Enlisted Warfare Qualifications: A Mandatory Requirement

Story Number: NNS100810-08Release Date: 8/10/2010 6:15:00 PM
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By Chief Mass Communication Specialist (SW/AW) Sonya Ansarov, Office of the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Initial enlisted warfare qualifications are now mandatory for all Sailors per the recent release of NAVADMIN 268-10.

The NAVADMIN announces the release of OPNAVINST 1414.9, Navy Enlisted Warfare Qualification Programs Instruction, which issues the basic overarching requirements for the qualification and designation of all enlisted warfare programs.

The arduous and often unforgiving environment we operate in as a Navy and Sailor dictates the need for all personnel to have a basic understanding and operating knowledge of the platform or command to which they are assigned.

Warfare programs are essential in ensuring our Sailors understand and are able to effectively engage a casualty, operate equipment or platforms safely and ensure backup as needed. Warfare qualifications are about ship, shipmate and self, and ensure the safety and safe operation of each command and platform on a daily basis.

"It's a standard every Sailor must achieve. The warfare device itself is a symbol that the Sailors who are wearing it have a basic level of knowledge to ensure they are capable of fighting the ship, saving a shipmate and ensuring the safety of themselves at all times," said Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON), Rick D. West. "Having every Sailor at or working toward that level will only strengthen the war-fighting ability of that command and the Navy."

According to the NAVADMIN, qualification and/or re-qualification is mandatory for all enlisted Sailors assigned to designated warfare qualifying commands.

Warfare sponsors (Type Commanders) will establish specific qualification and re-qualifying timelines however, the maximum allowable time for initial qualification of all enlisted Sailors assigned to designated warfare qualifying commands will not exceed 30 months. Timelines for warfare qualifications are set by the Type Commander's instructions and each TYCOM will have oversight of their programs.

According to West, some of the biggest questions he hears from Sailors are:

- What happens if a Sailor doesn't qualify in time? West stated that failure to qualify in the specific warfare program within the prescribed time requirements shall immediately result in a special performance evaluation that removes promotion recommendation, but the promotion recommendation may be restored with a special performance evaluation when qualification is achieved.

- Will a Sailor be penalized if their command doesn't offer the opportunity for warfare qualification? According to West, Sailors without the opportunity to qualify in a warfare specialty will not be penalized. However Sailors should look for follow-on opportunities to obtain a warfare device when able.

- Will having mandatory qualifications water down the existing programs? West stated, quite the contrary; by mandating warfare qualifications for all enlisted personnel, it will significantly "raise the bar" across the command regarding level of knowledge of the command and the systems our Sailors operate. It is incumbent on those that wear the warfare pin of the command to ensure the integrity and strength of the existing programs.

- How will Sailors stand-out amongst peers if everyone is required to have a warfare pin? According to West, Sailors stand out every day. Performance and the Sailor's overall command support should be the biggest factors to "break out" individuals.

"I often highlight efficient manning and future platforms such as LCS as examples of the need to ensuring our Sailors have a good, basic understanding of the systems and fighting capabilities of the command to which they are assigned," said West.

For more information see NAVADMIN 268-10.

For more news from Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, visit www.navy.mil/local/mcpon/.

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Rick West pins a submarine warfare qualification insignia on Machinist's Mate Seaman Shannon Coon.
090911-N-0803S-017 BAHRAIN (Sept. 11, 2009) Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Rick West pins a submarine warfare qualification insignia on Machinist's Mate Seaman Shannon Coon during a visit aboard the Los angeles-class attack submarine USS Topeka (SSN 754). West is visiting the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Nathan Schaeffer/Released)
September 11, 2009
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