The Pentagon's controversial plan to hire military leaders off the street
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    Exclamation The Pentagon's controversial plan to hire military leaders off the street

    Defense Secretary Ash Carter wants to open the door for more “lateral entry” into the military's upper ranks, clearing the way for lifelong civilians with vital skills and strong résumés to enter the officer corps as high as the O-6 paygrade.

    The idea is controversial, to say the very least. For many in the rank-and-file military, it seems absurd, a bewildering cultural change that threatens to upend many assumptions about military life and traditional career paths. But while it's not universally embraced, there is interest in Congress and among some of the military's uniformed leaders — even, they say, in exploring how the services could apply this concept to the enlisted force.

    This is a key piece of Carter’s “Force of the Future” personnel reform. Unveiled June 9, it aims to help the military bring in more top talent, especially for high-tech career fields focused on cyber warfare and space. Advocates say it will help the military fill important manpower shortfalls with highly skilled professionals and, more broadly, create greater “permeability” between the active-duty military and the civilian sector.

    At the same time, it suggests eroding the military’s tradition of growing its own leaders and cultivating a force with a distinct culture and tight social fabric, which many believe to be the heart of military effectiveness. Critics worry it will create a new subcaste of military service members who are fundamentally disconnected from the traditional career force.

    “They will enter a culture they don’t know, understand or potentially appreciate,” said Dakota Wood, a retired Marine officer and military expert at the Heritage Foundation. “The Marines around them will likely be challenged to appreciate them as they would a fellow Marine.”

    If approved by Congress, the individual military services would be authorized — but not required — to expand lateral entry up to the rank of colonel, or in the case of the Navy a captain. It's part of a broader reform effort that may also include new rules for bringing enlisted troops in at the noncommissioned officer ranks, which does not require approval from Congress.

    Yet the proposed change raises many cultural concerns and could result in a host of second-order effects. The services would have to tackle a range of questions. For instance, what kind of initial training will those officers undergo? Will lateral entry officers be eligible for promotion? Will junior officer retention be affected by the prospect of potentially leaving and returning years later at a higher rank?

    Cyber, principally, is driving the call for change, but lateral entry could extend to any high-demand career field with a robust civilian counterpart — logistics, for example, and military policing or public affairs. Those who work in such technical jobs often are lured away from the military's officer and enlisted ranks by high-paying jobs in the private sector. Offering personnel the opportunity to earn an O-6 salary — plus benefits — might alleviate that.

    However, this raises another set of issues that'll need to be addressed. For instance, the military's current pay structure would offer significantly less to a colonel or a captain with one year of service versus one with 20 or more. And the military retirement system does not offer much in exchange for only short-term service.

    The Navy is the most enthusiastic about Carter's proposal. The Army and Air Force say they will consider high-level lateral entries if the change is approved. And the Marine Corps appears to be the most skeptical.

    Carter acknowledged some concerns, saying it’s unlikely that lateral entry would affect the operational career fields that have little if any civilian counterpart, like the infantry, surface warfare or combat aviation. “Now, I have to say we can’t do this for every career field — far from it. It will probably never apply to line officers, as they’ll always need to begin their military careers as second lieutenants and ensigns,” he said. “But allowing the military services to commission a wider segment of specialized outside talent … will make us more effective.”

    The individual military services would hammer out the details for themselves, which would involve more than just identifying the high-demand career fields and high-skilled recruits. They would have to consider how candidates for lateral entry will adapt to service-specific military life.

    “There are some cultural issues,” said Brad Carson, the Pentagon’s former personnel chief who helped draw up the ambitious slate of personnel reforms. “People who come in won’t just have to have the skills. They’ll have to have a military bearing and understand the military ethic. You don’t just get that by walking in off the street.”

    But what if Mark Zuckerberg, the inventor and CEO of Facebook, wanted to join the military? Carson cites this hypothetical to illustrate the rigidity of today’s personnel system.

    While Zuckerberg’s skills would likely be profoundly valuable to U.S. Cyber Command, the 32-year-old computer programmer dropped out of Harvard and has no bachelor’s degree, making him ineligible for commission as an officer. A military recruiter could probably find some ways to grant him credit for the skills and experience evident in his self-made fortune — estimated to be $51 billion — but not much.

    “If Mark Zuckerberg decided that he wants to serve his county in the military, we could probably make him an E-4 at cyber command,” Carson said. “Corporal Zuckerberg. We think we should have the ability to bring him in at whatever rank the military service thinks he’d be effective.”

