Archive for training

A Foundation Built 30-Years Ago Today – August 22, 1986

Posted in Core Values with tags , , , , , , on August 21, 2016 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

Seal of RTC Great Lakes.pngKnown as The Quarterdeck of the Navy, Great Lakes Naval Training Center, in Waukegan, Illinois, is the Navy’s only basic training facility.  Affectionately called Great Mistakes[i] by many who have passed through its gates, Recruit Training Command (RTC) is where recruits begin their Navy experience.  They learn about naval history; become aware of a sailor’s standards of conduct and rights & responsibilities; become physically and fundamentally strong in the lifestyle of a sailor.  After this indoctrination, they’re ready for service as the Navy’s newest Blue Jackets.

It was the middle of June, 1986.  I had just arrived to RTC Great Lakes for basic training.  I was anxious and nervous; excited, yet uncertain.  So many thoughts were swirling in my mind.  After all, it’s a big step for a 17-year-old to take; exiting the safe bounds of home and community into the rigid uniformity and discipline of a military institution.

Navy boot camp is a basic naval orientation designed to transform men and women into smartly disciplined, physically fit, basically trained sailors.[ii]  As soon as one arrives, they are integrated into a diverse group of individuals with whom they will eat, sleep, learn, grow and support as a team until graduation day.  Teamwork is the foremost skill developed during these eight trying weeks.  The recruit company’s chain of command is quickly established, and the ship is underway.  Boot camp provides the opportunity to develop and refine leadership skills that will become vital in the fleet.

Although I felt ready to get it all started, I had to wait a few more days before starting my eight weeks of training; something about making sure I was healthy and fit for the rigors of Navy training.  For the first few days after arriving, we marching back and forth from RTC to Main Side for medical and administrative in-processing.  As I recall, it was more like determining how many holes I can withstand being punctured into my arm and buttocks.  It was also when I received my initial issuance of uniforms, and a clean-shaved head.  This week is known as Processing Week.  We called them P-Days; days that didn’t count towards the eight weeks of training.  Time just seemed to stop.

It rained during those first few days.  It seemed like the rain would never end.  Cold.  Damp.  Dreary.  Miserable.  Amidst the proverbial ‘hurry-up and wait,’ I was eager for the ‘hurry-up’ part to begin.  These early days at boot camp have become some of the more memorable days in my life.  I look back on them fondly.  They were, after all, the days that began to set the foundation for the rest of my life and career.

Today, August 22, marks the 30th anniversary of my graduation from boot camp.  I often reflect on those days, those experiences, those friends (shipmates).  I recall the challenges that strengthened me physically and mentally; trials that built character within me.  I cherish the rewards of achievement and success that came from every push-up, inspection and exam.  Although there were those times where it didn’t seem possible to finish, everything somehow came together.  Somehow our recruit company came together.  And, on August 22, 1986, we assembled to celebrate our collective accomplishments in our pass-in-review ceremony at graduation.

In those short eight weeks, some of the most valuable traits and qualities were instilled in me.  Honor, courage, and commitment, the core values of the United States Navy, were the bedrock principles of my training.

The Core Values of the United States Navy

Honor: When we say “bear true faith and allegiance,” we are promising to:

  • Conduct ourselves in the highest ethical manner in all relationships
  • Deal honestly and truthfully with others
  • Make honest recommendations and accept those junior to us
  • Encourage new ideas and deliver the bad news, even when it is unpopular
  • Abide by an uncompromising code of integrity, taking responsibility for our actions and keeping our word
  • Fulfill or exceed our legal and ethical responsibilities in our public and personal lives 24 hours a day
  • Be mindful of the privilege to serve our fellow Americans

Courage: When we say “support and defend,” we are promising to:

  • Meet the demands of our profession and the mission when it is hazardous, demanding or otherwise difficult
  • Make decisions in the best interest of the Navy and the nation, without regard to personal consequences
  • Meet all challenges while adhering to a higher standard of personal conduct and decency
  • Be loyal to our nation, ensuring the resources entrusted to us are used in an honest, careful and efficient way
  • Have the moral and mental strength to do what is right, even in the face of personal or professional adversity

Commitment: When we say “obey the orders,” we are promising to:

  • Demand respect up and down the chain of command
  • Care for the safety, professional, personal, and spiritual well-being of the people entrusted to us
  • Show respect toward all people without regard to race, religion or gender
  • Treat each individual with human dignity
  • Be committed to positive change and constant improvement
  • Exhibit the highest degree of moral character, technical excellence, quality, and competence in what we have been trained to do
  • Work together as a team to improve the quality of our work, our people, andourselves[iii]

The Navy’s core values became the ingredients that transformed me into a sailor, and ultimately the cornerstones of my life and career.  My boot camp and Navy experience culminated in my having the following three valuable attributes:

  1. Highly motivated to overcome all challenges; having the self-discipline to achieve all tasks completely and successfully.
  2. Attention to detail, and being detail-oriented.  Following direction and learning to listen, while having situational awareness at all times.
  3. Pride and professionalism.  To always showcase respect for people and resources.  To carry myself with honor, and to have integrity in all that I do.  And, to always be committed to the team, organization and community I belong.

