Approval to merge all IDC communities

Merging IDC communities

Postby atn » Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:24 am

It's worth mentioning that I don't think merging the communities right now means we will all be doing each other's work. I think, at least for the foreseeable future, that we will continue in our respective specialties. Merging into a single competitive category (e.g. for FITREPs, etc) is different than merging into one community whereby all IDC officers are interchangeable at all paygrades. The current billet base and associated required skill sets are too varied to permit that - it would require an initial school and training continuum that teaches an officer everything...not practical.
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Postby yoshi » Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:44 pm

That is helpful information (administrative realignment versus immediately being one community with officers being identical), and something which I obviously had/have a hard time understanding (it wasn't clear to me based on what was provided). I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed, but while I can understand the positives from a legitimacy, manning, and money perspective, I don't see any value from a capabilityfunction provided perspective. Also, I find it interesting we decided to brief this to the CNO (and that is was approved) without any clue as to the what and how involved with overcoming the school and experience continuum necessary to overcome the varied skill sets. And this is where the problem lies, in the details. I am curious to see how we maintain the competence we have, or probably more accurately, what areas we choose to allow to fade away. With the merger of the ID corps into one community, there has to be an eventual evolution into one pipeline type of training and billets bases have to be merged. Otherwise, what would be the point of merging; what would be the gain?

I believe details which answer the dilemma of how to merge in the short term and long term have to be worked out before a decision could made. Otherwise, the decision is premature. I wouldn't show up to brief without courses of actions, tons of background information, and every answer ready for every possible question I could think of facing. I get we are merging and I will shut up and color. However, the effect of this merger - both positive and negative - are pure speculation, as the details describing how this is going to be done have (apparently) not been worked out. Without these details, it is not possible to objectively conclude this merger will have a positive effect on the capability and function of our communities and the Navy, at large, although I'm sure it will have some short term positive effect on careers and on certain current constraints under which we struggle. While the brief mentions the ultimate objective is "Improving Warfighting Effectiveness of the IDC", how does this merger accomplish that opbjective? There simply aren't enough details available to conclude that it does accomlish the stated objective. However, I do see ability to improve administrative effectiveness. If its improving war-fighting effectiveness: move billets to places respsonible for producing warfighting effectiveness (TYCOMs); ensure DIRSUP training pipeline is driven by fleet requriements, not via JQR at NIOC. As a corps, we can't presently define what our level of warfighting effectiveness is. Is that measured in DRRS-N? Not for the IP, INTEL, IW or METOC communities. Is it by past results, asserting those results are what we need to warfight tomorrow? Our commands (all communities) don't report readiness via DRRS, and I'm not even sure the JOs at many commands know what a PB4T/S is, what document governs their conduct, etc. I am not a 'Chicken-Little' personality (alright, well maybe a little). We have serious issues with which we need grapple in order to protect and maintain the true value of what we do. We can merge, reorg, change names, and places, but those same issues will still be out there, waiting for someone with substance to fix them, who is unaffected by groupthink and sufficiently capable of a solution. Resolving issues to better the results of what we all povide is, in my opinion, is the best way to fix warfighting effectiveness. So, if you are interested in helping with/learining about any of the perviously mentioned or following topics, hit me up with a PM: C4/5I + ISR synthetic training integration, IO Range delivery of services, any training solution concepts (anything from general improvements to LVC, M&S, stim/sim, etc), or general training questions connected to Navy efforts (not national efforts).
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Postby Sum1 » Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:58 pm

yoshi wrote:That is helpful information (administrative realignment versus immediately being one community with officers being identical), and something which I obviously had/have a hard time understanding (it wasn't clear to me based on what was provided). I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed, but while I can understand the positives from a legitimacy, manning, and money perspective, I don't see any value from a capabilityfunction provided perspective. Also, I find it interesting we decided to brief this to the CNO (and that is was approved) without any clue as to the what and how involved with overcoming the school and experience continuum necessary to overcome the varied skill sets. And this is where the problem lies, in the details. I am curious to see how we maintain the competence we have, or probably more accurately, what areas we choose to allow to fade away. With the merger of the ID corps into one community, there has to be an eventual evolution into one pipeline type of training and billets bases have to be merged. Otherwise, what would be the point of merging; what would be the gain?


I'm a little confused why you would open with the statement communicating your understanding that the merger would be an entirely administrative realignment and follow up with your theme of decreasing competency and merging of training. I don't want to be disrespectful, but the advantages gained by the money/manning streamlining could be directly reinvested into capabilities. More free money = more money available for cool tools, training, and capability building across the enterprise. There are no experience continuum or school issue because you would still be billetted into the jobs you were selected to do. Make up an AQD for an IWO Initial Accession/Unqualified and billet people into schools coded for that AQD. Problem solved.

