Well Rounded vs Specialized Expertise

Postby jitter » Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:13 am

Sum1 wrote:Or do you mean where they're NOT coming from? I'm already seeing this now... because of the IWO's emphasis on qualifying and standing SWO watches the CTRC and CTR1 run SSES. Your success or failure in SSES hinges pretty much entirely on their competence, which shouldn't be surprising, but it becomes even more crucial when you're spending all your time in the bridge or in combat. I'm trying to imagine the nightmare that an IWO's job would be if they had to do all the qualifying, SWO watchstanding, normal shipwide admin (SSO, OPSEC, etc), EW mod admin/leadership, AND had to fix a screwed up SSES.


I have to ask this, when is the last time SSES provided I&W to the ship?
If your SSES actually collected something that proved to be of value please let me know. Most of the time all I've seen is confirmation of ELINT hits. Once SSES became obsolete (1990'S) the crype was used else where (SWO world). If SSES was to become important again the CO's would want you there not else where on the ship. :eek:
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Postby IWO » Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:19 am

Sum1 wrote:\ I'm trying to imagine the nightmare that an IWO's job would be if they had to do all the qualifying, SWO watchstanding, normal shipwide admin (SSO, OPSEC, etc), EW mod admin/leadership, AND had to fix a screwed up SSES.


Been there, done that, as Im sure many on this forum have. Motivator is spot on -- it hinges on your leadership, which, as he/she said, will come back to you as your Sailors who never thought it possible to be looked upon favorably by the upper chain of command start ranking out favorably amongst their peers. Then one day u/w you walk into SSES and see they have actually painted the door green, because "behind the green door" is no longer a stigma but a source of pride.

WRT PCS afloat tours, we need to get over the myriad admin/collateral duties that pull at our time by efficiently executing them and then returning our efforts to our primary jobs (specialization). It can be done by focusing and prioritizing.
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Well Rounded vs Specialized Expertise

Postby atn » Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:54 am

jitter wrote:I have to ask this, when is the last time SSES provided I&W to the ship?
If your SSES actually collected something that proved to be of value please let me know. Most of the time all I've seen is confirmation of ELINT hits. Once SSES became obsolete (1990'S) the crype was used else where (SWO world). If SSES was to become important again the CO's would want you there not else where on the ship. :eek:


jitter, there is a distinction between I&W and Threat Warning - they are different.

Threat Warning - An imminent danger to the ship and her crew, likely doesn't happen all of the time.

I&W - Letting the crew know something is out there, where it is, and what it might be doing happens all time, and likely while I type. And while it's cool for this to happen organically, oftentimes it is external capabilities that provide that info. And that is ok. We have to get out of the mindset that our SSES must be thwarting the next big attack in order to be relevant. What might seem mundane or routine to us could provide an added level of comfort (thus relevance) to that CO.

We have taken steps backwards in our IW operations afloat, and we've noone to blame but ourselves - we must fix unit-level training, as this is our single greatest deficiency and the greatest corrosive to our credibility. We've lost focus, and need to regain it in order to regain pride in our craft.
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Postby Sum1 » Wed Dec 28, 2011 7:38 am

I would also vote for getting rid of every single computer-based training course in existence, but that's another conversation for another thread :)
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Postby OWIStop » Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:10 am

COMEVIL wrote:Point taken.

Could you identify where these incentives and emphasis are coming from?


To reiterate what has already been stated, the incentive is getting the shipboard quals and breaking out against the DIVOs or DIRSUP IWOs (in my case).
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Postby OWIStop » Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:21 am

IWO wrote:Been there, done that, as Im sure many on this forum have. Motivator is spot on -- it hinges on your leadership, which, as he/she said, will come back to you as your Sailors who never thought it possible to be looked upon favorably by the upper chain of command start ranking out favorably amongst their peers. Then one day u/w you walk into SSES and see they have actually painted the door green, because "behind the green door" is no longer a stigma but a source of pride.

