Selection board season is upon us again, as are the orders convening those boards…
The FY-18 CAPT Selection Board Convening Order is available here.
Significant changes have been made in the section outlining Cryptologic Warfare (CW) Community Considerations, especially with regards to CDR Command.
Compare the two convening orders:
FY17 Convening Order: “The best qualified IW officers will additionally have been screened for and/or completed a Command tour as a commander.”
FY18 Convening Order: “The best qualified CW officers will additionally have been screened for and/or completed a Command tour as a commander. Less than 10 percent of CW commanders successfully screen for command. Also, CW commander COs typically serve in a highly competitive group and are ranked against all IWC commander COs worldwide. As a result, typical progression in competitive promotion ranking may be limited due to timing and other non-performance related reasons.”
What may be more interesting than those changes are the stark differences in the sections related to our four “tribes,” especially with regards to command. Some simply state that command opportunities are limited. Others clarify that lack of assignment to command should not be a detractor.
Keep in mind, this is the CAPT selection board. These IWC Captains will one day be considered for afloat Information Warfare Commander (IWC) assignments, a command at sea position. They will also be considered for potential selection to a single IWC Flag Officer designator. Taken at face value, it would appear that opportunities for command, and how we value those opportunities, are vastly different throughout the IWC.
Read the entire Information Warfare Community section to form your own opinion.
Do we value command equally amongst our four tribes?
Has the Information Warfare Community evolved enough to support both of these initiatives?
Are we missing opportunities as an IWC to better organize for mission success?
25 January 2017 at 19:24
Reference: “These IWC Captains will one day be considered for afloat Information Warfare Commander (IWC) assignments, a command at sea position.”
Perhaps the author meant to say “will one day be considered for Information Operations Warfare Commander (IWC) assignments, a command at sea position with responsibilities set forth in NWP 3-56 and NWP 3-13.”
Information Warfare Community (the other IWC) grows officers that are indeed highly qualified specialists in their respective tribal areas. However, a review of the functionality required to perform the functions of the Information Operations Warfare Commander suggests that due to a significant gap in qualifications these specialists are not qualified for the job.
If the Information Operations Warfare Commander is the referenced command at sea position, perhaps the Information Warfare Community needs to take responsibility for IO and train personnel and equip the fleet for successful mission accomplishment.
26 January 2017 at 01:32
Chuck – Great post! Love the updated precept and believe it will have the desired effect. Are we really considering IW Commander “Command at Sea”? I will play along and offer answers to your questions in the hope of inspiring conversation…
Do we value command equally amongst our four tribes? Though I don’t like the use of the word tribe in this instance, the answer is absolutely not. I would also offer that each community within our community has differing levels of commitment to growing leaders. And to take it a step further, I would offer that members within each community have very different levels of aspiration when it comes to Command.
Has the Information Warfare Community evolved enough to support both of these initiatives? Nope. Many things in the works to help get us there and I am excited about the future, but we are not ready. It’s on leaders like us to help us get ready.
Are we missing opportunities as an IWC to better organize for mission success? Yes. Again great initiatives within the C10 TF structure to better align us operationally and commit to both doctrine development and operational readiness, so the future is bright. Until we update doctrine and standardize a properly aligned footprint afloat, we won’t deliver the outcomes we need. We need to visibly own our warfare area!!!!!
Richard – I think we update the doctrine you referenced in favor of pretending we (the IW Community) owned IO…we stopped pretending that a while back.
26 January 2017 at 15:13
Reference: “I think we updated the doctrine you referenced in favor of pretending we (the IW Community) owned IO…we stopped pretending that a while back”.
What doctrine are you referring to? NWP 3-13 Information Operations is dated Feb 14. Moreover, if the IW community/N2/N6 is not the requirements and resource sponsor for Information Operations who is?
Why might people be confused:
1. The IWC Self Synchronization web page: “The Navy Information Warfare Community (IWC) …. is the result of the alignment of the OPNAV N2 (Intelligence), N6 (Communications Networks), and elements of N3 (N39, information and cyber operations) and N8 (unmanned systems programs and resources) into a unified organization. The IDC is led by the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare (DCNO N2N6)
2. NAVIFOR Mission Statement: “NAVIFOR ………….is the Type Commander (TYCOM) for………….., information operations……………”
3. NIOC Norfolk’s Mission: “As the Navy’s Center of Excellence for Information Operations (IO), Navy Information Operations Command Norfolk advances Information Operations war fighting capabilities for Naval and Joint Forces by providing operationally focused training and planning support; developing doctrine, tactics, techniques, and procedures; advocating requirements in support of future effects-based warfare; and managing functional data for Information Operations. Navy Information Operations Command Norfolk advances Information Operations war fighting capabilities for Naval and Joint Forces by providing operationally focused training and planning support; developing doctrine, tactics, techniques, and procedures; advocating requirements in support of future effects-based warfare; and managing functional data for Information Operations.”
4. The mission of Tenth fleet is to ……………exercise operational control of assigned Naval forces…………. to execute the full spectrum of cyber, electronic warfare, information operations and signal intelligence capabilities and missions across the cyber, electromagnetic and space domains.
If the DCNO for Information Warfare is not responsible for IO, that fact should be clearly stated and all references to IO should be removed from IWC publications. The Information Operations Warfare Commander functions in NWP 3-56 and NWP 3-13 are real. Clear assignment of responsibilities at the TYCOM level and in OPNAV is absolutely essential. What am I missing?
