05 September 2012

Fair Winds and Following Seas, Shipmates

This entry is my final post on the U.S. Fleet Forces Command blog. As many of you are aware, I will turn over command of U.S. Fleet Forces on 14 September 2012 to ADM Bill Gortney and then officially retire from the Navy.

Before I leave my current position I want to take a moment to say “thank you” to everyone who followed this blog and took the time to contribute to the discussion. Your feedback has been very useful to me over the past three years and I believe that we’ve made some very positive changes for our Sailors in the Fleet.

As for the future of this blog, I intend to leave it up (for reference), but it will be completely inactive and unmonitored. I’ll be updating the “About” page before I leave to reflect the blog’s new status.

I have one final recommendation for you and it has to do with suggested professional reading.  In the Spring 2012 Naval War College Review are two exceptional articles well worth your time.

The first article is by Professor Mackubin Owens and is entitled “What Military Officers Need to Know about Civil-Military Relations.”  I am deeply concerned about the direction our civil-military relations have taken over the past few years and this superb article highlights many of the issues that have impacted those relations. 

At the end of the day it’s all about trust – as Owens writes, “The state of post-9/11 American civil-military relations also points to the issue of trust—the mutual respect and understanding between civilian and military leaders and the exchange of candid views and perspectives between the two parties as part of the decision-making process.”  This is an important article on an incredibly important topic, please read it and reflect on it.
The second article I recommend to you is “A Remarkable Military Feat,” by Professor Donald Chisholm.  The story of the amphibious withdrawal from Hungnam, Korea – a “planned, carefully staged massive redeployment of forces against enemy pressure” – is an extraordinary one with many lessons learned for the Naval force, particularly in the area of complex planning and C2 in a very dynamic environment.   Everyone knows about Inchon – no one knows about Hungnam.  We would all do well to learn what this successful operation has to teach us.

It has been a great honor and privilege to serve with you. I thank you for all you have done for our Sailors, our Navy and our nation and I wish you all fair winds and following seas.
All the best, JCHjr


mbroughton said...

BZ Admiral.

Cal Yokomizo said...

ADM Harvey,

We had some great days onboard DAVID R RAY. I appreciate you sir. Fair Winds and Following Seas.

John Dittmer said...

ADM Havey:

It was an honor to serve with you in the days after 9/11 at N12.

- LCDR John Dittmer, USNR (Ret.)

NVYGUNZ said...

It's been a pleasure Sir! Regrettably I will not be able to make it to your retirement, but our XO is flying up a "Romeo" as part of the backdrop. Hope to cross paths again. Thank you for your superior service! All the best.


JD said...

I worked for Ensign Harvey in Rx 4 plant on the Big E. For some reason tonight I was searching for what happened to Capt. Smith. As part of that search I found "Lessons Learned - A Personal Perspective" & was honestly surprised to see the path your career had taken. Then I Googled your name as Admiral to read about your journeys from 1974 to now. I admit I never would have foreseen it. Finally I find your blog (& on the last day of posting). I guess I was meant to be enlightened. I've been retired for 3 1/2 years from other Federal Service. It's been better than I ever could have imagined - ENJOY!

CS1 Askins said...

I consider it a great honor to have been able to serve with you. If I had the chance to follow any leader into the midst of battle, there is no doubt in my mind, it would be you. I know that your words and actions will forever be in my mind, and will motivate me throughout the rest of my Navy career and beyond. Maybe someday I will have the pleasure of sitting in on a lecture of yours. You have helped to mold me into the sailor that I am today, and for that I am forever grateful. I will miss you and Mary Ellen both and wish you all the best.
-CS1 Askins-

“On your heads”

www.yahoo.com said...

Sir, I have enjoyed reading your and other posts here on the blog. It has been a pleasure being your barge coxswain this past year. If you need anything you know where to find me. Hooya Sir

Anonymous said...

I too have enjoyed your postings. I think you were transparent, honest, and effective. I did not agree with everything you said, but you are a man of action and follow-up. You did not let detail escape you, you were through, you sought the truth, you held yourself accountable, and you held your staff and other accountable. Not much more we can ask from a leader. How much sea time did you accumulate over the years? A quote from one of my co-workers, not sure who gets credit, but goes like this, "Ships belong at sea, and Sailors belong on Ships". Retention boards left a bad taste, while effective they go against what I believe is the Navy's biggest selling point. Job security in a field where you make a difference. The Navy is tough enough, take away the job security you might as well be a civilian. NPC or Millington or both are bureaucrats that need to take a cut, they are overhead of worst kind. Many are not "value added" and suck essential funds from the warfighter.

I got off on a tangent, point is you were effective and honorable. Thank you for your service, please continue to serve your country and mentor those leaders that will take your place.

AJM said...


Congratulations on making it to the end of a great career. It was a pleasure working for, and with, you from the days of harvard graphics right up to the blogging era. The Fleet is ready for the whitewater era and you are a major reason for that.

Fair winds sir and I wish you the very best. Please stop by if you find yourself in the Finger Lakes Wine Country.

With warmest regards and v/r,

Anonymous said...

Thank you ADM Harvey for your long years of service to our Navy and to our nation. I can't begin to tell how impressed I am with your willingness to become engaged in social media and your real desire to actually listen to your commenters and work towards solving problems. I wish you all the luck in the coming years.

Fair winds, sir, and following seas!


Anonymous said...

I hope your website is archived in every leadership curriculum in the Navy. Much wisdom and experience in the right hand column. V/R JR