Fine Focus

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"God governs in the affairs of men." Benjamin Franklin

...and a star to steer her by

Business Coaching, much more than just consulting

Fine Focus is: Others have said...

"You must learn from the mistakes of others. You can't possibly live long enough to make them all yourself." - Sam Levenson (1911 - 1980)

"Others Have Said of the Navy..."

  • "I always say that any day when you don't see a Submarine is a day wasted." - Jon Swift

  • "Look keen, act green, always be on the first liberty boat!" - Andrew B Gifford, Royal Navy
  • I like the Navy.

    I like standing on the bridge wing at sunrise with salt spray in my face and clean ocean winds whipping in from the four quarters of the globe - the ship beneath me feeling like a living thing as her engines drive her through the sea.

    I like the sounds of the Navy - the piercing trill of the boatswains pipe, the syncopated clangor of the ship's bell on the quarterdeck, the harsh squawk of the 1MC and the strong language and laughter of sailors at work.

    I like the vessels of the Navy - nervous darting destroyers, plodding fleet auxiliaries, sleek submarines and steady solid carriers. I like the proud sonorous names of Navy capital ships: Midway, Lexington , Saratoga , Coral Sea - memorials of great battles won. I like the lean angular names of Navy 'tin-cans': Barney, Dahlgren, Mullinix, McCloy, John Paul Jones -mementos of heroes who went before us.

    I like the tempo of a Navy band blaring through the topside speakers as we pull away from the oiler after refueling at sea. I like liberty call and the spicy scent of a foreign port. I even like all hands working parties as my ship fills herself with the multitude of supplies both mundane and exotic which she needs to cut her ties to the land and carry out her mission anywhere on the globe where there is water to float her.

    I like sailors, men from all parts of the land, farms of the Midwest, small towns of New England , from the cities, the mountains and the prairies, from all walks of life. I trust and depend on them as they trust and depend on me - for professional competence, for comradeship, for courage. In a word, they are "shipmates."

    I like the surge of adventure in my heart when the word is passed "Now station the special sea and anchor detail - all hands to quarters for leaving port", and I like the infectious thrill of sighting home again, with the waving hands of welcome from family and friends waiting pierside. The work is hard and dangerous, the going rough at times, the parting from loved ones painful, but the companionship of robust Navy laughter, the 'all for one and one for all' philosophy of the sea is ever present.

    I like the serenity of the sea after a day of hard ship's work, as flying fish flit across the wave tops and sunset gives way to night. I like the feel of the Navy in darkness - the masthead lights, the red and green navigation lights and stern light, the pulsating phosphorescence of radar repeaters - they cut through the dusk and join with the mirror of stars overhead. And I like drifting off to sleep lulled by the myriad noises large and small that tell me that my ship is alive and well, and that my shipmates on watch will keep me safe.

    I like quiet midwatches with the aroma of strong coffee - the lifeblood of the Navy - permeating everywhere. And I like hectic watches when the exacting minuet of haze-gray shapes racing at flank speed keeps all hands on a razor edge of alertness. I like the sudden electricity of "General quarters, general quarters, all hands man your battle stations", followed by the hurried clamor of running feet on ladders and the resounding thump of watertight doors as the ship transforms herself in a few brief seconds from a peaceful workplace to a weapon of war - ready for anything. And I like the sight of space-age equipment manned by youngsters clad in dungarees and sound-powered phones that their grandfathers would still recognize.

    I like the traditions of the Navy and the men and women who made them. I like the proud names of Navy heroes: Halsey, Nimitz, Perry, Farragut, John Paul Jones. A sailor can find much in the Navy: comrades-in-arms, pride in self and country, mastery of the seaman's trade. An adolescent can find adulthood.

    In years to come, when sailors are home from the sea, they will still remember with fondness and respect the ocean in all its moods - the impossible shimmering mirror calm and the storm-tossed green water surging over the bow. And then there will come again a faint whiff of stack gas, a faint echo of engine and rudder orders, a vision of the bright bunting of signal flags snapping at the yardarm, a refrain of hearty laughter in the wardroom and chief's quarters and messdecks. Gone ashore for good they will grow wistful about their Navy days, when the seas belonged to them and a new port of call was ever over the horizon.