August 22 is a very important date in my life.  Similar to my birthday, it signifies the day that officially began my Navy career.  It is a day that I am extremely proud of, and I wanted to share it with you.

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[i]  Webb, Brandon; David Mann, John (2012). The Red Circle. Macmillan. p. 81. ISBN 978-1-250-01840-3. “… Naval Station Great Lakes (or unofficially, Great Mistakes)”

[ii]  “Recruit Training Command – Mission.” Recruit Training Command – Mission. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Aug. 2016. http://www.bootcamp.navy.mil/mission.html

[iii]  “Navy Boot Camp Timeline At a Glance.” Military.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Aug. 2016. http://www.military.com/join-armed-forces/navy-boot-camp-schedule.html

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Making Marine Corps Officers

Posted in Leadership with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 5, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

Listen to THIS while reading this post!!!

Officer Candidates School

“Ductus Exemplo” – Lead by Example

HONOR ~ COURAGE ~ COMMITMENT

The mission of Marine Corps Officer Candidates School (OCS) is “to train, evaluate, and screen officer candidates to ensure they possess the moral, intellectual, and physical qualities for commissioning, and the leadership potential to serve successfully as company grade officers in the operating forces”[i] of the United States Marine Corps.  OCS in the Marine Corps focusses on the candidate becoming a follower first, and then a leader.  The training is individualized, and centered on the candidate’s initiative to get the mission accomplished.  OCS puts them into scenarios where the candidate has to take charge, and where they have to lead.  Among many other things, OCS teaches the candidates:

  • How to act
  • How to conduct themselves as officers
  • How to be physically fit
  • How to establish a command presence (bearing)
  • How to lead by example
  • How to lead Marines
  • How to be confident
  • The ability to make quick, rapid decisions in a time compressed environment under pressure

Leading by example, and leading from the front, are two of the most important attributes of a United States Marine Corps officer.  At OCS, this is instilled in them very early and very quickly in their training.  Along with that comes the willingness to do the things that you asking your people to do.  You can’t ask your people to do something that you are not willing to do yourself.

The officer candidates are evaluated on if they are able to think and make decisions on their own, their ability to get their company from point A to point B, their ability to communicate, and their overall leadership capabilities.

Marine Corps officers must have integrity; to do the right things when nobody is looking.  They must conduct themselves as professionals at all times.

A leader in the Marine Corps needs to be humble and treat people with respect, no matter what rank they are.  It doesn’t matter what job you have, or what rank you are, the Marine Corps places a premium on leadership; from the private to the four-star general.  Officer Candidates School gives them an understanding of what basic leadership really is.  It not only provides them the leadership skills to be successful in the Marine Corps, but it prepares them for life.

Copyright © Dale R. Wilson

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Related Content –

Do’s and Don’t’s of Marine Corps OCS (officercandidatesschool.com)

The Ultimate OCS Preparation Workout (officercandidatesschool.com)

How Academics are Taught at OCS (officercandidatesschool.com)

OCS Academics Intro Leadership —> Introduction to Marine Corps Leadership (officercandidatesschool.com)

OCS Academics Leadership Fundamentals —> Fundamentals of Marine Corps Leadership (officercandidatesschool.com)

Marine Corps Officer Candidate School (outlawamerica.blogspot.com)


Footnote –

[i] “OCS Mission” – Officer Candidates School – http://www.trngcmd.usmc.mil/OCS/default.aspx – Accessed 5 March 2012 – United States Marine Corps Training Command (Quantico, Virginia) – http://www.trngcmd.usmc.mil/

Fundamentals of Naval Leadership

Posted in Books, Naval Leadership, Reading Room with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 7, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

by Department of Leadership and law, U S. Naval Academy ~ Karel Montor

The Navy defines leadership as the art, science, or gift by which a person is enabled and privileged to direct the thoughts, plans, and actions of others in such a manner as to obtain and command their obedience, their confidence, their respect, and their loyal cooperation.  Simply stated, leadership is the art of accomplishing the Navy’s mission through people.[i]  To accomplish this, the Navy leader employs the principles of leadership, core values and the qualities that lead to success.  A Midshipman at the United States Naval Academy, a student participating in an ROTC program, or an individual going through Officer Candidate School (OCS) are introduced to the fundamental leadership skills necessary to become a successful Naval and Marine Corps officer.

