Career Path > Navy:Staying In

How would you fix the NNPP

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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. 

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.

"  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)

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. 


--- Quote from: HoneyComb on May 07, 2008, 03:03 ---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.)

--- End quote ---

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.


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