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, July 10, 2009

New Detailing Initiative

From this story on the official Navy website:
The latest upgrade to the Navy's detailing system empowers Sailors by allowing them to submit their own job applications when negotiating for permanent change of station (PCS) orders, according to NAVADMIN 200/09, released July 7...
...While this new option allows Sailors to apply for jobs on their own, the career counselor will still retain the option to review and modify requests.
"It does not take the command out of the process because we have to review the applications to make sure Sailors apply to the right jobs for their career path," said Holliday, who verifies applicants at her command meet physical readiness standards, sea-shore flow requirements and other factors.
Before getting started, Sailors must meet Perform to Serve requirements as outlined in NAVADMIN 017/09 and 161/09 and be within their orders negotiation window in order to submit applications. Sailors can access CMS/ID online at A common access card (CAC) and a card reader are required to log in.
What do you bet that the most desirable jobs never make their way onto this online system? As most of us have learned through hard experience, the odds of getting the "good deal" for shore duty are directly proportional to how much of an "in" you have with the detailer. (Same goes for good sea duty, of course.) I noticed it's been awhile since I've discussed the submarine detailing process, so I thought I'd offer one of my experiences before opening it up for comments. When I was finishing my JO sea tour, I figured I wouldn't mind going back to Idaho to be close to my wife's family; I knew I'd have to go to the NPTU there to do this. I mentioned this to the detailer, but he said that NPTU Idaho was shutting down and they weren't sending anyone else there. "But, since you're a prototype volunteer..." he said next, and I knew I was screwed. He said that the advantage of going to NPTU staff is that I would get my choice of homeport for my Department Head tour. Figuring it would be worth spending 2 years in Charleston for the chance to spend 3 more years in San Diego further down the line, I agreed to "accept" the orders. (A quote from my LCC when my class was getting their first orders at NPTU when I was enlisted: "Who cares if you don't like where you're going? Why do you think they call them orders?")

Fast-forward two years: I call the DH detailer at PERS-42, and first thing I mention the "guarantee" I had. First thing he says is, "Did you get it in writing?". No, I tell him, I didn't have to, because it was in the BUPERS magazine and everything. Sorry, he says, if I didn't get it in writing, it doesn't count. I ended up going to NewCon Eng in Groton without any discussion of it with me beforehand, so at SOAC I asked my classmates how many of them had the detailer mention to them where they might be going; the only one who hadn't was going to NewCon with me. And the detailer? Somehow he ended up as OIC of NR-1 for his XO tour. Imagine that.

Then, of course, I got the "bonus" NewCon Eng job as my Post-DH shore tour.

What "good deals" have you gotten from detailers?


Anonymous subRM said...

Well in my extensive almost 8yrs in the Navy, I have lucked out. I was on a fast boat in Pearl (technically the shipyard in Maine when I left)when I was up for shore duty. I saw someplace called SWFPAC in Bangor, WA was open for radiomen. Having no idea what it was I applied because it was either that, the comms watch floor at SUBPAC, or Groton (yuck!) for instructor duty. Turns out being the only radioman at a command full of MTs is a good job because no one knows my job and they leave me alone.

7/10/2009 5:23 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got pulled off me boat, and now work in DC for an Admiral. Bye-bye submarines!!

7/10/2009 5:25 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

PERS-42 successfully routed my RAD letter while I was at sea. Nice job guys!

7/10/2009 6:45 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

PERS-42 "Detailing" is no more than trying to close out each tasker as quickly as possible and run home like they did when they were a useless JO, DH, and XO - Hummmmmm (pardon the pun!) Not much, if any thought in the process, except their own follow-on orders. Makes my eyes Waters.....(again, pardon the pun)!

7/10/2009 7:44 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Detailer told me to get out back in early 77. Actually he said that in 20 year career I'd spend 17 on sea duty. That meant I should get out in my book. Of course, everything changes as soon as they tell you something. I got out , only minor regrets.
2 ears

7/10/2009 7:48 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enlisted detailing, but here's my "good deal"...I am in Pearl on a fast boat in the 80's trying to get NFAS instructor duty...and the detailer says no openings, but you can go to the Sam Rayburn..I am like, WTF is the Sam Rayburn? He tells me it's the boomer they converted for training. I had never heard specifically about it and asked if they were training students..he said "Sure they are!". Fast forward 5 months and I am working on SSBN-635, in shipyard hell, working 12-hour prototype rotating shift work (plus pre and post-shift briefs) in a POS that has a virgin core and an engineroom that is scattered around Charleston County waiting to be reassembled. Exactly one year after I arrived we got our first students. I still dream about catching up with that lying c*cksucker in a dark alley some night.

7/10/2009 7:53 PM

Blogger Bigbill said...

