I recently wrote a humor piece that mocked the priorities of the Navy by placing all the non-warfighting requirements at the top of the list. Well, darn if the Navy didn’t just come out with their own actual list that reads almost the same as my comedy one! From the Department of the Navy, Transformation Plan, 2014-2016, here is the list of official DoN priorities.
1. Take care of our people
2. Maximize warfighter readiness
3. Lead the nation in sustainable energy
4. Promote acquisition excellence and integrity
5. Proliferate unmanned systems
6. Drive innovative enterprise transformation
Taking care of our people is laudable but it shouldn’t be the Navy’s top priority. Warfighting is, because that’s the Navy’s reason for existence. It’s as simple as that.
Well, hey, you say, at least warfighting is number two. Unfortunately, if you read the explanation in the document, maximizing warfighter readiness is actually about sizing the fleet rather than combat training, tactics, or any other actual warfighting activity.
The number three priority is to lead the nation in sustainable energy?! Are you kidding me?! In what alternate universe is leading the nation in energy development one of the Navy’s responsibilities let alone a top priority?
Did you catch number five? Proliferate unmanned systems. The explanation states that the Navy will proliferate unmanned systems across all areas, responsibilities, and activities. You’ll note that there is no caveat like “if it makes sense” or “if it actually enhances combat effectiveness”. Nope, we’re going to do it regardless; just because.
Finally, here’s a paragraph from the summary section.
“The FY14-16 DON Transformation Plan translates the Secretary of the Navy’s strategic guidance into a blueprint for the entire department to follow. Changing culture, wider use of analytics, and effective governance will enable the department to transform business operations and to reform the institution so we continue to provide the nation a vital service through global naval presence.”
Not a single word about warfighting.
This sounds an awful lot like one of my comedy offerings but it’s not. That’s sad beyond belief. The incompetence that this document codifies is staggering. I weep for my Navy.