I believe details which answer the dilemma of how to merge in the short term and long term have to be worked out before a decision could made. Otherwise, the decision is premature. I wouldn't show up to brief without courses of actions, tons of background information, and every answer ready for every possible question I could think of facing. I get we are merging and I will shut up and color. However, the effect of this merger - both positive and negative - are pure speculation, as the details describing how this is going to be done have (apparently) not been worked out. Without these details, it is not possible to objectively conclude this merger will have a positive effect on the capability and function of our communities and the Navy, at large, although I'm sure it will have some short term positive effect on careers and on certain current constraints under which we struggle. While the brief mentions the ultimate objective is "Improving Warfighting Effectiveness of the IDC", how does this merger accomplish that opbjective? There simply aren't enough details available to conclude that it does accomlish the stated objective. However, I do see ability to improve administrative effectiveness. If its improving war-fighting effectiveness: move billets to places respsonible for producing warfighting effectiveness (TYCOMs); ensure DIRSUP training pipeline is driven by fleet requriements, not via JQR at NIOC. As a corps, we can't presently define what our level of warfighting effectiveness is. Is that measured in DRRS-N? Not for the IP, INTEL, IW or METOC communities. Is it by past results, asserting those results are what we need to warfight tomorrow? Our commands (all communities) don't report readiness via DRRS, and I'm not even sure the JOs at many commands know what a PB4T/S is, what document governs their conduct, etc. I am not a 'Chicken-Little' personality (alright, well maybe a little). We have serious issues with which we need grapple in order to protect and maintain the true value of what we do. We can merge, reorg, change names, and places, but those same issues will still be out there, waiting for someone with substance to fix them, who is unaffected by groupthink and sufficiently capable of a solution. Resolving issues to better the results of what we all povide is, in my opinion, is the best way to fix warfighting effectiveness.


I'm stealing this idea (I find it particularly engaging), but there comes a time where waiting around for a 100% solution to every problem will cripple your ability to do anything productive. I'm the kind of person that will nuke a decision into the ground if I'm left to my own devices, so I sympathize with your concerns, but there are strides to make without initiating a 2 year study on the issue.
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Postby Wolfpack » Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:09 pm

yoshi wrote: Also, I find it interesting we decided to brief this to the CNO (and that is was approved) without any clue as to the what and how involved with overcoming the school and experience continuum necessary to overcome the varied skill sets. And this is where the problem lies, in the details. I am curious to see how we maintain the competence we have, or probably more accurately, what areas we choose to allow to fade away. With the merger of the ID corps into one community, there has to be an eventual evolution into one pipeline type of training and billets bases have to be merged. Otherwise, what would be the point of merging; what would be the gain?
I wouldn't show up to brief without courses of actions, tons of background information, and every answer ready for every possible question I could think of facing. I get we are merging and I will shut up and color. However, the effect of this merger - both positive and negative - are pure speculation, as the details describing how this is going to be done have (apparently) not been worked out.
There simply aren't enough details available to conclude that it does accomplish the stated objective. However, I do see ability to improve administrative effectiveness.
If its improving war-fighting effectiveness: move billets to places responsible for producing warfighting effectiveness (TYCOMs).

I think the first thing that you need to remember about the brief is that 1) it was created for a meeting w/ the CNO, 2) there for it is very executive and 3) it was not sent out by VADM Card to the IDC as a whole to inform them (or you) of what is going on (this is referred to in the IDEAs Number 1 that he recently sent out).
So, I think that the speculation that there are no details or that any analysis was done by people without a clue is premature. Notwithstanding the less than clear or desirable communications from DC on the topic, I do not think there is value (yet) is assuming that there was no thought put into the brief. The CNO is no idiot, and I doubt that VADM Card would attempt to fool him.
There are not enough facts in the brief - you are right, but the brief was not for you or me, but for the CNO. Have to remember the brief audience. Figure that the DCNO had what, 20 minutes max w/ the CNO. How much detail can he go into?
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Postby yoshi » Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:09 pm

All valid points.
As regards administrative alignment versus merger, if it is an administrative alignment (FITREPS and what knot), I am confused as to the benfit for improving warfighting. If we are going to be in the same billets as now, I guess i don't see any streamlining/efficiencies to fuel improvement. Thus, I assume alignment would be the initial step, with a complete merger to follow. The details become quite important in the context of a cpomplete merger (billets open to all), particularly where we view a potential for streamlining or being more efficient. AQDs and schools could mitigate some trouble, but given our difficulty/reticence with paying for 2-3 week schools now, the monetary sum of the IDC whole would have to be greater than it currently is for each individual community. That seems contrary to streamlining and efficiency. If alignment is step1 and merger step2, addressing these types of details could be facilitated with a gap between the two. (Hence my progression from understanding to the theme of decreasing competence, etc with no explanation).

