Changes in the wind for the Navy
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Steven Giordano are addressing personnel changes.
Richardson and Giordano discussed new personnel initiatives from the “Gold Line of Effort,” one of four lines of effort outlined in Richardson’s “A Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority.” They also spoke about the results of the recent enlisted rating review, an updated leader development framework, as well as increased education, training, and development opportunities for the civilian workforce.
“The entire Navy team rests fundamentally on a larger concept that we must operate and think of ourselves as a whole team,” said Richardson. “We’re moving to make sure we include all of those different perspectives in our planning, our execution, [and] our decision making. The challenge for us, the challenge for our leaders, is to include all of the different elements of the team and doing so is absolutely critical to our continued success.”
The Gold Line of Effort is “Strengthen our Navy Team for the Future.” To implement this line of effort, Richardson and Giordano will unveil several new programs designed to keep Sailors, civilians and their families ready for future challenges.
“This started actually as the secretary of the Navy challenged us to take a look at how we call each other — our rating names,” added Richardson. “Do they capture the inclusivity that I just talked about with respect to diversity? MCPON Stevens, at the time, took this on and gathered a lot of fleet leadership from around the world; they saw an opportunity here that went well beyond the initial tasking. In June, we announced that we would get after this – not only the names, but so much more.”
In a move to simplify and broaden skill sets among Navy enlisted sailors, they will no longer be identified by their rating, but by rank in a first step in modernizing the Navy. Sailors will no longer be limited to just one rating and will better match skills, interests and talents. This will give sailors more opportunities for assignment and advancement and provide more flexibility with specialties that can translate to civilian skills.
“What we’ve come up with is a plan that will allow each of you to be certified in, essentially, multiple ratings,” Richardson added. “We’re going to call them occupational specialties. Depending upon your interest and training, if you’re a yeoman you can certainly come up and be trained as an administrative specialist; but you can also be trained as a personnel specialist. This buys you a tremendous amount of flexibility not only for advancement, but also for assignments.”
Richardson also spoke about initiatives outlined in the Sailor 2025 program, which was launched earlier this year and is still in progress. The program is designed to work in three main areas where it will modernize the entire personnel system, modernize the training process, and enrich Navy culture.
“More than any other thing that we do, we need to maintain the trust and confidence first among ourselves, but also among the American people that we protect,” said Richardson. “To do that, we’ve got to have solid leadership. That solid leadership includes certainly that we’ve got to be skillful in the jobs that we do, and as we become more senior leaders, we get bigger teams [and] more complicated problems, we have to become more skillful.”
“We’re really looking to move our training, [to] take advantage of new techniques and technologies in training to move it out of school houses and into more on the job-type training,” added Richardson. “We just found through a lot of research that’s a more effective way for us to learn, so that’s primarily focused on our sailors.”
During his presentation, Richardson recognized it is a fair question for sailors to ask why all the changes are being made, and addressed this directly.
“I started by saying that our Navy team is the most valuable part of our Navy — our people,” said Richardson, “but we’re not doing this just to develop ourselves because we need to win. We want our force to produce leaders and teams [to] learn and adapt faster than any adversary that would take us on, who can achieve and maintain high operational and warfighting standards and be ready for decisive combat and operations when needed.”