Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Now for a fact you may or may not know: in the E1-E4 bracket, the US Navy has the worst retention rate (read: ability to keep enlisted members) of any of the US military branches. There have been studies and charts and all sorts of research done as to why this may be.

All of that wasted time could have been avoided if they had just asked someone in the bracket itself. So, for their benefit, and for yours, let me explain.

E1-E4s are the hardest workers in the entire Navy. Sure, they don't have AS MUCH responsibility as the E5+, but they get all the bitch work, the "this has to be done or someone is going to die" work. And every day that they're doing this work, toiling away in the trenches, getting dirty and sweaty and generally disgusting, they get sh*t on.

See, there's a saying in the Navy: "Sh*t rolls downhill." In other words, someone higher up the chain gets pissed off, and it just moves right on down until it hits, you guessed it, the E1-E4. And that pisses us off - shame that we don't have anyone to take it out on. We're the lowest rung in a ladder that goes further up than I care to imagine.

The Naval leadership, for the most part, has little to worry about, but yet every day they find new ways to make life difficult for their airmen/seamen/3rd classes. The sad part is that those ways that they make life difficult aren't balanced out by anything. Until you make E5 or so, you're getting paid less than your average New York City garbageman, to do jobs that he'd probably turn his nose up at. At least he takes less crap on a daily basis from people that are probably a) not nearly as intelligent as himself and b) have no idea who he is or where he comes from.

My point is, the more crap they make you take, the less motivated, or even willing, you are to do the work. Then you take more crap. It's a flawed system that makes entry level sailors hate their own organization.

Sprinkle a little bit of "oh you want to see the world? too bad, we're sending you wherever the hell we please instead of where you want to go" on top of that, and it's no wonder why we have the worst retention rate. Just sayin'.

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