Handle things promptly, quickly, correctly, and ethically.
use your legislative liaison office. Its job is to take temperatures and
soundings, and help you score.
Don't play games or waffle with
information. To do so is a deadly game.
Know your committees and how
they are organized and operate. No two are alike.
pitfall — Congress hearing different things on the same program from OSD,
the Services, and the contractors.
Check out minor events. What seems
small might be taken out of context and blown out of proportion. Don't take
anything lightly. The situation may be convoluted, but Congress is not
shooting in the dark.
Major defense contractors have Washington staffs
adequately representing their interests. Be careful in having your contractor
doing your congressional liaison. His interests, not yours, must come first,
in spite of your relationship. For one thing, it might create the impression
you are in bed with the contractor. Avoid this, but don't try to restrict what
the contractor can say to the Hill.
Be responsive, candid, truthful.
Credibility is one of your biggest assets on Capitol Hill.
Know how to sniff the winds of change. An example in wind shift: "black
programs." If you have one, consider putting it in shape, and prepare to bring
it into the daylight with increased access. Congress has been leaning this
way. Some view it as a means of hiding money.
Be careful of what is
written, especially if you write it. Things have a way of getting to Capitol
Hill even without that intention. Conclude what you are doing is probably
already, or about to be, known there. The network is fantastic.
Understand, and take advantage of, working relationships already
established by many career personnel with Congress.
The military eyes
cannot look for blacks and whites, rights and wrongs, all or nothing, as may
be customary. Congress doesn't work that way.
If you think you can
take care of business by yourself, you could be in deep trouble at the outset.
Seek help from those who have been there. Because it's new to you doesn't mean
it's just been discovered.
Keep current on test results. Somehow,
sometimes, the media and Hill get there first, necessitating an embarrassing
Know where you stand in-house. Your program may not be the
high priority you think.
You must establish your bonafides to be
successful with Conress — but, that still requires time and sterling
judgment on their part.
Changes in schedule and number of buys,
stretchout, etc., hurt credibility.
Use common sense. While a
subcommittee is looking into your program, refrain from terminating for cause
a contractor in the chairman's district.
Always be fully prepared. Do
your homework vigorously, including having answers to all questions that might
be raised. This is the only wise way.