The formidable US Army, with its massive buying power, arrived on the climate action battlefield this week, armed with its Army Climate Strategy (ACS) and ready for rapid execution. The ACS acknowledges that climate change has destabilized the world, and that the army must move swiftly to stay out in front of our adversaries who are intent on jockeying for an advantage in a climate-altered world.Continue reading ““We will use our buying power to drive change in industry””
Washington (GGM) Analysis | March 17, 2020
by Noreen Wise
The most important rule of thumb in a crisis, is one day at a time. Panic over the long term, when there are so many changing variables, leads to poor decision making in the short term, and then many regrets. This happens because we process the long term based on what we have in the present, and there’s a gap between what we have and what we need. We aren’t able to factor in what we’ll acquire along the way, as well as all the twists and turns we’ll make so we can reach our goals.
Further, there’s so much happening behind the scenes that we’re unaware of. The only thing we can master each day, is each line item on our task list.
- make our beds
- get dressed for work even though we’re staying home
- try and keep same work schedule
- same lunch time
- same work habits
- stay in home quarantine as requested
- eat right
- sleep right
The small things are the only things we have absolute control over. If we strive to perfect each one, and check each off our list once completed, we’ll feel empowered and stable, which will make us that much more confident about the long term.
Then one day, we’ll be startled by unexpected good news. Like today, the military announcing it will donate 5 million face masks. I learned this after stressing for two hours that I didn’t have a face mask but had to run to the store for a quick errand. I was resourceful and came up with an alternative, but still. At the time though, I had no idea that a team in the military was diligently working on this. Filled with frustration earlier in the day, I wasted so much of brain power on what should have been applied to work projects.
In fact, I’ve been amazed by how involved the military has been with COVID-19 challenges. Every day I learn of a new solution the military has delivered to the trenches in the nick of time. Our military leaders are revealing what clever strategists and long term thinkers they are. Unexpected heroes supporting thousands of front line troops, our medical professionals.
According to Defense One, the following is a list of what the United States military has provided in the way of COVID-19 support:
- Military financed Canadian company Medicago has created covid-19 vaccine in record timing, and began human sample testing yesterday, March 16, 2020
- More than 1,600 National Guard have been activated around the country to set up containment zones, and to build “Mash” style hospitals
- Donated 5 million N95 face masks
- Supplied 2,000 ventilators
- USAF flew half million covid-19 test kits from Italy to Tennessee
- And most importantly, decisive leadership, quickly moving into action to execute solutions
So, one day at a time, nailing all the small things, following the CDC guidelines, staying connected through social media, and taking the advice shared on all social media platforms.
We’ve got this. Believe it.
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The unexpected resignation of Rear Admiral Kevin Sweeney, USN (Ret.), Chief of Staff to the Secretary of Defense, just days after the Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan took the reigns at the Pentagon, makes an already alarming situation that much more so.
The following highly experienced, top level decision makers have left their coveted positions at the Pentagon in quick succession:
- Secretary of Defense James Mattis | December 20, 2018
- Special presidential envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS Brett McGurk | December 22, 2018
- Secretary of Defense Chief Of Staff Kevin Sweeney | January 5, 2019
Having an unqualified Acting Secretary of Defense is a significant liability. But in light of the reason why Mattis resigned, it makes sense that McGurk would follow suit. Bolton seems to be scrambling to fill the gaping holes by slowing down the Syrian withdrawal, but to now lose the chief of staff, who came out of retirement at Mattis’ request to be his chief of staff in January 2017, further destabilizes this seat of power.
In a statement posted on the DOD website, Sweeney stated: “After two years in the Pentagon, I’ve decided the time is right to return to the private sector. It has been an honor to serve again alongside the men and women of the Department of Defense.”
Trump has seven vital vacancies with acting secretaries currently in charge, most of whom are severely under qualified. Being the president of the United States of America is the most challenging position on earth even when all cabinet positions are filled with the most qualified candidates. When Trump had his army of a transition team, and they were busy finding candidates for each position, that was considered challenging even with all hand on deck. But now Trump has nearly as many openings as he did in January 2017, but no transition team and very few advisors. Additionally, Trump has already proven himself to be unqualified for his position as president.
How is this manageable?
Now factor in a government shutdown, an MIA Senate Majority Leader, and it should be abundantly clear that Trump is incapable of overseeing this all-consuming disaster.
There needs to be a bipartisan political SWAT Team that can step in during these types of critical emergencies and keep our ship afloat when we start taking in this much water. In a crisis, leaders just jump in and start directing. No invitation needed.
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The newly appointed Acting Secretary of Defense, Patrick Shanahan, seems to be setting a great example for his troops… arriving in the dark, and first tweet at 4:15 AM.
Shanahan won Trump’s confidence in September 2018, when he energetically supported Trump’s plan for a military Space Force, a whole new branch of the military. The military wasn’t too keen on this idea, too much bureaucracy was their assessment when they pushed back. The current military branches consist of: Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and National Guard.
Shanahan seems to have a great attitude, appears thrilled with the promotion, seems very intelligent and knows how to begin the first day on the right foot. These are all very positive signs. And yet, deep in the back of one’s mind, there can’t help but be a nagging feeling that Shanahan’s chipper, positive attitude springs from naiveté. For how can he possibly be anything but naive without the proper background for the position?
A 31 year career at Boeing, with his most senior position as senior vice president, Supply Chain & Operations. This is an excellent job. However, in the big scheme of things, it’s a fairly junior position considering how many senior vice presidents Boeing has, and that this level is an entire notch below the top level of President and CEO.
Shanahan’s leap from senior vice president, to Deputy Secretary of Defense, a Trump choice rather than Mattis choice, was a stretch. But now, with just 19 months as deputy, to be the Acting Secretary of Defense, seems as unqualified as a sailer who becomes an expert on a lake where he can see the shoreline at all times, there are no tides, plenty of people around who can help if he has a problem… suddenly up and deciding he’s going to sail around the world on the wild and turbulent and unpredictable ocean using the same boat.
It seems most Secretaries of Defense arrive at work on their first day very somber, appearing to have a deep understanding that this is the most difficult job on the planet, perhaps even more challenging than president of the United States. That this won’t be fun and exciting, but rather very, very difficult, yet monumentally rewarding. They are patriots. This is their duty, no matter how impossible and nerve wracking the position may seem at times.
The Space Force is confusing. The United States has had a Space Force dating all the way back to Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams. It may have been a secret Space Force, but it’s still our United States Space Force. Back then, they used hot air balloons for surveillance, and a few decades later apparently signaled troops in the field using hot air balloons during the War of 1812. Perhaps Trump missed this in his daily briefing, or maybe he intentionally decided to let the secret out when he announced we would finally have a Space Force. At various moments across the last two centuries, there appear radon documents and events that confirm this apparent secret Space Force. Some people call these UFO sightings, one was documented as a UFO crash, (Auroro, TX 1897). There are some who read these historic reports and simply nod their heads and smile to themselves, knowing it was really the US Space Force testing new equipment. There were more than 12,000 of these mysterious UFO sightings studied under the Air Force’s Project BLUE BOOK, from 1947 – 1969, the two decades leading up to Neil Armstrong’s walk on the moon. Project BLUE BOOK was closed shortly after Neil Armstrong returned home. Definitely has a ring of secret Space Force to it. I welcome you to google NASA Langley Research Center in Virginia and see if that doesn’t have a US Space Force ring to it as well. It’s been around awhile. So again, this is confusing.
There’s a new TV series on the History Channel that begins January 8, 2019… Project Blue Book.
Best of luck Acting Secretary of Defense Shanahan. You have a wonderful attitude!
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