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No more DCOIC?

Reservist

Well-Known Member
Over all - this has been a productive discussion. I see why you all take the positions you hold. They are well reasoned. I'm still not a fan of extending DCOIC. Most folks going through DCOIC perform fine given time. There are exceptions. You think differently, that's fine.

That being said, I agree with you all that there is problem with the way people are entering the reserve today.

Again, I'll be candid - I'm listening to you, I'm learning but I don't think I'm missing anything, but I will concede I've learned a lot by listening to you all and by formulating my ideas more clearly.

There's lots of way to address how to best get new DCO's acculturated to Navy Reserve Life - and let's be clear this is Navy Reserve Life - not active duty Navy Life.

It's very easy to complain when we recognize a problem - finding a training solution is complex an often nuanced. And changes to programs like this always have unforeseen outcomes and often times they don't correct what they intended to correct to begin with.

There is a standard that applies to both active and reserve, but lets face it, there is a double standard too. The Reserve has different schools, different time commitments, less benefits, they are not full time Navy employees.

I'd call them slower standards rather than lower standards. Ascension into the Navy Reserve and becoming fully qualified takes a longer time because it is a part time job.

There are some standards that apply across the Navy and Navy Reserve but they are mostly physical, academic, financial, or legal. These standards are a floor that all the Navy active and reserve has to meet. Beyond that, stuff gets tough to measure (character, leadership, motivation ect...)

Sooner or later, all reservists acculturate to active duty life. For the Navy Reservist, that time comes later when these guys ramp up for mob.

Baptism by fire. We all go through it at some point. Active folks might do that within 6 months of setting foot at OCS (they have maybe 180 days in uniform). For Reservists, that time may be 3-4 and even 5 years down the road after commissioning (Reservist get paid for 36 days in uniform per year).

How long it does not matter to me. It might to you. What matters to me is that the time comes and that the program works effectively.

There are lots of studies on the reserve's performance and readiness that compare it to active duty. Most of those studies conclude reservist lack training that the active duty get. I would expect that to be the case. We should all expect that to be the case.

I do think that it is worth while to improve this, but the training needs to be job specific and should be addressed at drills or better yet, at pre-mobilization training. We have gained enough experience in the last decade to know where our people lack experience when we mob them. If we know we are deploying a group to perform a task - we train them pre-mob for that task as best we can.

We should look at that and find a way to make training as focused as possible to fill that shortfall as best as possible and place that training in close proximity to when the reservists actually is going to be using it on active duty - like pre-mob.

They forget this stuff if they looked at it 3 years ago on AT but never used it on the job and went back to their regular job that pays the bills.

In the meantime - acculturating to the Navy Reserve is a slow process. And it should be. And it happens.

I'll share a little ascension story - one that shows how a program run well - can go down hill over time. I'm a bit astonished how new people are coming into the reserve now, particularly DCO's. I agree with you all that there is problem.

I enlisted in 2003 - entered under the Advanced Pay Grade program APG. Got in as an E-3. The program allowed for entry up to E-5 (most that got E-5 were cops that entered as MA's).

Peopled that enlisted in the APG program all drilled together at a NOSC as a class for 6 months of drill weekends. They ran the course twice a year at the NOSC I went to in Brunswick, ME. The class started together and finished together. The class learned military culture, customs, saluting, did a uniform issue, uniform inspections, marching, computer skills, pay, NROWS, entered our orders for reserve boot camp, set up Navy e-mails, learned basics on handling classified information, did all the GMTs together in class. It was a low key drill weekend version of the stuff active duty learned at boot camp.

At the end of the six months drill weekends - we were green but functional reservists. We had orders in for Reserve Boot Camp, which was 17 days back then, and we had orders to report to a unit where we did Reserve A-School for drills for a year or more and out second at was Reserve A-School for two weeks.

The program was run very well. Today, I'm hearing stories of DCO's just showing up - sitting around a NOSC - no formal or standardized procedure for ascensions. I understand DCO is a smaller program, but there are other ways to get new DCO's up to speed sooner if that is the issue that people think is such a big problem.

I'll also be candid - I probably would not have re-enlisted and then later have applied for and been selected to DCO if the requirements for training were much longer for the Navy Reserve. It's not a matter of motivation. It's not a matter of anything that you would find disqualifying. I'm mid way through my 20. I've got my fair share of active time, combat time, I know what I'm doing and I want to do this. That being said, DCO is a part time job. It needs to fit with my life too. It does and that is exactly why I picked this program.

