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Z-Gram #36; dated 26 September 1970

Personal to All Commanders, Commanding Officers and Officers in Charge from Zumwalt Standards of Service

R 260045Z SEP 70
FM CNO (Z-36)

TO NAVOP

UNCLAS //N01700//
PERSONAL TO ALL COMMANDERS, COMMANDING OFFICERS AND OFFICERS IN CHARGE FROM ZUMWALT
STANDARDS OF SERVICE

1. THE PURPOSE OF THIS NAVOP IS TO ESTABLISH MINIMUM REQUIRED STANDARDS OF SERVICE AT CONTACT POINT FACILITIES THROUGHOUT THE NAVY. SUCH FACILITIES INCLUDE PERSONNEL OFFICES, DISBURSING OFFICES, HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OFFICES, DISPENSARIES AND OTHER OFFICES WHOSE MISSION IS TO PROVIDE SERVICES TO NAVAL PERSONNEL AND THEIR DEPENDENTS.

2. RECENT SURVEYS CONDUCTED BY THE CHIEF OF NAVAL PERSONNEL HAVE DEVELOPED CONSIDERABLE DATA ON THE QUALITY OF SERVICE PROVIDED. ALTHOUGH MOST SERVICES WERE CONSIDERED SATISFACTORY BY A LARGE MAJORITY OF NAVYMEN, MANY ALSO INDICATED IMPROVEMENTS WERE NECESSARY. THESE IMPROVEMENTS MUST BE MADE AT THREE LEVELS IF THEY ARE TO BE EFFECTIVE. FIRST, RESPONSIBLE OFFICERS AND BUREAUS HERE IN WASHINGTON MUST ESTABLISH PROCEDURES AND PROVIDE RESOURCES WHICH MAKE RAPID, PROFESSIONAL AND RESPONSIVE SERVICES POSSIBLE. SECOND, LOCAL COMMANDS MUST ENSURE THAT PROPER MANAGEMENT EMPHASIS IS PROVIDED ON PERSONNEL SERVICES. AN EXAMPLE OF SUCH EMPHASIS IS THE TAILORING OF OPERATING HOURS TO THE CUSTOMER’S CONVENIENCE RATHER THAN TO THE PERSONNEL PROVIDING THE SERVICES. THIRD, THE PERSONNEL MANNING THE CONTACT POINTS MUST BE SELECTED, TRAINED AND MOTIVATED TO MEET THE HIGH STANDARDS EXPECTED OF THEM.

3. OF PARTICULAR CONCERN TO ME IS THE PRACTICE WHICH HAS GROWN UP OVER THE YEARS OF OPTIMIZING ON THE TIME OF PEOPLE PROVIDING SERVICES AT THE EXPENSE OF THE TIME OF PEOPLE RECEIVING THEM. THE LONG LINES OF OUR PEOPLE WAITING OUTSIDE CONTACT POINT OFFICES OR AT “SERVICE” COUNTERS – SOMETIMES FOR AN HOUR OR MORE – ARE A TESTIMONIAL TO SHORTCOMINGS IN MANAGEMENT AT ALL LEVELS – INCLUDING HERE IN WASHINGTON – TO ALLOCATE RESOURCES TO PEOPLE PROBLEMS OR TO EFFECTIVELY UTILIZE THE RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO CUT DOWN WAITING TIMES. A RECENT SURVEY INDICATES THAT MEDIAN NAVY-WIDE WAITING TIMES FOR SERVICE ARE 11 MINUTES FOR PERSONNEL OFFICES, 19 MINUTES AT DISBURSING OFFICES AND 26 MINUTES AT DISPENSARIES. WHILE THESE TIMES MAY BE COMPARABLE TO THOSE EXPERIENCED IN CIVILIAN LIFE, I CONSIDER THEM TO BE UNACCEPTABLE IF WE ARE TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN PUTTING PEOPLE FIRST. ACCORDINGLY, I AM ESTABLISHING A NAVY-WIDE OBJECTIVE OF 15 MINUTES AS THE MAXIMUM REPEAT MAXIMUM WAITING TIME WE SHOULD ACCEPT AS OUR STANDARD OF SERVICE. THIS STANDARD WILL NOT BE POSSIBLE AT MANY SERVICE FACILITIES, PARTICULARLY MEDICAL FACILITIES – BUT I AM CONVINCED IT IS A VALID OBJECTIVE.  I REALIZE EMERGENCIES AND THE REQUIREMENT TO PROVIDE PERSONALIZED SERVICE WILL FORCE EXCEPTIONS – BUT I ALSO EXPECT THE REDUCTION OF MAXIMUM WAITING TIMES TO EVEN LOWER LEVELS WILL BE A PRIME OBJECTIVE OF COMMAND IN THE PERSONNEL SERVICES AREA. IT IS MY INTENT THAT THE 15 MINUTE MAXIMUM CRITERIA BE USED IN THE DEVELOPMENT AND VALIDATION OF MANPOWER AND OTHER RESOURCE REQUIREMENTS. A CHRONIC CONDITION OF LONG WAITING LINES AT SERVICE FACILITIES SHOULD BE AN INDICATOR THAT BETTER MANAGEMENT, MORE RESOURCES OR BOTH ARE REQUIRED.

