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PETTY OFFICERS RESPONSIBILITY - 14504_35

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PETTY OFFICER’S RESPONSIBILITY Learning  Objectives:  Recognize the importance of informing the chain of command (COC) on matters pertaining  to  good  order  and  discipline.  Recall procedures for reporting an offense. Recognize the proceedings leading to captain’s mast. Identify the procedures for redress of grievances/complaints of wrongs. Identify the composition of courts-martial. Recognize which violations should or should not be reported. When you become a PO, your position in the Navy changes. You become a leader with authority. The rating badge symbolizes delegation of this authority by the Navy. The responsibilities of a petty officer are not always easy to carry out. You have to make decisions, plan jobs, and take the blame if plans go wrong. You have to lead your people, teach them, and correct them. You can’t always be a  “good guy.”  You have to give orders and that can be harder than following them. The  higher  you  advance,  the  greater  your responsibilities.  Is  the  advancement  worth  the responsibilities you will have?  Yes. A strong PO is willing  to  shoulder  the  burden  of  increased responsibility to make the Navy a better, more efficient force. As a petty officer, occasionally you will have to warn, reprimand, or even place personnel on report. Although these tasks may be disagreeable to you, they are part of the responsibility of a PO. Standard Organization and Regulations of the U.S. Navy, OPNAVINST 3120.32, states the following: “Authority should be delegated to the lowest level of competence commensurate with the subordinate’s assigned  responsibility  and  capabilities.  The principles of delegation, however, also recognize that officers at all levels must be accountable ultimately for the performance of their organizational segments even if they have charged subordinates with immediate authority for managing certain functions.”  That, in effect, means although you may assign a task to your subordinates,  you  are  still  responsible  to  your superiors for its accomplishment. A good leader does not tell his or her supervisor, “I gave that job to Seaman Recruit John R. Doe, but he messed it up.” Rather, he says, “I will do better next time.” That leader then pays more attention to Seaman Recruit Doe’s training and job performance to be sure John R. Doe understands the job and its importance. REPORTING VIOLATIONS The hardest job for a PO to do is to place a person on report. After that happens, the petty officer always wonders if there could have been another way to handle the situation. One of your duties as a PO is to start disciplinary action wherever and whenever the need arises. Every petty officer is an important part of the disciplinary  chain  of  command.  You  must  show offenders that the command will punish improper conduct, especially cases of willful violation. Your responsibility as a petty officer never ends. It is a 24-hour-per-day duty that can be very trying at times. For example, when people are ashore “winding down” after a long period at sea, a demanding fleet exercise, or even actual combat, rivalries sometimes form. Rivalries are healthy until the Sailors imbibe in too many spirits or carry the rivalry too far. These situations rarely occur; but when they do, responsible petty officers must act. If you are the senior petty officer present when a fight breaks out in a liberty boat or when a brawl involving enlisted personnel starts in town, you must help in quieting the disturbance, whether an officer is present or not. If you face such a situation and you do your job to the best of your ability, you can be proud. If an enlisted person violates a regulation in the presence of both an officer and a petty officer, the petty officer should correct the person. Failing to correct the person could result in a reprimand for the petty officer. Figure 2-1 shows three official sources for basic disciplinary laws. The  UCMJ  is an appendix of the Manual for Courts-Martial. 2-3 Figure 2-1. Three official sources for basic disciplinary laws.



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