I want to start this editorial with a "HUGE" and very enthusiastic "CONGRATULATIONS" to all of our new selectees. I encourage all to attend the ceremonies in your area as it will show our Community’s unity, let the selectee know they have an entire professional support group behind them and your presence will assure the Officer’s family that their loved one made an excellent decision to become a "Mustang". If that last statement did not motivate you to attend the ceremony, then let me state it like this: put yourself in the selectee’s position and think about how you would feel not being supported by the Community you joined.
I hope all had a chance to enjoy the holiday period with loved ones and/or with people you enjoy being around. I also hope your batteries have been recharged and you are ready to continue tackling the challenges we face as a community in addition to the challenges of your assigned billet with renewed enthusiasm.
2017 was a busy year that had some long standing projects come to fruition or close to being completed but also a year of significant changes. We changed sponsors from RADM White to RADM Cozad in August. You got a new OCM in May, a new CWO OCM in August and lost the assistant OCM (LT Holly Taylor). I am still answering the phone from individuals looking for LT Taylor validating the impact she made on the fleet during her tenure. The torch was passed to us from those that continuously fought to improve our community and make it "relevant". It is up to us to live up to the lofty expectations of not only the title but of the responsibility of taking care of all LDO/CWOs.
I recently returned from attending the LDO/CWO Board of Directors (BOD) meeting in Pensacola. I am sure there are many in our community that don’t even know we have a BOD or if they are aware of one probably have no idea about what they do. I was once in that category so I thought it would be prudent to share some history and what transpired during our recent BOD.
Prior to 2010 the LDO/CWO community would send their senior leaders (CAPT/CWO5) from each designator to Millington for a Senior Leadership Conference to discuss community matters. Due to fiscal cuts, the Leadership Conference was disbanded and the LDO/CWO BOD was born. The BOD makeup consists of our Silver Eagle (President), Head LDO/CWO OCM (Vice President), SWON, CWO OCM and the NUC OCM. Additional members are senior leaders from each competitive category (surface, sub/nuc, aviation, general line and staff, IWC (CWO5 only due to having no control grade work for LDOs) and special interest (female representation if absent as a senior leader and spec warfare). This makeup ensures equal representation across all Competitive Categories.
Farewell RADM White! Sir, on behalf of all LDOs and CWOs (active and retired) who have had the honor to serve under your leadership, I say thanks for your guidance and support, Fair Winds and Following Seas. Welcome aboard to our new LDO/CWO sponsor, RADM Cozad. We look forward to your assistance and guidance. I had the opportunity to brief RADM Cozad at the end of August. He is a big fan of our community and is genuinely interested in our health and sustainability. He understands the direction we are going with Officer Sustainability Initiative and how that will change the way we promote two years from now. He also understands our current initiatives and challenges in certain designators. My goal is to keep RADM Cozad well informed and involved in shaping our community.
I have been your OCM for the past two months and the first thing I can state is how fortunate we have been to have had CAPT Bill Johnson leading our community for the last three years. There is no playbook or course on how to be an OCM so you have to be ready to instantly jump into high gear and prepare to provide the right answers during briefings to high ranking officials because you may not get a second chance and if you do it will be at the cost of lots of lost time. CAPT Johnson made this difficult task look easy and he fought the tough battles to keep our community prospering and for that we owe him our gratitude.
I recently reached out to our senior leaders (CAPT and CWO5) and gave them my initial thoughts as your new OCM. Here is the shorter version of those letters.
“The LDO/CWO Community is in great shape and we are “RELEVANT” to our line communities. We are very healthy across most of our designators. Our overall manning is 3617 LDOs at 101% and 1711 CWOs at 94% manned. Those are solid numbers! One of the first things I asked when I checked onboard is, “what makes a designator healthy”. You need 72 billets for LDOs and 25 billets for CWOs in order to be able to sporadically make a CAPT and CWO5. The more billets in a designator the more steady state promotions become. Our goal is to have healthy designators across the board and maintain our billet structure as relevant (the right designator and paygrade as required) as we look for opportunities to build new billets.
