Mixed messages from the Navy

Readability

Mixed messages from the Navy

Right about the same time as the new National Secu­rity Strat­egy was released, the Navy put out the Strate­gic Readi­ness Review, an in-​depth look into what caused the basic sea­man­ship prob­lems out in Sev­enth Fleet. The review is a good read, detail­ing how we went from an over 500 ship Navy that couldn’t be touched to the less than 300 ships today that attempt to per­form the same mis­sions in a sig­nif­i­cantly more com­plex envi­ron­ment. The review says that the Navy needs more Sailors, of higher qual­ity that are bet­ter trained.

Yet only a week later, we have the same Navy announc­ing that it is relax­ing the phys­i­cal fit­ness stan­dards. Sailors can now fail the Phys­i­cal Readi­ness Test (PRT) mul­ti­ple times, and while they won’t be advanced, they won’t get kicked out either.

Lest any­one think the PRT stan­dards are super hard, you can see the 3034 year old male stan­dards here. Doing a min­i­mum of 44 curlups, 35 pushups and run­ning 1.5 miles in about 14 min­utes is not that hard.

So what gives? It seems a bit like mixed messages.

The answer is that the Navy is shoring up man­power. It takes a long time to make Sailors. Between send­ing them to boot camp, “A” school (where they learn basic stuff for their job), and then likely a “C” school (where they learn more advanced top­ics), we’re talk­ing a year or more before they get to the fleet. Per Sailor. And when you have some­thing on the order of 48,000 Sailors fail­ing the PRT in some fash­ion (75% of those fail the body fat por­tion), it’s an easy move to keep more Sailors in.

Why keep more? We only keep peo­ple for two rea­sons: we’re get­ting big­ger, or we plan on los­ing peo­ple due to war. As much as I want to think the former…I’m quite wor­ried it will be a com­bi­na­tion of both.


This post rep­re­sents the views of the author and not those of the Depart­ment of Defense, Depart­ment of the Navy, or any fed­eral agency. And no, I don’t know if we’re going to war, but since we’ve been at war for 16 years now, it wouldn’t sur­prise me.

Please be jolly this year and donate to Da Tech Guy. Scroll up and hit that donate but­ton at the top right of the page.

Right about the same time as the new National Security Strategy was released, the Navy put out the Strategic Readiness Review, an in-depth look into what caused the basic seamanship problems out in Seventh Fleet. The review is a good read, detailing how we went from an over 500 ship Navy that couldn’t be touched to the less than 300 ships today that attempt to perform the same missions in a significantly more complex environment. The review says that the Navy needs more Sailors, of higher quality that are better trained.

Yet only a week later, we have the same Navy announcing that it is relaxing the physical fitness standards. Sailors can now fail the Physical Readiness Test (PRT) multiple times, and while they won’t be advanced, they won’t get kicked out either.

Lest anyone think the PRT standards are super hard, you can see the 30-34 year old male standards here. Doing a minimum of 44 curlups, 35 pushups and running 1.5 miles in about 14 minutes is not that hard.

So what gives? It seems a bit like mixed messages.

The answer is that the Navy is shoring up manpower. It takes a long time to make Sailors. Between sending them to boot camp, “A” school (where they learn basic stuff for their job), and then likely a “C” school (where they learn more advanced topics), we’re talking a year or more before they get to the fleet. Per Sailor. And when you have something on the order of 48,000 Sailors failing the PRT in some fashion (75% of those fail the body fat portion), it’s an easy move to keep more Sailors in.

Why keep more? We only keep people for two reasons: we’re getting bigger, or we plan on losing people due to war. As much as I want to think the former…I’m quite worried it will be a combination of both.


This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any federal agency. And no, I don’t know if we’re going to war, but since we’ve been at war for 16 years now, it wouldn’t surprise me.

Please be jolly this year and donate to Da Tech Guy. Scroll up and hit that donate button at the top right of the page.