    First cyber. Then what?

    Even the suggestion of directly commissioning civilians as full-bird colonels or Navy captains — a rank many career officers never attain — reflects the degree of concern surrounding efforts to build out CYBERCOM. Created in 2010, the command is trying to stand up a force of 6,200 active-duty specialists organized in 133 teams.

    But progress has been slower than hoped. The target date for standing up those teams was the end of 2016, but that deadline has been pushed out to 2018. So far, about half of those teams, 68, have reached what the military calls “initial operational capability,” and as many as 100 teams are currently conducting missions to meet the demand for offensive and defensive cyber capabilities, defense officials say.

    Some military officials fear that the demand for cyber operations is such that there’s not enough time for the services to grow their own cyber force from the ground up. Under the military's traditional personnel system, it might take more than a decade to cultivate the cyber capability that the Pentagon needs, some officials say.

    Currently, by law the Pentagon is limited to use lateral entry for chaplains, lawyers, doctors and dentists, and even for those career specialties, lateral entry is capped at the O-4 paygrade, or the rank of major and, in the case of the Navy, lieutenant commander.

    A Senate proposal would give the defense secretary authority to expand lateral entry to any career field and raise the rank cap to the O-6 paygrade. The law already allows the services to grant lateral entry to enlisted troops, and some in the Pentagon want to expand that authority.

    Critics question the need for high-level lateral entry and suggest civilians or contractors could fill gaps in those high-tech fields. But officials say there are key reasons why pinning a full bird the collar of a lifelong civilian is a good idea.

    For starters, it bestows legal protections as a full-fledged combatant, which has implications that range from ensuring prisoner-of-war status under international law to immunity from prosecution in court. "You'd want them to have 'Law of War' protection if you know what they are doing is having a kinetic effect," Carson said.

    Another concern is the level of interest among civilians. Many successful midcareer professionals have families and earning potential beyond what the military could offer.

    “I really question who is going to do it,” said Richard Bejtlich, a 44-year-old Air Force Academy graduate who separated when he was a junior officer and is now a cyber-security expert with FireEye and the Brookings Institution, a think tank in Washington. “I don’t see a lot of people I know of saying, ‘Hey, I want to go abandon my current position and go be in the military.' ”

    Ultimately, those with prior military experience might be the best candidates because they are familiar with military culture, and would acclimate and find acceptance far more quickly.

    “Can you imagine someone coming in as an O-5 or O-6 and not knowing who salutes who? Or how to wear a uniform?” Bejtlich said. “The traditional military’s worst nightmare is to bring in some long-haired hippie and make him a colonel. The way I think you could make it palatable to the rank and file is, you would limit it to bringing in former military.”

    Whether the authority for lateral entry is widely used will likely vary — significantly — by service.

    The Navy

    The Navy, more than any of the other services, has pushed aggressively to expand lateral entry. Navy officials say it will help fill critical needs in existing career fields — but also to build new capability quickly in the event of a full-scale war.

    “Right now the one we’re focused on is the cyber [community] because that’s the immediate need,” said Vice Adm. Robert Burke, the chief of naval personnel. “But we want this authority in place ... because we want to be responsive when the need comes — we don’t want to start writing policy the minute we discover we need it.”

    The Navy has no detailed plans for lateral entry at the moment. Should Congress give its approval, sources tell Military Times that the service could begin commissioning civilians into the upper ranks sometime in fiscal 2017, which begins in October.

    “Today, cyber is where we need it; tomorrow we might need it in 10 other places,” he said “I just can’t foresee what those might be right now.”

    The Navy is also considering more lateral entry for the enlisted force. Legally, that’s easy and, unlike for officers, requires no congressional approval. But culturally, the Navy could struggle to integrate chief petty officers brought in at the E-7 paygrade.

    Burke broached the subject publicly in mid-May, at the annual Sea-Air Space Symposium in Washington. Feedback from the fleet was immediate. One chief petty officer, a chief aviation electronics technician stationed at North Island in California, called the suggestion "ridiculous."

    “He states that he is ‘seeking the authority to bring somebody in at the E-7 level,’ ” the sailor said, asking for anonymity to speak freely. "I find the choice of words interesting. Notice he doesn't say they want to bring someone in at the CPO level. There's only one entity that selects, tests and accepts chief petty officers. That's the United States Navy Chief Petty Officers Mess. Anything else is an E-7.

    “They're talking about cheapening the CPO brand. They're talking about creating counterfeit chiefs."