The thing that amazes me is how long it takes to actually enact change. A good example is our recent win on the initiative that was started seven years ago to establish an Acoustic Warrant Officer Designator in support of the IUSS Community. Starting this upcoming FY we will be accessing four 7280 (this is the former Submarine Electronics designator) applicants to fill these 25 new billets.
The big upcoming change/goal in our community is the way we are proposing to promote in FY21 that has gotten the most attention, the Revised Competitive category (RCC) promotion plan or as most ofus know it, promote by Enterprise. I was a detailer in 2008 when this initiative was first discussed and I was against it from the start. Why would I want to change a system that benefits me? My designator has always promoted well against others. Does that keep the community relevant? The answer is and has always been no. With RCC, our chances of getting the right LDO/CWO designator selected are exponentially higher with equal and in some cases better individual opportunity. When you do the math, the picture is much clearer than what I can articulate. Overall, this change will make us more “RELEVANT” and provide better support to our line communities with the right paygrade in the right designator. NAVADMIN 157/17 has been released changing LDO and CWO Officer Summary Groups on 1 Oct 2017, to reflect the five (Aviation, Surface, NUC/Sub, General line/staff and IWC) proposed promotion categories.
NEW EAGLES - Please join us in congratulating our newest group of LDO Captains: CDRs – Matthew Arnold, Robert Bailey, William Bell, Ed Callahan, David Dwyer, Morris Oxendine, John Popham, Jeff Sandin and Anthony Taranto.***
Changes at the Top, Our Silver Eagle and SWON have both held turnovers. Please join us in extending our gratitude to Captain Dan Henderson and CWO5 Dan Kissel for their dedication and leadership over the past several years. With this turnover we have eliminated the requirement to have the first name DAN and our new leaders are Captain Pierre Fuller and CWO5 Anthony “Tony” Diaz.
Talent Management (RCC) update. We continue to move forward with efforts to provide a more technically focused force. Expectations are that FY-18 will begin changes to LDO and CWO Officer Summary Groups in preparation for future changes to competitive categories for promotion.
First of all Congrats to the new LDO (274) and CWO (196) Selects. This is always a special time of the year as we all know the LDO and CWO results are the first of a long board season. The biggest thing you can do is prepare yourselves for the next level and PAY-IT-FORWARD. Share your knowledge and it’s never too early to pave the way for your relief. BZ!!!!
The anxiety is always high this time of the year. We just rolled back from the holidays and move right into the board season. We have taken several calls from officers frustrated that they were either in or below zone. Some folks just want a little more time and others just can't wait. In preparation for the board season LT Holly Taylor has put out a lot of good gouge on various subjects. The range from how to update your record to how to read a zone list which have all been posted on Facebook page and will be on our website. These articles were generated from questions from the fleet. If you are curious JUST ASK.
In our travels, questions about mentorship come up quite often. We are seeing a very large population at our briefs of Third and Second Class Petty Officers. That is where mentorship is exceling right now. The difficulties we are seeing on the road have more to do with the mentorship of the senior First Class and Chief Petty Officers. We have to be consistent on our mentorship across all pay grades.
I would submit that mentoring a Third Class on the “way ahead” is way different than mentoring an 11+ year First Class. Obviously one has years to formulate their path and the other has already formed a culture of success, or not, in their path. Be sure you know the difference. Understand if you have a 12 year First Class or 18 year Senior Chief you really have 2 years at best to guide them through the process.
Mentoring and Counseling happens 7 days a week and 365 days out of the year. It is imperative that we
are honest, sincere and to the point. We will undoubtedly fail our shipmates if we say what they want to
hear versus what is realistic.
No limitation on Above Zone (AZ) selections. If an individual has time to zone a second
time and is on course be careful what you say. The LDO AZ results this year showed 0
CAPTs, 11 CDRs and 12 LCDRs. The CWO AZ results this year showed 4 CWO5s and 15
CWO4s. AZ selections have increased over the years but have always existed. The board
guidance is BEST and FULLY QUALIFIED. That’s been the rules forever.