Getting a Reserve Commission in the Army, Marine Corp, Air Force, or Coast Guard these days - is like a year or two year sabbatical from your job right now and those branches are struggling more and more to meet recruiting goals. The Army is falling short again and the the Army is usually the bell weather. The other branches usually start to fall short after the Army does.

If you are in college or between college and career - a year long program to become a reserve officer can work.

For people in the work force with advanced qualifications, the reserve officer programs that are out there are not realistic. I looked into many other commissioning programs. I'm more than open to jumping ship and going to another branch. The DCO program is the best fit for working adults.

I'm one of many - but I bet as you dig deeper into other DCO stories - you will find that the time aspect of training has a lot to do with who comes into the Reserve under the DCO program. Moreover - the talent pool in the DCO program is incredibly deep. These people perform.

I'll be curious to see what does happen with the program - I think we all do agree that there needs to be some improvement in the way it is run. I think the fault is the Navy's. The DCO Officers are of the best caliber. We just need to look at how they are introduced into Navy life and maybe keep them incubated from the reserve and the fleet a bit more when they initially report, until they are a little less green.
 

bluemarlin04

Well-Known Member
Can someone elaborate on this? Anyone done both?
Yea. I did both. Did enlisted boot camp and officer candidate school about 7 years later.

OCS absolutely sucks. It’s very challenging and has a high demand of physical fitness and other tasks that wear you down and stress you out. The academics are also pretty tough and require a solid amount of studying after hours. It’s good training for incoming officers. It is by no means easy or a walk in the park. A lot of people roll or get sent home and the USCM Drill Instructors are there in your face every day. OCS requires a lot of preparation and if you show up out of shape or unprepared you will be in a world of hurt. PT 5-6 days a week at 0500 and your days end at around 2200-2300 because of after hour uniform prep and studying.

Enlisted boot camp was way easier and designed for the lowest common denominator which is a very different design than OCS. Enlisted boot doesn’t require a high level of fitness like OCS does and the academics are much much easier and so is the training.

Think of enlisted boot camp as freshman year college courses and think of OCS as graduate level in terms of training.
 

bluemarlin04

Well-Known Member
I’ll leave it at this-

I’m sick and tired of having reservists show up to my active duty command and using the excuse “but I’m a reservist, we don’t do XYZ in the reserves” or worst they don’t even meet the physical standards. We are all officers and we need to be held accountable and the “I’m a reservist” line is complete BS.

I have reserve officers saying they can’t stand watch cause when they accepted the ADSW order some it said nothing about a watch floor or reservists saying they can’t be department heads cause they haven’t been to DIVOLC. These aren’t green ensigns these are qualified LTs.

I see reserve DCOs taking orders and than doing the bare minimum and threatening the command saying if they have to do something they don’t want they’d just cancel orders. It’s disgusting and it’s always the DCOs with chips on their shoulder because they think what they do for a civilian sector job matters.

I see Ensigns telling us “I’m a GG-15 in the DIA as a civilian” yea, OK. That’s great. To the Navy you’re an unqualified boot ensign.

The time for a Navy Officer, reserve or active, to get tested is their accession program. It is NOT pre deployment workups or deployment 5 years later.

I too was an enlisted reservists and did the actual full boot camp and A school and it only took 6 months and was fine. My job was still there when I was done with the training. I think a big reason people don’t want to do OCS is cause it’s hard and it sucks. Let’s not kid ourselves. A dude in his late 20s or 30s doesn’t want to go do that. It would require a lot of them and they’d rather just have the title without the effort.

To say that there aren’t problems with the DCO program is to have your head in the sand
 

PenguinGal

Can Do!
Contributor
Have you run into a Navy Reservist DCO or enlisted that has been or a ship for mob or AT? Back in the the early 2000's - the reserve actual used to send reservists out for two week AT's to ships. Sailors loved it - and there are more good stories about reservists filling these roles than horror stories.

