Phase 1 Section 1: Required Reading 1 & 2

Required Reading 1 - Navy Clarifies IA ParentCommand Responsibilities
Read the article; Navy Clarifies IA ParentCommand Responsibilities found on page 31 of the CPODG.  It was taken directly from theLifeLines web site: Upon completion make a journal entry on how you would approach this subject from a leadership perspective.
Post your reflections on the following question as a reply below: Whataresome methods you could develop to maintain communications with deployedSailorsand their families?

Required Reading 2 - Carrying on a proud tradition

Read the article; Where's the Chief? found on page 35 of the CPODG.  It was taken from USNI Proceedings magazine.  The article was written in 1995 with regards to the Chief.  Read the article and upon completion write journal entries on how the role of a Chief Petty Officer, with regards to institutional and technical expertise, has changed and yet is still the same.

Post your reflection on the following statement as a reply below:  Explain what changes you have seen over the course of the years with regards to the leadership roles of Chief Petty Officers.


  1. Required Reading 1 - Navy Clarifies IA ParentCommand Responsibilities

    What are some methods you could develop to maintain communications with deployed Sailors and their families?

    As you consider your answer to the question, think about the following that I have experienced having lived on both sides of this issue.

    1. IA Sailors can be volunteers and "voluntolds"
    2. Some IA Sailors are single
    3. Some IAs are 6 months or less
    4. Some dual military couples encounter both an IA deployment and unit deployment at the same time
    5. Single parents are not exempt

  2. In order to establish the best communication, you need to communicate and ask the deployed sailor what they need or want and ensure that the family’s needs are met as well. When I was IA, the best way to communicate initially was myspace and personal email. Then once I got established at my new command I was given a different military email. Mistakes that a lot of commands make is emailing the sailor's account and not realizing that they most likely will not have access to that account. Due to time differences, email is the method I would chose to communicate on a daily basis.
    It is very important to maintain communication because you never want your shipmate to feel alone or forgotten. Being in foreign countries it is easy to feel isolated and alone. It is not always easy to watch your friends and family carrying on back home as normal without you, making you wonder from time to time if you are even missed.

    Lastly, send a little care package of things that your you know they might like and can be useful in the location they are at. It can be something as simple as chewing gum that is not available there. It is also important to realize the majority of sailors are taken care of with food, baby wipes, and toilet power, your typical care package items.
    My friend sent me a package with a cute little note saying how much I was missed, a cd of new songs released on the radio, lip gloss, gum, and girly shower gel. It was completely unexpected and brightened my day.
    I was so fortune with the communication I received from friends that I always return the favor when someone I know is IA. However, I did not hear from my parent command for almost 7 months and that was a little shocking. I would also welcome the IA’s back to the command with open arms. When I returned, I felt like a new check in. People didn’t know me and I didn’t know them so it wasn’t a smooth transaction as it should have been.
    LS1 Heidi Ryan

    1. LS1,

      I think you made a great point about the email address. I made it a practice to check my OWA email once or twice a week. However, many Sailors either don't check it or don't know how to check OWA email and rely solely on their new emial address.

      Also, an important thing we should all remember is tha the "I" in IA stands for individual. Sometime we'll see whole units mobilize and deploy and have to go through the same training as the IAs. What we may not realize is that an IA may be going to a unit and not know a sole when he/she get there. That can be a very lonesome experience for some poeple. Those little care packages with a few well thought out items can be a turning point in an IAs deployment. Good points.

      ATCS Hicks

    2. LS1, I didn't hear from my command while I was gone either.

      I can tell you from experience standing at the airport that it is a BIG DEAL when these IA Sailors return back home. We should be there with fanfare because these Sailors took a huge sacrifice and made it back alive in one piece. This helps the process and the USO loves to get involved with the red carpet and noise makers.

      ATCS Hicks,
      as far as communication, I would like to institute SKYPE as a possible way to stay connected or even google chat. Sometimes seeing a person (albeit) from a distance can make the time go by easier. I wonder if doing that poses a security risk? I probably should talk to IT2.

      YNC Boyd

  3. The best form of communication for me is "Face to Face". So in the case of someone who is IA the best tool would be a Skype/computer teleconference tool. After that the phone works the best- It requires timing but that can be arranged via email- My point is: that I spoken & face to face comms work best for me- Email is fine but context and tone can be misconstrued.
    AWFC Z

  4. Required Reading 2 - Carrying on a proud tradition

    Read the article; Where's the Chief? found on page 35 of the CPODG. It was taken from USNI Proceedings magazine. The article was written in 1995 with regards to the Chief. Read the article and upon completion write journal entries on how the role of a Chief Petty Officer, with regards to institutional and technical expertise, has changed and yet is still the same.

    Post your reflection on the following statement as a reply below: Explain what changes you have seen over the course of the years with regards to the leadership roles of Chief Petty Officers.

