Lt Cdr - Cdr Signal

Discussion in 'The Fleet' started by Puss_in_boats, May 14, 2009.

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  1. It's on the streets now. Some good and some bad choices IMHO, and some very early selections. Congrats to all!
  2. Great to see that FINALLY they're selecting people on the basis of how good they would be as a Cdr, not on how old they are. After all, most of the 2*s in the RN were selected for Cdr in their mid-30s, and they're running out of time to get any higher before they retire, so maybe the trained idiot who thought up the ridiculous "man years" equation (it doesn't matter how senior, good or experienced you are, it's age that matters) has finally been sacked.

    Almost all the ones I've seen are excellent choices - BZ to all who were on the signal. Especially the 2 or 3 35/36 year olds!
  3. Totally concur the sentiment about merit not age being the deciding factor... Doesn't apply in all of the branches though!
  4. Man years still exists - about 6 weeks ago we were briefed on it by the Capt RN responsible for the promotions process. Some good names on there, including a couple I've had the pleasure of serving with. There are a few there that are quite obviously being deep selected for greater things - I'll have to suck up to them in short order!!
  5. I feared as much. What is wrong with the RN personnel planning people? Are they thick? Any idiot can see that merit equals merit - if you're good enough, and you're senior enough, and you have enough experience in a variety of jobs, what the hell has age got to do with anything other than a theoretical cost in future years' defence budgets that no-one can predict anyway?

    Besides, the major intellectual flaw in all of this is that all the "man-years" equations they calculate only ever apply for the snapshot of that particular board, and even then they only look downwards, into the pool - they never look upwards, into the population of the target rank, or revisit previous years' boards to see who has left (ie if a junior Captain leaves the RN, it should "credit" the man-years budget for the Cdr to Capt signal the next board. But it doesn't).

    Thus, the entire exercise is a futile waste of effort, has no relation on any financial cost of future salaries at all, and demonstrates the halfwits who run naval manning are the ultimate practioners of knowing the cost of everything and the value of nothing. How did we get to this situation?

    And no, I'm not in zone. Just frustrated with this morally, intellectually and financially bankrupt organisation who can't seem to do anything right when it comes to manpower.
  6. It's alright, I go on draft in 6 weeks and no-one within the CM world can be bothered to tell me where I'm going. Only in the RN would we leave HR management to a bunch of people with little or no formal training; but we must ensure that the process doesn't loose touch with the 'front line'.....
  7. wave_dodger

    wave_dodger War Hero Book Reviewer

  8. wave_dodger

    wave_dodger War Hero Book Reviewer

  9. So what have you done about it? Have you asked your LM to talk to the CM's LM?
  10. In my experience those who criticise the "halfwits who run Naval Manning" have invariably never worked in the HR arena and have not got a clue about the processes involved. As W_D indicates, just promoting everyone as soon as they reach the "good enough" threshold is not the answer.
  11. wave_dodger

    wave_dodger War Hero Book Reviewer

  12. W_D - come off, you're clearly a manpower type from your posts, which makes your points very interesting - don't be shy!

    You're being somewhat melodramatic when you say that abolishing man-year considerations would lead to batches of roaming 34 yr old Cdrs screwing up the promotion plot for the next two decades. As you well know, very few 34 yr old Lt Cdrs are remotely ready to be promoted to Cdr as they show neither merit, experience or aptitude. Besides, that wasn't really the promotion I was referring to. But for you to say that thanks to the wonderful AIB process (now pretty well ruined by recent PC meddling) "most people merit promotion" is both untrue and mere sophistry. And however flippant your comment is about "So what - promote them all they "merit it"!!" is equally trite - no-one is suggesting that to promote more people than spaces is a good idea.

    My point is that - on the occasions when they are identified - the few high fliers who have both reach and merit for immediate promotion (all things considered), and come out higher in the board reading than the other PCs, should not therefore be "un"selected because they are too young. Perhaps the nice and smooth age pyramid so beloved by manpower planners is the reason for the dearth of real talent that seems to be bubbling up beyond OF-5. And I note you have not addressed the real problem, in that the man-years calculation is patently a false reflection, as it does not take the profile of the current (target rank) population into account, nor the changes in recently-promoted tranches of officers.

    fudgey - alas, you're mistaken on both your guesses. My experience is just not that recent. And W-D is spot on, just promoting everyone as soon as they reach the "good enough" threshold is not the answer. I never said it was. That's just daft.

    PS I don't mean my abuse of naval personnel types as personal abuse - it's like the French. I hate the French, but your average Frenchman is lovely. So is your average halfwit. Even some submariners are OK...
  13. wave_dodger

    wave_dodger War Hero Book Reviewer

    I'm far from shy, search my posts its easy to identify who I am and where I work! Which isn't in West Battery.

    And I still think you're wrong and fundamentally don't understand how the requirement is generated. :wink:
  14. ... the dearth of real talent that seems to be bubbling up beyond OF-5.

    I have enjoyed the discussion that this has generated, and was going to leave it to you guys who are, in my view, putting pretty good arguments. I don't however think there is yet anyone above OF-5 who has been promoted in the man-years system. Correct me if I'm wrong (obviously in generic terms).

