FY-15 Zones

Re: FY-15 Zones

Postby yoshi » Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:09 pm

Over the past 10 years - the same which produced the lost generation sleeper referred to - I have never once heard a detailer or an OCM say anything other than things are headed in the right direction for the community and or for individuals. Based on the difference between what the detailers and OCM have proclaimed and what I have seen in person during this same decade, I find proclamations we are headed in the right direction to be less than credible. First, their narrow view focuses solely on manning - nothing else. It doesn't factor in competence, ability, influence, performance, etc. Its nothing but manning. And, if we rounded out our wardroom with enough Kampuchean Monkeys who possess the right AQD and the right PRD to ensure a 50/60/70% opportunity, the OCM and detailer would view the wardroom as healthy. Second, the detailer and OCM are kind of duty bound to say that, aren't they? They are the leading role in selling the community vision and it makes sense they believe we are on the right track. What if that vision is lacking? I know, that's blasphemous, since no one above CAPT has ever made mistakes. But, have we always made the right decisions at CAPT and above levels? Finally, the collective understanding of community health is skewed to match that of the detailer. No one talks about skill, trade craft, inherent understanding, and technical competence, or perhaps even views them as essential components to community health. So, we might be able to promote 70% for 50 straight years and keep flow points at the mandatory maximum. But, how does that connect to improving the three capabilities we are supposed to provide the Navy? Right now, our stable manning does not equate to improved capability. It would be helpful to retire the idea that our promotion system keeps the best 50/60/70%. That belief is a fallacy.

The IP community truly is a wreck with respect to its healthy manning level. However, from what i have seen, the CSG N6 usually has a much better grasp of networks and IP capabilities than the CRC does of the cryptologic processes and capabilities afloat and ashore (not even going to bother with the DIWC). The billets they leave vacant are the least important, meanwhile their critical billets are filled with VERY sharp folks. Their qual process and long term development requirements are FAR more stringent and they are much sharper in their skills than IW officers in our competence area. How many CRCs have to be trained by the A/CRC, the CASE,the Fleet CRC, etc? And these are the ones we 'screen' for this duty? Ha! We are often professionally incompetent with respect to Fleet Navy, but are able to get away with it if we avoid playing a leading role on the CSG and remain obsolete to the mission. IPs don't really have that option. Yes, there are some incompetent IPs. It is interesting to note there are probably even more since we started robbing them of their stable accession source - the lateral transfer (picked up, what, like 11 in Nov?). Knowing our attrition over the past decade, considering the lat transfers in over recent years - to say we are healthier than the IP community or that we are on track is something of an indictment as professional competence is found nowhere in our discussions of community health. Indeed, the consideration of competence falls far below other priorities in our community. We would rather focus on being URL, being an 'operational' force, making the IDC, building out mission, doing IO, not doing IO (anymore), doing OPSEC/MILDEC, not doing OPSEC/MILDEC (anymore), or anything which gives us relative advantage over other communities and/or personalities. Our success should not qualified in relative terms (to other communities). I just want to do my job at least as well as the person who did my job best. I wish the community maintained the same view.
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Re: FY-15 Zones

Postby Wolfpack » Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:20 pm

yoshi wrote:Over the past 10 years - the same which produced the lost generation sleeper referred to - I have never once heard a detailer or an OCM say anything other than things are headed in the right direction for the community and or for individuals. Based on the difference between what the detailers and OCM have proclaimed and what I have seen in person during this same decade, I find proclamations we are headed in the right direction to be less than credible. First, their narrow view focuses solely on manning - nothing else. It doesn't factor in competence, ability, influence, performance, etc. Its nothing but manning.


