Musings, leadership tidbits and quotes posted by a retired Navy Captain (really just a high performing 2nd Class Petty Officer) who hung up his uniform a bit too early. He still wears his Navy service on his sleeve. He needs to get over that. "ADVANCE WARNING - NO ORIGINAL THOUGHT!" A "self-appointed" lead EVANGELIST for the "cryptologic community". Keeping CRYPTOLOGY alive-one day and Sailor at a time. 2015 is 80th Anniversary of the Naval Security Group.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Ancient History Drudged Up Yet Again - "Repurposed" for today
Following the Chief of Naval Operations' lead in repurposing previous work, I am repurposing this letter I sent to RADM Singer in 2005.
10 February 2005
As I read more and more about "deep change", I believe that the detailing process is one of those areas where the community can make a radical change in the way our officer human capital is assigned. This is not in any way meant to impugn any of our current or past detailers.
I believe each of our assignments could have specific skill sets assigned to them which allow those involved in the detailing process to make more informed decisions about which officer is detailed to which job. (This process would allow us to match existing skills to requirements as well as put an individual in a job where they could demonstrate growth of additional skills). One might argue that we have been doing this but we really haven't. Using myself as an example, I was told that I was the "perfect" fit for Captain Arbogast's job in OSD transformation and the perfect fit for the Joint Staff J6K Information Assurance job. The only real qualifications I had for either of these jobs was that I met the prerequisite prior sea duty and post-command requirements - without any expressed attendant skills gained in those jobs. The defining factor was my PRD. I was not a good fit for either job. (Some might argue I'm not a good fit for any O-6 job.)
In the past we have assigned officers to jobs largely based on PRD, previous assignments and desires of the individual. If we were to identify the specific skills of each assignment objectively, I believe we would be better able to match individuals to jobs.
I've been told by several of our officers that the detailer has told them that they can't go to a senior sea duty job because they don't have experience in a junior sea duty job. I was told this myself in 1995 before going to C7F as the CRC/Assistant Fleet Cryptologist (I was a flyer and not suited for sea duty). This is plain wrong. In fact, with consideration given to "deep change", officers with prior sea duty may be exactly the wrong individual to send to sea in the senior sea duty jobs. There are some excellent officers with limited (or no) sea duty who possess exactly the skills we want (I believe) in those officers you will send to sea in the senior sea duty assignments (integrity and real understanding of our cryptologic capabilities and the limitations of IO). Prior PCS afloat and Direct Support (DIRSUP) officers don't necessarily develop the skills we need for the officers assigned afloat in the future. We need new thinking in this area.
As you look at areas to consider for "deep change", I think detailing should be near the top of the list as this is key to our Human Capital Strategy (HCS).
Captain Mike Lambert, USN
Staff Director, Office of the Secretary of Defense