Like I mentioned WRT the sexual assault post over at USNIBlog, I am a believer that the simpler the system, the more efficient and effective. Treat adults like adults, and more often than not you'll get what you expect.
When you make things too bureaucratic and "exquisite" - they are more prone to failure from external shocks or changes in environment that require judgment vice diktat.
On the enlisted side of the house, I think that there are few problems that cannot be solved with a CMDCM backed up by a solid Chiefs Mess. For officers, your word and a short face-to-face with your ISIC should be all it takes. No paperwork required per se ... but that isn't the Navy we have in many cases.
For our problem children, no, you need a very thick counseling/training jacket. You need the "Ref. A through NN" as it isn't the word of a CMDCM or Commanding Officer that is important, you see, it is the paper.
For over two decades, I rolled my eyes at a "Page 13." The older I got, the more important I knew they were - but that didn't mean I liked the whole undercurrent that came with them.
For those who don't know, a "Page 13" is an "Administrative Remarks" entry (really a no kidding page) in to a service record. It is usually done to have someone sign after reading saying they understand what they have been told, i.e. "Don't Drink & Drive - Show Up on Time - Don't Beat Your Spouse" - in many respects it is used as a legalism so people can't say "No one told me that, I didn't know that was required ... " etc. Essential for a system that has moved from honor towards legalism. Any JAG can explain how critical they are. What ever.
More often than not, they are either patronizing and insulting to the professional. In matters of behavior such as this, it is an implicit understanding that neither side's word is of value, that we don't trust each other, so everything must be in writing.
In that light - I'm not getting that warm fuzzy about this.
UNCLAS PERSONAL FOR ALL FLAG OFFICERS AND COMMANDERS FROM ADMIRAL GREENERT//N05370// NAVADMIN 188/11// MSGID/GENADMIN/CNO WASHINGTON DC/N1/JUN// SUBJ/CHARGE OF COMMAND// REF/A/MEMORANDUM/CNO/09JUN11/NOTAL//Admiral Roughead's letter in a nice summary and full of good advice - but having them SIGN IT? Really? Admiral "let's classify everything that might make me look bad" Greenert, who sent out the message above, will be the next CNO. Consider this I&W.
AMPN/CNO MEMORANDUM FOR PROSPECTIVE COMMANDING OFFICERS CONCERNING THE CHARGE OF COMMAND, WHICH CAN BE DOWNLOADED AT HTTP://WWW.PUBLIC.NAVY.MIL/BUPERS-NPC/OFFICER/DETAILING//
RMKS/1. ACCOUNTABILITY HAS LONG BEEN THE FOUNDATION FOR COMMAND IN OUR NAVY. THE ESSENTIAL COMPONENT OF THE CHARGE OF COMMAND IS THAT WE HOLD OUR COMMANDERS ACCOUNTABLE TO THE HIGHEST STANDARDS OF PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT. THIS PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL ACCOUNTABILITY BUILDS THE TRUST NECESSARY FOR OUR NAVY'S COMMAND AND CONTROL STRUCTURE AND IS AS CRITICAL AS OUR STANDARDS OF MATERIAL, PERSONNEL AND OPERATIONAL READINESS.
2. TO CODIFY THE CHARGE OF COMMAND, THE COMPACT BETWEEN NAVY LEADERSHIP AND OUR COMMANDERS AND COMMANDING OFFICERS, CNO HAS SIGNED REF A. THIS DOCUMENT IS A COUNSELING AND MENTORING TOOL AND APPLIES TO ALL OFFICERS IN COMMAND, TO INCLUDE FLAG OFFICERS. IT IS ALSO AN OPPORTUNITY TO PROVIDE CLEAR GUIDANCE AND LEADERSHIP TRAINING, IN PERSON, TO THOSE ENTRUSTED WITH THE MOST DEMANDING RESPONSIBILITIES IN OUR NAVY.
3. NLT 1 AUG 2011, ALL COMMANDERS WITH IMMEDIATE SUPERIOR IN COMMAND (ISIC) RESPONSIBILITY ARE DIRECTED TO REVIEW REF A WITH THEIR SUBORDINATE COMMANDERS AND COMMANDING OFFICERS DURING TRAINING, COUNSELING OR MENTORING SESSIONS. SUBSEQUENTLY, THOSE COMMANDERS AND COMMANDING OFFICERS ARE DIRECTED TO PROVIDE THEIR ISIC WITH A COUNTERSIGNED COPY OF REF A. NLT
1 AUG 2011, ALL COMMANDERS WITH ISIC RESPONSIBILITY FOR FLAG OFFICERS ARE DIRECTED TO REVIEW REF A WITH THEIR SUBORDINATE FLAGS DURING MENTORING AND TRAINING SESSIONS; FLAG OFFICERS WILL PROVIDE THEIR ISIC WITH A COUNTERSIGNED COPY OF REF A.
4. BEGINNING 1 AUG 2011, ALL ISICS WILL REVIEW REF A WITH PROSPECTIVE COMMANDERS AND COMMANDING OFFICERS PRIOR TO THEIR ASSUMPTION OF COMMAND. UPON ASSUMPTION OF COMMAND, COMMANDERS AND COMMANDING OFFICERS WILL PROVIDE THEIR ISIC A COUNTERSIGNED COPY OF REF A.
5. EACH ISIC IS DIRECTED TO RECEIVE AND RETAIN THE COUNTERSIGNED COPIES UNTIL THE SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF THE COMMAND TOUR BY THE COMMANDER OR COMMANDING OFFICER. THE COUNTERSIGNED COPIES OF REF A WILL BE PROVIDED TO THE ISIC'S RELIEF AS A COMMAND TURNOVER ITEM.
6. REF A WILL BE INCLUDED AS PART OF TRAINING RECEIVED BY ALL PROSPECTIVE COMMANDING OFFICERS AT THE COMMAND LEADERSHIP SCHOOL BEGINNING 1 AUG 2011.
7. THIS DIRECTIVE WILL BE CODIFIED BY AN UPDATE TO MILPERSMAN ARTICLE 1301-802.
8. VICE CHIEF SENDS.//
This action, basically, treats a Commanding Officer who has the better part of two decades of commissioned service behind him, the lives of hundreds of Sailor as his responsibility, and billions of dollars of material at his disposal - like a 19-yr old E-2 that needs to be told that he needs to obey liberty restrictions when ashore in Japan and is responsible for the content of his seabag.
Subordinates often respect their superiors as a reflection of the respect and confidence those leaders receive from their superiors. This isn't exactly a rousing voice of respect and confidence, so, there you go.
Based on the fact that we just fired our 14th CO this year - well - I guess some can defend this. But ... this is just more of the same. Continuing to do more of the same and expecting a different result is ....
The CO pipeline is long, detailed, and expected behavior is covered in detail multiple times anyway. Why people can reach their late 30s to early 40s and not handle their alcohol in public and/or behave themselves .... and still be promoted to such high levels remains a mystery to me. Well, no - it doesn't. We are all imperfect human beings.
Whatever the cause, having COs sign what is really a Page 13 isn't going to do anything but make people up the chain of command feel that they are doing something about it. Potemkin posturing, in a fashion.
A pathetic response to the real problem we have with COs being fired. Only a fonctionaire thinks that a bit of paper can substitute for solid leadership and a culture of honor and integrity - but that is the decision that has been made.
My answer? Look to root causes. More paper is just that - more paper.
Hat tip Squidly.