My first LCC when we were all at NPTU was the detailer that sent me there. I arrived during the conversion overhaul and proceeded to work nine months of midshift with a guaranteed 30 days a year off. He was good natured about it but I unloaded on him a few times a week.

7/10/2009 8:24 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just so its not all one-sided:

I had a ridiculously good last fitrep right before I went on the slate for my post JO shore tour, so I asked for a couple of ROTC jobs and a couple to stay in San Diego. Day before the slate closed we were in port in Saipan, and I call the JO detailer. The gist of the conversation was "Don't get your hopes up, you're probably going to get the crappy job on your list."

Next day he calls me and tells me I'm going to NROTC at Colorado.

7/10/2009 8:51 PM

Anonymous STSC said...

Many moons ago -
I'm in an area that my family and I liked alot & I'm up for shore duty orders. The only thing I wanted was to stay in the area where we'd bought our first home.

Detailer conversation went something like this:

Him - Well, there are about 15 openings but you've really got 3 basic choices.
Me - If one of them keeps me in the area I'll take it, career enhancing or not, doesn't matter.
Him - Well, you can have any of the following:
1. Groton (replacing xducers on the waterfront)
2. New London (METOC detachment)
3. SUBSCOL. Any 1 of 10+ open billets. (No promise of podium duty or anything. Random position selection by a civilian HR person)
Me - Rrrrrright. But I've already done a (sea) tour in Groton & don't really want to go back. Seriously there is nothing else?
Him - Unless you want to do back to back sea tours, I have openings in Guam I can xfer you right now.

I went back to Groton.
FF 3 years & I'm negotiating again. This time my choices were Guam or Pearl, any of almost a dozen boats had openings, and they were all 688's (at the time I'd done 2 637's & a T-hull). I picked Pearl because nobody visits Guam. It isn't that hard to talk family into coming to Hawaii.

I didn't pick a specific hull except to ask for a boat w/ good morale. I ended up on the G-ville, whose crew was still suffering from the stigma of the trifecta of major incidents that almost none were onboard for.

After those experiences, I finally have orders that I actually asked for! Though I ended up trapped for an extra 5 months onboard my current boat because of the whole budget snafu.

Oh well, it all worked out.

7/10/2009 11:06 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was intelligent enough to get out before being eligible for shore duty OR needing to have ANY discussion with a detailer.

Nuke school and a hitch on a 594 class boat pretty much doomed any appetite I might have had for a Navy career. If life is good enough to make you want to re-enlist, you probably aren't in the *real* USN.

7/10/2009 11:30 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "sweet deal" got was to be the detailer. Everyone has a horror story about what the detailer did to them but they should know that most likely the same thing was done to him and he didn't want to be where he is either. No one likes you, they blame you for everything that doesn't go their way and all in all it's just a crappy deal.

7/10/2009 11:54 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joel you misspelled that.
Let me fix that for you.
Bon(e)us is the correct spelling!

Ken in yoko.

7/11/2009 7:34 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I was approaching my EAOS I gave the Navy one legitimate chance to re-enlist me by meeting two small conditions: Remove my nuke NEC and send me to 2nd Class dive school. Seemed pretty simple to me - I was an E-6 and was already successful at completing scuba school.

Apparently not.

I got a run around about how one couldn't go from a higher classified job (nuke) to a lower one. Lost on the Navy was the fact that I would get out if I didn't get what I wanted. So I did.

7/11/2009 8:21 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am prior enlisted, so have been managing getting my kids through High School over the last few assignments.

The detailers were more than happy to imagine up "good deals" to help me make it their graduations:

6 months TAD one time and 15 Months IA the next

Both turned out the be great assignments but we weren't really looking for the extra family separation added to our three SSN tours

But my ultimate orders have been good -- GO NAVY

7/11/2009 11:21 AM

Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

"Cowboys don't cry."

fm an ex-detailer...

7/11/2009 3:25 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

They don't call them "flesh peddlers" for nothing.

7/11/2009 5:55 PM

Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

See "Confessions of a Flesh Peddler" in Proceedings, June 1984 pp. 65-70 for the other side of the story.

Peruse The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes in the bible for discussion of the sort of hat trick detailers are supposed to be capable of, every day, to ensure that every constituent gets exactly what he or she wants, even as often happens when they don't know what that is. ('I think I want to stay here, advance my career, serve the needs of the Navy, and be in an exciting and demanding billet that doesn't take much time or hard work.' Gotcha - coming right up.)

See the bumper sticker Shit Happens for explanation of why orders change.

