Category Archives: Leadership


I believe that I learned more about leadership- – good and bad – during my short time in the Army. There was one Army captain that we’d have followed off a cliff if ordered to do so; knowing he’d be right there with us. He wasn’t a “pal” but we respected him to the hilt. He was an ex-Marine (I know, I know), and a Green Beret in Vietnam who had been a sergeant, if any of that matters.

There was also one staff sgt most of us would have been glad to push off a cliff.

The good and the bad – I saw it all. Most of those above me were good people. Like anything there were both ends of the bell curve.

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Admin Games

By lex, on February 1st, 2012

CDR Jonathan Jackson was relieved of command in December for violating the Navy’s sexual harassment policies and for conduct unbecoming. But having read through the Navy IG Report and the commander’s NJP appeal (both pdf files found at the U/T link above),  I find that the one is damning and the other exculpatory. We apparently have a department head who bore a two-year grudge, and a struggling junior officer who either was deliberately insulted, or she was not. And a CO who maybe spent a little to much time celebrating with Bacchus, leaving himself open to charges that he spoke thoughtlessly and acted imperfectly, while letting off steam.

These days, you must be nigh on perfect, nearly all the time.

If you’re a CO, that is.

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Stray thoughts of an aviator in his final year of active service

Posted by Lex, on June 27, 2007


“You know, with only a year to go this might be the last time I ever have to polish those brown shoes.


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On Scene Commander

By lex, on April 14th, 2009

It probably sounds trivial, but I wondered in an earlier post * about the meaning of the word “on scene commander” as used by 5th Fleet in relating the takedown of those Somali pirates. Broadly speaking, the captain of a Navy ship has military authority over everyone within his lifelines, but a cruiser CO would be wise to refrain from telling a SEAL platoon CO how to do his job.

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Leadership isn’t easy

Posted by Lex, on June 4, 2008

It may not be commonly known here in the US, but our Canadian allies in the Af have suffered casualties disproportional to their numbers, chiefly because their 2500 soldiers are stationed in the Kandahar region, birthplace of the Taliban and heart of the combative Pashtun ethnic group. The Great White Up has had a vigorous political debate on the direction of the mission, and – having won a concession from NATO for 1000 additional combat troops – has recently agreed to extend their efforts until at least 2011.

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First Ship, First Cruise


By Lex, on Sat – April 30, 2005


I was talking to my chief-of-staff the other day about the first CO I’d had as midshipman – his name escaped me, but his adventures had not. One of those tales brought a glimmer of recognition to his eyes, and he asked, “what ship, and what timeframe?”

Turned out that nearly 30 years ago, the COS and I had been across the pier from one another – he as Lieutenant Junior Grade, and I as a third class midshipman. One of those strange circularities of the service, things that somehow ought to surprise, but over time and experience have lost their ability to do so. He remembered the CO well, and caught me up on his career after I’d left the ship.

Turned out the man had made admiral, and retired with one star on his collar. For reasons which I will in time reveal, this surprised me.

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Neptunus Lex: Stories on Naval Aviation and Safety

To the Reader: As I was reposting Lex’s posts, I thought it would be nice to organize a few of my favorites by category for the new reader. Give them a “Lex Primer”. 

Bill Brandt

11-24-2003     Watching An Ejection

12-13-2003      Killing An Eagle

01-05-2004    Inadvertent Ejections

01-09-2004    The Worst Day Ever

01-26-2004    Overstress

02-10-2004    The Helo Dunker

02-16-2004    Hypoxia

05-19-2004    Soft Cat Shot

05-25-2004     Night CQ, Part 1

06-02-2004    Indian Country

06-05-2004    T.I.A.D Near mid-air

07-05-2004    Single Seat Fighter Aviation

07-08-2004    Trusting The LSO

07-12-2004     The Fly In

07-20-2004    In-Flight Refueling

07-21-2004     A little not enough gas

07-27-2004    Air Strike

08-24-2004    First Flights

08-29-2004   Viper FCF

08-31-2004    A Little Negative ‘G’

10-18-2004     First CQ

01-17-2005     Night In The Barrel Part 1  

01-18-2005     Night In The Barrel Part 2

02-17-2005     Flat Hatting

03-25-2005     Guest Blogging – Thunder Tanking

04-05-2005    BFM (Basic Fighter Maneuvers) 

04-11-2005     IP To Target

04-12-2005     First Solo

10-11-2005      Flight School Advice

10-20-2005     Flat Hatting

01-23-2006     Adversary Course – Miramar

05-02-2006    Wide Runway

06-01-2005     Wacko

06-07-2006    Homework, Part II (Design History Of The FA-18) 

09-12-2006    Learning To Fight

01-10-2007     Cato

02-28-2007    Dealing with adversity

07-01-2007     Day CQ, FDNF-Style

07-23-2007    That was when I knew that it just might work

08-19-2007    Night Bombing

09-26-2007    Fear Of Flying

09-27-2007    Fear of flying, II

11-05-2007     Spin Hop

11-08-2007     Spool Up Time

11-20-2007     The power of saying “no”

12-03-2007     Land Left

09-23-2008    First Flight

10-21-2008    Foggy Weather

11-02-2008     Logbook

11-25-2008     Sometimes You Get a Second

02-13-2009      Known Ice

03-04-2009         An Avoidable Mishap

03-23-2009         Hmmm

07-30-2009      Low Levels

02-07-2010     Wrapping It Up

02-14-2010     Precautionary Landing

05-17-2010     Even When You Know

09-22-2010      Tailhooker’s Prayer

12-18-2010      Formation Go 

01-15-2011      Echo Range

04-23-2011      Face to Face With the 8-day Clock

06-25-2011     GA vs. NA

09-18-2011      The Sense of Mastery


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