I haven't met one reserve sailor or heard of one in a decade that has been to AT at sea. And when I google it or ask around (intel community anyway), I found out that the Navy only uses 1830 active duty for ship stuff! The Navy does not even entertain the idea of putting and 1835 on a ship...
There is a program, RC2C that is out on the streets now that has the sole purpose of doing just this: getting RC sailors into seats in the 'fleet'. There are TONS of opportunities. I had one sailor go and spend 8 weeks (ADOS funding) out supporting minesweepers. The program is supporting the fleet by offering RC sailors the chance to fill the operational billet gaps. So RC sailors can and have gone and done actual deployments on ships and not just as IAs. FANTASTIC program and I'd love to chat offline about it if anyone wants.
 

Reservist

Well-Known Member
I’ll leave it at this-

I’m sick and tired of having reservists show up to my active duty command and using the excuse “but I’m a reservist, we don’t do XYZ in the reserves” or worst they don’t even meet the physical standards. We are all officers and we need to be held accountable and the “I’m a reservist” line is complete BS.

I have reserve officers saying they can’t stand watch cause when they accepted the ADSW order some it said nothing about a watch floor or reservists saying they can’t be department heads cause they haven’t been to DIVOLC. These aren’t green ensigns these are qualified LTs.

I see reserve DCOs taking orders and than doing the bare minimum and threatening the command saying if they have to do something they don’t want they’d just cancel orders. It’s disgusting and it’s always the DCOs with chips on their shoulder because they think what they do for a civilian sector job matters.

I see Ensigns telling us “I’m a GG-15 in the DIA as a civilian” yea, OK. That’s great. To the Navy you’re an unqualified boot ensign.

The time for a Navy Officer, reserve or active, to get tested is their accession program. It is NOT pre deployment workups or deployment 5 years later.

I too was an enlisted reservists and did the actual full boot camp and A school and it only took 6 months and was fine. My job was still there when I was done with the training. I think a big reason people don’t want to do OCS is cause it’s hard and it sucks. Let’s not kid ourselves. A dude in his late 20s or 30s doesn’t want to go do that. It would require a lot of them and they’d rather just have the title without the effort.

To say that there aren’t problems with the DCO program is to have your head in the sand
I see why what you describe would bother you. And I think you are right to be bothered by it. Not sure solution is as simple as a longer DCOIC school though. Reserve JO's don't all stick around. That's probably good news, because most of the ones you describe are probably the first to cut and run.

Just keep a watchful out eye out for them. Every reservist and every active duty officer has a first time. Reservist - on a mob nearly everything is a first. They say I'm just a reservist until the realize you were just like them at some point too. They just need a little leadership to get them there like we all did. Some may say that and just be looking for guidance. Others may be total D-bags. We have em. We know we have them. And we hope they leave too.
 

Reservist

Well-Known Member
There is a program, RC2C that is out on the streets now that has the sole purpose of doing just this: getting RC sailors into seats in the 'fleet'. There are TONS of opportunities. I had one sailor go and spend 8 weeks (ADOS funding) out supporting minesweepers. The program is supporting the fleet by offering RC sailors the chance to fill the operational billet gaps. So RC sailors can and have gone and done actual deployments on ships and not just as IAs. FANTASTIC program and I'd love to chat offline about it if anyone wants.
This is a good program to know about. I know a few enlisted reservists that are dying to get to sea. I'll pass the info along to them next drill.

I too would like to get to sea, but I'm a new DCO - I'm booked for a while. Still, I have 9 years on the Navy Reserve and no sea service ribbon.

Overseas Service I've got in spades. I have to get on a ship before my 20 is up. Thanks for chiming in.
 
Last edited:

Goodfou

Active Member
Over all - this has been a productive discussion. I see why you all take the positions you hold. They are well reasoned. I'm still not a fan of extending DCOIC. Most folks going through DCOIC perform fine given time. There are exceptions. You think differently, that's fine.

That being said, I agree with you all that there is problem with the way people are entering the reserve today.

Again, I'll be candid - I'm listening to you, I'm learning but I don't think I'm missing anything, but I will concede I've learned a lot by listening to you all and by formulating my ideas more clearly.

There's lots of way to address how to best get new DCO's acculturated to Navy Reserve Life - and let's be clear this is Navy Reserve Life - not active duty Navy Life.

It's very easy to complain when we recognize a problem - finding a training solution is complex an often nuanced. And changes to programs like this always have unforeseen outcomes and often times they don't correct what they intended to correct to begin with.

There is a standard that applies to both active and reserve, but lets face it, there is a double standard too. The Reserve has different schools, different time commitments, less benefits, they are not full time Navy employees.

