Hey, I had a great career. No regrets. But I shoulda been an Admiral.
Not that I deserved it or, quite frankly, would have been any good at it; I should have been an Admiral because Admirals have handlers.
I need an aide.
I need someone to manage my schedule and get me where I need to go – on time and in the right clothing. I need a car to pick me up so that I can do emails in the back seat instead of dealing with messy things like traffic.
Admirals get told they are funny, handsome, important, and brilliant. No matter what happens, even when things don’t go as planned, there is someone there to blow sunshine their way.
If I had an office – which I don’t, but if I DID have an office and I WERE an Admiral, someone outside my door would keep out the riffraff.
Unfortunately, being an Admiral is hard. If I didn’t actually have to DO a Flag-level job, and just got to enjoy having people help me, that would be ideal.
Which is probably why I didn’t make Admiral in the first place.
I had the opportunity to see and/or meet almost every admiral in the USN in 2002 at an AFOC. What I found is that the one star and two star guys were exceptionally intense for the most part. The three and four star guys were pretty laid back and would spend time with anyone willing to be around them. My take was that the one and two star guys were posturing for the next star and the three and four guys were there and knew it. Out of all of the “Upper Management” of the Navy I met I enjoyed SECNAV Gordon England the most. He had a memory that wasn’t deficient in any way, we met in passing on his first visit to our site and on his fourth visit he recalled the very short conversation we had on the first visit. You don’t meet many people with that capacity to remember details. Probably why he was SECNAV twice!