Monday, August 29, 2011

How your Navy still does IAs

Almost a decade in to a war and all the access we have to information - and this is how we do IAs.

If you want to understand why IAs are still such a sore point, you can start by reading the below to see the process as it is seen in the Fleet.

The fact this has not changed and is still going on is a shame on us all. Silly people - you think there is a level playing field? You think we are matching jobs to skill sets?

BEHOLD
-----Original Message-----
From: [redacted] LCDR NPC, [redacted]
Sent: [redacted], August [redacted], 2011 [redacted]
To: [redacted] CAPT [redacted], CO; [redacted] CDR PEO[redacted], [redacted]; [redacted]@[redacted].navy.mil; [redacted] CDR [redacted]; [redacted] CDR OPNAV [redacted], [redacted];[redacted] CDR [redacted], [redacted]; [redacted] CDR PEO [redacted], PMS [redacted]; [redacted] CDR NAVSEA [redacted], PMS[redacted]; [redacted] LT [redacted]00 [redacted]; [redacted] LCDR [redacted], [redacted]
Subject: IA Volunteer Opportunities

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Please pass this out to your mentor groups.


To all,

Do to the ever changing IA environment, I will open up the following IA for volunteers as of Thursday 0000 September 1.

NE-3968-0074
Reconstruction Engineer
O-4 (1-up/down)
12 Mos
Rpt July 2012
Afghanistan

NE-3968-0122
Public Outreach and Response
O-3 (1-up/down)
12 Mos
Rpt July 2012
Afghanistan

NE-1676-0082
NMCB PLANS
O-3 (1-up/down)
12 Mos
Rpt Sept 2012
Djibouti

Remember, the first email that I see in my inbox with a timestamp of 0000 on 1 Sept gets first choice.

The IA list will be published on NKO by COB 30 Aug 2011.

Very Respectfully,
LCDR [redacted]
BTW - OOPS! Looks like the "inside scoop" no longer is in effect.

If you want to be in play for these IAs - you now have the billet numbers as well. Call your detailer.

72 comments:

Mike F. said...

So I show up on a DDG starting INSURV and ask to see the DCA.  I'm told, "Oh, he's not here. He just got sent off on an IA."  Shore staff sending folks is one thing but pulling folks off of ships?

Salty Gator said...

Hold the phone here for a second....

Am I reading this correctly?  Is this guy from PERS?  If he is, who are these "mentor groups" that he mentions?  Is this a Diversity thing?  Are we holding out "career enhancing" IA's for certain "Diversity Mentorship Groups?"

Further probing required...

Salty Gator said...

Hold the phone here for a second....

Am I reading this correctly?  Is this guy from PERS?  If he is, who are these "mentor groups" that he mentions?  Is this a Diversity thing?  Are we holding out "career enhancing" IA's for certain "Diversity Mentorship Groups?"

Further probing required...

Salty Gator said...

Mike, it has been happening for a decade now.  The Navy forgot that it is more important for Sailors to be at sea than on an IA.  But hey, this is the same Navy that forgot that it is more important for Sailors to be at sea than on staffs or Diversity Councils / TAD or on some Green Initiative Team.  But I digress.

Anonymous said...

This email was in my inbox when I checked it right before coming to this website.

I'm not really sure what the problem with this is.  The EDO community was assigned 3 IA's.  Rather than randomly selecting 3 individuals to fill those IA's, the LCDR is giving individuals who want to go spend a year in Afghanistan/Djibouti the opportunity to volunteer.  I get this emails once a quarter, and I am not even in the community that I receive this email from.  

I am a submariner in Afghanistan and part of a unit that also includes aviators and surface warfare officers who were offered these jobs as GSA's.  This email that you have posted is likely the same thing. Every community is doing this.  It puts people who want to go do things like this in country rather than people who don't.  There is no inside scoop.  There is no conspiracy.  This is not getting sent out to "select individuals".  They are trying to put the right people in the right jobs.  Take the tin foil off your amphibian head.