4. OF SIMILAR CONCERN TO ME IS A REDUCTION IN THE LENGTH OF TIME AND NUMBER OF VISITS REQUIRED TO CHECK IN AND OUT OF OUR SHORE STATIONS AND FLEET UNITS BASED ASHORE. IN MANY CASES WE MAY HAVE TRIED TO REDUCE THE ADMINISTRATIVE BURDENS PLACED ON COMMANDS BY SHIFTING THEM TO OUR OFFICERS AND MEN. I BELIEVE CHECK IN AND OUT PROCEDURES SHOULD BE SIMPLIFIED TO THE DEGREE THAT WE AIM FOR A ONE OR TWO STOP PROCESS REQUIRING NO MORE THAN THIRTY MINUTES. OTHER STOPS SHOULD BE OPTIONAL AND FOR THE CUSTOMER’S CONVENIENCE, E.G., DISBURSING TO DRAW BACK PAY AND DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE, SECURITY FOR AUTO TAGS, ETC. I BELIEVE IT IS WRONG TO REQUIRE MEN ON CHECKING OUT TO STOP BY SUCH FACILITIES AS LIBRARIES, CREDIT UNIONS, OFFICERS CLUBS, SPECIAL SERVICES, ETC. “TO CLEAR THE RECORD.” SUCH PRACTICES PENALIZE THE MANY TO CATCH THE FEW AND IMPUGN THE INTEGRITY AND RESPONSIBILITY OF THE VASE MAJORITY OF OUR NAVYMEN.

5. OPERATING HOURS OF OUR EXCHANGE AND RECREATIONAL FACILITIES ARE THE SUBJECT OF A SEPARATE DIRECTIVE (BUPERS NOTICE 1700 OF 27 AUG 1970). I BELIEVE SIMILAR RATIONAL SUPPORTS A CUSTOMER ORIENTED OPERATING SCHEDULE FOR OTHER ACTIVITIES AS WELL. FOR EXAMPLE, A SPECIAL SERVICES READY ISSUE FACILITY WHICH IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS ONLY 30 MINUTES A WEEK (AN ACTUAL CASE) IS UNSATISFACTORY. A NAVY EXCHANGE WHICH IS NOT OPEN AT LEAST ONE NIGHT A WEEK IS LOSING A GOOD PART OF ITS MARKET TO THE COMPETITION. AN OUTPATIENT CLINIC WHICH GIVES INNOCULATIONS [sic] TO DEPENDENT CHILDREN ONLY DURING SCHOOL HOURS IS CAUSING UNNECESSARY HARDSHIP TO THOSE CHILDREN AND THEIR PARENTS. OPERATING HOURS OF OUR PERSONNEL SERVICE FACILITIES MUST ADEQUATELY REFLECT CONCERN FOR THE NEEDS OF THE PUBLIC THEY SERVE.

6. NOT THE LEASE OF OUR CONCERNS ON STANDARDS OF SERVICE IS THE QUALITY OF THE SERVICE PROVIDED. THE CHIEF OF NAVAL PERSONNEL AND THE OFFICE OF CIVILIAN MANPOWER MANAGEMENT ARE ENGAGED IN A CONCERTED EFFORT TO CONTINUE TO IMPROVE THE SELECTION, TRAINING AND MOTIVATION OF OUR CONTACT POINT PERSONNEL AND TO GIVE THESE DEDICATED AND HARD WORKING MEN AND WOMEN THE ADMINISTRATIVE TOOLS AND MATERIAL RESOURCES THEY NEED TO DO THE BEST POSSIBLE JOB. WE ACCOMPLISH LITTLE IF WE SPEED UP OR OTHERWISE INCREASE THE AVAILABILITY OF SERVICE AT THE EXPENSE OF QUALITY. THE KEY HERE LIES IN THE TRAINING OF OUR PERSONNEL. THIS SUBJECT HAS RECEIVED CONSIDERABLE EMPHASIS OVER THE YEARS – BUT HAS NEVER BEEN AS IMPORTANT AS IT IS NOW DURING A PERIOD OF HIGH PERSONNEL TURBULENCE AND LESS THAN DESIRED RETENTION.

