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CJCS responds to Rep. Gaetz

Spekkio

He bowls overhand.
Well everyone and everything in the military is expendable to some degree. A person or asset that can’t be risked can’t really be used.
I think that this is at the heart of the issue that the USN is facing. It would not be fast or cheap to replenish nuclear subs and carriers, so we generally don't want to use them in scenarios where risk to losing these assets is moderate or high. That's where we get into the cause of the 'zero-defect' mentality that no loss of Ao is acceptable.

My take would be that there are many more people that are ready to step in and be a BN Commander that a submarine captain. As a person, they are equally as important, but militarily the sub guy's loss would hurt more.
There are fewer sub CO eligible people, but there are proportionally fewer sub CO billets; a loss of a single sub CO doesn't really move the needle since there are plenty of CO sub support screened O-5s who can be called up to a CO at sea billet, and plenty of post-CO squadron deputies who can fill in temporarily (and in fact several are relieved each year for various reasons).

Thus I don't think that either one particularly 'hurts more' in that there is depth on the bench in either case. With the amount of time it takes to construct a new SSN (years), there is plenty of time to train up new COs through the normal pipeline in the event one or more was lost at sea.
It's a good comparison and they're close to equivalent scenarios. The surviving personnel in either case should still be able to function with 90%+ unit effectiveness and for the same reasons, that everybody in the unit is trained to understand something about their immediate boss' job, the importance of commander's intent, how the unit's mission fits into the big picture. All that stuff is common across all of the services.
I don't think that this culture is engrained in the Navy as much as it is in the Army and Marine Corps. As a service, we tend to have very strict dividing lines in our culture (chief vs. blue shirt, wardroom vs. enlisted, front office vs rest of wardroom) and we don't, IMO, train people to really cross them until they get picked up for the job or are sitting in it.

As for the sub scenario specifically: I don't think that a typical DH could effectively fill in for the XO's role in combat because they haven't been through the same training pipeline nor done the reps with the crew. To be clear, when I say that, I mean if the XO were to become incapacitated on short notice and there isn't dedicated time to fully train up the DH to act as the XO's battlestations role. For that matter, if an officer did their DH tour on a SSBN, it is going to be difficult for a seamless transition for the XO to fill in for the CO because SSBN DHs get almost no experience conning the ship and making in-situ decisions on mission - which is the role served by the CO in combat (this loss of experience is usually very noticeable, even for some COs. An SSBN DH's job is almost exclusively administrative). Developing this skillset among DHs on SSNs takes a lot of dedicated bandwidth on the ship and mentorship from the CO, and it's hit-or-miss whether that happens. When it comes to DHs acting in the XO's role during battlestations - it's significantly more miss than hit. DHs will usually act in the COs role when training the bench because that's what is required for command qualifications.

We also haven't dealt with large-scale losses in some time, so it's not really a priority.
 
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Treetop Flyer

Well-Known Member
pilot
I think that this is at the heart of the issue that the USN is facing. It would not be fast or cheap to replenish nuclear subs and carriers, so we generally don't want to use them in scenarios where risk to losing these assets is moderate or high. That's where we get into the cause of the 'zero-defect' mentality that no loss of Ao is acceptable.


There are fewer sub CO eligible people, but there are proportionally fewer sub CO billets; a loss of a single sub CO doesn't really move the needle since there are plenty of CO sub support screened O-5s who can be called up to a CO at sea billet, and plenty of post-CO squadron deputies who can fill in temporarily (and in fact several are relieved each year for various reasons).

Thus I don't think that either one particularly 'hurts more' in that there is depth on the bench in either case. With the amount of time it takes to construct a new SSN (years), there is plenty of time to train up new COs through the normal pipeline in the event one or more was lost at sea.

I don't think that this culture is engrained in the Navy as much as it is in the Army and Marine Corps. As a service, we tend to have very strict dividing lines in our culture (chief vs. blue shirt, wardroom vs. enlisted, front office vs rest of wardroom) and we don't, IMO, train people to really cross them until they get picked up for the job or are sitting in it.

