In February I released a P4 to Fleet leadership on the “Practices of Successful Commands.” You can read it here. In my P4 I highlighted the fundamental programs that I believe are essential to maintaining the health of the force and the readiness of the Fleet. I also suggested that successful leadership teams are always giving a good, proactive “spin” to these programs to keep them on track.
In the time that has passed since I released that message, it has become apparent to me that there are two programs that need extra attention. The first is the Career Development Board and the second is our Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program. I released a follow-up P4 last month that emphasizes the need to give these two programs a good “spin”. Below is a brief summary followed by the P4 in its entirety.
Career Development Boards. High retention and quality recruiting means our Sailors will face intense competition for reenlistment. Sailors need to be thinking hard about reenlistment as much as 13-18 months before PRD or EAOS to maximize their number of looks. Command leadership teams need to make sure they’re out there connecting with their Sailors and proactively educating them on the PTS requirements.
Sexual Assault Prevention. Sexual Assault is one of the most under-reported crimes in our Navy. Statistics show that nearly a quarter of all female Sailors have been sexually assaulted since joining the Navy. This is alarming not just because of the statistics, but because we all know it is wrong and yet it still occurs at this rate. We must educate our Sailors about the warning signs that often serve as a precursor to an incident and should one occur, the proper procedures for reporting it (or helping a shipmate in a very difficult situation). Further, we must not underestimate the importance of unit cohesion, Sailors supporting and looking out after their shipmates with the chain-of-command supporting their Sailors, as the most effective deterrent to this crime.
I encourage you to read the message below (or on the website here) in full to increase your awareness of these programs and to see what I have directed my leadership teams to do. Effective, timely and honest communication up and down the chain-of-command is absolutely essential to making progress in these critical areas.
All the best, JCHjr
P 252132Z JUN 10 ZYB PSN 723839I32
FM COMUSFLTFORCOM NORFOLK VA//N00//
INFO COMPACFLT PEARL HARBOR HI//N00//
CNO WASHINGTON DC//N1//
UNCLAS PERSONAL FOR COMMANDERS, COMMANDING OFFICERS, OFFICERS IN CHARGE, AND COMMAND MASTER CHIEFS FROM ADM HARVEY SECINFO/-/-// MSGID/GENADMIN/COMUSFLTFORCOM NORFOLK VA//
SUBJ/PRACTICES OF SUCCESSFUL COMMANDS - PART TWO//
REF/A/MSGID:MSG/101617ZFEB10/-// AMPN/PRACTICES OF SUCCESSFUL COMMANDS//
1. IN THE FOUR MONTHS THAT HAVE ELAPSED SINCE SENDING YOU REF A, IT HAS BECOME APPARENT THAT TWO OF THE FOUNDATIONAL PROGRAMS I IDENTIFIED NEED A GOOD PROACTIVE SPIN FROM YOU SOONEST. THE FIRST IS THE CAREER DEVELOPMENT BOARD PROGRAM AND THE SECOND IS OUR SEXUAL ASSAULT PREVENTION AND RESPONSE PROGRAMS.
2. CAREER DEVELOPMENT BOARDS. YOU HAVE DONE A SUPERB JOB RETAINING OUR BEST SAILORS - RETENTION RATES ARE AT UNPRECEDENTED HIGHS. OUR RECRUITERS HAVE ALSO DONE A GREAT JOB BRINGING IN HIGH-QUALITY RECRUITS WITH A STRONG DESIRE TO SERVE. HIGH RETENTION AND QUALITY RECRUITING MEANS OUR SAILORS WILL FACE INTENSE COMPETITION FOR REENLISTMENT QUOTAS IN THE FUTURE. TO BEST PREPARE THEM (AND YOU) FOR THIS ENVIRONMENT, YOU SHOULD:
2.A. ENSURE YOUR COMMAND CAREER COUNSELOR GETS THE WORD OUT ASAP ON PERFORM-TO-SERVE (PTS) REQUIREMENTS, INCORPORATES PTS MILESTONES IN CAREER DEVELOPMENT BOARD DISCUSSIONS, AND TRACKS PTS SUBMISSIONS FOR THE COMMAND. PTS GIVES US THE ABILITY TO RETAIN OUR BEST SAILORS BY SCREENING ZONE A, B, AND C SAILORS FOR REENLISTMENT. HOWEVER, IF NOT EXECUTED PROPERLY, PTS CAN DISADVANTAGE YOUR BEST SAILORS SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY WERE LATE (OR EVEN WORSE, FORGOT) TO SUBMIT A PTS REQUEST AND ONLY PROVIDED THEMSELVES WITH ONE LOOK TO SECURE A PTS QUOTA. BECAUSE OF PTS, YOUR SAILORS NEED TO MAKE A REENLISTMENT DECISION AS EARLY AS 13, RPT 13, MONTHS BEFORE PRD OR EAOS TO ENSURE THEY MAXIMIZE THE NUMBER OF LOOKS TO SECURE A PTS QUOTA.
