From FITREPS to the Milington Diktat, we have developed a habit of telling each other little lies. Mostly it is from the intellectual cowardliness of not wanting to be the bearer of bad news, or to do something that will make someone not like you. Worse, it is a sign of disrespect where you tell a lie to someone who knows you are telling a lie, and they act like they think you are being truthful when, in reality, they know that you know that they know that you are lying. That is just your basic FITREP debrief.
It is something else though when your nation and your service has been at war for a decade. In addition to "normal" deployments, in order to double-count paid billets (a person is counted only once, though they are doing two jobs, one which is effectively gapped) we created IAs where the Navy sent people to fill warfighting jobs in IRQ, AFG, and other garden spots that supported those wars. There was always a promise that of course, we are at war. You are filling a combat job in addition to everything else ... you are getting "pain points" that will be rewarded. Trust us.
Well, what ground truth does the latest Aviation Major Command Screen Board tell us?
124Total URL Eligibles (SG 91/92)
39 URL Selects (not including AVN/Seq Commands)
21 of 39 selects on first look (54%)
- 35 had a masters (90%)It is like a decade of war never happened. You could have seen almost the same results in 2000. This is simply the result of a system running on autopilot. Led by people who have lost whatever operational mindset they once had, that they don't even understand what their core job is - to fight wars.
- 37 had completed JPME 1 (95%)
- 26 had completed JPME 2 (67%)
- 35 had joint duty assignments (90%)
- 24 were JQO (62%)
- 21 had completed an overseas tour (54%)
- 1 had completed IA/GSA (3%)
What are the "lessons learned" for our best? Get a masters, JPME I, and Joint Tour. All else is secondary. Fight to avoid the front lines and to lead Sailors in harms way. Scratch for those triple-digit N-codes in chop-the-chopped-chop PPT jobs. Get your part-time Masters from degree mills.
And, for all that is good, don't go to war or volunteer for an IA/GSA. That's the B-Team's job.
What does our Navy seem to value after a decade of war? Simple, the box-checking, staff weenie fonctionnaire.
Update: Some people have read this as a slap at those who were selected. I can see how it could be read that way, and I am sorry if some took offense; I could have worded it better.
Our system puts out demand signals that good people respond to, or are pushed to by sponsors to follow. Also, for something as highly exceptionally selective as the AMCSB, the line between the bottom five selected and the top five not selected is very hard to draw. The central issue here is institutional and what we have our best doing with their time, and also what we use as a "tie breaker."
You were a #1 JO, DH, & CO, but due to the luck of the schedule did not do a combat deployment. You want to get in the game, and look to an IA as a way to do it. Do you? The message is clear; better to do a cube farm J-code than lead Sailors in AFG.
That board fact is to our great shame.