Navy orders its sailors to plug leaks

Discussion in 'The Quarterdeck' started by The_Jimmy, Oct 28, 2008.

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  1. From todays Australian newspaper

    THE Chief of Navy has written to sailors warning them that unauthorised leaks to the media are a betrayal of the "value set" of the Royal Australian Navy.

    The extraordinary warning, issued by Vice Admiral Rus Crane, comes at a time of flagging morale in the navy, which is facing its greatest manpower crisis in a generation.

    Admiral Crane's letter was prompted by the leaking to The Australian last month of a navy minute written by a senior commander in which he told sailors to stop complaining about their conditions and display more leadership. The minute warned of "perilous" shortfalls in the number of naval engineers and was critical of the negative attitude of some sailors. In response, Admiral Crane issued a letter to sailors warning them not to leak information to the media. "Disaffected people who leak information to the media with the intent of damaging navy's reputation fail our value set and work against our collective endeavour," Admiral Crane said in the letter, which was also leaked to The Australian. He said strong leadership and a positive attitude were critical attributes for sailors in these difficult times.

    "Navy is facing a number of challenges, not least of which is retention of our people.

    "Strong, positive leadership is an essential tool in fostering that retention and I want to emphasise its importance. Leadership is the navy's competitive edge and we must work hard to maximise the utility of that tool."

    The navy has been hardest hit by severe manpower shortages across the Australian Defence Force, especially in the area of skilled technicians. It has enough crew to man barely three of its six Collins Class submarines, greatly undermining the operational effectiveness of the fleet.

    In the past four years the navy has only achieved between 67 and 79 per cent of its recruitment targets due to tepid interest from generation Y recruits and also high separation levels.

    New figures provided to The Australian show the situation remains dire, with the navy achieving only 53 per cent of its year-to-date enlistment targets for 2008-09 by September 30.

    A defence spokesman said the navy was currently experiencing a 36 per cent shortfall of submariners and 13.3 per cent shortage in the navy's overall trained workforce. The shortage of skilled navy technicians has been fuelled by a strong economy and the abundance of better-paid technical jobs, especially in the mining sector.

    However, the financial crisis and the looming economic slowdown is expected to improve the navy's recruitment outlook in the months ahead.

    The separation rate for officers and sailors has fallen marginally, from 12.01 per cent to 11.5 per cent in the year to September.

    The navy's new recruitment strategies have been honed to attract Gen Y recruits.

    "To do this, navy marketing are looking to shift any negative misconceptions about the navy and build an emotional connection with the target audience through advertising," a spokesman said.

    To attract Gen Y recruits, the navy is utilising SMS, YouTube, computer war games and short films about the life of a new recruit.

    The navy has also offered bonus payments for specific recruits such as submariners. "Both current and planned financial and non-financial incentives will continue to address retention," a spokesman said.

    "These include the Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme, Navy Capability Allowance, five-year career plans, increased location stability, family friendly policies and flexible working arrangements."

    over to the 'He sounds really interesting' Ninja stoker :thumright:
  2. Unauthourised leaks are best dealt with by the vigorouus application of softwood wedges and a hammer :toothy2:
  3. " D' yer hear there Damage Control Parties Muster on the PR* Deck, there's a big 'ole there."

    I'd be happy if the Top Brass stopped leaking things when it suits them too.

    *Public Relations.
  4. The beatings will continue until moral improves.
  5. Sadly, naff all use on a discarded laptop!
  6. Ah!, but they aren't 'leaks' - it's a government initiated and controlled flow of info to the public domain !!
  7. ...tales from the riverbank ? :thumright:
  8. WM, I've just noticed a bullet hole in your avatar with blood oozing out in the shape of a poppy. Are you OK mate? o_O

    Would you like me to call out Rod-Gearing with a pot of blanco to tidy you up before Rounds? ;)
  9. an (obviously not good) attempt at playing with picture manager, or whatever they call it.
    I'll eventually improve, or give up in the end ... !!
  10. I am relieved. I had serious concerns the vets fees were too high.... :thumright:
  11. Getting back to the topic, sort of, I saw a copy of "The Sailor's guide to Blogging", a 2SL production. This fine pamphlet explains everthing that Jack or Jenny needs to know about the correct way to Blog.

    To precis it, all Blogs must be sanctioned (as they are categorised as 'Contact with the Media'), must not comment on any subject outside the service (eg politics or football, "stick to what you know"!!!!!!) and must avoid anything which may show the service in a bad light.

    To that end, Gordon Brown's leadership is OK by me, but if the Tories get in, then Dave Cameron will, I'm sure, do a good job. Come on both Scotland and the All Blacks, may the best team win. Oh, and I definately haven't had to work late every night this week, none of the Wardroom are cnuts, and it's only fair that the Jetty Management Group have fifteen AV billets but never occupy more than five, leaving premium parking spaces unused, as the boats' crews don't need parking spaces when they are at sea. All this is, of course, off the record.

    Oh, and if anyone from the Admiralty is listening, I have had, and still do have, frequent contact with a journalist who has worked on, inter alia, BBC R4s Today programme. What do you have to say about that?
  12. witsend

    witsend War Hero Book Reviewer

    I feel it may be my duty to stick you in. :brave:
  13. Personally? I believe that Admiral Crane has a fair point but I'm curious about one thing. Who leaked his letter to the press?

    Can anyone spell irony?

  14. This is from the 'leaked' letter that prompted CN's reply

    ONE of the navy's most senior commanders has ordered sailors to toughen up, stop whingeing about money, be happier and display more leadership.

    In an extraordinary minute addressed to all senior navy engineers, Commodore Marshall chastised his men for their lack of leadership.

    "The focus of this letter to the community (of naval engineers) is unashamedly about leadership," he wrote in a navy minute dated April 18 and obtained by The Weekend Australian.

    "I do not need to tell you how bad our engineering manning issues are -- suffice to say that most of our categories are categorised as critical with the submarine categories assessed as perilous.

    "If we are to address the issue of retention, then we need to significantly improve the standard of leadership from supervisors and leaders at all levels.

    (I) hope that these letters present you with an opportunity to lead."

    Commodore Marshall, Director-General Navy Systems Branch, also exhorted his senior sailors to stop whingeing about the fact that some specialists in the navy, such as submariners, were getting specific bonuses to help keep them in the service.

    "Unless your pay went backwards, then I would prefer you congratulate those who received the bonuses rather than bemoan the fact that they did not come to you -- this is a leadership challenge," he wrote.

    "While your salary package is important, you can make the biggest impact on retention by simply leading within your work area; showing your subordinates how to lead, and thereby inspiring them to lead."

    Commodore Marshall said sailors needed to be happier about their lives in the navy and show others that they were happy.

    "(American) general Colin Powell said 'perpetual optimism is a force multiplier', and I am convinced there is much truth in this statement," he said. "If you don't value and enjoy navy, then why should your subordinates?"

    He said senior sailors needed to be aware that the main reason people left an organisation was because of dissatisfaction with their immediate supervisor.

    "Together we must all work to lead ourselves out of the situation we currently find ourselves in," he said.
  15. What are you going to do, report me to the AUSO? :dwarf:

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