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First Round of Navy Recommendations for Personnel Reform Ready for Congress

Chief of Naval Personnel (CNP) Vice Adm. Bill Moran on Nov. 21, 2014. US Navy Photo

Chief of Naval Personnel (CNP) Vice Adm. Bill Moran on Nov. 21, 2014. US Navy Photo

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Navy’s initial set of recommendations to Congress to modify personnel legislation – along with the other services – has been completed ahead of likely congressional hearings next year, the Chief of Naval Personnel said on Wednesday.

Vice Adm. Bill Moran characterized the recommended changes to the Defense Officer Personnel Management Act (DOPMA) as less full-blown reforms and more like upgrades or enhancement to the legislation to give the services more tools to manage the military.

Moran was hesitant to give details on what those reforms would include ahead of a formal roll out from the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD).

“There is a little risk to announcing what recommendations we’re going to make to the Secretary of Defense but I would describe it as giving the service secretaries the discretionary authorities to how we do up-or-out promotions,” he said at a U.S. Naval Institute and Center for Strategic and International Studies maritime dialogue.

Under the current law, officers in all the services must either be promoted or leave the service. Functionally, the stipulations in the 1980 DOPMA is designed to keep the officer corps fresh with new talent but some have expressed frustrations with the rigidity of the statute.

“A good example is that at the O-4 level in all of the services, you basically get two looks and then you’re out,” Moran said.
“I want to make sure we’re getting every possible look at that talent to keep the best.”

Now with the DOPMA recommendations largely plotted, the personnel chiefs are set to take a look at modifying the potentially more complicated 1986 Goldwater-Nichols Act – largely at the behest of a Senate Armed Services Committee interested in the issue.

“We started the conversation [last year] with all statutory regulations with regard to personnel management and then the animal became so big that we just focused on DOPMA this time and now we’re going to move to the next level – largely because Sen. [John] McCain (R-Ariz.) and the Senate staff in the SASC said: ‘We’re going to debate this issue. It’s on our agenda and we’re going to ask the services for their input. OSD is taking the lead on this and form this working group’,” Moran said.
“The next follow-on one is starting a working group on Goldwater Nichols reform.”
The working group is a high priority for Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said on Tuesday.

“I don’t have the exact timeline for you but I know he’s looking early into next year to have some recommendations to move forward. I know Congress is looking at some of these issues as well and the secretary welcomes the interest of Congress.”

All of the ongoing personnel changes are part of the backdrop of OSD’s announced “Force of the Future” initiative. In September the personnel heads of the services submitted a 120 page report on recommend changes in how the military manages its personnel.

Many of the changes were championed early by the Navy ahead of Carter’s Pentagon-wide personnel push and folded into the larger Force of the Future effort.

  • publius_maximus_III

    “A good example is that at the O-4 level in all of the services, you basically get two looks and then you’re out,” Moran said.

    If it’s a female candidate you’re evaluating for promotion, you’d better take four or five looks, or YOU’LL be the one that’s out. It’s the new norm.

  • Russ Neal

    Priority one for this administration is using military personnel policies to promote homosexual conduct and gender confusion in the nation and the world. Priority two is … well, there are no other priorities.

    • Secundius

      @ Russ Neal

      “Beggar’s Can’t Be Chooser’s”, when ONLY 0.4% of the Population SERVE…

    • LewCypher

      Priority one for homophobes is the use of fallacies

  • disqus_zommBwspv9

    I remember that 1980 up or out policy. There was a LTon staff who was a wiz on recce planning elint. He knew all the systems back to front and what was in the developmental pipeline. He got passed over twice. Despite a request he from our Flag to be retain as a civilian for continuity It was denied, but a loophole was found. He was able to stay on and later on when I was back on staff during desert shield. I found us working together. He was a lifesaver to Command Since that time I learn other navies identified officers with special skill set and permit them to continue to serve

  • LewCypher

    Why don’t you ask that last question at your next Captains Call?

    • draeger24

      I’m retired, Praise the Lord….before all this PC crapola became mandatory by political appointees who are merely lapdogs for this administration which intends to destroy it. What do you think “fundamentally change America” means?

      • LewCypher

        When I hear that it usually means that old people are complaining about things that probably won’t affect them anyway.

  • LewCypher

    You sound like an angry old 1st Class who’s bitter they never made Chief.