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Revised Leadership Title

Apr

7

Asking peers for “blurbs” for my books always has become an integral piece of my writing process. This is never more true than the current go-round, when the friendly critics have been not-so-gently suggesting that Leadership and Risk is much more accurate and descriptive than the working title I was using. I finally agreed last week and proposed the change to my publisher. They emailed their agreement back within thirty minutes.

I suspect not everyone was enamored with my previous label.

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New Leadership Book Coming

Feb

25

The Naval Press Institute will publish my latest book, The Art of Leadership,this Fall or Winter. The book uses case studies to explore the inherent risks of leadership and the tools available to those who would strive to fill those roles. Real world examples are used and consequently expose unrevealed history. The latter includes such items as a secret of the Yom Kippur War, the background of the 1986 bloodless revolution in the Philippines, how Admiral Bud Zumwalt was such a unique Chief of Naval Operations, why our National War Plan suddenly had to be revised during the Reagan years and what spurred President Clinton’s anti-nuclear proliferation success.

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Intent to Betray released 8 June

Jun

5

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.

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Intent to Deceive (book jacket blurb)

Feb

15

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?

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First Novel — Intent to Deceive

Feb

15

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!

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Submarine History Symposium

Sep

23

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.

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Tantor Media purchases audio rights for Against the Tide

Sep

23

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.

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Delaware USNA Alumni Dinner

Mar

1

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.

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Newport News

Mar

1

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!

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Silverdale, Bremerton and Paulsbro

Jul

12

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?

 

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