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Another Skipper Relieved...

Spekkio

He bowls overhand.
@wlawr005Your viewpoint, as you present it here, seems myopic and selfish to an outside observer.

If clearly telling you that makes me the problem, to you, then so be it.
I don't think that his viewpoint is selfish or myopic. The implicit assumption in your post is that only top performers are qualified to be flight school instructors, when I doubt that is the case.

Here are the two opposing viewpoints in a nutshell:

JOs: I was a top performer, I should get choice duty (within reason).
Senior Officer: You were a top performer, the Navy needs you to do X. Just accept it. You should be thankful that you got this important job that has manning shortfalls, I don't get why you aren't happy with that.

Solution proposed by the JOs: Allow top performers to actually go to the top of the pecking order for orders. Solution proposed by senior officers: "manage expectations," which is another way of just making sure that the JO understands that there are no other options.

It's not like wlawr wanted to go fuck off doing some extraneous foreign exchange program or other way off-track job.

Personally, I've been lucky so far in the orders I've been able to draw. Some people were not so lucky. If I were "rewarded" after a successful JO tour by being detailed as a prototype instructor or 18 extra months of sea duty on a PCU, I would have been pissed. I would be even more pissed if my CO looked me in the eye and told me that my viewpoint was myopic because the Navy *had* to send me to one of those billets. There are plenty of qualified people to do those jobs, and if there is a shortage then you don't necessarily need to pluck a top performer against his will to do it.

Because I've never been in that uncomfortable situation of executing a set of orders that I really didn't want, I don't particularly have an ax to grind against the whole process, which is consistent with most people who stay Navy for a full career. But I sympathize for those people who drew the short straw and can't blame them for getting out because they believe that the Navy doesn't care about their career desires.
 

CUBUFFS4134

HSC, FRS, Now haze gray and underway, all 1100 ft.
pilot
Contributor
@wlawr005, enlighten me about the VFA shore tour detailing process. Is there no competitive nomination process for orders to the FRS/WWS/TRACOM? Is it simply each front office working the PERS detailer/placement to hopefully get you what you want? For those not aware about how it works for us, you basically submit a dream sheet with preferences, hours, quals, and a writeup from your CO. PERS then fills the holes based on your desires and most importantly the Navy's needs. Some get exactly what they want, some quite close, and others not so much. But it comes down to your record primarily. NOMS happen each quarter and are for each departing LT with a PRD within that quarter. So for example, especially in January, you have possibly 15-20 or more #1s all vying for a few spots at the WWS/FRS. Add in a early spring COC, and the numbers are even higher. Therefore, by sheers numbers you all aren't going to get your top choice likely.

I have witnessed an increase in the "what does this do for me and what I want/my career?" Our mentality should be "does this help the det/squadron/Navy/country" first and "how does this help me/is this what I want" second. This was especially evident during summer middy events. I have always been of the mentality that if you are in the business of getting what you want, you are in the wrong business. Didn't get the community/squadron/det you wanted? Finish where you are and try again. Didn't get the orders you wanted, they'll be more coming soon. Don't like it, you are welcome to vote with your feet, and MANY ARE! I joined to do what was needed to make our Navy and our country better. My skippers tenant currently is more "we/our/us and less I/me/my!"

I realize though that I seem to be in the minority more each day. This mentality won't do us any favors with those below us and hopefully we can find a happy medium. I suppose at the end of the day, you fight for your people and always be honest and open. Give them options when you can, but remind them that needs of the navy come first, and that will likely mean at some point that Uncle Sam needs you more somewhere else than where you want to be. I do believe, finally, that if there were more flight hours, more mission execution opportunities, and a better warrior culture, the detailing process, etc would be more palatable.
 

NavyOffRec

Well-Known Member
I don't think that his viewpoint is selfish or myopic. The implicit assumption in your post is that only top performers are qualified to be flight school instructors, when I doubt that is the case.

Here are the two opposing viewpoints in a nutshell:

JOs: I was a top performer, I should get choice duty (within reason).
Senior Officer: You were a top performer, the Navy needs you to do X. Just accept it. You should be thankful that you got this important job that has manning shortfalls, I don't get why you aren't happy with that.

Solution proposed by the JOs: Allow top performers to actually go to the top of the pecking order for orders. Solution proposed by senior officers: "manage expectations," which is another way of just making sure that the JO understands that there are no other options.

It's not like wlawr wanted to go fuck off doing some extraneous foreign exchange program or other way off-track job.

Personally, I've been lucky so far in the orders I've been able to draw. Some people were not so lucky. If I were "rewarded" after a successful JO tour by being detailed as a prototype instructor or 18 extra months of sea duty on a PCU, I would have been pissed. I would be even more pissed if my CO looked me in the eye and told me that my viewpoint was myopic because the Navy *had* to send me to one of those billets. There are plenty of qualified people to do those jobs, and if there is a shortage then you don't necessarily need to pluck a top performer against his will to do it.