7/11/2009 6:10 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy camper TM2(SS)in ATR on ol 348 boat in WesPac in 1962. Ship over for six, two weeks later orders to NewCon SSBN. To bad-so sad you gotta go. Five years later detailer "promise" good shore duty job (can't tell you what it is on the phone) in Holy Loch. Come in off patrol orders waiting for shore duty Fleet Submarine Training Facility, Pearl. Three years later(1970), contact TM detailer trying to finagle my way off FBM's. Detailer, TMCM was judge at my Chiefs initiation two years before. Remembers me, "says let me work on it." Gets back to me and says, "how about SS-580 out of Pearl?" HELL YES!!! Man, I've died and gone to Heaven!!! Five years later walked right off the boat and right into the N61 shop at SubPac for my last tour before retirement.

Just gotta take the not so good with a good. Coulda been a lot worse like winters in New London or Norfolk.

Keep a zero bubble.............


7/11/2009 11:21 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forgot about TM detailer (my TMCM benifactor) who contacted me in late 1972 and asked if I was interested in a mid-tour transfer. I says, "to what?" He says, "USS Grayback LPSS 574 homeported in Subic. The TMC billet is vacant do you want it?" I says, "Gimme a day or two I'll get back to you." I go home and ask the wife, "Honey, how'd you like to go to the PI?" Wife says, "You get orders to the Grayback I'm divorcing your sorry ass and I'll make sure you got no $$$ to have fun with in WesPac." At least thats the way I remember the gist of our conversation. Called detailer and told him I'd have to pass on his offer--sigh...

Keep a zero bubble...........


7/11/2009 11:35 PM

Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

Two parts to this post.
Not sure he was lying, but when you make promises that you know the guy who relieves you cannot hold up (like promising PG school after prototype), it's bad faith. (I enjoyed CHASN anyway)

Probably in response to that 'future payment' problem, guys going to NPTU are getting letters, signed by some real big wigs, locking in those future options. A very nice change, in good faith.

Personally, I have trouble criticizing a job I would refuse to take. If you can't do the job, keep your mouth shut. Sports fans, this applies to you as well. You couldn't pay me enough to take a thankless detailer job.

7/12/2009 3:49 AM

Anonymous STSC said...

Personally, I have trouble criticizing a job I would refuse to take.
Luckily enough, they can't force that job on you! Enlisted Detailer billets are competitively screened positions, and require flag screening (which is a joke) also. No data on what the 0-side of the house is like.

Of course there may not be that much competition in some cases, I heard they are required to have at least 3 applicants per spot.

7/12/2009 12:18 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The best thing about being a Culinary Specialist is, we can go damn near anywhere we want. Every ship and every command has a CS crew. Those of us who want to stay in past our initial sea tour, do well to try and make 2nd class in our first 3 to 4 years of TIS. That includes getting your NEC CS-3527 completed too. That way, when it comes time to hassle the detailer about moving on to a shore billet, the choices become alot more broad and appealing. I have a choice of Groton, KB or a shore tour at Bangor. If I could stay here at Bangor for another four years, I'd be a happy guy. Chances are very good that's going to happen.

7/12/2009 12:39 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Class 7301 at NPTU Idaho. We were required to fill out a so-called "dream sheet" for duty station assignment after graduation.

We were allowed three choices.

Mine were:

Given that the Navy was still building 637s and that all the fast boats were short handed, I thought I was certain to get what I requested.

I got a boomer in overhaul at EB.

7/13/2009 6:28 AM

Blogger 630-738 said...

Until my final boat story, I really never had much to complain about with respect to detailers, and the ending turned out well, but here goes:

I'm in the throws of decom in NNSY. I submitted a request to transfer to fleet reserve but was denied, I had enough time left to go back to sea. Fine. I called Mr. Nuc CPO detailer to get a list of options. I was told nothing was available, please call back in 2 weeks. I repeated this twice more, and began to wonder about this supposed "critical need for EMC's at sea". Finally he came through with a boat. I was offered an SSBN in King's Bay. No problem, figured it a good place to end my career. Talked to the boat, got a sponsor, everything was good.
Fast forward to report date. Already moved the family, settled in, got kids in school, everything. Went to the off-crew building to report and got stared at like I had a second head on my shoulders. The ENG came up and introduced me to their recently reported EMC. They were told my orders were cancelled, and the new EMC showed up instead. Puzzled, I called the detailer (a new one now, my original one had left). Turned out my orders, which I had in hand, were never posted to the requistion and therefore were as useless as they could be. He immediately started talking about sending me to Pearl, until he realized how much money it would cost him (Remember, family is already moved, etc..). After a week of hanging out and getting to know Subron 20 staff, I got orders to another SSBN right there in KB. Loads of fun!

7/13/2009 9:12 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was a JO on one of the last boats stationed in Charleston, we actually were the last boat to be decommissioned in the Charleston Navy Yard. I wanted to stay in Charleston due to person reasons and ask to be sent to NPTU - the detailer jump at the request. I think as a benefit I was allowed to transfer out of my sea tour up to 6 months early, but since I was one of the last JOs left on the Von Steuben during decommissioning it didn't really matter. NPTU was crappy at time, but I learned a lot about maintenance (Materials Officer) and met many great people. Like anything in the Navy, there was good and bad, but I definitely came out better than when I went it.

