FY-15 PhD Selections

FY-15 PhD Selections

Postby Sleeper » Sat Feb 22, 2014 4:12 am

http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/r ... V14035.txt

Congrats to our METOC brethren on their selection.

Now can we please get some PhD slots in IW again, so that others may follow in the footsteps of the soon-to-be VADM Tighe?
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Re: FY-15 PhD Selections

Postby arvizo » Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:56 pm

Are you saying the 1 PhD billet for IWs is now gone? It was never part of the Doctoral Studies Program announced via NAVADMIN. It was just a billet that the detailer could assign similar to the Master's billets.
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Re: FY-15 PhD Selections

Postby Schlag » Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:18 am

What does a PhD do for the community, particularly if it's one billet at a time? That would mean that 1 PhD would be produced (roughly) ever 3-4 years.

I think it'd be better to invest in MS/MA degrees that reinforce our community's core competencies than a PhD that looks nice. Then again, are we properly leveraging the MS/MA degree billets that we already have on the books?
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Re: FY-15 PhD Selections

Postby Sleeper » Tue Feb 25, 2014 3:42 pm

Schlag wrote:What does a PhD do for the community, particularly if it's one billet at a time? That would mean that 1 PhD would be produced (roughly) ever 3-4 years.

I think it'd be better to invest in MS/MA degrees that reinforce our community's core competencies than a PhD that looks nice. Then again, are we properly leveraging the MS/MA degree billets that we already have on the books?


Not sure about the status of this mysterious single billet, but if it does exist, letting the detailer manage it seems like a waste (if not fraud and abuse). The other communities use a selection board; why shouldn't we?

What does a PhD do for the community? If selected and directed properly, it dedicates an experienced IW officer to 3 years of focused study, producing a dissertation that addresses an issue relevant to our community. After which, we have a "thought leader" (I hate that term) that has broad and deep technical understanding, with the academic credentials to stand against the hordes of MBAs creating chaos through misdirected change for change's sake. :)

I also agree that we need to make better use of our current Master's billets, both in identifying actual needs and selecting qualified candidates. That may mean that overall billets go down.
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Re: FY-15 PhD Selections

Postby arvizo » Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:39 pm

I don't know how you get detailed to the PhD billet, but the payback for it was at NIOC Suitland (NCWDG) while I was there. Specifically, it was the N5 Dept Head.
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Re: FY-15 PhD Selections

Postby yoshi » Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:12 pm

Seems good use of Navy-funded post-grad education is difficult, especially as our folks learn the same thing. Change is needed- should our billets match what we learn or should what we learn match what we actually do? We use a JDTA/HPRR process for military courses. But, Navy-funded education - costing much more - doesn't. I wonder what Navy-funded post grad opportunities would look like if we did? Connection between what we DO and what the Navy pays for us to learn seems minimal.
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Re: FY-15 PhD Selections

Postby Schlag » Sun Mar 02, 2014 7:54 am

I would submit that before we answer any of these questions, we need to figure out what we want our Officers to do. We tell 1810 that they need to get technical and tell the LDO that they need to get out of their comfort zone; especially because we're phasing them out. I don't know why, but we're the only community that does that to our LDO. You wouldn't see a CO tell his MPA that he needs to diversify and lead Combat; while that might be comical, Engineering will fall apart and the entire Ops Department will have the IG on speed dial..... Instead, he continues doing what he had done for at least a decade and that's keeping the lights burning and the screws turning.

With that in mind, what should we do with our Masters billets? Push our specialists (who should be LDO/CWO) to pursue advanced education to stay on the tip of the spear and maybe even innovate it in the process. Conversely, 1810 should focus on Masters that add to their skill set rather than build on a specialty. That said, 1810 should focus on Oceanography/Meterology (1800), Telecommunications (1820), or Security Studies (1830).

