Choosing Sailors with the “Right Stuff”s to avoid hard decisions regarding manpower in their assigned units and gained unprecedented control over individual sailors through force-management programs such as Perform-to-Serve (PTS). The resulting unsynchronized and, in some cases, contradictory policies have confused sailors and increased the already significant level of uncertainty and stress among Navy families. Commanding officers must exercise their moral obligation to adequately document sailors’ performance and have the courage not to recommend retention when warranted, to improve the efficiency of our commands, and return some measure of predictability to the lives of sailors and their families left in our charge.
The Navy’s Retention Honor Roll is a good example of the current institutional manpower doublespeak prevalent in the service. This unit-level award recognizes commands that meet or exceed “all-Navy” retention goals in zones “A, B, and C” (these zones group sailors by years of service).