    The Army

    Army leadership also has been quick to endorse Carter’s “Force of the Future” ideas, to include lateral entry — primarily as a way to shore up readiness.

    "It gives secretaries of the services the authorities to use those tools that are needed,” Army Vice Chief Gen. Daniel Allyn told a crowd at the Heritage Foundation on June 13. “That's important. You want to have a toolbox that allows you to adjust as needed."

    Army officials acknowledged that for some select skill sets, the proposals would be “very beneficial” for readiness, and the Army is looking into how best to apply those initiatives if the military receives the congressional authority Carter is seeking.

    “We have expertise in America that could serve the military well, but we don’t have the apparatus to bring someone in,” said one Army official, who asked not to be identified. “Cyber is one of the key components of that. It’s so new in so many different ways. ... We’re coming to a place and time where we’re dealing with the cutting edge of many different issues.”

    The Army already uses the current lateral entry authorizations to bring in medical personnel, chaplains and, to some degree, lawyers. Most come in as captains or majors. Officials will opt for a limited use of any new authorities. “It won’t be a blanket approach, and it shouldn’t be,” the Army official said. “Some of this doesn’t apply to all branches and specialties.”

    The Army tapped its existing lateral entry authority during the height of the Iraq war to help meet soaring demand for trauma surgeons, the official said.

    Lateral entry will allow the Army to respond more quickly to emerging demands, said Guy Swan, a retired three-star general who is vice president for education at the Association of the United States Army. “You may have readiness needs that are needed today,” he said. “And certainly the Army could grow its own people, but it may not have the time.”

    Swan said a good use of lateral-entry may be in the reserves. Reservists can “continue to hone their skills at Google or Microsoft and we can leverage those skills as needed,” he said. But he expects some pushback from the rank-and-file, at least initially.

    “It’ll probably take some additional explanation,” he said. “I think a large majority of the Army would never even see this. It would never affect their lives. You’re talking about narrow skill-sets that are niche capabilities.”

    Swan likened lateral-entry recruits to warrant officers, which raises a question: Should these lateral entry soldiers be brought on as warrants, officers or noncommissioned officers? This is what the service needs to determine, Swan said, adding that they could also be brought in as civilian federal employees.

    The Army has the power to extend lateral entry to some traditional hard-to-fill jobs in its NCO corps. But what jobs would they fill? The Army has had trouble in recent years placing sergeants and staff sergeants in highly technical jobs such as: MOS 25D (cyber network defender), 29E (electronic warfare specialist), 12P (prime power production specialist) 25E (electromagnetic spectrum manager). Qualifications also remain high for NCOs looking to go 35L (counterintelligence agent).

    The Air Force

    The Air Force is open to the idea of expanding lateral entries, particularly for people with cyber skills. “We’re still exploring it,” Brig. Gen. Brian Kelly, director of military force management policy, said during an interview in May. “We are looking at similar programs to what the Navy is talking about.”

    An Air Force spokeswoman at the Pentagon added that lateral entries could have a positive impact on the culture. "We certainly see opportunity to create the kind of 'ventilation' and influx of ideas and talents that the secretary of defense has previously discussed," Capt. Brooke Brzozowske wrote in a statement to Military Times.

    Besides hackers or other cyber experts, the Air Force could benefit from bringing in midcareer people to serve as enlisted airborne cryptologic language analysts, said Terry Stevens, a retired Air Force colonel and personnel expert. Those language analysts are regularly on the Air Force’s list of the most stressed specialties, and to retain airmen in that field, the Air Force offers selective re-enlistment bonuses that can be worth tens of thousands of dollars. The latest list offered hefty bonuses to specialists who speak Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Persian, Hebrew or Pashto.

    Some jobs in the Air Force are similar to those in the civilian aviation sector, so the Air Force could potentially bring on midcareer airmen with experience maintaining private sector aircraft, Stevens said.

    The Air Force has regularly sounded the alarm about undermanning in career fields such as cyber, intelligence and maintenance, and adopted a slate of recruitment and retention incentives and strategies to bolster those positions. But officials would need to be careful how they bring on these new airmen, Stevens said. He said the service shouldn’t bring anyone into a rank higher than major, to avoid putting anyone in a leadership position who doesn’t have experience with the military, its culture and its processes.

    “They have absolutely no military background, they don’t know how the systems work, they don’t know how to supervise military personnel,” Stevens said. Such a move would “create a lot of animosity, confusion and distrust” on the part of the existing officer corps.

