Help | Contact Us
NukeWorker.com
NukeWorker Menu How would you fix the NNPP

Author Topic: How would you fix the NNPP  (Read 449087 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

Offline Preciousblue1965

  • Very Heavy User
  • *****
  • Posts: 687
  • Total likes: 0
  • Karma: 524
  • Gender: Male
  • "It is good for you, builds character"
How would you fix the NNPP
« on: May 07, 2008, 12:17 »
I know they old saying "A B#*%ing sailor is a happy sailor" but I just wanted to get some input from both new and old glow-worms on what you would do to "fix" what we perceive to be wrong with the Navy Nuke program, and not just the broad brush stroke of "raise the standards of recruitment" or "do away with NRRO", I mean real specific answers.  I am sure that there is a lot that we would agree on and even some that we wouldn't.  Who knows maybe someone with some power will read this and see what they can do to put it into play. 
"No good deal goes unpunished"

"Explain using obscene hand jestures the concept of pump laws"

I have found the cure for LIBERALISM, it is a good steady dose of REALITY!

withroaj

  • Guest
Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2008, 01:59 »
Wow.  I am glad you put this question up. While it is true that most of us folks who would post to this are somewhere between E4 and E6, meaning we have limited perspective into the "Big Navy" and its ability to monitor and resolve problems, maybe we can make our recommendations here in a respectful manner and someone can at least read them.

I guess I should preface my recommendations here with the acknowledgement that most of the issues with the NNPP probably need to be addressed at the command level, though I'd imagine most complaints are identical across the fleet, sub or surface.  I would also like to acknowledge the fact that there is no real answer to many of the issues most of us have with the program.  Jobs suck, and that's why we get paid.

1)People are disgruntled, and not just in that casual "happy sailor is a B****ing sailor" way.  This may stem from the program's almost complete lack of positive reenforcement (this is a command issue, yes, but I'd imagine it's a Navy wide "command issue" ).   For most guys I have worked with over the last five years, job satisfaction has been less than or equal to zero, wether they were a dirt bag or the best guy in the division.  If you think about it, not many people can find job satisfaction in just knowing that they are good at what they do.  I happen to be God's gift to the ELT world, and I carry myself in a smug manner based on that and think the job is great just because I can do it well(ok fine, it's not that hard to show up and do what you're told).  We all need an incentive from time to time.  My division all got NAM's after an ORSE for "zero LOK deficiencies."  That means we got awards because they couldn't say anything bad about us?  I don't know how well it works to motivate your people by saying, "hey guys, you don't suck that bad."

My recommendation based on this:  let's assess the nuclear community from an angle other than compliance (which we will cover later).  It would also be helpful to provide an opportunity for this discussion to take place in an official forum, and in a format that doesn't compel people to lie on a multiple choice survey to avoid having to justify answers.  We have all complained to our CPO's and Div-O's about issues, and a lot of the time they just agree.  "I agree with you, but that's how it is."  We had an Electrician show our CO, at quarters on the pier, a copy of that page in Navy Regs that says something like "Hours worked outside normal working hours will be compensated with an equal amount of time off during normal working hours."  Meaning Saturday duty equals Monday off -- yes, it's actually there.  The Captain simply replied, "Not on submarines."  If you actually look at it, that regulation doesn't provide a provision for submarines or any other platform.  I guess I am writing this in the same way my girlfriend of three years reminds me of her ring size from time to time...

2)  Withdrawn.  I don't have the background to make this statement.  My apologies to all who read it.

3) Money isn't the answer here, people!  You guys out there know that the zone A reenlistment cap is now $90k (probably higher by the time I hit 'Post' ).  It has doubled in the five years I have been in, yet on my boat we only had three sea-returnees (excluding CPO's) in the nuke divisions, and they weren't exactly an all-star lineup.  It seems like the NNPP is setting itself up to retain guys who want E-5 and new trucks or motorcycles or HDTV's, but not necessarily competent individuals.  We had an awesome E-6 RC divver get out at six years.  This guy was the shining example of "squared away recruit."  A technical expert and solid watchstander, well liked up and down the Chain of Command, he wouldn't take NINETY THOUSAND DOLLARS to stick around two years for a shore duty.  I actually had the opportunity to present this as an example to a Force Master Chief very respectfully, trying not to sound like a dissenter (one of those "town meetings" with the crew where coners ask about new uniforms), and he actually said "we're looking into raising the bonus cap."  When asked if the "Big Navy" has looked at why money isn't helping, he said they're looking at throwing more money at the issue.  You commercial operators out there have made it very clear that nukes make more money on the outside.

