O-5 Command Results -- Message to the IW Community?

O-5 Command Results -- Message to the IW Community?

Postby 20yearman » Wed Sep 16, 2015 1:17 am

Based on the O-5 Command Results it appears that Cyber has overtaken all other IW functions as THE primary deciding factor for selection. Unless I'm mistaken ALL selectees were in a Cyber-specific billet prior to selection (in addition to tours in the Ft. Meade area). Is this sending the correct message to those O-5's who take traditional "hard" (non-cyber) operationally focused jobs (re: # Fleet, Detailer, DIWC, etc.)? Has Cyber taken over all other IW jobs with regards to professional growth?
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Re: O-5 Command Results -- Message to the IW Community?

Postby COMEVIL » Wed Sep 16, 2015 1:12 pm

20yearman wrote:Based on the O-5 Command Results it appears that Cyber has overtaken all other IW functions as THE primary deciding factor for selection. Unless I'm mistaken ALL selectees were in a Cyber-specific billet prior to selection (in addition to tours in the Ft. Meade area). Is this sending the correct message to those O-5's who take traditional "hard" (non-cyber) operationally focused jobs (re: # Fleet, Detailer, DIWC, etc.)? Has Cyber taken over all other IW jobs with regards to professional growth?


Looks more like nepotism to me, based on board membership, and specifically the chairmanship. Although the process is supposed to prevent such methods, the potential for influence remains.

Regardless, it isn't a trend if it happens once. It wasn't this way last year. I predict it won't be this way next year.

Best of luck to those chosen.

v/r

Comevil
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Re: O-5 Command Results -- Message to the IW Community?

Postby yoshi » Wed Sep 16, 2015 1:48 pm

First, it depends upon which community you are discussing. I'm going to assume you are talking about the IW community, as the IP, Intel, and METOC communities picked plenty of people with at-sea traditional operational experience.

I don't think anyone is "sending a message" with the selects. It's just today's reality reflecting what the IW community is today (precept and other promo/admin board guidance). The locations allowing opportunity for hard break outs are almost exclusively in the NIOCs, FCC/C10F, or CYBERCOM (with one, perhaps two exceptions). The IW community has a low level of representation on the Fleet staffs and most of it is insular (N2/39 shops, very little else). Thus, the best hard breakouts supporting command selection are going to come from Ft Meade, where there are a ton of O4s-O6s. With respect to cyber being the IW community's a priori effort - that's pretty clear and shouldn't surprise anyone (read the strategic guidance, look at billet distribution). Today's IW community focus is more cyber service, less sea service (again: guidance, billets). This bothers some (including me, to an extent). Like it or not, though, cyber has to be the answer, as the IW community has ceded its role and influence in traditional (other than cyber) Fleet/Navy operations to the other IDC communities (CSG IPs as D/IWCs, employment outside of skill sets are examples). Thus, it makes sense for O5 Commander selects (which, so far, is de facto O6 selection) to have held a "cyber" billet title.
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Re: O-5 Command Results -- Message to the IW Community?

Postby COMEVIL » Wed Sep 16, 2015 3:29 pm

yoshi wrote:First, it depends upon which community you are discussing. I'm going to assume you are talking about the IW community, as the IP, Intel, and METOC communities picked plenty of people with at-sea traditional operational experience.

I don't think anyone is "sending a message" with the selects. It's just today's reality reflecting what the IW community is today (precept and other promo/admin board guidance). The locations allowing opportunity for hard break outs are almost exclusively in the NIOCs, FCC/C10F, or CYBERCOM (with one, perhaps two exceptions). The IW community has a low level of representation on the Fleet staffs and most of it is insular (N2/39 shops, very little else). Thus, the best hard breakouts supporting command selection are going to come from Ft Meade, where there are a ton of O4s-O6s. With respect to cyber being the IW community's a priori effort - that's pretty clear and shouldn't surprise anyone (read the strategic guidance, look at billet distribution). Today's IW community focus is more cyber service, less sea service (again: guidance, billets). This bothers some (including me, to an extent). Like it or not, though, cyber has to be the answer, as the IW community has ceded its role and influence in traditional (other than cyber) Fleet/Navy operations to the other IDC communities (CSG IPs as D/IWCs, employment outside of skill sets are examples). Thus, it makes sense for O5 Commander selects (which, so far, is de facto O6 selection) to have held a "cyber" billet title.