    I would also argue that the man - years system ensures that we maintain room for the 'bright young things of tomorrow' to be promoted early. There will be flaws in any system, but one that encourages exceptional talent early, as well as maintaining motivation for later developers, or those who may have had a 'hiccup' along the way - be it of there own or someone else's making - surely cannot be that bad.
  15. Am I not correct in thinking that every Capt/Col RM promoted in last 4 years is from the Man-Years system? Thus, you're probably right, as there aren't many 1*s who picked up their pennant after only 3 yrs in the rank of Capt. That said, my comment about dearth of talent was badly phrased - I meant to imply it would be a result, as motivated "youngsters" would leave when being discriminated against. I actually feel that we're rather lucky with our 2*s at present.

    Interestingly, according to the AFPRB (and common sense), the widest disparity in responsibility versus earnings between Armed Forces and civilians occurs at Capt/Cdre rank. Of course, most of us aren't in it for the money, but the fixation on HR metrics, age profiles and future theoretical costings takes no account of the quality of personnel we need. Since a gaping chasm has opened up between the AFPS75 Immediate Pension Point and the average age for promotion to Cdr (they used to be coincident), it doesn't exactly bode well for the bright, ambitious future Admiral who leaves at 16 yrs after being told that he was a PC in the last board but was not selected again as there were candidates who weren't as good but ... lucky them ... they're older. All that means is that the very best are creamed off the top by industry - and then the dearth of talent happens.

    You're right, and let's face it, the number of people this affects are fairly small anyway, but the whole point of my rant is that the system IS biased against the "Bright Young Things" - an impartial system would veer and haul the late developers, not the people we SHOULD be bending over backwards to retain. Remember, if 41yrs old is the new average age for Cdr, surely they run out of time to make it beyond 2*?
  16. wave_dodger

    wave_dodger War Hero Book Reviewer

    That IS the point of the system, it makes sure that the good (but not 1*-3* good) get promoted, ensures pull through but creates headway and can pick out those few earmarked for greater things.

    I can tell you that from some of the appointments I've been in stars are spotted early and the system watches them and makes sure they are ok. Must have its flaws though because I seem to be missing my star and retinue.. :roll:
  17. the story (and e-mail trail) is long, and yet nothing is being done. I appreciate that my case may be slightly unusual, but I'm sure CM's are there to provide that touch when the process stopping being, well, a 'process'. Oh well, I've no doubt I'll be deploying immediately and adding to my ACSM total.... :)

    W_D isn't a HR type (not that he needs me to stick up for him), and I can see some sense in most of the posts. I have real problems in the entire way we do the Career Management 'piece', and do have some constructive criticism - unfortunately I don't have the time right now to expose you to the brilliance of my thoughts. Probably tomorrow if any of you care....
  18. I totally disagree with the serve certain amount time get promoted system. Fully for the talent rising to the top pdq, and no time for people just treading water, but it can work the other way.
    Google Toxic Leadership or if you are a really keen pull out your Royal Navy Guide to bullying and harassement and look up the description for a Toxic leader, dont mean to be controversial but it describes facets of most officers regardless of which service they are in.
    Anyways congrats to all those selected.
  19. If that's the aim (and it should be, I totally agree), how does the man-years plot do this without looking upwards into the target population? Taken to extremes, think of the 2 situations where (on either ends) the Capt plot was full of 50-somethings about to retire or there was an entire OF5 population full of 41 year old thrusters; in both cases, the Cdr - Capt man years calculation at the promotion board would be identical, as the board only looks at the candidates, not the gaps. This is patently ridiculous - what's the point of the exercise if you're only ever smoothing a 12 month cohort - but claiming in lofty terms your working on the entire plot? Does this not make the entire system flawed from the outset? I completely understand the long term theoretical HR reasoning behind its inception, but the execution (all behind smoke and mirrors, of course) appears to have been guided by short term snapshots only. Can you see the problem?

    Of course, we're talking about symptons. I have been told that the real reason behind introduction of the system was the abolition of the Captain "6 years up or out" rule a few years ago, and everything else that comes out of the panic-management specialists in West Battery is trying to mitigate against this. Reintroduction of this rule would solve all our ills...
  20. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    My armchair observation would be that those Officers who leave the RN before their time is up will tend to be those who are quietly confident that they could do better by doing so, than by staying in; these people will tend to be the braver risk-takers. They're also more likely to go if they find their superiors somewhat dull upstairs. The dimmer Officer will sailor on for pension, postponing the evil day when he has to think for himself how to run his life. I certainly saw this in my own contemporaries, whose careers (naval and otherwise) have now run their course. Some early leavers did remarkably well outside - I ponder what the RN lost there in terms of future leaders. One of them (a pusser) hung on with such success that he ended up as the oldest Captain in the Navy List, doing a job which to my mind - aside for a need for some gravitas - could have been done by a Lt.
    My personal conclusion is that the young star-captains must be cherished and steered through appointments that ensure that they can be promoted early without a want of suitable experience causing them to fail. They certainly need a ladder which will give them the equivalent of what high-calibre people get outside, which is a seat on a plc board before 40.

    Of course one does get the odd late developer - look at Ulysses S Grant.

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