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.)

Friday, May 29, 2009

FY10 CO/XO Screening Results Posted

Blunoz has again posted the results of the most recent submarine CO/XO screening boards here. Congratulations to all those selected! (Even if some of you are people I only remember as NUB-ly students at NPTU who I figured would never be able to do anything right.) To those who weren't selected, remember it's an honored Submarine Force tradition to complain about how the guys who were picked instead of you molest puppies.

Seeing a guy who relieved me from one of my jobs take command of a boat, and getting an invitation for a change of command where one of my old JO shipmates is finishing up his command tour, makes me realize that my generation is finishing up their time in command. Good luck to the next generation coming up the pipe, and remember that we only complain about the way you're messing up because we care!


Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

Any stats? And what's been the selection rate in recent years?

In my day as a detailer, the criteria was ability to fog a mirror, but that was changing rapidly and we were predicting sometime soon competition even at the DH level. Would guess it's pretty Darwinian now.

5/29/2009 1:55 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a pdf of the board precepts with some #'s. (but is a scanned doc and hard to search)

I can't find it presently, but the pers-42 community status brief used to be online and has graphs of CO & XO selection rates by year group.

Short answer from personal recollection:
mid 90's YG
XO - 60%
XOSS - 80%
CO - 80%
COSS - 95+%

(since this from a year or two ago, the XO #'s are were happened, the CO are projections - but this most recent selection seems to track with the prediction)

5/29/2009 6:50 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There were NO CO descreens this year - everyone on his last look either screened CO or COSS. Not quite "fog a mirror" criteria but close. Of course, when the Navy as a whole is short 339 URL O-5s, you would expect the 1120s to be a little thin as well.

5/29/2009 7:33 PM

Blogger Patty Wayne said...

Congrats to all. Michael Quan was a nuke EM and, if I remember correctly, was advanced through STA-21.


5/29/2009 7:46 PM

Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5/29/2009 8:30 PM

Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

Quan's a good egg. If he takes some getting used to, so be it. He'll do well.

A former XO on the CO list, three former JOs on the XO list, very nice, one former JO on the CO list, and another JO on the COSS list. And FIVE E7s made E8. Been a good week for me. :P

5/29/2009 8:31 PM

Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

While a very large number may screen CO or COSS, there is still darwinian selectivity between the two. Having served with two on the COSS list, I can tell you there must have been some pretty good candidates to edge them out. Still, odds are that one of them will get picked up. Only a few of the COSS are considered possible for switch over.

5/29/2009 8:34 PM

Blogger Haubby said...

I served with CDR Quan on the Georiga. Solid guy overall. Would serve under him without a doubt. Best of luck to him in the future.

5/29/2009 9:04 PM

Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

Calibrate this old detailer: COSS is the 'he's a good kid but...' category, yes? Gets 'screened for command' in his record to help compete, but no boat. Do these guys have anything to command?

Board size more than double of early '80s and multitudes in support. Folks in Millington must get lonely...

For what it's worth, I sat through two CO/XO Boards and two Major Command Boards, in the theater for every vote. From which two conclusions: there is no fairer system ... and (at that time) the system of firewalling fitreps made finding truth therein an exercise in mind reading (at which all board members were pretty good).

Best comment in a Board: Bud Kauderer briefing a record and flicks his laser pointer at a grade that moved from A to B on one fitrep: "And that little glitch is the grounding."

5/30/2009 4:49 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice to see Paul Seitz and Jason Rhea screen. Both are solid officers.

5/30/2009 8:01 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I served under one of the CO selectees when he was a department head and he was a complete dickhead. I'll bet he doesn't finish his CO tour because he doesn't know how to deal with people.

5/30/2009 9:52 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

No boat for COSS - they wait for some CO to die/get fired and then they can take the spot. If the anon tidbit about a 100% CO/COSS select rate is true, I would guess that this particular class of COSS won't be seeing boats. ("Loss of confidence" firings seem to happen when there are plenty of warm bodies to fill the holes, and that isn't the case today , apparently.)

