Monday, November 12, 2012

How much more focus can they have?

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (AW/NAC) Mike Stevens has a strong message to Chief Petty Officers:

You’ve got to focus harder on maintaining 
good order and discipline. 

By now, the CPO community has to be tired of this steady refrain.  2012 was supposed to the the YEAR OF THE CHIEF.  Honestly, they can't carry the whole Navy on their backs.  Eventually folks are going to get tired of every broken trail leading back to the Chiefs mess.  Time for Sailors to take individual responsibility.  It's also time for the Navy to stop punishing the entire crew for the criminal acts of a few bad actors. 


Anonymous said...

Captain Lambert,

It would appear that your “Anchor Up Chiefs” was not motivation enough, now the Master Chief of the Navy is crying the blues, he left out a couple of things “We need to go back to basics” and “We need to change our ways, and reinvent the wheel”. It is not his fault that every new generation seems to be less motivated to do what is right for their country and their Navy, that is what our input product to the Navy is and that is how they are being raised and educated in our country, it has been that way for some time.

Very Respectfully,

Navy Grade 36 Bureaucrat said...

Agree to a certain point. Some thoughts though:

1. If we truly hold people responsible, then we'll need to be doing things like kicking people out of the Navy and not recommending some people for reenlistment. I've yet to see someone have a "no" checked on their reenlisting papers, even though some of the people signing them didn't want them in the Navy.

2. If the Mess wants less blame, then stop doing things like taking all my chiefs and selectees every day during the season, forcing me and my non-selected first classes to have to do everything for the division. During the season all I hear is a steady drumbeat of "CPOs run the Navy," but then when it comes to getting actual work done, a good portion of them are home early, giving all of their problems to division officers to solve.

There are plenty of awesome Navy Chiefs, folks that get stuff done and really make the Navy work. But there are plenty that don't. It's good to see that the Navy cleans house on its Commanding Officers, so why should we be surprised that the MCPON is doing the same to our Chiefs Mess?

Anonymous said...

Navy Grade 36 Bureaucrat,

I follow what you are saying and it sounds as though there are some things wrong with how the CPO’s are allowed to operate in today’s Navy, or maybe it is how they are forced to operate. I was a CPO for nearly 15 years and I was assigned many collateral duties but I never let that take me away from my duty as leading Chief of my Division or Department, and I always tried to stay on top of things in those duties, it required extra time and I was prepared to put in that extra time for my people, as I always thought of them.

I do realize that the Navy has changed considerably over the years and you referred to the “season”, I must assume that this season is what is used these days to indoctrinate prospective CPO’s and new CPO’s to do what is expected of them. We had CPO initiation back in my day, and since that is now considered so demeaning it has been replaced by indoctrination. And if that process takes up so much time that divisions suffer from the lack of these CPO selectees doing their real job, I do believe that this process is a mistake in general.

I have not been in the Navy for a good number of years but I will never forget what the Navy did for me in making me assume responsibilities and doing my job. It is difficult to remain up to date these days but it is my understanding that no one except high performers would be allowed to stay beyond their 20. What you say in not consistent with what I thought I was aware of. This must be a real problem for the Navy and the individual that must suffer because he/she was not looked at as a high performer, even though they may have been performing to the best of his/her abilities for 20 years. This purging of Sailors from the Navy reminds me of the time back in 1957 when someone in the Navy decided that a Sailor who did not make another rate in each enlistment would not be allowed to re-enlist in the Navy. It was not uncommon to see Gold Hash Mark Seaman in those days, there were two Leading Seaman aboard the Light Cruiser Manchester, and they were the cock of the walk in their days, they knew their job and they just did not want to be a Petty Officer, I do know what their reasoning was, but it was decided by proper authority that anyone that did not want to advance should be eliminated from the Navy. Navy Stewards from the 2nd World War and beyond who were generally, Filipino, Blacks, Guam citizens and other folks not of United States origin, were allowed to enlist in the US Navy during WWII or shortly after WWII and even though they could not even speak English they were trained to serve Officers and the Wardroom and many of them never advanced beyond E3. These folks were servants if you will and many of them were content to remain as non rated personnel for their entire career, even at a Seaman’s pay for retirement they considered themselves to be well off in their home country that they would return to when they retired after 20 years service to this United States. Our country did these folks a disservice by not allowing them to reenlist if they did not advance in rate during each enlistment.

You are right when you state that some people even Chiefs, are what we referred to as bell tappers, but I found that most Chiefs were not, there was a time in this Navy that we Chiefs in general were aware of the responsibilities that we had to provide leadership examples to all Sailors, have superior knowledge of your rating, be a prime example in your conduct and appearance, provide guidance to your subordinates at all times, provide protection for them when they need it and a multitude of other things that a leader should provide for their people.

I prided myself in being the first one to work and the last one to leave work; I felt that was my responsibility, to give more than the Sailors who worked for me and most of them were aware of how I operated and in many cases they gave their recognition of the efforts that I always tried to present.

Very Respectfully,
E. A. Hughes, FTCM(SS)
US Navy (Retired)