Organizational Development Paper
USS Carney (DDG 64)
HRDM 650: Dr. Pontiff
November 13, 2010
From June 2005 to September 2009, I served on the Guided Missile Destroyer (DDG) 64, USS Carney. The USS Carney has approximately 300 sailors and officers. Out of the 300 about twenty-five are officers and another thirty or so are senior enlisted. Officer’s tours are eighteen to twenty-four months long and the enlisted sailors can remain on board for up to five years. While serving aboard the Carney, I witnessed the key crewmembers turnover at least three times. After each key crewmember, enlisted sailor or officer, transferred someone needed to rise to step into a new role and a new team needed to be formed. While I did not realize it at the time, we constantly performed Human Process Interventions to ensure we were ready to answer our nations call at a moments notice. The upper echelons of the U.S. Navy go to great lengths to ensure that teams are created through a structured multi-level training process, surveys, and other Organization Development techniques. The corporate culture on a naval warship is based almost entirely on the commanding officer (CO). Each commanding officer has served in the Navy for at least seventeen years and holds the rank of Commander, but is given the title of Captain while he is in command. Each CO serves aboard their ship for eighteen months. During my tour, I experienced four different commanding officers. The corporate culture is also affected by the ships deployment status. Ships normally deploy every eighteen months for six to eight months. When the ship returns from deployment, she undergoes a period of extensive repairs called Ship Restricted Availability (SRA) period, lasting between three to five months. During this time complex maintenance and system upgrades are made by civilian contractors. Also during this period many sailors transfer and new sailors take their place. Upon completion of the SRA the ship enters its Unit Level Training (ULT) phase. ULT is designed for the ship to train itself by running homemade scenarios that test everything from capturing a drug smuggler on the high seas to launching cruise missiles and putting out fires. At the end of this training phase, outside evaluators watch the ship conduct all of the possible scenarios, well over one hundred in total, over four days and declare that the ship is ready to deploy independently. After this is finished the ship enters the composite training phase. During this period, a carrier strike group is trained to work together and to it’s full potential. This is an evaluation of each independent staff as well as the individual ships and their commanding officers actions in difficult situations. After the carrier strike group is certified then the group goes on deployment and the cycle begins again. The corporate culture is established by the commanding officer formally in his Command Philosophy and Commanding Officer’s Standing Orders (a series of orders that are to be carried out if the situation exists) and informally by the commanding officers actions. A Captain at sea is the closest thing to a totalitarian dictatorship that exists in the United States. His reaction to every situation impacts the crew. If the Captain is perceived as tyrannical, micromanager or that he does not trust his crew, the tension will be palpable on board and the crew will perform out of fear. “One way to obtain trust involves assuming positive intent, suspending judgment, looking out for the other person's best interests, giving without condition, offering forgiveness, being at peace with what is, and providing support and safety in times of risk and failure” (Denton, 2009). However if the Captain demonstrates that he trusts the crew to make the right decisions, the crew will be more relaxed and better prepared to react to unusual situations. They will perform their duties not out of fear but out of...
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