5/30/2009 10:40 AM

Anonymous SJV said...

Anon: Being deemed a "dickhead" by certain subordinates has never been a super big obstacle to success as a CO. I agree that some personalities can have problems, but some guys who have real problems relating can be great as CO's. I'd rather go to war with a good leader who's a DH than a nice guy who can't lead.

5/30/2009 11:55 AM

Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

("Loss of confidence" firings seem to happen when there are plenty of warm bodies to fill the holes, and that isn't the case today , apparently.)

Think not. Screw the pooch and you're gone. Have never seen the waterfront & higher authority fail to fire a guy when firing a guy was the right action.

In the late diesel days, there just were no PCOs in the bank, but this did not impair trigger-pull speed when GRAYBACK killed those guys or BONEFISH couldn't keep itself fixed.

5/30/2009 1:24 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

sjv, if only leadership was one of the criteria the selection boards looked at.

From what I've seen, the best way to assure success is to accept no blame and yell at others and call it holding people accountable.

5/30/2009 2:07 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations to everyone! And to all the Chiefs who made Senior Chief this week too!!

5/30/2009 2:19 PM

Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

My view on the SS thing.
COSS and XOSS were initially ways to keep guys on the bonus that were not able to go on to CO/XO jobs. We still needed 1120s, they just didn't make that cut. The COSS started to take the shore OIC jobs, while some of them actually got picked up for sea commands if they were lucky.

Over the years there has been suspicion that there is a pecking order to COSSs, which is not much a surprise since some of those guys shouldn't command a car and some of them clearly just got edged out.

Today it is essentially a retention tool. "You don't get a ship, but we need you in the force." That is why the selection rate to CO/COSS may be 100%, but CO by itself may be 60%.

5/30/2009 5:33 PM

Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

COSS/XOSS: Bit of a dishonest sham, eh? Helluva thing to say that skimmers and airedales show more integrity in their screening systems than submariners ... and be accurate in saying it.

Have always thought the notion that individual officers have an equity interest in their careers to be specious and unsupported by law or policy. Hired guns, with more tenure protection than nearly any private sector job.

5/30/2009 6:04 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hang on! COSS is a necessary and valid tool. There are too many reasons to lose a PCO before (or after) he takes command - you HAVE to have a reserve feed tank or else you'll risk uncovering the boiler. COSS officers are fully qualified to go to command, they are just screened in excess of one-for-one requirements. CO descreens, on the other hand, either did something bad (molested collies) or they are far enough down the list to have no realistic chance of getting a billet - to give them COSS status would be fraudulent use of the bonus. This year's stats mean that the year group on its final look had no puppy-pokers, and a small enough inventory to give everyone a shot at a command billet. Will they ALL get one? Probably not, but it's a defensible number.
As far as a "secret" list, it's no secret - the detailers are upfront that the board ranks the COSS list so they know who gets priority should a billet open up. What's secret is where you rank on the list, because other aspects come into play when an emergent slot is filled and they may pull the 2nd or 3rd to balance the wardroom for instance. But the whole concept of COSS is in NO WAY a dishonest sham.

5/30/2009 6:29 PM

Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

Need 9 installed spares, huh? And 95%+ selection opportunity? Is the argument that it's an honest sham?

5/30/2009 8:14 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are lies, damn lies, and then there are statistics.

We aren't going through 9 CO's (unexpectedly) a year, even with the recent rash of Class A mishaps.
There is a big difference between 'covering the boiler using reserve feed' and paying a bunch of 0-5's a nice bonus every year while they are waiting in the wings for someone to mess up. Justifying it is just so much BS.

The post-command tour deputies for each squadron more than cover the 'reserve feed' needs in my opinion. Most of those guys would love a second command tour, and experienced guys are who we should be sending to take over 'trouble spots' for an emergent fill anyway - not someone who didn't make the first cut for their own boat.


5/31/2009 1:26 AM

Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

Aha. Two Chief Sonarmen in complete agreement...

