Refresh from last year - Cryptologic Community Foundational Principles

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Postby Sleeper » Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:59 am

Sum1 wrote:We're not talking technical, though. My understanding of this document is it provides a skeleton and a direction for the entire community.


Inasmuch as this document shapes community priorities and detailing, we need to dispel the myth that the CNO and SIGINT skill-sets are interchangeable.

Sum1 wrote:You've also missed the mark when it comes to the incentivized training tours.


If I misread that bullet, then substitute the one about incentivizing completion of technical certifications/qualifications. Is that only for enlisted Sailors? I would say not. We have officers with superficial knowledge of science and technology allocating large sums of money to whichever cyber contractor has the slickest PowerPoint slide deck. That's not the kind of technical leadership expected from special duty officers.

Sum1 wrote:And frankly, your comment regarding technical degrees from NPS attained in a two year or 2.5 year period should have little or no bearing on the on-time promotion and continuation of a career... If that's a major concern I imagine there are other things in those Sailors' records that should also be a concern.


That may have been true in years when the IW O-4 select rate was in-line with the other communities. Now that we're at or near DOPMA minimum, there is a real incentive to stay operational at the cost of not "sharpening your sword," so to speak.

Sum1 wrote:I get the impression from your comment at the end that perhaps your goal is simply to stir up drama or debate on a topic that seems fairly straightforward.


Debate yes, drama no. Anything can seem straightforward if you aren't looking closely enough. In other words (for the benefit of Omega Man):

Image
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Postby Sum1 » Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:16 pm

Sleeper wrote:Inasmuch as this document shapes community priorities and detailing, we need to dispel the myth that the CNO and SIGINT skill-sets are interchangeable.


Sounds like you're a proponent of stovepiped career tracks. Having never really been exposed to the CNO portion of our mission, I will defer to others on this... but I can't help but point out that this particular document was largely developed at one of the Navy's most capable cyber-commands. There are probably reasons that bullet made it into the document. Focusing on that single two/three line bullet and ignoring the rest of the document is pretty short-sighted.

If I misread that bullet, then substitute the one about incentivizing completion of technical certifications/qualifications. Is that only for enlisted Sailors? I would say not. We have officers with superficial knowledge of science and technology allocating large sums of money to whichever cyber contractor has the slickest PowerPoint slide deck. That's not the kind of technical leadership expected from special duty officers.


Who ever said the completion of technical certs/quals wasn't incentivized? Every time we find ourselves on shore duty or operational duty (with the time) we should be doing whatever we can in our off duty hours to further ourselves personally and professionally. One of the best ways I can think of is through the attainment of specialized certifications. Get those certs/quals done and get them documented on your FITREPs (emphasis on the documentation). Complete the requirements for AQDs and work with the PERS folks to get them documented.

That may have been true in years when the IW O-4 select rate was in-line with the other communities. Now that we're at or near DOPMA minimum, there is a real incentive to stay operational at the cost of not "sharpening your sword," so to speak.


Can you predict that we'll be in the same exact situation five years from now? The selections for LCDR right out of NPS happened only a couple of years ago (when I started paying closer attention to these things). We were already seeing the shrinking zone sizes at that point. For the more traditional route, those going up for promotion to LCDR would be 4-6 years removed from their NPS graduations. At the time they attended no one could have predicted shrinking zone sizes and in-zone selection rates lower than what our community enjoyed for so many years. Most of those Sailors, however, are in the same boat so to speak as many did go the NPS route. Even now, detailers are still putting people through NPS (and Sailors are going happily, I might add) because the technical education received still has associated billet requirements that can't be fulfilled by someone who doesn't have that technical degree. Maybe your recommendation would look something like this "incentivize billets at Cyber Warfare Development Group and other billets requiring in-depth technical expertise." I wouldn't know if that's what you were getting at, though, because you offered up problems without a solution.

Debate yes, drama no. Anything can seem straightforward if you aren't looking closely enough. In other words (for the benefit of Omega Man):

Image


You can also find fault with anything if you dig deep enough. No one said this document was perfect - handed down by an IWO Deity. Do you have a recommendation to share, or are you just looking to stir up "debate?"
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Postby Sleeper » Sat Feb 04, 2012 5:49 pm

Sum1 wrote:Sounds like you're a proponent of stovepiped career tracks. Having never really been exposed to the CNO portion of our mission, I will defer to others on this... but I can't help but point out that this particular document was largely developed at one of the Navy's most capable cyber-commands. There are probably reasons that bullet made it into the document. Focusing on that single two/three line bullet and ignoring the rest of the document is pretty short-sighted.


