Monday, September 2, 2013

Thoughts on the IW LCDR and CDR milestone billets

 The 1810 LCDR and CDR Milestone billets were recently changed. The new list is located here:

I'll admit upfront I'm a little mad because I WAS going to Misawa, but because the billet was removed from the O-4 milestone list I had to take a job elsewhere. With that disclaimer...

1. The list is short. Like, really short: 28 O-5 positions and 50 O-4 positions. Granted the community isn't massive either, but I think getting milestone billets now is going to become a bit of a fight. That's not a bad thing, as hopefully it forces the community to only place personnel in those positions that we know will promote, but it does potentially remove promotion opportunities for those that don't pay attention to their career.

2. Special Warfare is getting more. This is a good thing. In the past, we would send people to work with special warfare, and despite doing great work and being at the "pointy end of the spear," they didn't tend to promote. With more milestones for both O-4 and O-5 in Special Warfare, we should see more of that expertise making it to O-6. A big win for NSW.

3. Most of these jobs are CONUS. Now I know the detailer will shoot back "But Hawaii is considered OCONUS!" but really, they speak English and drive on the right side of the road. Back in the day, long before I came into the Navy, Naval Security Group was primarily overseas at places like Rota and Misawa. Now we've pulled back a LOT, and we have almost no permanent presence overseas. Not sure if that's a good thing or not, but for those of us wanting to travel with our families, it's now certainly harder. And, for those asking at home, yes, I wanted to go to Bahrain...notice there are no O-4 milestone jobs in Bahrain (which I also find odd).

4. The list is very surface and fleet command heavy. No surprise there, and no surprise that Fourth Fleet gets nothing at the O-5 level.

5. Very little cyber. By far this bothers me the most. With all the growth in cyber, I count only seven billets in the O-4 list and none on the O-5 list. If we're going to create cyber warriors of the future, then a career path (to O-6) must exist for those that perform well. What I read from this is that cyber is secondary to SIGINT, and if you want to promote your performance at SIGINT jobs will matter more than cyber performance.


  1. Good article in general, but I did want to respond to a couple items you mentioned. First on the size of the list and second on your comments about the lack of cyber milestones.
    "...but it does potentially remove promotion opportunities for those that don't pay attention to their career." - I hope those who don't pay attention to their career don't promote. We don't need those who can't even motivate themselves to take care of themselves to be in charge of taking care of the Navy. Also, milestones are supposed to just that. If we make too many, then we dilute the importance of those billets.
    "Very little cyber." - The Navy Cyber Units that are being stood up are still not operational, so therefore it would be very hard to add them to the milestone list at this point. I would expect that as those units come online, we'll see more of those leadership billets making the milestone list.

  2. That is a fair assessment. In a VTC with the detailer, we got a bit more guidance on milestones. The intention is that you won't screen for O-5 command without a milestone, and will likely not screen for O-4 OIC or XO without it either. So not having a milestone won't stop you from promoting, but it will narrow your job prospects. And I see your point on cyber, although I would argue there are more cyber jobs out there, but they didn't get consideration.