Saturday, January 5, 2013

PCOs must write an essay - I like it.

Before officers assume command across the Navy, Prospective Commanding Officers (PCOs) must head to Newport Rhode Island to complete Command Leadership School. For the first time, in 2013 moving forward — in a continued effort to forge better leaders — the school has added an “examination” as part of the two-week course. 

PCOs must complete the Prospective Commanding Officer Examination. PCOs are given a case study and must write an essay to help them gather and evaluate their own thoughts on command.

Commanding officers can’t really fail the exam, or flunk out of the school. (Big question mark here)

Captain Michael Slotsky is the Director of the Command Leadership School. I recently sent him some additional Command Excellence materials for his consideration.  I am looking forward to his response.

From a Navy Times report by Josh Stewart.


Sean Heritage said...

This is a good move, though I offer that we (IDC) make PCO development a continuum that indirectly begins at accession and PCO screening a process that we own. The IDC CO Screening Board is a great start. It is my hope that we make it a meaningful part of the screening process (i.e. less than half make it to the actual CO screening board) and that we make communication a significant portion of the process. For example, why not have each candididate write on one of the following subjects and be prepared to speak to the other two during the IDC Board?

- Why do you want to be a CO (personal motivation)?

- What does it mean to be in command (predictor of their style)?

- How do you measure a successful command tour (predictor of where they will focus)?

Our FITREPs tell a great deal, but the board ought to focus on helping to bring out the true intangibles that will better ensure our Sailors and Civilians are getting the leadership we deserve. If we are truly sending our best to CLS, then there is no reason to believe we won't exceed all expectations of the class.

Mark Boggis said...

I started the PXO course today (enroute OIC NIOD Seoul) and attended a briefing by Captain Slotsky. He was very inspirational and engaging. The examination, discussed briefly but in a different section of the course, offers PCO's a way to reflect on how they will command.

Anonymous said...

Just a thought, but why not allow for failures at PCO school, e.g. an 80% success rate vice 100%.

We only get the best by demanding the highest standards from our best. The whole point of an exam is to gauge competence in an area or areas, and if there is no failure or risk of associated then it really isn't an exam at all. The entire point of this exercise is to actually affect the number of failures/firings each year correct? If all we do is an exam with no possibility of failure, then we as a Navy are simply covering or "sixes" by saying we put practice into place, not actually affecting the end state.

Not a fan of an exam here, but if we are going to do it, let's at least do it right.

Anonymous said...

Captain Lambert,

I do not consider much of what the Navy Times has to say about any of the internal operations or affairs of the US Navy to have any real credibility, this journalistic effort for some unknown reason has had the privilege and honor to announce the advancement to CPO, SCPO and MCPO and lower rated personnel as well. In the many years that I competed for advancement in rate during my Navy career it was always a disappointment to me to have to depend on a bird cage liner to tell me I had been advanced to a particular rate and rating. When the Navy Times announced that I was to be advanced to Master Chief Fire Control Technician, I waited for them to forward a certificate of advancement but that never happened, I have never received a certificate from the Navy or the Navy Times that I had been advanced to Master Chief Fire Control Technician, and if you do not think that is important to a Sailor in his/her career you are mistaken, it has only been about 40 years since the Navy Times announced my advancement, and I expect that the Navy sent them the advancement results, but no one followed up on granting of any certificate for that advancement. The Navy should hold themselves responsible for what goes on in the Navy and take care of their own.

The questioning of what takes place in the PCO course is only the business of the Navy and these people from the Navy Times should have no input to the way the Navy conducts PCO courses or any other course in this Navy.

Very Respectfully,