Ah, Yoshi....you are way too accepting... :rolleyes:

Is Cyber really that critical to being successful in CDR Command? How many of our CDR Command billets have Cyber as their primary mission....or mission at all? I would argue it is 1. 1 out of approximately 8.

As for the rest of your post...

yoshi wrote:The locations allowing opportunity for hard break outs are almost exclusively in the NIOCs, FCC/C10F, or CYBERCOM (with one, perhaps two exceptions).


Disagree. Plenty of staff opportunities --- FFC, IDFOR, TYCOMS, COCOMs, CSGs, NSW tours --- to break out as well, especially given the new policy with regards to IDC rankings. In fact, I would argue it is better to break out where you also receive a URL-signed FITREP, at least for competition on Officer advancement boards.

yoshi wrote:The IW community has a low level of representation on the Fleet staffs and most of it is insular (N2/39 shops, very little else). Thus, the best hard breakouts supporting command selection are going to come from Ft Meade, where there are a ton of O4s-O6s.


Disagree. If you can breakout amongst URLs in a soft-ranking then that looks all the better. And yes, it has and can be done.

yoshi wrote:With respect to cyber being the IW community's a priori effort - that's pretty clear and shouldn't surprise anyone (read the strategic guidance, look at billet distribution).


Agree. Cyber is clearly the primary effort (and currently the command's middle name). However, if you read the board guidance that isn't the only thing the community recognizes as important. Nor can everyone serve in a Cyber billet all the time. There simply aren't enough.

yoshi wrote:Today's IW community focus is more cyber service, less sea service (again: guidance, billets). This bothers some (including me, to an extent).


Disagree. What has changed in our billet structure in the past 10, 20, or 30 years? We still have SIGWOs at sea, 1810s on CSG staffs, representation on Fleet Staffs. In fact, given the communities past foray into IW we now have more billets on these staffs than we did in the past. Also, define "sea service." I would argue that our tactical focus has grown with the addition of NSW billets. Overall, I think we have more representation in tactical billets than we have had since I began serving.

yoshi wrote:Like it or not, though, cyber has to be the answer, as the IW community has ceded its role and influence in traditional (other than cyber) Fleet/Navy operations to the other IDC communities (CSG IPs as D/IWCs, employment outside of skill sets are examples).


Again, disagree. Our billet structure has not changed. We have added billets focusing on EA and other special, non-kinetic applications, and we continue to fill jobs as the D/IWC on fleet staffs, less a few experimentations into EMMW.

yoshi wrote:Thus, it makes sense for O5 Commander selects (which, so far, is de facto O6 selection) to have held a "cyber" billet title.


I return to this point. Is Cyber really that critical to being successful in CDR Command? How many of our CDR Command billets have Cyber as their primary mission....or mission at all? I would argue it is 1. 1 out of approximately 8.

In summary, I don't think the board "sent a message." I don't think that is possible. The precept won't allow it. I do think that ducks pick ducks. And the chairman, as the head duck, had a lot of influence here.
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Re: O-5 Command Results -- Message to the IW Community?

Postby yoshi » Wed Sep 16, 2015 7:33 pm

I didn't say cyber was critical to being successful in command - I don't believe it, or any other specific experience, is. I did say it makes sense for the selectees to have held a cyber billet, particularly as ducks pick ducks (the ducks are more and more cyber oriented going forward, I think).

We will have to agree to disagree on much of the rest. I have a hard time believing 1 of 3 hard break outs at Fleet staffs are viewed as positively as 1 of 8+ at a NIOC. I know someone who broke out hard (in the IDC) and soft as the number one at a TYCOM (not IDFOR), two years running and they didn't screen for O5 milestone.