    If the Air Force needs someone’s skills badly enough to make them an O-6, Stevens said, it should instead hire them as a civilian at, for example, the GS-15 grade.

    The Marine Corps

    The Marine Corps might be the most skeptical among the four services.

    A Marine personnel officer said the service's leaders support the proposal in part because of its "flexibility" and the fact it does not force the services to change their policies. "We are prepared to observe the 'experimentation' efforts of other services and adopt the best practices where applicable and advantageous," said Col. Gaines Ward, head of the service's promotions and policy branch.

    Hiring a top-notch “cyber-warrior” at an elevated pay grade and having them give or take orders from a Marine with years of time in service would create a culture clash quite different from what you’d see at a Silicon Valley start-up, said Wood, the retired Marine officer at the Heritage Foundation. It’s that prospect of tension that concerns leaders at the Marine Corps' highest levels.

    When Gen. Robert Neller became the service's 37th commandant last September, he immediately realized the need to bring top cyber talent into the force, but was concerned about maintaining recruiting standards, Brig. Gen. Loretta Reynolds, commander of Marine Forces Cyber Command, said during her remarks a recent conference in Washington.

    “Do I have to start letting guys with purple hair and earrings in?” she recalled Neller asking.

    The answer: No.

    “You can let them in with purple hair but we’re going to shave it off anyways and plug up whatever holes they have if they’re smart enough,” Reynolds added.

    The feasibility of direct accessions for the Marine Corps may also depend on the environment in which any lateral-entry personnel operate. Working in a stateside garrison environment may not be very different from having contractors fill these critical positions, but it would be a completely different thing in a combat environment, Wood said.

    “If lateral-entry civilians actually become serving, uniformed and ranked ‘Marines,’ then I think their fellow ‘normal’ Marines would expect them to operate just as any Marine would,” he said. “Not having the years of growing up in the Corps, however, this might be a difficult transition for some to make, especially in combat situations.”

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  2. #2
    the " UmGallaGalla's " getting deeper

  3. #3
    What we don't understand is that there are many community organizers that would make superb generals. For the nay sayers they could simply take a few pc classes on how the military should be run.

  4. #4
    Ash Carter,, should read,, Ass Carter.. yup the Jackass is the best national symbol for the progressives..

  5. #5
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    So Mark Zukerberg is going to become a Marine Corps Colonel in charge of the " Cyber Command " ?

  6. #6
    Another reason to vote for Trump. That would mean this "intellectual" only has 7 more months remaining on the job and not enough time to ram yet another one of his liberal experiments down the military's throats. Hard to decide which one I want to see gone more - the president, his SECDEF, his SECNAV, his Attorney General, or his SECSTATE!

  7. #7
    stand by, troops.... your air support will now be provided by some obese, 30-something long haired granma bring me another soda drinking purple haired member of the "99%" movement flying a drone from his grand mother's basement in Baltimore... and "don't blame me" it was those guys on the ground that caused me to drop all of that ordinance on them, not a mistake on my part..... damn, I'm glad I am retired.....

  8. #8
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    Cyber Cellar Dweller. The one with the Cheetoos stained fingers lol.

  9. #9
    I think the plan is to do something like the Seabees during World War II.

    I have seen one doctor and one anesthesia nurse come in as Lieutenant Colonels. Not sure how accurate the O-4 cap is.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by TolzerVman View Post

    I think *** Nay brother - = you believe ***

    the plan is to do something like**
    the Seabees

    during World War II.

    I wouldn't trust any of the current load of
    politicians we have in office now,
    and will trust the ones we have in
    office tomorrow *

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by TolzerVman View Post
    I think the plan

    ^ there is the link to NAVY TIMES who rate consideration
    in this somehow.

    Navy forges ahead with plan to hire civilians for chief, captain
    Mark D. Faram, Navy Times 3:09 p.m. EDT June 19, 2016

    (Photo: John Harman)

    For many sailors, earning the anchors of a chief petty officer is the culmination of 13 years of work, the reward for succeeding in the toughest jobs of the enlisted force.

    But those anchors may soon come readily, right after boot camp, for some specialists joining the service under a new proposal.

    This push is part of the military's controversial plan to recruit experts mid-career for growing areas like cyber warfare where the services want to build up the capabilities of their uniformed forces rapidly, by recruiting experienced operators from the private sector.

    The military has asked Congress to relax officer personnel laws so they could directly hire civilians at pay grades up to O-6.


