CWO2 David Vest recently graduated Afloat Cryptologic Managers (ACM) course at Corry Station, Pensacola, Florida. Before receiving a commission, CWO2 Vest was Cryptologic Technician (Maintenance) Senior Chief Petty Officer.  He has 17 years of naval service and he will be reporting for duty onboard the USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) later this month.

All ACM students are required to write their division expectations. Here is CWO2 Vest’s OT Division expectations:

Objectives:  Our divisional objectives are to be ready at any time to go in harm’s way, to execute all assigned missions, and most importantly, bring all of our shipmates home.

Brilliant on the Basics (BOTB): the expectation is that we must continuously follow the traditional aspects of BOTB.

  • Sponsorship – Communication early and often is critical to ensure an effective sponsorship program. This is the first opportunity we have to establish our command in a positive light to a new Sailor. I would like all E4 and senior to attend the FFCS training.
  • Mentorship – Whether we have a mandatory program or not, statistics show that having a mentor is a major benefit to success. Mentors can be divisional departmental, command or outside out lifelines. Just make sure your relationship have clear goals!
  • Indoctrination – Command indoctrination is required, but please understand that divisional and community indoctrination is a major contribution to our overall success. Standby for field trips (this will help us build our network of success)!
  • Career/Personal Development – You are the only person who has a true vested interest in your career. Verify what you are being told and ask questions.  Let us know if there is something that is of interest to you.  The worst thing that can happen is that someone says no.  You need to ensure you are establishing SMART goals!
  • Ombudsman – Family readiness is a critical part of making sure we can execute the mission. This includes family that are not here in Japan!  Make sure you have a plan to care.  Keep contact open with your families and keep them informed.  Your family is the one thing you will have after your Navy life is complete.  MAKE TIME FOR THEM!
  • Recognition – If you are coming to work trying to focus on getting the EP or a certain level of award, you are setting yourself up for failure. You do not need to do everything to be the best, but you do need to be the best at what you do.  Following the tasking, guidance and direction provided will ensure success.  All that other stuff comes with the territory.

Divisional Basic:  The next layer to BOTB is exhibiting basic fundamental building in our day-to-day operations.  This means we need to get in the publications that govern our operations.  Knowing and understanding requirements is critical, but more importantly do not be afraid to ask questions when you do not fully understand them.

  • Military Bearing – First and foremost respect is due up and down the chain of command.
    • Always maintain a smart appearance,
    • Always conduct yourself ethically and morally,
    • When in doubt or not covered by instruction… ask the question.
    • If you address someone senior to you, stand up, address him or her by rank or title, and introduce yourself.
    • If you are running late call the POOW/OOD. Notification does not mean you are in the clear, but it is a mitigating factor.  You are not mustered present until you have been seen aboard!
    • No one is this division will enable behavior that is detrimental to the team, (tardiness, alcohol use, conduct, uniforms, etc.)
  • Battle Rhythm – Our divisional battle rhythm will be dictated by the ship schedule, but will consist of a daily quarters and daily wrap-up. This allows us to prepare for the next day. Underway this will be at the watch turnovers.
  • Qualifications – The expectation is that you are qualifying on time (or early) on all required watch stations. If you want to qualify on something outside the normal, we will have a sit-down to discuss, with the understanding that your primary job is just that… it come first.  I will normally support anyone wanting to further themselves.  Whether the qualification is required or desired, if you are delinquent, you are wrong and you will be held accountable.
  • Train Your Relief – The intent is that you are working to put your boss out of a job. Think a few pay grades ahead especially concerning leadership, technical knowledge, and commitment.  Become the expert in your field.  Competence and professionalism earns trust and credibility.  It can also open doors for you.
  • Leadership – You do not have to ask permission to lead, take advantage of opportunities that may come your way. However, know matter how senior you get, there will be times when you must be a follower.  The best leaders are the ones who know when they have to follow. Leadership comes in many forms, but at its foundation it is about developing those around you.  Always remember objects are managed and PEOPLE ARE LED!
  • Standards Are Standards – Our intent must be to not just meet the standard, but to set the standard. That comes with knowing and following all command standards, and doing our best to exceed them.  The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.  If you see a problem document it if it can’t be fixed on the spot.  Enforce the standards!
  • Education – Continuous learning is a must. Divisional training shall be used effectively and will be conducted at a minimum of two sessions per week.  Education includes qualification, general military training, certifications, advancement-in-rate and college.  College will be supported as much as possible; however, you are on the hook to ensure you meet the requirements.
  • Work Accomplishment – Your ability to work autonomously will be based on trust. While we will attempt to not micromanage you, expect that your work will be verified for quality assurance and for process improvement.
  • Health – Your health and fitness is extremely important. Take care of yourself mentally, physically and spiritually.  Work/life balance is a key to mission success.  I will ensure time to PT as much as possible.

