Standards and expectations from Captain Glen Zeiders (ret), last Commanding Officer of USS Ticonderoga (CG 47). Following his command at sea tour, Captain Zeiders served as Surface Operations CSG-SIX onboard USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67), Commanding Officer of Afloat Training Command Mayport followed by Commander, Destroyer Squadron FOURTEEN.
TRAITS OF OUTSTANDING WARDROOMS
- Outstanding wardrooms set and maintain high standards
- Outstanding wardrooms are cohesive, yet competitive
- Outstanding wardrooms raise concerns to the CO and XO
- Outstanding wardrooms take initiative
- Outstanding wardrooms do detailed planning
- Outstanding wardrooms take responsibility for the results of their departments and divisions
- They put wardrooms on ships for a reason….
THE STANDARD ON TICONDEROGA IS EXCELLENCE
- DHs and DIVOs are the key to setting and maintaining standards, not the CO or XO
- If you see something wrong, fix it
- Do things right the first time, every time
- Don’t accept mediocrity – ever…
- Learn from your mistakes and don’t make them again
- Always strive to be the best officer on the ship. This is a profession, not a boys/girls club
- Don’t make me tell you how to do your job
- Strive for continuous improvement
- Know how to fight and rive the ship
- Know your equipment – cold
- know your people
- Know your job. When you know that, learn your boss’s
- Get into your spaces every day, without fail
- Support each other. Don’t let your shipmate fail
- Communicate with your sailors and me
- Promote self sufficiency
- Show initiative – Don’t wait to be told
- Know how to delegate, monitor and follow-up
- Keep the ship clean, leak free and rust free. You should be embarrassed if i have to point it out to you.
- You are all Q.A. agents. If something is not right, fix it.
SPECIFIC EXPECTATIONS FOR EVERYONE
- Admin – On time, accurate, in ref(a) format. give XO and i time to review it
- Events – Develop detailed plan, ORM, brief, pre-brief on station, execute, debrief, develop lessons learned and improve
- Assessments – Certify on the first look. Execute my 10 step process
- Request chits – Return within 24 hours. Same working day for “no” chits, only the CO says “no.” Hand route
- Casualties – Give me the casualty, the cause, the impact, the solution and the ETR. Don’t put a spin on it. Understand what you are talking about
- Document performance – Good and bad – COI/CCOI
- Look for opportunities to train and seize them
- Communicate goals, expectations and “the plan” to your sailors – make sure you have a plan
- Talk to me daily. it’s not the XO’s job to keep me informed of what you are doing
- Calls to/from ISIC or higher authority – inform me. Remember what you say is assumed to be coming from me.
- Accurate eight o’clocks. Be able to talk about your material status in detail at all times.
- Ensure your departmental equipment works within ref (a) parameters at all times
- Develop and execute a long range plan to improve your department
- Admin – Quality is a direct reflection of your ability to be an XO
- Know how to fight the ship. Know all firing trains, know tactics, know PPRS, know doctrine
- DH protective society – help each other out
- Drive team training. Ensure divisional training occurs
- Train and mentor your DIVOs
- Put the XO out of a job. Let him train to be a CO
- Keep your DH informed
- Conduct a detailed walk through of your spaces every day. Document and fix problems
- Develop pride of ownership. Formally assign ownership to every sailor in your division
- Know your equipment cold to build credibility with your sailors
- Ensure your equipment works to standard at all times
- Qualify SWO/manage your career. Don’t wait to be spoon fed
- Conduct divisional training 3 times per week. Work in rate training to help your sailors get advanced. Document it.
- Maintain a detailed WQSB and WTRP/PQS goal sheet so sailors know where to go and when, and know what is expected of them.
- Be a mentor for your sailors and fellow JOs
- Learn to understand relative motion and how the ship maneuvers
- Give your sailors a plan – corrective and preventive maintenance, cleaning, preservation, training… liberty when complete
- Quarters every day. Read the POD. Inspect your people
- Sweepers – twice per day. Sweepers means more than brooms. Hot soapy water is not only authorized, but encouraged
- Know your sailors, their issues and concerns, their professional goals and their retention and advancement status. Know what makes them tick.
- Sign PMS boards every week. Assist the WCS and personally track accomplishment. Do your spot checks. Be critical.
- Strive to be the best JO on the ship and to put your DH out of a job
SOME GREAT QUOTES TO REMEMBER TO SUCCEED AS A SWO
- What interests the CO should fascinate the hell out of you
- There is no such person named “Murphy”
- You make your own luck
- Expect what you inspect
- Plan your work, work your plan
- The six P’s
- Tis easier to ask forgiveness than it is permission… (caveat – you better have done your homework)
- Bad news does not get better with age
- The 4th law of thermodynamics…
- You gotta love it… just liking it won’t get you through the day
- You never know the limits of your authority until you exceed them… or, you don’t know what you can get away with until you try
23 September 2019 at 18:39
Excellent advice and standards reflected here, Mario! If you don’t mind my asking, what rank did Zeiders retire in? I realize the article refers to him as Captain Glen Zeiders, but he would have been a captain during his command tour aboard Ticonderoga. This officer certainly had and demanded high standards and the most out of his wardroom. Thank you for sharing this!