23 February 2010

IA Quarterly Update – Command Individual Augmentation Coordinator (CIAC)


Last October, I solicited your opinions about how we could continue to improve the Navy IA process. In addition to the good comments on the post, I received a lot of useful feedback directly from our Sailors currently serving in IA billets.

As we continue to improve the IA program, one of the roles I find particularly important is the Command Individual Augmentation Coordinator (CIAC). The CIAC is responsible for duties such as helping the Sailor and their family prepare for deployment, maintaining contact while IAs are deployed, and arranging homecoming functions. Every IA and their family is assigned to one that serves as their primary contact and link to their parent command.

We have made good progress maturing the program to ensure our CIACs are aware of, and trained for, the many important functions they perform. In addition to instituting online training and management systems, last October we started conducting orientation conferences to increase the knowledge and education of our CIACs. Earlier this month we held our 3rd conference in San Diego with over 150 members in attendance. We will be conducting four more conferences in FY10 with the next one scheduled on 25 March at NAS Jacksonville and targeting the Southeast Region.

The post-analysis of these events is very important to the way we evolve the program, so if you attend a future event I strongly encourage you to ask good questions and provide honest feedback on the questionnaire.

While we are making strong improvements in the service and support we provide to our IAs and their families, this task will never be one we can put on the shelf and say “it’s done.” We need to stay at it and I promise you that we will do just that.

All the best, JCHjr


Navy Helper said...


Does your promise extend to the "boots on the ground" reserve IAs who will return with medical problems?

If so, I suggest you look closely at the leadership involved in the NMPS, RCC MEDHOLD and LOD program leadership and organization.

Injured sailors held on either "medical delay" or medical hold engage in an almost daily struggle to obtain care and support. In many cases they lose and are sent back to their NOSCs as fit for duty. I have had NOSC COs call me asking for advice on what to do when they sent a healthy sailor for IA duty only to have a broken sailor returned to them.

Sailors on Medical Hold don't fare much better. Remember when I told you that a cabal mentality had infected one of your areas as CNP? Well I think the lack of direct oversight and more importantly the tolerance of failure and lack of accountability has lead to the same thing at RCC MEDHOLD.

This lack of oversight and accountability has had terrible consequences. Sailors and their family members have called me expressing worries that the depression and anger in the injured members at the MEDHOLD sites was so serious that there were threats and attempts and suicide and others thought that staff members might actually be at risk of an act of violence. Some lost their jobs and are on unemployment. Others lost their Navy careers because they ended up administratively separated when they couldn't meet readiness standards.

I contacted the head person for IA Support in FFC. She told me to have the sailors call back to the NOSC CIAC and ask for assistance and to call her back if they had continuing problems.

In some cases there was no CIAC, in other they were told that since they were on active duty the NOSC had no authority to help them. Other CIACs had no knowledge of how the medical programs (medical delay, medical evaluation, medical hold) work and couldn't help them.

The sailors called your IA support person only she never returned their calls.

Even when all NOSC CIACs are fully trained they will still struggle helping the reservists because they do not have the authority to intervene any more than Safe Harbor or the Wounded, Ill and Injured unit at BUMED.

I enjoyed reading your command and control guidance, especially the parts I understood. And you were very clear on what successful command relationships must be and the need for feedback and a change of direction in pursuit of success.

Those command relationships are lacking and while the leadership listens to feedback it isn't acting on the feedback. A VADM in charge told me he has to either support or replace his staff and that he is in support mode. I'm not saying he needs to be in replace mode, but listening without acting isn't getting the job done.

The Navy is spending more and more money providing care yet is not fully realizing the benefits. Delaying care costs money. Denying care might save the Navy money but it just pushes the cost down on other federal and state agencies.

Clearly I am not the best messenger as no one from FFC has responded to any of my emails. Who would you prefer provide feedback?


Patty Hicks

ADM J.C. Harvey, Jr. said...

Ms. Hicks,

I regret that you and the Sailors that you mention had difficulty getting in contact with someone from my Command. I will review this to determine what happened and why. All the best, JCHjr.