Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Upcoming uniform changes

Single-breasted jackets, skirts and even earrings for all Sailors are soon in the works.

In a surprise move, the Navy Uniform Board announced it would be simplifying uniform standards by unifying the difference between male and female uniforms.  The board will be rolling out new uniform changes on April 23rd fleet wide.  The changes include a single breasted jacket for all Sailors' Service Dress Uniform, 4-6mm earrings for both sexes, and the same set of prescribable and optional items.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Officer record updates from BUPERS

Navy Personnel Command has put out a convenient sheet on updating the major portions of your record.  Honestly, it's refreshing to see, since I remember not too long ago that it seemed nobody there cared about it.

You can get it here:

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Great board advice

For everyone getting ready for a board, here's some great advice from JO Rules:

"The oral board is one of the most time-honored traditions in the U.S. Navy. It is a comprehensive evaluation of not just your technical chops, but also your maturity, perspective, instincts, and ability to think under pressure."

Full story here:

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Getting help

For much of the past year, I spent every other Monday talking to the newest Sailors at our command.  I'll admit that my first few talks were rather fluffy (nice words but lacked depth), but after about two classes I realized I needed to think a bit harder about what I was saying.  I started looking at what everyone else said (from the First Class running the Indoctrination Division to the Captain) and I found a few holes I could fill.  So I started focusing on a few areas:

1. I told the class that their time at the command would be hard.  They would work crazy hours, have to qualify fast, and likely make a lot of mistakes since for most of them it was their first command.  I told them that stress was normal and that they needed to knuckle down and attack qualifications one piece at a time to get through it.

2. They would have problems.  They would have bad days, days when they wanted to call it quits and tell everyone to f%^& off.  I specifically told them on those days to go get help, either from their fellow Shipmates, their LPO, Chief, our clinical counselor, or even me.

I actually caught an earful from an older Sailor the one day, who accused me of pandering to the "current generation" by encouraging them to seek a counselor if something went wrong.  His response was along the lines of "Back in my day, we just sucked it up and moved on."

His response is also complete bullshit.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Transparency in the little things

Anyone who has gone TDY to Groton, CT likely knows about the Groton Chalet Hotel.  It's infamous for all the wrong reasons.  The rooms lack any sort of amenities, the staff is consistently rude, and the hotel charges significantly more than the nearby Navy Gateway Inn and Suites.  With all these problems, why would the Navy continue to pay more for a crappy hotel?

Simple...some idiot signed a contract that we now can't get out of, and the military is being milked for money.  Your taxpayer dollars hard at work.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

USNI Essay Number 1: A Better Cyber Culture In Six Steps

 I submitted two essays to USNI for the upcoming Information Dominance Edition. Below is the first essay, A Better Cyber Culture In Six Steps.

  Ingraining continuous professional development in our cyber warfare operators ensures excellence in future operations.  A culture of professional development is easier to build in a controlled environment, such as onboard a warship, where outside distractions are scarce.  As most cyber jobs will be on shore duty, there are many distracters that threaten to destroy the camaraderie and warfare focus our other warfare disciplines enjoy.  A robust cyber culture promotes continual education, strengthens good habits and builds expert operators.
  Traditional classroom education and training methods that work for other warfare areas fall short in cyber.  We know what we want SWOs, Aviators and Submariners to do, but the rapidly changing nature of cyber gives us only a murky vision of a good operator.  Additionally, with a constant budget crisis that routinely eliminates training dollars, we must have an inexpensive distributed method of continual education.  I recommend the following methods:

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Why you should write

It's easy to be a consumer of information.  Since the advent of Google, most people can now find the content they want, whenever and wherever they want it.  The great thing about information on the internet is that it's the gift that keeps on giving: for essentially zero dollars lots of people can access it and it costs them nothing, plus it doesn't disappear when someone reads it.

The problem with this is that it leads folks to never contribute.  Oh sure, lots of people post Facebook updates and tweet.  But substantial information requires time and effort, and the internet seems to have made us lazy.  Why bother writing?