Because I've never been in that uncomfortable situation of executing a set of orders that I really didn't want, I don't particularly have an ax to grind against the whole process, which is consistent with most people who stay Navy for a full career. But I sympathize for those people who drew the short straw and can't blame them for getting out because they believe that the Navy doesn't care about their career desires.
What were you able to get as your shore tours as a sub nuke? I have seen several of the surface nuke officer JO's get very frustrated trying to get orders after a sea tour.
 

AllYourBass

Mistrap Queen
pilot
I could write a dissertation on this subject using only citations from AW as evidence.

One day the entire AW posting database will be uploaded into IBM's Watson AI engine which will finally come up with a FITREP system and detailing process that pleases everyone all the time. :D
And that system will loop this GIF for approximately 2 minutes before blue screening.

 

MIDNJAC

is clara ship
pilot
@wlawr005, enlighten me about the VFA shore tour detailing process. Is there no competitive nomination process for orders to the FRS/WWS/TRACOM? Is it simply each front office working the PERS detailer/placement to hopefully get you what you want? For those not aware about how it works for us, you basically submit a dream sheet with preferences, hours, quals, and a writeup from your CO. PERS then fills the holes based on your desires and most importantly the Navy's needs. Some get exactly what they want, some quite close, and others not so much. But it comes down to your record primarily. .
I think that sums it up for us, mostly, with exception of SFTI/TOPGUN class orders are entirely removed from PERS, and entirely decided by a room of LT's at N7, and follow on shore tour orders are sort of a PERS/N7 handshake, based on weapon school/N7/N5/FRS SFTI manning requests. I digress. Don't know for sure, but I think TPS is similar. I don't think the regular slate "nom" is as official in VFA as you make it sound........like anything in VFA land, there is a paper trail of back channel emails a mile long between skippers and placement......not to be confused with detailers :)

I don't have a lot to submit to this argument. I'm pessimistic about some things, but bottom line.......I've had 8 fleet skippers for any useful amount of time.....1 was effective but hated by the ready room (went on to CVN skipper), two were previously great fleet skippers who had the pack off for retirement so were somewhat "meh", and the other 5 were truly outstanding leaders. There are a couple XO's I wasn't around long enough to see as skippers who most likely would have been in the same category as these 5. I think the board gets command screen right more than it gets it wrong. That being said, I am currently in the "other squadron" wlawr" speaks of, and it would have been great to get him for deployment. I don't disagree that production needs their meat all the time, but we would have gladly taken him on a 9 mo order extension/TAD mod, and had him back in time for meridian to get a couple years of good out of him. I think everyone with an oak leaf on their shoulder or less assumed this would have been an easy day, and beneficial for all involved. He didn't really speak specifics, but realistically, this wouldn't have had to be a second sea tour in lieu of a shore tour....it could been an orders mod and extension slightly longer than that which requires PERS approval, to facilitate a guy who made a Sukhoi killer combat cruise to come back and make another with a mostly FNG/nugget wardroom. As an aside, we both came from the same JO squadron originally, albeit a generation or so apart. What happened to the tail end charlies in that squadron (which was being sundowned in his time) was the worst of the "bad timing" you can imagine. He was junior enough to recover, but there were a select few that weren't. When you see a skipper, a senior DH, and a couple unlucky JO's just suck it up and fade into the black, it doesn't build much trust and confidence in PERs. Much like watching my sailors, as a brand new DivO in the aftermath of ERB (and the shenanigans before it), mentally check out because they had watched so many awesome dudes get cast aside *coughmyATshopwasguttedcough*. In short, wlawr isn't on the moon right now, speaking of ridiculous JO fantasies.
 

AllYourBass

Mistrap Queen
pilot
Jokes aside, this is an immensely educational thread and I've been learning a lot. I admittedly should know more about how this whole system works at this point, but I still find the topic of "length of ticket"/timing issues to be extremely nebulous to me (e.g., How can someone show up at a command and have their CO tell them on Day 1, "You'll never make CO, here's why"?). Maybe I'm just not seeing the bigger picture.

Interested to hear the response to CUBUFFS4134's question RE: whether other communities use a NOM process like he described (it's the one I'm familiar with in HSM, too). Above all, whenever I see a thread on AW that increases in page count quicker than I can read the replies, it's usually filled with some nasty vitriol. Nice to see everyone expressing the depths of their opinions on this without the typical exsanguination.

Back to my GIFs.
 

huggyu2

Well-Known Member
None
I'm sorry I've parsed your argument. It wasn't my intent. However, getting information out of your situation has been like pulling teeth. I don't think I really understand all of the nuances. Not that it's really important that I do.

As I've stated, I get that you want to stay in gray jets... there's a shortage... you're very good at what you do... and it seems to make sense to leave you there. If I were in your brown boots, I'd be wanting the same thing. But "needs of the Navy" are a fact. "Needs of the Air Force" are what caused me to retire before I wanted to, and a plethora of other things.

As a pilot who went back to the training command after being in a frontline squadron, I think you'll have a great time. Different opportunities... and some you simply cannot do in a combat-ready squadron.

I wish you nothing but the best.
 

