Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Navy Tidbits From Around The 'Net

Saw some interesting Navy-related stories as I was surfing around my normal places on the web:

1) CNO to become CJCS: ADM Mike Mullen will be nominated to relieve GEN Peter Pace as Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff. The linked Navy NewsStand article is surprisingly candid in giving the reason GEN Pace isn't being nominated for the traditional second 2-year term:

Gates said he intended to renominate Pace and Giambastiani but after consulting with senators of both parties came to the following conclusions:
"Because General Pace has served as chairman and vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for the last six years, the focus of his confirmation process would have been on the past rather than the future,” Gates said.
He said the confirmation process would have the possibility of being quite contentious.
“I am no stranger to contentious confirmations, and I do not shrink from them,” Gates said. “However, I have decided at this moment in our history the nation, our men and women in uniform, and General Pace himself would not be well-served by a divisive ordeal in selecting the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.”
Pace will continue to serve as chairman until his term ends Sept. 30. He is the first Marine to hold the position.
I just finished State of Denial, by Bob Woodward. While it's good to take everything in the book with a grain of salt, I believed the description of GEN Pace as "Rumsfeld's yes man", and I think it's good Sec. Gates gets a chance to put someone else in the job. That we'll now have Navy guys in the two most important slots (CJCS and CENTCOM) can only be good for the Navy, I figure.

2) Associate Degree Requirement for E-8 Scrapped: You know when you see some new initiative come out, and you know it just isn't going to work? (Examples are ADM Boorda's "Get Rid Of Unnecessary Paperwork and Inspections" program and the pre-9/11 "Pay Huge Amounts of Money to Sailors Who Get Sent to Sea Too Much" ITEMPO cluster.) When I heard about the "Chiefs have to have an associate's degree to get promoted to Senior Chief" requirement when it came out a couple of years ago, I knew that it would run headlong into reality before the first guy was denied a promotion:

“Times have changed since we developed the requirement two years ago,” said Mullen. “We still view education as exceptionally valuable for our senior enlisted force. But we realize that in light of the challenges Sailors face in today’s dynamic security environment, not everyone has the same opportunity to pursue an associate degree.”
Nearly nine months of analysis resulted in a set of statistics CNO and the master chief petty officer of the Navy determined too detrimental to the career opportunities of a significant number of chief petty officers. If the policy were to remain in effect, fully 35 percent of the chiefs eligible for advancement in fiscal year 2011 would be at extreme risk of not meeting the requirement.
“That 35 percent represented our most sea-intensive and GWOT ratings,” said Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (SW/FMF) Joe R. Campa Jr. “This places them at an unacceptable disadvantage in competing for advancement. Now, more than ever, it is important that we advance our people based on leadership and their commitment to the success of the men and women they lead.”
I'm just glad they did it now instead of waiting until 2010.

3) USS Kidd (DDG 100) Commissioned: The 50th Burke-class destroyer was commissioned on Saturday night. I was kind of surprised to see Rep. Ron "We Deserved 9/11" Paul as the principle speaker -- I guess the libertarians out there won't be able to claim that the Administration is trying to marginalize Rep. Paul by not letting him speak in public.

4) Not really Navy, but the Disneyland Submarine ride (now called the "Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage") officially opens tomorrow!

5) Sub-blogger Chapomatic has a new addition to the family. Head on over and wish him well.

6) Lastly, but locally, Marv Hagedorn, my newest Idaho House Representative (he's a retired Navy officer) has a blog up that conservatives will love. Plus, he allows comments!

Update 0743 11 June: Almost forgot, submariner VADM Jeffrey Fowler just took over at the Naval Academy.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Bubblehead, you're way too savvy to just parrot the partyline BS on Ron Paul. Look at what the man actually said, rather than what Guliani tried to turn it into.

We weren't hit on 9-11 because we're rich or free. It was in response to what the US has been doing in the Middle East. Recognizing that doesn't make what we were doing wrong or the terrorists right. It doens't mean we "invited" the attack. It just means understanding what motivates our adversaries.

When you mess with folks, you give them an incentive to mess with you. It's just common sense.

6/11/2007 9:49 AM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

Sorry, Ron Paul is a conspiracy theorist who meets with 9/11 Truthers. He gets no respect from me.

6/11/2007 9:50 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The idea of a degree REQUIREMENT for enlisted advancement was, is, and will remain idiotic. Thank goodness somebody stopped laughing long enough to scuttle this disastrous, ivory-tower-conceived policy before it cost the Navy some exceptional leaders that don't have and don't need a sheepskin.

6/12/2007 12:21 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the subject of degrees, not all degrees are created equal. How would the Navy evaluate their legitimacy? For example, some personnel hold real degrees, while others merely have a Masters of Education in Educational Leadership from the University of Southern Maine.

6/12/2007 12:39 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now what is wrong with the University of Southern Maine? I don't know if they offer that degree or not, but if the candidate is a navy instructor, then that would seem to be a fine degree for him to get.

6/13/2007 6:05 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a certain amount of snobbery in the academic world, and the most intense snobs at Research I schools look down on "directional universities" (e.g., East Southwestern State U, North-northeast Central U).

6/13/2007 6:39 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, my earlier comment had little to do with snobbery, but a lot to do with the state of the Navy.

There's nothing wrong with the University of Southern Maine. I'm sure that many military personnel getting degrees there (and at similar institutions) are putting in a lot of long hours after work and on weekends to better themselves and are doing so successfully at whatever school is in the vicinity of their duty station.

Similarly, although the title "Masters of Education in Educational Leadership" sounds a bit soft, there may be nothing wrong with the degree. In many cases, when striving for a degree after hours and on weekends, one is limited to choosing (or creating) a program that fits the individual's available hours and tour length.

However, when the degree recipient is nominated to be the Commandant of Midshipmen at the Naval Academy and, as part of a vain attempt to justify the nomination as merit-based, that degree is trumpeted by the Navy and in press releases as the greatest thing since sliced bread, then the Navy has an issue.

Imagine a world, for example, where the selection of the Commandant was merit-based. In that world, the Commandant could be a top-performing astronaut (four shuttle missions), with a Master's Degree in Ocean Engineering from MIT, who graduated from and previously taught at the Naval Academy, and whose father was a POW, three-star admiral, and Superintendent of the Naval Academy. Exactly one such individual exists on this planet. And because that individual is one of the most respected graduates of their class at the Naval Academy, the fact that she is female wouldn't have to be justified.

Unfortunately, the discussion above demonstrates that the Navy didn't pick the best available officer for the position of Commandant, because there was available at least one better-qualified female officer of the same rank, from the same Naval Academy class (not to mention the possibility of better-qualified male officers).

The $64,000 question is why?

6/13/2007 1:37 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you think we could get Marv to run for pres?

6/14/2007 7:33 PM


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