A wise master chief once told me, “Junior officers don’t know what they don’t know.” This is especially true for newly-commissioned division officers, eager to begin surface warfare careers. This article is the second in a seven-part series aimed at sharing lessons I have learned from my experiences, mistakes, and mentors. These lessons, or “truths,”are shared so ensigns can avoid making the same missteps, implement positive ideas sooner, and boldly take their first steps on the path to “knowing.”
In the daily grind of ship life, it is sometimes easy to lose sight of this simple fact: The division officer’s attitude—positive or negative, productive or lazy, proud or indifferent—leaves a mark on those he or she is charged to lead. A division officer that chooses to share at morning quarters excitement about the upcoming underway, congratulations on the latest promotion, and the plan of attack for an upcoming inspection surely leaves a positive impression. An officer who expresses frustration over the latest schedule change, complains about the day’s tasks, or relives the mistakes of yesterday obviously does not.