Board results out this time of the year are both exciting and disappointing. The advice we provide our
officers has to be timely and correct. When we provide Failure of Selection (FOS) counseling keep it
simple and find out what they are missing or the commonalities in all the selects. If you have any
questions about advising an officer…Call their respective detailers. The detailers are their career
counselors and have the most current
Commissioning, Change of Commands and Retirements
A commissioning ceremony is a time honored tradition regardless of commissioning source. It's an opportunity to visit with a newly commissioned officer as well as their respective families. The family is so proud and it's a great mentoring opportunity on Day 1 Hour 1. If ever you lose faith in what drove you to get a commission…attend a commissioning ceremony.
This seems like a pretty straightforward question but really how do you prepare? Every seasoned O6/O5/O4/W5 will steer you center of the channel BUT some go at 10 KTs, 15 KTs and yes 350KTs. If you’re a guy or gal that moves at 350 KTs you might want to start earlier so you don’t miss something. Is one approach better than the other? I can tell you that there is NO big secret BUT many common items to look at. While discussing this I will use the FY16 LCDR Line results, but this is applicable to all boards. And a big thing to remember is that we are all really good, but we all end up in the CRUNCH!!!
What are Off Ramp Communities and why do we have them?
In 2010 during the LDO Officer Sustainability Initiative (OSI) it was determined LDOs in the IDC and Supply communities would off-ramp to respective Restricted Line (RL) Communities. The desired end state was to create stable RL and Staff Corps communities through the accession of LDOs and transition to the RL and Staff designators. This created a more diversified control grade inventory, while simultaneously eliminating inventory to billet mismatches.
I've been asked several times: "How to transition to the wardroom?" First, and foremost there is no simple answer because no two LDO's or CWO's backgrounds are the same. So I will focus on some simple rules that I've either been taught or have learned over the years.
The last several months we have traveled to Naples, Bahrain, Jacksonville, Mayport, Kings Bay and culminated with a Board of Directors (BOD) Leadership
Off-site in Pensacola. A common concern throughout our travels was the future of Naval Security Forces (NSF) and their new career path. If you are a Security LDO or CWO (6490/7491), any and all changes or modifications to your career path will be promulgated via Navy Message or NAVADMIN. A future career path brief was provided for situational awareness and should be viewed as such. The problem with running ahead of any official guidance is you may be working off DRAFT #1 or #21. Either way you may not have the whole picture; so while providing mentorship to future Mustangs we need to be current. The FY-17 Active Duty LDO and CWO In-service Procurement Board NAVADMIN is 156/15 (DTG 061959Z JUL 15). It is prudent that we understand our current requirements.
Well the OCM shop has been on the road quite a bit this last 2 months. We’ve had an opportunity to meet solid candidates and constituents alike. It is truly the best part of the job. Remember for our briefs it’s about who shows up and more importantly who doesn’t. This is the biggest problem I see on our visits. Over these trips there are two trips that stand out.
If you mentored a Sailor that was not selected let’s provide some solid feedback and get them back in the game for this year. In a recent trip to Guam/Hawaii, I was refreshed to see a lot of E-5’s at our recruiting briefs. It’s not too early to start preparing our reliefs. Unfortunately, many of them did not have active mentors which got resolved before we left both islands. PLEASE… get the word out that spouses are encouraged to attend either the recruiting or Community Retention/Career Management briefs. We had several spouses attend in Hawaii and I’m absolutely positive it was beneficial to their families. If POC’s in geographical areas desire a spouse brief after normal work hours let us know. We will accommodate.
Since becoming the OCM, I have had the opportunity to visit many ships, regions, and installations. During those visits I have had similar conversations over and over with senior leaders, both within and outside our community. The main topic of discussion is Mustang Pride?
The professionalism on display by LDOs and CWOs around the Navy would make anyone proud to be a Mustang. That’s the good, but let me share the bad. Have you heard or ever said, "I did it the hard way, I earned it"? Over the years I have come to appreciate how shortsighted it is to make this statement or include it in commissioning, promotion, or retirement programs.
Here’s why: The odds are that the senior officers you pay your respects to every day with a "Yes, Sir" or "Yes, Ma’am" kind of thinks they earned it as well. Your pride may be well-deserved, but if it places you above others it’s probably something you should revisit.