    The Pentagon's controversial plan to hire military leaders off the street

    On the enlisted side, current Navy policy already allows the service to bring in sailors up to the E-6 level, which in the active-duty force is limited to musicians. It would only take the stroke of a pen to approve lateral entry into new communities and ranks as high as chief — a move Navy leaders have said they're interested in.

    “We're seeking the authority to bring somebody in at the E-7 level or up to the O-6 level,” said Vice Adm. Robert Burke in May. The Navy already direct accesses officer candidates with special experience, like lawyers and doctors, to ranks up to lieutenant commander.

    Navy officials want this expanded authority to fill critical needs in existing career fields and to build new capability fast.

    “Right now, the one we’re focused on is the cyber [community] because that’s the immediate need,” said Burke, who took over as the chief of naval personnel in May after a year overseeing personnel plans and policy. “But we want this authority in place so that we could use it where those needs arise, because we want to be responsive when the need comes — we don’t want to start writing policy the minute we discover we need it.”

    The foremost challenge in changing the enlisted lateral entry rules will be persuading Navy chiefs to accept someone into their ranks who's just graduated from boot camp.

    "There is a heck of a lot more to being a Chief Petty Officer than whatever technical knowledge you may know," one commenter wrote in May, when Navy Times first wrote about this proposal.

    The boosted lateral entry powers center on the Navy's cyber force. They could also be used for Staff Corps and Restricted Line officer specialties. But in the foreseeable future officials say they won't be used for the Unrestricted Line officers that lead the Navy's combat forces.

    The Navy does not have any detailed plans, but could put this into effect as soon as October should Congress nod their approval.

    Expanded authority
    Direct accessions are common for a number of officer

    Direct accessions are common for a number of officer communities, especially those that require professional certifications. Some medical specialties bring in officers at ranks up to O-5. Here, Lt. Nicholas Michols, a Navy physician, treats a Colombian woman in 2015. (Photo: MC2 Derek Paumen/Navy)

    Direct accessions are commonplace for some officer communities. Certain medical specialties can be brought in up to the O-5 level, but most come in as O-3s. Lawyers, chaplains, supply officers and civil engineers are directly accessed as well, but typically only to the O-3 level; it requires Navy secretary approval to direct access an officer to commander.

    The Navy Reserve has an active and successful direct commission officer program that hires officers straight off the street in one of 13 specialties, mostly in the restricted line specialties. For example public affairs, intelligence and engineering duty are all specialties. Many come in as ensigns.

    In the active-duty enlisted ranks, currently only the musician rating uses direct accession to recruit professional musicians into the bands located in Washington, D.C. These sailors are brought in as E-6s after completing boot camp.

    In the reserve, there’s the Advanced Paygrade Program that brings in enlisted sailors with needed skills in nearly all ratings at up to the E-6 level. Some have even come in at the E-7 level, though currently this requires an exception approved by CNP.

    With greater authorities, direct accession could eventually be used anyplace where Navy needs available advanced skills quickly.
    The Navy wants to hire civilians for its cyber force

    The Navy wants to hire civilians for its cyber force to senior positions, as the threats in cyberspace multiply and demand seasoned operators and team leaders. Here, Seaman Joshua Villareal stands watch aboard the amphibious transport dock New Orleans. (Photo: MC3 Chelsea D. Daily/Navy)

    In the short-term, the Navy wants this to expand their cyber capabilities.

    “Today, cyber is where we need it, tomorrow we might need it in 10 other places,” Burke said. “I just can’t foresee what those might be right now.”

    The Navy is seeking lateral accessions in the enlisted and officer force to draw on the experience of cyber experts in the civilian world, by promoting them to positions where their know-how is needed to pursue operations in the growing cyber force.

    “I think it would mean a lot operationally and it recognizes that sometimes this is a rank-free zone,” Vice Adm. Jan Tighe, who leads U.S. Fleet Cyber Command and 10th Fleet, said of the lateral accession push in May. “When we are doing operations, what someone is wearing on their collar may not have implications as to how much expertise or fight that they have in them — how much ability they have to deliver during cyber operations or information warfare operations.

    “So how do we resolve that? Either incentives or rewards or promotions or bringing them in at the right level.”

    Officials said direct accession is unlikely to be used in the Unrestricted Line, where future leaders are built over years at sea, in the cockpit, in the SEAL teams.

    "We’re looking at having the ability to do this at our discretion,” said Adm. Bill Moran, the former CNP who became the vice chief of naval operations in May. “They are not going to be the rule — it allows us to have more options in the talent you want to recruit and retain.”

