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withroaj

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Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #25 on: May 08, 2008, 09:41 »
I want to apologize in advance for this one, since I know it violates the forum rules as I interpret them, but I might have the wrong ACN -- or maybe I'm violating a Nuc Note or a Z0ZZ, whatever.

This came from the guy who wrote the infamous, incomplete "Shut All Four..." manuscript.  If you haven't read it check it out.  Entertaining perspective.  He has a blog at em-log.blogspot.com, and recently posted this: (I'll put it here in its entirety)

Some advice on running a good nuc division (on subs, anyways):

(1) Day after is sacred. If you want to get the most out of your duty section, they need to know that they can go home and sleep as soon as turnover is complete. I’ve heard some chiefs whine about all-hands evolutions. That’s bull. If it’s a field day, find out what needs to be cleaned and have the duty guys do their part the night before. Same for training – they know they’re responsible for the info, they’ll get it on their own. Establish a good working relationship with the Eng and he’ll gladly support you on this. I know this for a fact - the only time day after is still on board at 0800 on my boat is if we’re getting underway.

(2) Duty days will suck – expect to do 12 hours of watch, and 12 hours of divisional work.

(3) On non-duty days, we’ll get the work done and then go home. If that’s 1100, so be it. I don’t keep people around “just in case”, that’s what the duty section is for. However, either I or my leading first will be on board until the Eng leaves for the day.

(4) On a fast boat, schedule most of the PMS for underway. Like a duty day, underway is going to suck, but you have to be there, anyway, so sucking at sea means more time off in port. This is especially true for E Div.

(5) Order parts. Order more parts. Keep ordering parts, you can never have enough. The same for tools. Screw the chop.

(6) Someone will always get left in port for school and for leave (again, a fast boat thing – boomers don’t need to do this). This will rotate among everyone, from the nub to the snob.

(7) Put in for awards whenever possible. It doesn’t matter if you know they are BS and the guys getting them do, too – a record full of LOCs can save you guys from mast if they screw up later.

(8) Every nub gets a sea dad. If the nub goes dink, so does the sea dad. Getting our nubs qualified is the same as any other divisional work – get it done and go home.

(9) Some times you have no choice – you are directed by the Eng or the XO to write someone up. Some offences, such as under-age drinking, leave no options. However, keep in mind that most NJP results from a leadership failure and should be used as a last resort. (When I got to the Lincoln, the first thing the XO told us during indoc was how their assembly-line NPJ system worked. If a third of your department is restricted on board, how much of a deterrent can it be?).

(10) During field day, or some other all-hands BS, stay out of my spaces. I am responsible and I will make sure the work is getting done. You want to inspect? Give me the list beforehand, and tell me if something got missed afterwards. I don’t want my guys trying to hide from you, or (even worse) trying to look busy. I know my space, I know my guys, let me do the job I’m getting paid for.

(11) Everyone in the division will complete their requirements for the next rank ahead of time. When the exam comes around, getting everyone promoted becomes as important as anything else we’re doing. For making chief, firsts need to qualify EWS/EDPO and a forward watch (COW is common, but it’s not like they are shorthanded. Better is finding someone who NEEDS more qualified watchstanders, even if its duty SK).

(12) There is no such thing as a “designated failure” for divisional training. They set the standards, we meet them, end of story. Everyone ace’ing the exam is a GOOD thing, not proof the exam was too easy.

(13) Everyone has a collateral duty, and they cycle every six months (or every other patrol, for boomers). During one sea tour, I expect that each division member will have done each job at least once, especially training, PMS, and RPPO.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2008, 10:51 by withroaj »

Offline Preciousblue1965

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Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #26 on: May 08, 2008, 09:49 »
Well I haven't had the experience in working in the Commercial Nuke field.  I am just a lonely Inspector that comes in when you nuke guys have to weld pipes.  

Another thing I always disliked was the "Dog and Pony" shows that you had to perform.  I know that sometimes they were required, but seriously is it really necessary to go through an entire firefighting evolution drill on a chained down boat if in your operating procedures it says that if there is really a fire, call the local Fire Department.  But I digress.