Fellow Mustangs, it is with mixed emotions that I write my final article as an active duty member of our Navy. I will be retiring on Friday October 24th. Any of you in the Millington area please stop by. My job will be vacant until the arrival of CWO5 “Liz” Rivera. Liz was the ideal candidate for this job and will represent our community at the highest level.
As I depart I need to say thanks to many people but based on my words per minute (typing speed), I can’t thank everyone and still meet the posting date. I do need to thank my family (Ellen, Mitchell and Craig) for their years of support. I also need to thank our community leadership beginning with RADM Quinn and RADM White.
During my tour, we have needed and certainly have received outstanding Flag representation in the management and shaping of our communities. As the CWO OCM, I would be negligent not to thank ADM Ferguson, who provided a much needed vote to the law and policy changes that will provide more equitable retirement packages to all Navy CWOs. I want to thank my bosses, Captain Scot Abel who brought me into this position and allowed me this unique opportunity; to have input on our communities. To Captain John Jones who inherited me and allowed me the opportunity to fully engage my passion of manpower / manning as we began the implementation of the “sustainability initiative.” To Captain Len Friddle who continued to provide me latitude in the management of the community. To CDR Bill Johnson for his continued support of the community as our mission of building viable careers for all LDOs and CWOs continues. Finally to the rest of the team (during my tenure), LCDR Shane Walker, LT “Leo” Peterson, and Mr. (LTJG) Dondre Rittman, I am indebted to each of you for your leadership, support and candor. Each of us has been fortunate to have such a dedicated group of professionals representing our team. To the entire Mustang community thanks to you and your families for all you do each and every day.
Our Sustainability Initiative brief to CNP (VADM Moran) a couple weeks ago was a huge success. CNP is onboard and we continue to move ahead. Keep track of our progress via the timeline on page 4.
LDOs that wish to lateral transfer out must have at least 6 years of commissioned service, regardless of how your current designator is manned. Please understand that we take not just the current health of the community into account, but we must look out to the projected future health as well.
First and foremost, it is with a heavy heart that I acknowledge the passing of another great Mustang. For those of you not aware, Commander John Regelbrugge III, lost his life in the Snohomish County landslide that occurred in Washington State on March 25th. His body was recovered days later by family members, but at last word the body of his wife, Kris, is still missing. They are survived by their 5 children; 3 sons and 2 daughters.
The “Brief Your Relief” powerpoint presentation is now posted to the LDO/CWO Community Manager webpage. This short slide deck will assist greatly when discussing our program with applicant’s one on one or via command wide brief. Cut/paste the link into your browser to view:http://www.public.navy.mil/BUPERSNPC/OFFICER/COMMUNITYMANAGERS/LDO_CWO/Pages/References.aspx.
Sustainability Update: 888 billets were successfully loaded into the Total Force Manpower Management System by Navy Manpower Analysis Center last week. These billet changes will be phased, beginning with FY15 (1 Oct 2014). The remaining billets not included in the initial load will be adjudicated and effected via Billet Change Requests.
We will be in DC this week to update CNP (VADM Moran) on our Sustainability Initiative. This will be our first brief to him since he took the helm. We are making real progress, but we still have much more work to do.
Best of luck to all Lieutenants “In Zone” for Lieutenant Commander!
As mentioned in last month’s Lariat, RADM White assumed LDO/CWO Community Flag Sponsor. To view RADM White’s bio, cut/paste the hyperlink into your browser: http://www.navy.mil/navydata/bios/navybio.asp?bioID=581. With my upcoming retirement, the rest of the OCM team will remain in place for at least another year. Any reliefs will be handpicked to ensure they share the same philosophies and vision of the current staff to ensure we keep the Mustang community moving forward.
Hearty congratulations to our new LDO and CWO selectees. I remember so clearly the day I got the word – it is completely life changing for you and your family. The pleasant surprise will be just how much better your life will become now that you have earned the right to be called a Navy Mustang. Welcome to the greatest community in the Navy!
As of this writing we are getting deep into our recruiting drive and community engagement through our road-show briefs. This is an extremely busy time for the community as we spread the word and the vision of the Mustang community. Please make an effort to come see us when we come to your AOR and bring your superstars to the Applicant brief. See you in the Fleet!
