance, one of the vessels he had taken.
When did he do this? 1805. Age 22.
Yeo participated in several sea battles during the Napoleonic Wars so successfully that he was made a captain on December 19, 1807, by which time he had already been recognized as an intrepid practitioner of unconventional sea warfare.
Age? 24.
In 1809, he captured Cayenne, in conjunction with the Portuguese, and was in consequence made post-captain.
Age 26.

There is more; read it all.

Young men and women do not need excuses. They don't need years of medication to make up for a lifetime of weak parenting. They don't need low standards they are encouraged to meet.

Our nation and our civilization cannot prosper if we allow people to spend the balance of their most productive years - when they have the best window to think, explore, and test their physical and intellectual boundaries - to be told they are not yet adults and are not capable of agency. No, just the opposite.

I've got news for those who think they can start their life like this, by age 26, if you are only now thinking you are ready to be an adult, you are already running behind. As Mr. Waters says; "Ten years have got behind you. No one told you when to run. You missed the starting gun."

Your peers have a half decade+ head start on you.

Wonder why so many people (Hendrix, Morrison, Joplin, Cobain, Hank Williams) kill themselves between the ages of 27 and 30? It is because they all of a sudden look around and realize that they have gone nowhere in their 20s but in circles. Others have moved on with their lives, and yet they can't seem to drink and drug themselves out of a rut they hit at 22. They all of a sudden realize that they need to be an adult, and they can't do it. They were drifting in the Land of the Lotus Eaters by other people who gained from having them get stuck in a rut for half a decade. When they age out of the profit zone, they are thrown in to a reality of the late-20s to early 30s that they simply cannot adjust to.

No one ever is going to be Fullbore by claiming, "I'm just not mentally mature." Sorry, regardless what your doctor may tell you, the world doesn't care.

By 16 you should be prepared to be 18, an adult. 

By 25, you should be helping those 16 to 18 to be an adult - by your example.

If you find yourself at 25 trying to map it out, you're lost. It isn't the fault of biology. Not your parents. Not society.

It is all on you.

Hat tip BJ.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Carrier Mafia's Own Goal

Perhaps not fair, but they decided to lay down with the Transformationalists. They're waking up will all sorts of issues now.

I'm discussing over at USNIBlog. 

Come by and give it a read.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Hillary Campaign Meets Bloom County

James Watt could not be reached for comment. What more can you say?

Re: You Dropped But
Date: 2015-02-16 01:00
Subject: Re: You Dropped But

If you are awake call me at 202-244-5673
On Feb 15, 2015 9:52 PM, "Cheryl Mills" < > wrote:

Here is Robby's List of the top 10 or so positions:

Exec Chair - Podesta

States Director - Marshall

Political Director - Hispanic Woman

Finance Director - Dennis Cheng

National spokesperson - Karen Finney

Manager - Mook

Digital and Technology Director - Teddy

Data/Analytics - Elan

Communications/Research - Jen


Policy - Jake

Strategist - Joel Beneson [thought Jim and Mandy also count]

*12 positions*:

4 POC (2 Black; 1 Asian; 1 Hispanic)

4 Women (assuming COO is a white woman)

6 White Men

33% diverse

33% women

50% white men


A Pre-Thanksgiving Turkey Problem

Hopefully everyone is keeping at least a glancing eye on the developments around Mosul, especially the fact that Turkey has an outpost there. She isn't helping all that much, she rarely does, but she is there.
A dispute between Iraq and Turkey has emerged as a dramatic geopolitical sideshow to the complicated military campaign to retake Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, from the Islamic State.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has insisted on a role in the battle for Mosul, trying to ramp up an involvement in Iraq that has already alarmed the Iraqi government.

“We have a historical responsibility in the region,” Mr. Erdogan said in a recent speech, drawing on his country’s history of empire and defeat, from Ottoman rule of the Middle East to its loss in World War I. “If we want to be both at the table and in the field, there is a reason.”

In response, the normally mild-mannered Iraqi prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, warned last week of a military confrontation between Turkey and Iraq. If Turkish forces intervene in Mosul, he said, they will not “be in a picnic.”
Turkey has already angered the Iraqi government by keeping a unit of troops at a base in Bashiqa, an area of northern Iraq near Mosul and surrounded by Islamic State territory. For more than a year, the Turks have also been training Kurdish pesh merga forces and Sunni Arab fighters in Iraq, including a militia led by a former governor of Mosul, Atheel al-Nujaifi.

The Turkish military deployment, even just to train local forces, has been bitterly opposed by the Iraqi government, and Mr. Abadi has demanded that the troops leave.

Now that the battle for Mosul has started, Mr. Erdogan has given a number of incendiary speeches in which he has seemed to suggest that he is itching for the Turkish military to become directly involved in the fighting.
I want to show you two maps. First, the Turkish Republic as we know it;

There is another map that I've seen in a few places over the summer and fall. At first, I did a raised eyebrow eye-roll, but as I saw it more, just pursed my lips at seeing it. Even when one version or another showed up in newspapers, I dismissed it as standard issue populist chest thumping. Here, take a look;

Greece, Iraq, Syria (whoever you are), Armenia - call your office.

Now I want you to watch the video below. I'm not eye-rolling anymore, I'm watching a bit closer.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Ratings fiasco isn't a leadership or a Navy problem; it is a Mabus problem

Though I think they are on the right path in macro terms, in the details I have to non-concur with the NavyTimes editorial of 23 Oct;Navy's personnel policy fiasco is an important lesson for leaders;
The Navy’s recent decision to strip job titles from every sailor is a misstep of epic proportions – one that should serve as a stark lesson for leaders across all the services.

