Last year the Navy drew some strong criticism when it decided to eliminate individual rating identifiers, planning to instead provide more cross training to sailors. Now, only months after reversing course and reinstituting ratings, Navy brass have announced a radical revamping of enlisted career training. The difference it this time it might actually be a good idea.
Under the current training model, most sailors receive professional training in a traditional school setting, commonly referred to as ‘A” school. For many rates, this initial training is more than a simple introduction to their new job it is a top to bottom course on what they can expect for the next 20 years. In other words, a seaman attending school in 2016 learned not only what he would be expected to do as a new Third-class but also as a CPO- something which might be years down the road. Furthermore, the Navy was spending a great deal of money training single term enlistees for positions they would never fill. They only ones benefiting from this were post-military employers who look to snap up sailors in high-tech career fields.
I know that there are those who will dismiss this change as foolish, especially following so closely on the heels of the rating debacle, but I do believe it is the right course of action. Not only will it save the Navy time and money, in the end, it will result in better-trained career sailors. Yes, PO3s will enter the fleet with less training that previously. Yes, it will take some time for salty supervisors to realize the new guy may not know everything the first day. The reality is that PO3 may not know everything the PO1 or CPO does but he isn’t expected to, he is expected to know the job of a PO3 and LEARN the job of a PO2 and so on.
Reducing in school training and replacing it with on the job or cyber training will also allow sailors to receive the most up to date training when they actually need it. This was how the Coast Guard provided much of its professional training and it worked. For example, when I was a Boatswain’s mate assigned to a Cutter I learned what was necessary to get the vessel underway and how to maintain the deck of that vessel. I did not learn the working of a small boat station until I transferred to a small boat station. Likewise, those who started at a small boat station did not learn what had been expected of me on a Cutter unless they ended up being stationed on a Cutter. In the beginning, you knew your job and you knew it well. As you advanced and experienced additional assignments you learned your rating as a whole and became an expert. Sound similar to almost every other career out there.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.