My recommendation:  You got me here.  I really want to love this program and stay in the Navy, but as time goes by I am having trouble telling myself that this program isn't headed in the wrong direction.  I am happy with my old car and normal TV, and don't really want a motorcycle; and I am starting to believe that sticking around thinking I can positively influence things might just leave me bitter, fat and divorced at 40 years old.

All that being said, I plan to take another shore duty, bringing me out to that dreaded ten year point.  I really am having fun in this game, as broken as it may be.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2008, 08:17 by withroaj »

Samabby

  • Guest
Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2008, 02:55 »
"  Money isn't the answer here, people!  "

Agreed. My son is on a boat, qualified, and from independent reports from the squadron level, doing a good job. His plan has never varied - 6 and out and on to a local cooling tower thingy. Repeated 12 hour days and extended cruises are exactly what he was told to expect, this after the 18 month high speed treadmill called Goose Creek. Just another churn 'em and burn 'em story, but this life is certainly not for everyone. More power and respect to those of you who pulled (or are pulling ) twenty or so.  8)

Offline Preciousblue1965

  • Very Heavy User
  • *****
  • Posts: 687
  • Total likes: 0
  • Karma: 524
  • Gender: Male
  • "It is good for you, builds character"
Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2008, 03:13 »
Well did I ever start a topic or what? :o

Well I can't state exact quotes as I was not there, but I did overhear a MCPO talking to one of the NRRO guys(not field office but big wig guys) about the future of the NNPP.  Apparently the conversation got into the Re-Up bonuses going way up.  Yada Yada Yada, the NR guys says(not exact quotes) "we know the job sucks but hopefully we can keep a few guys with these new bonuses" to which this MCPO(one of the VERY rare instances that this guy made sense) "well what can we do about the 'sucking' part"

I agree that more and more money might keep a few more around, but what good is all that money if you never are home to spend it.  You can only buy so much stuff at the ship store(surface guy here) and over the internet(ok there is a lot there). 

I respect some of the guys for NRRO, but I don't respect their mindset.  The idea that "we have to find something or else we aren't doing our jobs" is rediculous.  I understand that some of the programs are there for our own good and that is why we haven't had a major accident since inception(I fully think it is a matter of time with the way things are going, IMHO). 

I am not sure if I have any or all the answers but something has to give. 
"No good deal goes unpunished"

"Explain using obscene hand jestures the concept of pump laws"

I have found the cure for LIBERALISM, it is a good steady dose of REALITY!

Offline Preciousblue1965

  • Very Heavy User
  • *****
  • Posts: 687
  • Total likes: 0
  • Karma: 524
  • Gender: Male
  • "It is good for you, builds character"
Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2008, 03:22 »
Yes it takes a special person to make the twenty year mark regardless of the current problems.  (That is a serious statement not a tongue and cheek response like normal.)

It takes several types of special person. 
A: Someone who really really loves the fact they are serving their country and feels pride in being in the Navy(Sadly not enough of these guys)
B: Someone who knows that they can't make it out in the real "non military" world where incompetence gets you fired, not moved to a position of little importance I.E. Good Deal(WAY too many of these guys)
C: Someone who has to stay in for one reason or another outside of their control I.E. Buddy of mine's wife would NEVER qualify for health insurance on the outside that was in their price range

Though this doesn't cover everyone it covers a good bit.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2008, 03:24 by Preciousblue1965 »
"No good deal goes unpunished"

"Explain using obscene hand jestures the concept of pump laws"

I have found the cure for LIBERALISM, it is a good steady dose of REALITY!

rlbinc

  • Guest
Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2008, 04:04 »
The dial has been turned back on The Wayback Machine.

It is now 1980. Hope you enjoy punk rock.

The Navy is considering raising Nuclear Reenlistment Bonus cap from $15,000 to $20,000.

The Bureau of Personnel believes their desired retention rates of 40% first term, 50% second term, and 60% third term will be achieved - which will man all nuclear billets, by rate, in the proper proportion.


The Wayback Machine is now set to 2008.

The Navy does not now, and never has wanted everyone to re-enlist.
They want the truly disgruntled to leave. They want the truly motivated to stay. Plain and simple. Money won't do it. A new poster slogan won't do it. The Navy knows that.

So, dudes... and dudettes...

If you like it - stay in. I appreciate your service.
If you don't like it - do your time and get out. And I'll enjoy working with you.

Notice the positive energy? We make energy.

You can't fix the Navy, it's not broke.

You can enjoy the ride.

