Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Taylor L. Jackson
Rewards for seniority are out and merit is in, as the Navy aims to overhaul its performance evaluations and fitness reports.
“We believe that it is time to develop a different system to measure sailors’ performance,” Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. Robert Burke told Navy Times.
He and other senior naval officials plan to replace the current system with one that utilizes technology-driven data, which will allow them to record more specific details on sailor development and adjust opportunities accordingly.
“What we defacto have is a seniority ranking system vice a merit ranking system,” Burke said. “Our surveys and our peer groups universally told us that sailors were dissatisfied with that.”
The new system, Burke said, has been in the works for more than a year, and is based on detailed surveys of enlisted and officers, who responded that the evaluation system is one of their biggest concerns.
“We want to have an objective measure of the sailor’s performance and have meaningful and frequent and useful feedback given back to the sailors,” Burke added.
The changes Burke listed were many, but included ending the practice of “rack and stack,” in which commands divide sailors into paygrade-based peer groups before doling out recommendations for promotions; more consistent, year-round, individualized feedback; and jettisoning the five-point scale now used to gauge sailors’ performance in favor of a much more thorough nine-point version.
“This takes out bias in a lot of ways and that is really what we’re after,” Burke said.
The last time the service updated its evaluation process was in 1996. The new system will roll out to many sailors by next year, with full implementation expected by 2025. Until then, sailors expecting promotions will continue having to deal with the usual evaluation-time bullcrap.
A small unmanned aerial vehicle built by service academy cadets is shown here flying above ground. This type of small UAV was used by cadets and midshipmen from the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Military Academy and the U.S. Naval Academy, during a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency-sponsored competition at Camp Roberts, California, April 23-25, 2017. During the competition, cadets and midshipmen controlled small UAVs in "swarm" formations to guard territory on the ground at Camp Roberts. (U.S. Air Force photo)
Drones have been used in conflicts across the globe and will play an even more important role in the future of warfare. But, the future of drones in combat will be different than what we have seen before.
The U.S. military can set itself apart from others by embracing autonomous drone warfare through swarming — attacking an enemy from multiple directions through dispersed and pulsing attacks. There is already work being done in this area: The U.S. military tested its own drone swarm in 2017, and the UK announced this week it would fund research into drone swarms that could potentially overwhelm enemy air defenses.
I propose we look to the amoeba, a single-celled organism, as a model for autonomous drones in swarm warfare. If we were to use the amoeba as this model, then we could mimic how the organism propels itself by changing the structure of its body with the purpose of swarming and destroying an enemy.
Soldiers from 4th Squadron, 9th U.S. Cavalry Regiment "Dark Horse," 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, are escorted by observer controllers from the U.S. Army Operational Test Command after completing field testing of the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) Sept. 24, 2018. (U.S. Army/Maj. Carson Petry)
The Army has awarded a $575 million contract to BAE Systems for the initial production of its replacement for the M113 armored personnel carriers the service has been rocking downrange since the Vietnam War.
President Donald Trump has formally outlined how his administration plans to stand up the Space Force as the sixth U.S. military service – if Congress approves.
On Tuesday, Trump signed a directive that calls for the Defense Department to submit a proposal to Congress that would make Space Force fall under Department of the Air Force, a senior administration official said.