@Salty Gator:  My mentor group is the Diver EDO community.  There is your probe.

LT B said...

And you think detailers actually try to match the best personnel for each position?  Hah!  Not in the normal Fleet w/o IAs.  In our community, it used to be they were working extra hard to get females into the open "at sea" billets.  Gender being more important than capability.  Now, the job is just to fill the IA with almost any body.  Remember in the beginning of the process, the commands would typically free up the lower 10% so the NARMY could deal with them and they would reduce the drag on the command.  No command wants to give up their serious worker bees for an IA.

Anonymous said...

You have no idea what you are talking about, and your wild speculation is proof of just that. 

Anonymous said...

To me, this is more of a process issue.  Is this the right way to make the assignment (a random lottery whose timing is left to the whims of NMCI)?  

Shouldn't a small community like the EDO community have more professional insight into their constituents such that they could select a few good candidates and off them the position?  

Lastly, there is also the question of whether or not these billets are an appropriate use of an EDO (the officer community responsible for ship acquisitoin and executing ship industrial maintenance)?

Andy said...

Geez, doesn't anybody know how to spell anymore? It's "due," NOT "do!" -1 for spelling.

Salty Gator said...

@ Guest, further study of the English language is required on your part.  The question mark, "?", denotes a lack of concrete knowledge and implies that I am seeking clarification.  There is no wild speculation.  I WAS ASKING A QUESTION.  So unwad your submariner skivvies and take a powder.

And grow some testicles.  "Guest" doesn't fly around here if you want to be taken seriously.

CDR Salamander said...

Guest,
For the record, I used to do this - I know the system well. This is not a system focused on providing the best fit for the commanders in the field. That should be the central focus, not who can stay up to one second after midnight to send an email so LT Timmy can get an IA check in the block that he is not qualified for; while LT Fred who is underway and actually has the right knowledge, skills, and attributes to provide the best service to the war fighting commander isn't even considered for the job.

This system is a "bite out of the sandwich" approach that is as much of a disgrace now as it was almost a decade ago.

When you have nuclear trained officers doing civil affairs work while people with masters degrees in sociology and political science can't get out of the beltway, you have a problem.

Salty Gator said...

Guest, you and I are thinking two very different types of probes.  But hey, it's cool.  You are a submariner after all....... >:o

Grandpa Bluewater said...

Humor an old man who has no idea what a "mentor group" is or does, and unpack the post. What is a "mentor group".

If I wanted to go somewhere and do something (back when I had a derailer, er, cough, detailer) I asked for the job on my dream sheet.  I never wanted a job the detailer had polled the CO's to get a nomination for, on pain of having the flesh peddlers pick one of their wardroom at random. If it looks like a bear trap, don't step on it.

Pending your reply, I would say, yes, Virginia, it does exude the vile stench of the detailer searching for prey.

But I could be wrong. Maybe. Be a good fellow and fill be in on the the sunshine, lollipops and rainbows I failed to notice.

Warmest regards...

Anon for a Reason said...

IA Detaling is not about fighting a war.  It's about making sure the "right" people get teh "right" boxes checked. 

Let me tell you my story.  I was an O3 in a job that REQUIRED building a rapport with local nationals.  Original tour length was 6 months.  after 3 I realized that I was only now able to do my job having spent 3 months building relationships and rapport with the locals.  I asked to extend.  Parent command endorsed teh request, provided it was for a full IA tour so they got their fair share manning credit.  IA chain of command leapt for joy and direct e-mailed my community's Senior Detailer saying "Dear God YES! Keep this person here!"  Millington said no because they had already "promised" the IA to someone else...someone they wanted to make sure got "taken care of".   However, they were going to leave the billet gapped until that pwecious snowfwake could conveniently deply.  I extended 3 months to avoid the gap, and the resulting loss of momentum on 6 months of forward motion.

Detailing is a joke.  always has been.  Always will be.

Grandpa Bluewater said...