I had an idea once(yes it hurt my brain on this on).  With all the power shortages all over the US and power bills going nuts, would it be feasible for the Government to build "training" plants for nukes that supply power to communities.  If you built enough of them and built them two plants at a site you could minimize the effects of the required S/D and S/U prac facs on students.  Furthermore it would give guys more choices than just Charleston and NY for shore duties, not to mention with more training platforms the Staff/Student Ratio would be smaller.  Of course it would be harder to man these plants but you could off set that with civilian operators.  I know this idea needs some fine tuning with a sledge hammer but it is a start.
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I have found the cure for LIBERALISM, it is a good steady dose of REALITY!

withroaj

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Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #27 on: May 08, 2008, 09:59 »
I had an idea once(yes it hurt my brain on this on).  With all the power shortages all over the US and power bills going nuts, would it be feasible for the Government to build "training" plants for nukes that supply power to communities.  If you built enough of them and built them two plants at a site you could minimize the effects of the required S/D and S/U prac facs on students.  

Seems like a brilliant idea, but last I was told (staff in chaleston, left in 2005) the Navy intends to extend the life of the prototypes and MTS's until 2028ish (scary) and there is NO PLAN to replace the Proto-pals.  Kind of a bummer, but when you think about it, how much do students really learn at prototype?  Does it really benefit the fleet if nukes are the only people to show up to ships knowing how to qualify a watchstation(or knowing how to get spoon fed watch quals, as you salty sea dogs might say)?    In addition to that, we all know that nukes have too many options for shore duty, so it makes sense to let the prototypes expire without replacements.  I just want you all to know that I think I am hilarious, and that's all that matters.

By the way, as much as I hear folks at work complain about the NNPP, I am honestly surprised to see only the Usual Suspects posting here.  I figured more people would have something to say here.

Offline Preciousblue1965

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Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #28 on: May 08, 2008, 10:15 »
Seems like a brilliant idea, but last I was told (staff in chaleston, left in 2005) the Navy intends to extend the life of the prototypes and MTS's until 2028ish (scary) and there is NO PLAN to replace the Proto-pals.  Kind of a bummer, but when you think about it, how much do students really learn at prototype?  Does it really benefit the fleet if nukes are the only people to show up to ships knowing how to qualify a watchstation(or knowing how to get spoon fed watch quals, as you salty sea dogs might say)?    In addition to that, we all know that nukes have too many options for shore duty, so it makes sense to let the prototypes expire without replacements.  I just want you all to know that I think I am hilarious, and that's all that matters.

By the way, as much as I hear folks at work complain about the NNPP, I am honestly surprised to see only the Usual Suspects posting here.  I figured more people would have something to say here.

Well now that I am on the outside looking in, I can say that there is some benefit to students learning  how to qualify on a plant. Not necessarly learning to qual on a ancient platform that doesn't exist anywhere else.  That is like teaching a car mechanic to work on todays cars by training him on a Model A.  Mostly it comes from them learning the process, Ok I need to learn the systems and how they work, Now I need to know how to fix it when it goes nuts, now I need to learn the really odd operations, OK I think I am ready, Get hammered in a board about some really REALLY odd stuff and get qual'd.  Now I really learn how this stuff works now that I am all alone standing watch. 

I had another idea once.  Take the "mobile Chernobyl" and make it a training platform.  Not just nukes but EVERYONE, including pilots learning to get their wings.  Make it to where the longest time underway is a couple of weeks at a time.  NO DEPLOYMENTS(barring WWIII).  Man it with essential rates for the task at hand(no need for Weapons departments, or large supply departments) and have the students live on board.  It would be a nuke billet that gets sea pay but doesn't do 6 month stints.  We could even allow <GULP> submariners come play surface Navy for a while if they wanted to as instructors.  With 4 plants we could shut down the other two Proto's because even if you had one plant down for a overhaul the other 3 are up training students.  Ok more fine tuning need on this one too.
"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

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Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #29 on: May 08, 2008, 10:19 »
Would you really go from sea duty to THAT?