Earlier today the Chief of Naval Personnel formally approved (in writing) our Sustainability Initiative! A quick BLUF of what this means to you:
- Without Board Action (WOBA) re-designation for Information Dominance Corps (IDC) and Supply Corps LDOs. “WOBA is authorized for IDC and Supply Corps LDO lieutenant commanders, commanders and captains on a case-by-case basis. WOBAs may be executed as necessary across the future years defense plan (FY15-FY19), to support the Limited Duty Officer and Chief Warrant Officer Sustainability Initiative.”
- Authority to continue working with OPNAV N12 on planned billet shifts beginning FY-15.
Happy New Year from Millington! I trust that everyone had a great Christmas and New Year Holiday break and are in the process of catching up as you charge into 2014. Please don't forget about those who are deployed these holidays and keep them and their families in your prayers......THANK YOU ALL!!!! For the LDO/CWO shop, as it is every year at this time, it has been a busy couple of months with accession and promotion planning. Our annual selection board will begin 8 January 2014 and we will anxiously await the release of the message to see the selectees that will join us in the greatest community in the Navy - the Mustang community. I wish the best of luck to all the applicants!
As with the previous years, it appears that the 2014 travel budget has been hit hard. Unfortunately, this will limit our annual Road Show briefs. As funding becomes available, and we can find various sponsors to help allocate funds for our travel in the Fleet, we will hit the road as soon as possible providing our community health and applicant briefs.
Happy belated Thanksgiving to all! Accession planning for the FY-15 Active Duty In-service Procurement Board is in full swing. Many thanks to the Senior LDO/CWO Leadership Group, Board of Directors, Detailers and community managers across all designators for assisting with the Discrete Requirement updates.
This month I would like to highlight “Zones”, as in, "Promotion zone", or "in zone", which consists of those officers who have not previously been considered for promotion for the next higher grade and who are eligible for promotion by virtue of their relative seniority within their competitive category, based on lineal number. LDOs are currently grouped in one of two competitive categories, line or staff, independent of specific designator. CWOs compete in one competitive group. The senior officer in the promotion zone is the "senior in zone", and the junior officer in that zone is the "junior in zone". The promotion zone is the foundation of the promotion plan. Individual designator promotion statistics are generated after each board is concluded and these are then posted online; however individual designators are not used for determination of the zone or who will compete for promotion prior to the board. Later this month the NOTICE OF CONVENING FY-15 NAVY ACTIVE DUTY PROMOTION SELECTION BOARDS NAVADMIN will be released. That NAVADMIN will identify which officers are truly “in zone” for promotion. Once that NAVADMIN hits the streets, I highly recommend sitting down with your chain of command and/or mentor(s) for clarification.
Congratulations to our newest CWO5, CWO4 and CWO3 selects! Wear it proudly and remember, “you’re always on parade” on or off duty. I would also like to extend my most heartfelt condolences to the families of CWO4(select) Gary M. Garber, CWO4(select) Kristina L. Seitzinger and CDR (Ret) Mike Newton who recently passed away. Keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
In the past few weeks we have received many questions about the LDO/CWO In-Service Procurement board process. LDOs and CWOs are selected for appointment by In-Service Procurement Selection Boards. A board is convened each January for approximately 3 weeks. Results are normally released to the Fleet via NAVADMIN early March. In addition to senior LDOs and CWOs, board membership includes officers of the line and various staff corps to allow the senior member of the board to establish internal panels with a good knowledge of the requirements of each occupational specialty. Each member of the board is sworn to select the best qualified candidates without prejudice or partiality. If you are interested in serving on a selection board as a member or recorder, contact your Detailer
By the time you get this month’s Lariat, the 1 October application deadline will have passed. Best of luck to all of your applicants, this is always an exciting time for our community.
Fall is again upon us and for Officer Community Managers, the annual work of determining next year’s FY15 Promotion Plan, followed by the annual Accession Plan to support the January FY15 In-Service Procurement Board for LDOs and CWOs. Once we receive end-strength numbers from Big Navy, we can then start calculation of the zones based on our vacancy needs. With that said, do not assume you will be In Zone, wait until the message is released, but get your records squared away. QUESTION: Is your record up to date? Photos in current grade, last FITREP, qualifications and awards should all be up to date. If not, http://www.public.navy.mil/bupersnpc/career/recordsmanagement/Pages/default.aspx provides information on updating records. I also strongly recommend sitting with your mentors, past board members and/or your chain of command to get a thorough review of your record.
