Thursday, February 25, 2010

What every Sailor in the Navy already knows


"You will find as you get older and more senior, finding out what's really going on at the deck plates becomes much more elusive than it used to be when you were sort of living there."

Admiral Mike Mullen

It really bothers me that CJCS says something like this. Knowing that he knows this, why would he remove the guy (Senior Enlisted Advisor) who is responsible for keeping his pulse on the deck plates????

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why would this upset you...it is absolutely true and if anyone thinks otherwise is not being realistic. The more senior you get the more removed you are from the deckplate sailor therfore making it more difficult to maintain SA. Even with personalized, effective, and intrusive leadership this remains true.

Captain - Special Duty Cryptology said...

I think it bothers me so much because he's got to have known this all along. If he's just realizing now, he's been missing something all along the way in his career. If he thinks keeping this awareness is important, why did he do away with his senior enlisted advisor. This person was there to keep the pulse of the deckplates and the pulse of the others with boots on the ground.

LCDR Bob Morrison said...

I'll second Anonymous, having seen it from the deckplate sailor's prespective and also from the JO side. The Navy has always discouraged (and rightly so) close familiarity between officer and enlisted. That is not to say that a JO should not be familiar with the conditions his sailors work under, but it becomes more difficult to get to the concerns of the deckplate as one progresses up the chain. Reading the deckplates is truly the job of the Chief; it is his job to weed out the BS, fix what needs to be fixed, and start up the chain of command what he can't fix. Within a command structure, the CMC is the CO's advisor in this regard. With all that said, the CJCS should have other things to worry about than details on deck. Wasn't aware he did away with his SEA, thats somewhat self defeating

General Quarters said...

Senior officers are wont to emit utterances which they often believe are profound. On occasion, some actual profundity is issued. More often, the utterance is a mundane repetition of the obvious.

In their own way, these constant repetitions are just as important to the organization as the infrequent profundity as they serve to reinforce the prevailing culture.

Anonymous said...

CJCS is a politician no more no less…to you expect any less?

XBradTC said...

I'd suggest that an SEA at the level of working with the CJCS is pretty damn removed from the deckplates as well. If the FO/GO want to know what is happening, they have to spend time, real time, with the troops and sailors.

Want to hear what SN/PVT think? Kick out all the NCOs and officers. You'll have a hard time separating the wheat from the chaff, but you'll glean some good stuff.

Anathema said...

At CNAS' recent presentation on Revitalizing the Officer Corps, Nate Fick told a story of his command in Afghanistan in October 2001...

Not knowing what would come the next day, his troops had dug in and he'd given orders that only two Marines were to be awake at any time manning the guns. On his rounds hem came upon a gun emplacement with three shadowy heads talking quietly.

Jumping into the emplacement, his ire and sharp tongued admonishment faded abruptly when he realized that the third person was the Commanding General, Jim Mattis.

I wonder how long it's been since CJCS spent time talking to the aft lookout on a midwatch, or even spent the night aboard ship (that being a necessary requirement for talking to someone on the mid). Or any other service's analgy thereof.

He's right, of course, and General Quarters nailed it perfectly...except that I also think that CJCS is waxing philosophically upon a time that's passed him by and never returning. All too many of the decisions he makes today seem to indicate that he'd living in the past rather than looking to the future.

CDR (SWO) FDNF said...

This guy was a Stockdale leadership award winner in his youth. Imagine !