EIDWS in secondary position while afloat

EIDWS in secondary position while afloat

Postby Pwlk » Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:25 am

At an afloat command, Sailors (CTT/CTR/IS) are wearing EIDWS in secondary position while ESWS in primary.

I know the topic has been touched previously (see VADM Card thread).

And I know what the instruction says...

(b) Two warfare insignia are authorized following these rules:

1 The warfare insignia of the specialty in which currently serving will be worn in the primary position.


I have heard multiple responses why, from:

"ESWS was more difficult to obtain" to
"I fit in with the crew/Mess better" to
"the current 'specialty' is ESWS"...

EIDWS is still new in the fleet. NIOCs are flooded with them and I do believe their credibility is developing, but in the fleet, where many/most commands don't have their own EIDWS program and Sailors are basically required to earn their ESWS ... the only Sailors that have EIDWS are coming from NIOCs.

How do you sell it? Or opinions the other way?

To me, honestly, the whole issue seems pretty black and white. Have pride in your community and in a warfare qualification you have earned ... and follow the instruction. When senior enlisted wear them this way, it perpetuates the issue and sends the wrong message to junior Sailors.
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Re: EIDWS in secondary position while afloat

Postby Schlag » Fri Apr 04, 2014 5:15 am

Recalling the previous thread, I for one thought that VADM Card was in the right for wearing his wings above IDWO provided that his designator was still 13xx series. Particularly because in that capacity he would still be drawing ACIP/Flight Pay. I don't know what his designator was, but willing to bet that he wasn't re-designated (pure speculation). The prior-Pilot/NFO at my NIOC do wear their wings in the secondary, but that's because they're now 18xx series, they are no longer 13xx series, and they are no longer drawing ACIP. For officer's things are pretty cut and dry; refer to designator.

For enlisted, it's a little "squishier". Some pins are more cut and dry than others. You're going to be hard pressed to see Airdales (sp?) ever wear ESWS above EAWS because the first letter in their rate is A so they are almost always going to be serving in a EAWS primary specialty. Gets more difficult when you prioritize EAWS over NAC. I'd say if they're in a flight/crew status that NAC takes priority over EAWS. If they're not, then EAWS should take priority even though NAC is a "gold pin" or "harder to get" or means "I can wear the bomber jacket". Same token, non-aviation rates that earn EAWS typically wear it in the secondary because they are a sea-going rate and their primary specialty is almost always going to be ESWS. But also, those rates are typically required to earn ESWS before qualifying as other warfare specialists.

So where does that put us with IDC at-sea? I think there's a couple of scenarios:
a) Straight from boot camp - I think (but don't know for certain) that most all ships are going to require you to earn ESWS first because if nothing else, damage control is an all-hands responsibility. Out of fairness to the Sailor, I would say, earn ESWS first then EIDWS and keep ESWS in the primary because I'm not going to fine/penalize you by getting your pins swapped out at the uniform shop.

b) Coming from a NIOC - I really hope that you took advantage of your time at the NIOC and earned your EIDWS. If so, keep that in the primary and earn your other bling and place appropriately in the secondary.

Just my two pennies on the subject. It's a tough call, and the fact of the matter is that even though EIDWS is our primary specialty for IDC, the IDC enlisted rates are primarily sea-going rates and need to earn appropriate warfare qualifications. Both EIDWS and the other stuff are equally important in my opinion.

Fair warning, I say this because I was a former SWO, and I was a Locker Officer at that. If you showed up in my locker and I saw ESWS on your chest, and I knew that you earned it on our ship, then I could automatically assume a requisite level of damage control knowledge and familiarity with the layout of the ship. That was a HUGE advantage to me. That said, if you're spending an extended amount of time on a ship (either DIRSUP or PCS Afloat), you better be working hard on your ESWS because you never know when you're going to have to fight to save your home from fire/flooding/damage/kraken/etc.
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Re: EIDWS in secondary position while afloat

Postby yoshi » Sat Apr 05, 2014 1:49 am

In my view, wearing of a warfare device, or any other uniform item, in violation of uniform regulations connotes ignorance, willful disregard, or an inability to read. Devices should be worn in accordance with the instruction. It shouldn't be a lasting issue, or a tough one to solve. It won't be once we redirect those Sailors, explain how to follow the regulation, and how it is related to the "bearing" section of their evaluation (or others). Be crystal clear about that. Doesn't matter why or how they want to wear it, or if they felt it was "as hard" as the others (I'm sure it wasn't). Follow instructions and find someone with anchors on their collar - that's right up Chief Petty Officer alley. With respect to what EIDWS/IDWO mean - that's completely up to the individual. You get out of it what you put into it.
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Re: EIDWS in secondary position while afloat

Postby Schlag » Sat Apr 05, 2014 4:33 am

yoshi wrote:In my view, wearing of a warfare device, or any other uniform item, in violation of uniform regulations connotes ignorance, willful disregard, or an inability to read.


Well, I'm certainly not trying to be ignorant or willfully disregard so I apparently can't read....

How would you interpret the instruction? There's clearly ambiguity at the highest levels of command (VADM Card example) but you clearly have the answer....

I stand by my interpretation.
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Re: EIDWS in secondary position while afloat

Postby Wolfpack » Sat Apr 05, 2014 12:22 pm

For officers, the issue is pretty clear cut. The designator determines position.