I just recently returned from consecutive Road trips to Guam, Yokosuka and Atsugi Japan. Mitch accompanied me during the trips to Hawaii and PACNORWEST. A brief synopsis of each trip is provided in the TRIP REPORT column. To those of you that played a role in coordinating these trips with Leo, thank you very much. As we get information on the FY-14 Road Show Trip schedule, we will share.
A great quote from our Flag Sponsor! It proves that your mentorship does not go unnoticed. Keep up the exceptional work in the wardroom and on the deckplates.
Feels good to be back on the road again. Appreciate your patience as we get caught up with your emails and phone calls. Our trips to San Diego, Jacksonville, Mayport, Pensacola and Kings Bay (GA) were a huge success. The opportunity to provide face-to-face LDO/CWO Officer Community Health and Applicant briefs in those Fleet concentration areas is absolutely critical in ensuring we keep our constituents up to speed on Sustainability Initiative/Community updates and imperative in attracting the requisite amount of qualified Sailors for our program.
Fresh off of our Tidewater Road trip. Mitch and I were able to get out and provide some updated community information to over 200 Mustangs in Little Creek, Oceana and Norfolk. I’d like to personally thank all of you who came out and talked to us and a big BZ to those who hosted us in the three locations!
The Active and Reserve Limited Duty Officer (LDO) and Chief Warrant Officer (CWO) In-Service Procurement NAVADMINs ( 176/13 and 177/13) have been released. We continue to field questions daily concerning time in service (TIS) waivers for LDO and CWO. I ask that all Mustangs review NAVADMIN 281/12, paragraph 4b and counsel applicants on eligibility and TIS waivers.
Congratulations, fair winds and following seas to Captain Gerry Slevin, Silver Eagle, who retired in a 28 June ceremony in Tampa, Florida and handed off the honors of the Navy’s most senior Limited Duty Officer (LDO) to Captain Richard Verbeke. (see attached article)
We are headed into the dog days of summer throughout the Fleet as June is upon us and the PCS season is in full swing. After a very successful Mustang Roundup recruiting kickoff in late April and throughout May, we need to maintain focus and ensure that those applying for our program remain fully on track. For those potential applicants that will be PCSing this summer, it is imperative that the command forward a letter of recommendation from the losing Commanding Officer to the gaining Commanding Officer for inclusion in the member’s package to the board. This simple networking provides both Commanding Officers an opportunity and a fair assessment of the individual’s potential to serve as an LDO or CWO. OPNAVINST 1420.1B, chapter 7, page 7‐18, paragraph 13.f. provides this full policy guidance on application packages.
As we wrap‐up another month I must tell you about the excitement we have about the LDO & CWO programs. The efforts that you have put forth as Leaders in our various Fleet concentration areas to conduct a kickoff event in supporting the 2013 Mustang Roundup and OCM briefs is already paying huge dividends and I believe we will realize how successful it has been once we receive the packages for next year’s board. I want to personally thank everyone involved as the numbers were reflective of the hard work you put in to setup such events. Please stay in touch with those interested in the programs and ensure continued mentorship is provided! Thanks!!
August was a busy month and we found ourselves on the road for several days as we continued to provide the road show community and applicant briefs to those commands that requested our presence. We attended the SEAL conference in San Diego to discuss the CWO SEAL community future and we had a great visit. We also traveled all the way to Guam to visit the base and submarine tenders, and received a great showing and support while there. We had to rush back to Millington to prepare and brief the Chief of Naval Personnel, VADM Van Buskirk, on the LDO & CWO Sustainability Initiative on 27 September. The CNP was very receptive to the work being done and has asked for further follow-up by the N13 (RADM Kurta) and NPC (RADM Covell) to the Enterprise Flag Officers and their manpower shops on where we are headed with the correcting of our pyramids and building a more viable and sustainable LDO & CWO community.