Of course the detailer and the OCM are focused on manning, that is what they do. Their entire existence is manning. They work for OPNAV N1. They do not develop the job or skill requirements for assignments, the parent command does. They do not define what the skills or competencies are for promotion, the community lead does. The detailers job is to get butts in assignments, to balance what the officer wants and what the command wants. The OCM fights a constant battle to maintain numbers. Numbers is what the OCM works with, not people, not skills, but numbers.
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Re: FY-15 Zones

Postby yoshi » Mon Dec 30, 2013 8:13 pm

Now that I am armed with the knowledge of the detailer/OCM's purpose... ...the central point made is perhaps best encapsulated by the following two questions: how do we define community health? And, how should we define community "health"? If we define it as having sufficient bodies, we are completely off topic and have undermined the entire purpose of our community's existence. Although arguably the most basic component, personnel is but one component of health and it can be solved from outside the wardroom. The other health components - morale, skills, enrichment, competence, career/community viability - cannot be solved so easily, particularly if at odds with the personnel solution (SWO makes a fine case study). I think most of our wardroom believes we are healthy as a community, particularly at our NIOCs. I think the view is different from other places. I suppose it comes down to what we do, as a purpose, in the Navy. Lately, I'm easliy confused as to our purpose in the Navy, but luckily not as confused as the other communities with whom we work:-)
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Re: FY-15 Zones

Postby Wolfpack » Mon Dec 30, 2013 9:28 pm

yoshi wrote:Now that I am armed with the knowledge of the detailer/OCM's purpose... ...the central point made is perhaps best encapsulated by the following two questions: how do we define community health? And, how should we define community "health"? If we define it as having sufficient bodies, we are completely off topic and have undermined the entire purpose of our community's existence. Although arguably the most basic component, personnel is but one component of health and it can be solved from outside the wardroom. The other health components - morale, skills, enrichment, competence, career/community viability - cannot be solved so easily, particularly if at odds with the personnel solution (SWO makes a fine case study). I think most of our wardroom believes we are healthy as a community, particularly at our NIOCs. I think the view is different from other places. I suppose it comes down to what we do, as a purpose, in the Navy. Lately, I'm easliy confused as to our purpose in the Navy, but luckily not as confused as the other communities with whom we work:-)


Great questions. Being manned at 95% does not mean that you are healthy, just that you can fill 95% of your billets with warm bodies.

Some can be done through surveys - morale for example. Skills by the customer. The questions you are asking are exactly why there is a need for a TYCOM. A command that is responsible for the quantitative and qualitative data to make a community heath assessment.
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Re: FY-15 Zones

Postby yoshi » Tue Dec 31, 2013 12:07 am

Interesting perspective on the TYCOM being the hub for community health. I'm inclined to agree, as a TYCOM's proficiency in M, T, and E might indicate community (or corps, in the case of the proposed TYCOM) health. I suppose integration into the TYCOM is paramount for ensuring community health, particularly for those communities who are "Fleet only" (don't have national mission considerations and/or provisioning), such as METOC and IP. No matter the structure, I certainly think having an organization which embodies a corps or community provides a natural plug in point for the Navy to address issues. There is presently mass confusion with respect to who to go to for what and who 'owns' what processes. Every organization has a different idea of where everything falls and where the lanes in the road are, with MOAs and MOUs providing testimony. We're desperately in need of simplification and elimination of MOAs/MOUs as they undermine organizational purpose. It would be really cool if we could get the 4 communities to integrate community lead duties (wouldn't have to be the senior most person) into some organization (maybe the TYCOM, or OPNAV, or FCC) in the same way OPNAV has N2/N6 and PERS47 has all IDC. Little is more collectively productive than unity of purpose. In any case, attempting to find and address all components to community health is a good discussion to have - irrespective of present or future structures - and perhaps what Arkad was hinting at. Nice to see it.
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Re: FY-15 Zones

Postby CNO Guy » Thu Jan 02, 2014 1:11 pm

WRT this being good or bad for the community, this is great for the community for one resounding reason - it will ensure we only promote our best. We as a community (and certainly the JOs out there) have bitched, moaned, and griped about mediocre leadership since I was an ENS in 2000; the larger zone sizes with normal selection rates allow for our stronger leaders to promote and our mediocre and poor perfromers to be afforded opportunities elsewhere. Personally, I havea rather strong opinion those officers that promote simply by waiting out their peer group hold back the stronger performers and ultimately hurt the community and Navy. It would be great to see large zone sizes and slightly lower than normal selection rates to ensure we are showing those mediocre and poor performers the door; and yes, we would certainly be showing that door to some strong performers as well...but what better motivation to become better!

