IWO Creed Discussion

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IWO Creed Discussion

Postby Kyle.Hunter » Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:15 am

Since graduating Information Warfare Basic Course, I have been working on a side project idea of an Information Warfare Officer creed. It is most notably derived from the Cryptologic Community Foundational Principles, but there are also subtle influences from several books I have read, or re-read, since my arrival at NIOC Colorado (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, The 8th Habit, Good to Great, It's Our Ship, The Art of the Long View). I am sharing it for several reasons. First, this effort is helping to personalize the foundational principles document and there may be a place for such an unofficial, personalized endeavor for others. Second, it is a request for honest, blunt, and constructive feedback; alone, I can do well enough, but together we can create something far better than any single individual could hope. Finally, a more general dialogue about if there is a place for such a creed within the IWO community. Thank you ahead of time for your time and critical thinking on the matter.

"I am an Information Warfare Officer, a proud member of the Cryptologic Community and a leading partner in the Information Dominance Corps. It is an honor to lead the finest Cryptologists in the world. I shall strive to fulfill the Code of a Naval Officer by John Paul Jones as I owe my Sailors genuine leadership that is dependable, decisive, and imbued with integrity.

I am responsible for leading with a depth and breadth of knowledge of the electromagnetic spectrum and cyberspace that results in creating time, providing direction, and delivering effects to combatant commanders. My knowledge must reflect a specialized expertise to operate across Navy, Joint, and National environments as I utilize, shape requirements for, and operationally contribute to our core competencies of Signals Intelligence, Computer Network Operations, and Electronic Warfare. I must foster collective ownership that will allow us to fully leverage our unique contribution to the full operational effort. I will always work by the words of Captain Rochefort, "We can accomplish anything provided no one cares who gets the credit."

I shall ensure the Navy's mastery to quickly and definitively protect and defend the United States whenever and wherever the enemy acts. Therefore, I am committed to the values of my community: specialized expertise, leadership, critical thinking, and collaboration. I will regularly mentor and provide constructive feedback to my peers, seniors, juniors, and subordinates to embrace innovation, value competence, demonstrate progress, and share successes. I will strive to create a clear vision and unified purpose for those under my charge. Such resolution serves as a line of bearing for my Sailors: I will lead by example.

Service in this community is a privilege. I must continuously have courage to inform, execute, act, and create value within my command, my community, and my Navy."
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Postby COMEVIL » Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:35 pm

This is a great initiative! One recommendation regarding the following...

Kyle.Hunter wrote:"I am an Information Warfare Officer, a proud member of the Cryptologic Community and a leading partner in the Information Dominance Corps. It is an honor to lead the finest Cryptologists in the world. I shall strive to fulfill the Code of a Naval Officer by John Paul Jones as I owe my Sailors genuine leadership that is dependable, decisive, and imbued with integrity.


While JPJ is as great a Naval Officer to emulate, we have our own Crytologic heroes.

How about...

"I shall strive to fulfill the distinctive legacy established by the those who went before me, to include Captain Laurance F. Safford, Captain Joseph John Rochefort, Agnes Meyer Driscoll, Rear Admiral Edwin T. Layton, and Captain Thomas H. Dyer."

Also, why not make this a combined IW/CT creed?

v/r

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Postby Sleeper » Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:50 pm

Deeds, not creeds.
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Postby OmegaMan » Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:08 pm

Sleeper wrote:Deeds, not creeds.


Mostly agreed.

Nine years ago I took an oath of office. I renew it every few years. It has bound me to support and defend a set of ideals that no other nation has the privilege to enjoy.

Perhaps some folks need creeds to motivate them. For me, daily affirmations undervalue the profound importance of the oath. I prefer daily action, and trying my hardest to set a good example for my shipmates, and most of all, my children.

The oath is all I need.
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Postby Sleeper » Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:03 pm

OmegaMan wrote:Mostly agreed.


Only mostly, Omega? Do you really want to hurt me? ;)

Now I'll mostly agree with your post (well said, BTW) by saying that maybe we should make a point of periodically reading (personally, or as a group) our founding and foundational documents. I'd take that over "obey the orders of those appointed over me" (a dangerously unqualified statement not found in my Oath) and "defend freedom and democracy around the world" (not in the Constitution I'm sworn to, and not the reason I joined).
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Postby Mjölnir » Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:38 am

It is written well. I would just ask: We already have the oath of office or the oath of enlistment and the Sailor's Creed. Is this something we need?

