Sunday, May 22, 2016

Advice to the XO

This is #10 in the series of over 150 of my letters to the Executive Officer in 2013

My advice to you in your new role as XO:

Do it the Navy way first!  There are lots of things that have to be done and they all fall into your swim lane.  When you immerse yourself in the XO job, you are going to find you are responsible for the whole damn pool.  And, you thrive on responsibility.  The new CO and those Sailors are counting on you.

Read the regs, pubs, and instructions. They are important.  You, more than anyone else in the command, are the rule master.  Every rule can't and SHOULDN'T be followed to the letter (if at all).  You have to be smart enough to know what the rules are and you have to be smart about what can't or shouldn't be followed.  Let the CO know where you or the command are deviating.  Never leave him holding the bag.  At the same time, you can't go to him for a ruling on every decision.  You and the CO will have to coordinate closely.  Have a good plan and try to stick to it.  The CO has to have complete confidence in your ability to get the job done.  Give him that confidence.  Don't make him search for it.  Never put him in the position of being the bad guy.

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