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Thread: Watch Rotation Changes

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    Senior Member Stalwart's Avatar
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    Watch Rotation Changes

    In sum, looks like shifts on submarines are ok'd to transition from 6 to 8-hours and the work day will be a 24-hour day vice an 18 hour day.

    I did 3 years as a Direct Support Officer on subs (longest deployment was just shy of 8-months & longest stint submerged was 95/96 days. It didn't take long to see that performance, attentiveness and plain attitude was impacted in part by a lack of rest. I know some surface vessels XO's who have played around with this for their watchbills & I am curious if the surface forces will look into this as a whole.

    Navy Times: http://www.navytimes.com/article/201...leep-schedules

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    Re: Watch Rotation Changes

    Little bit confused. Do bubbleheads not realize you can stay on a 24-hour schedule, by doing 4 on/8 off watch rotation?? :thumb

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    Re: Watch Rotation Changes

    Quote Originally Posted by Salty Old Dog View Post
    Little bit confused. Do bubbleheads not realize you can stay on a 24-hour schedule, by doing 4 on/8 off watch rotation?? :thumb
    It's pretty much just the way they've done business for as long as I personally can recall, at least as long as the majority of the subs have been nuke subs. In fact, I'm noticing a very common theme with that in particular...
    "The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first." ~ Thomas Jefferson

    It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.
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    Re: Watch Rotation Changes

    I understand that they're trying to fix underway watches, but what about life in port? Life in port (not shore duty, but being on a ship in port) is what pushed me over the edge. That, combined with some other factors, is why I got out after 11 years.

    Four section duty, two five-hour watches for everybody, with the same fire and ATFP drills, and work to be done on the pier... and with reduced manning, E6 and below are doing the working parties and pier sweepers, when it used to be E4 and below back in 2005? Meanwhile, any work you had to do in your shop doesn't get done that day; and don't even THINK about any down time.

    Being underway used to be BREAK from that. You wanted the hard life underway, just to get a break from the HARDER life in port.

    I think that the bigger problem is that the Navy isn't doing anything about it, because no one is speaking up. The Community Editor even started a thread in the Navy section about that, and there were very few responses.
    "Well... Uber's going to "driverless" cars soon, and their research probably shows that they're a natural fit (when it comes to getting paid for doing nothing)."
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    Re: Watch Rotation Changes

    I don't know nor have I heard much on too many efforts to effect life in port. I have heard of some efforts to eliminate some of the 'paper-chase' but that is about all.

    My last ship (a DDG in Norfolk from 2010-2012) was in three section duty in-port for the entire tour. It was hard, harder on some sections of the ship since their divisions left them more to do in the evenings than others. Some of those really busy sections though still had really good morale which reflected into good retention. They felt what they were doing was important, they enjoyed what they did and were edified by their work -- A huge part of this was the leadership effort of some good DivO's and DivChiefs. On the other hand, I saw a really bad (poorly organized and poor leader) Department Head nearly drive that department crazy. This Department Head inherited a bad situation (previous DH was relieved for cause) but the lack of ability filtered down into frustration for the department and it started to impact the rest of the ship.

    I do think a bad situation can be made better with good leadership -- even if you can't change the amount of work you can treat the people with respect, pay attention to their needs (professional & personal) and reward them for hard work (not necessarily medals and LOC's but compensatory time off etc.) and morale can and will help compensate for the pain not fix it or make it go away ... but make it easier to deal with.

    I have had some frank talks with some seniors, who recall when three section duty was the norm / standard (which on some ships today it still is) who do not understand the frustration that Sailors are experiencing today with a four or six section rotation (I knew of a couple big decks in Norfolk that were on a six section rotation.) The talks revealed that the three section duty they remembered was augmented with shorter work days, many divisions being out by noon if all the work was done -- which is different than today with abbreviated manning and an increased amount of work making the plan of the day extend out to 1700/1800. So I can understand the nostalgia ... it just doesn't match the workload of many platforms today.

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    Re: Watch Rotation Changes

    I came in the Navy in 1999, but went to shore duty first and didn't get to my first ship until 2002. Although I didn't experience it myself, I do remember DDG's being in eight section duty until 9/11, when they added the roving watches. And then they went down to six section duty, before I arrived to my first ship (which was a DDG).

    Back then, you only had one four-hour watch. And if it was your lucky day, you might not even have a watch. Still then, if you had a watch, you might get bumped off the watchbill; because someone else was given a second watch for missing muster or not showing up to topside sweepers. And that was the ONLY time you got a second watch - if you screwed up.

    Even THEN, you still got to go home when the work was done. I remember going home when McDonald's was still serving breakfast. If you had duty that day, you had no problem having everyone's back when they left early; because you knew they'd have your back when they had duty.

    That's the Navy I miss. Unless they bring manning back up to the pre-Vern Clark days, that Navy won't be coming back in the foreseeable future.
    "Well... Uber's going to "driverless" cars soon, and their research probably shows that they're a natural fit (when it comes to getting paid for doing nothing)."
    -Rainmaker, referencing black males

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    Senior Member AJBIGJ's Avatar
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    Re: Watch Rotation Changes

    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Jones View Post
    I came in the Navy in 1999, but went to shore duty first and didn't get to my first ship until 2002. Although I didn't experience it myself, I do remember DDG's being in eight section duty until 9/11, when they added the roving watches. And then they went down to six section duty, before I arrived to my first ship (which was a DDG).

