The appeal of “Camelot” is not the lovely ladies, the swelling music, the pastel of the background or the men’s armor. It was instead the morality of the mission and the sense of shared sacrifice of the warriors.
I have been fortunate to serve since I left home at seventeen. Never did I feel more valuable to America’s security than the year when I sat at the table that directed the United States’ largest assemblage of ships, Marines and aircraft — The United States Seventh Fleet. It was my Camelot.
The Seventh Fleet is responsible for all the existing and potential hot spots in the Pacific — the water expanses near Korea, Russia, China, Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam, etc. Asia is as different from Europe as Night is from Day. I have frequently said that if an officer had a “story” in his background or a tatoo on his butt, the powers that be shipped him from Europe to be part of our staff. We welcomed those officers. We needed those with an edge.
Intent to Betray is about what it might have been like to be there one year.Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
A beautiful Russian woman double agent narrowly escapes certain death on a Russian waterfront. She subsequently uses her Olympic high bar experience to vault past two assassination attempts. But despite these narrow escapes, Anastasia has no idea who has betrayed her and intends her harm. Are her enemies Russian, Kazakh, Chechen – or the CIA? And she is completely unaware of how these perfidies are related to missing Kazakhstani nuclear warheads — weapons that will soon be threating the safety of tens of millions of innocent people.
Does Anastasia need the assistance of the American submarine captain who retrieved her under fire from Vladivostok? Will her pride even permit him to help? Will they together be able to thwart the international thieves? Will love, death or the mushroom of a nuclear explosion bloom on the snowy steppes of Kazakhstan?Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
My first novel will be published next week – the kindle version available for less than the cost of a microbrew.
Think of the book as a mystery with mature moments. It is a story built around a beautiful Russian double agent. We first meet her as she is rescued from Russia by a US nuclear submarine. After she reaches America, it quickly becomes apparent she still isn’t safe. Now who is her betrayer? The submarine captain who brought her out of Russia wants badly to be more than an ally, but she has made other choices.
She and the submarine captain confront the Russians in Saint Petersburg, have their own quick liaison in the Napa wine country, and soon find out the race is on across snowy Kazakhstan to uncover a Cold War cache of nuclear weapons!Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
I will be at the Naval Submarine League Symposium on 31 October if anyone wants their copies of Against the Tide signed. It will be a great opportunity to discuss how Dave Minton’s patrol aboard Guardfish changed history.Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Naval Institute Press notified me this week that Tantor Media had purchased audio rights for Against the Tide. Interesting, a month ago I sent the Press a new leadership book that is essentially a follow-on to Lean On. I haven’t heard of their interest yet.Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
26 Oct 15. At classmate Jim Ring’s invitation, Linda and I traveled to Dover to participate in a Naval Academy annual alumni dinner. This is a audience with a deep understanding of the background so the discussion focused less on Admiral Rickover than it did on the impact of nuclear submarines on the Cold War on the Navy. Fun evening.Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
2 September 2015. Admiral Chuck Beers arranged for me to be hosted by the Chief Engineer, Charles Southall, of the Newport News Shipyard so I might tour the facility and speak to their people about Admiral Rickover and leadership. The most impressive aspect of the afternoon was the approach that Newport News has to the training of their engineers — I have seen a large number of manufacturing organizations and never been more impressed!Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Accompanied by her sister, Nancy Merrick, Linda and I set forth for the Pacific NorthWest in late June. Out destination was deep under the tall conifers lining the fiords that lead to one of the world’s greatest shipyards. The same deep waters meander by Senator “Scoop” Jackson’s naval base and also provide access to the Keyport Weapons Center. The naval base is particularly interesting. It was established in the 1970’s as the country’s initial contractor-managed government complex and is one of our newer military facilities. It also is home to half of our strategic submarines.
Our host for the visit was Bob Aronson, who had arranged three venues in which I could speak about Admiral Rickover and leadership. Bob gave up a significant amount of his personal time to make our experience easy. The same can be said of Jim and Rosemary Adkins, as well as Gerry and Joan Egan. It is interesting how life’s events come full circle, as Linda and Rosemary were in the same 4-H club together in Firth, Idaho some years ago, and in my submarine life I worked at different times for both Jim and Gerry (and Linda and I were as well fortunate enough to get some time to speak to Bill Hahn, a fellow submariner and my roommate for a year at the Naval Academy).