Salty:  Don't run him off now, we can play with him longer.   

Dave said...

It will be interesting to see how these "career enhancing IA's" play out.
During Vietnam the career enhancer was the Brown Water Navy or an in country tour.  I cannot see how those ever made any difference for my contemporaries.

Dave

Dan said...

We have an O-3 1120 in the office who's getting ready to take an O-2 level job as platoon commander and postmaster in Afghanistan.  One of the most competent guys in our office is going to be in charge of mail.  At least he'll get back to the office in time to start checking out of the command...

LT B said...

I would ask if NAVSEA is properly using their resources then?  I mean, LCS, goal to be the employer of choice, Diversity awards out the ying yang w/ epic fail on the acquisition process.  Yeah, the process issue goes WAY beyond the IA process.  In the words of my old Gunny...

Nooo Shee-it!

LT B said...

Take a powder and mix it with your Mountain Do!  ;)

LT B said...

It got a douche nozzle electe to the US Senate, didn't it?

DeltaBravo said...

Want me to tie him to a chair and tape his eyelids open and lecture him on proper punctuation till he begs for mercy?  I can do it!!!  :-D

SouthernAP said...

Now I am just a dumb E-6, but I thought the wars in the 'Stan and Iraq were won. So with the drawn down going on right now, why do we still need to solict for IA billets? Maybe we are still asking for these billets because now that we have our nose under the tent someone is afraid of pulling that camel back and returning to our standard detailing to support the mission roles like hunting pirates or preparing for foregin consequence management.

Anonymous said...

While the IA process is hosed up enough, this ignores the underlying question- why are we still wasting blood and treasure in Afghanistan at all?  What is our goal, how do we define victory and what national interests are worth the costs of remaining there?

The troops (even the detailers using a flawed process) are doing great things, but national leadership has failed to do theirs, rendering all others moot.

Stu said...

<span>10 years fighting a war and the DOD personnel system still can't keep up.  That being said, the consistent number of IAs that the Navy has been provding will provide an easy number of bodies to cut in the upcoming budget woes.  Obviously we haven't "needed" them for the last ten years.</span>

SJBill said...

LT B, and he still has the hat to this day!

SJBill said...

A senior EDO friend just returned from a 7 month tour. His normal skillset could not be more important to our nation's security, but he was supervising the pouring of concrete using US and not local standards, with no one giving a shiite over there.
A complete waste of talent, and from what I could see, none of the projects were near completion during his tenure. From his presentations, all saw was more "stimulus money" going down the rat hole.

Jay said...

The larger issue here is -- the Army is broken.  Once the Army said (never seen it in writing, however...) -- "We can't do this mission set, or that mission set, without help" -- the other services stepped in.  Early on in 2003 or 2004 Army dug into their IRR -- some were successful mobilizations, others decidely less so.  There is a mix of volunteers & voluntolds with IAs, across all the services.  Hard choice -- do we take a great performing JO (let's say he or she is "state & local governmental affairs" major in college...) -- who is sh*t hot in their shipboard job -- off the ship to hope for similar success in A'stan?  Is a staff job in A'stan more important for the Navy & the individual than a successful DH tour or XO tour?  I have been mobilized once as a volunteer (quote ''well...it was down to you & one other person & you both had clearances...both were volunteers...we liked your last name better"...lol) -- and selected once by my community.  I would prefer the selection process -- and I would prefer that "everyone gets to go once, before anyone goes 2x" -- but that isn't always how it turns out -- especially with low density/high demand skill sets.  Also -- sometimes the "tour whores" do become valuable -- because they are "over there" so much -- they become the institutional memory.  I am not overly worried by the call for volunteering - but I would prefer it if the volunteers were put in a pool & there was some system -- rack & stack, or similar -- that would also be in play for the final selection.

Marine said...

Here is another issue with IA's....

Nothing about deploying to a combat zone is "individual".  It's a team effort.  You rely on a support structure of your chain of command and those other team members you trained with for your mission.  Our IA warriors going forward have a very loose chain of command and are poorly tracked by their parent command. 