This fall, the Navy revealed it was suddenly removing all 91 of its enlisted ratings. This so-called “modernization” effort has been billed as a way to broaden training and career opportunities for sailors. It also satisfies the Navy’s desire to strip “man” from its titles, i.e. fire controlman, corpsman and seaman.

This move, thrust on the service by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus with the endorsement of Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson and his former top enlisted adviser, was poorly conceived, researched and communicated to the fleet.

It’s been a total morale crusher, with thousands of sailors lobbying for an immediate reversal.

Unlike the other services, sailors have been identified by their job title and not just their rank. As one sailor noted, ratings have been part of Navy tradition since 1775. For sailors, it’s part of their identity – a badge of honor and a source of pride.

“Our sailors don’t understand it,” an E-9 told Navy Times about the change. “We don’t understand why this could not have been a two- to-three year, very gradual process that examined all of the effects from advancement to recruiting.”
This isn't a leadership failure, this is a leadership agenda. The SECNAV wanted this to happen, and happen this year, and it is. Part of leadership is following orders. In the USN chain of command, that goes to the SECNAV.

He gave a lawful order, one based on the most silly foundations of the 3rd Wave Feminism of today with a bit from the 1970s where he cut his intellectual teeth, as I covered on my previous post on the topic at USNIBlog.

This is all socio-political agenda in action. Nothing more than someone having power and using it for their own purposes. There is nothing modernizing in this move, but it does fit an agenda, the SECNAV's agenda.

I encourage you to go read the entire editorial and then come back. Better yet, read it twice. You can almost see where they wanted to pen a much stronger editorial, but backed off.
Future military leaders should use this as a case study. Avoid such fiascos at all costs. Challenge your superiors when they propose harebrained ideas. Make sure that sweeping change is done with careful forethought and proper execution.
How do they know that didn't happen? As a matter of fact, from what I have heard that is what happened ... but only to an extent. Warnings were giving, objections provided, but there is this simple fact; when the SECNAV gives you a lawful order, you have one of two options; you can execute that order as best as you can, or you can resign your position.

No one in a senior position decided this was worth resigning for.

SECNAV decided that he would do what he wanted to do based in the advice from others and for reasons best known to him. There was not desire for this from the Fleet. There was no initiative from the uniformed leadership. He created this out of whole cloth which whatever gender-issues advisors he listens to. He wanted it done before he left, and it hoping that institutional inertia and a guard of PC Commissars he put in place will stop it from being overturned when he leaves.
It’s a shame that Mabus took away these time-honored titles so abruptly, marring what is expected to be his last months of service. He’s created a mess and handed it off to the next service secretary to deal with.
That isn't the only mess, but this is one that will stick out early for whoever replaces him.
The remedy to this fiasco is to reinstate these titles immediately and wait for the results of the career flexibility review, when officials will finally be able to answer the questions on sailors’ minds.
That isn't going to happen as long as Mabus has a hand on the lever of power. Get used to it.

This is all so sad and unnecessary. For a SECNAV who I once thought had so much promise to bring us to this sad, fevered spot with full uniformed leadership support is useful in this respect - it shows that there is a full-submissive compliance to civilian leadership. That is a great tradition this nation has, shame it is being abused for such a petty, personal, political reason.

I'll leave you with one of my favorite sayings. When you continue to decided that this issue or the other one is not a "hill worth dying on," eventually you find yourself surrounded, in a ravine, with your opponent owning all the high ground. 

That isn't a great place to start to fight, so why would anyone expect one? The only options is surrender or death.

Political death does not get one seats on Board of Directors, appointed to Commissions or Panels, or appointed to positions of influence in the civilian sector.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Fullbore Friday

I had to sit there nice and polite the other day as a colleague pontificated about the "new" threats of asymmetric warfare at sea ... etc ... etc.

It wasn't the place or time to go all Salamander on him, so I let it slide but a few things came right to mind.

Most think of asymmetric as being like the strike on the USS COLE (DDG-67), but that isn't what should keep you up at night. What should keep your mind sharp is the use of conventional weapons in an asymmetrical manner - what I define as providing the "Oh, yea?" to the "That won't happen ... they can't do that ... that can't be done ... we will have warning of such an attack ..." mindless statements towards threats. Perfect examples can be found just a couple of years ago with Israel vs. Hezbollah, but you know me ----- I like to dig a little further .....

You have a little 761-ton boat. You are only a LCDR.
Prien cursed at his mistake. But still the panic was not over, as the distance between the keel and the sandy surface of the sea bed began to drastically decrease. 2 metres... 1 metre... 0.50 metres... until there was the sound of the keel scraping against the bottom. Prien was undaunted, for there was no turning back now. He gave the order for both engines to be powered to full speed ahead. For a brief moment Prien feared the engines packing up, but Wessels had indeed done a fine job. The diesel motors roared loudly as the little boat pulled itself forward. After what seemed like an eternity, Maschinen-Hauptgefreiter Erwin Hölzer in the control room could finally report that there was clear water under the keel. Prien scanned the area once more and there were the three expected blockships. They were at the mouth of the Kirk Sound.
Did you just get relieved of command for running aground? No - you are heading into the enemy's most protected harbor, alone - to sink one of their 29,150-ton Battleships - because your enemy thinks it can't be done.

You are Lieutenant Commander Günther Prien, Commanding Officer of U-47 - and you are heading into Scapa Flow.

So Shipmate, where is our Scapa Flow? Conventional or unconventional to asymmetric. Oh, you know where it is. Its real easy to find - real easy.

This FbF first posted in 2008.
UPDATE: Hey, in this dramatization of the attack, I think you might recognize someone.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Hoss's Ending That Was Not to Be

If you have not kept up with the tragedy that is the story of General Cartwright, USMC (Ret.), head on over to USNIBlog and give my thoughts a ponder.