I'm not necessarily advocating stovepiping; just pointing out that CNO and SIGINT have distinct training/experience requirements. It may be possible to be fluent in both, but right now our training levels in each are deficient (as COMEVIL and others have pointed out). As for the reasons that you say "probably" exist: wouldn't debate and questioning be a good way to draw those out?

And who is ignoring the rest of the document? I'm addressing specific concerns, not writing a book report.

Sum1 wrote:Every time we find ourselves on shore duty or operational duty (with the time) we should be doing whatever we can in our off duty hours to further ourselves personally and professionally.


As I said before, off-duty evening/online courses are fine for some training programs (like the ubiquitous MBA), but not all.

Sum1 wrote: Can you predict that we'll be in the same exact situation five years from now?


Irrelevant. People are making decisions today based on recent promotion history. Those decisions will influence careers and the community for decades to come.

Sum1 wrote:Maybe your recommendation would look something like this "incentivize billets at Cyber Warfare Development Group and other billets requiring in-depth technical expertise."


Nope. As I've said in this thread and others, we are special duty officers. Expertise shouldn't just be incentivized, it should be the standard.

Sum1 wrote:I wouldn't know if that's what you were getting at, though, because you offered up problems without a solution.


I never really bought into that tired clich?. I should not be prohibited from yelling "FIRE!" just because I'm not holding an extinguisher at the moment. Identifying problems is the first step to solving them, perhaps even using a group discussion of the problems and proposed solutions. Like a debate.

Sum1 wrote:You can also find fault with anything if you dig deep enough. No one said this document was perfect - handed down by an IWO Deity. Do you have a recommendation to share, or are you just looking to stir up "debate?"


As a commissioned officer, thinking critically (and, dare I say, independently) is more useful than merely posting the party line on a cork-board. By critiquing portions of this document, I am making an implicit recommendation that we need to re-word, if not re-think, some of our ideas.
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Postby Sum1 » Sat Feb 04, 2012 6:14 pm

As commissioned officers we are charged with identifying deficiencies wherever they are and working to develop solutions to problems. Critics rarely develop their thoughts past the "FIRE" stage, and that's why they are less than relevant in most fields (except perhaps movie reviews).

I certainly appreciate the attempt at creating dialogue on what you perceive to be a deficiency within the document. Your comment regarding the cliche of having recommendations when you have problems is one of the end-state goals of these principles. If you don't think critically about an issue and at least attempt to come up with solutions, who will? Which commissioned officer or junior enlisted Sailor and which command should do the ground work? It's that very method of thinking and solving problems that we should be trying to move away from. Ownership needs to happen at all levels, not just at the O-5+ or flag deck.

I guess you can say I drank the kool-aid on this one, but there are much worse ways to do business.

As for technical training, I'm speaking to certifications that are done with 2 inch thick books on your own time. The same computer certs we require our CTNs to get can be done in off-duty hours and give the officer the same technical background without requiring 2 years and a trip to NPS. YOU should be doing those on your own time if you care about that stuff. Frankly, I've been a SIGINT guy, and now I'm by nature of my assignment an EW guy. I won't be delving into that stuff for a while... and with my personal and professional goals I may never. Does that make me a bad IWO? I don't think it does.

I haven't seen statistics for promotion to LCDR in a while, but all the CDR and CAPT promotion stats listed on our PERS page show graduate education is basically a universal requirement for promotion to those levels. If I recall I think all but 2 officers promoted to CDR and CAPT had grad degrees. I can guarantee not all those officers did it on their own time, and I also know that not all had some online MBA, which you're so quick to judge harshly.
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Postby OmegaMan » Sun Feb 05, 2012 7:34 pm

For the benefit of Sleeper...
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Postby Sleeper » Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:52 pm

Sum1 wrote:As for technical training, I'm speaking to certifications that are done with 2 inch thick books on your own time. The same computer certs we require our CTNs to get can be done in off-duty hours and give the officer the same technical background without requiring 2 years and a trip to NPS.


You're confusing education and training. MS, Computer Science != computer certs.

Sum1 wrote:...I also know that not all had some online MBA, which you're so quick to judge harshly.


Harsh? Nah, just cheap humor at their expense. And I continue: http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/1999-05-09/

Omega Man: Your contribution is noted with approval. Keep up the good work, and you may someday attain the level of "snarky."
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