This post originally appeared on the USNI Blog here.
It’s time for Mail Call here at The Salty Herald. Today, we thought we’d share an excerpt of some “fan mail” from one of our more ardent followers. Enjoy! And, as always, if you’d like to tell me how wonderful I am, please email me at email@example.com!
Dear Salty Snowflake,
I assume you’re familiar with the acronym “PSM.” No! Not “Pumpkin Spice Muffin!” It means “Please see me!” As in, “It’s time for you and I to have a one-sided conversation.” Since you Millennials never answer your phones this voicemail should sound familiar: “Good afternoon *James*, this is your superior officer calling. Call DSN xxx-0001 and have the switchboard operator connect you to my rotary.” Well, “Salty,” I decided not to wait for you to quit mindlessly scrolling through pictures of women screaming at cats to get back to me. And, as my 24K-plated Cross pen taps the mahogany under my desktop protector, I can think of nothing more satisfying than taking you down a peg or two.
I’m tired of this internet-blog wanking session. I want to know why you, as a post-department head O-4, think it’s okay to air your unfiltered gripes on the internet for the public to see? Do you even know why we invented the internet? Its for “information dominance” and “winning the strategic narrative.” The internet is for PAOs and Cryppies and opinions are for flag officers. If you JOs want to share information, to include people’s training schedules, POWs, PODs, head cleaning hours, and NEX Barbershop times, they should be typed out longform and hung on the “All Read Board.” ThATs hOW wE dID IT iN mY DaY anD iT woRkED foR Us! Stop trying to be “new” and “innovative.” There is simply too much risk in doing anything first. Seriously, you’re making a mockery of yourself. Furthermore, what you’re doing with your friends on the InTeRwEbS is illegal, and you can treat this letter as a cease-and-desist order! See, senior officers like me know that documented, formal “good order and discipline” is more important than being a GoOd FrIeNd tO EaChOtHeR.
Since your generation doesn’t read anything that’s not attached to your CeLlUlaR PhOnE HoLsTeRs, you probably haven’t read Secretary Modly’s recent memo titled “Use of Personal Messaging Accounts to Conduct Official Business.” I just sent you a copy. Look for an email from “firstname.lastname@example.org.” Bottom line, everything you and your insubordinate generation does sharing information on your phones violates DoD guidance. STOP using your personal email to conduct Navy business! You saw what happened to Admiral Moran, right? Good thing he was the only flag officer that would ever violate this guidance. And make sure you answer that email I sent you before work Monday morning!
Senior officers like me know how to read for the boss’ “intent” and we damn sure know how to cover our butts. That’s why we know exactly what the President means when he tweets military guidance, which is totally not inconsistent with the intent of the Modly memo (Secretary Spencer said tweets aren’t orders, and look where he is now, soooo . . .). He’s talking to real leaders like me and my bosses. I have the experience and mental capacity to interpret those tweets correctly. You’ll just screw it up, so don’t even try. Learn how to get in line and treat everything your superiors say as an order*. Besides, efficiency is not an excuse for sharing the Plan of the Week online, “Salty.” Do you want tHe RuSsIaNs to know our command dental readiness? Point being, the Secretary says collaboration tools like your SlAcKeR portals aren’t for official Navy business unless there’s an emergency, official comms are unreliable, or it’s in the best interests of the U.S. government. First of all, you have no concept of interests beyond your own, and official comms are always reliable because the little circle is always green on my stoplight chart. And I don’t see al Qaeda hijacking any airplanes around here today. Do YoU, sHiPmAtE?
Do you even remember where you were on 9/11? WeRe yOu EvEn BoRn YeT? I bet no one ever called you “infidel” except in your MeDaL oF DuTy video games. I remember where I was—I was mowing my lawn with a gas mower (ever seen one of those?), and my wife made tater tot casserole for breakfast. She was so shocked that she left the iron on and burnt a hole right through my khakis. Damned terrorists.
Millennials like you will never get it. And since no one can spit out a reflexive “NO” like my N6, I’ve got him down the hall warming up his “security violation” stamp. I swear, I tell my JOs to stop sending out the flight schedule over their Signals or iChats, and they just send it out over social media instead . . . for the whole world to see! Let me tell you something, shippy: Saddam Hussein didn’t beat my generation—but if you keep willy-nilly texting out the location of command PT I can damn sure believe ThE ChInEsE will beat yours. God only knows what they would do if they found out the location of our base gym or that we used it to conduct the PRT.
The Navy doesn’t like change. NAVFIT98 technology works just fine, and I haven’t had to upgrade my Windows7 in years, which is convenient. Yet, I swear, if China ever drops a GPS jammer, you kids won’t be able to velcro your Crocs. We’ll see what you think of the old analog-Captain then. At my level, we don’t think your pet sugar gliders and eMoTiOnAl sUpPoRt chinchillas are cute or ironic.
So, clean it up on the internet, “Salty”, because if you don’t you’re going to find the shiny end of my boot way up in your dark web. Be advised, the technology “NO” stamps are coming. You know, a JO once told me at our twice-weekly AOM about an article you wrote. I told him that “salty” used to be a term of reverence that we used to describe someone with respectable at-sea experience. He just looked at me, walked away, and said: “WOOOOOOOOSH”. What the hell is wrong with you kids?