Friday, January 12, 2007

Amazing stuff: we're in the middle of a sea change, and might not even realize it

Wow. I'm thunderstruck. I'm sure you read my below post with the message/email from Admiral Allen. Well, I've gone over and started looking at the other stuff at the website, including the documentation from the investigation. It's all there. Everything except a few items which, by law (such as medical records), can't be released. I'm impressed.

Here's why. I know, from personal experience, that the Service has, in the past, not been as forthcoming. As a matter of fact, I'd say we've tried to bury things. I've discussed before about the failures in leadership with the MORNING DEW and ELENI II cases. From the highest levels of the organization (and I mean the highest levels), the Service attempted to hide and obfuscate things. Well, this is a sea change. And I can only imagine what it took to get here.

I have a friend who has a friend... or, maybe, I know a guy... or, well, I have it on pretty good authority... that the video (Item # 178... which I can't get to play at the moment) was tucked away by the investigating officer and withheld from the safety investigation. Well, that didn't last forever. I can imagine the discussions about what to release and what not to release. And those in favor of transparency, which includes the Commandant, won. I'd wager that the Commandant was leading the transparency charge. Let no stone be unturned. And bare it all, even if it doesn't put us in the best light possible. And, to make certain I get three cliches in a row, let the chips fall where they will.

I started to read the command center transcript, but gave up after ten pages or so. Too easy to remember what it's like to be sitting in a command center with no way to really help what's going on outside. Well, that's my own demons.

Anyway, for those interested in full disclosure and transparency, check out the Coast Guard's remarkable effort; start here.


  1. Peter, I just finished the report. It is a chilling account - a reminder of how it is often a chain of little things that add up to tragedy.

    I'm very impressed with the tone the Commandant has taken. Beyond the openness, he is using this tragedy as a learning opportunity for the entire Coast Guard. A reminder of what we owe each other in terms of diligence, care and attention to safety. This effort in itself is a fitting memorial to LT Hill and BM2 Duque.

  2. Daren,


    I hear (outside the CG, that is) a slew about "learning organizations."

    Inside the CG, I don't hear it all... but I see Admiral Allen leading the charge to create a learning organization.

    My sincerest hope, that he can change the culture enough so that when he leaves, things continue on.