Navy leadership has been missing, ironically, in administering command-directed leadership training. Turns out, that training has been “mandatory” in name only — at least when it comes to more than 67,000 sailors.
According to Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (AW/NAC) Mike Stevens, many of those sailors may have received the training, but it wasn’t recorded properly in fleet training databases. But as Stevens said himself, “The training’s not done until it’s documented.”
So some commands do the training but don’t record it. Others skip it completely. Those that follow the rules may be using trainers without the skill level envisioned when the fleet moved to a command-directed system in 2008 — another problem MCPON is trying to address.
It’s tough to imagine a setting less conducive to good leadership training. With the Navy ignoring its own rules, sailors have little reason to buy in. Too many may figure that because advancements are being awarded with or without training, there’s no point in going through the time and trouble.
There’s an easy fix: Figure out whether there is true value in the training. If not, dump it. If so, either enforce the requirements in place or lay out new ones that allow the training to be completed, and recorded, without undue stress on commands.
It’s time for someone to take charge and show some leadership here — and Stevens is doing just that.