I'd call them slower standards rather than lower standards. Ascension into the Navy Reserve and becoming fully qualified takes a longer time because it is a part time job.

There are some standards that apply across the Navy and Navy Reserve but they are mostly physical, academic, financial, or legal. These standards are a floor that all the Navy active and reserve has to meet. Beyond that, stuff gets tough to measure (character, leadership, motivation ect...)

Sooner or later, all reservists acculturate to active duty life. For the Navy Reservist, that time comes later when these guys ramp up for mob.

Baptism by fire. We all go through it at some point. Active folks might do that within 6 months of setting foot at OCS (they have maybe 180 days in uniform). For Reservists, that time may be 3-4 and even 5 years down the road after commissioning (Reservist get paid for 36 days in uniform per year).

How long it does not matter to me. It might to you. What matters to me is that the time comes and that the program works effectively.

There are lots of studies on the reserve's performance and readiness that compare it to active duty. Most of those studies conclude reservist lack training that the active duty get. I would expect that to be the case. We should all expect that to be the case.

I do think that it is worth while to improve this, but the training needs to be job specific and should be addressed at drills or better yet, at pre-mobilization training. We have gained enough experience in the last decade to know where our people lack experience when we mob them. If we know we are deploying a group to perform a task - we train them pre-mob for that task as best we can.

We should look at that and find a way to make training as focused as possible to fill that shortfall as best as possible and place that training in close proximity to when the reservists actually is going to be using it on active duty - like pre-mob.

They forget this stuff if they looked at it 3 years ago on AT but never used it on the job and went back to their regular job that pays the bills.

In the meantime - acculturating to the Navy Reserve is a slow process. And it should be. And it happens.

I'll share a little ascension story - one that shows how a program run well - can go down hill over time. I'm a bit astonished how new people are coming into the reserve now, particularly DCO's. I agree with you all that there is problem.

I enlisted in 2003 - entered under the Advanced Pay Grade program APG. Got in as an E-3. The program allowed for entry up to E-5 (most that got E-5 were cops that entered as MA's).

Peopled that enlisted in the APG program all drilled together at a NOSC as a class for 6 months of drill weekends. They ran the course twice a year at the NOSC I went to in Brunswick, ME. The class started together and finished together. The class learned military culture, customs, saluting, did a uniform issue, uniform inspections, marching, computer skills, pay, NROWS, entered our orders for reserve boot camp, set up Navy e-mails, learned basics on handling classified information, did all the GMTs together in class. It was a low key drill weekend version of the stuff active duty learned at boot camp.

At the end of the six months drill weekends - we were green but functional reservists. We had orders in for Reserve Boot Camp, which was 17 days back then, and we had orders to report to a unit where we did Reserve A-School for drills for a year or more and out second at was Reserve A-School for two weeks.

The program was run very well. Today, I'm hearing stories of DCO's just showing up - sitting around a NOSC - no formal or standardized procedure for ascensions. I understand DCO is a smaller program, but there are other ways to get new DCO's up to speed sooner if that is the issue that people think is such a big problem.

I'll also be candid - I probably would not have re-enlisted and then later have applied for and been selected to DCO if the requirements for training were much longer for the Navy Reserve. It's not a matter of motivation. It's not a matter of anything that you would find disqualifying. I'm mid way through my 20. I've got my fair share of active time, combat time, I know what I'm doing and I want to do this. That being said, DCO is a part time job. It needs to fit with my life too. It does and that is exactly why I picked this program.

Getting a Reserve Commission in the Army, Marine Corp, Air Force, or Coast Guard these days - is like a year or two year sabbatical from your job right now and those branches are struggling more and more to meet recruiting goals. The Army is falling short again and the the Army is usually the bell weather. The other branches usually start to fall short after the Army does.

If you are in college or between college and career - a year long program to become a reserve officer can work.

For people in the work force with advanced qualifications, the reserve officer programs that are out there are not realistic. I looked into many other commissioning programs. I'm more than open to jumping ship and going to another branch. The DCO program is the best fit for working adults.

I'm one of many - but I bet as you dig deeper into other DCO stories - you will find that the time aspect of training has a lot to do with who comes into the Reserve under the DCO program. Moreover - the talent pool in the DCO program is incredibly deep. These people perform.