I gave three talks, adjusting to the very different audiences. One was interested in general in the Navy. Another was drawn from the general community (because of their local, they all were much more interested in the Navy than similar citizens from Kansas might be), and the final one consisted of Naval Academy graduates (always fascinated in both leadership and Rickover) who have settled in the environs of Seattle. The last group is the one that is always invigorating. Rickover and his many enemies dug so many emotional boreholes that, unless one is careful, inadvertent diversions can destroy any constructive conversation.
I have found that one of the best ways of recognizing Rickover’s real contribution is to begin the story at the end of the Cold War.
It was December 1989. President Bush and President Gorbachev were at the Malta Conference aboard Gorki, and Marshal Akhromeyev was handing President Bush the Soviet military leader’s own morning intelligence report showing the Soviet Union surrounded by NATO forces. VADM J. D. Williams, the Commander of the Sixth Fleet, overheard his comments to the President, which were all about submarines. I explain what J.D. related to me decades ago.
I then go back to 1957 and the Soviet launch of Sputnik.
How did President Eisenhower choose to respond? What path did he place the United States upon? Does that continue to have relevance today?
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
A publisher in Beijing surprised me this week. They acquired the rights to issue a Chinese language copy of Against the Tide. I have often idly wondered what would be the motivation to go to the immense effort of translating a non-technical book. English is a very complex language in itself, and Against the Tide is full of emotional history and idioms. It will be a difficult task.
I believe there are three possible scenarios that might explain this Beijing decision. They might have decided the book was a literary classic, along the lines of Pearl Buck’s “The Good Earth.” That is a possibility. Or, perhaps more likely, the Chinese find Admiral Hyman G. Rickover even more memorable and interesting than do the admiral’s American counterparts.
Even more likely, China is most serious about developing their nuclear submarine capability. In working to be the best that is possible they, just as Admiral Rickover did in 1933 when he translated Das Underseeboot from the German, are deliberately making resources about submarines available for their officer corps.
If my mother were still alive, she would at least tell me she believed in my literary merit.Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
Linda and I are completing a week in Washington speaking with groups of friends about Admiral Rickover and the general subject of leadership. Numerous people have been graciously provided us forums. General Nordy Swartz let us speak to Business Executives for National Security even if he ran off to raise funds in Chicago, leaving us in the capable hands of Henry Hinton (former GAO) and Pat Kane. Our lifelong friend, Mitzi Wortheim’s devoted one of her monthly salon’s to leadership rather than one of the other goals she has pursued since she was the first individual to join the Peace Corps those several years ago. Hugh Howard introduced us to the State Department library for the first time, an area both Linda and I had somehow previously missed. (President Jefferson did us all proud in establishing the first American library).
We were welcomed at the Navy Memorial by Admiral John Totushek, an old friend from Navy and business days, who is again daily demonstrating that leadership principles are transferable to any task or challenge, and we spent as much time as they could afford with Ginger and my brother Tim, who is accomplishing the same thing in his role as the national Executive Director of the Navy League.
No visit to Washington would be complete without visiting our friend Peter Hughes, whom we had dinner with last night at Army Navy (Sherri Goodman was departing as we arrived, still excited about her new job as CEO of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership). His partner and spouse, Mary Rose, was in the UK and did not join us, but several of Peter’s old friends from the Pentagon and the German Embassy did. As we sat there and listened to the conversation flow, Linda and I were reminded again that it is the extraordinary patriots like Peter Hughes that provide the human ties to link us to our allies.
We will finish us today by speaking at the Center for Naval Analysis, a Federally Funded Research organization. I have always been emotionally more fond of this group than I probably should be (the men and women who labored there have were some of the earliest users of operations analysis to warfare problems and subsequently had some of the greatest insights to modern warfare). If the forecasted snow does not close down the airports while we are talking about Admiral Rickover, Linda and I will return to California late tonight.Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment ← Older posts