Tuesday, December 03, 2019

SECNAV: Turnaround Specialist Wanted

Besides getting tripped up at the end, I think on average of the last couple of decades, Spencer did a fine job … but … either stayed too long or was missing a skill set to roll with the zeitgeist.

I maintain that the Navy could do well to have a SECNAV with a political background. It is a very political job, and that is a skill set that is hard to pick up on the fly. Who would I nominate? Not my job – and in any event – I would prefer all the navalists on The Hill stay in their jobs for now. We will need all that expertise in place for as long as we need to get through what the 2020s will feed us.

Perhaps there are some solid folks who were term-limited out from state level positions that might work. Whoever it is – there are a lot of issues that need attention and focus.

Our friend David Larter has a great summary of just a few:
...the firing of the secretary of the Navy means another leadership implosion in an organization that has seen a near-constant stream of them.

In the past four years, scandals, disasters and shoddy performance have cut short the careers of a confirmed chief of naval operations, the Pacific Fleet commander, the head of surface forces, the former head of 5th Fleet, the former head of 7th Fleet, two high-profile task force commanders and a destroyer squadron commander.

And that’s on top of the nearly dozen admirals and captains who were reprimanded in the wake of 2013’s revelations about Leonard “Fat Leonard” Francis,

The parade of scandals and mishaps, including two collisions with commercial tankers that claimed the lives of 17 sailors, raise deep cultural questions about the service on all fronts.

Spencer in August ordered a complete review of the judge advocate general community, and top Navy SEAL Rear Adm. Collin Green has overseen a crackdown on SEAL behavior through a return-to-discipline approach. But some observers say the Navy needs focus more on fixing its culture.
Head on over and read it all. The Two Bryans, Bryan Clark and Bryan McGrath, are seeing the elephant from different sides.

Here is one thing I do know; we need a good SECNAV and we need one now.

No one full of foolish, pie in the sky theories they want to practice. No one who thinks they are smarter than the last few dozen SECNAV’s.

We need one who knows how to identify top problems, and will address them. Will know what are non-value-added accretions from previous administrations that are holding on – and scrapes them off. Will know what a bloated, self-serving bureaucracy looks like, and cuts it. Knows who gets it, and who doesn’t – and fires them.

Someone who has a thick skin, secure ego; is not interested in the post-SECNAV payoff; has a dog and has no need for new friends; … and rents, not buys, in DC.

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