By Adm. Bill Moran
Vice Chief of Naval Operations
Like many, I was pleased to read NAVADMIN 065/18, which addresses aviation retention bonuses and incentive pay. Chief of Naval Personnel and his team have been working hard on this issue for months. Perhaps more than any other office, that team understands the incredible challenge associated with growing the force while maintaining high standards and quality across our warfighting communities.
Ready room after ready room around the Fleet fed back that decisions to stay in the Navy are motivated by many factors, including money. And in thousands of conversations in hangar bays, foc’sles and auditoriums across the Fleet, Sailors clearly tell us that they desire greater autonomy, mastery and purpose … in addition to competitive compensation. And that’s what we’re focused on.
Let’s look at these in reverse order:
Purpose: Service to one’s country is a hard purpose to top. However, resurgent competitors like Russia and China demonstrate why, now more than ever, America needs a strong and talented Naval force, able to defend our shores and protect our interests around the world. It isn’t a stretch to say that your service has a direct impact on gas prices, the cost of electronics and food. As authoritarianism re-emerges in parts of the world, it wouldn’t be extreme to say that your service has a direct impact on the future of our way of life. It’s hard to imagine a time since the end of the Cold War when service has mattered more. And there’s no question that it’s hard to feel a sense of purpose if Sailors are sitting idle and not executing their mission.
Mastery: If we’ve learned anything from tragedy this past year, it’s that we owe Sailors the time and resources to train, hone and perfect their warfighting craft. This has been, and will continue to be, a focus and priority for our Secretary and CNO.
Autonomy: Senior leaders understand that Sailors are much closer to the issues and challenges they face each day, and we trust that you will follow our warfighting ethos and live up to our core values. Simplifying command and control and reducing administrative tasks that serve little purpose will give leaders at every level more time and authority to carry out the missions we need Sailors to execute. If we recruit a talented force, we need to trust a talented force.
Every generation has its challenges and it’s no different for us: it is time to seek and keep highly skilled and talented Sailors like never before.
Please keep the feedback coming and challenge us when you think we can do better or when you have innovative ideas. Never forget: our profession is the ultimate team sport.
See you in the Fleet,