I hope for the sake of irony that many who keep this COSS bonus-continuation system in place and justify it with sophistry are Republicans. Because what you're standing behind is welfare, plain and simple - bonus welfare. Glad (and surprised) to know you favor that.

My friend Peter Swartz long ago found this gem: "Good heavens! Mardonius, what manner of men are these against whom you have brought us to fight – men who contend with one another, not for money, but for honor?" (Herodotus, The Persian Wars, VIII, 26). Maybe it's time to reevaluate the entire bonus system, using cold eyes from outside the submarine community to reach an objective and balanced conclusion. It's backsheesh.

5/31/2009 5:03 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is it that 30-year+ military officers seem think that they know more than everyone else when it comes to all things politic?

Am I missing something? Is there something that makes them into fork-tongued politicians over time, and they in turn somehow take pride in this?

5/31/2009 10:13 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To say that there are enough COSS around to cover any lost PCOs or COs isn't necessarily true. The WVA skipper was fired so the AKA(G) PCO took over there. Since then AKA has had another PCO ordered and removed to cover an emergent fill on the RHO. This is not even counting the issue w/ the HAR. Right now they are short bodies to fill required CO spots.

5/31/2009 10:14 AM

Blogger Chap said...

RD--you know Swartz? I worked with him for a while in '01-03. Thinker, he is. I learned a thing or two from the good professor captain.

My take on the dirty little secrets:
--Stated selection rate for XO the last time I looked (a while ago) was greater than actual selection rate because they took out guys they didn't think would make certain gates. (Detailer squirmed when the guy asked that question, too.)
--COSS can also be looked at as "submarine needs control grade billets and will pay the nuclear bonus to keep them". It's a problem other URL communities have, too, especially since the post-major command captains have been leaving in larger numbers these past two years (intel was almost emptied of O6s in '07 or so). Surface guys built a new trio of career tracks for their COSS equivalent officers, and pay them special bonuses, in order to fill those billets. My sense is that 42 is much more careful in its bonus paying than airdales, particularly since the airdales just got whacked hard for paying more bonuses than they were allowed. (Bias: If I were offered the coin, I'd take it, but it's a waste of taxpayer money to have a bonus pay when the service doesn't need to.)
--CO replacements also require the replacement to have gone through the school and be in a position to show up at the boat. The COSS who do that volunteer to go through the school and then sit as an installed spare working in a squadron waiting for someone to die...and then they get the hardest leadership jobs the sub force has. It's a bizarre system when you think about it.
--There is a ranking for the SSs, just like there's a ranking for major command and a tech rating. You don't get to know, usually. If you're in that situation the important thing is to know about where you stand, if you're able to take one of the very few jobs that can either get you in position or get you a chance to promote. That helps your decision making.
--XO is the big cut, or has been since around YG86 or so. Sub force screws itself because most of the SS can't make O5 and then sub force needs control grade billets, but the dudes who used to be the best and brightest as sub LTs have to go home at 20 as bitter LCDRs (can't promote and DOPMA limits time). That's a waste, too; I've seen it where we have to pay someone like SAIC or BAH a quarter mill a year to keep the same guy in the same seat wearing a tie once he retires...

5/31/2009 10:25 AM

Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

Chap: can't argue with what you say and there is some good force management in it, but see also a kindness extended by submariners on track to those fallen off. Believe COSS status also continues sub-pay, to time limits, another unearned stipend. Not sure the airedale standard is the right one: run on the edge, don't get caught. At some ethical point stretching rules to keep paying folks for reasons not intended moves towards an honors offense IMHO.

Peter Swartz is dear friend of long standing. Co-authored one piece with him. Kibitz on his drafts. Lunch when in DC. He of weird career path - you and I should feel kinship there.

Hot here - bet it's hotter there. Be well.