What has changed in the billet structure in the last 10, 20, 30 years?!?! Well, the advent of cyber billets, that's what. We repurposed a ton of billets (SIGINT to cyber) and our OPA has grown (ref IDC detailer brief on NPC page), particularly at O4 and O5. That OPA growth was for cyber. We cut staff at USFFC/2nd Fleet when 2nd fleet went away (still trying to do the mission today) from around 30 officers to 18 (if memory serves). CYBERCOM was created and we put a lot of our billets there, and also at FCC/C10F. How are we doing all of this cyber if the billets haven't changed?! Maybe the endstrength/structure hasn't changed much, but we are dramatically and differently focused than we were 12 years ago. Yes, we are filling the billets we have on DIWC CSG staffs, as we always have, but its telling to note all the east coast carrier strike group D/IWCs are actually IPs (although they incorrectly call themselves IWCs (not IAW 3-56)), while the O-5 cryppie just sits there under them. Looking at IWOL, we have roughly 12 CDRs at sea and 24 LCDRs (that includes afloat staffs, SPECWAR). Compare that to the total number of LCDRs/CDRs and then to the number of cyber/cyber enabling billets at O4/O5. Also, our community doesn't "own" those billets, anyway, CNSL/CNSP does. Pretty sure if we could move some of them off the afloat staffs and put them in a NIOC or Ft Meade, we'd do it in a heartbeat (see earlier comments about O5 east coast D/IWC). I would say our support to tactical efforts has widened with the addition of NSW billets (primarily because of AFG/Iraq), but tactical Navy effort (at sea or NSW) isn't what our community views as its first mission (ref strategic guidance), particularly at O4 and above. I think we are much more about cyber service than sea service and the longevity of FCC is kind of connected to that idea. Finally, it doesn't really matter what a command is named. The more important feature is who runs it and what their priorities are.

Thanks for the exchange - look forward to your response:-)
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Re: O-5 Command Results -- Message to the IW Community?

Postby COMEVIL » Wed Sep 16, 2015 7:58 pm

yoshi wrote:We will have to agree to disagree on much of the rest. I have a hard time believing 1 of 3 hard break outs at Fleet staffs are viewed as positively as 1 of 8+ at a NIOC. I know someone who broke out hard (in the IDC) and soft as the number one at a TYCOM (not IDFOR), two years running and they didn't screen for O5 milestone.


I acknowledge your single data point. And not all staffs are the same. What TYCOM? What is the impact of that position? There is a reason the vast majority of milestone billets are on CSG/ESG/Fleet/COCOM staffs. Get that hard breakout – 1 of 3 for example, add a soft breakout – 3 of 25, and add a URL signature to boot and you will simply do better than breaking out at a NIOC.

yoshi wrote:What has changed in the billet structure in the last 10, 20, 30 years?!?! Well, the advent of cyber billets, that's what. We repurposed a ton of billets (SIGINT to cyber) and our OPA has grown (ref IDC detailer brief on NPC page), particularly at O4 and O5. That OPA growth was for cyber. We cut staff at USFFC/2nd Fleet when 2nd fleet went away (still trying to do the mission today) from around 30 officers to 18 (if memory serves).


Yes, we have grown in billets. My original point, however, was that we haven’t divested in fleet or tactical billets. We have grown there, and in Cyber billets as well. Point being, we still have plenty of representation at the fleet/COCOM level. USFFC/2nd Fleet is one example, and a bad one at that. Look at the C5F staff, and Bahrain in general. We had one LCDR billet there back in the day. Now we have three CDR billets and a plethora or LCDR billets.

yoshi wrote:CYBERCOM was created and we put a lot of our billets there, and also at FCC/C10F. How are we doing all of this cyber if the billets haven't changed?! Maybe the endstrength/structure hasn't changed much, but we are dramatically and differently focused than we were 12 years ago. Yes, we are filling the billets we have on DIWC CSG staffs, as we always have, but its telling to note all the east coast carrier strike group D/IWCs are actually IPs (although they incorrectly call themselves IWCs (not IAW 3-56)), while the O-5 cryppie just sits there under them. Looking at IWOL, we have roughly 12 CDRs at sea and 24 LCDRs (that includes afloat staffs, SPECWAR). Compare that to the total number of LCDRs/CDRs and then to the number of cyber/cyber enabling billets at O4/O5. Also, our community doesn't "own" those billets, anyway, CNSL/CNSP does. Pretty sure if we could move some of them off the afloat staffs and put them in a NIOC or Ft Meade, we'd do it in a heartbeat (see earlier comments about O5 east coast D/IWC). I would say our support to tactical efforts has widened with the addition of NSW billets (primarily because of AFG/Iraq), but tactical Navy effort (at sea or NSW) isn't what our community views as its first mission (ref strategic guidance), particularly at O4 and above. I think we are much more about cyber service than sea service and the longevity of FCC is kind of connected to that idea. Finally, it doesn't really matter what a command is named. The more important feature is who runs it and what their priorities are.

