Monday, July 11, 2011

How about a medal for finishing PQS early!

This is so wrong in so many ways, I don't even want to blog about it. Just read and cry the beloved Navy.

127 comments:

Grandpa Bluewater. said...

Agree completely. Beyond the pale.

Anonymous said...

Recently, I've seen a few A-holers in the gym or pool when they should have been at their desks, or commands. One in particular comes to mind, an O-5 who at his outgoing CoC thanked every single person that trained with him during the two year tour - so he could be a friggen triathelete. NO ONE who worked under this person, that kept the command going during his repeated absences was ever mentioned. Of course, the command suffered greatly under this tenure. Now you guess the outcome - did this CDR go up or out? It was up, Baby! Up.

NavyGatorRet said...

Couldn't agree more.  I'm just about to give up all my navy related subscriptions because they are becoming to depressing to read! 

Combat Wombat said...

Sal: I think that's "medal"

Combat Wombat said...

Next, we can be like army and af and award for graduating boot camp....

G-man said...

Wasn't it Napolean who said something to the effect of using cheap medals with flashy ribbons to motivate his troops?

Next up is the Rainbow Ribbon for commands that meet the established Diversity Goals.  Which is way more important then that Safety S or Battle E or Battenburg Cup

CDR Salamander said...

That's funny.  Once I typed "navel" instead of "naval."  Mefixie.

Former 3364 said...

It cracks me up up that an Information Systems MC thought this up. First there is the "Information Dominance" pin and now this!  It appears that the Information Systems community has too much time on its hands.

The last thing I was worried about was getting an outstanding on PRT, because that didn't support the watchbill , get maintenance done, or getting the boat underway.  I'm sure that the sailors on those "optimally manned" ships feel the same way.  

Wasn't the PRT score added to the new 5.0 Eval in the 90s? I believe that Military Bearing was affected by your PRT score. (The 5.0 system also screwed with the Frank Cable (AS-40), "The Navy's only 4.0 Tender")

LT B said...

The class of '90 had to get new diplomas because it read Navel Academy.  Good times, good times.

LT B said...

Everybody gets a trophy!  We are lost, we truly have lost the traditions that were such an important part of the Navy's culture. 

LT B said...

I watched Men of Honor this past weekend and there was a scene that really hit home w/ me.  The quote is referenced in the article posted below.  I am quite certain that most people look at CAPT Hanks with distaste, even our senior leadership.  That said, we are being run by a bunch of CAPT Hanks.  Did they aspire to this type of "leadership?"  How does one go from JO to this?  Yet, this is what I've seen coming out of DC.  We, as a nation, and more honestly, as the Army and Marine Corps are at war.  The Navy and Air Force are in support roles so have not had to trim the fat.  By fat, I mean admirals and captains that are of a martial mind.  I found this site and thought I'd share:

http://singlesailor.com/node/4

Old Farter said...

That's good reading, LT B. Thanks.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Will this medal have precedence over the Good Posture Medal and the Perfect Attendance Ribbon?

Was a topic of discussion this weekend at KU11.  Sailors hate the idea.  ("We're becoming the Air Force!")

That Navy leadership is considering such crap is a sign that perhaps "leadership" is a misnomer.

Andrew said...

I gave up on SurfWarMag last year becuase I started yelling and throwing things every time I read a new issue.

Facts said...

If you read the article, only 6,300 Sailors would currently be eligible for the award.  With an end strength exceeding 320,000 active duty Sailors, that hardly qualifies as "everyone" getting a trophy.  It doesn't seem any different than giving an award for marksmanship in rifle or pistol if you ask me.

Andrew said...

Not to ruin the party here or anything, but as sad as this is it's pretty similar to the "marksmanship" medals the Navy gives out. I mean, I'm a decent pistol shot and had no trouble scoring a perfect 300. I also got expert rifle the first time I ever fired an M-16. I'm under the impression you actually have to know what you're doing in the USMC to get these kind of awards?