“Fundamentals of Naval Leadership” is a Naval Academy text book, and is the companion piece to “Naval Leadership: Voices of Experience – Second Edition.”  In essence, the book builds from the discussion of the concepts of leadership; human behavior, motivating people (and ourselves), conflict resolution, evaluating performance, the structure and function of groups.  In the second half of the book, it transitions into discussion of the dynamic qualities of leadership that are required to be successful; moral leadership, leading by example, and virtues & traits.  It finishes with the topics of personal relations with people, counseling & interviewing, discipline, training, and organization & administration.  Of course, as a military academy text book, it covers aspects of being a Naval (or Marine Corps) Officer in the greatest Navy in the World; rights, responsibilities, code of conduct, traditions & customs, etc.  The parallel to managing and leading in the business world are obvious, and it is easy to interchange military and branch-specific references to themes, situations and experiences in a civilian corporate environment.  At the end of the text book, there are case studies, again geared toward leading in the Navy.  The situations and scenarios are comparable to day-to-day experiences to any manager in any field of expertise.  The book goes back to basics, and presents the many aspects of leadership at almost an introductory level – approaches to and styles of leadership, examples of effective leadership, the psychology of leadership, and the factors and traits of the effective leader – to teach its readers to become more effective leaders.[ii]

The Naval tradition places special emphasis on the development of leadership ability. This emphasis is found with regard to both institutional efforts and individual efforts. Elaborating on the responsibility of naval officers to develop leadership skills,[iii] Admiral William V. Pratt (Chief of Naval Operations – 1930 to 1933) said, “The greatest problem facing the career naval officer is leadership.  Yet this most important factor in a man’s life frequently is allowed to grow like a flower in a garden surrounded by rank weeds.  So many feel that if they follow the average course of naval life, experience will finally give them the qualities of the great leader, and opportunity may reward them with high command.  Few realize that the growth to sound leadership is a life’s work.  Ambition alone will not encompass it, and if ambition alone be a man’s sole qualification, he is indeed a sorry reed to lean upon in time of stress.  The path of qualification for leadership is a long, hard road to travel.  It is a path of life.  It envisages all of a man’s character, his thoughts, aims, and conduct of life.  It requires the wisdom and judgment of the statesman, the keen perception of the strategist and tactician, the executive ability of the seaman; but above all, it requires sterling worth of character and great human understanding and sympathy.[iv]

In his Forward to the second edition of Naval Leadership, Admiral Arleigh Burke (Chief of Naval Operations – 1955 to 1961) wrote, “No matter what mark an officer may leave in history by his deeds in battle, or in intellectual contributions, or in material inventions, his greatest legacy to his country will be the example he has given as a man and as a leader of men.”[v]
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United States Naval Academy page banner

The Naval Academy has a unique clarity of purpose, expressed in their mission:

“To develop Midshipmen morally, mentally and physically and to imbue them with the highest ideals of duty, honor and loyalty in order to graduate leaders who are dedicated to a career of naval service and have potential for future development in mind and character to assume the highest responsibilities of command, citizenship and government.”[vi]

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This was one of the books I listed in last week’s “The Development of a Reading Program,” and is the second book I will read from my 2012 reading list.  I encourage you to go online to order a copy for yourself and add it to your library.  If you are interested in learning more about this book, and would like to acquire it, please visit this link at Amazon.com.
 Copyright © Dale R. Wilson
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Footnotes –

[i] Montor, Karel, Anthony J. Ciotti, and Malcolm E. Wolfe. Fundamentals of Naval Leadership. The Department of Leadership and Law, U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute, 1984. page 1. (The definition of leadership is adapted from Naval Leadership, U.S. Naval Institute, Annapolis, MD, 1939, page 1, and Frederick Ellsworth Wolf, A.M., Leadership in the New Age, U.S. Naval Institute, Annapolis, MD, 1946, page 3)

[ii] ibid.

[iii] Al-Harbi, Toraiheeb. Navy Definitions of Leadership and LMET/NAVLEAD Competency Clusters Compared to Selected Leadership Theories. Thesis. Naval Postgraduate School, 1995. http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA306113 – Accessed 7 February 2012.  The Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC®) – http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/

[iv] Montor, Karel, Anthony J. Ciotti, and Malcolm E. Wolfe. Fundamentals of Naval Leadership. The Department of Leadership and Law, U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute, 1984. page 77. (from Selected Readings in Leadership, U.S. Naval Institute, Annapolis, MD, 1957, page 1)

[v] ibid. page xviii. (from the Forward to the second edition of Naval Leadership, the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD, 1959)

[vi] Mission of USNA –  http://www.usna.edu/mission.htm – Accessed 7 February 2012 – United States Naval Academy | Home Page – http://www.usna.edu/

Naval Leadership – Voices of Experience

Posted in Books, Naval Leadership, Reading Room with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 19, 2011 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance
edited by Karel Montor
 
This is an extensive, 546 page compilation of essays, commentaries and articles offered by Naval and Marine Corps leadership of both the United States and NATO Allies.  It is the primary resource for instructors at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, to teach leadership; particularly leadership in the naval service.  It covers topics such as the parameters of leadership & management, the responsibilities and qualities of leadership, planning for mission accomplishment, directing and coordinating operations, effective communication, personnel support & discipline, and asset management.  Additionally, it is a book that discusses responsibility, accountability, good order, discipline, integrity, planning, organizing, directing, controlling, self-discipline, loyalty, as well as other basic attributes required to lead people and organizations. 
 