I'll be curious to see what does happen with the program - I think we all do agree that there needs to be some improvement in the way it is run. I think the fault is the Navy's. The DCO Officers are of the best caliber. We just need to look at how they are introduced into Navy life and maybe keep them incubated from the reserve and the fleet a bit more when they initially report, until they are a little less green.
I can definitely understand “slower standards vs. lower standards.” It takes time to qualify, and a year as a SELRES does not equal a year Active Duty. However, because DCOs are very accomplished in the real world, they are expected to get up to speed much faster than the typical boot Ensign. It is a fine balance, the active guys should give a little grace to the DCOs but “I’m just a reservist” is not a crutch either or valid argument against executing rank appropriate tasks. What many of us are so passionate about is that too many reservists drop this statement ad nauseam displaying a serious disregard for the responsibility they have as a Naval Officer. Extending DCOIC may help to instill a little more pride in the uniform and better understanding of the emince responsibility that comes with it.
 

bluemarlin04

Well-Known Member
Im curious about this RC2C program.

How would a reservist get sent out to sea? I could see supporting operational billets but I am curious about actually being assigned to a ship as ships company.

Without qualifications on that specific platform, a sailor is only going to be used to sweep or wash dishes or needlegun/paint.

A reserve officer is also just as useless since they wouldn't have any of the qualifications necessary to augment the ship. Even as an intelligence officer on the big decks, the qual program to qualify the watch stations takes a bit and if you did not do any of the work ups you are basically a warm body and won't be of use.
 

Reservist

Well-Known Member
Im curious about this RC2C program.

How would a reservist get sent out to sea? I could see supporting operational billets but I am curious about actually being assigned to a ship as ships company.

Without qualifications on that specific platform, a sailor is only going to be used to sweep or wash dishes or needlegun/paint.

A reserve officer is also just as useless since they wouldn't have any of the qualifications necessary to augment the ship. Even as an intelligence officer on the big decks, the qual program to qualify the watch stations takes a bit and if you did not do any of the work ups you are basically a warm body and won't be of use.
I make a fine pot of coffee - I'm not sure I'd be of no use. But I get where you are going. There would be a lot of hand holding here for a guy like me boarding a ship for a short tour.

I suspect I could make many folks jobs a lot easier for a while on a short float and if the chance were there for a longer tour of a 6-9 months or a even a year long mob - that I could get very very good at it.
 

bluemarlin04

Well-Known Member
I make a fine pot of coffee - I'm not sure I'd be of no use. But I get where you are going. There would be a lot of hand holding here for a guy like me boarding a ship for a short tour.

I suspect I could make many folks jobs a lot easier for a while on a short float and if the chance were there for a longer tour of a 6-9 months or a even a year long mob - that I could get very very good at it.

On a ship, If you don't have qualifications you cannot do anything. Most of those quals are gained during the work up cycle. TSTA, C2X, Air Wing Fallon, etc. If you show up for a short float you really cannot do anything. The most menial tasks on a ship require a qualification.

If you do a one year mobilization that may be different and you would do the entire work up cycle. Problem is the work up cycle usually takes longer than 1 year.
 

RedGriffin

New Member
I'm curious to hear folks thoughts about whether, for new DCOs, whether it's wiser to sign up for the 2-week DCOIC in FY19, or wait until FY20 to sign up for the 5-week ODS. Civilian job obligations are not a concern, but rather having to wait that much longer to sign up for NIOBC.
 

Goodfou

Active Member
I'm curious to hear folks thoughts about whether, for new DCOs, whether it's wiser to sign up for the 2-week DCOIC in FY19, or wait until FY20 to sign up for the 5-week ODS. Civilian job obligations are not a concern, but rather having to wait that much longer to sign up for NIOBC.
Probably better to just get it done if you can get into NIOBC. Also, you are supposed to do it your first year anyway utilizing your first “AT” period.
 

AULANI

Well-Known Member
Can someone elaborate on this? Anyone done both?
I went to boot camp in 1997 and OCS in 2018 so they were different for me lol. One of the main differences is that at boot camp you try to be the gray man and blend in so the RDCs don't notice you and beat your ass. At OCS you're expected to demonstrate leadership traits so everyone there is jumping over each other trying to be the alpha.

And just to clarify since I've seen it stated incorrectly by others in this thread, OCS is 12 weeks.
 
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