Friday, April 14, 2017

A Message to Garcia

Before becoming the basis for two motion pictures, A Message to Garcia was written as an inspirational essay by Elbert Hubbard. This popular work is about a soldier who takes the initiative to accomplish a daunting and difficult task without questions or objections and graciously completes the task. Often used in business and life as a motivational example to readers of applying a positive attitude towards achieving a successful life.
Reading Goal Disclaimer: I chose this book when realizing my annual track was behind schedule.
I read, “A Message to Garcia,” on an overnight watch in the Middle East during the course of a hot tea and brownie. The book is in our marine brigade’s library shelf as being a requirement on the Commandant’s professional reading list. This is my second reading as I originally came across it during my studies at the U.S. Naval War College.
While it doesn’t go into detail in how Rowan gets the message delivered to Garcia it does instill values that received immediate recognition. My yearning for adventure really would like to have learned Rowan’s story, anyhow, not what this book is about. The circulation phenomena is impressive in how many reprints and translation to all languages of the world. In this reading I took a few minutes to research a few leads including the author, East Aurora, New York, Roycrofters, and the sinking of the Lusitania. Very interesting findings indeed; inspiring me to read more of Elbert Hubbard and to learn more of this period and it's history.

Read the book is my recommendation to better understand greater society in how this story played out during it’s time and persists to this day.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Project COLDFEET: Seven Days in the Arctic — Central Intelligence Agency

Project COLDFEET: Seven Days in the Arctic — Central Intelligence Agency

The above link will bring you to a 2008 CIA featured story archive relative to the book I purchased on Amazon here and read during the last month. My review is about this book being a very thorough first hand account of Project Coldfeet and a must read for anyone embarking on a similar mission. Probably not many if anyone would travel via skyhook these days. Most of the information was new and fascinating to me. I picked up on each authors writing style without any difficulty. At times I wanted to skip sections as it was less novel and more of reading a log book of unfamiliar locations in the arctic.
Being a U.S. Navy Reserve Intelligence Officer I felt this was a good choice to read and will look to more of the same.Good job to Mr. Leary and Mr. LeSchack!

Office of Naval Research 
U. S. Naval Institute - though I didn't see the book on their site
Worldcat - Project COLDFEET : secret mission to a Soviet ice station
Amazon link for the Project Coldfeet
Goodreads Project Coldfeet

Monday, January 16, 2017

Code of a Naval Officer

Code of a Naval Officer

“It is by no means enough that an officer of the Navy should be a capable mariner. He must be that, of course, but also a good deal more. He should be, as well a gentleman of liberal education, refined manner, punctilious courtesy and the nicest sense of personal honor. 

He should not only be able to express himself clearly and with force in his own language both with tongue and pen, but he should be versed in French and Spanish. He should be the soul of tact, patience, justice, firmness and charity. No meritorious act of a subordinate should escape his attention or to be left to pass without his reward be only one word of approval. 

Conversely, he should not be blind to a single fault in any subordinate, though at the same time he should be quick and unfailing to distinguish error from malice, thoughtlessness from incompetency, and well-meant shortcoming from heedless or stupid blunder. As he should be universal and impartial in his rewards and approval of merit so should he be judicial and unbending in his punishment or reproof of misconduct.”

Code of a Naval Officer – misattributed to John Paul Jones? Possibly a fabrication by the JPJ historian Augustus C. Buell in a biography from 1900.

John Paul Jones - (1747–92), American naval officer; born John Paul in Scotland. Noted for his raids off the northern coasts of Britain during the American Revolution, he is said to have stated “I have not yet begun to fight!” after victory in a 1779 battle between the Americans and the British.