5/31/2009 11:27 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rubber Ducky -

You're still not getting it. Here's some more info.
First, COSS officers do not just fill gaps when a CO gets fired - they also fill gaps when a PCO falls out of the pipeline before relieving (and yes, officers do fail both NR and tactics now). Also, any medical disqual will require a new officer getting into the pipeline. So, although we do not have 9 COs getting fired every year (knock on wood) we will need some of the 9. My guess is that somewhere between 4 and 6 will pick up a billet. And it's better to have too many than not enough.
Second, we no longer put COSS officers into a slot when the CO gets fired. An example is HARTFORD - after a served CO took her back home, the new CO is a fully screened and qualified officer who was supposed to relieve on PITTSBURGH. He got an ORDMOD and has now relieved on HARTFORD. The PITTSBURGH PCO will probably be a COSS who has now picked up a billet. After GREENEVILLE II (a COSS pickup in command when they grounded in Saipan) they changed the policy. Of course, it's not perfect - witness GREENEVILLE III - a fully qualified and screened CO who drove into the side of a skimmer. Sometimes the hits just keep on coming. Bottom line, we need the COSS reserve force.

5/31/2009 8:21 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Every COSS that is actually on track to be 'in the bullpen' is assigned to be a squadron deputy, and this is exclusively where any emergent gaps* are filled. If you're a COSS and do not have a squadron deputy job, you won't get called up. This is a policy that was put in place only a couple of years ago. Further caveat - they may have changed it again, I haven't been paying as close attention as I used to.

*that involves someone getting called up from COSS - they could, as mentioned above, shift around people that are just about to finish the PCO pipeline if that is a better fit.

5/31/2009 8:43 PM

Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

A few points.
1. Not screened is not the same as descreened.
2. FAR more are screened COSS than could ever be needed to fill gaps due to losses. In that instance it is useful since the alternative is a very long daisy chain process to fill holes.
3. When we need 20 COs from a year group and screen 30 to CO or COSS, it is clearly a retention tool.
4. If you think that a 100% selection rate to CO/COSS means that all those guys are fit for command, you need to volunteer for a drug test. Let me tell you that more than a few of those deputy types had absolutely no chance of ever getting to command. But they were still COSS.

Here's a good one. A guy screens XOSS and retains his nuc bonus, sub pay and never goes to another ship. Another guy completes his XO tour but is a non-screen for CO. When he leaves the ship his nuc bonus and sub pay stop immediately, while jackass who never did an XO tour still draws both without absolutely no chance (by then) of ever going to sea again.

6/01/2009 3:48 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Basically all of those COSS's will go on to be deputies. And many will get an opportunity to command at sea or ashore.

And many of the XOSS's will get a shot at XO.

Congratulations to all!

6/01/2009 4:22 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

COSS must be a different animal these days. When I screened, they had just changed the philosophy from "descreening" if you didn't make a slate to "in excess" which was a surge volume. I was 1 of 4 "in excess" in my YG which only had 50% CO screening. All those that screened CO had loop/NPEB experience...none of the "in excess" did. Don't know if all the "screened" made it to a boat, but ALL 4 of the "in excess" did - and 2 of us were the first two in the YG to make it to command. Also 3 of 4 made Major Command list - far higher percentage than the "screened" list. appears the list fills a far different purpose these days.

6/01/2009 5:35 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Ducky - Over the many months that I have followed this blog, you have taken several shots at Republicans, but none at Democrats. Why?

6/01/2009 5:51 AM

Anonymous veterans support said...

congratulations to all those selected and good luck!

6/01/2009 5:54 AM

Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

"Hey Ducky - Over the many months that I have followed this blog, you have taken several shots at Republicans, but none at Democrats. Why?"

'Cause I'm a lifelong D. Duh.

Also (I know it's unsporting), pinging on the current crop of Rs is like shooting fish in a barrel.

Seriously, I've always understood the free-market/main-street/mainstream variety of Republicanism and (with 16 years with a Fortune 100 company) think it has a lot of sound ideas and stability to offer the country. Unfortunately, you could fit the full set of living Rs in that category in a 15-passenger van. Comfortably. With room for briefcases, laptops, and a cooler of beer.

Soooo... Respect for true Rs. Disdain for the assorted wingnuts who seem to have captured the party's brand. Still a D. Thanks for asking.

And now, back to the topic at hand...

