They know what is important by what you say, where you spend your time, and what you state as your priorities. Especially when a nation is at war, it is important what you emphasize what is important as leaders - because there are only 24-hrs in a day and a finite budget in money and man hours. The prudent person will respond accordingly.
So, let's review. We are a Navy at war, right? This war is handled at the pointy end by the junior NCO leading heavily armed E1-E3. On a personal level - when I was deployed to AFG, every day I was surrounded and protected by fully armed junior enlisted personnel - thank goodness because few things are less useful in armed combat than a Navy CDR with a M9.
Even more so - many of those junior enlisted were foreign nationals ... sometimes illiterate Afghans.
And here we are, via NavyTimes.
Sailors below E-5 are temporarily barred from standing armed watches aboard Atlantic Fleet surface ships, and chiefs and up must monitor crew-served weapons stations, following four instances of negligent firearms discharges aboard separate ships since June.How about this. We shift all the TAD funds we are spending to send non-warfighters to A-OOO and instead send more of our Sailors to get range master qualified or otherwise play with their USMC and Army E4's who know more about weapons then they do about women. Look at more ways to get MORE Sailors holding MORE weapons. When you do that, then you will have fewer incidents.
Thomas directed all ships to temporarily limit the issuance of firearms to “qualified sailors E-5 and above.”
I spent months around hundreds of staff weenies from E-1 to O-10 from almost 30 nations - all armed to the teeth. If we weren't in the shower, the gym or the rack, we were armed. I could do the clearing barrel in my sleep. I think we had one incident - one - and that was a Macedonian methinks.
Once again - the problem is not with the Sailors, it isn't with the CMDCMs, it isn't with the COs. No Rear Admiral Thomas, the problem is the atmosphere your predecessors set for a Navy at war. Weapons take time and experience, otherwise you get what you get.
Personally, I'll give you a pass for the "high and right" response to this - it is a problem and you had to get folks' attention. However, I am more interested to see what additional funds you will be putting towards getting our COs what they need to get their Sailors trained. If you need help finding TAD money - then prioritize. If you need assistance, I'm willing to help - but you won't like my answer.