For enlisted, I do not think t is, and there is some lee-way. I had to go back and look at the reference instruction: Chapter 5 , article 5201, Navy Uniform Regs:

It says:
(3) Personnel with multiple qualifications may wear two insignia, placing one in the primary position and the second in the secondary position, within the following guideline:
(a) Warfare qualification insignia take precedence over other qualification insignia and are placed in the primary position.
(b) Two warfare insignia are authorized following these rules:
1 The warfare insignia of the specialty in which currently serving will be worn in the primary position.
2 If not currently serving in a warfare specialty, or have not earned the warfare insignia of the specialty in which currently serving: officers will wear the insignia corresponding to their designator, otherwise the warfare insignia earned first in the primary position; all other personnel will wear the warfare insignia earned first in the primary position.

So, trying to take a common sense approach, if afloat, the sailor is required to earn their ESWS or EAWS first, then that could continue to be worn on top when the EIDWS is subsequently earned (para (3)(a)2 above. There is no intent to penalize anyone and make them change their uniforms.

Not at sea right now, but how does SURFOR and AIRFOR dictate what is earned first? I know that IS and CTs had to earn their ESWS prior to the EAWS when I was on the carrier last.

Last point, there is a Master Chief at CYBERFOR who should be able to answer this rather than make anyone guess. They own the program.
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Re: EIDWS in secondary position while afloat

Postby Sum1 » Sat Apr 05, 2014 10:01 pm

Complicating the fact is now, thanks to the change in instruction, afloat personnel are permitted to utilize established EIDWS programs ashore to earn their pins. DESRON 31 ships on the waterfront at Pearl Harbor have been utilizing the EIDWS programs with NIOC Hawaii (CTs), and have been given authorization to utilize the other island programs (NCTAMS for ITs, JIOC for ISs). So far, three Sailors from the PH waterfront have finished their EIDWS pins, and I'm proud to say all three are from my ship.

Our ship's policy is very clear... you earn the ESWS first, and then you can go off ship to earn your EIDWS. A person onboard the ship with their EIDWS is fantastic, but if you don't know basic stuff about the surface ship you're virtually worthless. We had a non-DIRSUP CTR check onboard recently with his EIDWS pin, but no other pins/experience. He's been having a rough time getting accustomed to the ship life (but getting better). In this instance, onboard the ship, the EIDWS holds almost no water. No CT worth their salt stays holed up in SSES on a small boy. Just like PCS afloat is a unique growth experience for officers assigned, the same can be said for the enlisted Sailors.
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Re: EIDWS in secondary position while afloat

Postby yoshi » Sun Apr 06, 2014 7:13 pm

If, " the warfare insignia of the specialty in which currently serving will be worn in the primary position", I personally interpret that to mean IDC personnel with their pin would wear their insignia in frst position. From my perspective, the specialty in which IDC personnel serve doesn't change, only the platform or location in which they serve changes. I believe our reason for being detailed to platforms or on shore is to provide our warfare specialty rather than another. IDC Sailors who are not yet EIDWS/IDWO qualified, but are qualified ESWS or EAWS, naturally may have either of those insignia in first position.

Separately, there are alternative interpretations and I have no problem accepting or working under them. I don't have "THE" answer, and the ambiguity mentioned is proof. We're not all going to read it the same. The above makes sense to me and is what my division/department will use, provided it doesn't conflict with my Commanding Officer's view. But, I'm not going to let it become divisive between myself or others just because I view it that way.
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Re: EIDWS in secondary position while afloat

Postby Schlag » Sun Apr 06, 2014 9:28 pm

This might help - per the EIDWS instruction... COMNAVCYBERFORINST 1414.1B, 5.c (on page 2)

IDC personnel assigned to Type 2 or 4 duty with an approved program are expected to qualify in the primary warfare mission of the unit for which they are assigned prior to EIDWS qualification.


With this in mind, if you are assigned PCS Afloat to anything, you are expected to qualify in that warfare program first as it is the primary warfare mission of that unit. I would interpret that to mean that also means it is your primary warfare area for that tour.

I would then interpret that to mean that EIDWS should be placed in the secondary IAW Cyber Force Instruction.
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Re: EIDWS in secondary position while afloat

Postby das » Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:11 pm

For what it's worth, the argument with VADM Card could have been made either way by the letter of the instruction. The warfare device of the community (capacity) in which you are currently serving is to be worn on top. You could argue he was still an aviator, and that therefore that is the community in which he is "currently serving"; you could also argue that as the head of the IDC, that trumps any other consideration. In the end, VADM Card wore his IDWO device on top.
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Re: EIDWS in secondary position while afloat

Postby yoshi » Tue Apr 08, 2014 4:40 pm

I think the difference in interpretation lies in whether the primary warfare of the indivudal changes based on the platoform's primary assigned warfare area. I view IDC missions as the primary warfare area for our personnel, no matter the platfrom's mission. If one COULD earn EIDWS afloat, would IDC personnel qualify EIDWS, ESWS, or EAWS first? The common interpretation i think we can all get behind is that our folks definitely should, in accordance with the instruction, qualify in the unit's warfare areas (even if there were no pin).
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