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Tony

BRILLIANT ON THE BASICS II PART A REVISITING THE BASICS

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Tony

UNCLASSIFIED
ROUTINE
R 162058Z APR 18
FM CNO WASHINGTON DC
TO NAVADMIN
INFO CNO WASHINGTON DC
BT
UNCLAS

NAVADMIN 095/18

PASS TO OFFICE CODES:
FM CNO WASHINGTON DC//N1//
INFO CNO WASHINGTON DC//N1//
MSGID/NAVADMIN/CNO WASHINGTON DC/N1/APR//

SUBJ/BRILLIANT ON THE BASICS II PART A  REVISITING THE BASICS//

REF/A/MSG/CNO WASHINGTON DC/140017Z FEB 08//
REF/B/PUB/BUPERS/17JAN17//COMMAND CAREER COUNSELOR HANDBOOK//
NARR/REF A IS NAVADMIN 043/08, BRILLIANT ON THE BASICS TAKING CARE OF 
SAILORS.  REF B IS BUREAU OF NAVAL PERSONNEL CAREER COUNSELOR HANDBOOK.//

RMKS/1.  Our Navy is growing for the first time in nearly a generation.  As 
we build the Navy our Nation Needs, we need Sailors who are personally 
engaged in the success of our Navy as well as their own personal success.  
Similarly, we need leaders who encourage and enable this.  Brilliant on the 
Basics II is a charge to reinvigorate our efforts to foster an environment 
where Sailors and their families want to stay Navy.

2.  Let me set the stage, our Fleet is slightly undermanned and is recovering 
from years of downsizing in a fiscally challenged environment.  Our personnel 
policies for the past 15 years were concentrated on downsizing.  But our Navy 
is now transitioning to a growing force.  As a starting point, we expect to 
experience sustained growth over the next five years to an enlisted end- 
strength of 344,800 [an increase of about 21,000 personnel from FY17 to 
FY23].  Our accession mission has increased 14% this year [from about 35k a 
year to 40k a year].  That growth rate will continue as we prepare to man the 
355 ship Navy.  We have adapted personnel policies to support this growth, 
and Sailors can expect improved retention incentives, advancement, and 
leadership opportunity.  The career choices, flexibility and transparency 
offered by Sailor 2025 programs, as well as the Defense Officer Personnel 
Management Act changes we are working for our officers, will be critical 
elements in our toolbox to help influence the stay Navy decision.  Finally, 
our continuing Manpower, Personnel, Training, and Education (MPT&E) system 
transformation is designed to enable Sailor 2025 initiatives, move our 
systems into the 21st century, and vastly improve customer service to our 
Sailors and their families.  These programs are just beginning to deliver and 
will reach their full potential in about 18-24 months.  However, all economic 
indicators show that the labor market is already tight and getting tighter.  
It is harder to attract and retain personnel who would be drawn to another 
workforce.  This will significantly challenge our ability to grow the force.

3.  We do not have the capacity to grow the Navy by simply bringing more 
Sailors in the front door.  We must also retain more of our trained and 
experienced personnel to meet our manning requirements. We have to start that 
effort today.  This competition for talent will be won by retaining the right 
Sailors with the right skill sets who consider Navy their employer of choice.  
This retention effort is not just for our command teams.  This is an all-
hands effort.  We must all be Brilliant on the Basics of retention.

4.  In 2008, then-CNP VADM Harvey promulgated our first Brilliant on the 
Basics, reference (a).  His message was clear and is applicable today.  The 
retention battle is fought one Sailor at a time on every one of our ships, 
squadrons, submarines and stations.  The mastery of the basics of retention 
of each command will be crucial to fighting and winning this battle.  Today, 
just as in 2008, the basics of retention include six key programs:  command 
sponsorship, command indoctrination, career development boards (CDB), 
mentorship, ombudsman programs, and recognition programs.  These six basics 
form the enduring foundation upon which every successful career is launched.  
In many cases, these efforts represent our first opportunities to prove we 
are truly concerned with the well-being, professional success, and family 
support of our Sailors.  These actions set the tone by which shipmates and 
families ultimately choose to stay Navy.  Ensuring these basic retention 
programs are properly implemented in your command is an investment in the 
future of our Navy.

