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.)

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Uh-Oh

Well, it's not just the Air Force that's freaking out the media with an alleged cheating scandal involving the word "nuclear". From Navy Times:
The Navy’s top admiral says the service is investigating alleged cheating among senior sailors on written tests related to training on naval nuclear power reactors...
...The allegations involve alleged cheating on tests related to the nuclear reactors that provide propulsion for Navy submarines and aircraft carriers...
...At this stage of the investigation, approximately a dozen sailors are believed to be involved in the alleged cheating, although the investigation is still active and has not reached final conclusions.
Kind of scary, and potentially more damaging to the Navy than the Memphis scandal back in 2010. I have no idea what group is alleged to have cheated, but certain words in the story ("senior sailors", "submarines and aircraft carriers", "approximately a dozen") would certainly seem to point to an elite periodic school in the D.C. area that gives nuclear training to both submarine and carrier very "senior" Sailors and has fairly small class sizes. I really hope it isn't that school they're talking about, and that instead it's just guys cheating on the PNEO exam -- although I'm not sure how they'd really do that, since studying questions from previous exams is the entire curriculum of Engineer's School.

Update 1510 2/4: Looks like it's not PCO School. This article on CNN.com is unintelligible, but since it mentions "enlistees" and "South Carolina", I'm gonna guess it might be Nuc School or NPTU staff proficiency exams.

Update 0635 2/5: As more information comes out, it looks like it was EWS qualification exams for sea returnee instructors. So it's a bigger deal than if it was the quarterly T-Week CT exams.
Here's a link to the transcript of the press conference the CNO and ADM Richardson had on the subject yesterday, along with the video:

131 Comments:

Blogger a_former_elt_2jv said...

Wow. Seems like The USS HAMPTON all over again

If only the SPU's had read this blog in it's entirety.

2/04/2014 3:08 PM

 
Blogger a_former_elt_2jv said...

I forgot about this little gem about the Hamption

2/04/2014 3:16 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My favorite quote from the article:

The head of the Navy’s nuclear propulsion programs, Adm. John Richardson, told reporters that the examinations on which sailors allegedly cheated included classified information.

2/04/2014 3:18 PM

 
Blogger a_former_elt_2jv said...

Wait one-- did anyone else catch how this happened in 2010! Why does this matter now?

2/04/2014 3:25 PM

 
Blogger a_former_elt_2jv said...

Video: http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/us/2014/02/04/bts-navy-investigation-nuclear-test-cheating.cnn.html

2/04/2014 3:28 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://news.usni.org/2014/02/04/navy-investigating-nuclear-school-staff-cheating-ring

2/04/2014 3:31 PM

 
Anonymous Cupojoe said...

I would imagine that all the instructor crews for the MTS ships are sailors who have to take a qualification exam. It's probably a huge pain in the butt to show up to your "shore duty" (probably involuntarily, it being prototype)and told you have to pass this qualification exam after not having taken one in years, even though you have plenty of hands-on experience. I saw the instructors at NPS sweating bullets trying to bone up on a reactor plant that we never really use anymore. I don't condone it, but I understand it.

2/04/2014 4:25 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2014/02/04/22574124-nuclear-letdown-navy-suspends-30-instructors-at-reactor-school-for-alleged-cheating?lite

2/04/2014 4:59 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The purpose of this critique is not to point blame.... but standby for the corrective action on this deer in the headlight moment. The KOG would have been blowing a gasket on this one.

2/04/2014 5:45 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its been a long time, but I remember pretty tight proctoring on the prototype exams for students. Maybe instructors "cover" each other better? (because if the new guys don't pass, its hell for the guys there!)

2/04/2014 5:53 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The article makes it sound like the staff were cheating on a certain supervisory qualification exam.

2/04/2014 6:26 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude, in the nuclear navy everybody cheats on everything. Let's not pretend it's not that way.

2/04/2014 6:51 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was EWS qualification exams.

2/04/2014 7:02 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if they'll say this is an isolated and rare occurrence. The rug is getting pretty lumpy with everything that keeps getting swept under it.

2/04/2014 7:25 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

EWS qual exam, eh? So how many EWSs does it take to keep the plants up to support training? 6...3 per hull I suppose. Looks like the detailers might have a few hotfills pretty soon here.

2/04/2014 7:25 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you're not cheating, you're not trying

PW

2/04/2014 7:26 PM

 
Anonymous laughter in manslaughter said...

@7:25, its 5 crews with 2 four hour shifts, so each crew usually has 3-5 EWS's not counting the CPOs who are usually EOOWs. Prototype is a hard shore duty that the enlisted day to day guys do not get nearly enough recognition for. Probably got caught either changing answers or giving overly zealous "review" periods before the exam

2/04/2014 7:37 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bet this is just beginning. That probing 'finger' will soon reach out to the waterfront. Once again, squadron staffs will be down to 'help' and report back on exam security. It'll be painful for awhile. Thank you Air Force.

2/04/2014 7:50 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holy cow! Thank God my Shift Engineer days at NPTU have been over for several years now. I can only imagine the pain this will cause.

2/04/2014 7:56 PM

 
Anonymous LT L said...

Didn't something similar happen at MARF in mid 2001? I was just a student, so I only got scuttlebutt.

2/04/2014 8:07 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was staff at nptu...all the exams were kept in the same safe. As long as you were qualifying something to support the watchbill, you "had" the combination. Why do we keep pretending? We can prove our knowledge if NR grabs 100 random EWS/EOOW, sends them to DC for a written exam and see what happens. We all KNOW what would happen...just crucify this crew for now...no sense in any real corrective actions, like admitting most humans can't store encyclopedia Britannica in their head.

2/04/2014 8:09 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was a staff instructor for nearly 4 years at NTPU, and have since moved on to several other commands. The staff qualification exams are not hard exams. They weren't then, and they are not now. This completely boils down to individuals who believe they are above the requirements, and they believe they shouldn't have to study and learn to do their job.

I am only assuming this next part, but I would bet it's a pretty good assumption. These are the same individuals who will roast a student for being behind the curve, and cause them to do extra hours, while they are getting the questions out of a safe so they are able to do whatever in their shift.

Individuals who live with a double standard do not belong in the program. My hat is off to the individual who stood up and said this is wrong. I will gladly buy you a beer, regardless of the extra help that I have to endure from outside agencies coming down and looking at the boat.

No one is perfect, everyone makes mistakes, but this is a pure example of people that do not belong and do not live up to the standard that has been set before them. This also brings a bad name to the individuals who do their time honorably, and strive to succeed.

2/04/2014 8:26 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I won't pretend to know the actual extent of what's alleged in this particular case, but let's be honest with ourselves here. The exam aspect of this job has become overrun with gray area, I'm not even sure when one crosses the line from "studying" to "cheating" anymore. When boats generate their own 'study guide' or squadron sends out their 'some boat just did ORSE and here's what they were asked' message....do we really expect that envelope to not keep getting pushed?? Richardson and Greenert were both Submarine CO's.....what are the odds that their nukes went into every qual/CT exam cold, having NO IDEA what was going to be asked?

2/04/2014 8:49 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once you've actually operated a plant for a while, "those" exams are ALL bullshit anyway.

2/04/2014 8:57 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the training is done right, then everyone know the bulk of the exam. After all you just trained on it over the last several weeks. If that is not how it is done, there there is a different issue.

Qual exams always ask the same style questions. So once you have been around a while you know what kind of things are important, and what kind aren't. That is what prototype is supposed to teach the kids, how to qualify. Not how to cheat. If you are routinely asked questions that you haven't seen, then one of two things is going on. The exam writing is jacked, or you are not paying attention at training. Both are correctable, it just takes someone who know how to READ.

2/04/2014 9:45 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Show me a nuke who has never been "horsed" in a an exam at any point in the pipeline and you'll have an empty room.

Certain exams like final comps, etc were always on the up and up but training and "requal" exams are different beast.

Of course you'd get instructors who would "cough" during class saying you might want to remember this, etc. I saw no harm in this as even with that, there were dumbasses who would still miss the question.

2/05/2014 4:57 AM

 
Blogger Curt said...

These were EWS exams, for 'Sea Returnees,' right?

Who (Staff Training Group??) held them, in which 'safe??'

2/05/2014 8:13 AM

 
Blogger nate said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2/05/2014 8:53 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The sad part about this is a lot of times cheating, radioed logs, etc, goes on with the full knowledge and blind eye approval of the command. Everyone who has been at sea more than a day knows this.
While spending some time in the arctic I, as LELT, was ordered to not sample the primary by the CRA. When I asked if it was his order or the CO's I was told it was the CO's since the CO has that discretion I asked the CRA to put the order in the logs. He refused, I made a note of the time, name of the CRA and the order in the log, this went on for three days. When we were finally allowed to sample everything was OK. When the logs went up for review I was ordered to radio logs for the days we did not sample. I protested but did so, I made two sets of logs one was a copy of the original the other was the requested radioed logs. I turned in both sets of radioed logs as requested and witnessed the RCA shredding what he believed to be the original logs. I talked to a good friend who I could trust and found out my logs had been given to the RO's and EWO's who had been on watch so they could make their logs match the times I claimed to have been sampling the reactor. I made a note on the original logs detailing the whole thing. I still have my originals, with a bunch of papers my daughter has instructions to destroy when I die. Five different people, both officers and enlisted, were ordered to radio three different sets of logs to cover up something that was perfectly legal under the regs. That is when I made my decision to leave the navy. The boat is now an MTS in Charleston.