Although it is a military-oriented text, the parallels to the business world are clear and understandable.  It is more a leadership guide for anyone, both in military and corporate environments, who are in a position to lead, and those who aspire to.  One would come away from this read with a definitive set of core values to successfully lead in their respective professions, both military and civilian.
 
A very good review of this book was posted on Amazon.com.  It reads as follows:
 
This book is compiled with the premise that leaders are trained and made, not born, and offers a wealth of advice from successful naval officers about the principles and practices of good naval leadership. The compartmentalization between specific leadership skills/qualities/practices is somewhat artificial, for leadership is a holistic enterprise, but such an organized format allows the reader to read at his own pace and begin reading from any section that interests him. This book is not about sequential mastery, but serves as a reference and resource. It is great for junior officers who want to imbibe the ideals of leadership, and would benefit hardened naval veterans who desire a return to leadership first principles and rejuvenate their professional outlook.[i]_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
 
This was one of the books I listed in last week’s “The Development of a Reading Program,” and is the first book I will read from my 2012 reading list.  I encourage you to go online to order a copy for yourself and add it to your library.
 
If you are interested in learning more about this book, and would like to acquire it, please visit this link at Amazon.com.
 
 Copyright © Dale R. Wilson
 

[i] “Amazon.com:Customer Reviews: Naval Leadership: Voices of Experience.”  http://www.amazon.com/Naval-Leadership-Experience-Karel-Montar/product-reviews/1557505969.  Accessed 19 December 2011.  http://www.amazon.com/

Never Fly Solo ~ Top Gun Success

Posted in Books, Inaugural Posts, Video of the Week with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 16, 2011 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

Lt. Col. Rob “Waldo” Waldman (USAF Reserve)

This week, I have chosen a few videos featuring Lieutenant Colonel Rob “Waldo” Waldman; also known as “The Wingman.”  Colonel Waldman is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, and became a highly decorated fighter pilot with over 65 combat missions over Iraq and Serbia.  He holds an MBA with a focus on organizational behavior.  Now serving in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, Waldo has become a professional business motivational speaker and consultant, and is the author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal best seller “Never Fly Solo.”  He teaches organizations and individuals how to build trusting, revenue producing relationships with their employees, partners, and customers, while sharing his experiences as a combat decorated fighter pilot and businessman.[i]

Col. Waldman’s philosophy: No fighter pilot flies solo, and neither should you.  You need Wingmen – trusted partners – to win when the missiles of life and business are launched.  Whether achieving victory as a fighter pilot or in business, the same qualities that ensure success apply: relentless commitment, disciplined training, dedicated teamwork, impassioned leadership, and most of all…trust.[ii]

When I came across the Never Fly Solo video that promotes his book, and other videos featuring his inspirational message, I was absolutely motivated and lifted.  I wanted to share his message with you.  I have posted five videos below that define Colonel Waldman’s Never Fly Solo message.  It will take you just under 20 minutes to view them all.  Each video has a common theme, but a different message and focus.  I encourage you to view each of them, and take what you learn from them and immediately apply the Never Fly Solo principles.

Never Fly Solo

The Wingman

Teamwork and Communication in Business

Team Building and Leadership

Motivational Wingman Video

I hope you enjoyed this week’s installment of “Video of the Week.”  Remember, never fly solo, and protect your team from hidden dangers.  And, most importantly, become a wingman in everything you do; every person, every team, every day.  PUSH IT UP!!!

For more information on Lt. Col. Rob “Waldo” Waldman, Check out www.YourWingman.com.  If you would like to order the book Never Fly Solo, please visit http://www.neverflysolo.com.  And, if you would like Col. Waldman to attend your next conference or convention, please visit http://bureau.espeakers.com/simp/viewspeaker6542.

Copyright © Dale R. Wilson


[i] “Meet Waldo.” Motivational Keynote Speaker : Business Speaker : Professional Speaker : Waldo Waldman: YourWingman.com.  Accessed 9 December 2011. http://www.yourwingman/about/

[ii] “Rob “Waldo” Waskman’s LinkedIn Profile.” http://www.linkedin.com/.  Accessed 9 December 2011

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