Friday, June 21, 2013

The Crew in Command Excellence

It is the crew, led by the officers and Chiefs, who must ultimately accomplish the command's mission. The crew is where "the keel meets the water." Without a top-performing crew, no command can be successful.

Commanding Officers of superior commands are particularly adept at molding their crew into a highly unified, spirited, fighting team with a laser-like focus: accomplishing the command's mission. When asked, these crews can not only clearly describe the command's philosophy and goals, but they also voice wholehearted support of the CO and his approach. Because the CO, XO, officers, and Chiefs frequently explain what they want done and why, the crew knows what is expected of them and feels a part of the team. The result is enthusiasm, motivation, and pride in the command. These crews often praise their CO with the ultimate accolade: "I'd go to war with him." In average commands, the crew may not be sure of the command's philosophy or may withhold their total support of it.

The crew in superior commands also live up to the high standards demanded by their officers and Chiefs. They know that when they succeed, they will be recognized and rewarded; equally well, they know that when they make mistakes, they will be told and corrective action taken. Their commitment to upholding the command's standards generates a strong sense of responsibility for their individual work areas. They act on the principle that if you're going to do something, then do it right, and do it right the first time.

Crew members of superior commands realize that success depends on a team effort. They don't act or do their jobs in disregard of the rest of the command. They communicate frequently, coordinate activities, and help each other out when necessary. In addition, they are careful about following the chain of command. They know that violating it disrupts teamwork, creates confusion, hurts morale, and hinders leadership.


Anonymous said...

Captain Lambert,

This post sounds very nice and proper but I must disagree with the entire concept, if there is no distinction in the uniform between the enlisted the Officers and the CPO’s then there is something lacking. In my day one of the monumental things that happened in one’s Navy career was to be advanced to Chief Petty Officer, there was at that time a difference in the uniform that was a very substantial thing, you put on the hat, you dressed in kacki and there was a definate difference between you and the White Hat that you were before that time. The distinct difference in your uniform at that time was one of things that made you stand out from the other members of the crew as being one who was a leader of Sailors and was proficient in your Rating. When I look at the photo presented on this post everyone with the exception of the officer with the scrambled eggs on his hat is like every other indinidual. It is my opinion that when Sailors loose their distinction from others because they all look the same then the Navy has lost what it was in my days. I worked hard when I was a Sailor to become the pinnicle of Navy enlisted success, a Chief Petty Officer and now that achievment is masked by having all enlisted personnel being in the same uniform. There is a great deal of difference in the typical Sailor and the CPO or Officer and that difference shold be displayed in their uniforms.

Very Respectfully,

James Hammersla said...

I have never led a crew (to date) but have had teams in the form of platoons, companies, sections, divisions and departments. I haven’t always been the best or even a ‘good’ team leader, but over time I have learned some valuable lessons and incorporate those into how I try to do things now.

I have gained enough experience to know that whatever success I have has not come from just my effort and I am proud to have been a part of the crews & teams I have served with.

Anonymous said...

Great picture as that is RDML Montogomery CTF-70 speaking on my old ship which was a great command.

But I have to agree, to some extent, with Navyman 834's comments. The prestige of being a CPO or Officer has been diminished.

Induction has been done away with and now we have the kinder gentler CPO 365. We have no CPOQ's or even BOQ's. A E-1 with 3 months in, lives the same as a CPO or Officer. Our uniform is the same whether we are an E-1 or an O10.

The Navy has had a distinction in uniforms since our inception. It’s what separated us from our sister services. Now when you make Chief Petty Officer all you do is change your pants and Bam you are a CPO. The Honor, Pride, History has been loss.

So we get what happened a few weeks ago where a Senior Chief Petty Officer fails to salute a full bird Captain and was reminded about it said "Dude I am smoking". Not trying to bag on the CPO community but thats one example of standards slipping. The E-6 and below have numerous examples as well. Even coming through the gate very rarely am I addressed as Sir more often then not I have to remind them. Not because I am superior to them but that it is standard Navy protocol.

The only ranks where there is still some prestige and perks left is the O6 and above level.

Making CPO was one of the high lights of my life, even more so then being commissioned as an LDO. When I came in every sailors dream was to be a CPO. I just wish we had a strong MCPON and strong Flag Level support to bring back some of the prestige we have lost in both communities. We could start with brining back washed Khakis.

Very Respectfully,

Anonymous said...

Old LDO,

Thank you for your observations, they are quite in line with the way I conducted myself as a CPO, Senior CPO and Master CPO as well as being COB on a Submarine for a number of years. The good order and discipline of the Navy was my guideline for the many years that I was able to serve in those leadership positions, unfortunately we as the Navy are in a period where strong leader ship has waned from our time of years ago.. And like you I wish for the days that we could return to what we knew those many years ago.

Very Respectfully,