26 January 2017 at 12:34
Honestly, if serving as a Warfare Commander at sea isn’t considered command, I’m not sure what should be.
26 January 2017 at 15:28
To quote NWP 3-56, “The IWC [Information Operations Warfare Commander] is responsible to the CWC to shape and assess the information environment; achieve and maintain information superiority; develop and execute IO plans in support of CWC objectives; and support other warfare commanders.
“When assigning the IWC, a primary consideration is the ability to closely coordinate with CWC assets configured for EW operations, SUPPLOT or expeditionary plot, ship signals exploitation space, EW module, and other supporting IO elements of the force.”
The Information Operations Warfare Commander is a commander at sea. I find no hint of an “Information Warfare Commander” in any NWPs.
26 January 2017 at 22:48
Interesting nuance regarding IWCs and the position being described as “commander at sea.” One of two things must be afoot:
1. We are closer to becoming URL than I thought (or leveraging this new position requirement as justification to push us over the finish line), or,
2. I have a lot of questions to the nearest SJA regarding the oft-cited restriction barring RLs from holding command at sea.
I also have to agree with most of what Richard said. Words matter, and I haven’t been able to rectify for myself if perhaps recent doctrine writers just don’t really understand what IO is and, therefore, have misapplied the term. We want to think all these documents were updated deliberately and purposefully with careful cross-referencing, but I think we all can agree that rarely do we have the time and mental bandwidth to sit down and carefully pull all the onion layers back. As an example, just this afternoon we had a contentious 22 page CJCS EXORD dropped on our laps and told we had 24 hours to review and get it approved by the 4-star Combatant Commander. Not sure about you guys, but that kind of turnaround isn’t conducive to good staff work and careful product development. Unfortunately, it happens much more often than anyone would like to admit.
27 January 2017 at 00:25
Reference: “We are closer to becoming URL than I thought (or leveraging this new position requirement as justification to push us over the finish line)….”
Perhaps the overwhelming concern should be Navy fleet success in combat through counter surveillance, counter targeting, deception, disruption, corruption, and destruction of enemy information and information systems. The Surface Navy and from all appearances the Navy, is adopting the concept of Distributed Lethality. It won’t work without a concerted effort to remain hard to find, e.g. IO.
Perhaps if the IW Community went on the offensive to address this fleet need the Navy would either give the responsibility to the Surface Community, or make a URL designator for those that already have much of the expertise required to do the job.
I thought this section the Selection Board Convening Order, paragraph titled: Demonstration of Core Attributes was instructive when it said: “Officers demonstrate initiative by taking ownership, acting to the limit of their authorities, and looking at new ideas with an open mind.” Why not take ownership of IO and act to the limit of your authorities to get it done?
Reference: “….perhaps recent doctrine writers just don’t really understand what IO is and, therefore, have misapplied the term.”
Joint Pub 3-13 and NWPs 3-13 and 3-56 are consistent in their definition of IO. Perhaps the question is why shouldn’t the DCNO for Information Warfare and the Information Warfare Community get on onboard with the definition, claim ownership, and act as the requirements and resource sponsor.
31 January 2017 at 13:46
This thread took on an IO flavor rather quickly. I am of the mind that communities don’t own anything, organizations do. The IWC doesn’t have an MF&T, but OPNAV N2/N6, FCC, IFOR, and FCC most certainly do. What organizations have IO MF&T? Within the C10F construct, NIOCs Norfolk and San Diego most certainly do/did (though not executed solely by IWC teammates). The conversation is a healthy one and I appreciate how you brought doctrine into the it. For me, the challenge quickly becomes what is it we have a responsibility to be really good at. Being a part of the restricted line affords us the opportunity to be specialists…the more we widen the portfolio the less depth we bring. I am of the mind that we need to be be deeper, not wider…even if that means being a bit narrower than we’d like.
Thanks for the conversation!
2 February 2017 at 11:06
Sir, are you (or anyone else) aware of any Navy organizations outside C10F who are tasked with IO MF&T?
That is not intended to be a “gotcha” question or to set myself up for some kind of slam dunk. I’ve spent the last few years looking at this from the joint perspective and less from the Navy’s point of view, so I’m not aware of any Navy-specific orgs outside C10F (NIOC Norfolk/SD) dealing with this.
So I stole a few moments at work (don’t tell anyone) and found OPNAV INSTRUCTION 3430.26A explicitly levies a myriad of IO responsibilities upon the N2/N6. Additionally, FLTCYBERCOM/COMTENTHFLT is tasked (“shall”) to be the Navy’s IO executive agent.
Admittedly, this is an August, 2013 document, but it quite clearly puts the onus on C10F to figure out Navy IO. While not express pinning the rose on CWOs, I find it difficult to believe the authors presumed URL personnel assigned to FCC/C10F would take the development lead. Even if we don’t take the torch as CWOs, someone needs to help N2/N6 crack this nut because the problem isn’t going away. I like to think the smart people at NIOC Norfolk/SD are churning away at this very issue and I’m blindly unaware in my “happy place” (for reference, that’s with a German beer and a good bowl of goulash soup).
Link here: https://doni.daps.dla.mil/Directives/03000%20Naval%20Operations%20and%20Readiness/03-400%20Nuclear,%20Biological%20and%20Chemical%20Program%20Support/3430.26A.pdf
I really appreciate the dialogue and insights shared by all the smart people here and at the Information Warriors site. I get the vast majority of my community info from you all.