WRT PCS afloat tours, we need to get over the myriad admin/collateral duties that pull at our time by efficiently executing them and then returning our efforts to our primary jobs (specialization). It can be done by focusing and prioritizing.


Although Motivator mentioned that his Sailors broke out well against the ship, but was it for the accomplishments they made in SSES? if so, great! But more often than not, break outs come from all the things you do OUTSIDE of your primary job. It's unfortunate, but what often occurs.

When you put that Sailor up against ranking boards and all but 1 or 2 ppl understand what they've accomplished in SSES (or perceive to have value), it's better to emphasize the work they've provided outside of SSES. yes...it's striking a balance, usually the balance shifted away from what happens in SSES. This goes for the IWOs as well..
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Postby Sleeper » Wed Dec 28, 2011 2:32 pm

OWIStop wrote:But more often than not, break outs come from all the things you do OUTSIDE of your primary job. It's unfortunate, but what often occurs.
When you put that Sailor up against ranking boards and all but 1 or 2 ppl understand what they've accomplished in SSES (or perceive to have value), it's better to emphasize the work they've provided outside of SSES.


Sidebar: This is where we get killed by unclass Evals and FitReps. All of our "sanitized" bullets sound identical to the point of being meaningless (something along the lines of "provided vital time-sensitive intelligence to fleet and theater commanders..."). As a result, our break-out bullets (and those best understood by board members) tend to be the unclass collateral duties and volunteer/outside accomplishments. Even within IW/CT commands, it's not usually the strong operational types that break-out high; it's the ones with the fluff jobs and lots of collaterals that look good in unclass write-ups.
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Postby COMEVIL » Wed Dec 28, 2011 5:47 pm

The pessimism on this thread is so thick you could cut it with a knife...
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Postby Sleeper » Wed Dec 28, 2011 7:36 pm

COMEVIL wrote:The realism on this thread is so thick you could cut it with a knife...


There, I fixed that for ya'. :D

I might just be a /.er
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SSES are relevant...

Postby telowery » Wed Dec 28, 2011 8:28 pm

atn wrote:jitter, there is a distinction between I&W and Threat Warning - they are different.

Threat Warning - An imminent danger to the ship and her crew, likely doesn't happen all of the time.

I&W - Letting the crew know something is out there, where it is, and what it might be doing happens all time, and likely while I type. And while it's cool for this to happen organically, oftentimes it is external capabilities that provide that info. And that is ok. We have to get out of the mindset that our SSES must be thwarting the next big attack in order to be relevant. What might seem mundane or routine to us could provide an added level of comfort (thus relevance) to that CO.

We have taken steps backwards in our IW operations afloat, and we've noone to blame but ourselves - we must fix unit-level training, as this is our single greatest deficiency and the greatest corrosive to our credibility. We've lost focus, and need to regain it in order to regain pride in our craft.


While I've questioned the importance of afloat cryptology in my earlier years, I'm currently a Collection Manager at a COCOM and multple ships' SSES are providing data that's critical to us and is unavailable through other means. In these cases the SSES is driving the ship and I guarantee the CO is building his FITREP off the SSES. We've actually asked for more platforms but have been told no by our Naval Component. While working on a Fleet Staff we also worked on capabilities that support 10th Fleet operations. The important thing is to have leadership in place at Fleet and higher levels that understand the full capability of the SSES and utilize them correctly. IMO this is where the "well-rounded" Sailor comes into play, he has to understand not only the SSES capabilities but the full breadth of capabilities available to the SSES including the non-traditional ones.
As for the "well-rounded" vs "specialized" question....I believe "specialized" Sailors are most valuable when they leave their comfort zone and contribute their expertise to new organizations. To many of them homeport in one location (re: Ft. Meade) and never understand the view from a different perspective and how they can contribute to that mission which I believe is a waste of their knowledge.
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