Offline 93-383

  • Heavy User
  • ****
  • Posts: 312
  • Total likes: 0
  • Karma: 350
  • Gender: Male
  • Tell Recruiters to use NukeWorker.com
Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2008, 04:47 »
1)   Eliminate the automatic E-5 for STAR- I know this is hypocritical since that is how I and many other people advanced to E5. But here is the problem our advancement is too fast due in part to poor retention. Our E5s are not ready to lead a workcenters our E6s are not ready to be LPOs and Many of our E7s are not ready to be LCPOs. As a community we typical base someones “rank” on their qual level or speed. Currently this is how it must be since you can easily have a six year E4 CRW quallified that has significant LOK and experience over a STAR E5. We further assign “rank” by “clicks”,politics, and other subjective factors. How can we function as a military unit when our rank means nothing amongst ourselves? 
2)   Raise the standard for NNPTC back up to their pre “no child left behind” nuclear navy. This will drop the number of incoming nukes I admit however that can be offset by incorporating more stikers and convential ratings in to the engine room. Many of the watches currently required to be stood by nukes do not require that level of knowledge (speaking for a CVN)

Offline NaVLI4

  • Moderate User
  • ***
  • Posts: 216
  • Total likes: 2
  • Karma: 675
  • Gender: Male
  • Success teaches us nothing; only failure teaches.
Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2008, 05:04 »
While it is true that most of us folks who would post to this are somewhere between E4 and E6, meaning we have limited perspective into the "Big Navy" and its ability to monitor and resolve problems, maybe we can make our recommendations here in a respectful manner and someone can at least read them.

I guess I should preface my recommendations here with the acknowledgement that most of the issues with the NNPP probably need to be addressed at the command level,

Great post and awesome topic.  Withroaj, I'm posting this as my short answer for now * (I'll explain this in a minute).

Yes, the command level does read these posts and we, they do listen...sometimes.  That whole we/they thing sounds good.  [I say that as my gotee is growing out.  :P]

The command level is listening now more than ever because they have finally realized that their way isn't quite working.  IOW, keep this and other good comments coming.

* It is a very good idea to unplug the food processor prior to attempting to remove the blade...experience talking here!  Typing is tough...I'm AF JKL; (no SD).  I did this two days before my retirement ceremony.  Good going huh, now I have time to play golf but I can't hold the clubs with these bandages. 

Guess what I served at my retirement ceremony reception?

Finger foods  :P

Also, I'm one of those guys who enjoy pedicures and manicures [and I'm not afraid to admit it], so now I get a 20% discount on my manicures.  ;)

Sorry I got off topic, please don't smite.

"Any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction, 'I served in the United States Navy."  - President John F. Kennedy

Offline Preciousblue1965

  • Very Heavy User
  • *****
  • Posts: 687
  • Total likes: 0
  • Karma: 524
  • Gender: Male
  • "It is good for you, builds character"
Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2008, 07:33 »
FINGER FOODS ;D ;D ;D ;D

That is funny, I don't care who you are. 
"No good deal goes unpunished"

"Explain using obscene hand jestures the concept of pump laws"

I have found the cure for LIBERALISM, it is a good steady dose of REALITY!

Offline Gamecock

  • Subject Matter Expert
  • *
  • Posts: 1202
  • Total likes: 1
  • Karma: 2367
  • Gender: Male
  • "Perfection is the enemy of good enough."
Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2008, 07:45 »

2)   Raise the standard for NNPTC back up to their pre “no child left behind” nuclear navy. This will drop the number of incoming nukes I admit however that can be offset by incorporating more stikers and convential ratings in to the engine room. Many of the watches currently required to be stood by nukes do not require that level of knowledge (speaking for a CVN)


We as LPO's, LCPO's, DIVO's, PA's, etc...need to stop complaining about the level of knowledge todays newbie's have.  The current system is not going to change.  So,  it is a leadership challenge that WE as leaders need to overcome.

BTW...when I was a young nub MM3 back in 1990 I occasionally heard the "old timers" complaining about the level of knowledge of the nubs.   I'll bet if you if you went into the way back machine and emerged in the 1970's you probably would have heard some crusty MM1 complaining about the level of knowledge of his nubs.  Same thing over and over. 


“If the thought police come... we will meet them at the door, respectfully, unflinchingly, willing to die... holding a copy of the sacred Scriptures in one hand and the US Constitution in the other."

Offline 93-383

  • Heavy User
  • ****
  • Posts: 312
  • Total likes: 0
  • Karma: 350
  • Gender: Male
  • Tell Recruiters to use NukeWorker.com
Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2008, 08:03 »
We as LPO's, LCPO's, DIVO's, PA's, etc...need to stop complaining about the level of knowledge todays newbie's have.  The current system is not going to change.  So,  it is a leadership challenge that WE as leaders need to overcome.

BTW...when I was a young nub MM3 back in 1990 I occasionally heard the "old timers" complaining about the level of knowledge of the nubs.   I'll bet if you if you went into the way back machine and emerged in the 1970's you probably would have heard some crusty MM1 complaining about the level of knowledge of his nubs.  Same thing over and over. 




