Monday, October 20, 2014

CNO rethinking STEM bias?

Good news on the intellectual capital development front.

After trending in the wrong direction for years towards and unnecessarily skewed, to 85% STEM, bias in officer accessions, it looks like the CNO may reassess.

Via our pal Sam LaGrone at USNINews;
The Department of the Navy funds 4,200 NROTC midshipmen — around 3,300 Navy and about 870 Marine Corps midshipmen. For Navy options, 85 percent of the funds are devoted to STEM majors while 15 percent is left for liberal arts and language degrees.

“It is of great value to revisit this [issue],” said Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert at the CSIS and U.S. Naval Institute’s Maritime Security Dialogue on Tuesday in response to a question from a member of the University of George Washington NROTC battalion.
“We should do it periodically and not just sit on it and we’re doing that.”

Greenert said he had met with his strategic advisory group on Monday and the topic has emerged.

As to if the Navy will change the balance of scholarships in the future, Greenert responded with, “well, we’ll see.”
Yea ... I caught that hedge as well. I hope he wasn't just making happy talk to make the uncomfortable question go away. As always, deeds not words will tell the story - but he opened the door for other voices to address the topic.
... retired NATO Supreme Commander Adm. James G. Stavridis suggested the Navy also revisit the scholarship program mix.

Stavridis — who is also the U.S. Naval Institute’s Chair of the Board of Directors and the Dean of the Fletcher School at Tufts University — graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a degree in electrical engineering and earned graduate degrees in international relations.

“In all honesty, I found the situations I encountered in the course of my career, I was more benefited by what I had studied about the world international relations and history and all of the other aspects of those disciplines than my electrical engineering background,” he said.

“I don’t know that the balance needs to be fifty-fifty, it is a technical service and that’s part of what we do.”
Spot on.

It is a topic we discussed again for a bit on Midrats yesterday, and one that will not be going away soon.

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