30 August 2011

Practices of Successful Commands – Part Four

Over the past two years, I’ve released a series of “Practices of Successful Commands” messages to emphasize the importance of properly executing those programs that have the greatest influence on our Sailors, their families, and thus our Navy.

I released Part One to get the word out about what I observed some of our commands were doing that enabled them to stand out so positively above the rest. In Part Two I highlighted and asked that you give a good “spin” to a few of the programs that I felt needed some extra attention to keep them on track. And Part Three was targeted at what I believe to be the foundation of mission success – Trust.

In keeping with this effort, I recently released a “Practices of Successful Commands – Part Four” to call attention to several foundational programs that I believe, due to their significant impact on the readiness and professionalism of our Sailors, should be a priority for every command.

Although implementation of these programs starts at the top (with me and my direct reports), I’m posting this message here because meeting our objectives requires a steadfast commitment by all hands. That is why I need all of you to make sure you complete the mandatory training and apply what you learn on and off the job. My guidance to you is particularly applicable for the Substance Abuse Prevention, Sexual Assault Prevention and Response, and Suicide Prevention programs. It defeats the purpose of the training if you are attending simply to get a “check in the box.” The training for these three programs not only reinforces the “do’s and don’ts,” but also serves as a reminder of the warning signs exhibited by those (friends, family, shipmates) at risk.

I encourage you to read the message, think about it, and most importantly, do your part by completing the training and bringing that training to life in your command. Never forget – we’re all in this together.
All the best, JCHjr


Anonymous said...

Adm. Harvey:

Re-reading "Part 4" is certainly relevant during the existing circumstances. These are trying times for both officers and their enlisted folks. Your message should be required reading at morning quarters as a reminder that we all have a part to play in this scenario and how well we play it will determine the outcome.

Juat my 2 cents, as usual.


NVYGUNZ said...


I enjoyed reading part 4, and in particular believe that we can never get enough training and assistance in the areas of substance abuse, sexual harassment and suicide prevention. However, in my personal opinion, we will never get back up to speed with PO3-CPO training, unless we revert back to the classroom. I understand there is an element of personal approach when taught at the command level, but we are just adding more of an educational and administrative burden on the commands. I also believe, it can be taught better by a trained instructor who is not attached to a command. Further, the Sailor is taken off the ship (etc.) and given time away to focus on the training at hand.
If we'd like to turn it up a notch, maybe the command delivered training should be conducted after (weeks, months) the classroom training, so their leadership can assess if the Sailor actually is applying what he/she learned. Then, they can inject case studies, admin tasks (like evals, instructions, reports), etc.
Again, in my personal opinion, we really shot ourselves in the foot when we pulled leadership training from the classrooms. The enlisted Sailor gets entry-level bootcamp and trade schooling (at different segments of their career), but nothing for leadership until they make E8 and perhaps go to the Senior Enlisted Academy. You can also count CPO Selectee training, but that is still command delivered, per se. We don't do that for our officer corps, why are we doing it for our enlisted? Just my thoughts.. Thanks!


Anonymous said...

I read your 4 part series...twice. The reason I did was to ensure I had not missed what I was looking for, some mention of why we have a Navy..to put sailors at sea, on ships to be ready to fight and to know how to do it.
Given this posting, apparently thats not necessarily the standard for a successful command these days?
Just reading the laundry list(s) you posted it appears there are far more "plates to spin" these days of an administrative nature than when you and I were XO's on the waterfront.
Recommend you add some maintenance, shiphandling and weapons proficency to the next list, so our sailors recognize your 4 part series is only part of the equation.
Keep those cards and letters posted, I really enjoy your writings.
Retired 0-6

personalized pens said...

This is a great article and really reflects what a commander provides and how much work and commitment is involved. Having a great commander was what made my times in the navy much more enjoyable. Now retired I try to use same ethics I have learned from my previous commander in real life to my own employees.