Vice Adm. Bill Moran took command Aug. 2 as your new chief of naval personnel. He’s taking the reins at an uneasy time for Navy manpower.
In a short video posted today, Moran acknowledges as much to sailors:
“We are in the midst of a challenging operational and fiscal environment,” Moran says. “And as I take the watch, my staff and I are determined to communicate with you, hear what we know, and in some cases, what we don’t know.”
Unfortunately, there are a lot of those unknowns right now. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, successfully raised eyebrows last week when he revealed that cutting three carrier strike groups was on the table. (Here’s our take on that drastic scenario.)
It was interesting that Hagel spoke in terms of ships, not sailors. But it’s clear that such a dramatic force structure change would equate to cutting tens of thousands of people.
It’s good to see Moran – a P-3 pilot and former director of Air Warfare – taking a proactive stance this early in his tenure and touting transparency. He sat down with Navy Times on Wednesday for an informal discussion and is promising to get out the fleet and hear what sailors have to say.
Moran already has visits on the books for the coming weeks to Millington, Tenn., Great Lakes, Ill., and Norfolk, Va.
So, what message do you have for your new personnel boss?
Make cuts that don’t impact pay! Many service members and their families qualify for state aid under current pay conditions and cutting BAH would increase dependence on government aid programs. Cutting pay for the masses would of course help the DOD meet their budget requirements but it would just displace the nation debt to other government entities that are struggling to meet the sequestration requirements themselves. It seems that it would be more cost effective to properly train military personnel in their rates so that contractors are not needed in order to complete the work. Case in point: contracting out hull work on a ship when the military has HTs on hand for a fraction of the cost. Makes no financial sense whatsoever.
Advancement Test should be less percentage of getting rank. Give importance on performance.
get rid of the stupid cammies, and also the brown shirt and black pants for E-6 and below. they are not navy,dont look like navy and slaps our traditions in the face
Maintain current pay levels, BAH rates and benefits for retirees and families. My family, in order to avoid food stamps and get ahead of our debt, is living in a place that is too small for them and the looming possibility of taking cuts means we have to look at moving into a place even smaller, and that would cause more problems for us that we, as an EFM family, cannot afford. It is already difficult enough.
If cuts truly need to be made somewhere, please, sir, do your best force the conversation towards the over-budget programs that are questionable in their ability to perform as intended. There are several that lie in this arena. Any one of which would be enough to offset the proposed cuts to pay, benefits and BAH.
Also, instead of cutting manning through ERB or PTS, simply do not replace those that are leaving or retiring for a period of a year or so. This will naturally drop manning levels without making cuts to pay or benefits to all other members.
Also, drop PTS (or whatever it is being called now). It simply does NOT work. There are many who should have been retained that were let go and many that should have been let go that were retained. This is the opposite of the intention of the system.
Another, stop the knee-jerk cuts. The ERB devastated many rates and then the Navy realized they cut too deep and had to recruit replacements a year later. Valuable experience and leadership were lost because of that mistake. This goes along with my earlier suggestion.
Another idea; drop the number of uniform updates that keep happening. Have those in charge do it right the first time, using known fire-resistant materials from the beginning. While they are at it, decrease the number of uniforms required. For example, getting rid of coveralls, reduce the number of Dress Uniforms required from two of whites and one of blues to one each. Not only will this save money, this will also open up valuable rack/locker space on board ship.
Finally, drop the current method of measuring body fat percentage. I’ve always passed, but I know several others who are extremely fit, large with muscle yet cannot pass body fat measurements because they are “too fat” for their height. That is RIDICULOUS! The current system used is the most inaccurate and most easily manipulated system, often to the detriment of Sailors either because of their body structure or because of the bias of the person doing the measuring.
I wish you the best in your new command, sir, and I hope you are able to achieve real, positive, change in the Navy.
1. Take politics out the navy
2. Don’t size down our fleet, when our enemies are building up their own fleets
3. Make “A” and “C” schools training for fleet available for everyone in the fleet to make our sailors more diverse, and better prepare for the civilian world, so there will be less of our sailors living in the streets or about to be.
4. Get rid of OOMA and come up with something that is on its own system, no Microsoft or apple OS. We need to come up with one of our own OS to better protect ourselves and leave the internet out of the system, or come up with our own form of internet that can only run a Navy or Navy regulated system.
5. Take all the annual trainings and make it into one module with separate units for EEO, EOD, Ethics, and so on. The individual units still will be required for one certificate which would list all the different versions and completed date for each unit, so the training coordinator will know when each one was done.
6. Punishment should be the same no matter the rate or rank.
a. If an airman or seaman gets a DUI, he is discharged; an officer or chief recives an DUI, it is more likely to be swept under the rug and he’ll stay in and leave with full retirement.
b. Don’t say it doesn’t happens this way, I have seen so many times on both sides of the rank.
c. Either have both side of the house dishonorable discharged or neither, no more “old boys’ club,” it’s not fair to none of us.
7. Officers can clean their heads & berthings, enlisted has enough to do on ships. It would help them remember, they’re to serve next one another and not to be served and waited upon.
8. For female safety, separation of berthings and buildings at shore commands is a good idea, and place in cameras for their safety. If it is not available and the females should be moved out of town.
9. If you are single, no matter what rank you should be in the barracks. It would cut down on the nonsense that is happening in the shore base barracks and save the country money
10. Place all underage sailors on one floor, so when the rovers does their rounds they will know if you stay on that particular floor, you can’t have any alcohol or come back drunk.
11. Build married housing for people who don’t have children because not everyone can have children and makes the non-parenting spouse feel left out of many of the Navy’s social events. It will be also cheaper and less stressful for their newlyweds’ first tour, or at least make barracks’ space available for them. It would should the new spouse what their husbands or wives have to go through.
12. Require for newly enlisted, officers, reenlisted, retirees, new parents, and their families, especially their families, to take a intensive financial course of some kind for to be able to move up in the ranks, to reenlist, to receive their retirement pay, and to receive additional allowances. If this is done, it would help many people, because many of sailors and their families were not taught by the parents how to manage money properly. David Ramsey has a very good beginner course; he probably could come up with something that could fit the Fleet’s needs.
13. Make naval history a requirement for E3 to become E4, so they will know what is their naval heritage is and why we do many of the things we do. Most of the younger generations don’t know and we are losing that sense of pride.
14. Make mando required 5 day per week for all squadrons no matter if they pasted the PRT or not.
15. Let Chaplains be Chaplains; if it is against their religion to perform a certain services, don’t punish them.
16. The cammies are better than the old utilities, but the peanut butters makes us look dum
If you want to make cuts to enlisted personnel use the TERA authorized by congress.
Read “Gulf in the War Story” (Amazon.com) for an inside look at the personnel problems in the real Top Gun. No bull.