JustinHEMI05

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Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #30 on: May 08, 2008, 10:20 »
I want to apologize in advance for this one, since I know it violates the forum rules as I interpret them, but I might have the wrong ACN -- or maybe I'm violating a Nuc Note or a Z0ZZ, whatever.  I'll tell the squadron or NRRO guy on or the other, since he doesn't know either.  Tribal knowledge. S***.

This came from the guy who wrote the infamous, incomplete "Shut All Four..." manuscript.  If you haven't read it check it out.  Entertaining perspective.  He has a blog at em-log.blogspot.com, and recently posted this: (I'll put it here in its entirety)

Some advice on running a good nuc division (on subs, anyways):

(1) Day after is sacred. If you want to get the most out of your duty section, they need to know that they can go home and sleep as soon as turnover is complete. I’ve heard some chiefs whine about all-hands evolutions. That’s bull. If it’s a field day, find out what needs to be cleaned and have the duty guys do their part the night before. Same for training – they know they’re responsible for the info, they’ll get it on their own. Establish a good working relationship with the Eng and he’ll gladly support you on this. I know this for a fact - the only time day after is still on board at 0800 on my boat is if we’re getting underway.

(2) Duty days will suck – expect to do 12 hours of watch, and 12 hours of divisional work.

(3) On non-duty days, we’ll get the work done and then go home. If that’s 1100, so be it. I don’t keep people around “just in case”, that’s what the duty section is for. However, either I or my leading first will be on board until the Eng leaves for the day.

(4) On a fast boat, schedule most of the PMS for underway. Like a duty day, underway is going to suck, but you have to be there, anyway, so sucking at sea means more time off in port. This is especially true for E Div.

(5) Order parts. Order more parts. Keep ordering parts, you can never have enough. The same for tools. Screw the chop.

(6) Someone will always get left in port for school and for leave (again, a fast boat thing – boomers don’t need to do this). This will rotate among everyone, from the nub to the snob.

(7) Put in for awards whenever possible. It doesn’t matter if you know they are BS and the guys getting them do, too – a record full of LOCs can save you guys from mast if they screw up later.

(8) Every nub gets a sea dad. If the nub goes dink, so does the sea dad. Getting our nubs qualified is the same as any other divisional work – get it done and go home.

(9) Some times you have no choice – you are directed by the Eng or the XO to write someone up. Some offences, such as under-age drinking, leave no options. However, keep in mind that most NJP results from a leadership failure and should be used as a last resort. (When I got to the Lincoln, the first thing the XO told us during indoc was how their assembly-line NPJ system worked. If a third of your department is restricted on board, how much of a deterrent can it be?).

(10) During field day, or some other all-hands BS, stay out of my spaces. I am responsible and I will make sure the work is getting done. You want to inspect? Give me the list beforehand, and tell me if something got missed afterwards. I don’t want my guys trying to hide from you, or (even worse) trying to look busy. I know my space, I know my guys, let me do the job I’m getting paid for.

(11) Everyone in the division will complete their requirements for the next rank ahead of time. When the exam comes around, getting everyone promoted becomes as important as anything else we’re doing. For making chief, firsts need to qualify EWS/EDPO and a forward watch (COW is common, but it’s not like they are shorthanded. Better is finding someone who NEEDS more qualified watchstanders, even if its duty SK).

(12) There is no such thing as a “designated failure” for divisional training. They set the standards, we meet them, end of story. Everyone ace’ing the exam is a GOOD thing, not proof the exam was too easy.

(13) Everyone has a collateral duty, and they cycle every six months (or every other patrol, for boomers). During one sea tour, I expect that each division member will have done each job at least once, especially training, PMS, and RPPO.