When the IA member comes back it's right back into the regular work schedule and nothing understands what they may be going through from their deployment.

Sean said...

We are still doing this IA crap? I thought we learned a painful lesson from Vietnam that individual rotations are an ANATHEMA to good order and discipline, not to mention towards getting the job done. IA did not work in Vietnam and from what little I have heard it has not worked in our current conflicts. We are supposed to be fighting this war as a TEAM, which means that we should be rotating entire units I to theater instead of just individuals.

As for broadening the experience....horseshit. As the saying goes, pick your rate, pick your fate. I joined the Navy to be a submariner and trained damn hard to achieve a level of expertise in that narrow field of endeavor. Now you want to send someone like me to the sand box?!? If I had wanted to get shot at by small arms I would have picked another job in the military. I signed up to trade torpedoes with people, not small arms fire...

I cannot imagine any command knowingly allowing their superstars to just leave for one of these IA assignments. My command would have laughed themselves silly if I had approached them with the idea that I was going to do anything but fully support the command as much as they could dream up! On the other hand, some of my fellow wardroom officers would have been on the first plane over if the XO had his druthers!

Individual assignments just repeat the mistakes we made during the Vietnam war. If we cannot or will not learn from the mistakes made forty years ago then we are doomed.

Salty Gator said...

I knew the day would come that we would see eye to eye on something.......

Salty Gator said...

@ Salamander, I have seen that happen! 

Anon for a Reason said...

but but...I'm anonymous.  Shhhh!  Don't tip my hand, damnit.

Mike F. said...

So here's me thinking that being part of ship's company meant you were already doing your part in supporting the war effort. 

Mike F. said...

My memory on this evolution is a bit different...Army said, "We need to ramp up manning to handle this expanded operation.  You'll see our needs reflected in our next budget submittal."  Navy says to Air Force, "Holy Crap! You know were this Army budget increase is coming from, don't you? Us.  We need to fight a rear guard action."  "Hey Army, no worrys buddy. We got your six.  We'll supply you with folks because we're team players that's what we are.  No need to touch our budgets at all."

e ringer said...

our community released o5 board statistics and non-ia's selected better than folks who did an ia.  suckers!

Anonymous said...

A quick note on the EDO community, the 1440s are tracked by subspecialty (Naval shipyards, divers, acquisition types), those are the " mentor groups"

LT B said...

What EV er

Surfcaster said...

Thanks - kboard wiped out with Gatorade...

Anonymous said...

Why not take a P-3 NFO and have them leading convoys for the Army.  My favorite selling point was that they need "leaders" without respect to skills.  Riiighht.  We have Admirals that are too weak to point out that the Army is broken, and are breaking the Navy in the process.

Anonymous said...

It's been that way for years and years.  Not just the O4 ones either.

DM05 said...

An honest discussion on detailers, varying "needs" of the Navy, and the fricking IA process? And digression on a broken Army? This is a public service!

lt.brine@gmail.com said...

Okay, 'nother bubblehead hear, so somone please clear up my confusion on Mike's post.  On a submarine the DCA owns about half the ship (everything mechanical the MPA doesn't own), and 9 times out of ten his other name is A-ENG and it's fifty fifty who the senior Junior officer is him or the Commo. 

Is a skimmer DCA just in charge of damage control, (and calling that just is. . .) or are we saying the largest divsion of mechanics was reporting directly to the the CHENG to support an IA?

Someone_Blogged said...

Although, that's not how you presented it. You presented this email in your post as an "OMG we caught you doing this", when in fact it is standard to email leaders these opportunities to put it out there. 

LT B said...

