Adopt the Coast Guard Academy's Feedback System
By Midshipmen Kristen Keelor and Paul Mallory, U.S. Naval Academy
In 2008, we spent a semester at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, as service academy exchange cadets. Many similarities exist between it and the U.S. Naval Academy, but we experienced
one major difference: second-class cadets at the Coast Guard Academy receive 360-degree feedback twice per semester. Because this is a valuable element in the development of officers, we propose a change that would incorporate feedback from subordinates and provide a quantitative evaluation report, in addition to maintaining the current system of aptitude ranking.
Midshipmen are graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy without an understanding of their leadership styles. This is because the feedback system needs to be redesigned to provide more depth. The new system could be modeled along lines of that of the Coast Guard Academy, to include candid 360-degree feedback, as well as a separate formal system to determine the student's performance grade.