You can call it a purge, personnaly the term just comes accross as alarmist, but personally we haven't gone far enough as a community to ensure our long term health. Where are the early retirement boards to drive more opportunity for our "hot runners", where are the deep selects of stellar junior folks, etc? Those actions reside with the bearacracy and risk adverse leadership we so desperatly need.

Many will disagree and that is ok, but there is greatness in our community, I firmly believe that as I have seen it. We simply have to allow those stellar JOs to blossom into stellar Senior Officers and provide them a motivation to do so while ensuring they have tools/experience along the way; what better motivation than a truly competitive and selective group of peers. If you disagree you are most likely in one of two camps - 1) mediocre/poor and know it, or 2) not sure where you stand and not willing to put in the work to become good/great. Question is, where do you put yourself and what are you doing to become better at what you do...note that I didn't say more competitive as they are not necessarily the same thing; however, they are explicitly linked.

Ok off the soap box, got the vest on so let the bullets fly.
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Re: FY-15 Zones

Postby COMEVIL » Thu Jan 02, 2014 3:03 pm

yoshi wrote:However, from what i have seen, the CSG N6 usually has a much better grasp of networks and IP capabilities than the CRC does of the cryptologic processes and capabilities afloat and ashore (not even going to bother with the DIWC). The billets they leave vacant are the least important, meanwhile their critical billets are filled with VERY sharp folks. Their qual process and long term development requirements are FAR more stringent and they are much sharper in their skills than IW officers in our competence area. How many CRCs have to be trained by the A/CRC, the CASE,the Fleet CRC, etc? And these are the ones we 'screen' for this duty?


I have a few issues with this statement. First of all you are comparing an O-6 to an O-4. The IP O-6, by the time they fill this billet as CSG N6, probably has twice as much time in service than the IW O-4. So to compare the knowledge base of these two simply isn't fair. I agree that our pipeline for CRC is broken and the CRC course is lacking. There is room for improvement there no doubt. But to say an ACRC has to train the CRC isn't really an issue in my mind. Isn't that the role of a CTRC with regards to an IW JO?

yoshi wrote:(not even going to bother with the DIWC).


Let's go there for a second. This may be the most under-utilized IW CDR in the Navy, IMHO. I think this billet was created as we made our move into IW. What the overall vision is for it now, other than to make some O-5's "healthy" for selection to O-6, I truly don't know.

yoshi wrote:We would rather focus on being URL, being an 'operational' force, making the IDC, building out mission, doing IO, not doing IO (anymore), doing OPSEC/MILDEC, not doing OPSEC/MILDEC (anymore), or anything which gives us relative advantage over other communities and/or personalities. Our success should not qualified in relative terms (to other communities). I just want to do my job at least as well as the person who did my job best. I wish the community maintained the same view.


No doubt we have struggled through a bit of an identity crisis but I personally feel like we are back on track with a clear way ahead in three primary areas -- Cryptology, EW, Cyber.
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Re: FY-15 Zones

Postby yoshi » Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:51 pm

@COMEVIL:
O6 vs O4 - the Fleet doesn't care about rank, only what you provide and how well you do it. Our CRCs have to be able to provide the ability to make O6 decisions (influence), irrespective of rank. That requires cryppie knowledge and experience to be on par with an N6 IP CAPT's level of network experience. Period. Should be pretty easy, given the IP community is almost entirely lateral transfers. If we can't bring that much experience well that's on us. With respect to the CRC course, it is light years better than previously. The problem - in my opinion - isn't that we can't write CCPs or don't know how to be CRCs. I think the problem is we don't know enough about the other stuff to adequately represent our SIG/EW/CYBER and integrate it successfully. Also, we don't have enough staff-experienced CRCs who know where to go for what, how to ghost the email for the CSG CO, and what is a rabbit hole waste of time. With respect to an A/CRC training a CRC - yes, I think it is an issue in today's community, as the A/CRCs of today oftejn aren't any more experienced and probably likely to know less about the "other stuff" than a JO who has qualified on any surface platform. in my view, a CRC should requrie familiarization (not training) and have a VERY solid idea of what they are doing when they step on the ship. The job demands it - it is graduate level, milestone work, not a training opportunity.