When YN2 was over there, he mentioned how many soldiers were over there doing nothing.  The tooth to tail is quite sad.  Plus the logistics of supplying BX and Burger Kings in a war zone.  The American fighting machine has issues.  I also think Mike F is right in that the Navy, knowing they would have very little skin in the game opted to pump Sailors over there pronto.  SEALs, SeaBees, MAs and EOD were certainly going to be involved, but those guys are often segregated from the rest of the Fleet, if by no other means training.  They were not going to put the umph in the US Navy budget during a land war.  Ten years into it and we are doing IAs either means that the FOGOs are not forward thinking and do not know how to solve problems or they are playing budgetary games.  Take your pick, it speaks volumes.

Mike F. said...

On a DDG the DCA is a/should be a second tour Div-O making him a senior jg or junior LT. He owns Repair Division, HTs, DCs, one MR and by extension all the DCPOs and all firefighting and damage control systems and equipment throughout the ship. In addition to the normal welding and pipefitting the HTs also own the ship's vacuum sewage system. If he's lucky he has a Sierra Hotel DCC.

Sean said...

How could you be on your second division officer tour and still be a LTjg? It used to be that your first div o tour took you through Ensign to LT. Or have they shortened the length of the initial div o tour?

Just curious...

Anonymous said...

Very true.

Additionally, Army's (Army AC/RC/NG) end strength increased by ~120,000 between FY05 and FY10.  During that same period, Navy's (AC/RC) end strength decreased by ~50,000 (but it could have been worse).

Mike F. said...

Unless its changed they were/are about 18 mos tours. On paper it was 2yrs at ensign and 2 yrs at jg.

LT B said...

You save money on per diem then.  ;)   P3 Pilots get a lot of that. 

Anonymous said...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!  "Senior" LTjg....

Seniority amongst junior officers is like virginity amongst prostitutes!

Salty Gator "Guest" said...

Sorry that was me.  On my second beer (and 1st half bottle of champagne).  JUST GOT ENGAGED!

Salty Gator "Guest" said...

Now have to run away before she figures that I am "on that Salamander thingie..."

DeltaBravo said...

Much yayness!  And congrats to you both!

UltimaRatioRegis said...

WHAT?!?!?!  ENGAGED?  After all we've done for you?  You didn't listen to a word we said, did you?

UltimaRatioRegis said...

And, see, now you gotta schmooze the SgtMaj for your liberty card! 

Anonymous said...

That was my point.

@phib...We all know that you use to do this.  The Navy will never be as good as it was when you were prowling the seas.  

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

If you are gonna start tearing people apart on the porch on a regular basis, I'm just gonna leave the pressure washer up here, and let you clean up after yourself.   Just remember what tunnel under the porch it goes back in. 

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

I guess I better take a forklift into one of the beer coolers down in the under porch tunnels, and send another pallet of beer up on the beer/ordnance lift up to porch level.  What do you want, so I know which tunnel to look in?

Grandpa Bluewater said...

Start?  You been asleep? Where do you think we get such nice juicy bones?

Rodents just don't get canine diet.

Grandpa Bluewater said...

Porter. They served it at the Admiral Benbow Inn. Good stuff. Good name too.

LT B II said...

<p>First sub guy who received this email posting again...I'm also a LT B, but not of the LT Black variety.
</p><p> 
</p><p>I finished my JO Sea tour and asked to come out here for a lot of reasons.  One was because I didn't want to have to tell my kids that I served in the US armed forces during the Afghan and Iraqi wars and never stepped foot in either country.  There are more, but I don't owe an explanation to any of you as to why I am a submarine officer in the middle of Afghanistan.
</p><p> 
</p><p>If the gentleman supervising concrete pours only supervised concrete pours (which I highly doubt was the case) then that is his fault for not making his skill set known to whatever unit he was in.  I am assigned to a job with a very narrow billet description.  I am involved in stuff that has nothing to do with my billet description because I can use the my skill set in other places.  As a result, I'm a better officer with a broader point of view, something that you guys seem to have a problem with for some reason.  
</p><p> 
</p><p>CDR Salamander...I've been reading this blog for almost 6 years.  You and your cult of supporters are very quick to fire the first, second, and third volleys against anything and everything the Navy does, but rarely offer what should be done instead.  IA's aren't going away.  What is the better plan?  I recommend that the Salamander Clan gets together, comes up with a plan and posts it on the fleet forces blog.  I've been told ADM Harvey reads it on Sundays, so plan accordingly.  Better yet, you seem to have enough celebrity to get ADM Harvey on MIDRATS, you can rattle off your plan during your talk show.  I'd be more than happy to log on live from Afghanistan and listen to your manifesto.

