Monday, October 19, 2009

Command Triumvirate

As I prepare for command, I reflect upon my time as Executive Officer at NSGA Naples, Italy. Though I was there at a time when the entire command was comprised of excellent Sailors, there were two individuals responsible for my professional development during that 24 month tour. As you might hope, those two individuals were the Commanding Officer (now retired, but then CDR Eric Newhouse) and the Command Master Chief (now CMDCM, but then CTICM Rich Hatton). A "seasoned LT" (as if there is such a thing) could not have asked for two better mentors then the other two members of the command triumvirate. Every situation was turned into a training opportunity and the case study method of learning that Harvard Business School is credited with creating was alive and well in Napoli. The difference was these cases were real. And though not running the command, these training sessions allowed me to play the role of the Commanding Officer. By the end of the year I shared with CDR Newhouse prior to his change of command, I was ready to sit in the big chair, though that was in the cards. Instead, the role was somewhat reversed, as it was now the CMC and me coaching the new CO during his "Honeymoon" (though the CMC was far from done with my professional development). This experience connected the dots by making it clear that the success of any command is based on the collaborative relationship cultivated by the Command Triumvirate. I only hope that the NIOC Pensacola triumvirate is fortunate enough to enjoy the relationship that we did in Naples. I recognize that like with everything else in life, that won't happen by accident. If THEY don't now, WE will soon.

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