2/05/2014 8:59 AM

 
Blogger nate said...

Days like this I'm reminded why I am so glad to no longer be part of the nuclear navy.

The whole continuing training program never seemed right to me. From day-1 on the boat something inside of my head kept screaming "The Emperor has no clothes". I ignored it for a while, thinking that I must be wrong, because how can such an illustrious and long-standing program be wrong??

Well, my gut feeling was right. I eventually realized that nuclear powered warships are typically run by psychopath assholes who drive out anybody who doesn't have the single-minded taste for blood. They don't take "no" for an answer, and they are totally out of touch with the rest of the regular world. The senior nuclear leadership has had it's head too far up the collective ass for too long to fix the problem now.

While the technology & capability of the nuclear plant is impressive, the continuing training program is COMPLETELY & HORRIBLY BROKEN. The nuclear navy has permanently lost the bubble with no hope of getting it back.

I feel sorry for anyone that wants to make a career for themselves as a Navy Nuke.

2/05/2014 9:02 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still have my originals, with a bunch of papers my daughter has instructions to destroy when I die.

Wow, just wow. Make sure you take your medication today, you definitely need it.

2/05/2014 9:55 AM

 
Anonymous Michael Altieri said...

All of us who have ever qualified on a plant knows that the hardest quals are your first one as a student and your first time qualifying EWS/EOOW at sea. After that all requals are pretty standard including as an instructor at NPTU, of which I was from 94-97. I agree with many that have posted out here that there was always a culture of "horsing" espcially for sea returnees. I also agree that parts of the cirruculum was to review prior test questions as lessons learned. One thing that was never condoned was outright cheating i.e getting answers for the actual test you were taking. In my opinion this is a sypmtom of a larger issue of a lack of integrity from leadership whether it be from our political leaders, millitary commanders, CEO's and others in positions of authority. We do learn by example. If the President of the United States can lie to a Federal Grand jury back in the late 90's about a sexual affair then why can't a 4 star general have an affair himself in 2010? If an individual or company can cheat people out of their life savings with no reprecussions then why can't someone scam thier insurance company about a so called work place accident? This is how society thinks today. That is the real reason that our country is going to hell in a handbasket. People like us who were trained in this program and beleive in honesty and integrity while showing courage and committment to the endavors that we undertake in life are in the minority. It is a sad day for the United States Navy, the Nuclear Power Program, and the society in which we live in.

2/05/2014 10:18 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I would imagine that all the instructor crews for the MTS ships are sailors who have to take a qualification exam." - Cupojoe said... 2/04/2014 4:25 PM

On the submarine side (Charleston also trains for CVN plants) we can be certain all of the current instructors are still males.
Since classified information has been mentioned by top brass (and it did not have to be since almost everything testable is assumed to be classified) we are going to have some new civilians soon. When sub women start filling these instructor billets, just as the sea DH and CO billets their performance will not be compared to "clean slates" like the Rubber Duck's, but the records of recent years. Recall the dozens of firings.

2/05/2014 10:37 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was an ENG I had trouble understanding the "gray" area that is exam security.

As a standard practice, the ORSE team would select questions from our own exam bank we had given over the past year, and use them against us. I didn't know which of the 150ish questions they would choose, but I knew which ones were their "style"...say 35 of them. I would make those questions be regular oral exam questions and if sailors didn't know the answers, they owed a 4.0 rewrite that they kept in their training notebooks.

On our last ORSE, 8 of 10 questions my guys studied ALOT were on the exam and they knocked it out of the park. Is THAT cheating?

All the other exam questions are routinely sent out by SUBPAC following each ORSE. Now the NPEB makes new questions all the time but they are just different variations of about 250 topics and about 100 of those topics are used in about 75% of exams (SWAG). I had a bank of 350 questions (hightlighting the most frequently asked questions) that my qualifying EOOWs answered and kept 3 copies in binders for all to study on watch. Is that cheating?

But I admit, when I had a sh!t hot sea returnee (I wanted on the watchbill yesterday) ace a requal exam, I wouldn't question his proctoring. In my limited experience, I have seen little correlation between the ability/inability to pass a written exam and abitly to operate a plant, particularly mechanics.

2/05/2014 12:26 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most interesting the statement "NCIS is investigating" If I were the NPTU CO or even NAVSEA 08 I'd be embarrassed. All that says is "They" collective NNPP can not effectively conduct a Preliminary Investigation and adjudicate appropriate disciplinary action (if determinied that the violation/investigation supports the standard of UCMJ violation)

I can see how the "Creeping Nuc-ism" of old is going to be reinvigorated and permeate throughout all facets of the Navy.

Sea Story, On usta-fish we had an ORSE, the previous ORSE our NUC training program was deemed "Excellent" the EDMC ensured the training program was maintained at that standard and added a few "improvements recommended" by the ORSE Board. (Also got glowing reviews from Squadron prior to this particular ORSE) During the second ORSE the training program was evaluated as SBA (with letter) that translated into "ALL Training on USta-Fish was broken and was to be totally revamped..." The fact that other departments training contributed to Outstandings on other inspections (TRE, NTPI etc) didnt matter...

The old idiom, "One shaft, one screw, holy crap we're F**ked too" so applicable...

2/05/2014 12:42 PM

 
Anonymous Michael Altieri said...

"On the submarine side (Charleston also trains for CVN plants) we can be certain all of the current instructors are still males."

This is not a true statement. I was an instructor, 94-97, when women were allowed to rejoin the Nuclear Pipeline and allowed to be billeted on carriers. I am sure some of the instructors at NPTU are women that are SW qualified sea returnees that were "lucky" enough to draw NPTU as shore duty. Just because the plant is an S5W design does not mean surface sailors are excluded from instructor duty.

2/05/2014 12:50 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ Annon 9:55 am

So you think it mental to keep evidence that you were ordered to do an illegal thing?

2/05/2014 1:46 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoever said 'Everyone in the Navy cheats, let's not pretend it's any other way' is spot on.

The Navy, including nuclear Navy, condones activities that would get people kicked out of most academic institutions. Anything short of actually looking at an exam is fair game -- instructors who give 'hints' when they are about to recite an exam question verbatim, the 'right hand rule,' proctors who say 'hey, you need to write more about this doohickey on question 5' when you go to hand in the exam, exam banks with detailed question frequencies, sailors who pass down their previous qual exams and the [insert officer] hasn't changed any questions on it in years, etc.

The second someone comes into contact with these practices that contradict everything they've been taught about academic integrity, they have been convinced that the Navy condones cheating. It may not condone full blown, look at the next guy's paper cheating, but it condones cheating by most academic standards.

If you want to stop stuff like this from happening, stop expecting sailors to distinguish between when it is or isn't okay to do these things. In tandem, stop expecting Sailors to fail exams. Set the bar at 3.2, make the exams harder, and if you can't legitimately pass, you get booted. Unsat training programs where Sailors don't pass exams, not programs where they do.

2/05/2014 1:48 PM

 
Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

Can't help being a bit surprised that no one is challenging the concept of 'excellence through examination.' There are great swaths of the military and of the business world that rely on actual performance, on skills and knowledge demonstrated on the job to assess one's ability and potential. Quality standards under the ISO system, Six Sigma, LEAN, and others look at process and performance, not memory skills.

It's difficult to separate in my mind the great value of high marks in exams from effort by the exam giver to cover his ass and put blame for problems down the chain of command. With full respect for nuke ways, some may be counterproductive and inviting of bad behavior.

2/05/2014 2:59 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Just because the plant is an S5W design does not mean surface sailors are excluded from instructor duty." Mike Altieri 2/05/2014 12:50 PM

That would be repetition of having a skimmer shipyard commander on watch during the USS Miami inferno. (By the way he was quickly promoted away to a temporary job in DC). Skimmers don't fully get it. When and if submariners ever fall to skimmers' diminished levels of attention to detail, more disasters will ensue in short order.

After this investigation concludes, the sailor (female?) who reported the written test infractions and the surface pukes largely involved in it, may result in some rejiggering of navy philosophy regarding the fungibility of subs and skimmer vessels.

2/05/2014 3:17 PM

 
Blogger tennvol said...

Hey Joel, I'm a couple of days late, but happy quarter century since commissioning.

2/05/2014 6:02 PM

 
Blogger rbmcmjr said...

That would be repetition of having a skimmer shipyard commander on watch during the USS Miami inferno. (By the way he was quickly promoted away to a temporary job in DC). Skimmers don't fully get it. When and if submariners ever fall to skimmers' diminished levels of attention to detail, more disasters will ensue in short order.

I have no idea what you are talking about. Even when I went through prototype in '88, there were surface guys on sub plants and vice versa. Some of the best watchstanders on my MTS crews wore water wings and some of the biggest dirt bags wore dolphins.

2/05/2014 6:48 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Can't help being a bit surprised that no one is challenging the concept of 'excellence through examination.' There are great swaths of the military and of the business world that rely on actual performance, on skills and knowledge demonstrated on the job to assess one's ability and potential. Quality standards under the ISO system, Six Sigma, LEAN, and others look at process and performance, not memory skills."

Well, in this case, it was a qualification exam, so the person in question had to demonstrate the pre-requisite level of knowledge to operate the plant. It wasn't a continuing training exam or ORSE written exam.

But as for 'excellence through examination,' what other metric can you really judge nukes by? You don't get to operate the plant in a SLR, fast leak, or feed rupture...ever. The only thing you can do to minimize that risk is to demonstrate that you know what actions you should take and hopefully that's enough when the time comes.