</p><p>

</p><p>Standing by for the pending attack...</p>

UltimaRatioRegis said...

LT B II,

I applaud your desire to get into the game.  It is meaningful work, to be sure. 

Don't so much know about Salamander's "cult".  There is often significant disagreement among the denizens of the porch, on some very fundamental issues.  Marines don't do "IA", at least not in the form the Navy does.  Our system consists of "You're going to (fillin the blank)".   And every Marine is a rifleman, Officers included.  We are also expected to figure it out as we go.  As you are aware, always a challenge. 

I don't believe I have commented on the Navy's IA system before because it isn't of particular interest, and no, I don't have a better method.  However, one thing I will definitely say is that it should never become a ticket punch for racial/ethnic/gender/sexual orientation groups within the Navy.  Such is wrong in so many ways.  And watching the social engineering push from this and the last CNO, I don't find it all that unlikely that they would mandate such. 

So, like others commenting here, I would like to know why this is addressed to be "passed out to mentor groups".

OldCOB said...

Your remarks, after reading this blog for 6 years, indicate a need to brush up your comprehension skills.

You call us a cult.  An unfortunate word choice implying a negative stereotype.  We are, by and large, an eclectic group with valid concerns for the Navy, now and into the future.  Rarely do we all agree and some posts generate more heat than others, particuarly those that bring out the trolls.

We have no manifesto - another unfortunate word choice - other than identifying what we believe is wrong with the Navy and what should be done about it. 

The Navy, our Navy, is in extermis due to extraordinarily bad decision making starting at the top.  From LCS to the diversity bullies we are less capable and trending in the wrong direction.  As long as Cdr Sal leaves the porch light on we will be here, you might be surprised at the folks that show up just to listen.

Sean said...

Okay...I will play. Actually I do want an explanation of why we feel the best possible use for a nuclear trained submarine officer is over in the sand boxes of Iraq and/ or Afghanistan. Running many nuclear reactors over there? Feel free to use all the nuke jargon you want in your explanation as to how this make you a better bubblehead, you are not the only one on this site.

The IA process is failed experiment that went HORRIBLY wrong in our experience in Vietnam. Rotating individuals into a combat theater of operations is a disaster. Been there done that as a nation and have the scars (physical and emotional) to prove it. As one who tries to never offer criticism without offering a suitable plan, here it is...stop doing IA. Rotate UNITS in and put of the theater of operations. This individuality crap is getting people killed who have no business being there ALONE in the first place.

As a submariner you signed up and trained real hard to be a steely eyed killer of the deep. Excellent. Don't fret about sitting the current fracas in Iraq or Afghanistan out...sadly I think your particular set of skills are going to be needed sooner than you apparently think.

LT B II said...

<p>
</p><p>I couldn't fit this all in one post, so I apologize for the next 3.
</p><p> 
</p><p><span>I thought I had cleared this up, but maybe not.  The mentor groups are specific groups within the EDO community.  I received the email as part of the EDO Diver mentor group.   When I was an ensign I was accepted as an EDO option and was interested in this group, but have since made the decision that I enjoy being a submariner too much to leave it.  I don’t know for sure, but I believe there are several other mentor groups for different specialties within the EDO community.  I am 99% sure it has NOTHING to do with race/ethnic/gender/sexual orientation.  The confusion in the presentation of this post was evident, which is what drove me to post.  Had I not received this email personally, I probably would have scanned it, said something to the effect of “oh that salamander” and went on with my day.  I have to admit that this experience makes me wonder what else has been poorly presented on this blog.  </span>
</p><p><span></span>
</p><p><span>OldCob-  I’ve always respected COB’s.  Always.  I will admit I made some poor word choices.  But, you have to admit that your reply is exactly what I’m talking about.  You didn’t say anything with any substance.  More of the same:  We have all the great ideas,  we believe we can do better.  Well, step up to the plate COB, and give us your ideas on improving the IA process.  Otherwise, you’re just another chief sitting in the corner talking about how if only you were the CO.  If truly were a COB, you know and can do better than that.  Please do.</span>