I realize that the “old timers” have probably been complaining about the lack of knowledge sine the second class of nukes graduated from power school. However I truly believe that the level of knowledge has changed in our new personnel. For example I had one individual that didn’t know what the Presurizer was for, couldn’t explain the basic concept of how power followed steam demand, ect. What made matters worse is he couldn’t be trained you could explain something in the morning and he could not remember any of it by afternoon. When asked why.. why do we keep this person the COC simply stated we where so undermanned that we could not afford to loose anyone even if they where a danger to themselves and others. This leads to placing dangerously incompetent people on watch and the CRW or CMO must spend more time watching that individuals every action, this is provided that they can stay on the watch bill at all.

As for improving the first line leadership that is exactly correct, however it is now becoming the job of the fleet to separate the wheat form the chaff and many Officers and Chiefs are unwilling or unable to do that. Rather the COCs try and mitigate the damage that said person can cause, usually resulting in said individual getting the “good deal” further angering the quality personnel of the division leading to reduced retention and overall poor command climate.

Offline Preciousblue1965

  • Very Heavy User
  • *****
  • Posts: 687
  • Total likes: 0
  • Karma: 524
  • Gender: Male
  • "It is good for you, builds character"
Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2008, 08:16 »
Well a wise person once told me:

Every generation has complained about the generation that came after them, yet we continue to survive

That being said, one thing that made me decide to leave the Navy was the mindset that if you get shafted, either working extra hours because of someone's screw up or any number of other things, there RARELY is the concept trying to make up for it.  Instead it is the mentality of "suck it up, get back to work"  I understand that crap happens and sometimes it is beyond the control of anyone and that mission comes first, but when the fate of the world isn't on the line, let guys go home early or cut a guy some special lib.  Whatever you do don't promise it to him and then never give it to him.

Another thing I think should be available is a periodic evaluation of supervisors(Divo, LCPO, etc) from their subordinates.  I mean if a guy is completely hosed up and a tyrant to his people, he can still get results because they have to follow his orders.  Or if the guy is a complete idiot and his people are constantly having to save his arse or cover for him, yet at the end of his tour, he gets a NAM/NCM and a cushy shore billet.  I understand that it could be possible for a division to give a good guy bad evals because they don't like his policy of an extra hour of cleaning on friday, but I have to have faith that most guys would give an honest opinion of the guy.  

"No good deal goes unpunished"

"Explain using obscene hand jestures the concept of pump laws"

I have found the cure for LIBERALISM, it is a good steady dose of REALITY!

Offline Preciousblue1965

  • Very Heavy User
  • *****
  • Posts: 687
  • Total likes: 0
  • Karma: 524
  • Gender: Male
  • "It is good for you, builds character"
Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2008, 08:22 »
93

I have to agree with you a great deal on that.  In 3 years at Proto, I saw 2(TWO) people get dropped for academic reasons.  Had a mechanic that couldn't tell me that oil flow through bearings was in parallel vice series, gave him a 2.3 on his final board.  Civilian told me that 2.4 was the lowest I could go.  Told him that 2.4 was close to passing and this guy was nowhere near close. 

I would LOVE to see just one class of nuke students go through the pipeline WITHOUT any civilian interaction.  Let the nukes train them, let the nukes decide who makes it through or not, and forget quoatas or training reports or grad numbers.  Let the SE and an in-rate set their, throw out the training manual for what can and can't be done.  I would bet even money that there would be fewer students get through, but those that did would be solid nukes. 
"No good deal goes unpunished"

"Explain using obscene hand jestures the concept of pump laws"

I have found the cure for LIBERALISM, it is a good steady dose of REALITY!

Offline Preciousblue1965

  • Very Heavy User
  • *****
  • Posts: 687
  • Total likes: 0
  • Karma: 524
  • Gender: Male
  • "It is good for you, builds character"
Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2008, 08:29 »
I think it would help some if the guys that were completely incompetent could be more easily denuked and replacements gotten quicker for them.  I think there should be less "coddling" and more "boot to arse" in the pipeline.  Most of them are ok after a few pokes and prods but there are some that if you litterally don't walk them through their qual process they would never qualify to operate the toaster.  If a student is dink it is their staff's fault now for not helping them enough. 

I also firmly believe that NNPTC and NPTU should be a 4 year tour split 2&2.  2 years NPTU then 2 years at NNPTC.  THen again maybe the other way around so the guys at NNPTC do like they do now and say "Prototype will fix em" with the broke ones. 
"No good deal goes unpunished"

"Explain using obscene hand jestures the concept of pump laws"

I have found the cure for LIBERALISM, it is a good steady dose of REALITY!

