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Some of the more ridiculous (albeit intriguing) ideas that prompted RAD posts:
1. 4-day work week
■ The idea: “All personnel work four 10-hour days and take either Friday or Monday off,” said one sailor.
Analysis: Ships have experimented with this idea, notably the destroyer Donald Cook four years ago. But productivity may drop during a longer workday and it may hinder the shore support that ships rely on. Nor is the idea getting a lot of traction: This post only received nine votes.
2. Printer problems
■ The idea: “How many man-years have been eaten up by sailors searching for the right printer?” asked one sailor. “How many thousands of pages have been printed on the wrong printer?”
Analysis: Sure, it may not be the fleet’s most pressing problem, but 85 sailors still felt fixing this was a good idea. One Georgia-based officer said the default printers he gets are in Hawaii.
3. Dump flag galleys
■ The idea: “If a shore installation has an [all-hands] galley and also has a flag galley, then the flag galley should be shut down,” one civilian wrote. “Why pay for operation, maintenance, and manning of two separate galleys?”
Analysis: This post had 68 votes as of press time. The RAD site doesn’t break down by rank, but it’s a safe bet officers O-6 and above make up very few of those votes.
4. No grass in the desert
■ The idea: On a trip, a civilian noted finely manicured lawns in front of several buildings on Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake in California’s Western Mojave Desert, and wants leaders there to stop making sailors plant and mow grass.
Analysis: “Commands in general need to not have fancy grass or lawns,” commented one officer. “We’re in the Navy, not Home and Garden magazine.”
5. Simplify the message
■ The idea: “Message traffic can simply be drafted as an email,” wrote one Seabee. The amount of effort put into writing and sending even a routine message is a waste of sailors’ time.
Analysis: The Seabee called naval messages a “throwback to WWII.” Another sailor pointed out that messages are obsolete: “Usually we already know a day prior, by phone call or email,” they wrote.
6. Stop spraying us
■ The idea: To carry oleoresin capsicum — better known as OC, or pepper — spray, sailors need to periodically get sprayed themselves, a requirement that some find bogus. “We don’t shoot watchstanders so they know how a bullet may affect them,” said one surface sailor. “Why are we wasting time, money and our sailors’ health needlessly?”
Analysis: “The reason is because when you OC spray someone, you are bound to get some on you,” an unnamed sailor responded. Still, calls to abolish the requirement received 206 votes.
7. Stop sending speeding tickets to the boss
■ The idea: The base sends a blotter of all speeding tickets to commanding officers, which one officer called a distraction. “The reality is that fines and/or revoking base driving privileges is sufficient punishment,” the officer wrote.
Analysis: The suggestion, which was tagged “bored cops,” garnered only 29 votes.
8. Standardize name tags
■ The idea: By eliminating command-specific name tags, the Navy could save an estimated $1 million a year and instead use a standard one like the Army, suggested one active-duty sailor.
Analysis: With only 42 votes, the idea is not making much headway. “We’ve already eliminated command ball caps and [unit identification marks] on service uniforms,” replied one sailor. “Command T-shirts under the [Navy working uniform] aren’t an option. The name tag is about the only thing left that gives some sort of unit identity.”
9. RAD won't work
■ The idea: The admin burden is a byproduct of the Navy’s hierarchy, where higher-ups set requirements without fully taking into account the time, money and support needed to successfully implement an idea, said one surface sailor, who said it was epitomized by the phrase, “Just make it happen.”
Analysis: This meta-deconstruction of the RAD process received only 41 votes. One reservist took issue with the leader of the RAD program, Adm. John Richardson, a submariner who now heads the nuclear Navy, saying: “Putting a nuke in charge of reducing admin is like putting Robert Downey Jr. in charge of a ‘Say No to Drugs’ program.”