- By Bob Brewin
- Apr 12, 1998
* DMRD The Pentagon ran a pricey, display-type classified ad in the Wall Street Journal April 8 for what it called an "executive opportunity'' for a job as director, Defense Reform Initiative, "who reports directly to the Secretary of Defense...and functions as the principal adviser for all matter relating to the DRI, with particular emphasis on applying to DOD those business practices that American industry has successfully used to become leaner and more flexible.''
This sounds like an ideal job for retired Xerox Corp. executive and management expert Paul Strassmann, except Strassmann already attempted such an effort with the Defense Management Review in the Bush administration. This announcement goes to show that reforming DOD is a process that never ends.
Strassmann said the DRI announcement sounds much like his job as DOD's Corporate Information Management director, with one key difference: "CIM was an integral part of ASD/C3I,'' Strassmann said, not a separate entity in OSD.
Because the Pentagon gave applicants only two days to respond before the job announcement closed, cynics speculated that Secretary of Defense William Cohen already had selected a candidate, but I have not picked up any hot names. In a related development, I have received strong confirmation that former Navy chief information officer Marv Langston has given his notice to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in advance of taking on the job as DOD deputy CIO.
* Job madness. With that slot filled, top Pentagon management has started a search for a deputy to the new assistant secretary for information operations (the old ASD/C3I) slot, and I have picked up strong signals that former Air Force pilot Owen Wormser— an Intercepts perennial— has emerged as a potential candidate. Linton Wells, deputy to the DOD undersecretary for policy, is another strong candidate for the key InfoOps deputy slot.
* Here comes navwar. Sun Tzu would have a hard time keeping up with all the new kinds of warfare in the late 1990s. I had barely digested the concepts of "information warfare'' and "network-centric warfare'' when Air Force Lt. Col. Lou Christensen, chief of combat support at U.S. Space Command, introduced me to "navwar," or navigation warfare, at a GPS conference last week. Christensen, a former F-111 jock, defined navwar as "protecting allied use of GPS while denying its use to an enemy.'' Remember, you read about navwar here first.
* No polyester! That's the new Navy motto, as the service has finally decided to retire khaki polyester uniforms for chiefs and officers in favor of a polyester/wool blend. Master Chief Boatswains Mate (SW) Bob Cruse, head of uniform matters at the Bureau of Navy Personnel, gave a good reason for not sticking with polyester technology: "The uniform cannot be worn in main [shipboard] industrial space because it might melt and stick to the body like shrink-wrap.'' I'd hate to encounter a chief shrink-wrapped by his uniform.