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Z-Gram #69; 28 December 1970

Command in the Grade of Captain

R 281424Z DEC 70
FM CNO (Z-69)

TO NAVOP

UNCLAS //N01041//
COMMAND IN THE GRADE OF CAPTAIN

1. AS OUR NAVY CONTINUES TO REDUCE IN SIZE AND NEW TECHNOLOGY REPLACES OLD IT HAS BECOME OBVIOUS THAT FEWER OFFICERS WILL COMMAND AT SEA. NOT ALL UNRESTRICTED LINE OFFICERS CAN EXPECT, THEREFORE, TO FOLLOW TRADITIONAL CAREER PATTERNS. MOREOVER, OUR TOP TALENT AND MANAGERIAL EXPERTISE MUST BE SPREAD MORE EVENLY AMONG COMMAND AT SEA, COMMANDS OF MAJOR SHORE INSTALLATIONS, AND MANAGEMENT OF OUR WEAPON SYSTEMS ACQUISITION PROGRAMS. COMMAND TOURS MUST BE LONGER TO ENSURE STABILITY, CONTINUITY, AND PROPER UTILIZATION OF OFFICER TALENT.

2. IN ORDER TO ADJUST TO THESE FACTS OF NAVY LIFE AND PREPARE FOR A MORE PROFESSIONAL AND SMALLER NAVY OF THE FUTURE, I DIRECTED THE CHIEF OF NAVAL PERSONNEL TO INSTITUTE NEW COMMAND SELECTION PROCEDURES COMMENCING WITH THE AVIATION AND SURFACE/SUBMARINE CAPTAIN COMMAND SELECTION BOARDS MEETING 8 DECEMBER AND 19 JANUARY, RESPECTIVELY.

3. THE DEEP DRAFT/MAJOR COMMAND AT SEA CONCEPT HAS BEEN DISCONTINUED. IN ITS PLACE WILL BE ONE COMMAND TOUR AT SEA OR ASHORE. AN EXCEPTION TO THIS CONCEPT IS AUTHORIZED FOR COMMAND OF AIRCRAFT CARRIERS WHERE A QUALIFYING DEEP DRAFT MAY BE REQUIRED. ALSO, COMMAND OF A SMALLER SHORE INSTALLATION MAY BE ASSIGNED TO IMPROVE QUALIFICATIONS FOR MAJOR STATION COMMAND. COMMAND SELECTION BOARDS WILL BE DIRECTED TO SELECT THE BEST QUALIFIED OFFICER FOR EACH CATEGORY.

4. THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY JOHN CHAFEE ASSURES ME THAT FUTURE FLAG SELECTION BOARDS WILL CONTINUE TO BE ADVISED OF THE SPECIAL NEEDS OF THE SERVICE. THEY WILL BE BRIEFED IN DETAIL ON THE IMPACT OF ALL POLICY CHANGES AFFECTING ELIGIBLE CANDIDATES AND GIVEN THE STRONGEST ADVICE AND ENCOURAGEMENT TO SELECT NOT ONLY THOSE OFFICERS WHO HAVE FOLLOWED THE TRADITIONAL PATTERN OF COMMAND AT SEA, BUT ALSO THOSE WHO HAVE DEMONSTRATED THEIR MANAGEMENT EXPERTISE IN THE SHORE ESTABLISHMENT IN LIEU OF COMMAND AT SEA. I AM CONFIDENT THAT THESE FLAG SELECTION BOARDS WILL FULLY UNDERSTAND THE DUAL NEEDS OF THE SERVICE.

5. IN LINE WITH THE FOREGOING, AND TO ASSURE FAIRNESS TO ALL, I HAVE AUTHORIZED WHERE NECESSARY THE RE-SCREEENING OF AVIATION DEEP DRAFT AND AVIATION/SURFACE/SUBMARINE MAJOR COMMAND SELECTEES WHO HAVE NOT YET BEEN ORDERED TO COMMAND. A SMALL NUMBER OF OFFICERS IN SENIOR YEAR GROUPS WHO WERE PREVIOUSLY SELECTED MAY, AS A RESULT OF THIS RE-SCREENING, NOT BE ASSIGNED TO COMMAND. THE FACT OF THEIR PRIOR SELECTION IS A MATTER OF RECORD AND THEIR CONTINUED HIGH PERFORMANCE SHOULD KEEP THEM IN THE FOREFRONT OF THEIR YEAR GROUP.

6. WHILE THIS MESSAGE APPLIES PRIMARILY TO CAPTAIN COMMAND SELECTIONS, IT IS EQUALLY APPLICABLE TO OTHER COMMAND SELECTION BOARDS. SIMILAR INSTRUCTIONS CONCERNING EQUITY, QUALITY, AND THE NECESSITY FOR RE-SCREENING OF CANDIDATES WERE GIVEN TO THE RECENT AVIATION SQUADRON COMMAND SELECTION BOARD, AND WILL BE GIVEN TO THE SURFACE COMMANDER COMMAND SELECTION BOARD WHICH MEETS IN JANUARY.

7. THESE PROCEDURES WILL BE ADDRESSED IN GREATER DETAIL IN A FUTURE ISSUE OF THE OFFICER PERSONNEL NEWSLETTER.

8. THERE ARE MANY BENEFITS TO OUR NAVY WHICH WILL ACCRUE FROM THIS NEW PROGRAM. AMONG THESE ARE: THE STABILITY OFFERED TO OUR SENIOR CAREER OFFICERS; THE NEW AVENUES OPENED ASHORE FOR THE UTILIZATION OF INDIVIDUAL EXPERTISE AND TRAINING; AND, IMPROVEMENT IN THE MANAGEMENT OF THE SHORE ESTABLISHMENT. E. R. ZUMWALT, JR., ADMIRAL, U.S. NAVY, CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS
BT

[END]
Published:Tue Oct 11 06:43:17 EDT 2016