A key element of "Sea Power 21" is the Sea Warrior initiative, which will "serve as the foundation for warfighting effectiveness by ensuring the right skills are in the right place at the right time." This initiative will focus the Navy's talents, imagination, and energies to achieve what Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Vern Clark sees as "streamlined teams of operational, engineering, and information technology experts who collectively operate some of the most complex systems in the world."
If the Navy is to be successful in this, no longer can the men and women of crews be merely afterthoughts, plugged into warships' designs long after other important decisions and trade-offs have been made. Instead, human performance must be considered, up front, as a desired warfighting capability, much the same as any key performance parameter. Indeed, "Sea Power 21" underscores "the human factor in the development of advanced technologies [and] that the warrior is a premier element of all operational systems."