I don't want to suggest homework has not been done at the appropriate level. That would be foolish. Just saying (with some overstated, dramatic hyperbole, at times) that homework fueling motivation for this type of a change may not have been thoroughly communicated, or at the very least is not fully understood (by me, for example). I'm a believer in communicating as much as possible to enlist support of people to realize a goal, especially when they are the ones doing it. Nothing wrong with an alternate approach, just tough to figure out, as our speculation here testifies.

In reading (again) the brief, believe the answer to some of my questions can be found on slides 5 and 6 where essentially the danger posed is one of under-accessions. Although, this isn't the context under which we've been discussing this brief (we've done streamline/efficiency). So, if this is an effort to resolve accessions, I can get with it if I learn how the change will fix this issue. "Reductions in IDC Accessions" does seem to directly represent a threat to warfighting effectiveness. So, it seems the goal is to protect/procure more accessions, which makes sense. I just want to know how alignment/merger (mainstreaming IDc as a 4th warfare pillar) does this. I don't know what it gives us statutorily or in practice. Also, it seems this may also proliferate the role of the Navy in IW commands, which would be a good thing, I think, but I am curious to see how such fallout (zero based billet review conducted by (presumably) IDC instead of IW) would affect billets at a place like MD. It will be interesting to see what billets are considered fleet relevant.
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Postby Wolfpack » Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:55 pm

yoshi wrote: I don't want to suggest homework has not been done at the appropriate level. That would be foolish. Just saying (with some overstated, dramatic hyperbole, at times) that homework fueling motivation for this type of a change may not have been thoroughly communicated, or at the very least is not fully understood (by me, for example). I'm a believer in communicating as much as possible to enlist support of people to realize a goal, especially when they are the ones doing it. Nothing wrong with an alternate approach, just tough to figure out, as our speculation here testifies.


I would be the first to agree that the communications have not been very good, and your not understanding should be a red flare to the IDC leadership that comms must improve. They suck.
I have had the opportunity to receive some more info that provides some of the detail behind the brief, and the idea of merging any communities is really not an option anyone is considering. The concept is to take the billet base and break up the stove-piping, where it makes sense, and integrate the communities where it add capabilities. Cross detailing, to put an IW in an Intel job so they learn intel is OK, but how about having an Intel officer work in the NIOC to provide some all-source intel to the work being done? When there is a requirement for a true comms guys, make it an IP, don't train an OCEANO to do comms. The secondary effect is that you create relationships and understanding of the other aspects of the IDC. Third, you start to create an IDC culture.
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Approval to merge IDC communities

Postby atn » Sat Apr 28, 2012 4:26 am

I like learning about and working alongside the other IDC communities - I am, however, one of the last officers in the Wardroom who would be in favor of painting everything with the "IDC brush" - so beware that tendency or inclination. It may work well at the Echelon I Resource Sponsor level, but is not appropriate for everything.

Anecdotally, I think that the Intel, IW, IP and OCEANO officers have been working well together at the tactical level of war for years, before it was called "IDC"...the Carrier Strike Group environment comes to mind. If you're doing the job halfway correctly, you are compelled to collaborate with your IDC brothers and sisters just to get things done (collection plan, comms plan, RF prop, etc). Caveats: Unfortunately, sometimes personality constrains process and there is always room for improvement - but re-wickering the Composite Warfare Commander construct may not be the best way...

I 100% believe that DCNO N2/N6 is aiming to improve the way that the IDC contributes to warfighting. It is not always clear how certain initiatives work toward that end (e.g. single screening processes, aligned career paths); but rest assured this is a years-long effort. It's complex, and oftentimes mirky (and let's be honest, sometimes political).

Single competitive category? Big deal - none of us are afraid to compete against the 1800/20/30's are we? (:D)

We live in a duplex world - if you're not getting "the Word", ask somebody in your Chain!

It's easy to fret about whether we'll all be assimilated into a common "pot". It's imperative (and more productive) that we percolate up ideas on how to improve warfighting from right where we're at. I can guarantee that not all of the great ideas are coming from the Flag Deck. I for one am proud (and a little scared) of the collective brainpower of the IW Wardroom...let's put it to good use!
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