Introduction: Bob MacPherson
Introductions: Bob MacPherson
First, let me say that as a new MWSA member, I’m looking forward to learning from others, to reading authors’ books and other creative works. Second, I’m eternally grateful to all submariners who’ve sailed beneath the ocean blue, including those who are “standing watch on eternal patrol.”
I’m to introduce myself, so here goes. I retired from the Navy as a Chief Warrant Officer/Submarine Engineering Technician after 20 years of service. I served aboard five nuclear submarines, both ballistic missile and fast attack: USS George Washington, USS Halibut, USS San Francisco, USS Ohio and USS Indianapolis, and on submarine support vessels, USS Los Alamos and USS Hunley.
What am I doing today? Before explaining, here’s what I aspire to be: a military historian/submarines – World War 1, World War II and Cold War – as well as a chronicler of naval history. Due to my family roots, I’m deep into learning more about Scottish, Irish and English history, stories and customs.
Because of my military service, it took eight years to graduate summa cum laude from Southern Illinois University. It was this degree - in Workforce Education Development and achieving the Navy’s Master Training Specialist designation at the Submarine Force’s Trident Training Facility, Bangor, WA - that established my path in the business world.
I’m the owner of Anchor CTS LLC. The business revolves around consulting on business improvement based on the Toyota Production System, training in leadership and skill development in the workplace, and a broad variety of speaking services. In this capacity, I have done consulting work for Ford Motor Company, General Motors, ALCOA, Volvo and Mack Trucks, and a number of tier one and two companies supporting them.
More than 10 years ago I joined Toastmasters International achieving Advanced Toastmaster Bronze status. This experience has allowed me to help others to improve their speaking and leadership skills while serving as Club President and VP of Education. I have also competed in a number of contests resulting in many awards. Other memberships: Military Officers Association of America, US Submarine Veterans, and the American Legion, and now the Military Writers Society of America.
A primary project is my blog, “the lean submariner: the original lean from a stealthy source.” My handle is mstrmac711, although most who dialogue with me know my real name. Yes, I post about submarines, the Navy and other military branches; however, there are 25 other ongoing topics ranging from business management and social issues to the Civil War. Fair warning: some of the topics cover a broad range of current events and occasionally have an advocacy viewpoint (my wife calls it “commentary”). The good thing is that you can search the blog by clicking on the “Qual Card” button and selecting the category you are looking for.
"Lean" in the blog title is related to business process improvement that originated in the automotive world. The lean discipline has now spread to everything from hard manufacturing of all types to healthcare management. All work has a side effect of creating waste in over eight keys areas. We map the current way things are done, identify the waste and help people to work smarter and not harder. Submarines were the real innovators in lean principles which gave me my initial experience and training.
As for the McPherson/MacPherson names. Sometime after the McPherson family immigrated to the U.S. from Northern Ireland to escape the famine, the name was changed to MacPherson. The McPhersons and other bedraggled Scots Irish were on the ship that arrived in Philadelphia in 1845 and, eventually, my ancestors headed to Pennsylvania’s Allegheny County.
Interested in the Civil War? You might want to read my blog’s, Clear the Square Now, in which I write about the famous Union General James "Birdseye” McPherson. You’ll also read about my great grandfather, John Culbert McPherson. The story of how he enlisted is pretty interesting since he was only 14 the first time and found a unique way to convince the recruiter he was “over 18.” This allowed him to serve in the Pennsylvania 5th Heavy Artillery. I have his Spencer Rolling Block Repeater carbine and some pictures of him in the uniform he was so proud of, but not much else.
I’m a Pittsburgh native now living in Elizabethtown, PA, with wife, Debbie, and two delightful and frisky Chinese Shar-Pei dogs with Scottish names, Angus and Rufus. I hope to meet many of you at the MWSA fall conference in Dayton, OH. In the meanwhile, see my blog and feel free to post comments http://theleansubmariner.com
Editor’s Note: Love, your son, Butch is Bob MacPherson’s 800-page book about his father, John MacPherson, a WWII Navy Seaman 1st Class. This biography was the author’s gift to his mother and other family members after John MacPherson died in 1993 in Pittsburgh. The book – Bob’s goal is to someday publish it for the mass market – includes photographs, stories of his dad, including Seaman MacPherson’s military service, and the Love, your son, Butch letters he’d written home. “Butch” was the elder MacPherson’s childhood nickname.
Bob weaves into the book WW II events including this one. In June 1945, Seaman MacPherson, because of an earlier incorrect tooth extraction, needed medical care. As a result, he was pulled from his assignment to the heavy cruiser, USS Indianapolis (CA-35). In July of that year, the USS Indianapolis, torpedoed by the Japanese, sank. Of its nearly 2,000 crew members, only 317 survived. Interestingly, submarine, USS Indianapolis (SSN-697), was the last boat Bob served aboard. – Nancy Yockey Bonar