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Well, in the USMC, to fire expert you have to be quite proficient. 

Sharpshooter still has to have an idea of what he/she is doing. 

Marksmen can generally hit near where they aim.  But especially in combat arms, wearing a "toilet seat" or "pizza box" of the marksman badge is grounds for asking "What's with the rifle (or pistol)?" of any rank. 

UltimaRatioRegis said...

And I should add that failure to qualify for an officer or SNCO is an adverse fitness report.  And it should be.

Stu said...

Wow, full circle.  It's like being in NROTC again. 

Aubrey said...

Next up, the medal for being on-time five times!

LT B said...

My apologies, I denegrated the idea of the medal.  NOT everybody gets a trophy.  This is still a crappy and useless medal, but feel free to rationalize and justify this mess.  Global Force for Good is at it again. 

Aubrey said...

Err, I'm a civilian and I am blind in one eye, and even I've qualified as Expert on the Navy pistol requirements...

Salty Gator said...

I agree that the proposal to award chest candy for PRT achievement is unfounded, however you and I diverge on the importance of PT.  I'm a former Gator sailor.  Hauling in lines, deck evolutions, 115 degree engineering spaces courtesy of 600 pound steam plant means that you need to either be a tough son of a bitch or you need to be in shape, or preferably, both.  You can't be a fat ass and expect to be able to save yourself and your shipmates when the ship takes damage.  You won't be able to pull yourself out of a burning space, you will go through your SCBA bottle (which is rated for 30 minutes) in about 5 minutes (because you are huffing and puffing), and you will not be able to provide any resemblance of Force Protection to your ship when you are standing sentry.  Physical fitness has been shown to coexist with higher mental acquity, endurance, alertness, HEALTH (let's not forget Navy healthcare costs folks), and happiness.  If you accept fat sailors with their guts hanging over their coverall belts, then you will reap what you sow.  Does this mean that we should bilge critical NEC's because they are a few pounds overweight?  No . If 500 pound behemouth crybabies can lose the poundage, then so can fat Chiefs.

Salty Gator said...

I disagree about marksmanship medals.  Small arms is a tenant of military service, regardless of which branch of the Armed Forces.  Period.  We all do a few things (or are supposed to):
1. Close order drill
2. PT
3. Marksmanship with small arms

P.S. Wallace said...

We actually don't disagree. I simply argue there is a difference between being physically able to do your job, and just being athletic. That is why I said "modicum of physical fitness" and  "After a certain point, and unless it is your hobby, every hour you spend in a gym".  

I am opposed to efforts to make every sailor an athlete, as I think it focuses on the wrong thing. Societal norms at large richly reward those who are athletic, and I'm sure FITREPs and EVALs reflect those norms. We need not give it greater emphasis. One can set-and enforce--standards without awarding naval sainthood to those who excel in meeting them.

Sean said...

Stu:

You got a ribbon for passing the PRT while in NROTC?

I was in NROTC but I guess my CO was different since he did not allow any of the NROTC ribbons to be worn or awarded....the only ribbons you were allowed to wear were ones "legal" for the rest of the Navy.

Consequently most of us were ribbon-less for our time in NROTC. But that was okay...we got to make fun of our AIr Force and Army ROTC classmates who could not fall down a flight of stairs without picking up a ribbon or two!

John said...

But, this will discriminate against the people with sort legs, the pregnant, and the fat people [no fault of their own, ntach!], and even wounded warriors.

Methinks that MCPO ALston and her cronies have too much time to spend on useless crap and not enough on warfighting skills.

Will the ribbons look good on the aquaflage uniforms?

I wonder if Alson is part of the diversity zampolit as well?

This is a really worthless idea.

P.S. Wallace said...

