Friday, June 26, 2015

Taming that email beast

Sometimes I wish Cookie Monster would eat all my large attachments. Image courtesy of
Email.  It might as well be a four-lettered word.  Email can absolutely consume our professional and personal lives.  You can finish a day and wonder "Wow, I spent all day answering email, and yet I feel like I got nothing done."

Especially if you work on a staff, email is probably the bane of your existence.  And yet, it shouldn't be.  Email should be a great enabler, letting you get in contact with people around the world and quickly share text and other attachments.  Yet the Navy has morphed email into a monster that consumes our time and energy into a never-ending vortex of declining productivity.

How do you tame this monster?  Luckily the good folks at Manager Tools have a few answers in a recent news post:

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Why I'm Staying In The Navy

It seems to be fashionable now to post articles on why junior officers are leaving the Navy.  Everything from family reasons to hating white males has become acceptable to place onto the blogosphere.  If you just believed everything on the internet, the Navy would seem like a terrible place to work.

Obviously everything a disgruntled JO on the internet says is true! I heard it on a blog!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

A bad plan for many reasons

 I've held fire on the new DoD retirement plan, waiting for some details rather than analyze the rumors and half-truths.  We now have some definition.  The new plan would have:

- Members contribute to TSP with DoD matching.
- Mid-career you'll get a bonus.
- If you stay to 20 years, you get a reduced per month amount (40% vs. 50% base pay).

While it has some advantages, some are touting it as more fair.  From everything I see, it's worse in almost all respects.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Concerned about the Hawaii COLA decrease?

I got this in the work email...worth a read if you're not a fan of the COLA decrease.  Since there isn't much your chain of command can do about COLA, you're not jumping them by writing to Congressman Gabbard. BUT, if you are worried, please also see your Command Financial Specialist and get a budget made so that you aren't getting into financial trouble when the decrease happens.

On May 13, USPACOM's Quality of Life department determined that Oahu is experiencing an "economic decline" and subsequently decided to decrease US Service-members' Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) by 8 points.  This translates to a 24% pay cut or $4K-$5K annual reduction for officers and a $3K-$4K annual reduction for enlisted personnel.  The COLA reduction begins on the July 1 pay period.
The office of Congressman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) is currently welcoming public correspondence on the matter.  Congressman Gabbard has been a United States Representative for Hawaii's second congressional district since 2013 and currently serves on the U.S. House Committee on Armed Services.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Purpose of Officers

Officer cover, from the Marlow White catalog
If you haven't read the recent Task and Purpose article on abolishing the officer/enlisted haven't missed much.  William Treseder attempts to present the point that the division between officers and enlisted needs to go in order to enhance the military.  He argues that officers are a construct of the British system, harking to days gone by of nobility that doesn't have a place in rebellious America.  He also makes the point that because there are so many people knocking down the doors to the military academies it actually drives away people from enlisting.

It's in short, completely absurd.  I read it hoping for more, but it's actually sad enough that it merits an in-depth response.