Head OCM’s CORNER: You should be in the final stages of having your Superstar enlisted applicant packages finalized and ready for mailing in order to meet the 1 October deadline. I am hoping this is going to be a great and competitive year. Mitch and I were able to reach every Fleet concentration and a number of outliers with the exception of Japan. The audiences were engaged, motivated, and appeared to be our best and brightest – that is just the guys we need. We thank you for participation this year and getting your people to the brief, and particularly those that sat through the brief as mentors. This will stand out as a banner year, hopefully the first of many to follow. And speaking of banner years…
In March we had the opportunity to travel to the SE US and Guantanamo Bay to present our new brief in addition to our recruiting brief. The community brief is l-o-n-g but probably very little can be cut because it really lays out what was broken, what we have done to fix it, and what the future holds including initiatives to address some long standing problems. I think the general mood in most audiences was, initially, anxious and possibly even hostile. But the mood at the end of the brief can best be described as cautiously optimistic. Quite honestly there is lots of good in this initiative with very few being disadvantaged (and even that is minimal because we will age any force changes). It will take a couple of years to fully implement all of the changes and I believe that all initiatives will be carried out because they are logical and best for the Navy and are supported by our chain of command (Flag and community). The OCM team in place right now will be here for at least a year together, and any reliefs will be handpicked to ensure they share the same philosophies, vision, and fortitude to ensure completion. This fits very well with our Flag Sponsor, Admiral Quinn, retaining leadership of our community as he transitions to NETC Pensacola – an incredible win for us as he greatly values what you do for our Navy.
25 February 2011 is a date that should go into our history book as a day of celebration. It was the day we met with CNP and presented all of your hard work in outlining a new course proposal to manage our community in meeting Navy needs. It was also the date that we received approval to fix some of the long term problems our community has battled with for decades. The work outlined was very complex and included your inputs, your community Flag Officer concerns, and guidance from our sponsor, Admiral Quinn. It included great feedback from RDML Kurta (1110) and RDML Covell (1200) to ensure we could realistically achieve what we were asking for. It was evident that the restructure of our billet base, making it viable and sustainable, was not enough. There are some very necessary elements to ensure that these changes will have a long term lasting effect and that we don’t find ourselves doing annual deep dives to make course changes. In a nutshell, we need the supporting inventory to do the job in the long term – I am very happy to tell you that our chain of command supported that view and was accepted by CNP as a requirement.
I trust that everyone had a great Christmas and New Year Holiday break and are probably in the process of catching up. We are very busy and have really never stopped with the billet reviews and gathering your inputs from the symposium as we look forward to meeting CNP’s February deadline on this initiative. Again, your hard work and passion for our community is apparent and the value gained in having your expertise on-hand has proven invaluable as we move ahead and look forward to a clear and bright future. We will do our best in the coming year to provide frequent communications via the NPC and NKO websites, as well as our Facebook page (Shane has done an awesome job of keeping it updated and generating discussions) and e-mail distribution messages to keep you up to date on any and all changes affecting our community.
I would like to take this opportunity to applaud and thank the LDO/CWO Senior Leadership that came in full force to our Symposium this month. A typical symposium attracts around 40 people – this year we reached 117! It was clearly evident that you have all taken this difficult tasking very seriously. Your hard work and passion for our community is apparent and the value gained in having your expertise on-hand for this granular community work will prove to be invaluable as we move ahead and look forward to a clear and bright future. I am very proud to be a part of such a professional cadre. Thanks again!
As I wrap up my first year in the job, I look back and realize what a wild ride it has been – probably my toughest year professionally. I thank my lucky stars I had Mitch here on the journey, and that Shane is now on board helping in so many ways (this newsletter lay out is one small example). It has been a year of unexpected events and direction, probably the most critical year since our inception. It is a mixture of good and bad, but mostly good. I think in the out years it will be looked at as a time that we got back to basics. These are tough days that we are living in, tough for our Nation, our Navy, and our community. We have survived similar events in the past and they have made us stronger. We will survive this, accentuate the positives, and be poised for future opportunities because you are a vital part of the Navy. It’s time to close ranks, roll up our sleeves, and get this Mustang train back on its track.