    Back then, you only had one four-hour watch. And if it was your lucky day, you might not even have a watch. Still then, if you had a watch, you might get bumped off the watchbill; because someone else was given a second watch for missing muster or not showing up to topside sweepers. And that was the ONLY time you got a second watch - if you screwed up.

    Even THEN, you still got to go home when the work was done. I remember going home when McDonald's was still serving breakfast. If you had duty that day, you had no problem having everyone's back when they left early; because you knew they'd have your back when they had duty.

    That's the Navy I miss. Unless they bring manning back up to the pre-Vern Clark days, that Navy won't be coming back in the foreseeable future.
    It's a little of that and a little bit of post COLE/9-11 ATFP procedures. Part of the reason things got tougher was fewer sailors but another part is that those sailors were now manning additional watch stations in port.
    "The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first." ~ Thomas Jefferson

    It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.
    James Madison

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    Re: Watch Rotation Changes

    Quote Originally Posted by AJBIGJ View Post
    It's a little of that and a little bit of post COLE/9-11 ATFP procedures. Part of the reason things got tougher was fewer sailors but another part is that those sailors were now manning additional watch stations in port.
    Complicate the extra watches with the pure frustration of getting all the watchstanders the required weapons qualifications and SRF training. The shooting ranges did not have enough shooting positions or time in the day to get all the required watchstanders in the Norfolk, Virginia Beach (Tidewater) region qualified -- and did not take reservations or quotas (it was literally show up pre-dawn in the AM and wait to see who got in.) Our DDG often sent groups of sailors to the range, sometimes all, sometimes some, and sometimes none of them came back. It was easier to get the quals done while at sea but if your ship is in a DSRA period or extended in port period it is kind of silly to send a sailor TAD to another platform to get underway just to shoot a rifle or pistol for an hour.

    Sailors are a 'make-do' crowd and I was/am always proud of how resilient and flexible they can be. I do my best to keep those I am resposible for from getting screwed around (by people or the system) but sometimes the system is going to get its due ...

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    Re: Watch Rotation Changes

    Quote Originally Posted by Stalwart View Post
    Complicate the extra watches with the pure frustration of getting all the watchstanders the required weapons qualifications and SRF training. The shooting ranges did not have enough shooting positions or time in the day to get all the required watchstanders in the Norfolk, Virginia Beach (Tidewater) region qualified -- and did not take reservations or quotas (it was literally show up pre-dawn in the AM and wait to see who got in.) Our DDG often sent groups of sailors to the range, sometimes all, sometimes some, and sometimes none of them came back. It was easier to get the quals done while at sea but if your ship is in a DSRA period or extended in port period it is kind of silly to send a sailor TAD to another platform to get underway just to shoot a rifle or pistol for an hour.

    Sailors are a 'make-do' crowd and I was/am always proud of how resilient and flexible they can be. I do my best to keep those I am resposible for from getting screwed around (by people or the system) but sometimes the system is going to get its due ...
    Not a smallboy WEPS in the Navy who hasn't felt that pain!
    "The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first." ~ Thomas Jefferson

    It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.
    James Madison

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    Senior Member Rusty Jones's Avatar
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    Re: Watch Rotation Changes

    Quote Originally Posted by Stalwart View Post
    Complicate the extra watches with the pure frustration of getting all the watchstanders the required weapons qualifications and SRF training. The shooting ranges did not have enough shooting positions or time in the day to get all the required watchstanders in the Norfolk, Virginia Beach (Tidewater) region qualified -- and did not take reservations or quotas (it was literally show up pre-dawn in the AM and wait to see who got in.) Our DDG often sent groups of sailors to the range, sometimes all, sometimes some, and sometimes none of them came back. It was easier to get the quals done while at sea but if your ship is in a DSRA period or extended in port period it is kind of silly to send a sailor TAD to another platform to get underway just to shoot a rifle or pistol for an hour.

    Sailors are a 'make-do' crowd and I was/am always proud of how resilient and flexible they can be. I do my best to keep those I am resposible for from getting screwed around (by people or the system) but sometimes the system is going to get its due ...
    Quote Originally Posted by AJBIGJ View Post
    Not a smallboy WEPS in the Navy who hasn't felt that pain!
    And, there goes another gripe I had... the fact that, while the enlisted crew numbers were cut, officers were overmanned.

    There's not supposed to be a "WEPS" department on a smallboy. At least not a DDG. Think I'm full of it? Go ask any 3MC on a DDG. "WEPS" on smallboys only exist in practice, but not on paper because they need to find something for all of these officers to do. What you've been led to believe is "WEPS" is actually Combat System. Yes, they might be legit "WEPS" on bigger ships, but not DDGs.

    Hell, the last DDG I was on had an FSO! And he wasn't even Supply Corps - just a straight unrestricted line officer! Only amphibs and carriers are supposed to have FSOs, to my knowledge. On DDG's, the only officers in supply are the SUPPO and the DISBO.
    "Well... Uber's going to "driverless" cars soon, and their research probably shows that they're a natural fit (when it comes to getting paid for doing nothing)."
    -Rainmaker, referencing black males

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