Thanks for the exchange - look forward to your response:-)


The rest of your argument seems based on the fact that we now do Cyber so it is only natural that all selects will have a Cyber background. My argument is that the data doesn’t support that.
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Re: O-5 Command Results -- Message to the IW Community?

Postby yoshi » Wed Sep 16, 2015 9:58 pm

Well, I guess the good thing is the future is available to solve our debate! We shall see.
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Re: O-5 Command Results -- Message to the IW Community?

Postby Sum1 » Thu Sep 17, 2015 7:24 am

If I wasn't doing three dramatically different jobs, going to grad school, and trying to spend what little remaining time i have traveling or otherwise staying sane I would go through the O-4 selections that just occurred to see if there any significant, discernible patterns related to this. While the O-5 command and milestone selections is a data point, there might be utility in seeing if the O-4s recently selected erred towards being cyber-heavy, as well. In 2007 when I was applying to OCS I spoke with an O-5 crippie who had never (read: NEVER) been to sea. He credited making O-5 with getting into cyber very early, but had no delusions about ever making O-6. He considered his shore-based career terminal at O-5, and felt lucky to have made that.

I think that's changing. Sure, we say we value the sea time, but nowadays I'm seeing folks getting the tactical AQD who have no real sea or air duty assignments. Maybe they had a couple of DIRSUP rides thrown in there, but the vast majority appear to be cyber people. Are they getting that AQD because of "tactical" IW stuff done in the cyber realm? I don't know.

The community shifts are tiring.

- SIGINT/EW - IO - scrap IO for SIGINT/EW/Cyber - maintain lip service to SIGINT/EW and elevate Cyber

What's next?
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Re: O-5 Command Results -- Message to the IW Community?

Postby yoshi » Thu Sep 17, 2015 3:57 pm

The tactical AQD piece you mentioned is an interesting topic. What is "operational" and why is it important to have an operational experience in one's career history? If someone serves on an afloat staff, the experience gained is understood by others who also have experienced it. That experience brings insight into future tours, as the level of influence increases. This makes sense as future jobs will have more ability to determine what will be at sea tomorrow. Thus, the value of an 1810 CSG staff experience for the Navy is, or should be, clear to all: it provides the Navy an experienced 1810 who can intelligently support future decisions affecting the at sea force from an 1810 perspective.

A cyber operational AQD is different because it doesn't necessarily support the Navy. I can understand how it might, if we are talking cyber defense of navy "stuff". But, the IP/ITs generally are the ones looked to for that role. The exploitation and offensive piece support national missions at the COCOM and above level. So, the operational AQD denotes, either:
1) someone in the Navy who is capable of something cyber at the COCOM and above level (not the Fleet and below), or
2) someone in the Navy who is capable of something SIGINT/EW/IO related at the Fleet and below level

They clearly aren't the same thing. As a result, the ability of the IW community to intelligently support at sea/Fleet/Navy requirements best met through the BI1-BI3 AQD also can mean two different things.
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Re: O-5 Command Results -- Message to the IW Community?

Postby 20yearman » Thu Sep 17, 2015 4:36 pm

While the discussion on billets shifting to cyber is interesting I'm not sure its relevant (to some extent) because the stand-up of CYBERCOM necessitates a shift in mapower to that organization (and it's components). However based on the comparative review of cyber vs. non-cyber O-4/O-5 milestones highlights the discrepancy between personnel with cyber experience being selected and those without. Breakdown: O-5 Milestone - 23 "Fleet" Billets vs. 20 "Cyber" billets and O-4 Milestone - 49 "Fleet" billets vs. 16 "Cyber" billets. It appears that we're sending one signal to the IW Community - "Cyber matters, tactical, Fleet support does not."

I believe the AQD discussion also applies to Cyber since it appears that having a cyber AQD is less important than where you earned the AQD. I've earned multiple Cyber-related AQD's yet have never been assigned to a "Cyber" organization but feel that will not help since they weren't earned at the IW "Flagpole".

This would be a great IDC Synch Youtube discussion opportunity for the senior IW Detailer.
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