The higher the confidence people have in the integrity of the system, the greater they will respect and accept the results. They will accept the results, and will have greater confidence at the start with those who have been selected to lead that they are the very best we have.
So much that we do when it comes to personal career progression is based on trust; trust in your reporting senior and trust in the system in general. Like others, I have first hand knowledge of occurrences where personal agenda directly interfered with the process - but those were specific instances - nothing with an official taint.
The most corrosive idea that can be injected in to this process is an appearance that one person outside the board can change the results on personal whim or under political pressure - making individual changes in a subjective, opaque manner.
Well ... thing are out in the open now, and people rightfully should question the final results from the latest Aviation Major Command Screen Board (AMCSB) until the slight of hand changes are fully explained.
We are officers in the military serving a representative republic of a free people, not some political military of a banana republic.
If you believe in the integrity of our system of selection boards, the most important post you will read this month (at least) is over at Skipper's place.
Read it all - but here are the parts that need to get your attention. First of all, I'm gong to quote in full the email he managed to dig up;
Subject: Change to the release process for AMCSB resultsThere is a lot of inside baseball going on here that for many readers will go over their head. However, for those who know the system - the problem stands right out at you.
As a part of CNP’s expanded efforts to manage our officer talent, each TYCOM will now have a larger role in the approval process of our Admin selection board results. We will continue to ensure that we have the highest caliber officers, with the right skillsets, in critical command positions. The new process will begin with this month’s Aviation Major Command Board.
How our boards select officers for Command and Major Command will be largely unchanged. We historically do a very good job of selecting Aviation’s most talented officers, to the “best and fully qualified” standard. Our board membership is comprised of sitting or recently sitting Operational Commanders, who know first-hand the demands placed on our O-5 and O-6 commanders, and I trust their judgment implicitly. Going forward, the intent is to preserve that trust and the experience of those selecting tomorrow’s leaders.
There will be a change in how board results are approved/released. After the board adjourns, I will receive the list of all selects and the category for which they were recommended (CVW, Deep Draft, Major Shore, etc.). After I review and approve the board results, [CNPC] will release the results as he has in the past. The published results will list each officer alphabetically by selected command category without reference to IZ or AZ (first or second look). As before, the Flag/SES web site will publish the select list, and you will then have an advanced opportunity to contact those selected officers you may have mentored over the years. The two time non-selects will still be called by board members immediately after the board adjourns.
During my review of the results, I will have the authority, if I so chose, to adjust the category for which an officer was selected. As I stated earlier, my intent is to closely follow the board’s recommendations, and only shift selected officers between categories to better manage Naval Aviation’s talent, or to address a future need/requirement or officer preference. I will not have the authority to elevate non-selected officers to selected status.
Occasionally during the post results slating process, an officer cannot fulfill their selected position. Our process in the past has been to remove that officer from the Command select list. This new authority will allow me to shift this officer to another category during the slating process (better “fit”). I will use this new authority judiciously, preserving the sanctity of our well-established selection processes, and only if I believe an adjustment to the slate is in Naval Aviation’s best interests. Other than providing me with board results and the preferences of those officers selected, PERS-43 has no other involvement/influence in these new procedures.
As mentioned, next week’s AMCSB will be the first time we’ve used this new process, so I ask for your patience as we are all accustomed to receiving the results the day the board adjourns. This added step may take a little time, but we will do our best to expedite and minimize the time between adjournment and results release.
Standing by to provide clarification or answer any questions. PERS-43 will share this note with aviation O-6 leadership.
During my review of the results, I will have the authority, if I so chose, to adjust the category for which an officer was selected. As I stated earlier, my intent is to closely follow the board’s recommendations, and only shift selected officers between categories to better manage Naval Aviation’s talent, or to address a future need/requirement or officer preference. I will not have the authority to elevate non-selected officers to selected status.Yes, you've read that correctly. One man will have the ability to move someone on the slate from command of a shore facility, special mission or other - while distinguished in their own right - are admittedly 2nd tier commands - up to command of an airwing or an aircraft carrier.
Someone help CNAF out ... as I am not sure he is aware the shadow he is putting over himself personally. One must assume it is innocent and full of good intentions - but it does no good to his record or the integrity of the Navy I know he loves.
First problem; using the AMCSB as an example, there is a huge delta between CAG/Nuke selected guys and Major Shore on making Flag. This is not a no-harm issue; this is a zero sum game.
Important to note, this is only starting with this AMCSB, but the intention is to have it apply to aviation CDR Command screen boards as well.
Coming out of the board, what are the criteria for one person, COMNAVAIRFOR, to make the shift? What are his criteria? Who is he discussing this with?
Secondly; of perhaps even greater concern than that to the individuals impacted, does COMNAVAIRFOR have any idea the impact this will have on the confidence in the integrity of the board? Either he is oblivious to the impact, does not care about the impact, or is under marching orders of importance enough to be worth the blowback. Neither of those three are acceptable.
That is like saying, "All doctors are the same. I am going to take a few who could only get in to a dermatology program at land grant medical school and swap them out with a few who were accepted in to Harvard Medical School's cardiology program and John Hopkins neurosurgeon pipeline."
Like that concept?
I there a way to stop this? No. This isn't theory - Skipper has the evidence of where this has already taken place. Again, read it all over at Skipper's place, this stinks like the scupper trout that it is.
His final point is spot on as well;
None of this occurred in a vacuum, of course. Last year’s slate was held up for over two months. You can’t interrupt a process that prominent without anyone noticing. Dozens of very senior officers, to include Flag Officers, either knew this violation of the board’s results was happening or participated in it to some extent. That’s not to say they endorsed it, but they weren’t oblivious.He also has found the source of this intentional perversion of the selection process;
In light of this very troubling revelation, the e-mail I embedded above no longer looks like a solution in search of a problem. It makes complete sense, does it not? It serves two purposes. It provides sufficient cover for last year’s antics, and it paves the way for similar antics in the future. After all, why would anyone now accept unfavorable board results of any kind? Didn’t make O-4? Didn’t screen for O-5 command? Didn’t select for that Olmsted Scholarship? Just get it changed. You could be forgiven for not knowing that was an option.
And the guy squirting you in the eye with a fake flower on his lapel was (and is) the Navy’s highest ranking civilian.This all smacks of 3rd world crony-militarism and not worth of our Navy or the nation is serves.