US ARMY Reserve Troops to Deploy to Africa

“President Obama signed an executive order authorizing the mobilization of
Selected Reserve and members of the Individual Ready Reserve to support
OPERATION UNITED ASSISTANCE (OUA), giving the National Guard Bureau and
Army Reserve advance notification to prepare units and personnel for a possible
deployment.” (to Africa)

I seldom weigh-in on such issues. However, should we task our military with
involuntary lengthy deployments into a lethal non-combatant role? Not to mention,
in some cases on the heels of multiple Afghanistan combat deployments. Our
services will continue to be challenged to recruit and retain personnel.

These Army Reservists are scheduled to return to America in approximately six
months only to be quarantined for 21 days (interesting how our government was
unable to recently quarantine a nurse). How would you feel if your sons or
daughters were deploying to Africa – probably no different if they were deploying
into a combat environment!

Posted in Current Events Commentary

Another fallen leader in the wake of scandal

General Eric Shinseki

Eric Doner, Naples FLSo General Shinseki took one for the team. Eric Shinseki, retired 4-Star General, former Army Chief of Staff, distinguished combat veteran, West Point grad and former Boy Scout, resigned today as Secretary of Veterans Affairs in the wake of the growing scandal over inadequate care provided to our wounded warriors.

Was he blind-sided? Didn’t he see this coming? How can someone of his position and rank be so totally oblivious, insulated or aloof to such a corrupt, negligent and unethical culture that permitted rampant, mismanaged patient care in a majority of VA facilities for military veterans who have given so much for our country?

It’s been reported that scandals have been brewing for years, with multiple investigations conducted internally and by Congress. Certainly, Gen. Shinseki knew what kind of organization he inherited when he was appointed to his post in 2008. Failures in the VA were no doubt systemic then and grew exponentially as legions of wounded service men and women flooded an obviously inadequate healthcare delivery system.

Read full article here

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Posted in Accountability, Character & Integrity, U.S. Military

Military Leaders Being Fired

U6980211433_44cbcdaf53nfortunately military leaders being relieved for cause seem to be the focus of attention by today’s media. Some are correlating this activity with a presidential agenda of purging the ranks.

Here are a few statistics I have gathered. In calendar year 2012, the U.S. Navy relieved 25 commanding officers of various ranks for a variety of misbehavior or poor performance. Over the past eight years, the military services have relieved 226 flag/general officers also for a variety of misbehavior or poor performance. In each of these cases, the leadership lost confidence in the individual being relieved.

On a personal note, I have been reticent to pass judgement or assess these actions. First, I make the assumption that these leaders don’t relieve subordinates without some degree of assurance that “wrong” was committed, and only pass final judgement following a thorough investigation. I remind myself that the devil is always in the details, and I am not privileged (nor have a need) to know these details.

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Posted in Character & Integrity

Accountability is Thrown Around…

Most managers are terrible at accountability

Most managers are terrible at accountability

Accountability is thrown around corporate america predominantly with words; the rubber seldom meets the road – that is to say, many are not held responsible for their shortcomings. Actually, many are unaware of What is expected of them, as their managers & leaders fail to inform them with a high degree of specificity.

I learned accountability early on in my career. Aircraft Carrier pilots, are held accountable for the proficiency Of their landings – each one is graded, and posted for all to see. A ladder ranking each pilot’s standing is posted in the squadron ready room for all to take note. Fighter pilots have huge egos – need i say more?

As i became more senior, my focus was on executing the mission as effectively as possible, yet as safely as feasible. Doing all that we could to execute our mission, yet remain accountable to avoid losing a jet or worse a pilot/aircrew. Combat is a brutal arena by many measures. My last news interview on the Norfolk Pier hours before our departure in April 1999, we vowed to do all we could to bring everyone home from this combat deployment, god willing.

The disciplines and attention to detail most often correlate to accountability; the focus must come from the leadership in the military and in corporate America.

See what Winston has to say on Accountability from a recent keynote address to Intevac, Inc. Santa Clara CA, leaders:

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Posted in Accountability

Navy Times: Military can – and must – fix sex assault scourge


“….The sexual assault and harassment challenge in the U.S. military is real, it is sickening, and it must end…We take strong exception to the idea expressed very publicly by some that the U.S. military culture itself must change…That the challenge of sexual harassment and assault lies within the very culture of our Armed Forces….We allowed this thing to creep up on us and we must now stop it…..”

-By RADM Hamlin Tallent and RADM Winston Copeland, USN (ret)

Download Full Length Article here

See what Winston has to say on sexual misconduct and character and integrity in the workplace from a recent keynote address to Intevac, Inc. Santa Clara CA, leaders:

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Posted in Character & Integrity, U.S. Military

Trust , in the Workplace

Trust is a word thrown around by many, and defined in multiple ways. It is one of the two major characteristics that define a leader (the other is Character & Integrity – a topic for another Blog)

So, what is trust? In my view, it is one’s degree of reliability, credibility, self-absorption, closeness/familiarity perceived by others.

  • – Reliability to me is doing what you say you are going to do when you say you are going to do it.
  • – Credibility is having the skill-sets to deliver what you have promised.
  • – Self-absorption is how much pride, ego and self-focus you display (this is what you want to minimize). No one wants to hear from you how good you are. The team wants you to focus on them, not yourself.
  • – Closeness/familiarity is how well do you know your team; can you finish each other’s sentences. Are you a good listener, …..

All of this takes time to build, and one of the most important ways to build your team’s trust in you is for you to display trust in them. Give them the opportunity to succeed by providing them with responsibility and proper expectations. When you trust others, they will begin to trust you! However, breaching trust will require a great deal of time to repair, so guard this carefully.

See what Winston has to say on Trust from a recent keynote address to Intevac, Inc. Santa Clara CA, leaders:

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Posted in Trust



Execution is one of the three major operational characteristics a company must get right if they are to succeed.  These seven Ps have been a hallmark in my bucket to ensure successful execution:   PROPER PLANNING & PREPARATION PREVENTS P-POOR PERFORMANCE.

In my speaking engagements I address a specific combat event in the skies over North Vietnam when “jumped” by four enemy fighters.  My seven Ps enabled me to shoot down an enemy fighter, and subsequently bring a crippled jet back aboard the aircraft carrier (the severe damage precluded the fighter from ever flying again).

On the other hand, I talk about an event in which I was so cavalier and cocky as a Top Gun Instructor, I almost lost a Navy jet, and possibly my life.

I have multiple scenarios to illustrate the criticality of Execution, and the subsequent results (good and bad).

See what Winston has to say on Proper Execution in the Workplace from a recent keynote address to Intevac, Inc. Santa Clara CA, leaders:

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Posted in Execution