First Honorable Mention, Enlisted Essay Contest
The way the Navy rewards its boatswain's mates may be the solution to falling retention rates. The respect and experience young BM3s and BM2s receive through hard work in the fleet provides a greater sense of accomplishment—and job satisfaction—than earning promotions by attending technical schools.
Much has been said about our falling retention rates, and the need to improve them so we can keep the sailors we need for the Navy of the future. In nearly all cases we do one thing after another in an et fort to fix our retention problem, but in the end it remains unsolved. If one solution after another is not fixing retention, then perhaps we do not understand the nature of the problem.