Bravo. That is exactly how it should be. I just wish some had the spine to pull it off. Referring to my first post in this thread, while under my tyrannical CO, the new Mdiv Chief (who was a first that made it on the boat and fought to stay) said this the day he took over;

"Day after ends right now. Also, we won't be leaving before 5pm everyday, no matter what. And no more special liberty chits. If you need a day off, put in a leave chit."

Proof that bad leadership feeds on itself. At least he stuck to his word until he made MMCS and finally rotated. He said "Thanks for helping me get the star" on the way out.  ::)

*SIGH* What a relief it is to be free of that type of leadership. But again, it goes back to my original point. The change has to start from the COs on down and they have to learn how to REALLY lead people. They really need to learn some real people skills. Not just rely on the fact that they are in a position of power.

Justin


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Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #31 on: May 08, 2008, 10:22 »
Would you really go from sea duty to THAT?

Hence the fine tuning with a sledge hammer. 

Make it a sea duty, or neutral duty.  That way you still get a real shore duty and not one of these shore duties that makes you wish you were back on sea duty(Prototype).

Besides, immagine if you got to chose a sea duty that you knew that 99.999% of the time you wouldn't be out underway for more than a couple of weeks at a time.  I am sure that there are nukes that would jump at that chance.   
« Last Edit: May 08, 2008, 10:26 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!

Offline Preciousblue1965

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Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #32 on: May 08, 2008, 10:24 »
Bravo. That is exactly how it should be. I just wish some had the spine to pull it off. Referring to my first post in this thread, while under my tyrannical CO, the new Mdiv Chief (who was a first that made it on the boat and fought to stay) said this the day he took over;

"Day after ends right now. Also, we won't be leaving before 5pm everyday, no matter what. And no more special liberty chits. If you need a day off, put in a leave chit."

Proof that bad leadership feeds on itself. At least he stuck to his word until he made MMCS and finally rotated. He said "Thanks for helping me get the star" on the way out.  ::)

*SIGH* What a relief it is to be free of that type of leadership. But again, it goes back to my original point. The change has to start from the COs on down and they have to learn how to REALLY lead people. They really need to learn some real people skills. Not just rely on the fact that they are in a position of power.

Justin



Further example of why I think that the leadership should have some sort of evaluation from the bottom up.  As it is right now, the only time that happens is when a CO gets relieved of command for "lack of confidence in the ability to lead".  By that time it is WAY too late. 
"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 Wirebiter

Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #33 on: May 08, 2008, 12:14 »
Very nice post.  Justin- you are spot-on.  I made the same statements that you wrote (although a little shorter  :P) at every end-of-tour/reenlistment/award presentation, etc. I had.  Its all about man's treatment of his fellow man.  We (on the Alex) use to hear how good the Miami and the Springfield were back then.  What you experienced, unfortunately, doesn't happen enough, and as it did for you, caused me to seek a career outside the realm of ORSE/TRE/ continuous training/ exams / critiques....infinity etc. 

I think our manning issues will eventually abate as we (the Navy) transitions at a quadriplegic sloth's pace towards incorporating modern technology.  We are already seeing the impacts within the Sub force of the Virginia class's reduced electrical manning requirements.  Electrician zone-A srb's are only 60k (not complaining here), vice 90k for RC/M/ELT.  Electrician sub E-5 advancement rates are next to impossible without 4-5 years of service.

In the end, knowing that your hard work and effort are worth something to your COC goes a long way.  Positive reenforcement produces positive people.   

-Rob
U.S. Navy Submarine Force; its not just a job, its a job on a boat!

Khak-Hater

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Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #34 on: May 08, 2008, 12:22 »
I don't know that there's anything wrong with the NNPP.  Are there things about it that suck while you're in it?  Sure there are.  Are there things that could be done better?  Of course, you'll find that anywhere you go.  For what it is, or at least was when I was in, I think that it works extremely well.

Here's the model:  

Take a bunch of kids who have a demonstrated aptitude to learn and savagely force feed them their NNPS training with mandatory study hours, as necessary, such that lack of effort isn't a reason for failure.  Teach them from the start that there is only one right answer, the NNPP answer.  Great, now we have a consistent field of trainees.