Offline Gamecock

  • Subject Matter Expert
  • *
  • Posts: 1202
  • Total likes: 1
  • Karma: 2367
  • Gender: Male
  • "Perfection is the enemy of good enough."
Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2008, 08:31 »


I would LOVE to see just one class of nuke students go through the pipeline WITHOUT any civilian interaction.  Let the nukes train them, let the nukes decide who makes it through or not, and forget quoatas or training reports or grad numbers.  Let the SE and an in-rate set their, throw out the training manual for what can and can't be done.  I would bet even money that there would be fewer students get through, but those that did would be solid nukes. 

Your buddies in the fleet would thank you for your quality control after return home from a deployment where they were standing port and stupid because there aren't enough men to adequately fill out a watchbill.
“If the thought police come... we will meet them at the door, respectfully, unflinchingly, willing to die... holding a copy of the sacred Scriptures in one hand and the US Constitution in the other."

Offline Preciousblue1965

  • Very Heavy User
  • *****
  • Posts: 687
  • Total likes: 0
  • Karma: 524
  • Gender: Male
  • "It is good for you, builds character"
Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2008, 08:35 »
Your buddies in the fleet would thank you for your quality control after return home from a deployment where they were standing port and stupid because there aren't enough men to adequately fill out a watchbill.

Touche` Ok maybe make it one crew at one of the prototypes for one class.  It would still be interesting to see the results, you have to admit that. 
"No good deal goes unpunished"

"Explain using obscene hand jestures the concept of pump laws"

I have found the cure for LIBERALISM, it is a good steady dose of REALITY!

Offline mooredee13

  • Light User
  • **
  • Posts: 24
  • Total likes: 0
  • Karma: 76
  • Gender: Male
  • Tell Recruiters to use NukeWorker.com
Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #16 on: May 07, 2008, 09:00 »
Not wanting to go off-topic...at least not too far...but is it still harder than all get out for a nuke MM to make Chief? I know when I got out in 1988 that my boat had the only nuke (not sure if subs or sub and surface) promoted to MMC that year.

That was always daunting, especially with a division top heavy with E-6's.

Offline Preciousblue1965

  • Very Heavy User
  • *****
  • Posts: 687
  • Total likes: 0
  • Karma: 524
  • Gender: Male
  • "It is good for you, builds character"
Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2008, 09:39 »
Not wanting to go off-topic...at least not too far...but is it still harder than all get out for a nuke MM to make Chief? I know when I got out in 1988 that my boat had the only nuke (not sure if subs or sub and surface) promoted to MMC that year.

That was always daunting, especially with a division top heavy with E-6's.

It has changed a little in that aspect.  E7 is a little more open these days than it was.  The way I saw it when I was in

E4-E5 pretty hard to get it unless you STAR.  Usually make it just prior to 6 years being up
E5-E6 Goes in cycles.  For a little while it was pretty hard(around 30-40%) and then it opened wide up to Pass and Advance and back down again
E6-E7  Not a lot make it but enough to keep it interesting.  Generally E6 tends to be the breaking point.  Lots of guys make E6 and get out, but if they make E7 tend to stay in.  When you are used to getting promoted every 2 to 3 years, little disheartening to hit that wall.  Furthermore, making E7 is becoming more about checking off boxes(EWS, Community service, college courses, proto tour, etc) then it is about actual job compentency or leadership.

"No good deal goes unpunished"

"Explain using obscene hand jestures the concept of pump laws"

I have found the cure for LIBERALISM, it is a good steady dose of REALITY!

Offline HydroDave63

Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2008, 12:32 »
  If a student is dink it is their staff's fault now for not helping them enough. 


It couldn't possibly be the student's lack of skill or initiative contributing to the dinkitude?!?

JustinHEMI05

  • Guest
Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #19 on: May 08, 2008, 01:55 »
Wow what a sweet thread, but I have some predictions about its future path.  8)

DISCLAIMER: This is going to be long, so skip if you want. :)

Anyway, I truly believe that a lot of senior leadership in the nuclear Navy (officer and enlisted) are starting to realize there is a problem. I also believe that they genuinely want to make changes. Anyway, I was completely floored by my CMCs first question in my check out interview;
"What are we doing so wrong that someone like you can look at 100K dollars and say "no thank you?""

For me, it was a matter of positive reenforcement. Now, that is a vast over simplification of things but that is what it boiled down to. I explained to him that I didn't agree with the company's policy of "you have to find something wrong because there is always something wrong" and "you can't say anything good because it encourages mediocrity." I also explained that the last thing I wanted to hear from a man who's very job it was to care about me is "Let me tell you something PO *******, no matter what your qualifications or your accomplishments, at the end of the day you are still just a blue shirt, and no one gives a s**t about MM1 *******." That was pretty much the straw that broke the camels back.

