Navy Asks Sailors to Define Their Jobs

Story Number: NNS020724-09Release Date: 7/24/2002 12:05:00 PM
A  A  A   Email this story to a friend   Print this story
From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Over the next 18 months, more than 50,000 Sailors will determine how the Fleet of the future is trained and what its enlisted force needs to know to compete for advancement.

The Navy has chartered a complete, bottom-up review of its enlisted Sailors' occupational standards (OCCSTDS) to get an accurate measure of what Sailors do to support the mission. The data will be used to improve training and detailing, help design manning for ships of the future, and ensure the Navy is ready to meet future challenges.

Occupational standards are task statements that define what Sailors must be able to do and at which paygrade they are required to be able to accomplish those tasks. These new standards won't just be a list of tasks, but will now be linked to the things that make completing them possible, such as knowledge and tools.

"Our current system of occupational standards has been around since 1973 and we need change," said Rear Adm. John Harvey, Director of Total Force Programming and Manpower Management for the office of the Chief of Naval Operations in Washington, D.C. "The old structure has served the Navy well, but we need to do better.

"Sailors are at the heart of this effort. With their input we'll build on what we have to create a system that responds to change better. We cannot waste Sailors' time or taxpayers' money on training that isn't efficient and effective; this study will give us the means to meet these commitments."

All ratings are occupational fields that encompass one or more jobs that Sailors perform full-time. Also, many of the jobs that Sailors do full-time, such as diver or instructor, have never had occupational standards. This study will help the Navy better understand these important jobs.

To manage this process the Navy has put together a team of military and civilian organizations that includes the Center for Naval Analyses (CNA); Navy Manpower Analysis Center (NAVMAC); SkillsNET Corporation; and Naval Education and Training Professional Development and Technology Center (NETPDC).

A Web site is being developed for selected Sailors to logon and contribute their input. Online help will guide them through the process, but they will also be able to call or email for help. The team estimates each Sailor will spend from one to six hours completing the work, depending on which level they are participating in. For convenience, those hours can be spread over a period of up to two weeks.

Several hundred Sailors will be contacted during the next few weeks to start the process. They will log into the Web site and review existing work-related task statements. These statements were drawn from existing occupational standards, personnel qualification standards (PQS), and in some cases descriptions of similar civilian jobs.

After Sailors identify the tasks they perform, they will be prompted to create their own statements to describe their tasks. This part will take each Sailor about three hours.

When completed and combined with the inputs of their colleagues, senior Sailors will review the consolidated task statements on at least two separate occasions. Participants in this phase can expect to spend up to six hours reviewing the tasks. In the second review, the tasks will get a quick, one-hour review by a larger number of Sailors to ensure quality and completeness.

The next step will arrange tasks into clusters of similar tasks. Several hundred more senior Sailors who will assign associated knowledge elements and tools needed to perform the tasks will review the task clusters. This step should take the experts about 4 hours.

By August of 2003, each of the 140 separate functional areas will contain a comprehensive list of task clusters that are linked to the knowledge and tools that enable Sailors to perform their jobs. At this point, around 25,000 Sailors will do a final survey that should take an hour and a half.

"If you are selected to participate in this project, I ask that you give it your best effort," said Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Vern Clark in his message to the Fleet about this project. "If you are in a position of leadership and your Sailors are chosen, please ensure that they are available to do this work.

"The success of this initiative depends entirely on the experience, perspective and expertise that only our Sailors can provide."

For more information on the Workforce Improvement Project see NAVADMIN 180/02 available at under "Messages." For more Chief of Naval Personnel news, go to the CNP NewsStand page at

USS Washington - radio calibration
Official U.S. Navy file photo of a U.S. Navy Sailor at work.
July 19, 2002
Navy Social Media
Sign up for email updates To sign up for updates or to access your subscriber preferences, please click on the envelope icon in the page header above or click Subscribe to Navy News Service .