DIWC - Agreed, they are completely under-utilized, except for PHIBRONs. When I think about the DIWC and CRC O-4s on a CSG versus the one poor O3 who does both on an ARG (probbaly eliminating themself from CSG CRC consideration since they are earning BI3, possibly shrinking O4 milestone options relative to tothers), I start ro wonder. So, SURFOR thinks they are O3 versus O4 billets. Are we hiding behind a SURFOR document while knowing what the right answer is? And, has anyone thought about reaching out to the surface forces to make it sensible? That would be such an easy case to make - there has to be something else or we are comletely insular. Overall, I'd rather see us send our O6s to sea as N6s or N2s than DIWC O5s.

SIG/EW/CYBER - if the purpose is signal exploitation, our purpose hasn't changed in decades. Only the mediums and names have changed and evolved. So maybe we have some new skills requried to achieve our purpose in a specific medium and a new monachre for sale, but things haven't changed all that much. I don't think the newer items are simply passing fancy, but I don't think they change the landscape of what we do, although maybe the location. [As an aside: some say operational cyber is different, that we are now operational. But, I'm betting our operational cyber is in response to a defined requirement from a COCOM (such as USCC maybe), NSA, or an authority derived outside of our community. In this context, that sounds like support, same as traditional DIRSUP. I think sometimes confusion over our purpose causes us to get a little hung up on verbiage. I just don't see much difference between the new new cyber team concept and a subsurface DIRSUP team, although i like seeing O4 and O5 billets with such a narrow focus.]
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Re: FY-15 Zones

Postby yoshi » Thu Jan 02, 2014 7:49 pm

@CNOguy:
Promotion percentages have been pretty low for a few years now (70/60/50, i think). This year's percentages can really only stay the same or go higher. So, I'm thinking we aren't going to do any better than we have over the last few years with respect to keeping the best and brightest - probably the exact same. Since we aren't going to promote any more folks on a percentage basis, the only difference is the number of people pushed through the system (promoted and passed over) this year. So, for me, it is a purge with the effect on community health remaining unclear. I don't think purge is a bad word here, or alarmist. I think it is neutral. Everyone knows it has to happen, no matter how the YGs involved stack up with previous YGs who enjoyed 90/80/70 percent. Yes, we will fire people at the O3, O4, and O5 level who would have been promoted 4-8 years ago as they are probably "better "than were the bottom 20% promoted in certain past years. How does this affect health - good question. i think you have to look at several consecutive years, rather than one year, to figure out the answer.

I am unsold on the connection between becoming competitive and becoming better; I don't believe they are explicitly linked. I'm also unsold on the ability of the Navy's promotion system to ensure we only promote our best (best at what??). There are far too many factors, personal, situational, and systemic, for this conclusion. Our system promotes the willing first, real competence and ethic are assumed based on survival. But hey, you have to have some kind of system and no system is perfect. All I'm saying is we have to keep our eyes wide open concerning the limitations of the systems in place. Otherwise, you lose the ability to think critically about it. When you don't think critically about a system, process, or community - either by choice or inability - and simply accept it without mental debate, you lose the ability to make worthwhile change. I'd ike our promotion system to find the best and brightest as a rule, but it isn't perfect. I can accept that, but it is lethal to quit trying trying to contemplate the controllable aspects through which it could be made more perfect (i generally view this as diligence).

From a manning perspective, its probably desireable to have minimum promotion percentages across all grades with a flow point as far to the right as possible. That would seem to ensure maximum "experience" and inventory in all grades to respond to future year demands. Early retirement boards and deep selects seem to thwart community health or at least stability from a manning perspective. (Of course there's a balance, just indicating the difference between risk aversion and sound reasoning is sometimes difficult to make out).
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Re: FY-15 Zones

Postby IWO » Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:21 pm

It is interesting that lots of this discussion revolves around performance as CRC, and not in Command, as a yardstick by which community health is measured. That might be another discussion entirely. But, for those who see the CRC pipeline as broken, what would you change if you could? I'm talking about the progression to CRC, not about the school at Corry.

Also, I don't like the term "lost generation". Regardless of what was going on with community identity back then, there are plenty of outstanding and knowledgeable leaders that came out of it.

Agree with the DIWC comments.
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