I explained that if the nuclear Navy rewarded an equal amount as it punishes, people would consider staying in. I really believe that. If I was told "thank you" and "good job" more frequently, it would have been a lot better. I know that sounds silly and simple, and maybe it is, but its a matter of human nature. If you continually look for and focus on the bad, then people are going to be bitter and all you are going to get out of them is mediocrity. I actually think its perfectly easy to understand, and I have no background in psychology. A human being will perform to the level that you expect him to perform to. So, if you always expect him to be wrong, then he is going to be wrong. I base that opinion on what I saw in my career as a Navy Nuke and what I see as a Commercial Nuke.

I was floored again when I witnessed my first simulator scenario here at the plant. Of course, the enormity of what was happening in front of me was flooring, but more importantly, what happened afterwards was eye opening. Of course, like they Navy, they critique the performance. What was different, though, was the fact that they started out with the positives. I heard things like "Troy, I thought you did this, that and the other really well. I think we should show the other ROs what you did and get their take, and maybe make it SOP" and "Bob, thanks for the backup on that thing over there, that shows and excellent understanding of that systems response to the problem and I think we can improve the stations performance by incorporating your thoughts into the training material."

When they got to the negatives (which there were very few of, BTW), they handled them in a way that wasn't demeaning or condescending. No one left feeling cheated, hurt or betrayed.

As far the Navy, what I experienced is far more drastic. Anyone that served on the USS Miami from 1999-2004 would back me up. When I got to the boat, I experienced what I thought was going to be an exciting, thrilling career on a US Warship. From the CO down to the newest nub (me), everyone was happy. The CO loved his crew, and they loved him back. He expected them to bust their asses, and they did because he busted his ass for them. When I walked around Groton checking in, I was stopped in the streets by Chiefs and Officers and asked "You are on the Miami? That must be awesome! Whats it like to be on that boat?" The Miami was the poop in that day, and for good reason. The CO was and still is to me, the best Commanding Officer ever. Field days under this guy never lasted over an hour. Why? Because everyone knew the skipper was going to come around and if he was happy, he was going to put liberty down (in port on Friday). So what happened? People busted their assess for that hour and their reward on the 1MC was; "This is the Captain, I see everyone is working really hard and the ship looks terrific. A gang is holding me hostage and threatened to do unnatural things to me, so liberty is down by the CO." Pure human nature right there. Instead of sending minions out to beat down on people for 4-8 hours, he simply held out a carrot and accomplished his goal. At the same time, he kept the natives happy and all was well. I have many many stories about this guy and just how awesome he was, but this is already getting too long. To summarize; under this skipper, life on the boat was not only bearable, it was fun and enjoyable. We had excellent on ORSE, TRE and every other inspection known to man. We won awards and accolades and even had 60 minutes take a ride. I reenlisted.

Then, my next CO showed up. This guy for some reason that is still unknown to me, apparently didn't like the Miami the way she was. He changed everything. Field day went from 1 hour to 4-8 hours depending on his mood that Friday. He beat his officers and Chiefs for any and every little imperfection down to a tiny bit of paint on the rubber feet under deck plates. I even got to witness this man chew out and berate the XO in front of the entire crew. That is still to this day, the most uncomfortable moment of my life. So, his officers and Chiefs beat us. I have many many stories to illustrate life under this CO but to summarize, life sucked and I began regretting my decision to "Stay Navy" and started down the red brick road of bitterness, anger and hatred for the Navy. The Miami went from the cream of the crop to the bottom of the barrel with BAs on TRE, ORSE and every other inspection known to man. Well, except cleanliness. We were real clean.

The same thing happened at NPTU. Started out with a terrific CO, and so life was good. Halfway through got a CO who had to "prove his power"... his words, not mine... by making every staff work +4s on swing shift to combat DUIs. So of course, life got bad.

The point of all of this is that I believe that either you are a people person, or you are not. Unfortunately, in the military, there is no people skill qualification. Sure, there doesn't need to be, but therein lies the problem with the military as a whole. As folks become more educated the "because I said so" line doesn't fly as much anymore. More now than ever, the military as a whole needs real good leaders and not just some "do as I say not as I do" schmuck. And, the CO is the major key in all of this. You can have good/bad officers and Chiefs everywhere, but with a good CO the bad ones can do little damage and the good ones can do spectacular work, and under a bad CO, the bad one can do irreparable damage and the good ones become bitter and angry just like the blue shirts.