Basically, my contention is that inculcating a "culture of the jock" in no way benefits the Navy (and in my view to some extent harms the officer corps by preventing those in the initial stages of their career from moving on from their college years). I thus retract my above statement "I am opposed to efforts to make every sailor an athlete", and replace with "I am opposed to efforts to make every sailor a jock."

pk said...

are they going to include hustling five shot clips of 40 MM,
how about loading 5" 38 into the breech,
or carrying 50 each of 24# (doubled up) boxes of frozen food to the reefer decks every other day,
or stowing 70 tons of ice cream on saturday afternoon duty section?

maybe dragging trash cans so heavy that the  handles pull off of them, up three ladders. down the gang way and into the big dumpster on the pier in the rain.

naah thats just light work.

Salty Gator said...

Mr. Wallace, I think that we still disagree.  The Navy is full of former jocks.  This is why the Naval Academy recruits athletes, and I don't just mean for its D-1 teams, they recruit kids with athletic backgrounds because they tend to be leaders, extremely competitive, and less likely to quit when they encounter resistance.  There are qualities which are honed in youth on the field of play that transfer to the field of battle.  Just ask the Brits, the Greeks and the Native Americans. They perfected the transition from Sports to Soldiers.  Every sailor need not be a World Class Athlete, but having that jock instinct is a huge plus.

pk said...

naah that was early chow five days in a row.

C

GBS said...

PRT awards in NROTC?  YGBSM!  In my unit (nearly 30 years ago), anything less than an outstanding on the MARINE CORPS PRT resulted in some "friendly" encouragement from the staff Gunny.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Culture of the jock?  Salty's point is a good one.  The extremes of what duty may call for requires a fairly high level of physical fitness.  Which is precisely what every Sailor should be training with an eye toward, all the time.

There are some out there who would suffocate trying to do a sit-up.  More chins than a Hong Kong phone book.  Hardly culture of the jock. 

Anyone wanna try "warrior mindset"?

GBS said...

I'm not sure even the idea of a MEDAL would motivate many of the 20-something smokers that my fat 40+ year old body used to routinely beat on that PRT run...in some cases by MINUTES.

Squidly said...

It was quite comical showing up for SWOS and counting the handful of ROTC grads wearing their ROTC chest candy.  Of course, we had one idiot from the boat school forget his shoulder boards (I guess that's better than wearing both boards and collar devices on summer whites...seen that too).

Squidly said...

We had some of these in Baghdad...guys who spent more time at the gym and zero time actually working.

Squidly said...

Do we really want to become like the Air Farce?

sid said...

That horse done left the barn....

Stu said...

To say "I got" one would be a stretch.

I didn't play many of the reindeer games in NROTC.  I saw it for what it was, means to an end, and simply kept a low profile, did my studies and blew my stipend in less than 24 hours on beer. 

LT B said...

Sid, you get a NAM for answering first!  Good job, Shipmate!

P.S. Wallace said...

I stand my ground. As this is an evolving thesis--I am against the culture of the jock. I am not against the culture of the competitive athlete. On the other hand, I am not entirely sure what sports Decatur, Hull, and Bainbridge lettered in.  

You can put entirely too much emphasis on mere physical strength and endurance for its own sake. I think that point gets reached all too often, and thus I am against this medal.

Mike M. said...

Time for a compromise solution.

Ditch the regular PT. 

Substitute unarmed combat drill.  And reissue cutlasses - we'll revive cutlass drill, too.  Learn to fight, not run.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Mr. Wallace,

It would seem that perhaps you are looking at this 3200 mils out. 

This is an attempt to reward what should be ingrained as the requirements of someone in the profession of arms.  Not triathletes, nor marathon runners, nor sports events, much as I love sports (which is as much as the next guy). 

What I seem to see in the Navy, particularly in the YOUNGER ranks, which is disturbing, is a reflection of the sedentary and unhealthy civilian lifestyle.  A good number I see appear soft and overweight, lacking in muscle structure, with poor carriage. 