Also, all of the commercial reactor accidents (and several NR incident reports) have operator level of knowledge as a basic root cause, so you're not going to convince anyone of significant importance that getting rid of knowledge examinations is a good idea.

The problem is not the framework -- you read the EDOM and it has very sensible guidance on how to do training. The problem is how it's implemented: ORSE senior board members who hit crews for having too good of a pass rate, a low bar for passing, department training where some unenthusiastic E-6 or O-2 clicks through a power point with no real plan on how to raise everyone's performance.

The Navy's standards relative to commercial plants is abhorrently low. To suggest that being required to take written examinations is the cause of cheating is absurd.

2/05/2014 6:56 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By my RADCON math, about 40 percent of the total nuclear trained enlisted community should be surface Sailors, so about 40 percent of the instructors at the nuclear pipeline schools should be surface Sailors. They all went through their initial training on a submarine based plant. They should be more than capable of returning and serving as instructors.

2/05/2014 7:05 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha! Ha! How can the "smartest" people in the Navy be so stupid. F-U Nukes! Now get back and push.

2/05/2014 7:23 PM

 
Anonymous PortTackStart said...

@Anonymous 1:48

I have seen every thing you've mentioned go on at various academic institutions.

I've had courses where the professor flat out told the class that he knows old material is out there and he expects us to use that as a guideline for studying. I've had another tell the class that looking at any old material floating out there is considered cheating for him, but he was very clear during lectures on what material was going to be on the exams. His exam reviews consisted of him looking at a copy of the exam and telling us the specific topics to look at. I've also had plenty of professors do a courtesy look-through when handing in an exam to point out glaring errors.

IMHO, cheating on a nuke test is having access to a copy of the exam/key (which is what happened in this case), or directly copying off of someone during the exam.

2/05/2014 8:39 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was the STG LCPO on one of the moored MTS's in the late 90's and know what exam security was like at that time. The individual who said that everyone had access to the exam safe combinations is incorrect in my experience. For both CT and Qual Exams, the STO, STE, myself and exam coordinator in STG had that combo.

However, staff qual exams and student qual exams were administered together and the "duty proctor" had a key for each exam being given in order to adequately answer testee's questions. Guidance was to only answer queries regarding question clarity and not student's answer quality. 'Nuff said about that-LOL.

Not to excuse anything that took place, but the EWS exam was a bear. All normal watch-station exams including EOOW were geared to verify basic knowledge. Effectively simple BEQ, some theory, some operational (OI,OP,CP). The EWS exam was only administered to sea returnees and exam results did NOT show up in student metrics - that should tell you everything. In addition, all Qual exams were written by Civilians in the Training Group who were qualified ENG. Student qual exams had been diluted over the years to be "challanging" up to the point of impacting attrition. EWS exams hadn't experienced the forced modification and it was obvious to me the the exam authors didn't understand the operational, vice theoretical knowledge that an EWS needs to know. The EOOW exam I took to qualify was one of the most simple exams I ever took in the Program. The EWS tests I saw had PNEO material in them and they sucked.

I have no direct knowledge of blatant cheating during staff exams while I was at prototype but I'm not surprised. No one wants to be the one who can't support the watch bill or the one who seems to get pushed beyond their skill-set; the 14 or 6 year 1st class who gets a chance to qualify EWS at prototype and doesn't for whatever reason. With the limited shore billets for Nuclear Trained Enlisted, there are few places for the less talented to hide. It can be a career breaker that's worse, in some respects, than a medical disqualification.

Let the Punitive Training commence!



2/05/2014 8:50 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With all of the press the Air Force has gotten recently is anyone really all that surprised that something like this would come out?

Written examinations are a useful tool if used properly, but one must really ask if they are truly evaluating what needs to or should be evaluated. They also happen to be a convenient tool, and one that most college graduates have a great deal of experience with. What most people involved in designing and executing training plans (including examinations) lack is any experience and training in how to do so. Is rote memorization of various chapters and verses of various manuals and publications what we really need to have nuclear trained operators focusing on?

2/05/2014 10:28 PM

 
Blogger Bubblehead said...

TENNVOL: You're right! I forgot about that. OCS Class 89001, graduated 2/3/89!

2/06/2014 7:22 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An addition in clarification of 2/05/2014 8:50 PM:

During the time discussed (and I'm sure prior to) a sea returnee was considered a student until he qualified as an operator. As such, his qual standard and exams were identical to the new student's standard including the qual exams. With the exception of the EWS qual and those specific to unique plant safety systems and support that were outside the curriculum for new pipeline students, qual exams were identical for students and sea returnees.

2/06/2014 8:10 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So you think it mental to keep evidence that you were ordered to do an illegal thing?

You said "The boat is now an MTS in Charleston.". That implies that your evidence is from before the 635 and 626 were converted. That means that it's at LEAST 20 years old. Get a grip.

2/06/2014 9:51 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Concur with Anon 2/06/2014 9:51 AM.... dude, those records aren't even around anymore. and do you think anyone cares that you were ordered to radio chemistry logs 20 or 30 years ago?? Let's stick to the issue at hand. What is driving guys to think they can get away with this type of behaviour?? That is the question 08 and company are going to be looking for an answer to.

2/06/2014 11:57 AM

 
Blogger a_former_elt_2jv said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2/06/2014 12:11 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

former elt 2jv.... you have no idea what you are talking about. your suppositions couldn't be further from accurate.

2/06/2014 12:52 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have no idea what article 2JV read to make him think that this is dredging up old shit. The folks being investigated are current NPTU instructors.

2/06/2014 1:22 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

So you think it mental to keep evidence that you were ordered to do an illegal thing?

You said "The boat is now an MTS in Charleston.". That implies that your evidence is from before the 635 and 626 were converted. That means that it's at LEAST 20 years old. Get a grip.

2/06/2014 9:51 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Concur with Anon 2/06/2014 9:51 AM.... dude, those records aren't even around anymore. and do you think anyone cares that you were ordered to radio chemistry logs 20 or 30 years ago?? Let's stick to the issue at hand. What is driving guys to think they can get away with this type of behaviour?? That is the question 08 and company are going to be looking for an answer to.

2/06/2014 11:57 AM

Glad you both feel that way I'm keeping the logs. If nothing else it makes me feel better.

2/06/2014 4:45 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But as for 'excellence through examination,' what other metric can you really judge nukes by?"

Day to day...you can either live by it or die by it. I think its the only thing an ORSE team cares about, and I agree it is the only real way to evaluate an entire ship. But all the other distractions tend to make this difficult at times.

2/06/2014 4:54 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Concur with Anon 2/06/2014 9:51 AM.... dude, those records aren't even around anymore. and do you think anyone cares that you were ordered to radio chemistry logs 20 or 30 years ago?? Let's stick to the issue at hand. What is driving guys to think they can get away with this type of behaviour?? That is the question 08 and company are going to be looking for an answer to."

Dude, I think he is addressing the issue at hand. You ask "what drives guys to think they can get away with this type of behavior?" The answer is the fact that for decades evidently the integrity of the program has been compromised from the top down. I don't think this is anything new. I am sure there are many people on this blog who could relate similar stories.Evidently testing has not been the only part of the program where the integrity had been compromised. What type of tactical situation would prevent a boomer from sampling the primary for three days? If there was a valid tactical reason then all the CO had to do was make a note of it in the logs. Instead he chose to give illegal orders to his engineering department. That type of situational ethics is part of what makes it so hard to retain good people in this program. So those who have flexible integrity remain and you end up with cheating rings at your training facilities. What is really funny is listening to a couple of 4 stars showing mock indignation, since they are probably part of the problem.

2/06/2014 5:02 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait, what? Did you just call a bunch of people who willingly gundecked logs 'good people?'

Seriously, what would've happened if the LELT said "fuck you, I'm not gundecking the logs" along with everyone else? Mast, which he can formally appeal with a formal statement on how you were ordered to gundeck logs by the CO that now goes to the commodore?

Seriously, not a sailor involved in that situation on that ship had a fucking spine. They weren't 'good people,' they put a perceived danger to their pay in front of their duties as nuclear submariners. Any one of a half dozen people could've blown the whistle on that and they didn't. I'm glad that they left the Navy.

2/06/2014 5:31 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Seriously, what would've happened if the LELT said "fuck you, I'm not gundecking the logs" along with everyone else? Mast, which he can formally appeal with a formal statement on how you were ordered to gundeck logs by the CO that now goes to the commodore?

Seriously, not a sailor involved in that situation on that ship had a fucking spine. They weren't 'good people,' they put a perceived danger to their pay in front of their duties as nuclear submariners. Any one of a half dozen people could've blown the whistle on that and they didn't. I'm glad that they left the Navy."

Really? And who do you think would have actually gotten the blame when it reached the commodores level? The O5 or the E5?

2/06/2014 5:54 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know what your right I did care more about my paycheck, and my wife and thee kids and making sure they had a roof over their heads and food on the table. You do realize in the 80's even with all the sea pay etc. and living in navy housing E5's qualified for food stamps, right? I made the mistake of believing the BS about how honesty and integrity were the most important things in the nuc navy. As a young E5 I watched as an O5, an O4, two O3's, an E8, E7,and two E6's showed me "how things were done in the fleet" so I did what I was ordered to do because "or else". I was ostracized enough for objecting what exactly do you think my life would have been like if I had pressed the issue up to squadron?

2/06/2014 6:35 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Point is, you wouldn't have had to push it up to squadron. Saying "fuck you" would've gotten the point across just fine -- the CO's hands would be tied because HE wouldn't want to let the cat out of the bag.