Radical? Maybe.... But if we're serious about the direction we want our Officers to go in the IDC then it's time that we start making (drastic) strides in that direction and reaffirm our conviction.

Edit: Forgot to speak about the PhD.... either invest it in the PMP Program to put an IDC Flag in the sand at USNA/NWC or contract it out to the Think Tanks. Afterall, we get paid to lead, not to read, right? :D
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Re: FY-15 PhD Selections

Postby Sleeper » Sun Mar 02, 2014 5:00 pm

Schlag wrote: With that in mind, what should we do with our Masters billets? Push our specialists (who should be LDO/CWO) to pursue advanced education to stay on the tip of the spear and maybe even innovate it in the process. Conversely, 1810 should focus on Masters that add to their skill set rather than build on a specialty. That said, 1810 should focus on Oceanography/Meterology (1800), Telecommunications (1820), or Security Studies (1830).


We should already be conversant in the other IDC specialties due to the IDWO process, and those specialties are well-covered by their respective designators. What IW needs is officers that really understand SIGINT/EW/CNO, to the point where they can innovate in peace and improvise in the chaos of war. If we don't do it, no one else is going to do it for us.

When Nimitz called Rochefort to Makalapa for answers that could determine the course of the war, he didn't say, "Hmm... Uhh... Well... let me check with my blue-shirts [or priors] and get back to you. They're the experts, after all!" He knew his business, and knew how to lead it in peace and war.

That doesn't necessarily mean that every IW needs a MS degree, but we must recognize that we have limited time and brain cycles and focus our efforts and training accordingly. We are designated as Special Duty Officers, which tells me that we should be specialists.
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Re: FY-15 PhD Selections

Postby COMEVIL » Sun Mar 02, 2014 7:10 pm

Sleeper wrote:
Schlag wrote: With that in mind, what should we do with our Masters billets? Push our specialists (who should be LDO/CWO) to pursue advanced education to stay on the tip of the spear and maybe even innovate it in the process. Conversely, 1810 should focus on Masters that add to their skill set rather than build on a specialty. That said, 1810 should focus on Oceanography/Meterology (1800), Telecommunications (1820), or Security Studies (1830).


We should already be conversant in the other IDC specialties due to the IDWO process, and those specialties are well-covered by their respective designators. What IW needs is officers that really understand SIGINT/EW/CNO, to the point where they can innovate in peace and improvise in the chaos of war. If we don't do it, no one else is going to do it for us.

When Nimitz called Rochefort to Makalapa for answers that could determine the course of the war, he didn't say, "Hmm... Uhh... Well... let me check with my blue-shirts [or priors] and get back to you. They're the experts, after all!" He knew his business, and knew how to lead it in peace and war.

That doesn't necessarily mean that every IW needs a MS degree, but we must recognize that we have limited time and brain cycles and focus our efforts and training accordingly. We are designated as Special Duty Officers, which tells me that we should be specialists.


Well said, Sleeper!!!
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Re: FY-15 PhD Selections

Postby Schlag » Sun Mar 02, 2014 9:44 pm

Apologies for the long post; however, this hits on a few things that I have strong reservations/disagreements with.

Sleeper wrote:We should already be conversant in the other IDC specialties due to the IDWO process...


If we're putting our faith in the IDWO Process exclusively then we are truly misguided. IDWO Qualification is a license to learn, just as the other Warfare Pins are. With that in mind, the other Warfare Communities actual talk about Tactics/Warfare during their process/qual board. Do we? If we do, it's tangential and most of the questioning centers around what in my opinion could be considered EIDWS (name designators/ratings, explain staff organization and responsibilities, etc.).

Before anyone asks what I'm doing to change it... I'm an IWO/IDWO Coordinator at one of the Big 4 and I can tell you that the program is not matured enough to impart that level of knowledge at the entry-level, much less frame it in a context that is relevant throughout an officer's career. We are trying, and it is getting there, but it's tough when those that sit on a Qualification Board weren't forced to integrate within an IDC construct. So when they impart their experience or conduct an IDC line-of-questioning they are still forced to do so in a nebulous/theoretical construct. And the fact is I just don't have the depth of experience (yet) to impart what is required (this is my first tour). I fully intend to get there, but the fact remains that I'm not even there yet.

