NavET Qual Change -- I Don't Like It
This CSP news release talks about how all NavETs will be required to eventually qualify Assistant Navigator.
"Lt. Cmdr. Michael Whitt, Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet personnel readiness officer, said the change means submariners holding the ET rating will eventually be required to become a certified ANAV.
“By your second tour as a navigation Electronics Technician, you have to complete ANAV qualifications within 24 months,” said Whitt. "The commanding officer would have to report that the person is not qualified and determine plans for qualification or if the person is capable of getting qualified. We want the [E-8] selection board to know who is working towards the ANAV qualification.”
Here's why I don't like this. If there's a qualification that not everyone has to get, everyone, including those who sit the qual boards, has the idea that the qual is more "elite". You end up with only those who really want to put in the extra work going for the qual, and there's less pressure on the CO/Nav to sign people off who aren't ready yet. Not that I can guarantee that this will happen with ANAV; it's just that I've seen it every other time they've made a previously optional qual mandatory. An example of this, outside the Sub Force, is Surface Warfare quals. That used to be a fairly tough qualification; now that it's mandatory, the standards really seem to have dropped. When I was on Stennis, we had about six guys from USS Jefferson City who did a three week "exchange" tour on the carrier; half of them earned their surface water wings in those three weeks. I know submariners are better than everyone else, but that's a little "extreme".
Update 1623 21 July: The guys over at Rontini's Submarine BBS hold forth on this subject....