The good thing about standing up for the right answer is that people tend to follow your lead. If just ONE of those guys who gundecked logs stood up for what's right, he would've had people who followed.

Bottom line is that you looked out for your own self-interest instead of doing your duty as an ELT. Good on you -- now you're the one who has to keep 20+ year old paperwork to make yourself sleep comfortably at night.

But you're not a 'good person,' you don't have any integrity, and it was not a sad day when you left the Navy.

2/06/2014 6:57 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well isn't it special for you that you can judge the mistakes someone made 30 years ago and come off perfect. I'm sure you did everything perfectly during your time in the service happy for you shipmate. I'm sure you will have a good life since you have evidently never made a mistake in your life.

2/06/2014 7:24 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW!!!!! Way to nuke this topic to death. BTW pier wolf's COB just got shitcanned for poor performance issues. Guess he should have taken his viagra.

2/06/2014 7:52 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Seawolf just returned from a 6-month deployment. Hardly a pier...

2/06/2014 8:46 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jesus H Christ its fucking primary chemistry. You could completely ignore it for months on end with no actual consequences whatsoever.

The reason the nuc pipeline works so well is that its so absurdly conservative at all levels, that when someone stomps their foot during an exam review the whole audience things they're involved in a vast conspiracy. For fucks sake your whole sense of indignation is exactly what has been programmed into you by this very system.

2/06/2014 9:20 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Well isn't it special for you that you can judge the mistakes someone made 30 years ago and come off perfect. I'm sure you did everything perfectly during your time in the service happy for you shipmate. I'm sure you will have a good life since you have evidently never made a mistake in your life."

Spare me the sob story. No one is perfect, but few people can lay claim to keeping a record of 20+ year old logs because he got a handful of other people to blaze logs.

There are different scales of 'mistakes' and this one is fairly egregious. It's in the past, but my point is that this is not an example of the Navy failing to keep 'one of the good guys.' Far from it, actually.

There are people who gave their lives in the line of duty. This guy wouldn't even risk a paycheck. Is this the guy you want watching your back if a casualty happens? The type of guy who says "I've got a wife and kid at home, so I'm not going to risk my neck for my shipmates?"

2/06/2014 9:41 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Jesus H Christ its fucking primary chemistry. You could completely ignore it for months on end with no actual consequences whatsoever."

Weeks? Possibly. Months? No. Besides, the issue isn't whether or not the CO decided not to sample; the issue is that the CO felt that he needed to cover it up by making his subordinates gundeck logs and not a single person had the balls to stand up for what was right.

If there's a legitimate reason for not sampling, put it in the logs. If there isn't, then sample. It's that simple.

2/06/2014 9:50 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At least from where I'm at, the culture of the nuclear navy as far as integrity is concerned has changed a lot. We push this into students throughout the pipeline, and hope it'll carry with them through their first command. Good for the Sailor that came forward. Those clowns, be they sub and/or surface, are not above the rules and are exactly what the program is trying to weed out. I have seen exams go from verbatim manual regurgitation to being keyed for what is expected knowledge. The dipshits still fail and your good operators aren't spending most of the week prior to a periodic exam cramming. The EDM has very specific exam security requirements now too, so I'm wondering if the PTM has been updated to reflect that.

2/07/2014 4:22 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once upon a time there was on officer who shall remain nameless (CNO)cough cough. Who was in command of a submarine. This submarine was going into shipyard for overhaul. There was ship wide training for special shipyard tagout procedures. After the first test 80% of the officers failed but the enlisted crew passed. The test had to be given again to allow the officers to pass. There was plenty of shall we say assistance so everyone would pass this test.

2/07/2014 5:35 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loving the Monday Morning quarterbacking going on with respect to the ELT!

Having an opinion is one thing (They are like assholes we all got one... well most of us anyway)

Remember we werent there, dont have all the facts, understanding of the situation, command climate, etc)

To all those holier than Thou's out there keep in mind there was only one "perfect guy to ever walk the earth" and they NAILED HIS ASS TO A CROSS
Might be a contributing factor to why our ELT commenter did what he had to do...

2/07/2014 6:40 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@annon 9:41. Just love how you absolve everyone above me of responsibility because of my actions. You actually remind me of the CRA involved who was never wrong no matter how wrong he was. So everyone senior to me followed MY lead. How old are you mid 50's? What is your date of commission?

2/07/2014 7:24 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad you both feel that way I'm keeping the logs. If nothing else it makes me feel better.

Hence the medication suggestion, as that would accomplish the same goal and you could shred those things. And here's some more food for thought, are those copied logs classified information?

2/07/2014 8:24 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How could they not be?

2/07/2014 8:32 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"@annon 9:41. Just love how you absolve everyone above me of responsibility because of my actions. You actually remind me of the CRA involved who was never wrong no matter how wrong he was. So everyone senior to me followed MY lead. How old are you mid 50's? What is your date of commission?"

I'm not absolving anyone of anything. What the officers above you did was equally terrible. What the RO did was equally terrible.

However, as someone who's been a civilian for many years now, you must recognize that if you assist your boss in breaking the law (and gundecking logs is falsifying an official document -- a felony), you are also guilty of breaking the law. Your defense is that it might have cost you and your family a paycheck to stand up to your CO. If you were a civilian, would you choose not to stand up to your boss because you could get fired?

My comment was directed at the individual who lamented that we lost a 'good person' when you left the Navy. I submit that you were a cog in a machine that put a lot of people into bad positions. You were in a unique position to change the culture onboard your ship for the better and failed to do your duty. Judging by your responses, you blame everyone else around you for this event but yourself.

2/07/2014 8:42 AM

 
Blogger Mike Mulligan said...


Basically these things are caused solely by a non transparent group or organization. You never allow independent outsides to come in to take pot shots at your weaknesses.
Excess secrecy generally makes the lot of you weak.
And of course, there are important secrets to keep.

2/07/2014 10:18 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The machine put a lot of people in bad positions or I put a lot of people in bad positions?

I think if you read my original post you will realize I did what was within my power at the time. The fact that you don't like my resolution is to me irrelevant unless you were one of the people involved, and don't come back with you are involved because my actions reflect badly on subfor or the nuc navy.

If you feel that an E-5 without the support of ANYONE above him can change the command culture aboard a boat then you sir are delusional. Yes what I did was wrong but there were no whistle blower protections then like there are now. So yes I have evidence to support my claim that I was not the only one responsible for what happened.

Your fixation on this is bordering on an obsession and it might be you who are in need of medication.

2/07/2014 10:56 AM

 
Blogger Mike Mulligan said...


Well, this surely is the time to bring up recent issues to your command especially if you got documentation. If you need a trusted middleman related to the Navy nuke program...I could help?

http://steamshovel2002.blogspot.com/

2/07/2014 11:36 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Back to the exam topic,

The word is staff had a thumb drive with the EWS exams. These were downloaded on home computers. This would indicate jail time.

2/07/2014 11:56 AM

 
Blogger Old Salt said...

2 ways to do well on exams. When I reported as Staff at MARF, I realized my LOK was behind. I put in student hours for a couple of months. Wife was mad, but I didn't TUB any areas.

That said, as a proctor telling somebody to write more on a CTE exam doesn't bother me. I frequently made the statement "I can't tell you what to write, but I can tell you to write more, and if the knowledge is already in your head, then put it down."

2/07/2014 12:12 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everything to do with qualifications at MTS involves a well paid civilian. I hope the net is cast wide enough to find EVERYONE responsible.

2/07/2014 5:42 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Am I the only one that sees the irony in that ADM Richardson barely escaped the hatchet in 95 as the XO on the SLC when a systemic integrity issue was discovered (Waite-Gate) whereby the CO and others were relieved?

Now the same person that ended up being the head of the Nuke Navy is responding to a similar systemic integrity issue.

2/07/2014 6:36 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Every nuclear operator should have to watch this video. Bottom line: You screw up like this and 4 star admirals will be involved and they won't be happy they have to deal with you.

Remember , "Navy Nuclear Power does not accept integrity violations. Cheat, lie and gun deck logs at your own risk. There is no mercy if caught."

2/07/2014 10:58 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Other incidents
This is the nuclear Navy’s fifth cheating scandal in seven years. Here’s a run-down of the previous incidents:
—————
Attack submarine Hampton

When: Late 2007
What: An investigation found widespread cheating on exams and the falsification of signatures on radiological control logs.
Results: Commanding officer fired. Three officers and seven sailors were disciplined. At least two officers were stripped of their nuclear designator and two sailors lost their nuclear Navy enlisted classification. Afterward, Vice Adm. Jay Donnelly, then-commander of Submarine Forces, ordered “deep dive” teams on the waterfront to assess morale, climate and retention issues in the submarine fleet.
—————
Carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower

When: Late 2008
What: Widespread cheating by senior nuclear sailors discovered in the course of a written exam, given as part of the Operational Reactor Safeguards Examination.
Results: One junior officer and seventeen senior enlisted nukes were disciplined. Eleven senior enlisted lost their nuclear NECs.
—————
Carrier Harry S. Truman

When: May 2009
What: A test-giver caught sailors with notes during a level of knowledge exam.
Results: Thirteen sailors were disciplined. Eight of them lost their NECs and were kicked off the ship.
—————
Attack submarine Memphis

When: Late 2010
What: A network administrator aboard the sub shared answer keys for level of knowledge tests with shipmates for nearly 15 months.
Results: Fourteen crew members took part in the conspiracy, including a lieutenant commander, three lieutenants, a lieutenant junior grade and a chief machinist’s mate. Roughly 10 percent of the crew was expelled from the sub.