As for the sub scenario specifically: I don't think that a typical DH could effectively fill in for the XO's role in combat because they haven't been through the same training pipeline nor done the reps with the crew. To be clear, when I say that, I mean if the XO were to become incapacitated on short notice and there isn't dedicated time to fully train up the DH to act as the XO's battlestations role. For that matter, if an officer did their DH tour on a SSBN, it is going to be difficult for a seamless transition for the XO to fill in for the CO because SSBN DHs get almost no experience conning the ship and making in-situ decisions on mission - which is the role served by the CO in combat (this loss of experience is usually very noticeable, even for some COs. An SSBN DH's job is almost exclusively administrative). Developing this skillset among DHs on SSNs takes a lot of dedicated bandwidth on the ship and mentorship from the CO, and it's hit-or-miss whether that happens. When it comes to DHs acting in the XO's role during battlestations - it's significantly more miss than hit. DHs will usually act in the COs role when training the bench because that's what is required for command qualifications.

We also haven't dealt with large-scale losses in some time, so it's not really a priority.
While it would probably be good to concentrate a bit more on having people be able to fill the next role up, it’s much less likely to be necessary on a sub. If a sub CO gets killed, chances are the sub is gone anyway. A battalion CO is much more likely to be killed with the rest of the command still intact. If we’re talking about a freak accident, it makes the already kind of silly “who is more expendable” argument even sillier.
 

Jim123

DD-214 in hand and I'm gonna party like it's 1998
pilot
Aside from submarines and freak accidents twenty thousand leagues underneath the sea, smallboy captains have about the same risk exposure as any member of the crew for most typical kinds of attacks in this day and age. A lucky bullet, missile, mine, suicide attack, peacetime ops or wartime scenario- the old man is on the bridge with a dozen other from the crew (maybe that means more exposure).

As far as service culture, I think we've harmed a lot of our independent decision making because of how much we now use network communications. The NWPs used to tout centralized planning and decentralized execution and the composite warfare commander concept was explicitly based on that. With everybody up to the national command authority able to virtually look over your shoulder in real time, I think that decentralized execution has pretty much atrophied. Makes me wonder what the official doctrine is to say in ten or twenty years from now.
 
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Pags

Positive Void Coefficient
pilot
Aside from submarines and freak accidents twenty thousand leagues underneath the sea, smallboy captains have about the same risk exposure as any member of the crew for most typical kinds of attacks in this day and age. A lucky bullet, missile, mine, suicide attack, peacetime ops or wartime scenario- the old man is on the bridge with a dozen other from the crew (maybe that means more exposure).

As far as service culture, I think we've harmed a lot of our independent decision making because of how much we now use network communications. The NWPs used to tout centralized planning and decentralized execution and the composite warfare commander concept was explicitly based on that. With everybody up to the national command authority able to virtually look over your shoulder in real time, I think that decentralized execution has pretty much atrophied. Makes me wonder what the official doctrine is to say in ten or twenty years from now.
Similar concerns were voiced about wireless and the telephone. And I'm sure some of khans outriders bemoaned messenger pigeons or somesuch.
 

Spekkio

He bowls overhand.
While it would probably be good to concentrate a bit more on having people be able to fill the next role up, it’s much less likely to be necessary on a sub. If a sub CO gets killed, chances are the sub is gone anyway. A battalion CO is much more likely to be killed with the rest of the command still intact. If we’re talking about a freak accident, it makes the already kind of silly “who is more expendable” argument even sillier.
Same page.
 

Jim123

DD-214 in hand and I'm gonna party like it's 1998
pilot
Based on your post, I feel for you.
I think how I got tipped off to (the existence of) that bad had to have been a youtube suggestion after (making the mistake of) clicking on the song Fichtl's Lied.* Sometimes those youtube suggestions are as funny as Amazon cookies.


* safe for work, but it's gonna get some weird looks
 

Wareal

Well-Known Member
Contributor
"That isn't an insult to the parents."

Yes it is. I should know, I'm a parent of a son serving honorably. Are you a military parent (rhetorical)?

You said something really stupid. Now you are backtracking and making it worse. This is what you said:

"Would you be saying that if it was your own child KIA in Iraq or Afghanistan?

cause not too be morbid. A lot of people say it’s worth going to fight but rarely ever is it their own kids."

I answered in the affirmative. And in this case, you have no idea what you are talking about.
 
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