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megimoo
06-15-2009, 09:54 PM
IG: Sailors trained on screens lack basics

The Navy’s heavy reliance on computer-based training is producing sailors who aren’t ready for their jobs at ships and squadrons, don’t grasp basic Navy concepts and could endanger the long-term health of the service, according to an internal report obtained by Navy Times.

The study, completed in March and prepared by the Navy’s inspector general for former Navy Secretary Donald Winter, was prompted by worries in the fleet that sailors are reporting from “A” school and “C” school with “a declining level of rate-specific knowledge.” In researching that problem, the inspectors zeroed in on computer-based instruction.

The report, begun in May 2008, includes a litany of problems that result from training sailors and recruits on computers, providing few instructors to answer questions and offering the sailors little hands-on experience.

Some of those problems include:

• Sailors arrive at the fleet without basic knowledge about their jobs or the equipment they’ll need to operate and maintain. And when they get to their ships, some sailors need twice as long as before to qualify to stand watches. “Many are unable to recognize and use tools, operate basic equipment, read schematics or follow basic electronics,” the IG found.

• Sailors don’t learn teamwork, long-standing Navy traditions or even basic military knowledge. Inspectors found that incoming sailors don’t know to “ask the chief” and noted “over a dozen instances” on a visit to Naval Training Center Great Lakes, Ill., when new sailors didn’t know to salute officers.

• Sailors take their courses on computers that are an average of six years old, and those machines suffer from regular freeze-ups, network hiccups and other technical problems. Trainees get no allowances in their schedules for time lost to computer problems. Inspectors found that even students who had no connectivity for two days weren’t given time to make up the material they couldn’t learn during the downtime.

http://www.navytimes.com/news/2009/06/navy_training_061509w/

Gingersnap
06-15-2009, 10:17 PM
I'm unsurprised. There was a Letter to the Editor article out of Annapolis today by an instructor talking about the uselessness of "diversity" qualifications for entrants. The diverse students had bad grades and little understanding of the qualities required in the academy. Many had to be diverted to a prep school for at least a year (at tax-payer expense) in order to muddle through the least demanding degrees.

Have low standards - get low performance.

CorwinK
06-16-2009, 01:24 PM
Ginger this isnt the academy they're referencing. They're referencing boot camp and follow on training for their job.

Ive been stating since I went through computer based "A" (Apprentice) school myself in 04/05 that it wasn't effective. I had a significant advantage over the majority of the people i went to 'class' with because I was a military nut starting in elementary school who read nothing but military books and such all the way through high school...that and being raised in a navy family made learning the basics of navy life rather simple. However your average sailor doesn't have even that meager foundation with which to build upon.

When the 'instructors' at 'school' tell you and I quote "Click click mother f'ers" and to "just click through it, you will learn what you need in the fleet" you have sailors with no foundation attempting to work on multi-million dollar systems without even understanding whether AC or DC is used to power the equipment, or what the difference between the two are. Ive been to other ships in the basin with technicians for my job junior to me ask me what the difference between a resistor and a capacitor was, and thats covered in basic electronics training known as ATT before they even get to "A" school. My "C" (career) school training was a little better since it was instructor based by people who actually worked on the equipment...but accountability was low and even though I had high marks...I didn't know the basics of how to load an op program once I got to the ship (a fundamental of my job) much less how all the systems worked and interacted together. It took a good year before my chain of command was confident in my technical diagnosis of my own gear before allowing me to branch out into other aspects of work (collateral duties, considerations for schools, etc...) On a ship with a limited amount of people (small ships like Frigates (FFG) especially) that is unacceptable.

I now am a supervisor looking at the prospect of not receiving a new technician (because with FFG's there is generally only one person with a specific NEC to work on equipment) until about 3 months before I transfer to my next command, knowing that he (because only male enlisted get sent to FFG's...don't get all PC with me) will have no clue what his job is, what gear belongs to him, or how to do basics such as maintenance and operation. Now, rather than focusing on getting my ducks in a row for transfer so that there aren't any SNAFU's...I have to dedicate my time to training a new technician. May I also add that in this particular instance all the equipment will be in layup due to the ship entering a maintenance availability that will have all 400 Hz power secured throughout the ship until after I leave...rendering hands on training virtually impossible.

Im just rather surprised its taken Navy big wigs this long to figure out that junior sailors aren't receiving any sort of foundational training in school. Schools are listed as training commands for a reason, to train civilians into sailors. Heres another aspect to look at in addition to it all. The training commands are sending sub-standard technicians to the fleet when the fleet is going through a major draw back on personnel. My ship when first arrived in January of 06 had roughly 20 Officers, 20 Chiefs and 160 Sailors. We now have about 20 Officers, 13 Chiefs, and about 110 Sailors to do the same amount of work as the larger crew did. Officers and Chiefs don't do the grunt work of maintenance, cleaning and such...they are upper level management and I don't expect them to...but if Naval Education and Training Command isn't sending me sailors that I can use immediately then I have to either take the time myself...or delegate someone, to train the junior guys in the middle of an already packed schedule and work load with reduced manning.

alrighty...im off my soap box