    Remembering this, they will stand taller and say,

    "I WAS A SAILOR ONCE. I WAS PART OF THE NAVY AND THE NAVY WILL ALWAYS BE PART OF ME." - Reflections of a Blackshoe by Vadm Harold Koenig, USN (Ret)......
  • "There is a touch of the pirate about every man who wears the dolphins badge." - Commander Jeff Tall RN
  • "The submarine is an underhand form of warfare....and a damned un-English weapon." - Third Sea Lord and Controller of the Navy, Rear-Admiral Wilson.
  • "Of all the branches of men in the forces there is none which shows more devotion and faces grimmer perils than the submariners." - Sir Winston Churchill
  • "We shall never forget that it was our submarines that held the lines against the enemy while our fleets replaced losses and repaired wounds." - Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz, USN.
  • "When you shoot at a destroyer and miss, it's like hit'in a wildcat in the ass with a banjo" - Chief Officer Steward Dogan in USS Gurnard during WWII
  • "To the Soviets, American submariners were more than an enemy; they were ever present pests. To other Americans, they were simply the anonymous men of the Silent Service" - Sherry Sontag
  • "Submarine life is not a service, but a religion" - Igor Britanov, Captain K-219
  • "Submariners are a special brotherhood, either all come to the surface or no one does. On a submarine, the phrase all for one and one for all is not just a slogan, but reality." - VADM Rudolf Golosov Russian Navy
  • "I saw the submariners, the way they stood aloof and silent, watching their pigboat with loving eyes. They are alone in the Navy. I admired the PT boys. And I often wondered how the aviators had the courage to go out day after day and I forgave their boasting. But the submariners! In the entire fleet they stand apart!" - James Michener Tales of The South Pacific
  • "Like the destroyer, the submarine has created its own type of officer and man with language and traditions apart from the rest of the service, and yet at the heart unchangingly of the Service" - Rudyard Kipling
  • "Enemy Submarines are to be called U-Boats. The term Submarine is to be reserved for Allied under water vessels. U-Boats are those dastardly villians who sink our ships, while Submarines are those gallant and noble craft which sink theirs." - Winston Churchill
  • "I wish to have no Connection with any Ship that does not Sail fast for I intend to go in harm's way." - Captain John Paul Jones
  • "The reason that the American Navy does so well in wartime, is that war is chaos, and the Americans practice chaos on a daily basis." - Adm. Karl Doenitz, of the German Kriegsmarine
  • "Take her down!" - Commander Howard Walter Gilmore
  • "He was begotten in the galley and born under a gun. Every hair was a rope yarn, every finger a fish-hook, every tooth a marline-spike, and his blood right good Stockholm tar." - Navy Epitaph
  • "He loves his sailors, he loves his Navy, no bones about that, ... He never expects anything in return. That's what I love about him." - Robert E. Lee
  • "No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into a jail; for being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned... a man in a jail has more room, better food, and commonly better company." - Samuel Johnson
  • "This ship is built to fight. You had better know how." - Admiral Arleigh Burke
  • "Any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile ... can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction, 'I served in the United States Navy." - John F. Kennedy
  • "Never mind the maneuvers, just go straight at them." - Nelson
  • "Loose lips sink ships." - WWII Poster
  • "No matter how long I live, no matter how many more jobs I may have, I have already been given the highest reward I'll ever receive, the privilege and responsibility of serving very proudly in the UNITED STATES NAVY." - Rear Admiral Grace Hopper (Inventor of COBOL and the term "BUG")
  • "The best diplomat that I know is a fully loaded phaser bank." - LCDR Montgomery Scott (Starship ENTERPRISE)
  • "It is by no means enough that an officer of the Navy should be a capable mariner... He should be as well a gentleman of liberal education, refined manners, punctilious courtesy, and the nicest sense of personal honour." - John Paul Jones
  • "I have never found Naval men at a loss. Tell them to do anything that is not impossible, and depend on it, they will do it." - the Duke of Wellington


"It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life
that no man can sincerely try to help another without also helping himself.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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