What you need to know
19 July 2016
Can you imagine a Navy where you check onboard a new command and with a scan of your CAC, all of your pay is linked, your DTS is liquidated and everything just lines up? No spending the day at PSD trying to get everything updated; instead it's all automated? That is one of the ultimate goals of the Sailor 2025 program started under former Chief of Naval Personnel (CNP) Vice Adm. Bill Moran and vigorously being seen through by current CNP Vice Adm. Robert Burke.
Sailor 2025 started out as a group of independent initiatives aimed at modernizing the personnel system. Today it has evolved into 43 different initiatives designed to put the Navy in a better position to deal with the talent market challenges of tomorrow.
Today we are in pretty good shape. Our recruiting is better than ever. We've made our recruiting mission for 108 consecutive months, and our retention is at a relative all-time high." - Vice Adm. Robert Burke
But the Navy can't bank on that continuing without making some changes, said Burke. He said it is important to attract and retain the best talent we can, and that is where Sailor 2025 comes in.
The 43 initiatives fall under three major categories:
1. Modernize the entire personnel system.
2. Modernize the training process.
3. Enrich Navy culture
Modernize the Personnel System
"We want more flexibility," said Burke. "Things like the career intermission program (CIP), graduate education opportunities, initial four-year degree opportunities, tours with the industry, and meritorious advancement program."
Burke said he wants Sailors to have choices and he wants more transparency in the process; giving more power to commands to promote talent in their commands through MAP, allowing Sailors to take a break from their career to pursue family or a career through CIP, and even giving Sailors more options when it comes to the detailing process.
We want to make the detailing process transparent and flexible and market based. Kind of like a LinkedIn approach to detailing in order to help match the right talent to the right job. We envision someday where folks will interact with the detailers on their personal mobile devices." - Vice Adm. Robert Burke
Modernize the Training Process
This group of initiatives is called ready, relevant learning. It's about getting the right training to the right Sailor at the right time.
"We kind of front load the training with A and C schools for most rates," said Burke. "However, folks don't necessarily need that C school training during their first sea tour, a lot of folks get out after that first sea tour, so we've trained them and we don't get to use it, but the flip side of that for the individuals who do stay in is they go back to sea and the combat systems have changed and they're not up to speed on the new stuff. It might be advantageous to break up blocks of training throughout their careers, so that as a Sailor comes back for a second and third tour, they are getting updated training for the systems they are operating."
This category not only deals with the type of training Sailors are getting, but the manner in which they get it.
"There is an entire science of how people learn," said Burke. "Different people learn differently, but what we do know is that classroom training and Power Point slides sometimes are the least effective methods. So it's about getting away from that. More hands on stuff. More reps and sets to build confidence and get comfortable with what folks are doing and we are bringing more technology to bear to help us with those."
Burke is also looking into more App training where applicable.
Enrich Navy Culture
This piece is mostly about a culture of inclusion and diversity.
It's about getting people with those different backgrounds, different experiences, different perspectives, all together to make us a better team," - Vice Adm. Robert Burke
This category is also about being more family friendly. Burke said he wants to make it more and more possible for people to stay in the Navy and have a family. Child development center capacity and hours, paternity and adoption leave, military spouse colocation policies, are all things CNP is working to improve.
And then there is the culture of health.
"We changed the physical fitness assessment program, we changed the body composition assessment to more reflect reality, but we didn't reduce the standards," said Burke. "Everyone essentially is going to get a test every month during CO's spot checks. And if you're out of spec at any time, if it doesn't happen to be the real exam, no ramifications, except you get put on a fitness enhancement program. The idea is to be in shape all the time; that makes you live longer, that makes you healthier, and ultimately keeps you in the work place longer, and reduces health costs."
"We recognize how important people are," said Burke. "We really view people as the U.S. Navy's asymmetric advantage in fighting war, and we recognize how important they are to prevailing in any naval combat situation. We are working together to put forth this set of initiatives that answer the demands of our Sailors today and address their future challenges."