FORT MEADE, Md. (NNS) -- The Chief of Naval Personnel (CNP) talked with Sailors around the world during an all-hands call broadcast live from Defense Media Activity at Fort Meade, Md., Feb. 3.
Vice Adm. Bill Moran and Fleet Master Chief April Beldo, the Fleet Master Chief of Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education (MPT&E), took the time to address Sailors from across the fleet and around the world through a myriad of channels, such as in-studio questions, satellite feeds, and social media.
"We know that there are ships out there in the 5th Fleet area of responsibility that are dialed in. We know there are folks from fleet concentration areas on both coasts dialed in, so let's get to the questions," said Moran.
Some of the topics Moran and Beldo touched on are subjects of great importance to Sailors: pay, manning, advancement, tuition assistance, and physical readiness.
Here are a few of the questions and answers from the all-hands call:
Q: Over the last few years there have been several force shaping tools rolled out (i.e. ERB and C-Way). Are there any plans for future force shaping tools?
A: "Are there going to be any more changes or initiatives for force-shaping? Absolutely not," said Beldo. "C-Way came online and it provided the opportunity to pay attention to the health of all of our ratings. So with regards to all of our ratings? Absolutely not. CNO is committed to that, he said no more ERB, and so you don't have to worry about that shipmate."
Q: Is there any plan on us receiving imminent danger pay?
A:" The imminent danger pay areas are defined by the combatant commanders. Right now there is no plan to reinstitute imminent danger pay in 5th Fleet," said Moran. "We're not doing anything with combat tax exclusion zones, and we're continuing to look at ways to make sure we incentivize you out there at sea. That's why we saw a pretty significant bump in sea pay this year, and also long deployment allowance that were instituted with Bush and Bataan. So hang in there - there is not going to be any change to imminent danger pay in the near future."
Q: What are your views on transgenders in the Navy? Where do you see the Navy on the subject in the next few years?
A: "We are starting to talk to Office of the Secretary of Defense and folks in policy that review all of the policies related to don't ask don't tell, which we went through for several years and finally got to a place where all of us were comfortable," said Moran. "Transgender is another issue we'll take a look at as men and women who join the service, or who are in the service, that they want their personal interest addressed. We are looking at that today, but most of us feel that what it is all about for us is the dignity and respect we have for each other no matter what our backgrounds are."
Q: Do you foresee any changes to the physical readiness test in regards to how it's conducted?
A: "As we have traveled throughout the area we get that same question. We are looking at the way we perform our PFT, but most importantly we're concerned about the health of our Sailors," said Beldo. "We've asked for feedback from the fleet, and if you have something that you feel that would better our culture of health, please do not hesitate to send me an email - you can find my address on Facebook - so just shoot us a message and tell us what you feel would help add to our culture of fitness."
Q: Do you think it hinders or hurts Sailors when they come from A-school or C-school to shore duty first instead an operational environment?
A: "I don't believe that there's any Sailor that graduates from their "A" or "C" school that does not want to go to sea duty first," said Beldo. "However, as you know we have shore duty billets and we have sea duty billets and we have to man both. So as far as hindering, I don't think it does, because I hope that my leadership makes sure those Sailors get what they need while they're on shore duty and you're also preparing them for their next duty station when they get to sea. " Moran added, "In a perfect world everyone that graduated from "A" and "C" shools would go right to the waterfront or to an operational unit at sea, but we have several ratings that are sea-centric and sea-intensive - they go to sea. Then we have ratings that are not sea-centric, but they're shore-centric because of the nature of their work, so they naturally will go to shore duty billets. But there just isn't enough room to put Sailors in every rate, right to sea, so we have to distribute them evenly, and it's up to leadership to make sure they're ready when they do go to sea."
Q: Women have made a lot of strides in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), but they still fill a significantly smaller number of jobs than their male counterparts. What are we doing to recruit and retain women in these critical fields?
A: "I've had the wonderful opportunity over the last year or so to work with the enlisted women in submarine task force, so as you know, in January a NAVADMIN was released calling for applications for enlisted women in submarines," said Beldo. "I believe as an organization we are looking at opening up every rating and really giving every Sailor the opportunity to participate in any job they want to and that they qualify to participate in and I believe in our future we will continue down that road."
Moran added, "This is a real important topic for us and it's a great question you asked about the numbers of women in our Navy today. The total number when you put all of our officers and enlisted together is that about 17.8% of our force is female. Not enough in my view, and we're trying to bring in more. We actually bring in between 23-25% women in the enlisted and officer communities today, and that's a far better place than we were 10 years ago, but we're still trying to attract the highest quality young women that are coming out of high school and college. To be frank with you, on the officer side, more than 50% of college grads are STEM majors, and that's a fairly significant change over the past 10 years. We have to go after young women in both our officer and enlisted communities if we're going to round out the Navy we want to have."
The all-hands call is being re-broadcast on www.navy.mil and a complete list of all the questions and answers will be on All Hands Magazine.
For more news from the Chief of Naval Personnel, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnp/.