Competing demands on naval officers’ time, education, and career assignments have made it increasingly difficult to prepare these officers to be joint leaders in an international and interagency setting. To be sure, since the end of the Second World War the Navy has supported an expansion of several joint educational and assignment initiatives (attendance at the war college, completion of a joint tour, etc.). However, in parallel with the Navy’s acknowledgment of the need for more joint education has come an increased requirement for officers to gain technical education, earn technical subspecialties, and take platform related duty assignments.
With the Navy career already packed in order to meet such demands, one may ask how a larger number of Navy officers can find time for more rigorous joint, interagency, and international preparation. It is doubtful that officers can attain additional joint, interagency, or international preparation without hazarding their technical and platform expertise. It is in that sense that the current Navy career model may have reached its limit. It is increasingly inefficient and stressed by attempts to accommodate the emerging joint, interagency, and international requirements. But to transform the career model from“roadblock” to a “bridge” that leads to a more adaptive officer corps will not be easy. A first step in the task is to understand where the roadblock came from, who built it, and why."
The Heart of An Officer
Naval War College Review
Admiral Jim Stavridis and Captain Mark Hagerott