Friday, April 17, 2015


The Army concerned about the high number of suicides in their ranks decided to invent a testing mechanism to test the well being of the troops and their families.  The cost 287 billion and the results were astonishing.  37000 suffered from lack of commitment , 40% didn't trust their immediate supervisor , only 40% were in good shape 33% were in poor shape.  To say the least the Army wasn't pleased with the results especially when USA Today took a microscope to the results.

USA today defended their results against Army denial of their findings.  But on they charge 50 million dollars a year to test soldiers even though most of the experts who evaluated the test and the data and the results came to the same conclusion .  The test did nothing  for morale of the troops.

As a result of USA Today finding the army of  course changed the formula to what. To produce numbers more to their liking.   Of course you don't get the results change the formula.

I see little has changed since I left the service . The leadership has no idea what drives their troops, they immediately go to their panic mode to try and solve a high suicide rate.  So in the spirit of modern times they design a test to measure all from physical fitness, mental health, trust of supervisors , family health, and lots of other areas.

I spent 27 years in the Navy , 22 of which I was in a leadership position.  My key job as a leader was the welfare of my men.  Above all else their welfare , training , and performance were at the top of my list.  I had many confrontations with the officers I worked for , many didn't agree with how I ran things but they gave me my head.  I can proudly say that all the gangs I lead performed above expectations.  My point being, not that I was special but that I was trained early on how things should work.

When I made chief in 66 I was on the commissioning crew of the SSBN 657 .  There were way too many Chiefs in the Sub force and I could't get another sub.  I didn't pull some strings and am not sure they would have worked.  Consequently I interviewed and was hired as Submarine Force Atlantic
Force Career Councilor.

All  the above to make a point on the Army's Resiliency Testing.  I was hired to try and determine what the real re-enlistment rate of Submarine Force Atlantic really was.  It was obvious to just about anybody in subs that the re up rate was not in the high nineties.  Out of the 10 interviewed for the job I must have been the only one to come with a plan to determine the real rate.

The answer was simple and I couldn't believe the leadership did not know what the problem was.  The reenlistment rate was used to funnel troops into the training program to keep the skills necessary for safe operations.  With bad number, of course the training pipe line was not working.  The answer was simple.  The sub fleet of the day was comprised of 43 SSBN boats each with two crews, if after a patrol you d id not have enough time to make another patrol you were transferred generally to a sub support ship.  When you left the Navy your loss counted against the aux craft and not the sub force.
A simple reporting program I invented shortly showed the true rate and all were happy of course except the sub CO's.

Upon reporting aboard the Captain head of the Personnel Dept interviewed me and liked to ask all new Force Counselors to make a prediction for the future.  So I looked at his desk and asked how many officer resignations he currently had on his desk. There were just a  few... I  said my prediction is that next year this time you will have a big pile.. He didn't believe me till a year later.

The whole point of my back slapping is not to brag on me but to point out those in higher leadership positions have no idea what their troops were feeling, or for that matter how they were performing.  In my opinion they should have sought out the knowledge  of the enlisted leadership.  They after all all responsible for the day to day lives of those they lead.  E7's, E8's and E9's if given the power  that there positions deserve will be a quicker return to normal ..

Here's the instructions for the program 

Multiple deployments to high tension areas supplanted with large number of National Guard troops who lost home's, wife's, cars, families had to have a negative effect on all troops.  Having a mission with undefined goals and no logical way to withdraw has got to mess with your mind.  Nothing like multiple trips to the Sand Box with undefined goals to mess with your mind.

If you take the time to looks at the implementing instruction you might find the the same bug I found.  The simple fact that they plan to use the test results in promotions tells you the program will not accomplish  it's stated goals.

Testing of this nature will not do the job, especially when you don't like the outcome you just change the rules.. That's sure to work , don't ya think.


  1. I knew some pretty fat fucks when I was in the Navy! Jesus, that chow will put on the pounds.

  2. Good article.
    It's amazing the gov will spend so much $$ on training and then fail to make the effort to retain the people they need.