</p>

LT B II said...

<p><span>Sean-After reading your post I have come to the conclusion that if you did a DH tour, you must have been an ENG.  As you probably know, submarines do not exist to operate nuclear reactors, and there are, at most, only 4 officers engaged in nuke division officer jobs and 1 Engineer.  Sure, everyone is a nuke and we all enjoy the paycheck, but that leaves at a minimum 12 other officers who are not assigned with primary duties as a nuke.  I'm posting my IA billet as an example:  I work for a unit tasked with performing a very specific mission in support of a battalion level S-2 shop.  What I'm really doing is assisting with operations planning, execution, and post mission analysis.  If you don’t think this experience will help me execute missions on a submarine that don’t involve boiling water, then you missed the big picture when you were a submariner (boomer guy?) and I’m sorry you had such a poor experience.  I think you may be under the impression that most IA’s are guys out on patrols kicking in doors.  While there probably are some billets like that, by and large, most of them are not.  The army lacks technologically savvy officers with TS/SCI clearances.  Sub guys have both.  Let me know if you need a further explanation.  My unit is based with COMISAF and has an Army O-5 OIC.  The other 58 members of my unit are Navy OS’s and Naval Officers from the aviation, submarine, and surface warfare communities.  I am at a FOB with 2 of the OS’s.  We trained in the US together (most pre-deployment training is with the unit you deploy with).  This FOB is small, but still has a total of 13 sailors, including one of the finest Chief Petty Officers I’ve ever encountered.  We take care of each other and act as a unit, despite our various mission sets.  I think you’d be hard pressed to find a FOB or COP in this country where any sailor is “ALONE.”  I'm still trying to find a way to get to BAF for the CPO selectee pinning ceremony (35+ getting pinned at BAF alone).  I guess that doesn’t really fit in with your Vietnam example.  I’d love to read more about that though...if you have the time to post your references.  Please don’t assume that I don’t think what submarines do is important and will be very relevant.  If I thought that, I wouldn’t have signed a five year contract to do a DH tour. </span>
</p>

LT B II said...

<p><span>My skill set and leadership skills are built on a foundation of experiences.  </span>
</p><p><span>As much as you hate the diversity word, I know from reading other posts that you guys understand the value in operational experience diversity.  This idea has been perverted by the diversity industry to mean that in order to have experience diversity you must have a different skin color.  I will support posts 100% that attempt to bring this perversion to light.  The example used in this post simply isn’t one of them.  The analysis performed by CDR S portrayed it as such, thereby diminishing his credibility to those that know where things really came from the next time he posts a real example of diversity perversion (Today’s Diversity Thursday being one of them).</span>
</p><p><span></span>
</p><p><span>P.S. I HATE THE LCS</span>
</p>

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

Badgers are NOT rodents, we're WEASELS!

swon6ret said...

Any and all reserves that has not had an IA assignment by now should be forced out now!

Sean said...