2/08/2014 4:54 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's actually the sixth "cheating scandal" to hit the Navy.

In April of 2012, two JO's on the RI approached their CO informing him that the ENG had provided them the questions that were on the upcoming ORSE exam (in the next few days). They thought this was not right. That's why they spoke up. The CO fired the ENG and let his bosses know.

The timing is interesting. That same week, the SUBLANT IG investigation on the Memphis hit the desk of SUBLANT (ADM Richardson at the time) stating there were "No indications of widespread cheating in the Fleet." Richardson's response? Group 10 Admiral's response? Reinstate the RI ENG, give the ENG a Letter of Instruction, and complete the investigation.

Later, Freedom of Information Act requests resulted in "The investigation into the RI alleged cheating is complete, and the information requested is classified."

Fast Forward - Reap what you sow. Have fun with this one Mr. Head of NR.

2/08/2014 5:07 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ADMIRAL JONATHAN GREENERT: "We’ll learn from this, and we’ll do a case study, and we’ll train on it."

When? The seventh "known" cheating scandal? Looks like the Hampton's Deep Dive fallout ordered by ADM Donnelly in 2007 proved fruitful. It's all lip service.

2/08/2014 5:52 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The press conference is pretty funny. Two Submariner Admirals talking about the I-word, Integrity. It's like watching Waldorf and Statler in the balcony critiquing the performance of Kermit and Fozzy.

2/08/2014 5:57 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To anon 2/07/2014 10:58 PM: Looks like "Every nuclear operator should have to watch" the Muppet Show.

2/08/2014 6:54 AM

 
Anonymous NHSparky said...

Yup--whoever said it earlier was right--the KOG would be blowing a gasket right about now. Navy nukes are not that hard to run, especially compared to civilian nukes, so why the need to cheat?

2/08/2014 10:43 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cheating on submarine qualification and continuing training exams will continue to be a problem until NR changes the exam methodology. Discussing integrity, ethics and values is interesting but will not solve the problem. Naval Reactors would like to think that the qualification and continuing training examination process is high stakes testing. Nothing could be further from the truth. The whole system of exam bank control, test preparation, monitoring, and grading inside the hull of a submarine is difficult to do and has the hallmarks of a low stakes testing system. True control is nearly is impossible since everyone in the chain of command has a vested interested in a sailor passing the examination. As a result low stakes behaviors permeate the onboard exam program. The gaps and seams are too numerous to count. Also Naval Reactors is complicit in this poor culture. For example, when I took the Engineers exam we had a good portion of the oral and written NR exam bank available for study . It had built up over the years through defacto sanctioned cheating and completing and studying the exam bank was the way to prepare for the exam. The whole culture for qualifying engineer officer operated off this exam bank.

The current exam process is broken and it is time to fix it. If NR needs the exam program to ensure they can defend the safety of the program why not have a professional exam and certification system instead of one run by a crew that already has enough to do.



2/08/2014 11:01 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think being handed an exam bank of like 300 questions, of which you'll be asked a handful, is cheating. Especially when you have no access to the official answer key -- everything that was passed down to you was notes from a previous JO.

Now, if you had a copy of the exact 20 questions you'd be asked, that would be cheating, with or without the answer key.

I don't know why NR didn't transition to standard qualification and continuing training exams a long, long time ago. Give an updated CD of them to the Eng every quarter, where he and the EDMC can select which questions to give his crew for the occassion. The keys should not get distributed to proctors.

So much time is wasted reinventing the wheel with these exams that it's ridiculous. I thought it was a hassle to take them until I had a hand in all the crap that goes into administerig them. It easily takes 5x the amount of man hours to create, administer, and grade an exam than to just sit and take it.

As for the cheating scandals, the submarine force is trying to change exam culture without admitting that it has a problem. No one in a senior position wants to candidly address the issue or see how deep the rabbit hole really goes.

2/08/2014 12:15 PM

 
Anonymous ex SSN Eng said...

Some old, 'new' thoughts on approaching the submarine training & examination problem:

"In 1929 I attended the Columbia School of Engineering for postgraduate study in electrical engineering. Columbia was the first institution that encouraged me to think rather than memorize.

...

"What it takes to do a job will not be learned from management courses. It is principally a matter of experience, the proper attitude, and common sense - none of which can be taught in a classroom.

...

"After a lifetime of work I conclude that what can be said about doing a job is hardly enough for one lecture, let alone an entire field of study. The key points of such a lecture I would summarize as follows:

☻ Human experience shows that people, not organizations or management systems, get things done. For this reason subordinates must be given authority and responsibility early in their careers. In this way they develop quickly and can help the manager do his work. The manager, of course, remains ultimately responsible and must accept the blame if subordinates make mistakes.

☻ As subordinates develop, work should be constantly added so that no one can finish his job. This serves as a prod and a challenge. It brings out their capabilities and frees the manager to assume added responsibilities. As members of the organization become capable of assuming new and more difficult duties, they develop pride in doing the job well. This attitude soon permeates the entire organization.

☻ One must permit his people the freedom to seek added work and greater responsibility. In my organization, there are no formal job descriptions or organization charts. Responsibilities are defined in a general way, so that people are not circumscribed. All are permitted to do as they think best and to go to anyone and anywhere for help. Each person then is limited only by his own ability.


...

"A good manager must have an unshakable determination and tenacity. Deciding what needs to be done is easy, getting it done is more difficult. Good ideas are not adopted automatically. They must be driven into practice with courageous impatience. Once implemented they can be easily overturned or subverted through apathy or lack of follow-up, so a continuous effort is required. Too often, important problems are recognized but no one is willing to sustain the effort needed to solve them."


Doing a Job
-- Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, U.S. Navy, retired

2/08/2014 12:16 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Way to kill a thread with a Rickover quote.

So, if the "Father of the Nuclear Navy" would not condone such behavior, then does that mean his followers have? Or did the "Father" start the ball rolling in the direction the Nuclear Navy is going now?

What's the point of the above post? The nuclear navy started out pure, therefore is must still be pure? Remove your blinders or rose colored glasses. The facts are facts. And there is a predominant trend to "play the system" (cheat) to look good (be normal) to play the game.

Early posts sea-lawyer cheating into not being cheating. It's OK to study past tests. It's OK to focus on recent questions. Let's ignore the intent and focus on the end result. The means justify the end. Right? Cheating is cheating. Gaming the system is gaming the system.

We're all big boys. Stop playing with smoke and mirrors.

2/09/2014 9:52 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aughh. There are negatives consequences and a dark side to the Rickover approach. Failure and error become unacceptable. All failings are treated equally. Once the big problems are solved the smaller problems will be dealt with with the same level of seriousness and it takes a human toll. As result fear becomes part of an organizational culture and people take risks with their integrity to avoid the consequences and punishment for those mistakes or failures. During my JO tour, the ELT's lost control of a test fitting. The pressure placed on the crew to find the fitting was unbearable. They "found" the fitting after three days of crew searches and liberty curtailment. An ELT had taken an identical fitting that has not been used yet and etched the lost fitting's serial number . The result was the relief of CRA, LELT, and 2 ELTS. Of course the original fitting was never found. The CO was rewarded by eventually becoming a Senior Member of the NPEB. I was ashamed at the way leadership dealt with the situation.

There may be truly dishonest people in our business but they are a minority and should be removed when discovered. We don't know the details of the cheating scandal but I hope leadership including NR looks at themselves as being part of the problem.

2/09/2014 11:46 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems like the wave is reaching the fleet. I have now seen sailors on my ship being told that they are "removed from all nuclear duties while being investigated" because they came here from the 626 last year. Anybody else seen this shit yet?

2/09/2014 3:42 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"In April of 2012, two JO's on the RI approached their CO informing him that the ENG had provided them the questions that were on the upcoming ORSE exam (in the next few days). They thought this was not right. That's why they spoke up. The CO fired the ENG and let his bosses know. "

While the ENG was temp removed by the CO due to an exam issue, the rest is pretty inaccurate. RI JOs admitted using focused study guides provided by ENG for routine exams, not ORSE. While not great, and though COC recommended ENG removal, ADM R (asVADM) did stop the madness and let RHO recover without heads rolling. New standards cn arise without heads rolling every time.

2/09/2014 4:06 PM

 
Anonymous ex SSN Eng said...


“Success teaches us nothing; only failure teaches.”


― Admiral Hyman G. Rickover


I'm posting the Rickover comments to point out two glaring issues:

(1) The current crop of nuclear trained submariners clearly has no idea what Rickover actually stood for, and

(2) The fleet's current management would do well to re-examine its overall towards training nukes...as it has always sucked, and for no particularly good reason.

The most confirming and yet depressing comment I've read here regarding the "stuck" state of the training paradigm in nuke land is: "So much time is wasted reinventing the wheel with these exams that it's ridiculous." To me, that says (confirms) it all.

Any world-class training program uses more or less standardized questions, the correct answering of which is sufficient to move forward in terms of taking on added responsibility. Knowing what you need to know is knowing what you need to know.

Where the nukes have been "Breaking Bad" per these and similar news reports is to actually acquire the questions/answers for a particular exam. Understanding the difference between the required boundaries of knowledge and getting "gouge" (cheating on a particular exam) is not difficult.

If anyone thinks that education, training and certification programs for any number of license-type civilian exams operate in a vastly different way, you're sadly mistaken.