6/01/2009 6:36 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, how many "D"'s would get a seat on that bus?

6/01/2009 8:04 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting discussion, probably well beyond my paygrade (got out after a JO tour). My two cents, a guy on the COSS list was my XO on the 739, top notch, smart, competent, good teacher. Didn't fit the "mold" of a submarine CO in terms of personality. I also had the current San Fran CO as my first XO, all the same adjectives applied, but CDR Martin fit that image that submariners make of themselves. I would take either as a CO.

Boise Bubba

6/01/2009 8:23 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you are missing part of the point of the system. I propose that if you are a post-DH (or Post-JO for that matter) the only reason to stay in is because you want to take a shot at command and the COSS program makes the risk associated with that choice a little more bearable.
The guys who are clearly all-stars will stay in no matter what, but there is a lot of very good competition at just below that level. So, if you're a good guy, say top 50% in your YG, there is still a decent probability that you won't make CO, often for reasons beyond your control. Given the opportunities that exist in corporate America (at least the opportunities a couple years ago) why risk it if your on the bubble? Good guys that we want to keep in are much more willing to take the risk if at the end of the day they'll make 100K+ and be told they were good enough to command, but there simply weren't enough boats, vice paid <100K and told they're life's work was unsatisfactory.
Clearly this can't be taken to the extreme, but it seems to me like the COSS program is close to the optimal way of doing this (and relatively cheap). Tax payers sacrifice a little $$ ex-post for guys who we don't need to keep paying so that we can keep more good guys ex-ante. Its the same logic behind golden parachutes in corporate America.

6/01/2009 9:07 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lots of mentions of bonus, nuc bouns, oficer sub pay, etc...

What kind of dollars are we talking about.

When I was making patrols mid-70s as an E4 over 2 weapons type, my sea pay was $12 and sub pay was $50 per month. My takehome with single BAQ and Comrats during off-crew was $315 every two weeks.

So how much does an O-5 submarine CO make all in all?

6/01/2009 11:15 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What of the "bathing suit" competion? I remember reading a story in the MSM in the late '90s early '00s that officers who were candidates for high rank (flag?) were seeing plastic surgeons to get a more "Captain America" like profile. Does this type of thing still go on?

6/01/2009 11:16 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

to anon... Naval pay is all public record. But it is safe to say that and 0-5 with some years in makes well over 100k with everything included. Housing... etc...But the other way to think of it is also, they are running a corporation, that being their sub. If they were out in the "real world", their compensation would be much greater.

6/01/2009 11:25 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 9:07 sums it up the thinking pretty well, but the problem is that there's no way to disprove that thinking. Does anyone know that a reduction in CO/COSS select rate will cause a massive exodus of JOs? The only thing that is known for sure at this point is that 100% of post-XOs are guaranteed a job in the sub force when at least some of them could be better used in another community or in the civilian world. Anytime a "selection" rate is 100%, you can bet that something is wrong with the underlying system. Does anyone really think that stash deputies perform a useful service to the boats/force other than providing life insurance for the serving COs?

I don't think a JO sophisticated enough to think 10 years into the future is going to be so dumb as to stay in based on the chance of getting a COSS spot. It's CO or nothing.

6/01/2009 11:28 AM

Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

"If they were out in the "real world", their compensation would be much greater."

Or they'd be unemployed, upside down on a mortgage, and wondering why their wife left with the kids and the good car.

Fascinating that tenured officers, many due-course, need incentive pay to remain in an exciting profession with unmatched job security, benefits, and psychic rewards. Hell, I'd been in two years when I found out we also got paid...

6/01/2009 11:34 AM

Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

Yep, lets run a sub like general motors or Chrysler.

6/01/2009 12:38 PM

Blogger phw said...

I think this was a great topic and I enjoyed reading the commentary. A lot of insight into the selection process and the whys.

6/01/2009 2:35 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If they were out in the "real world", their compensation would be much greater.Well...yes, and no.

Yes: If they'd gotten out as LTs, earned an MBA at a name school, found their true calling in life...and gotten lucky...then, yes..."their compensation would be much greater."

