Proceedings Of The Marine

FALL 2014

Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 24 of 70

22 Proceedings Fall 2014 To facilitate more efficient two-way communication, the Coast Guard Intelligence and Criminal Investigations staff published an intel communication plan for operators and intel professionals alike. We must practice good communi- cation, as bad communication leads to an unhappy relation- ship, or, even worse, divorce. Rule 4: Practical Egalitarianism is the Name of the Game The next step in this relationship poses the question: Can we be on the same side? Studies show men and women view problems differently, from different perspectives, and there- fore attempt to solve problems differently. The results may be similar in the end, but the paths can be considerably dif- ferent. Even in the most successful marriages that espouse egalitar- ian principles, women do more housework. Men typically take out the trash and change the oil in the car. However, relationships do not have to be perfectly equal to "work." Equality does not mean to split right down the middle. It is much more effective to split tasks in a way that accounts for each partner's strengths and preferences. "Ops and intel are co-dependent — one cannot achieve actualization without the other." — CAPT Tom Crabbs former CGC Bertholf commanding ofcer Practical egalitarianism states there will always be jobs that one side typically does. Operators are always going to be out there getting their hands dirty. Intel analysts are always going to be … well, who knows where they are — it's classifed. Partnership and equality is possible, as long as there is a foundation of trust. Both partners must respect each other's thoughts and opinions and listen to recommendations with an open mind. Unfortunately, there are some built-in inequalities within the ops/intel relationship. Intel products, by their very nature, are not always "sure things." But operators are held strictly accountable for operations and outcome, and assume all the operational risk. Intel reliability versus operational risk is an obstacle that decision makers fght every day and during every mission. For the ops/intel marriage to work, the Coast Guard must be practical about the partnership, and focus on how to best integrate the two. For example, it is impractical to push intelligence at a classifcation level that operators can't receive or to move resources without a justifed, communicated reason. It is also impractical to let intel make an operations decision on its own, or to let operations waste resources by completing a job ineffciently. However, it is practical to let the operators be the experts of their resources, and allow intel to help describe their "battle feld." Moreover, while intelligence offcers typically work behind restricted doors, it is practical for operators to know when to request access. Practical integration is necessary for the Coast Guard to achieve success with this marriage. Engaged Rule 5: Let Your Spouse Infuence You Make your spouse your partner in decision making. In mar- riages with partners who respect each other's opinions and engage in power sharing, the couples tend to be much hap- pier and fruitful. What does this rule suggest? That opera- tors should give up power? Well, yes. Good work is going on behind all those closed doors. When the operators put aside their egos, got out of the way, and allowed a good case to come together, they have achieved more success in intel- driven operational cases. "In the ops/intel relationship, the shared culture increases efciency. As a symbiotic relationship, each will survive without the other, but not as well." — LCDR Tom Ottenwaelder Planning Department head Intel Coordination Center Operators are tactical thinkers by nature, but this has become a strategic chess match. Operators must learn when to give up the conn to intel. Intelligence is meant to make an operator's decision easier, not to make the decision alto- gether. It will only be easier if ops allows it to be easier. Do not resist the infuence, because, as any husband knows: "Happy wife, happy life." The difference between a failed relationship and a success- ful one can be subtle. Maintaining positive images of your spouse by making an emotional connection creates a buffer against stressful times. If each partner takes time to listen, each will gain a better understanding of the other. Commu- nicate to achieve understanding and do not challenge the knowledge or overly criticize your spouse.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Proceedings Of The Marine - FALL 2014