Perhaps not entirely true, as some will surprise, but as a general rule such body types in someone so young identify people who lack strength and muscle endurance, lack stamina, and will have an increasingly high proportion of avoidable health issues.  But the important thing is their readiness for handling the stresses of combat for extended periods.  Pardon me for doubting the physical and mental toughness of those who have not had the self-discipline to get themselves into the high physical condition required of their profession.

P.S. Wallace said...

Cutter races, between divisions and ships.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Mike M., sometimes you have to run TO the fight. 

But yes, combat skills, shipboard tasks, tests of strength and endurance, are an appropriate test of fitness.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Aren't there machines to do all that?  8-)

Grumpy Old Ham said...

In order to completely do that, the USN would have to institute a PT and fitness evaluation based on junk science and a fixation on a <40" abdominal measurement.  

Pogue said...

A medal or ribbon is a little over the top, but a patch to go on the PT uniform similar to what the Army has would accomplish much the same thing.  Although from a practical standpoint the people who rate those patches are generally self motivated, the patch is just gravy...

Anonymous said...

Being physically fit supports silly things like damage control, firefighting, VBSS, flight deck operations, stores onloads, etc.  Not everyone gets to sit behind a computer and push buttons.  In fact on most Navy ships evolutions such as DC and firefighting are All Hands evolutions.

A true PFA would evaluate a Sailor in accomplishing tasks such as donning and performing a MSFD while wearing a FFE/SCBA.  Or perhaps climbing 50 feet the hull of tanker to do a VBSS mission.  I am sure the aviators, submariners and SeaBees could add some additional examples.  These tasks are realistic, and require perparation a high level of fitness.  Sailors are (should be) athletes and need to train to the level of fitness required. 

Sean said...

We had one guy from OCS who obviously was not paying attention during the discussion of summer whites who thought that his black shoes went with the white uniform! Hey, at least he blended in with the enlisted in their white uniform and black shoes!

I always wanted to ask him what he thought the white shoes went with if not the summer whites?!?!.....di he think that they were issued to him by mistake?!

Grandpa Bluewater. said...

I could go for a badge, somewhat like expert pistol or rifle, for expert casualty care, including evacuating them from deep trunks, or expert rescue swimmer, or expert DC olympian.  Now a wee slip of a girl who can do a mirror weld in a frame bay while being held upside down by her ankles is a lot more valuable than some cross country star, or standard PT test star, and the last guy I saw bring a RHIB alongside in a heavy chop would never be confused with a gazelle, but he did have the eye, the touch and the sea legs - none of which get tested in a PT score.

This is Headquarters wienies looking for a way to rate above fleet sailors on small ships. It also undermines the awards system.

If the minimum wasn't good enough, it wouldn't be the minimum.  Most of the women can't carry anywhere near the load of the men and get a lower min score, well below what is a BFOQ.

When the admirals got no money they screw with the uniform and mess with JFK's. Bank on it.

Salty Gator said...

Guest, I think that what you are describing is what the Marines would call a "Combat Fitness Test."  That is 1/2 of it.  The other half is general physical fitness...something that is measured in capability in calisthentics, flexibility and body fat composition.  I'm totally with you that the USN needs to incorporate ability to perform sailorly duties into its overall readiness assessment of its sailors.

MT1(SS)WidgetHead said...

Wow! You mean I could receive yet another ribbon just for doing my job along with what's expected of me in general?
Could I also ask for a ribbon for successfully taking a dump while we we're just a few meters above crush depth once or maybe twice?

None of the other services have a PT ribbon...why would we need one?

FDNF Squid said...

Years ago we made up t-shirts for the PRT that said: '3 Mile Club'

I guess it was funny then at 21-22 before age and gravity showed up.....

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Uh huh.  When I was 19, I used to laugh at my first Platoon Sergeant because he was old (probably 31) and smelled of Ben-Gay. 

He would tell me my time was coming.  Boy, was he right.

FDNF Squid said...

When that metabolism turns it's nasty head and says 'dude, are you really going to eat that?' it is time to get serious about daily exercise.