5.  Today, those six basics are hidden in chapter 4 of reference (b), the 
BUPERS Career Counselor Handbook.  Although completely re-issued just over 
one year ago, reference (b) is already in need of an update, due to the pace 
of change of our personnel systems as Sailor 2025 programs and the MPT&E 
transformation improve the way we do business.  Many of the program elements 
outlined in chapter 4 of reference (b) are cumbersome and administrative in 
nature, and will be simplified.  Commands should instead focus on the intent 
and substance of the programs.  Some key elements of successful programs:
    a.  Command Sponsorship.  This program is owned by the command master 
chief or chief of the boat.  However, it must be operationalized and executed 
by our deckplate leaders to be successful.  Sponsors need to be senior and 
mature enough to know the command, local resources, and how to get Sailors 
and families what they need to get settled.  Sponsors should meet Sailors at 
arrival.  How new crew members and their families are first greeted matters.  
Make it a big deal, make it clear they are now part of your team, get them a 
command ball cap and their name tag on day one, and make sure their family 
feels welcome and is well taken care of.  If you have ever seen the old Navy 
training film, *the first 72 hours*, that is real.  The wrong initial start 
can have an enormously negative impact on a new Sailor.  So make it right 
every time.
    b.  Command Indoctrination.  Thought should be put into your command 
indoctrination program.  Too many commands treat this as a ticket punch and 
allow a great opportunity to pass.  Instead, command leadership should be 
involved.  This is an opportunity to reinforce our Navy core values and Navy 
ethos, and to instill your command philosophy and expectations, among other 
things.
    c.  CDBs.  Respect and loyalty is a two-way street.  The simplest and 
most direct way leaders can help their Sailors is to give them honest, timely 
and meaningful professional feedback and career advice.  CDBs, if done right, 
can be part of that.  Rather than tie CDBs to calendar periodicity, tie them 
to decision points in the career of each Sailor e.g., checking aboard, 2-3 
months prior to any decision window such as orders, selective reenlistment 
bonus extension or reenlistment, etc.  Make CDBs an opportunity to engage 
your Sailors, find out what it will take for them to stay Navy, be their 
advocate and then help them succeed in achieving their goals.
    d.  Command Mentors.  We all need and should have mentors who we rely on 
and who rely on us to foster and develop necessary leadership skills.  The 
following excerpt is taken from the leader development framework:
*Teachers focus on transferring knowledge from themselves to students.  
Coaches develop operational skills through sets and reps, drills and routines 
that perfect an operational skill.
Mentors do all of the above, and more, in a way that is more personal, 
involved, and longer term.  Mentors probe deeply into their protgs strengths 
and weaknesses, challenging them to be a more complete whole person.  
...development comes from the clear sense of mutual commitment from mentor to 
protg and protg to mentor.*
Every command should have a mentoring program and mentoring should be 
required for all.  However, the personal connection required cannot be 
ordered, assigned, or prescribed, so programs have to be flexible enough to 
allow exploration.  Sailors must be free to seek opportunities to be a mentor 
and to find a mentor.  You can and should develop an environment in your unit 
conducive to mentoring. Lead by example by seeking a mentor for yourself and 
offering to mentor others.  Set up opportunities for yourself and your team 
to network and establish these types of connections and recommend mentors to 
proteges and vice versa.
    e.  Ombudsman Programs.  The recently released Navy family framework 
recognizes the dependence of the Navy on the strength of our Navy families.  
It sets goals aimed at improving Navy family support programs, better 
connecting and informing our Navy families, increasing meaningful command 
leader engagement with Navy spouses and families, among others.  No one is 
more critical to this effort than the command ombudsman, whose primary focus 
is command communications, information and referral, in addition to providing 
an avenue for hearing about the welfare of command families. Choosing a top-
notch command ombudsman and including them in the communication strategy of 
your command as a part of your command team is vital to your success.
    f.  Recognition Programs.  Recognition should not be limited to formal 
awards and awards should not necessarily be limited to the end of tour.  
Proactive commands successfully employ many other creative mechanisms to 
recognize the accomplishments their Sailors through nominations to special 
programs, selection to special opportunities, or things as simple as a great 
parking spot. Whatever you can put in place, do it to make sure your Sailors 
are appreciated and valued.

6.  Part B of this message, to be released in the coming weeks, will focus on 
the concept of engagement.  By being Brilliant on the Basics and 
incorporating all of the elements of engagement, we will create an 
environment for our Sailors to feel truly vested in their Navy.  The 
competition for their talent is urgent, and we need to act now.

7.  Released by Vice Admiral R. P. Burke, N1.//

BT
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NNNN
UNCLASSIFIED//

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