What the Navy needs is a few good officers and Chiefs to stand up in the face of tyranny and not be afraid to pat a guy on the back when he does a good job, don't yell at him for smiling in the box, get over the unrealistic expectation that people are going to sit there and stare silently at a panel for 6 hours or continuously and mindlessly rove the spaces looking at numbers, cut him loose early now and again as we all know early liberty in port is golden since we are trapped at sea for length of time and hold him to a standard that you yourself meet or exceed. It is simple human nature folks. Too many Navy leaders lack the essential people skills to be a truly effective leader and are relegated to the pits of "yes men" and "they/them."

Justin


PS I also believe that a large portion of the NNPP, particuarly NRRO, grasps tightly to the ideals of a dead Admiral. Look, the man was genious as far as engineering the program goes, but he was also a lunatic. He opitimized everything that is the wrong way to treat and lead men. You need to let go of him and his ideals and move the program into the 21st century.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2008, 02:41 by JustinHEMI »

Offline NaVLI4

  • Moderate User
  • ***
  • Posts: 216
  • Total likes: 2
  • Karma: 675
  • Gender: Male
  • Success teaches us nothing; only failure teaches.
Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #20 on: May 08, 2008, 06:54 »
For me, it was a matter of positive reenforcement. Now, that is a vast over simplification of things but that is what it boiled down to. I explained to him that I didn't agree with the company's policy of "you have to find something wrong because there is always something wrong" and "you can't say anything good because it encourages mediocrity." I also explained that the last thing I wanted to hear from a man who's very job it was to care about me is "Let me tell you something PO *******, no matter what your qualifications or your accomplishments, at the end of the day you are still just a blue shirt, and no one gives a s**t about MM1 *******." That was pretty much the straw that broke the camels back.

I explained that if the nuclear Navy rewarded an equal amount as it punishes, people would consider staying in. I really believe that. If I was told "thank you" and "good job" more frequently, it would have been a lot better. I know that sounds silly and simple, and maybe it is, but its a matter of human nature.

Justin,
I couldn't agree with you more.  I don't mean to make this a "This is how I always did it" post, but I want to emphasize how right you are, and strongly the nuclear Navy is opposed to your idea.

During my drill critiques, I gave out as many BZs as discrepancies and I explained this to my Staff Training Group as the philosophy that I thought would make us better.  Not only does it improve morale when someone sees a BZ by their name, but it demonstrates what is right by actually saying it...not simply assuming everyone has a clear mental picture of how to do it right.

"What are we doing so wrong that someone like you can look at 100K dollars and say "no thank you?""
Very interesting quote.  I've heard the same thing and I think the Navy is seeing only the tip of the iceberg right now.  The problem is that they are trying to fix a symptom and not the problem.  People not staying is not the problem...it is a symptom of a much bigger problem. 

Anyone got any popcorn?  :P

The Navy is big on Root Causal Analysis and I was always "encouraged" by "people outside my direct sphere of influence" to dig deep to ensure that all problems were found, severity levels assigned, root causes determined, and corrective actions assigned. 

It is time for the Navy to critique this epidemic so they can drill down and actually determine the problems and not the symptoms.

Okay, I'm done...no more popcorn.

Justin, I'd give you Karma right now if I could, but I have to wait until this afternoon when my 24 hour wait time is over.  Hopefully someone else will chime in here with some K'.  I will later today.

BTW, this was the quote hanging in my office...

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2008, 07:00 by NaVLI4 »
"Any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction, 'I served in the United States Navy."  - President John F. Kennedy

JustinHEMI05

  • Guest
Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #21 on: May 08, 2008, 07:30 »
Thanks Mike. I appreciate what you did for your guys. :)

Justin

Offline Preciousblue1965

  • Very Heavy User
  • *****
  • Posts: 687
  • Total likes: 0
  • Karma: 524
  • Gender: Male
  • "It is good for you, builds character"
Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #22 on: May 08, 2008, 08:27 »
Having read through some of these thoughts, I really sat down and theorized on some of the specifics of what I thought needed to change(pretty easy at 3 am with a screaming 4 month old who is teething). 

One thing I think that I really despised at Proto and on the ship.  Tests.  We have gotten to the point to wear we have the mentality that the tests should operate on a lock hard and fire bell curve.  So many people "have to fail" and only so many can do really well.  In order to accomplish this, tests are written to extreme lengths.  Since when did it become a requirement for an operator to memorize line for line the procedure for an event that occurs once in 3 or 4 years.  Furthermore, when did it become SOP to assign points to assumptions that are pretty much common knowledge (I.E. -1pt for not assuming 3 ft is approx. 1m)<-I can't make this stuff up.  I really think that the tests(CTE, Watch Quals, Etc) should adequately reflect what is required for a watch stander.  Memorize the Immediate actions.  Have a clue about supp actions.  If you want a guy to prove he can go solid, then let him prove he can work through the procedure properly.  Don't expect him to calculate how much chemicals he needs to add if all the nomographs are destroyed by a nucleonics fire(especially with the new computer programs). 