2.B. HOLD NON-PERFORMING SAILORS ACCOUNTABLE AND WORK TO SEPARATE SAILORS WHO DEMONSTRATE UNSATISFACTORY PERFORMANCE. THESE ACTIONS WILL DIRECTLY IMPACT THE PTS PROCESS AND POSITIVELY AFFECT THE ABILITY OF PROVEN PERFORMERS TO REMAIN ON ACTIVE DUTY.
3. SEXUAL ASSAULT PREVENTION AND RESPONSE PROGRAMS. SEXUAL ASSAULT REMAINS ONE OF THE MOST UNDER-REPORTED CRIMES IN OUR NAVY. RECENT SURVEYS INDICATE THAT ALMOST A QUARTER OF OUR FEMALE SAILORS HAVE EXPERIENCED SOME FORM OF SEXUAL ASSAULT SINCE JOINING OUR NAVY. THE STATISTICS ARE ALARMING NOT ONLY BECAUSE OF THE NUMBERS, BUT BECAUSE WE ALL KNOW IT IS WRONG AND YET IT IS STILL HAPPENING WITHIN OUR RANKS. THIS PROBLEM WILL NOT GO AWAY BY REQUIRING MORE TRAINING OR BY RAMPING UP THE RHETORIC OR ITS VOLUME - OUR DAILY ACTIONS IN SUPPORT OF OUR PROGRAMS MUST ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN THE CONDITIONS WHICH PREVENT SEXUAL ASSAULT FROM OCCURRING:
3.A. THE IMPORTANCE OF UNIT COHESION (WE LOOK OUT AFTER OUR OWN!) TO OUR EFFORTS CANNOT BE OVERSTATED. THE TRUE INCLUSION - BY WORD AND DEED - OF ALL SAILORS ASSIGNED TO YOUR UNIT, IN THE DEEPEST SENSE OF THE WORD INCLUSION, IS THE FOUNDATION UPON WHICH OUR PROGRAMS ARE BASED. YOU MUST BRING THE STRENGTH OF THE UNIT TO BEAR AS THE MOST SIGNIFICANT DETERRENT TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF BEHAVIORAL PATTERNS THAT LEAD INEXORABLY TO INCIDENTS OF SEXUAL HARRASSMENT AND SEXUAL ASSAULT.
3.B. AN INORDINATE AMOUNT OF SEXUAL ASSAULT INCIDENTS ARE CHARACTERIZED BY ALCOHOL ABUSE ULTIMATELY FUELING AN ALREADY BAD SITUATION. GETTING IN FRONT OF PROBLEMS HAS TO BE AN UNDERSTOOD RESPONSIBILITY FOR EVERYONE IN YOUR COMMAND (I SAW SOMETHING SO I DID SOMETHING).
3.C. YOUR SAILORS MUST HAVE THE KNOWLEDGE TO MAKE INFORMED DECISIONS (OR HELP A SHIPMATE MAKE INFORMED DECISIONS) SHOULD A SEXUAL ASSAULT OCCUR. TO HELP YOU IN THIS AREA, I HAVE DIRECTED MY STAFF TO CONDUCT SEXUAL ASSAULT PREVENTION AND RESPONSE WORKSHOPS THROUGHOUT THE FLEET. ENSURE YOUR COMMAND PARTICIPATES IN ONE OF MY WORKSHOPS.
4. AS LEADERS, THE ENDURING IMPACT WE MAKE ON OUR NAVY IS ULTIMATELY THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE PEOPLE WE TRAIN, MENTOR, AND RETAIN TO REPLACE US. CENTRAL TO GOOD LEADERSHIP IS MAINTAINING A STRONG AND VIBRANT TWO-WAY CONVERSATION WITH OUR SAILORS. IT IS CLEAR THAT OUR CAREER DEVELOPMENT CONVERSATION IS GOING WELL AND WE JUST NEED TO TAILOR IT FOR THE NEW ENVIRONMENT WE HAVE ENTERED - A VERY COMPETITIVE REENLISTMENT ENVIRONMENT. IT IS ALSO CLEAR WE HAVE TO GET PAST THE DISCOMFITURE OF THE SUBJECT AND EXPAND OUR DAILY CONVERSATION TO ADDRESS SEXUAL ASSAULT PREVENTION, SO GET YOUR LEADERSHIP TEAM (INCLUDING YOUR COMMAND CAREER COUNSELOR) OUT ON THE DECK PLATES TO LISTEN, LEARN, AND LEAD.
5. ADM J. C. HARVEY, JR. SENDS.//