It's time to move yet again and like every other time, we leave thankful for the experience and equally excited about the next adventure. Personally, my family and I learned the Memphis area has much to offer in the way of recreation and even culture (took us a while to figure that out). More importantly, we met many wonderful people and established some great friendships. On the professional side, I learned a great deal about manpower, human resources and continued to refine the art of being a staff officer (though there remains plenty of room for improvement). That said, when I look back on my tour as the Information Dominance Corps and Information Warfare Officer Community Manager and ask myself the same questions I do after each tour (as well as of juniors with whom I serve as they depart), I feel good about answering "YES" to both of them:
1) Are you leaving here a better person (personally and professionally)?
2) Are you leaving a positive legacy with the command (i.e. is it better because of you)?
For my friends in BUPERS-3...What we have done thus far is akin to a start-up company. When we commenced down this path, we had nothing more than a charter...no building, no tools to do our job, few established processes (and even those were inherited), a hodgepodge of billets and no real organizational structure. Under the leadership of a few Captains (SWO, CEC and a retired Deck LDO) who were detailed to Millington to do other jobs, as well as deliberate efforts from some wonderful military and civilian professionals from diverse communities (past and present) who contributed well beyond their original job description, we have grown into a team that is effectively executing our charter (despite being under resourced like so many others). Admittedly, we are far from the "World Class Community Management Organization" to which we aspire and the Navy deserves, but we will get there (Mr. Fair will see to it!). Serving with a team represented by almost every community in the Navy is a unique opportunity and one from which I have gained much wisdom. Thanks for all of the tutorials over the past two plus years...I had no idea!!
For my IDC Brethren...The formation of the IDC has given us an incredible opportunity to feel good about questioning just about everything we do. It is our responsibility to validate the current vector that made so much sense in our "Cylinder of Excellence" or deliberately shift course given the "Cloud of Dominance" perspective. In the business world, it is said that great people create the market, but as that good market changes, mediocre people fail. Whether it found us or we found it, the marketplace for the IDC is strong and we are far from mediocre. Because it is continually evolving, it's incumbent upon each of us to demonstrate the fact that we are prepared to both shape the marketplace and dynamically respond to it. We know all too well that we have plenty of room for improvement at the individual, command, community and corps levels. It's our personal responsibility to make the time to continually improve ourselves and those with whom we serve. It remains a pleasure serving with you.
For the IDC Family within the BUPERS-3 Family...We were "enabling enterprise behavior" long before it became the norm (and maybe even helped it to become the accepted practice). By putting our small egos aside, creating the "NNFE (now NIDE) OCM Alliance" and embracing our roles not as community lobbyists, but strategic readiness advocates for the enterprise (Big Team, Little Me) we accomplished much on behalf of those whom we represent, but more important did right by the Navy. Thanks for all you continue to do and for making me better in the process...peer feedback continues to be an essential piece of professional development. I am also most grateful for the Master Chief Mentorship Sessions with the IDC Enlisted Community Management Team.
I have often said that second to command, the greatest privilege in our Navy is representing your community in Millington. The fact that I am leaving one privileged position for the other (NIOC Pensacola) is extremely gratifying and a situation for which I am grateful. Thanks to all of you who contributed to this journey and especially my "Personal Board of Directors." None of this was planned, but the path continues to be far better than any of the many plans I have developed over time, as I attempted to manage my career.