All joking aside it is important both to be able to perform your tasks at sea and ashore (much easier bombing up and down ladders and stressing your body both in mind as well as body) and improving your quality of life overall. But to rate a ribbon? Smells like a FITREP bullet that fell on the floor at the Good Idea Factory and crawled it's way onto a PPT slide.

NAnoymous said...

Or a medal for doing your d*$@ job...

UltimaRatioRegis said...

That would be what the boys used to call the "Normal Achievement Medal". 

Old Farter said...

Unfortunately the patch would not be compatible with the PT uniform and either cause the uniform to rust or simply fall apart quicker.

Old Farter said...

I remember the NROTC ribbon. But, that was in the days of pullups and the 3 mile run. The only ones who got it were the Marine option ninjas who scored 300. I had no problem with that.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Hey Facts, the original idea of the marksmanship badges was to show to the unit who the most proficient killers were.  The USMC has three different badges for the three qualification categories.  They aren't medals, they are qualification badges.  Light years apart.

Anonymous said...

As a Junior Officer in a Combat Arms Unit of the Army, i can say without a doubt that failure to pass a PT test or to qualify with your weapon is unacceptable period. My Battery CO heard that an incoming LT failed his PT test at OBC, 5 minutes latter and a trip to the BN CO and S1s offices and that LT is not coming to our unit. 

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Hokey smoke, Bullwinkle.  Failed the PFT coming out of the officer basic course at Sill?  I thought that was grounds for recycle or reassignment.  No more? 

At that age, the race should be to max the thing, not to pass it.

Actus Rhesus said...

except that in combat I might have to be proficient with a firearm.  I doubt the enemy will be beaten into submission by my stellar sit-up skills.

Actus Rhesus said...

are we going to actually account for the PRT coordinators who allow "navy pushups" for the senior types?  Are we going to account for the guys that run their "outstanding" on a rubber comp track in 70 degree sun, while others tough it out on uneven asphalt and headwinds?

Probably not.

This is retarded.

Squidly said...

Ummm...having "attended" what the Air Farce calls "marksmanship training" - aka Beretta familiarization at MacDill, I can honestly say that all they teach you is how not to shoot yourself in the foot (and even then I question that syllabus).  Compare this to NIACT, which while not perfect, did a much better job of performing weapons training (even if everyone, and I mean everyone) somehow managed to qualify.  Never knew that M-16s had a secret 2-round mode (one shot was the student missing the target, the second report was the sniper drill sargeant in the treeline).

Squidly said...

Heh...and then there's the NDSM.  Join the military and get a ribbon. Yay.
Kind of like the gay IDWO pin (oh wait, that's another story).

Actus Rhesus said...

actually Squiddy, the NDSM does have a point...it's to differentiate between people who served during times of armed hostilities and those who served in peace time.  (hence why some older folk have additional stars on theirs...multiple conflicts.)

Bull Snipe said...

The 1915 Navy knew exactly how to do this.  7 1/2 minutes in, but a lot of fun getting there.

http://www.filmpreservation.org/preserved-films/screening-room/u-s-navy-documentary-1915

LT B said...

A headbob is a push up in the Fleet!  :)

Salty Gator said...

that's what I thought as a first tour DivO getting a non end of tour NAM at the same time as a few other guys got NAMs for mess cranking...

Grumpy Old Ham said...

Uh-oh.  Looks like the Ike's XO was getting a little extra joint training for the run.

Anonymous said...

Been there, done that.  Maybe there should be a minimum time in for it. 

Bud said...

or...give everyone who scores probationary a NUM (Navy Underachievement Medal.)  They take 2 pts on the rating exam for every NUM...

Anonymous said...

It is grounds to stay at OBC for a re-test or 2 depending on how good of an officer you are otherwise, If you fail 2 times (the test and re-test) your gone or if your a real good artilleryman 3 times your gone. and you can not leave OBC overweight or failing the PT test.

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