7/13/2009 9:49 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

From my detailer: "There are only two places you can go in the Navy: Korea, or Pakistan. Now, either you and I can pick, or I can pick."

As it turned out, there was a third place.

Bill the Shoe

7/13/2009 10:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thankless detailer job?

It's shore duty. They work for and with other up-and-comers. They wield tremendous power. And they effectively get to pick their own next sea duty assignment, ship type, homeport, and (sometimes) hull number.

I say again, thankless detailer job?

7/13/2009 6:11 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps if detailers talked frankly with their clientele, there would be fewer problems. Based on my experience, that rarely happens.

On one occasion where it did, a 637 JO in Charleston was told by his detailer that he wasn't good looking enough to be a flag aide. The JO was pissed, but it was the unvarnished truth.

Once the JO calmed down, he and his detailer were able to have a productive discussion about the JO's realistic job prospects.

7/13/2009 6:22 PM

Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

"was told by his detailer that he wasn't good looking enough to be a flag aide."

HAHAHAHA if that is the criteria used for screening flag aides we are already a second rate navy. What a load of horse hockey.

7/15/2009 5:37 AM

Blogger MM1/SS said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7/16/2009 3:43 AM

Blogger 630-738 said...

"I just got screwed by my Detailer...again."

Well, here we go again. My detailer's out to get me, waa, waa, waa.

"The last 3 have been worthless. 1 quit doing his job after makeing E-7...not Chief..E-7."

You're an MM1. You don't get to make that call. When you go through initiation, then you can decide if a CHIEF is an E-7 instead. STFU.

"The 2nd spent 6 months catching up on the backlog from #1, then pretty much was a clueless boob."

Proof? Evidence? It's easy to make sweeping accusations without backup. The only person you make look bad is yourself.

"#3 is a backstabbing liar. Tells you 1 thing in person, and in e-mails. Then does something completely opposite."

Again, proof? Evidence? Refer to my previous post.

"I am ending my Shore Duty 1 yr early because my Shore Duty is horrible. I'd rather be at Sea."

Well, great. Terminate shore duty and go to sea. Nothing wrong with that, of course I'm sure all that being home every night and not hearing "STATION THE MANUEVERING WATCH" must have really been hard on you.

"The Detailer and I arranged for me to report onboard Nov 16th. That way I get my EP evaluation for 1 yr ranked among my peers. He gets a Sea Returnee voluntarily coming back with 3 yrs of his tour left.

Win Win for us both I thought.

Then dickhead cut me orders to report Oct 31st. WTF? Seriously, he couldn't give me 2 weeks?

Now my entire last 3 yrs have become worthless. I will recieve a EP Transfer Eval ranked 1 of 1."

Did you discuss it with him? Perhaps there's a reason he changed it. I've had the same thing happen to me, and it was THE SHIP that demanded it, due to their deployment schedule. Sometimes, shit really does happen. A GOOD sailor learns to deal with it. A bad sailor calls his detailer a dickhead.

"Way to go. Love it when 1 person can invalidate my career so easily."

If that's all it takes to invalidate a career, you didn't have much of a career to start with.

"When I asked him why the orders didn't reflect what we had agreed to, he threatened to cancel said orders and cut me new ones to any 688 he wanted to...but I'd report Nov 16th."

Hmm, I'm wondering how you asked him. I mean, you've been so positive and rosy in your posting here so far, I'm sure your conversation started out with a polite inquiry.

"It cannot be that damn hard to do that job. You know you have "X" amount of slots. You know you have "X" amount of openings coming up. You know you have "X" amount of new gains."

Kettle, this is the pot. You're black. Remember, you are the one quitting on your current job because "it sucks."

"A little bit of planning, and TRUTH would be much appreciated."

So, in your VAST experience as a detailer, how would YOU handle this situation?

Seriously, MM1, after you are done burning my avatar in effigy, consider this: Folks ALL THE TIME get short cycled during an eval period, and they survive. Yes, it would be better if you could stay until evals are released, but when this happened to me, my CO made DAMN sure that my writeup reflected where I would have ranked if I had remained for the reporting period.

You sound quite hate-filled. Your shore duty sucks, the detailers are idiots, yada, yada, yada. What are the chances that BUPERS would field 3 idiots in a row as detailer? Really. There are probably specific reasons as to why you are being sent when you are, and you could find out if you calm down, take a breather, and ASK the question rather than get your feathers in a ruffle.

Stop and think about it before you pull the trigger. Just some advice from an EMCS who had to pull guys just like you out of the overhead many, many times.

7/16/2009 4:57 AM

Blogger MM1/SS said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7/16/2009 6:18 AM


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