Friday, September 28, 2012

Challenge question

I was speaking with a Navy colleague this past week and naturally the discussion turns to how much of our lives were devoted to the Navy and our experiences aboard various ships, submarines and aircraft.  Between us had 67 years of experience in the Navy.  We were feeling pretty good about that and one of the active duty Lieutenant Commanders (a wise ass through and through) says -

"Do you guys really have 67 years of combined experience or just one year of experience repeated 67 times."  

And I got to thinking about how much of my Navy career was devoted to new experiences and how much was repeating old experiences over and over again.  Well, I'm still thinking....damn that Lieutenant Commander.


Robert Maguire said...

Well, you should be proud of all those years. Can't agree that you all had 1 year of experience repeated 67 times. Don't you agree that your CO tour at your, what was it, 20 year mark, would have been just a little bit different if it had happened at the one year mark? Can't imagine that an ensign could step into the COMPACFLT slot. It's all cumulative. We're learning all the time. Bottom line: just some LCDR being a comedian!

Michael Junge said...

:) Love that LCDR!!!

That is one of the important and great questions that the Flag selection boards should be asking...

How much experience is there in that record?

If all the USS assignments are to DDG51 or CG47 class, how much experience was actually gained?

How much experience does an aviator who spent 15 of 20 years in the cockpit of the same aircraft, with a tour or two as an aide or EA, really have?

For that matter, how much experience does the sea-aide-sea-aide rotation provide?

I am not demeaning those roles or jobs and the assignments in and of themselves do not preclude a collection of experiences that transcend the basics of the assignment. But it is a very important question worth asking...

And I'm glad that impertinent LCDR asked it of someone who thinks - and look forward to Captain Lambert's ruminations thereon!

Anonymous said...

Intersting thought. For years, the Navy has produced Lessons Learned messages for EVERYTHING we do yet when you read them, they are all basically repeating the same lesson. My former boss (who is currently a 1 star on a CSG) use to say a lesson is not learned until you learn it.

Navy Girl

Sean Heritage said...

The more we share with and advocate for eachother, the more likely we are to build on our individual and shared experience. A lack of horizontal collaboration and vertical mentorship is the reason why most of us (if honest) would answer that with the one year repeated over and over.

I still believe that a cultural of collective ownership would change the answer to that very question.

More on collective ownership...