We’re getting a new President, and given Secretary Mabus’ long tour, I’m guessing we’ll get a new Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV). The next SECNAV will have to tackle a lot of issues. If you want to score popularity points with the military, there are five issues that would be quite popular with our Sailors:
It’s funny because we can’t say “Corpsman” anymore, because we got rid of rating titles AND the word “man”
Rollback the rating disestablishment. I don’t think you could find a more despised and needless action then the disestablishment of Navy Enlisted Ratings. If President Trump wants to score easy points with Sailors, simply restore Sailor’s ratings. It would be cheaper in the long run (no more studies and training on whatever the new system would be) and certainly less confusing than whatever we would come up with.
We wear a flammable uniform…apparently we never have fires in the Navy.
Put a 5 year limit on uniform changes. It seems every other year we are getting a mandated uniform change. All changes require enlisted Sailors to get extra uniform money to spend on uniforms, which seems like a good deal for uniform suppliers, but a terrible deal for the Navy’s budget. Limit us to only one new uniform every 5 years, so we can stop wasting money designing flammable, non-camouflage pajamas.
It’s not my building…we at least maintain the lawn
Fix the Military Construction (MILCON) process. We spent so much money on LCS and the F-35 that we had to rob someone’s piggy bank, so we chose building funds. If you think that is my opinion, try reading the 2016 budget (emphasis is mine):
The Department has been challenged to meet Combatant Commander demand for forces, and associated higher-
than-planned operational tempo, while dealing with the reality of reduced resources in the Budget Control Act. Surgeable forces have decreased due to increased maintenance on aging platforms, a reduction in aircraft and weapons procurement, and risks taken against support infrastructure. This budget continues to put a priority on readiness while maintaining the minimum investment necessary to maintain an advantage in advanced technologies and weapons systems. While we have accepted some risk in weapons capacity and delayed certain modernization programs, this budget provides us with a plan to keep the Navy and Marine Corps as a ready, balanced force.
Our Navy facilities are in poor shape in many places. Unless you have a 3 or 4 star admiral, you are likely in a dilapidated building that should have been torn down 5 years ago. My building, for example, was built in 1942, has scaffolding holding up the foundation in the basement, has flooding and cockroach problems (no matter how many times we poison them), struggles to maintain temperature…and it’s one of the nicer buildings on our waterfront. It, along with many others, needs some new construction fast, something that our incoming President should be familiar with.
Review more combat awards, and cut down on other awards. The guy in the above picture is Eugene Fluckey. He was a WW2 badass submariner. He got 4 Navy Crosses and the Medal of Honor for doing daring stuff, including putting his own Sailors ashore on Japan to blow up a train. He has 4 rows of medals. Nowadays, I see people who have done nothing close to that walking around with 6 rows of medals. The sad part is that we hand out more medals for simply showing up to work, but we’re so stingy with combat awards, despite being at war for over a decade.
This was the nicest F35 meme I could find…
Fix our broken acquisition process. If you want a new weapons system, the best way to guarantee success is to ensure the parts are made in as many states as possible. That will make killing the program in Congress nearly impossible. Never mind if the weapon isn’t doing the job, or over budget, or eclipsed by technology. Making our procurement processes buy gear and not be a source of Congressional graft would go a long way.
At least you got some weight loss!
Actually fire someone in the VA. Seriously. Nobody has lost a job, except for the guy on top (and really, he resigned). A President Trump that goes hospital by hospital firing poor performing employees would get cheered by all sides. What a perfect image: “You’re fired” from a President who made that his punch line for quite some time.
This post represents the views of the author alone and does not represent views of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy or any other government agency. And no, I wasn’t making the cockroach part up.
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