Rickover did not teach -- for instance -- that you cannot fail, but instead to learn from those that do. And he invoked all of us to avoid mediocrity...which has certainly escaped some of the comments here.

More: Thoughts on Man's Purpose in Life, by HGR.

Good luck, guys. You're going to need it. But I'd suggest, first & foremost, that you actually learn what Rickover taught rather than simply imagining and harrumphing that you do.

2/09/2014 5:46 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't forget Alaska Blue Jan 2006 ORSE exam cheating scandal. Officers, Chiefs, others de-nuc'ed. Started pulling thread and forward exam process was suspect (as most of us already know). Stopped pulling thread to stop the bleeding and loss of an entire crew.

2/09/2014 10:07 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The fleet's current management would do well to re-examine its overall towards training nukes...as it has always sucked, and for no particularly good reason."

There's a reason. It sucks because HGR promised to deliver nukes in a year to keep costs low and the program requires relatively highly trained operators.

There was (and still is) a big cost battle wrt operating nuclear reactors. Sure, you save on operational costs of fuel, but the manufacturing processes and training program for the technicians makes it exponentially more expensive.

You compare this to flight school where they basically have as much time as they need to make an aviator because the aviator's commitment does not begin until he wings. If there is a training backlog because too many students are in the pipeline, then the next batch gets stash duty and waits. They will not lower the standards and in fact will raise them during these times -- guys with 93% averages on exams can attrite. No one with 4 stars is going to question the strategic importance of maintaining Naval aviation. The Navy nuke pipeline doesn't have that flexibility or security of existance.

Ultimately, there are several aspects at play here -- cost of maintaining the program, getting enough operators to the fleet to keep our ships at sea, and maintaining high standards for level of knowledge. Unfortunately, those 3 things are in conflict with each other because of the way nukes do things.

2/10/2014 2:51 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not too surprised, the testing about the time when I left the boat was becoming unnecessarily difficult. The corrective actions for failing a question were getting worse and worse. The actual questions from NR for RSE or the team for ORSE were much less intense. Seems the boat wanted robots that could memorize entire manuals. Some questions for EOOW/EWS or ENG DEPT were being pulled from the most obscure places in the manuals.

2/10/2014 3:55 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now we've come full circle: Behavior like that is driven by ORSE comments that hit Eng Depts with inadequate failure rates. So the two options are:

1) Lose all integrity in the grading process or...

2) Make your exams so difficult that you get the optimal pass rate, whatever the hell that is.

In reality, the optimal pass rate ought to be 100% for qualified watchstanders. A high pass rate is a sign of a healthy training program where sailors are retaining the material being reviewed.

And the exams ought to be standardized and given to the Eng/EDMC on a CD so ORSE boards can't write comments about how CTEs were too easy.

The fix is quite simple, and once done the nuclear Navy can start worrying about bigger fish than how to create/administer/grade exams to get a perfect T curve.

2/10/2014 6:01 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As the just-previous comment's last words pretty much nail the situation on the head, I'm tempted to leave well-enough alone, but I would inject one related thought.

You don't really want to turn over all exam responsibility to NR, or any external group for that matter. If for no other reason, it'd likely get stupid fast because of the "absolute power..." truism.

More to the point, the boat (IMHO) needs to focus on operational knowledge, while NR/etc. could both invigorate and rejuvenate the BEQ/setpoint kind of knowledge via explanations to the answers that I'm sure could be darn near awe-inspiring in some cases, especially with a solid helping of design criteria and destructive testing results thrown in.

Boat-level training...again, IMHO...needs to be very NRTB-like -- that is, focusing on amazing shit that can go wrong, and comprehensive integrated-systems knowledge...perhaps particularly under combat or extreme-failure conditions.

Once upon a time I was an ORSE EOOW, and the NPEB guys gave me a good grilling on truly core, nuclear-related things in what amounted to a checkout on steroids...and to be honest, I enjoyed it as I knew my stuff and the perspectives they brought to the table were truly interesting. Truth be told, when I left I even said, "Thanks...that was fun" (because it was).

And, yes...I didn't get more than 5 steps outside the COs stateroom before they all (CO included) burst out in laughter...undoubtedly at me, not with me. Kinda stung at the time, but I smiled as I walked away, knowing that I gave the skipper and the NPEB a small bonding experience that was based on proving that our boat knew what it was doing.

2/10/2014 6:55 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Turning over exam question banks/keys to NR is not the same as handing all training over to them.

In my ideal world, NR would also create operational questions based on CPs/OPs/OIs as well. The Eng/EDMC would select questions from the bank that reflects the topics of the month.

You'll still have Sailors who won't understand why they have to know what certain OIs/OPs say since the current nuclear culture is you don't do anything without a book in front of your face as a crutch for lack of knowledge, but that's a horse of a different color.

2/10/2014 7:34 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll drop in here with my .02, for what it is worth.

I always looked at qual books and written exams as useful only for determining when a sailor was ready for his oral boards.

You can cheat on tests. You can gundeck the PQS books. It's a lot harder to skate through oral boards, demonstrations, etc.

Then again, I was a skimmer sailor, far enough back that "lighting off" for us involved burners and fuel oil.

Former IC2

2/11/2014 8:13 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ding! Ding! Ding! with the NR making the trainings. They already do this for Power School/Prototype. Why not for the boats.

When I left the boat it got to the point where NR seemed pretty fair and not at all ridiculous in their expectations.

2/11/2014 9:36 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"current nuclear culture is you don't do anything without a book in front of your face as a crutch for lack of knowledge, but that's a horse of a different color".

I have been doing this for 17 years, been to several different commands, and the procedure thing has always been around.

And your statement isn't correct. CP are expected to be accomplished without the book.

2/12/2014 5:46 AM

 
Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

What is the big deal with exam banks(humor). Our nuclear industry for initial fundamentals exam, the NRC makes up the test questions and proctors the exams. Well, pay local people to proctor the exam. Mine was a local out of work well known house painter. Anyway the feds keeps a federal question and answer bank...for the test they can only ask test question form their test bank. The test bank of question is fully transparent.
Hell, our federal regulator even give out all the answers to their test. All pick the right answer out of four choices.
http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/operator-licensing/generic-fundamentals-examinations/pwr.html

2/12/2014 5:51 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Ding! Ding! Ding! with the NR making the trainings. They already do this for Power School/Prototype. Why not for the boats.

When I left the boat it got to the point where NR seemed pretty fair and not at all ridiculous in their expectations."

I'll go one step further and suggest making them multiple choice exams. This takes all objectivity out of grading, and the inclusion of "all of the above" and "none of the above" can make the test adequately difficult.

Before people scoff at this, there are many professionals who take their certification exams via multiple choice. If it's good enough for MDs, lawyers, teachers, etc., it's good enough for the Navy.

"I have been doing this for 17 years, been to several different commands, and the procedure thing has always been around.

And your statement isn't correct. CP are expected to be accomplished without the book."

No, they're expected to know their immediate actions, which amounts to about 2-3 things per watchstander, then stop until the Eng and CO figure out what to do. And that only covers a handful of procedures.

Nukes ought to be trained and trusted to operate without procedures. There are people who have been around longer than you who remember the days when it was expected to know how to sample a SG or sound the DRT from memory.

2/12/2014 3:35 PM

 
Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

Wait till you get to a really big plant and if they behave, they shutdown once or twice in 18 months...

With procedures...

2/12/2014 7:26 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Nukes ought to be trained and trusted to operate without procedures. There are people who have been around longer than you who remember the days when it was expected to know how to sample a SG or sound the DRT from memory."

And nukes of yesteryear were able to conduct a Reactor S/U by their self, while starting up the LIBr, then bring on shore power faster than any Electrician could do but still berate your own self from top side while you were in the trunk. They would do all this and still have time to get home and make a full course meal for their family that just showed up from the main land, drink a case of beer (by their self), take one shot of each wise man, and then just for funsies take a shot of the fool. They would then go out and pick up the hottest woman they could find, because nuke like you are smarter, faster, and overall just better than any nuke who came after you.......
Some things change, some things don't. Most Nukes generally always talk about how the standards have changed, and how much easier it is now.

"I'll go one step further and suggest making them multiple choice exams. This takes all objectivity out of grading, and the inclusion of "all of the above" and "none of the above" can make the test adequately difficult."

I find it funny that you state you should have to know everything, and be able to do everything w/o a procedure but you state we should have multiple choice tests. Any nuke would blow a multiple choice test out of the water. Thats why they generally make rank pretty fast, even nowadays when they have nuclear specific rating exams, vice the older pre 98 exams. The use of a procedure does not make you less intelligent, it makes you more efficient. The equipment on boats/ships today has to last longer. Boats are going longer between avails/refits. Newer classes are meant to never re-fuel. Some boats will last in excess of 40+ years before they are decommissioned. There are very few Nukes out there who operated at sea on a ship/boat that was that old. And the only one that comes to mind right now is Enterprise. So yeah we use procedures more, we brief more. Please explain to me how that makes us less of a Nuke then you? Would you want your Dr. to be like I know how to give you open heart surgery I don't need to look at the books before I go in? Or your Lawyer to walk in and go yeah I've done this before, we got this? No you want them to be spot on the entire time. And yes Lawyers have books (aka Procedures) in front of them in Court. And Dr's have books (aka procedures) out when they are conducting surgery. The smart people are the ones who realize they can't know it all, and they decide to revert back to something we learned in 1st grade..... How to read.

