The Navy's traditions live on in the hearts of those who serve

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The reality of the Navy's Personnel Management

Before I was the Gunner's Mate Detailer, I had no idea how BUPERS did anything.  I thought the Detailer was in total control of every manning decision.  I thought he decided who got personnel and who didn't.  Boy was I surprised when I got the BUPERS.

Let me explain this with a story.  One day, Captain Paul Sovey, NAVSEA 62Y1, Head of Naval Gunnery, called me and told me to be at a meeting at an office building close to my offices.  I forget the name of the building, but I go there and went to the assigned floor and room.  He never told me the reason for the meeting.

In that room was three Admirals, more Captains than I could count, and Commanders serving coffee!  There were some vert senior Civilians in the Ordnance world that I recognized.  I thought that was the wrong room for me since I was the ONLY Enlisted Person within ten floors!! So, I walked past the door and headed out to find where I really belonged.  Captain Sovey came out and caught me and told me to get a cup of coffee and find a seat.

I sat in the back of the room, next to Big John Morris.  I found out eh meeting was being chaired by the Head of the Naval Supply System, and the two other Flags were Cruiser Destroyer Group Commanders.  The topics of the meeting was the dependability of the MK 42 and MK 45 Gun Mounts.  The presenter was a Supply Commander from SPCC Mechanicsburg.  He had a very slick presentation that was full of bullshit!  And when the Supply Admiral asked him why he did not delineate between the MK 42 and MK 45 Gun Mounts, he replied; "They are the same Gun Mount.  One is just newer!"  Well, me being a hard headed Senior Chief, who had all the tact God originally issues me, I raised my hand to be heard.  The Supply Admiral looked and me and said; "Who are you!?"  I introduced myself and politely, for me, told the Admiral; "The only thing the same between the MK 42 and the MK 45 is the projectile!"  The Admiral turned to Captain Sovey and asked: "Is this true?'  Captain Sovey said it was and the Admiral told the Supply Commander;  "You finished, Sit Down!"

Later, the discussion turned to manning and Captain Sovey said; "That os why I brought Senior Chief Dolence."  I explained that EPMAC had just deleted all of the GMGC billets on all of the MK 42 and MK 45 ships!  The two Group Admirals jumped out of their skin!!  They said, almost in unison; "You mean we will have 20 of these ships and no Chief's?"  I replied Yes.  Then they asked me how I let this happen?

My real explains how little people know about the Navy's personnel management.  Over the Admiral's Desk in BUPERS used to be a sign that said: "Anyone who likes Hot Dogs and the Navy's Personnel Policies should NOT see any of them made!"   This is the total truth.

The N1, Personnel Head, of CINCLANT and CINCPAC Fleet make all of the manning decisions.  They set manning levels based on deployments, and other magic formulas only they know.  Then, they tell EPMAC the build the requisitions that the detailers fill.

I told those Admirals they needed to contact their Fleet Commanders about this topic and that was it.  A month later, in the new requisition cycle, there were GMGC billets for all of the MK 42 and MK 45 ships on both coasts!!!  Evidently those two Admirals talked to their Fleet Commanders.  And evidently the wisdom and planning of Captain Paul Sovey worked like a charm!!  Sometime being devious is better than being powerful!

1 comment:

  1. Love to hear these stories! We're going through a manning shortfall overseas with the capability to support the P-8's...fighting for the right people to do the job that's going to be necessary...we know what we need on the ground, now if only we could get the folks back stateside to see what we see...AOC