Along those lines, I understand that procedural compliance is a must.  But is it really necessary to crush a guy because he doesn't use it to operate 2 valves when repressing an expansion tank.  S/U and S/D are another story, but after you have done about 100 of those you pretty much got the idea down pat on how to do everything that normally goes on.  Understand that guys become MORE competent as they go, not less and let guys operate the plant using common sense.  Obviously the manuals are flawed and open to interpretation or else we would not have Revision XYZ that has already rolled over twice for a plant in operation for 40 years.  I would be interested in seeing how many times a manual has been changed from one thing only to go back to it several years down the road.  Let guys use their extensive knowledge to operate the equipment. 

Ok those are my two cents. 
"No good deal goes unpunished"

"Explain using obscene hand jestures the concept of pump laws"

I have found the cure for LIBERALISM, it is a good steady dose of REALITY!

Offline Preciousblue1965

  • Very Heavy User
  • *****
  • Posts: 687
  • Total likes: 0
  • Karma: 524
  • Gender: Male
  • "It is good for you, builds character"
Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #23 on: May 08, 2008, 08:36 »
It couldn't possibly be the student's lack of skill or initiative contributing to the dinkitude?!?

Nay nay moosebreath(favorite saying of one of my old Chiefs)

"Every student that gets accepted to the program is capable of making it through the program, it is your job to find a way that gets them through the program." <-Paraphrased from a CMC call many years ago.
"No good deal goes unpunished"

"Explain using obscene hand jestures the concept of pump laws"

I have found the cure for LIBERALISM, it is a good steady dose of REALITY!

JustinHEMI05

  • Guest
Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #24 on: May 08, 2008, 09:22 »
Having read through some of these thoughts, I really sat down and theorized on some of the specifics of what I thought needed to change(pretty easy at 3 am with a screaming 4 month old who is teething). 

One thing I think that I really despised at Proto and on the ship.  Tests.  We have gotten to the point to wear we have the mentality that the tests should operate on a lock hard and fire bell curve.  So many people "have to fail" and only so many can do really well.  In order to accomplish this, tests are written to extreme lengths.  Since when did it become a requirement for an operator to memorize line for line the procedure for an event that occurs once in 3 or 4 years.  Furthermore, when did it become SOP to assign points to assumptions that are pretty much common knowledge (I.E. -1pt for not assuming 3 ft is approx. 1m)<-I can't make this stuff up.  I really think that the tests(CTE, Watch Quals, Etc) should adequately reflect what is required for a watch stander.  Memorize the Immediate actions.  Have a clue about supp actions.  If you want a guy to prove he can go solid, then let him prove he can work through the procedure properly.  Don't expect him to calculate how much chemicals he needs to add if all the nomographs are destroyed by a nucleonics fire(especially with the new computer programs). 

Along those lines, I understand that procedural compliance is a must.  But is it really necessary to crush a guy because he doesn't use it to operate 2 valves when repressing an expansion tank.  S/U and S/D are another story, but after you have done about 100 of those you pretty much got the idea down pat on how to do everything that normally goes on.  Understand that guys become MORE competent as they go, not less and let guys operate the plant using common sense.  Obviously the manuals are flawed and open to interpretation or else we would not have Revision XYZ that has already rolled over twice for a plant in operation for 40 years.  I would be interested in seeing how many times a manual has been changed from one thing only to go back to it several years down the road.  Let guys use their extensive knowledge to operate the equipment. 

Ok those are my two cents. 

I agree with this stuff, but it goes back to the point of letting go of the dead Admiral. Personally, I think the navy nuke program would be better off if they went the way of commercial nuke power as far as training, examining and operating. Problem is, the Navy has this idea that they operate and train in a way superior to commercial nukes. Not true.

Justin

 


NukeWorker ™ is a registered trademark of NukeWorker.com ™, LLC © 1996-2021 All rights reserved.
All material on this Web Site, including text, photographs, graphics, code and/or software, are protected by international copyright/trademark laws and treaties. Unauthorized use is not permitted. You may not modify, copy, reproduce, republish, upload, post, transmit or distribute, in any manner, the material on this web site or any portion of it. Doing so will result in severe civil and criminal penalties, and will be prosecuted to the maximum extent possible under the law.
Privacy Statement | Terms of Use | Code of Conduct | Spam Policy | Advertising Info | Contact Us | Forum Rules | Password Problem?