request for your opinion, tactfully offer your thoughts
on the subject. To refrain from speaking up when you
know of something the inexperienced officer should be
aware of can be disastrous. Regardless of your position
in the chain of command, always provide the best
example of leadership and professional guidance
Inexperienced officers look to their chiefs to see
how they grasp a situation and how they make decisions.
That is part of the self-education process a leader cannot
get from a classroom or from books. Sometimes young
officers believe they know more than the chief; when
they find out they do not, they have contributed to their
IN THE CPO MESS
You may recall seeing a poster displayed in many
chiefs quarters, messes, and clubs that says: WHAT
YOU DO, SEE, HEAR, AND SAY here, stays HERE.
The chiefs mess is a relaxed, amiable, and popular
meeting place. The degree to which the chiefs socialize
together often reflects their cohesiveness. The mutual
bond and high morale of the chiefs quarters are in part
the result of a strong leader. The leader maybe a formal
leader, like the command master chief, or an informal
leader who leads through charisma or superior
know-how. This persons enthusiastic support and
encouragement of others sets high standards for
command personnel. Whether in formal or informal
situations, the chiefs respect this person. They know the
person is competent and trust him or her to stand up for
their interests and those of the crew. The commanding
officer and executive officer often seek this leaders
advice about the morale of the crew and other matters
concerning enlisted personnel. The majority of the
members of the chiefs mess usually agree on who this
The chiefs mess as a group is a solid, disciplined
team. The members talk to each other, coordinate well,
and solicit input from each other. They treat each other
with professional respect. A strong part of this bond
results from the collective confidence of being the best
and not settling for less.
As Rudyard Kipling pointed out when asked to
explain his journalistic success, effective plans revolve
around the answers to six basic questions:
1. What must be done?
When must it be done?
Where will it be done?
How will it be done?
Why must it be done?
Who will do it?
Until these questions are answered, you will be
unable to choose an effective course of action.
TYPES OF PLANS
Planning and plans are typed or classified by their
characteristics and purpose. The following is the general
criteria for classifying plans:
Functional areaThe general field to which the
plan applies, such as personnel, administration,
operations, and safety
Time factorLong, medium, or short-range plans
Characteristics-Cost, detail, and complexity
Level affectedForce, command, department,
division, or work center
Action require-Most often performed actions,
such as research and development, staffing, and
These criteria are used to classify plans into three
general groups. These are one-time or single-use
strategic and standing plans.
Single-use plans are essentially one-time use plans
having a specific goal or objective. They may run for a
few days or last several years. Projects, programs, and
budgets are commonly thought of as single-use plans.
Strategic plans are concerned with overall mission.
They define unit objectives and goals. Strategic plans
give you the big picture.
These plans are designed to provide long-range
guidance. They provide a base line for other plans. Once
mission and objectives have been defined, strategies can
be developed to meet them. Strategic planning must
remain flexible enough to accommodate shifts in policy
or action by our own government and other nations.
They must include alternate or contingency plans in
anticipation of foreseeable changes.