Do we need another creed/oath or reaffirm what we are supposed to be doing or to separate/distinguish ourselves from the rest of the officer corps? First and foremost I am a Naval Officer. Regardless of if I am assigned as a IWO, SWO, SPECEVAL, EWO, Watch Officer, XO, CO ... isn't it enough that I am an Officer in the United States Navy?
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Postby Kyle.Hunter » Sun Sep 16, 2012 8:05 am

Excellent questions. This, in part, addresses one's leadership point of view, and in an attempt to create a common understanding I will more clearly point out some of the leadership principles from which I have drawn. First, leadership is, in some ways, essentially influence. Personally, the best influence comes in the form of servant leadership. Some examples of this includes creating an environment of collaboration, removing barriers that keep my Sailors from achieving their full potential, and establishing a system where the group (division, department, command) has buy-in on a simple, core vision. This is where the Oath of Office is insufficient, because it addresses only my personal dedication to uphold a high, and unique, level of responsibility, accountability, and authority during my naval service. It does not comment on the inherent connection between each other, neglecting the fact that nothing great can be accomplished without the entire team. I agree that "affirmations" to which we, and our Sailors, have no buy-in do "undervalue" a good many things. To conclude this first point, identifying clear "at-our-level" organizational goals that tie into the larger organization, creating buy-in on a common vision to achieve such goals, and then getting out of the way and removing obstacles so our Sailors can surprise us with what they can accomplish is a fundamental part of being an officer.

With the focus, and idea, of the creed being a baseline, common vision within the IW community and our efforts as a greater team, a final, main point follows. Does this require a creed? Certainly not, at least not necessarily. We could already be, or begin, daily acting to foster this vision at a division/department level, which ties into command vision and goals, and, in turn, our community foundational principles. Action is vital. This should be preferred over this idea being picked up and pushed (forced) out without IWO community-wide buy in, as has been done with other initiatives in the past. However, would coming together to create a creed help serve future officers and organizations to create more focused mission statements and goals? Is there a place for such an initiative - either broadly at the community or as a more focused planning and execution tool at the division/department level? A creed may not be essential, but perhaps it has a place.

I appreciate the initial, and hopefully continued, dialogue. I tried to, at least indirectly, touch on each of the points raised. These challenging questions are well framed and to the point. Other questions have been brought up, such as "isn't it enough that I am an Officer in the United States Navy," from Stalwart and, "why not make this a combined IW/CT creed," from COMEVIL to include his comment on highlighting our own cryptologic heroes that warrant further discussion. Thank you.
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Postby OmegaMan » Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:31 pm

Well, if this thing grows any legs and starts running, I beg you to pare it down a bit. I have a hard enough time remembering all the passwords and door combos. I'll never be able to memorize it at current length.

Kyle.Hunter wrote:With the focus, and idea, of the creed being a baseline, common vision within the IW community and our efforts as a greater team, a final, main point follows. Does this require a creed? Certainly not, at least not necessarily. We could already be, or begin, daily acting to foster this vision at a division/department level, which ties into command vision and goals, and, in turn, our community foundational principles. Action is vital. This should be preferred over this idea being picked up and pushed (forced) out without IWO community-wide buy in, as has been done with other initiatives in the past. However, would coming together to create a creed help serve future officers and organizations to create more focused mission statements and goals? Is there a place for such an initiative - either broadly at the community or as a more focused planning and execution tool at the division/department level? A creed may not be essential, but perhaps it has a place.


This is an interesting comment. I believe the IWO community has been suffering an identity crisis since the great upheaval of 2005. The majority of our community did SIGINT very well, and smattering of us were versed in the nebulous world of IW. Then CNSG was disestablished, NIOCs created without mission or focus, and we have been uncertain ever since. Now it seems that two main camps have emerged, SIGINTers and Cyber warriors, but never the twain shall meet. Perhaps if we ever plot our future, and stick with it, we can once again emerge as a true special duty officer corps that knows its mission and does not need to muster each morning to recite a creed in order to rally the troops.
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Postby jitter » Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:41 pm

"NIOCs created without mission or focus, and we have been uncertain ever since"
Would this creed not help develop a community identity and a focus. No one ever said we were all going to rally around the flagpole and chant every day. While most of you seem to be in opposition to the idea of a creed, I have to admit that I like the idea. I'm not normally one for such things due many of the same reason you all have written. But this one I like and feel it has a place in today's IW community.
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Postby Sleeper » Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:44 am

jitter wrote:Would this creed not help develop a community identity and a focus.


I recall that NIOC Hawaii paid a bunch of money to a high-profile contractor to develop a mission statement. I don't think it helped much, if any. Such words are a poor substitute for actual leadership.
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