LT B:

Regarding unit rotation policy in Vietnam - here is merely one reference:

<span>In a profession where unit cohesion, combat experience and competent leadership mark the difference between victory and defeat, the Army's rotation policy made little sense to those who lived through it. Crisis in Command: Mismanagement in the Army, written by Major Richard A. Gabriel and Lt. Col. Paul L. Savage, was one of the more thoroughgoing and insightful indictments leveled against the Army in the years following the war. 'The rotation policies operative in Vietnam,' Gabriel and Savage argued, 'virtually foreclosed the possibility of establishing fighting units with a sense of identity, morale, and strong cohesiveness….Not only did the rotation policy foreclose the possibility of developing a sense of unit integrity and responsibility, but it also ensured a continuing supply of low quality, inexperienced officers at the point of greatest stress in any army, namely in its combat units.'</span>

This may by the first time you have not had someone reflexily gush over what you are doing over in the sand box as a nuclear submariner - sad to say that you are on the wrong end of an experiment (Individual Assignments into a war zone) that has already been done and failed miserably.

Sean said...

LT B:

Submarines exist to project naval power (put torpedoe on target, sea lane denial, commerce raiding, etc...).  As a function of how the United States chooses to operate submarines, we choose to have nuclear powered submarines, which ups the training requirements considerably for submarine officers.  Ours is an incredibly narrow subset of the naval profession that takes a long time to understand how all of it comes together and to be good at it - see the many references to our own experience in the Pacific in WWII before we got it right and that was with non-nuclear submarines so the nuke stuff we deal with today was not even part of the picture.  Even it was they still would have found the right set of officers to defeat the Empire of Japan.

You chose this profession.  Excellent.  Bully for you.  Keep at it and be the best submariner possible.

My argument (and I am not the only one making this) is that the needs of the Army/Marine Corps team in fighting two wars over in Iraq / Afghanistan needed more bodies than they had.  In the resultant budget fight, where do you think that this money for the extra bodies was going to come from?  Exactly - the Navy and the Air Force.  To forestall this the Navy and Air Force came up with this concept of IA to supply bodies for the effort in Iraq / Afghanistan.  Never mind that the IA concept failed horribly when we rotated individuals in the Army/Marine Corps in Vietnam - it helped preserve the budgets of the Navy and Air Force while giving the touchy feely illusion that we are all in this togther (a needless concept since we ARE all in this together...some of us are on the front lines and some of us are steely eyed killers of the deep).

What did the Army do with your post before the Navy /Air Force started supplying bodies to fill the billet?  I suspect and hope that they did it themselves.  Or is this an additional staff created to use the IA folks (I hope not but fear the worse when large organizations get extra bodies....).  IF the Army / Marine Corps are having problems dealing with the requirments placed upon them by the Nation, it is up to all of us to have an adult conversation as to how to address the needs to meed the goals laid out before us.  Simply swapping bodies around that were never designed/trained to do functions different from their primary training is not a good idea and repeating a failed policy of individual rotations into and out of a combat zone is insanity (the part where you do the same thing over and over again and expect different results).

Cheers,

LT B said...

LT B that is not me,   I think the point that Sal was making was the first come first serve means of filling the billet is not really focusing on skill sets and job requirement lash ups.  Sure, a young enterprising, nuke qualified, officer that dabbles in the intel field can be an assett over there, and can even gain experience useful on the boat.  No arguement there.  But is the first guy that hits the magic button ALWAYS the best guy?  Some, here, keyed in on the "mentor group" statement and fair or not, the Navy has been pushing favoritism quite a bit so that may have been how it was perceived.  The Navy has to blame themselves for that being the first thought most have.  The quota mentality being pushed down the intestine is coloring the perceptions of a lot of Sailors.

As for a better idea for IAs.  Well, it speaks volumes that after 10 years, we have not plussed up the ground side, are band-aiding their manning requirements with Sailors and the system hasn't really changed.  It is a failure at the political level to try to do this.  So, the honest way to do it is actually plus up the Army/Marines, train the troops to the mission set, and roll with it.  Over 10 years, this should have happened.  The Marines got a bit of a plus up, but they are about to be downsized again. 

The real issue is the USAF/USN realized how perilous their budgets would be as it was a green war, not a blue war.  They stepped up and have kept it up to argue they need some of this GWOT or OCO funding as well. 

PS
I hate the LCS too.  :)