CUBUFFS4134

HSC, FRS, Now haze gray and underway, all 1100 ft.
pilot
Contributor
Our process is almost exactly as you state it @MIDNJAC, specifically the WTI process. In all things drug deals are made even after the slate is released. Trust me, I’ve got a dozen examples I can speak to. I don’t doubt one bit what you and @wlawr005 spoke of IRT his situation. Unfortunately I have seen multiple times things that are an absolute win for everyone involved get shot down by PERS. Could be there are things we don’t see either big picture/other picture or they simply aren’t interested in decisions being made outside of their control. Not sure. But I still encourage everyone to invest in a mentality that puts the unit and Navy first.

I hope good things come out of the JO symposium. I wish he would have opened the aperture to more than last year of sea/first of shore. Those on super JO/disassociated tour would be the ones I would want to talk to. They are the ones making the in/out decision real time.
 

Hair Warrior

JO 1835
Contributor
I can’t remember if that was a resfor good idea or a career transition office good idea (or both), but they put a handful of (recently transitioned to the reserves) helicopter pilots into an offsite intel unit (offsite = not at the NOSC) that happened to have some 13xx designator billets. Spoiler alert: helo JOs usually don’t have a TS. “Sigh... you guys can just muster with OSU for now, which is what you would have done anyway.”
There is a lot of valuable intelligence work that can be assigned and performed at the S//NF level (or even unclass research). Without knowing specifics, their chain of command could have possibly utilized them differently/ better. Especially sharp, motivated officers with aviation training and actual fleet experience.
 
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Jim123

DD-214 in hand and I'm gonna party like it's 1998
pilot
There is a lot of valuable intelligence work that can be assigned and performed at the S//NF level (or even unclass research). Without knowing specifics, their chain of command could have possibly utilized them differently/ better. Especially sharp, motivated officers with aviation training and actual fleet experience.
That is a good point, but the facilities were a SCIF only and nothing in between. It was all wishful thinking instead of sensible detailing.
 

pilot_man

No longer the biggest Hornet asshole on AW.
pilot
To be fair, most people can instruct in Meridian. Fewer are qualified to lead divisions around the boat. I think I'd serve my country and the Navy better in the latter role considering the amount of time and effort it spent making me.
Since you seem to have all of the data on the rest of your selection class, how many of those other dudes had #1 EPs? I assume it is probably a lot of them. In your honest opinion, how did you rank out against your peers? What about the guy that got the longer CoC ticket? Were you better than him? Are you better than the dudes behind you?
 

IKE

Nerd Whirler
pilot
Don't know for sure, but I think TPS is similar.
It's not. TPS students are selected by a board consisting of TPS-grad O-5s (test squadron COs, CTPs, and/or program office types), presided over by one of the Test Wing Commodores. The only possible good ol' boy -esque part of the process I've seen is that an LOR from a TPS-grad Flag or a sitting Test Wing Commodore carries much weight (but I don't think it would replace a #1/2 EP, quals, undergrad grades, or a STEM M.S.)

HS data point (not VFA), but I had written orders to the Weapons School when I dropped my TPS package. The trio of helo detailers had no say in my selection, and one was actually pretty pissed I "wasted" a SWTI spot that quarter.
 

MIDNJAC

is clara ship
pilot
It's not. TPS students are selected by a board consisting of TPS-grad O-5s (test squadron COs, CTPs, and/or program office types), presided over by one of the Test Wing Commodores. The only possible good ol' boy -esque part of the process I've seen is that an LOR from a TPS-grad Flag or a sitting Test Wing Commodore carries much weight (but I don't think it would replace a #1/2 EP, quals, undergrad grades, or a STEM M.S.)

HS data point (not VFA), but I had written orders to the Weapons School when I dropped my TPS package. The trio of helo detailers had no say in my selection, and one was actually pretty pissed I "wasted" a SWTI spot that quarter.
Detailers have nothing to do with VFA/SFTI selection.....it is a board internal to the TOPGUN staff, and it trumps PERS slate. So perhaps similar to how you explained TPS to be? I didn't mean to suggest that the SFTI selection board was/is a good ol boy club, though I know that is the case for some other communities.......I've heard in VP land, the FRS has a hand in it for example.
 

wlawr005

Well-Known Member
pilot
Contributor
Since you seem to have all of the data on the rest of your selection class, how many of those other dudes had #1 EPs? I assume it is probably a lot of them. In your honest opinion, how did you rank out against your peers? What about the guy that got the longer CoC ticket? Were you better than him? Are you better than the dudes behind you?
I don't know man. That information would be awesome to have in a transparent system though.
 

IKE

Nerd Whirler
pilot
Detailers have nothing to do with VFA/SFTI selection.....it is a board internal to the TOPGUN staff, and it trumps PERS slate. So perhaps similar to how you explained TPS to be? I didn't mean to suggest that the SFTI selection board was/is a good ol boy club, though I know that is the case for some other communities.......I've heard in VP land, the FRS has a hand in it for example.
TPS is a no-shit, PERS-style board (similar to statutory and screen boards) with briefers assigned records, a precept, and a convening order, etc. It takes place in the same board rooms in Millington. It's not a bunch of LTs in a conference room, or however you described SFTI selection.
 
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