    1. Captain Johnson’s assessment of and concerns about the Navy’s shift in focus of the roles of leaders reinforces the time-tested principles of institutional and technical expertise. This article was written 18 years ago. I have been serving for 22 years and one thing has remained constant, the expectation that the Chief is the source of knowledge that bridges the gaps between leaders and managers. That being said, I have seen Chiefs wearing both hats. In the role of managers as defined by Captain Johnson, Chiefs exercise their technical expertise to ensure the day-to-day routine is being accomplished effectively and efficiently. They are taking the time to empower LPOs and pass on the depth of their experience to train up the next generation. In the role of leader as defined by Captain Johnson, Chiefs rely on their years of Navy service to bolster their institutional expertise. This expertise is routinely used to put a sanity check on policy implementation or changes. I have personally had a skipper take the Wardroom and Chiefs to an off-site strategy and planning session to develop the command’s mission, vision, and guiding principles. The bottom line is this…being “the Chief” is position of incredible responsibility which both seniors and subordinates hold to highest expectations for answering the call, always.


      ATCS(AW) Dale Hicks

    2. I agree Senior, Chiefs are suppose to be the source of knowledge to the fleet. That bank of knowledge Sailors can rely on to make a withdrawl when in need. I have been blessed to have my fare share of LCPO's to guide me along the way and given me knowledge to help advance my Career. I know I haven't been in as long as some of you all but in my time in this Navy I have seen some change in the Chief's Mess. When I first joined the Chief's presence was always felt but seldom seen. They empowered their First Classes to run their Departments and Division providing them they chance to Lead only stepping in when necessary. As my Career has progressed it seems First Classes are being micro managed a little more. Maybe it is the political environment we live in today or maybe a lack of trust. For what ever reason I think it imperative to empower the First Classes to lead the shop to give them that chance to fail. I believe we learn most in life on how we react to adversity. It makes us stronger as leaders and as people as a whole. I am glad that when I go have that Chief behind to guide me where I went wrong so I may learn from my experiences.


    3. I thought this article was a great read. I can’t believe it was written 18 plus years ago. It is especially true today. I liked how the author used the McDonald’s analogy to help explain the differences between managers and leaders. I personally do believe what he said is true. The Officers are becoming more of managers today. I have had officers get in the weeds of how a specific process is going to be run. When officers do this, they can lose the overall big picture or direction they should be leading us toward. In other words "don’t they have something better to do"? Plus, many times officers may not be the best suited to handle this type of work due to their past experiences. PS1 you bring up another great point in that the First classes are being micro-managed when this happens. And this then results in the Chief being sent to a type of purgatory. When this happens, the First Class losses the experiences that would help him develop to the next level and the command loses on a wealth of knowledge because the chief is taken out of the equation. I understand why the Navy has developed to this point. The politics involved forces the push towards more micromanagement to try and prevent embarrassing situations.
      So what is the solution? I believe it is to let the first classes do their job. First classes have to be engaged in the division triad. Know what their Officers and CPO vision/ direction for the division/department/squadron is, then (with their own initiative) figure out the way to get the shop there. Work with the chief to develop processes that work to obtain that vision. Take charge of the processes so the officers don’t get involved. Great post PS1!

      Chief Mac

    4. PS1,

      Great insights. Your comments raised a questions for me as I read it.

      1. Do you think that leadership styles/approaches vary in noticable ways from platform to platform, community to community, or AC to RC?

      2. Considering the recent initiatives to reduce sexual assualts across the Navy, is the perception of micromanagement a result of big Navy priorities? If so, does it seem that the related intrusiveness seem to linger or bleed over into other areas (ie. day-to-day work center functions)?



  5. PS1 & ATCS- Excellent thoughts & comments- When asked what is the difference between O's & CPOs (We both wear Khakis!!) the best response is that the commissioned officers drive the mission (with our guidance). The CPOs lead the Sailors who accomplish the mission... I like the analogy that we are the bridge between the officers (Mission) and the Enlisted Sailors (Human resource) that accomplish the mission- A ship or plane is only as good as the Sailors that man it- and that level of confidence and quality is a human factor- Left to the hands of a Chief and his LPO...

    Chief Z

  6. I believe Chief Z hits the nail on the head. The Chiefs institutional and Technical expertise makes him better equipped to lead our sailors. Many times the Chief has been there and done that. He knows what the sailors go through and experience. Because of this it makes him better to lead and develop or Sailors. The role of the Chief has not changed that much since I came in. The one area I think did change allot is with intrusive leadership. I believe this is also a result of the political culture the Navy is drawn in to. The micromanagement is push down to all levels. For example, when a sailor gets a DUI many times the Chief is asked what he did to prevent it. This is after he had multiple safety talks, tons of training, and inquiring about his personal life. This causes us to coddle our sailors. I get upset with this because every one of our sailors is an adult. More so they are fighting for our country. They should be responsible especially for themselves. We need to move to more individual accountability.
    V/R Chief Mac