7. QUALIFICATIONS OF CONTACT POINT PERSONNEL WILL RECEIVE EMPHASIS IN THE QUALIFICATION FOR ADVANCEMENT FOR PERSONNEL IN THE SERVICE RATINGS. TRAINING PUBLICATIONS AND MATERIALS RELATED TO IMPROVEMENT OF SERVICES ARE UNDER DEVELOPMENT. HOWEVER, THE FINAL PUSH MUST COME FROM COMMAND AND THE INITIATIVE, INGENUITY AND RESOURCEFULNESS OF OUR MEN AND WOMEN AT THE CONTACT POINTS. OUR SUCCESSFUL ZERO DEFECTS PROGRAMS AT INDUSTRIAL ACTIVITIES CAN AND SHOULD BE APPLIED TO OUR PERSONNEL SERVICE FACILITIES AS WELL. THE SUCCESS OF THESE PROGRAMS IS ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE PRIDE THEY GENERATE IN PRODUCTION PERSONNEL. WE HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO GENERATE SIMILAR MOTIVATION BY POSTING AND PUBLICIZING OUR STANDARDS OF SERVICE IN A MANNER SIMILAR TO THAT DIRECTED BY THE CHIEF OF NAVAL PERSONNEL FOR PERSONNEL OFFICES THROUGHOUT THE NAVY (BUPERS NOTE 1000 OF 21 JULY 1970).

8. A FINAL POINT. THERE IS A STRONG TEMPTATION DURING TIMES OF FORCE RETRENCHMENT TO CUT BACK ON PERSONNEL SERVICES IN ORDER TO PRESERVE FUNCTIONS MORE DIRECTLY RELATED TO OUR FIGHTING AND OPERATING CAPABILITIES. I FULLY SUPPORT EFFORTS TO PARE AWAY FRILLS AND “NICE TO HAVE” CAPABILITIES AT A TIME WHEN MONEY AND PEOPLE ARE IN DECREASING SUPPLY. HOWEVER, I DO NOT CONSIDER PERSONNEL SERVICES AS “FRILLS” OR EVEN AS NON-MISSION RELATED. ON THE CONTRARY, IF THEY SUPPORT OUR MEN AND THEIR DEPENDENTS, I CONSIDER THEM VITAL TO OUR READINESS BECAUSE THEY ARE DIRECTLY RELATED TO THE EFFICIENCY AND MOTIVATION OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF OUR WEAPONS SYSTEMS – OUR VITAL MANPOWER RESOURCES. ACCORDINGLY, PRESERVATION OF OUR ABILITY TO PROVIDE FAST, RESPONSIVE AND QUALITY SERVICE AT CONTACT POINT FACILITIES SHALL BE MADE A KEY FACTOR IN RESOURCE ALLOCATION DECISIONS AT ALL LEVELS OF COMMAND. CUTS IN PERSONNEL SERVICES SHOULD LAG CUTS MADE IN OTHER FUNCTIONAL AREAS AND SHOULD BE MADE ONLY WHEN THE DECREASE IN SIZE OF THE POPULATION SUPPORTED FULLY WARRANT IT. IN SUMMARY, WE MUST PUT PEOPLE FIRST IN OUR MANAGEMENT DECISIONS – EVEN IF WE CAN’T ALWAYS DO SO IN OUR OPERATIONAL DECISIONS. BETTER STANDARDS OF SERVICE AT THE CONTACT POINTS ARE A KEY MEASURE OF OUR SUCCESS IN TRANSLATING THIS OBJECTIVE TO ACCOMPLISHED FACT. E. R. ZUMWALT, JR., ADMIRAL, U. S. NAVY, CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS.
BT

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ACRONYMS/ABBREVIATIONS:
BUPERS: Bureau of Naval Personnel

[END]
Published:Mon Oct 17 06:47:30 EDT 2016