The following note was written by the IW OCM and JO Detailer and provided to community leadership.  It  has been slightly modified for sharing in this venue.

While the subject Town Hall is quickly fading away as a past event, we wanted to make sure to capture the major takeaways in an attempt to remain transparent across the community and hopefully foster an environment where other such events are likely and able to occur.  Our intent will be to forward this summary out to our CO/XOs to support a larger IW Wardroom discussion following any feedback and guidance from yourself or other flags/SESs related the content below.
NCDOC and NIOC Norfolk expressed desire to gather local area JOs in a venue that supported open and transparent dialogue related to IW community issues, concerns, etc.  To that end, they released a coordinated record message announcing the town hall and the OCM/Detailer used a PPT to facilitate the discussion with the ~50 officers in attendance.  Most officers were 0-1 to 0-4, although there were 0-5 (selects) present.
Key Takeaways
(1) Communication


BELIEF/MISCONCEPTION:  insufficient dialogue related to community activities and future provided to JOs

·         PERS-472 provides dialogue to flag deck, CO/XOs, and all officers on periodic basis
·         OCM provides periodic updates to flag deck and CO/XOs on periodic basis


·         PERS-472 & OCM:  Continue use of PERS-472 Facebook and Twitter accounts that recently came online to reach audiences outside of IW wardrooms
·         PERS-472 and OCM:  Investigate additional outlets and means for regular community communication, e.g. blogs, etc.

(2)  Command/Milestone Selection – Deferment – Decline


BELIEF/MISCONCEPTION:  Lack of general understanding among JOs on current process for 0-4 and 0-5  milestone/command selection/slating, and implications of declining 0-5 milestone.



·       Norfolk area had the greatest number of detailer visits and briefings in FY14 and FY15, but audience demonstrated general lack of understanding of the relatively new milestone and command screening process, and the need to complete milestones in each paygrade to remain upwardly mobile
·       Highlighted that a forthcoming MILPERSMAN article will address declining 0-5 milestone/command resulting in no future eligibility
·       Discussed change to command screening process, with a shift to screening to bank this year and reducing QIO used in previous years


·         PERS-472 – Provide guidance on general process of 0-4 and 0-5 milestone slating, and process following selection to milestone/command to include declining and implications of doing so
·         PERS-472 – Provide guidance on “decline” status and process of formally declining

(3) Core mission areas:  SIGINT-EW-CYBER


BELIEF/MISCONCEPTION:  We don’t value our three core values equally



·         There is a lot of focus of late on Cyber and how it appears to be the most important of our three values
·         Highlighted that we value all core mission areas equally though we have had a significant amount of Cyber growth over last 3-5yrs
·         Highlighted that of the three, SIGINT is foundational to everything we do
·         Lots of discussion on adding “IO” back into core disciplines, but reinforced that we focus on our three disciplines in support of “IO” IAW approved foundational principles


·         CMD Leadership – Discuss core mission areas and relative weight they were afforded at the most recent FCC/C10F Commander’s Conference with their respective wardrooms
·         OCM – Make current Foundational Principles Document available via PERS-472 Facebook page to facilitate discussion annotating that it is currently being revised

(4) Specialists vs. Generalist


BELIEF/MISCONCEPTION:  The community does not value specialists and generalists are favored for promotion



·         There has been an ever present argument in this vein for some time within the community dating back to Fleet vs National discussions in the late 90’s
·         There has been no formal decision on specialist vs. generalist within the community other than specific IW Community leadership expressing concern to promotabilty of those who choose to do so regardless of risk to promotion
·         Several JOs have an expressed desire to specialize within one of the core mission areas (SIGINT-EW-CYBER) or within a fleet discipline (NSW, SUB, etc) but fear they will take career risks in doing so


·         OCM – provide decision brief to IW flag panel on pros/cons of valuing and formally acknowledge specialization (community values, convening order, approved career path, etc) within IW community with results to be shared broadly

General actions to consider

·         Refresh/revalidate/rewrite Foundational Principles document – already taking place.
·         Begin drafting and release a quarterly “Around the Community” Message/E-mail/Blog to   increase awareness around the community.

There was some very good dialogue, both during and after, the Town Hall; however, we ran out of time before we spent any time collectively agreeing to a top 10 concerns/issues slide and to do so would require more input either virtually or via additional forums such as this.






Questions for discussion:

1)      What would be your top 3 concerns/issues for the community from where you sit now?

2)      Are you willing to ask questions regarding any of these topics of your current leadership?

3)      Is there any information that is currently not readily available that would help you making career decisions?