No: If they were to be swept out into the civilian world as a pre or post-command O-5? In that case, "not so much." Sure, many pre/post command O-5s do just fine in the civilian world...but by and large they're not making the big bucks. As it should be -- it's not like they've demonstrated one bit of of business sense or how to achieve profitability or ability to sell or ability to manage business-scale debt...or...etc.

Show me a pre or post command O-5 submariner making 'the big bucks' and I'll show you a long-ago O-3 submariner who's making much, much bigger bucks.

Not trying to rain on anyone's parade, but truth matters. It is simply a fallacious argument that the pre/post O-5 submariner has to be paid a lot of bonus money to retain him because of beckoning civilian opportunities. "It ain't so, Joe."

But, paying them that bonus money for morale purposes? Now that's striking closer to the truth, and making a good bit more sense. No one wants bitter O-5s in charge of nuclear submarines/weapons.

6/01/2009 2:53 PM

Anonymous PigBoatSailor said...

Sorry, but I only skimmed the comments so far:
CO(sel) that I know:
Djamal Pullom - Good people, good officer. Good sense of humor. Puts Red Hot on everything he eats.

Sean Muth - Really good guy. Came into a really bad situation on his DH tour and did a good job turning it around.

Billy Callahan - Went through Nuke/Sub school with him. Prior enlisted. Great guy.

John Frye - Nuke/Sub school as well. The man can hold his liquor.

Orville Cave - My old sea pup! Prior M div'er. GREAT guy. Good nuke, good boat driver, glad to see him moving on.

Howard Jones - Nuke/Prototype/Sub school classmate. Prior enlisted, great guy.

Matt Chapman - Nuke/Sub school. Another good guy, always a good attitude, too bad he didn't screen for XO.

6/01/2009 3:25 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Don't forget about all the new Senior Chiefs too!

6/01/2009 3:37 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 2:53, I think you missed the point, though your observation about morale is certainly valid. Its not that retaining O-5s is the issue, as you point out it not clear they have terribly great opportunities.

Its retaining post-DH and JO's thats there is some benefit. As you point out they have relatively good outside options. So a JO or post-DH faces the prospect of getting out and developing the skills to compete in any number of different industries, or staying in and letting it ride on a submarine career.
On the margin a few more decent guys are likely to stick around if the COSS program lowers the risk of total failure.

Re: "Or they'd be unemployed, upside down on a mortgage, and wondering why their wife left with the kids and the good car. "

I'll concede immediately that employment is much more stable in the Navy.

Plenty of guys who took a Northern Virginia tour are upside down on mortgages. I'm not sure how the rent vs. buy issue is much different, but at least in CivLant you can choose where you live. This ones a draw at best.

And the divorce rate among career submariners is hardly proof positive of the superiority of staying in. If anything its a good reason to keep COSS.

6/01/2009 3:40 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anon 11:25am

Thanks for answering my pay/bonus question.

1. I figured it's public info but didn't want to find the time to go looking.

2. Your answer was a little defensive. If a submarine skipper is being paid less than 150K, he's under paid.

6/01/2009 3:49 PM

Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

The Bureau and N-42 will have some very sophisticated algorithms to support the various bonus and extra-pay schemes submariners earn, COSS etc. among them. Money is fungible and these extra pays are not gifts - they must compete on merit: training costs, retention rates, quality issues, selectivity, etc. all bear and all weigh against the other claims by the other communities for whatever the dollar total of special pays the system can generate and sustain. But...

But one still suspects that the submarine body shop has less than complete faith in the merit of its offerings - psychic income, salary, promotion, higher rank, flag opportunity, etc. - and could never think of going on that merit alone, no bonus, no phony schemes to keep paying folks extra, unjustified bonus dollars and submarine pay after the black-letter legal justification has gone past its pull date.

We have no serving submariners (and none for a long time) who ever lived in a world without the nuke bonus. Unimaginable, the horror! Yet the surface navy keeps its ships well staffed without concomitant special pays, as do the staff community and restricted line. Further, submariners off the command track or outside submarines after command are not turned into solyent green. They have good opportunities for honorable, much-needed service and many do so serve.