Guys cheated on exams, they copied the key and then passed it around. Lack of integrity. If they will cheat on a qual exam, regardless if they could pass a board, that was sat by three people that knew them, then they will do anything it takes to take the easy road out when it gets hard. They will gundeck logs, or tours. They will show a young sailor the complete wrong way of doing something. Or they will not care for him and give him a chance to succeed regardless if the kid plans on doing his six years, or a career.

The boats are different, the procedures are almost the same, the same equipment breaks, and people continue to think that everything is easier for the new guy. I am here to tell you it isn't. The young sailors showing up to the fleet are ridiculously smart, and for the most part have a good work ethic. They just want to do well. And if they are fostered in a culture of excellence, and high standards they will go on to do great things. That is great things both in and outside the Navy.

For the sailor that blew the whistle my hat is off to you. It takes a significant amount of courage, and personal integrity to turn a single person in much less 30+.

2/12/2014 10:04 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Any nuke would blow a multiple choice exam out of the water."

False. You can design multiple choice exams to be hard. I'm quite sure that not every nuke got a 2400 on their SATs; many got far from it. Also, there are people smarter than nukes who take exams like the MCAT, LSAT, GRE, USMLE, bar exams, etc. and do poorly or fail.

That's because these tests were made by experts who knew how to design exams to ensure someone knew the material if he passed or scored well. This is what NR should do, and then distribute those exams to the boats. The CTEs on a boat are created by a 20-22 year old E-5 who didn't get hired by the Navy for his ability to create robust free-answer exams or even write a comprehensible sentence.

"Doctors perform surgeries with procedures out."

I can't speak for all doctors and all surgeries, but when my wife had a C-section I didn't see a gigantic binder sitting on a table next to the surgeon. No one was reading him the procedure step-by-step and waiting for a repeatback. He was focused on the task at hand because he actually knew what he was doing.

Also, reviewing procedures beforehand is not the same as reading it during the evolution. I'm all for reviewing how to do a startup/shutdown/whatever before you do it; I take issue with the fact that you have to sit there and go line-by-line out of a 5 lb binder to do simple things like take a SG sample.

The over-reliance on procedures in the nuclear Navy serves as a crutch to allow people who don't actually know what they are doing to operate a nuclear reactor, and it also conveys the message that the Navy doesn't trust its operators.

If you want to claim the nuclear Navy is this elite, well-trained program, then it ought to act like it. Any monkey can read something line by line out of a book and go do it.

The civilian utility industry has taken notice, too. Ask any supervisor working at those places for a while, even ones who have never served in the Navy. They will unanimously tell you that the quality of former Navy nukes isn't what it used to be, and they can back it up with numbers of people who fail out of initial training.

"Briefing ... is more efficient."

No, it isn't. Making enlisted personnel wait 30, 45, 60 minutes to brief the EDO and EDPO for maintenance like changing a salinity cell or bleeding RA flasks is fucking wasteful to the millionth degree. Also, the EDPO can't be in two places at once so evolutions can't occur during briefs, further backlogging the day's work.

Boats exist to go to sea, not sit in port while Eng depts spend 3x the amount of intended man-hours on working projects because the good idea fairy struck a (then Vice Admiral) with 'brief-walthru-certify' for EVERYTHING.

There are some evolutions that rate a detailed briefing, some that warrant a walkthrough, but the idiocy is that boats treat rotating a charging pump by hand the same as doing a DMD and personnel errors as benign as bringing an inadequate amount of kimwipes the same as ones that result in personnel contamination.

2/12/2014 10:50 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ironically your statement regarding briefs is the problems. Not briefing. You have taken a concept and implemented it or your command implemented it completely wrong. A brief is just that. Brief.....

Also your are delusional regarding the difference between simple maintenance and comes maintenance. Major maintenance has so much oversize that it very rarley goes poor. Sometimes it does, but not much. The things that everyone think are easy brava use we do it all the time, goes poor. How often does that one guy do that procedure, one a month, hey but we do this all the time. So we don't need to make sure we are on the same page.

I do agree with you about one thing, not everything needs to be briefed. But I have a dealing that you think nothing should have to be briefed.

2/13/2014 6:56 AM

 
Blogger Mike Mulligan said...


Jesus, you got Google glasses and GPS navigation... GPS Nav, any HS dropout can use. You don’t have IF chips on the valves and holistic computers supervising the engine room…they could be such amazing man, machine, computer constant interface.

So say a computer program steps the cubical people and outside people through say a start-up..with feed back through the earphone, mic or glasses. I am surprised the Navy hasn’t made the engine room paperless?

I am surprised it is not all run on PDA and tablets…with earphones, a mic and google glasses.

All the commercials airlines almost completely fly by computor?

2/13/2014 7:03 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I have a feeling that you think nothing should be briefed."

You either decided not to read my post or you don't know how to read. Both skills would help you ace a multiple choice exam for sure. Now go back and read the last paragraph above yours until you understand basic syntax.

Are you an O5 or above? The inflated ego, refusal to acknowledge basic facts on how things work on the deckplate, and unconditional love of the kool aid reeks of senior officer who has lost touch with reality.

Next time my CO tells us we have to brief everything with a full checkllist I'll tell him nuh uh, an anonymous Internet poster says you're wrong. Whether you acknowledge it or not, this is how most boats are doing things, and it's wasting man hours that we don't have by making everything go in series.

2/13/2014 8:44 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This thread is going off on tangents. Procedural use and briefs don't have anything to do with the rampant cheating in the fleet.

Why do the sailors feel they need to cheat? Is it so common place that they don't even think twice about it? It's so common that they don't even consider it cheating? Yes.

An O-6, during a previous investigation, implied that it was cheating since the sailors got access to the exams electronically. Apparently, to him, that's what crossed the line. So, is it ok to have access to paper copies of exams and exam banks? Even the upper brass have loose definitions of what is cheating and what is not.

With the newest cheating scandal to hit the fleet being at the heart of the training program, NPTU, is the fleet going to take the first step and admit the problem? And then finally move forward and fix the problem? See, if the fleet never admits the problem, there's no problem to fix. Every scandal is approached as an isolated case, punishments are doled out, temporary knee jerk reactions are implemented and then all is forgotten in a few months.

USS Hampton - a lot of information came out from that incident. Yet, the only thing that was emphasized on the waterfronts was "Don't radio logs." No sincere discussions on cheating and examinations.

USS Truman and USS Eisenhower - Not a peep about those incidents was shared with the submarine force.

USS Memphis - Declared an isolated incident. Reaction: Put locks on the exam banks.

USS Hartford - Post collision. The CO shared with one of the JO's the upcoming PORSE exam questions. The CO also directed the JO to ensure that his fellow JO's got this information. This was done in front of the ENG. No reporting. Just another day in the life of engineering examinations.

USS Rhode Island - swept under the rug, completely. This incident would have invalidated the "isolated incident" findings of the Memphis investigation. Whoever commented above that the exam was not the ORSE exam, but only continued training exams - is wrong. It was for the upcoming ORSE exam they were taking. But - by making the comment that they were just department exams and/or training exams - Are you trying to say that it's not cheating? It's only cheating if its for the ORSE exam?

Cheating is cheating. ORSE or Continual Training. Paper or electronic. Knowing the questions or having the exam key.

There's a problem. It's been around for a long time. A very long time. And it will not get resolved when the fleet sea-lawyers the definition of cheating.

2/15/2014 7:01 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Are you trying to say that it's not cheating? It's only cheating if its for the ORSE exam?"

No. Just stating that I didn't think this occurred for an ORSE "examination". The inspection mentality and pressure to do well can be an inappropriate driver to cheat. If an ORSE exam, no information should be given but the type of exam (EOOWEWS/ELT). If a EOOW/EWS Exam, upon which the ship has trained, the ENG providing study guides (not the exact questions) to his personnel seems reasonable. My understanding was the latter case was the RHO situation. The CO was unaware and when he found a study guide, implied the ENG was cheating and started NJP/DFC. Seemed more like a training and standards issue/expectation. Heard ENG only gave guides to O-gangers, which is a pretty jacked situation though. If they are exam study guides, CO should know and ALL should get them.

2/15/2014 8:55 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^^^^
In amplification,...Ship generated EOOW/EWS training exam for periodic training... Not the ORSE one!!

2/15/2014 8:57 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"In amplification,...Ship generated EOOW/EWS training exam for periodic training... Not the ORSE one!!"

OK, apparently you were on the boat. And you desire to make it clear that it was not for an ORSE exam.

It's not cheating if it's EOOW/EWS training? It's only cheating if it's for ORSE? Cheating is cheating.

It's not cheating if the ENG shares a "study guide" with the entire department? Yet, it's cheating if he only shares a "study guide" with the Wardroom? Cheating is cheating.

See, you're sea-lawyering. Your justifying cheating in some forms and condemning it in others. Quite hypocritical - yet typical behavior seen in the fleet.

And - define "Study Guide." There's a fuzzy word to hide the true meaning. "Oh, they did not cheat. They had study guides." Total B.S.

2/15/2014 11:17 AM

 
Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

So some officers are getting a promotional advantage over their brother officer?

So what is the Navy’s definition of cheating and why is it bad?

Can they gain money from cheating?

Does it give a unfair advantage over another?

Poorly qualified sailors?

Does it undermine morale?

Give a advantage to our adversaries.

Tax payers get a lesser bang for their buck?

2/15/2014 11:54 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not cheating if the ENG shares a "study guide" with the entire department? Yet, it's cheating if he only shares a "study guide" with the Wardroom? Cheating is cheating.

See, you're sea-lawyering. Your justifying cheating in some forms and condemning it in others. Quite hypocritical - yet typical behavior seen in the fleet.