Key to Success: 

  • Keep us informed: I ask that you update the Chain of Command as soon as possible for any event. Do not be the senior person with a secret.  I cannot assist if I do not know what is going on.  My intent is not to air your business, but to ensure you get all the assistance available.
  • Open door policies: This policy is not design to preclude you from utilizing the chain of command. Please give us an opportunity to fix your issue or elevate it up the chain of command first.
  • Be organized: Carry a notebook with you at all times. I also recommend an agenda planner and/or a living to do list.
  • Keep a binder: Have an “I LOVE ME” binder to store your important career documents (evals, awards, volunteer letter, education documents, certificates, resume, training records, brag sheets, profile sheets, designation letters, smart transcripts, etc.)
  • Brag sheets: Keep a running brag sheet for yourself. On the divisional level, I cannot be present for all the great work you will do. As such, I will require everyone to submit a weekly accomplishment report to highlight what you have done throughout the week.  These will be compiled and submitted to OPSO on a bi-weekly basis.  There should be no question when it is time for ranking boards.
  • Time is precious: We need to ensure the valuable usage of our time. Time-off is just as important as time-on, so we need to stay gainfully employed while at work.  I am not beholden keeping personal around for no reason.  However, there will be times that a command event/requirement will necessitate us being on-station but not actively participating.  Those are outstanding periods where we can take opportunities to get ahead on future requirements, such as training or maintenance.
  • The right attitude: A questioning attitude is great to have, and needed to ensure we are doing things the right way. However, you must understand that there is an appropriate time and a place to do so.  Questioning authority is never the right way to do this!  If the LPO is tasking you, it is the same as Chief or me tasking you.
  • Be visible: Once you have established yourself as a qualified technician, get out of SSES and the EW mod. Find ways to be effective member of the CVILLE team.  We will support the ship when we are ahead on our tasks.
  • Involvement: Command and community involvement is recommended, and helps to build you as a well-rounded Sailor. However, this will not conflict with your primary duties.  Be careful what you assign your name to because….
  • Integrity: Your name is only as good as you make it! If you destroy your name, it is gone, or will take major work to get it back.  If you volunteer or receive tasking, do it to the best of your ability and always be on time and present as required!
  • Advancement: Your advancement is very important to me. All personnel who are in their advancement windows will have their BIBs printed.  Our divisional training sessions will support your BIB line items.  We will make sure that time is set aside for studying, when as possible; however, self-study is highly recommended.
  • Building your network: Use your resources and build your network. No one knows everything, but successful people know who to see for the answer!
  • Communication is critical: Communication is our biggest failure in the Navy.  You will see this listed on every CMEO survey.  So how do we get better?  It starts with things as simple as updating the recall list.  We will not live and die by email, that means tasking will not be by email alone.  The last part to this is the requirement for all of us to provide feedback and lesson learned.

What You Owe The Team:

  • Be loyal to your Sailors, the command and the Navy.
  • Ensure that the classified material entrusted to you is properly secured and safeguard to avoid a compromise.
  • If you think you have a better way to execute a task, or more importantly, if you see something wrong say something! If you can bring us solutions to issues, please do so.  We are here for each other.

What We Owe You:

  • Daily quarter!!! This is the single most important thing I can provide you to enable our success!
  • To hold you accountable for the above expectations and all requirements
  • To notify you of changes in tasking and doctrine as it is available.
  • To be your voice and advocate with the change of command.
  • Proper career development boards. This includes counseling sessions. There will be no surprises come evaluation time.
  • The four T’s: The right TRAINING, adequate TOOLS, a clear and achievable TASK, and most importantly the TIME to complete the tasking assigned.

Warrant’s Rule to Live by:  Don’t do anything to break your Sailors yourself or your equipment.

This list is not all inclusive as I cannot cover every scenario, but my hope is that it will provide with the framework for success.  Please understand that we must live by the one team, one fight; fight to win mentality.  OUR success depends on it.

D. M. VEST
PRESS ON!