Chief Petty Officers Can Fix the Surface Navy
Usually the phrase “loss of confidence” is used as rationale for commanders to quietly remove a subordinate from a position of authority. So what should happen when a loss of confidence occurs in the other direction and is deservedly earned through inaction?
Officers of the surface line community have lost the confidence of many. The problems are many, severe, and widely confirmed. The causes include resourcing, training, and culture. The word shipshape has taken on new meaning.
Consequently, should we expect those embedded so deeply in the problem to have the wherewithal to fix it? At the same time, the U.S. Navy can’t just close shop and declare bankruptcy. The officer corps must work to redeem itself.
Here’s my suggestion: I want an active, fleet-crossing, and authoritative surface-ship, lessons-learned program. One that focuses on warfighting readiness. One that boards ships and identifies trends, leading indicators, and causes. One that is manned by U.S. Navy chief petty officers.