And - define "Study Guide." There's a fuzzy word to hide the true meaning. "Oh, they did not cheat. They had study guides." Total B.S.


Military training is not education. Military training is "memorize ABC, be able to regurgitate it verbatim when asked." It is a simple, straighforward, small list that is broken down to what the person absolutely needs to know.

So for CTEs and qualification exams, even nuclear ones, there ought to be no surprises. Even the PNEO exam is conducted like this -- here is your exam bank, go memorize the answers.

Education is "learn this, be able to apply it to different situations."

I agree with you that this distinction is not well explained to Sailors, and we're leaving it up to junior servicemembers to distinguish when something is training vs. education.

I also agree that we're stuck in no-man's land and there is no concrete official definition of what is cheating beyond the obvious do not look at the paper next to you and do not look into notes or a reference while taking a test.

2/15/2014 12:08 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"OK, apparently you were on the boat. And you desire to make it clear that it was not for an ORSE exam.

It's not cheating if it's EOOW/EWS training? It's only cheating if it's for ORSE? Cheating is cheating. "

No not on the boat. Just believe they were not cheating on an ORSE exam to make themselves look good. You are trying to insult someone who generally agrees with you and is trying to clarify for discussion.
I think the ENG was just trying to improve his DEPTs LOK. Like a teacher who gives out a practice exam that has similar but not exact questions from a pending exam. This type of "study guide".
When the ENG only gave to Wardroom, he crossed a line. A line he could have been corrected on without firing attempt. He was wrong. I do believe you should look at intent for personal gain and a person's objectives when assessing any of these events.
Hopefully you've actually run one of these programs. Tests are hard, detailed, and "command sanctioned" study guides should not be out of question. An un-compromised,unique to the study guide, properly proctored, and properly keyed and graded exam to demonstrate operator knowledge is desired.

2/15/2014 12:10 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The RPM should be the study guide. Not "know these ten specific items, for you may see it in the near future." That kind of horsing for an ORSE exam is wrong, yet it happens every time.

The boats game the system, and erroneously raise the scores by knowing what to study and what to CRAM before an exam. Grades go up.

Exams get harder to bring the scores back down. The horsing and "study guides" become more detailed. The grades go up again.

The exams get even more challenging to lower the new, higher scores. The grades level off and then drop again. The "gouge" and "study guides" become more focused and targeted.

See the pattern? There's not a single person who follows this blog that can deny it happens. Sure, there are those of you out there that try to improve the system. Those that have put their foot down and tried to fix the problems. But, there are more out there that place blinders on and move forward to get to the end.

And then - there are those that claim "Not on my watch!" Those people are truly blind and in complete denial. Sadly, those are typically those that stay in - move to the top of the chain - perpetuating the problem through denying its existence.

2/15/2014 12:45 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Tests are hard, detailed, and "command sanctioned" study guides should not be out of question. An un-compromised,unique to the study guide, properly proctored, and properly keyed and graded exam to demonstrate operator knowledge is desired."

I agree with you. This should be an expectation.

I went through over ten ORSE and similar type examinations during my time in the nuclear navy. Unfortunately, I never once witnessed an ORSE written exam that wasn't compromised.

Wether the department got the ORSE questions from a mole in the radio room, a PNEO qualified JO who was writing a portion of the exam, or straight from the CO/ENG, they were all compromised in one form or another. Its sad, but true. And, expected. Therefore, sanctioned.

And as far as "properly keyed and graded," I can't think of a time when the JO's and DH's did not have a "grading" fest in the wardroom. All sections of the exam (RO, EO, MO, EOOW/EWS) would get graded and regraded. The answer keys would get modified and subjective points would be awarded to establish an "acceptable" grade distribution. A grade distribution that would be "easy" to answer to when the ORSE team came onboard. And yes, the CO/XO/EDMC were all
involved - they had to approve the revisions to the exam keys.

2/15/2014 12:58 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To elaborate on my statement above @ 12:58 pm: "I went through over ten ORSE and similar type examinations during my time in the nuclear navy. Unfortunately, I never once witnessed an ORSE written exam that wasn't compromised."

Yes - I went through my time with blinders on, too. Should I have done something to change it? Yes. But as I look back - I was just a cog in a machine that just keeps on moving. I'd like to think I could have made a difference, but that's all history for me, now.

The machine keeps on moving without my silence. Now it's time for the machine to stop and actually figure out what's really broken. I'm saddened that so many sailors and their families are having to go through the pain of the current situation in Charleston.

How many more have to be "made example of" to actually get to the root of the problem?

Lessons Learned become Lessons Documented... and then Lessons Forgotten. History in the nuclear navy will continue to repeat itself.

2/15/2014 1:19 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And as far as "properly keyed and graded," I can't think of a time when the JO's and DH's did not have a "grading" fest in the wardroom. All sections of the exam (RO, EO, MO, EOOW/EWS) would get graded and regraded. The answer keys would get modified and subjective points would be awarded to establish an "acceptable" grade distribution. A grade distribution that would be "easy" to answer to when the ORSE team came onboard. And yes, the CO/XO/EDMC were all
involved - they had to approve the revisions to the exam keys.


The answer is multiple choice exams. Every other profession that requires a high level of expertise uses standardized, multiple choice examinations to remove the potential for this sort of thing.

2/15/2014 4:05 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If NR really wants to understand the scope of the cheating in the submarine force they should conduct an anonymous survey to collect fleet wide data.

Here's the way it would work.

SUBFOR forms a small group of officers and enlisted men to develop the survey questions on the cheating topic.

Example: Have you ever used or know of someone else using an answer key during a qualification exam?


Make sure the survey collects social data as well: rank, years of experience, level of qualification, etc

Survey is downloaded and printed locally no traceability.

Each nuclear trained operator is given survey, address label and a government envelope with postage paid.

Two junior officers monitor and execute the survey. Two person control. CO briefs crew on the purpose and how anonymity will be maintained.

Individual(survey taker)takes survey puts in envelope and seals. Puts in a ballot box. Anyone may opt-out.

Two person control maintained of surveys until mailed. (Inner/Outer safe)

The two officers mail surveys via USPS Mail Box.

Report when complete to CO.

On the due date for the survey being complete. Each commanding officer will report completion to the type commander via PESFOR message and the two survey officers will sign an affidavit to the integrity of the process and provide to the local NRRO rep.

SUBFOR receives mailed surveys , assembles data, conducts analysis and reports to NR findings. Share results with the fleet. This last step is crucial to the integrity of the process.


Please note there are problems with using anonymous surveys which should be considered when evaluating the data. Hire a good statistician.

2/16/2014 11:14 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The KOG is mentioned several times in the preceding comments. He was my boss during the majority of my career (surface). The complaints of those days were that he caused focus upon the reactor plant above focus of the primary missions of ships, an understandable complaint but somewhat unfair - there is no primary mission if plant operations are precluded by unsafe operation or a major accident that ties ships up. The nuclear program was his total professional focus; he knew he was at the top end of his Naval career. Nuclear power was it. Once he was forced out, he was replaced initially with other like-minded individuals who maintained the same focus, albeit with a "kinder" manner of management. The KOG-trained people are now long gone. I see the current program being treated as a "stepping stone" for bigger and better things in the future elsewhere with these folks running the program as good business managers. The nuclear program is not the end all for these people but a step along the career path. It seems no longer important to manage the nuclear program but to manage the management process using PowerPoint, training matrices and measurement metrics that evaluate good management technique but less so an efficient and safe nuclear program. Integrity may be taking a back seat to "meeting the numbers" or the number of folks passing/failing falling neatly along a graph. The lower rate/rank nukes aren't stupid - they see it and govern themselves accordingly. They are, unfortunately, the first to be sacrificed when the bloodletting starts. The business managers have good cover with the graphs, PowerPoints and charts; "It's the lack of integrity of those deckplate guys. We'll get to the bottom of this and straighten things out."

2/16/2014 3:36 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are ADM Greenert and ADM Richardson reading this blog? How about SUBLANT IG? I'm sure the IG uncovered only what it was "told to uncover" in its previous investigation. And this newest scandal is just smacking them in the face.

2/18/2014 6:07 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OBVIOUSLY, this thread is dead. We're onto random firings of CO's and COB's for strip clubs and Master Chief Mofia shenanigans.

Let's ignore the CANCER that has been EATING the SUBMARINE FLEET for decades! Is anyone going to do SOMETHING!

Nope!

Par for the course.

2/20/2014 5:44 AM

 
Anonymous SSN Vet said...

Interesting thread.... I'll add one thought.

I'm friends with a PHD math teacher, turned consultant. That means she taught math at HS and college level, then taught aspiring teachers how to teach math, then she became a consultant for companies that produce standardized tests.

Writing good test questions requires you to be both a subject matter expert, as well as very experienced in the process of education.

Every single question in the exam bank for these big name tests is given excruciating attention. It is evaluated, it is vetted in exam simulations, and the answers to the questions given on actual exams are statistically tracked and the questions efficacy is evaluated.

IMO, NR (and for non-nuclear material type commanders) should hire experts to write the exam bank.... the exams should be handled with no less care than cryptographic keys, and quality study guides should be published.

Don't expect every bubble head out there to be able to generate quality examination materials, even if he himself is an 4.0 sailor and HEAVY nuke.

2/20/2014 9:41 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

STG clown: "You probably shouldn't have done so well on the ORSE exam. It looks bad."
Me: "Don't hand me the entire key, then."

Mbo

3/25/2014 7:06 PM

 

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