Sleeper wrote:What IW needs is officers that really understand SIGINT/EW/CNO, to the point where they can innovate in peace and improvise in the chaos of war.


Can we even say that we're at this level of understanding? I'd say SIGINT and CNO we're pretty close. But I fear that EW is about to go the way that IO went a few years ago. I clearly recall VADM Rogers telling my IWBC class that if he could divest from one of the three core pillars (they were advertised as EW/CNO/IO then) that he would drop IO in heartbeat. By the time I came sat for my IDWO Pin at my Big 4, we already had. Probably not the forum/circuit for a discussion on what we are doing WRT EW, but I'm ready to be calibrated if someone can tell me that we actually do care about EW.

Sleeper wrote:When Nimitz called Rochefort to Makalapa for answers that could determine the course of the war, he didn't say, "Hmm... Uhh... Well... let me check with my blue-shirts [or priors] and get back to you. They're the experts, after all!" He knew his business, and knew how to lead it in peace and war.


No argument that we need to know our stuff cold.

But that doesn't mean that our knowledge expectation ends where our discipline ends. Also, I think my point may have been lost and I apologize for not putting enough emphasis on it. I wasn't saying defer to the blue-shirts, I was arguing that we need to better leverage the capabilities/experiences of the LDO/CWO community instead of forcing them to become generalists. If you have an CWO that has been doing DIRSUP Air their entire career (20yr+), don't tell them to figure out a cyber problem (true story). Put them back in the Air Shop and leverage their experiences as a trainer and more importantly operational body.

Touching briefly on the specialization argument, I think that as an 1810 we need to embrace the fact that we should specialize - but not too much. At the end of the day we're a Line Officer (just like the URL), the only difference is that whereas a URL is an officer eligible for command-at-sea we are officers that are eligible for command. With that in mind, we need to develop ourselves in such a way that we are capable of assuming that duty - that means developing competency in SIGINT/CNO/EW and not just understanding the IDC but being able to fully leverage the Corps capabilities. If we leave that responsibility to the "true" IDC designated officers (the Flag Deck) then we are not fully employing our capabilities. We need to start doing it at even the tactical level (O1-O3 paygrade).

Understand that many may disagree, but I feel that the role of specialization falls on the LDO/CWO community. I will; however, yield the point that from a community management perspective that isn't possible since we are telling the IW LDO community that there is no future for them beyond LT. What are we to do? I don't know, but falling back on a specialization argument is a cop-out in my opinion. You should constantly be seeking out knowledge and experience because it merely adds to your own personal capabilities.

But getting back to the main discussion in this forum post; how does a PhD/MS help do that? Rochefort was able to do it without one... And the fact remains, whether we like it or not that we need to expand beyond our rice bowls. I'm not saying this from a career management perspective, I'm saying this from an operational reality and I would submit that a through understanding of the IP discipline in addition to METOC/Intel is truly a force multiplier (and I'm not saying that because it's a bumper sticker).

A technical MS/PhD will only help from an innovative perspective if we do it from an R&D perspective - that also means the innovation doesn't stop when the degree has been awarded, but we have to apply follow-on detailing appropriate (are we doing that? I don't think so, but I may be wrong) and even subspecialization for the rest of that officer's career. I'm pretty sure that we don't do that, instead, I think we treat it as a box to punch before promotion. In that case, the only value added is that a box has been checked and you can update your civilian resume with your new degree.

Again, apologies for the rant, and Sleeper no harm was intended - but your response hit on a couple of things that have been bugging me about the community and I just haven't seen a clear enough direction to figure out how to proceed.

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