Next, send them to an operating plant where they have to beg the dudes who understand how it works to train them on it.  Let these guys abuse them endlessly to develop a healthy respect for the plant knowledge that they seek.  Great, now we have a uniform field of dudes who respect plant knowledge and know how to qualify.

Next, send them out to the fleet to be trained by the men doing the job.  At this point, you have the work force who does 90% of the work in the NNPP.  A sea of E-4 and E-5 blue shirts, all with different ability levels and talents, but with a consistent foundation of training.  Granted, you'll have slugs but you'll have exceptional dudes too.  More importantly, you'll have the hard working aveage dude who just wants to get the job done.

After a couple of years, some of these guys become the LPOs who supervise the work and make sure that everything gets done right.  After a total of six or eight years, 90% of these guys leave to take what they've learned and get jobs where they don't have to ask some Air Dale Chief permission to leave after their work is done.  Not to worry, they've trained their replacements from that infinite sea of new dudes.  It seems to me that it works.  All that the khaks have to do is keep from screwing things up too much and make sure that everyone shows up to do their jobs under some pretty unpleasant conditions.

Given the model and the job to be done, I don't know that I could've designed a better system.

MGM


withroaj

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Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #35 on: May 08, 2008, 12:41 »
Sorry, I decided to delete this.  It didn't contain anything it wasn't allowed to contain, I just think that this thread isn't intended to ridicule current Navy policy and that, by posting it I took some of the legitimacy out of the rest of my arguments.  Sorry about that.  I am leaving this post here as a place holder so the response below makes sense.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2008, 01:32 by withroaj »

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Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #36 on: May 08, 2008, 01:15 »
Thanks now I have to basically remove my reply to it.  Geez. ::)
« Last Edit: May 08, 2008, 01:28 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!

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Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #37 on: May 08, 2008, 01:47 »
It almost seems that we could break this down into a few parts.

1: What needs to be fixed with people we have coming in
2: What needs to be fixed with the people we have in already
3: What needs to be fixed so we don't lose people(other than throw more money at the problem).
"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 #38 on: May 08, 2008, 10:01 »
It almost seems that we could break this down into a few parts.

1: What needs to be fixed with people we have coming in
2: What needs to be fixed with the people we have in already
3: What needs to be fixed so we don't lose people(other than throw more money at the problem).

Seriously...

1. Fail out of pipeline (with real standards), IA to CENTCOM

2. Denuked other than medical...IA to CENTCOM

3. Money is good, but with new civilian nuclear plants being built and existing plants classing up as licensees age to retirement, there is lots of pull to the civilian world. If the fleet would adequately staff at-sea nuke billets and do with a few less chowdales and CIC rates in 8 section, life would improve. Change shore duty billets so enlisted nukes have a decent rotation without having to be pregnant, etc. there might be light at the end of the tunnel.

JustinHEMI05

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Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #39 on: May 08, 2008, 10:32 »
I don't know that there's anything wrong with the NNPP.  Are there things about it that suck while you're in it?  Sure there are.  Are there things that could be done better?  Of course, you'll find that anywhere you go.  For what it is, or at least was when I was in, I think that it works extremely well.

Here's the model:  

Take a bunch of kids who have a demonstrated aptitude to learn and savagely force feed them their NNPS training with mandatory study hours, as necessary, such that lack of effort isn't a reason for failure.  Teach them from the start that there is only one right answer, the NNPP answer.  Great, now we have a consistent field of trainees.

Next, send them to an operating plant where they have to beg the dudes who understand how it works to train them on it.  Let these guys abuse them endlessly to develop a healthy respect for the plant knowledge that they seek.  Great, now we have a uniform field of dudes who respect plant knowledge and know how to qualify.

Next, send them out to the fleet to be trained by the men doing the job.  At this point, you have the work force who does 90% of the work in the NNPP.  A sea of E-4 and E-5 blue shirts, all with different ability levels and talents, but with a consistent foundation of training.  Granted, you'll have slugs but you'll have exceptional dudes too.  More importantly, you'll have the hard working aveage dude who just wants to get the job done.