My considered judgment after watching this bonus drama play out for nearly three decades of fairly direct experience is this: the submarine force leadership, the NR chief, and their minions in the trenches at BUPERS have not been forced (by honor, honesty, or direct pressure) to go beyond sophistry to justify all aspects of submarine special pays and so play a cynical game against the house to grab as much cash as can be had, never mind what other uses that money might have in the other communities, the Navy at large, national defense, other federal needs, or - heaven forfend - retained in taxpayers' wallets. Some aspects of this have always looked like honors offenses to me. YMMV.

Oh, and we need this COSS etc. dinglehoop mechanisms to bank folks for a couple years against unplanned losses? Gimme a break. Those cats would still be there, by and large, and none would turn down command because their bonus and submarine pay had a temporary interruption.

6/01/2009 4:28 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

RD: Full disclosure, please. As a StratWeps guy, you were not eligible for a nuclear retention bonus as an O-5, even as a CO, yes?

Just wanting to be sure that we all know there's a 'whine of sour grapes' opportunity here.

6/01/2009 5:29 PM

Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

Sonny: got your sour grapes hanging...

6/01/2009 5:31 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is it with Democrats and their "tea bagging" analogies?

Never mind. Forgot about the current rule: "Don't ask, don't tell."

6/01/2009 5:37 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry Ducky, usually agree with ya, but...

"Yet the surface navy keeps its ships well staffed without concomitant special pays, as do the staff community and restricted line."

Not so much, when I got out in 2007SWO's had (have) a 50k one time bonus for sticking out a DH tour, in addition surface nukes got to double dip by drawing an annual nuke bonus.

EOD was authorized annual DH bonuses that are the same as (maybe slightly more) than the yearly bonuses that sub JO's heading to shore duty can get.

They may not be drawing sub pay, but the bonus schedule is there, and an EOD LT moving to a "shore" duty on contract is drawing more pay the a sub LT.

Boise Bubba

6/01/2009 5:52 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In line with my previous I do not know command level bonuses in those communities, but it seems unlikely for an LT to get "bonused" into more money than his boss. Come to think of it this might be a reason justifying the COSS, so that 04's still in line aren't making more than served XO's that are wearing 05.

Boise Bubba

6/01/2009 5:58 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon @ 5:29 -

Excellent - you figured it out! I don't know why I didn't think of that - it makes everything clear and fully explains RD's objection to the bonus.

6/01/2009 7:47 PM

Anonymous Anon @ 5:29 said...

De nada. The Duck and I go back a ways, so my apologies for taking so long to figure it out.

For a holier-than-thou (more-enlisted-than-you) diesel boater who on occasion here has bashed JOs that used to work for him during his command tour, not to mention joked around the margins regarding a fresh submariner suicide, he's actually a very good egg...and I do mean that quite seriously.

But if you value your vision watch your eyes when he's got those sharp elbows of his flailing about. He doesn't mean anything by it, but then again if someone doesn't get a black eye for all his trouble then he's not a happy camper.

Everybody has their strengths and weaknesses. RD just needs to spend more time fishin' and less time bitchin'. Who doesn't?

6/01/2009 9:08 PM

Blogger Fast Nav said...

Matt Chapman - Nuke/Sub school. Another good guy, always a good attitude, too bad he didn't screen for XO."

This one still baffles me a little....

6/01/2009 9:20 PM

Blogger tennvol said...

What year group do these CO screens represent?

6/02/2009 12:05 PM

Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

The 1st look COs should be from 1995 (give or take a year).

XOSS/COSS is not for JO retention as much as O5 retention. And some (a few) of those are needed for losses, but the vast majority will not go to ships.

6/02/2009 5:26 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matt Chapman is a heck of a guy and will probably get pulled from the bullpen and succed as an XO. Jason Rhea is the smartest officer I have served with and will be great.

6/04/2009 8:09 AM


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