    Battle for talent

    The Navy’s leadership sees direct accession from places like Silicon Valley as a means to build a robust cyber warfare capability fast.
    Seabees built the facilities needed for the island-hopping

    Seabees built the facilities needed for the island-hopping campaign against Japan during World War II, like this concrete floor for a mess hall in Guam. Many of these Seabee battalions were comprised of construction workers who came in at senior paygrades. (Photo: Naval History and Heritage Command)

    They warn it could take a decade or more to grow their own cyber warriors — an eternity in the rapidly evolving cyber battlespace.

    To wage this new fight, the Navy is leaning on its history.

    One of the foremost examples of widespread lateral entry was the rapid creation of the Navy’s Construction Battalions from scratch at the onset of World War II.

    The Navy had plans for construction troops during the 1930s, but it wasn’t until after the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack that those plans were set into motion. The capability was urgently needed for the Pacific island campaign that began in November 1942 in Guadalcanal. The service brought these Seabees in via direct accession from the construction trade organizations and unions; foremen and supervisors joined at more senior positions, while laborers came in as petty officers. During the war, over 325,000 were directly accessed into the Seabees alone.

    Supply and medical, to name just two, also expanded their ranks by bringing in officers and enlisted laterally from civilian organizations.

    The Navy even brought in professional athletes to take charge of physical training. Legendary Cleveland Indian’s baseball pitcher Bob Feller was laterally accessed into the Navy in 1941 as a chief petty officer. He started and finished his career whipping recruits into shape as a chief specialist; he also served as a fitness instructor on the battleship Alabama and was a turret captain when the ship was called to general quarters. He served in combat during the Battle of the Philippine Sea in this role.

    Boot camp

    Should lawmakers approve of the Defense Department's request, the communities seeking the lateral accessions would run the program. Boards could be convened to determine if candidates are suitable and qualified for service and decide what paygrade they’ll be offered.

    That’s how the service managed the process during World War II — and generally how they handle the reserve direct commissions today, though there’s usually no paygrade determination, as most come in at O-1.

    Today's reserve selectees then go through the Officer Training Command in Newport, R.I. The two-week Direct Commission Officer Indoctrination Course, affectionately known as “Knife and Fork School,” teaches them the basics. .

    On the enlisted side, non-prior service direct accessions attend boot camp at Recruit Training Command Great Lakes, Ill. This applies to the Navy Reserve and active-duty musicians. Upon graduation, they assume their direct accession rank.

    Prior service sailors re-entering would most likely be treated different, having already graduated boot camp; they could be re-indoctrinated through the prior service training that at Great Lakes.

    The Navy wants to hire experts for senior positions

    The Navy wants to hire experts for senior positions in fields like cyber up to the rank of chief petty officer, raising the prospect that new hires could enter the chief's mess after boot camp in some instance. Here, a chief assigned to Navy Munitions Command East Asia Division Atsugi receives his chief's cover during a 2015 ceremony. (Photo: MC3 Jason Bawgus/Navy)

    Beyond the Staff Corps and the enlisted musician rating, it's been a long time since the Navy has direct accessed on any scale.

    Moran says the biggest obstacle to bringing in candidates at senior positions is an age old one — money.

    “The governor on all this is money, if you bring someone in at the E-5 level or O-5 level, is that you will be paying them more at an early point in their career and that will always be somewhat of a limiting factor,” Moran said. “Once we get our arms around that and look at more creative ways of managing careers and take full advantage of the changes in the retirement — all of those things are merging together in a very important discussion — to look at policies to do lateral transition.”

    On the cultural side, there's also challenges. The foremost: persuading Navy chiefs to accept a civilian brought in at the E-7 paygrade.


    The Navy wants to hire chiefs and captains – off the street – to fill cyber roles

    When Burke discussed this idea in mid-May, he got an immediate reaction from some, like a chief aviation electronics technician who asked not to be identified by name out of concerns for his career.

    "Creating push button CPOs is ridiculous,” the ATC wrote of Burke's statement. “He states that he is, ‘seeking the authority to bring somebody in at the E-7 level.'"

    “I find the choice of words interesting — notice that he doesn't say that they want to bring someone in at the CPO level. There's only one entity that selects, tests and accepts Chief Petty Officers. That's the United States Navy Chief Petty Officers Mess. Anything else is an E-7.

    “They talking about cheapening the CPO brand. They're talking about creating counterfeit chiefs."

    Staff writer David Larter contributed to this report.

    gotta start crediting sources when this crap gets

    above is the PRINT context of the article-
    click to the link to see the pictures

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