After a couple of years, some of these guys become the LPOs who supervise the work and make sure that everything gets done right.  After a total of six or eight years, 90% of these guys leave to take what they've learned and get jobs where they don't have to ask some Air Dale Chief permission to leave after their work is done.  Not to worry, they've trained their replacements from that infinite sea of new dudes.  It seems to me that it works.  All that the khaks have to do is keep from screwing things up too much and make sure that everyone shows up to do their jobs under some pretty unpleasant conditions.

Given the model and the job to be done, I don't know that I could've designed a better system.

MGM



Although I sense some sarcasm, unfortunately this is the thought process of many in charge. They believe that the only thing wrong with the program is that blue shirts complain too much. They cling to rhetoric like "we have been doing this for 50 years without a problem." They cling to the memory of a dead Admiral. There are folks participating in this very thread who I believe are of this thought process. They don't believe that the program is broke, or that officers and senior enlisted are part of that problem equally with the blue shirts. On top of that, I think this line of thought dominates upper management of the NNPP, which as someone stated before, is the crux of the problem.

Justin
« Last Edit: May 08, 2008, 10:38 by JustinHEMI »

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Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #40 on: May 09, 2008, 12:00 »
I know it is a look up but what is "IA" anyway.  Sorry but I asked everyone I know and looked through all the references but I can't find it.  I have a nice cold Mt. Dew if you can help me.
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Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #41 on: May 09, 2008, 01:07 »
I know it is a look up but what is "IA" anyway.  Sorry but I asked everyone I know and looked through all the references but I can't find it.  I have a nice cold Mt. Dew if you can help me.

Individual Augmentee. In short sailors (except for nukes) are taken off sea and shore billiets to fill Army billets in Iraq, Afganastan, and Git'mo for around 1 year. Some of these are by choice through the detailing process but many of the billets must be filled with people forced to go by a selection board.

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Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #42 on: May 09, 2008, 08:37 »
YOWSER!!!! Ok glad I didn't hear anything about that when I was in.  The only thing I ever heard of like that was that we had a guy do the whole Transfer to the Army thing to go fly helicoptors as a CWO. 
"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

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Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #43 on: May 09, 2008, 12:14 »
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.

If you master that technique, you may become an excellent SRO Instructor.

The Dale Carnegie people call it a "sh!t sandwich". This sandwich is comprised of a pat on the back, a kick in the @ss, and a pat on the back.
The technique is highly useful on people with large egos*. You get their attention and an attitude of concurrence by stating a positive.
You recommend ONE improvement. You close by reaffirming that this operator has high standards and capabilities and we will see that improvement in the future.

The US Navy critical process is an adaptation of the boot camp company commander belittling a recruit. And it doesn't improve much after that.

You talk to others like you talk to yourself.

 ;)

* As Operators, we like large egos, we have one of our own - it makes the operation of a 3000Mwt plant a little bit easier.

Offline Preciousblue1965

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Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #44 on: May 09, 2008, 12:48 »
* As Operators, we like large egos, we have one of our own - it makes the operation of a 3000Mwt plant a little bit easier.

I have often noted that the better operators are the ones that tend to be on the cocky side(No Gamecock that isn't a poke at you).  You have to have that cockiness and testicular fortitude to argue your point in the face of superior stupidity.  I do believe that this nature is what gave birth the the phrase "With all due respect, sir, you are a(n)___________<-fill in blank with your own colorful description of incompetence.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2008, 12:49 by Preciousblue1965 »
"No good deal goes unpunished"

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JustinHEMI05

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Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #45 on: May 09, 2008, 07:03 »
If you master that technique, you may become an excellent SRO Instructor.

The Dale Carnegie people call it a "sh!t sandwich". This sandwich is comprised of a pat on the back, a kick in the @ss, and a pat on the back.
The technique is highly useful on people with large egos*. You get their attention and an attitude of concurrence by stating a positive.
You recommend ONE improvement. You close by reaffirming that this operator has high standards and capabilities and we will see that improvement in the future.

The US Navy critical process is an adaptation of the boot camp company commander belittling a recruit. And it doesn't improve much after that.

You talk to others like you talk to yourself.

 ;)

* As Operators, we like large egos, we have one of our own - it makes the operation of a 3000Mwt plant a little bit easier.

Very nicely explained. That is the perfect way of illustrating the differences between the programs. I think the Navy needs to do some benchmarking and come to realize that since TMI, the commercial world has most definitely surpassed them in every respect. The NNPP believes that the commercial world strives to emulate them (CMCs belief as per my checkout interview), and from what I have seen, that is completely untrue. If it were true, you would have never ending outages and not be able to defuel, refuel and completely overhaul a ginormous plant in two weeks.

Justin
« Last Edit: May 09, 2008, 07:07 by JustinHEMI »

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Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #46 on: May 10, 2008, 08:33 »
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

Excellent post--Bad CO's, Chiefs, etc can thrive in the military atmosphere where profits or labor costs are not an issue---less efficient management causing longer hrs and bad attitudes just results in everyone staying longer--but since labor costs do not increase there are no repercussions. Let those hard***sses try that with hourly workers in the civilian world and they won't be so successful, as +40 hrs a week means 1.5x rate---whoops there goes the labor budget! After 20 years of seeing this type of worker abuse I am very hesitant to be a salaried worker unless the compensation is extremely high as your present boss could always be replaced with a flamer---and your life becomes miserable due to his bad management skills resulting in your weekly hrs worked increasing---with no monetary compensation.  I love being hourly---it's a great insurance policy---you get the time off --or you get extra money.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2008, 08:36 by DSO »

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Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #47 on: May 10, 2008, 05:28 »
This is a great thread to read.  As a long-time civilian I had no idea the Navy nuclear program was having "issues".  Some perspective...positive incentive was absent during my nuke years (78-84) and I'd have to think it has always been that way.  Some commands thrived, some sucked.  My first nuclear ship was the USS Texas (CGN39).  It was a sucky place that actually got worse when a new CO and Command Master Chief showed up and made it unbearable.  On the other hand the Mississippi (CGN40) had, by all accounts, a gifted CO and a happy crew that got all the awards. 

As for the "dead admiral" - at least in those days they would ack-out an entire section at NPS without blinking.  My class lost section 1 by the 6-week point.  I get the impression this doesn't happen anymore.  But clinging to the past is usually a bad thing.  It is like Alabama football and some fans not wanting to let Bear Bryant go.  It has caused untold grief for the program.  Similarly, continuing to hang with Hyman G is not smart.  Commercial power is quite competent and from my perspective the training I received with TVA over the years exceeded the Navy's.  I certainly learned more about radiation fundamentals from TVA.  Not to belittle Navy nucs, but the typical licensed RO or SRO is light-years ahead as far as competence and knowledge.  It would indeed be in the Navy's best interests to benchmark commercial plants.
Dave

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Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #48 on: May 12, 2008, 10:35 »
I got a very constructive upgrade from a senior person who also reads this post, and I think it gave me some insight into the issues the NNPP faces.  I also realized that I am a bigger part of the problem than I previously thought. 

Throughout the training pipeline we are taught that we are one of the only enlisted sectors of the military that is allowed, and encouraged, to question orders.  I think that we (the young bucks who complain the most, and probably make the place miserable for the people around us) tend to ask the wrong questions, leaving us with an extremely limited perspective of the big picture. 

Also, being in the military, our supervisors often only tell us the "what" and not necessarily the "why."  They actually don't owe us an explanation since we are contract (and, honestly, self-respect) bound to perform as instructed when told to act.  Since we are dealing with the plant systems and procedures we often infer the "why" only as the plant related part, and not from the command/shipyard/IMF perspective. 

All we know is that it pisses us off royally to get assigned a six-hour project at 2 PM.  When we wind up getting monitored performing a task that we stay until eight o' clock working on, and only hear about the little things we screwed up in the process (and no "hey, I appreciate you staying late"), we develop bitterness towards the monitoring organization.  Honestly, I have generally had good experiences with NRRO and NSRO and other monitoring organizations, but I have also fallen victim to some BS interpretations of some books I am proud to know very well (RADCON and Water Chem).  When it winds up with us having to perform extra tasks, even if those tasks only take a minute, we don't tend to respect the fact that usually new instructions just pop up to take out any possible debate on an issue and only serve to cover us in the long run.  I have to say that the working relationship between the blue shirts and the monitoring organizations is tense at best, and that that DOES matter.  While it's true we don't have any real authority, we do the work, and if we get monitored, we WILL get comments.  If we get comments, we get dragged through the mud.  If we get dragged through the mud (which we will), we get no sense of accomplishment from a job well done since the size and scope of our accomplishment is nullified by the personal side conversations that took place while we did the work (Formality). 

I don't mean this at all to say that we shouldn't have monitoring organizations.  People will inherently take the path of least resistance, and if left unchecked tend to slide in the wrong direction (HAMPTON, anyone? ).  I completely agree with the need for adult supervision in a climate where the average age is about 22 and the average experience level is less than two years (not fact checked, upgrade me if you know the actual numbers).  I do think we go overboard on some aspects, though.  Formality, for one.  Does anyone expect a group of guys who know each other well to sit together for several hours in silence?  Can anyone expect that?  Does it make sense to chastise people for getting along with one another when in close quarters for an extended period of time?  If all comms relevant to the evolution are spit out in the correct way, what does it matter if there is idle chatter in the hours waited between operations?  If a guy is staying late to do a job, the last thing he needs is to get in trouble for talking during the evolution when he comes in the next day.

I guess I have to point out here that we don't actually do much hard work.  A lot of it just takes a long time and a lot of frustration.  It's also true that the touchy-feely aspect of taking pride in our little accomplishments doesn't actually matter (and I'm not being sarcastic here).  We are getting paid to do a job, so we should do it.  We are in the military, so we are contract and honor bound to perform, as we raised our right hand and said we would.

As far as the problems with dumb people being allowed to slip through the program, it takes all sorts to run this game.  Most of you probably know a guy in M-Div or somewhere else that works harder than anyone else without a word of complaint who can't explain Power vs. Steam Demand to save his life.  You also know the guy who graduated top of his class that you keep in ERLL until EAOS because you don't trust him to do a damn thing without adult supervision.  Besides, this program makes people pretty marketable on the outside (from what they tell me), and not many people stick around.  It makes sense to open up the playing field to other people who are interested in the job, even if they have a tough time in school.  When you get a bad student who becomes a great operator, you might also have a guy you can keep around in the program for longer than a single sea tour. 

Since I tend to spout poorly though out material that I don't agree with two hours later, I think it's about time for me to step out of this discussion for a bit.

Offline Preciousblue1965

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Re: How would you fix the NNPP
« Reply #49 on: May 12, 2008, 04:36 »
Well from what I can tell there have been a lot of good thought processes out there.  RumRunner, yes indeep the NNPP has some issues.  Some are good, but it seems a lot more are bad.  They would no sooner ack-out 1 person let alone and entire section, than let you flip that special switch that is located you know where and does you know what.  Manning is becoming an issue, that is why the bonus money keeps going through the roof. 

Withroaj, there are a lot of things I agree with you in your post.  Some I don't.  I do agree that a lot of the time we don't work hard, say like digging ditches, but we more than make up for it in other ways, like Vulcan-Death-Watches, 7 day long rotating shift schedules, deployments, etc without the extra pay that our civilian counterparts would receive.  If you ever want a really hard work job, try doing an emergency condenser clean out of all main and TG condensers on a CVN when you have a "silting incident(a.k.a run aground)" 2 weeks before a deployment.  That was some fun beating sting rays with wrenches and shoveling sand with fish parts all over the place. 
"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!

 


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