Every day, more than 9,500 dedicated men and women of our U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command deliver critical supplies and conduct missions across the world’s oceans. Here’s what we’ve been up to recently:
Military Sealift Command thoroughly inspects each Navy ship it operates once every five years. The process, called Ship Material Assessment and Readiness Testing, ensures that vessels are fully functional and operate safely. MSC is the only Navy entity to inspect its own ships – an authority and trust delegated by the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey, which assesses the condition of ships across the fleet. USNS Richard E. Byrd (T-AKE 4), a West Coast-based dry cargo/ammunition ship, is undergoing a SMART inspection this week. The following blog post highlights some important features of the process.
The following blog post was written by MSC’s dedicated human resources staff, and is part of a series focused on jobs at MSC – recruiting and retaining our talented workforce. This post highlights the first Merit System Principle, Recruitment, Selection and Advancement. Stay tuned for more and be sure to share your feedback and ideas in the comments section.
Whether you’re interested in joining MSC, just starting your career, or have been part of our family for many years, it’s important to know the underlying standards of our personnel management system, known as the Merit System Principles.
For those of you in the private sector, these are the hiring and other personnel policies put in place and typically managed by the companies HR practice to ensure fair and equitable standards exist.
Our Merit System evolved in response to previous inconsistencies in the government. The nine resulting principles are part of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 and are written in law at 5 U.S.C § 2301 (b).
According to the first Merit System Principle, “recruitment should be from qualified individuals from appropriate sources in an endeavor to achieve a work force from all segments of society, and selection and advancement should be determined solely on the basis of relative ability, knowledge and skills, after fair and open competition which assures that all receive equal opportunity.”
So, what does this mean?!
The underlying vision is to have a federal workforce that is representative of the population of the United States. It is also centered on the idea that anyone may receive a civil service position and be advanced in a position as long as they are qualified and have the competence to perform the job. The last part, dealing with equal opportunity, ensures that vacant jobs are filled after fair and open competition and bars discrimination in employment.
In short, this principle, combined with the other eight, provides guidance for how managers and supervisors should manage human resource programs. If you’re interested in learning more about the Merit System Principles visit the DoN Human Resources website or the Office of Personnel Management.
The following blog is written by Rear Adm. T.K. Shannon, commander, Military Sealift Command. It makes three points concerning MSC’s shipmates and future as the admiral begins his first year at the helm of our worldwide organization.
As our adventure together begins, here are three points to bear in mind. Our mission is to keep our ship on a steady course through the potentially stormy seas of change, sequestration and budgetary constraints.
First, don’t expect any drastic changes – keep doing the excellent job you already are. I want to learn our system, feel the pulse of our command, understand why MSC enjoys the reputation for excellence that it does. Our MSC brand is strong, and I know it was built on your backs. Everywhere I go, the feedback I get is that MSC is a strong organization! I will tap into that talent and expertise.
Speaking of feedback – it’s the breakfast of champions! I believe in collaboration and teamwork, and that means two-way communication – good, clear communication. The key is to also make it constructive communication. We should all be willing to tell each other when an idea is good, and when it’s not, and we should be able to do that without offending shipmates. We can’t help each other make our MSC even better than it already is unless we’re all willing to give and take. Make no mistake – the helm makes the final decision, but only after everyone gives their best advice.
Finally, in this era of restrained budgets, sequestration and constantly looking for ways to cut costs without adversely affecting our mission, we are all stewards of our taxpayer’s dollars. And since we all pay taxes, it’s in our own best interests to be the best stewards we can be. Let me share an example. Once upon a time I was new in a job and I inherited a Navy sedan that came along with the job. At the time the car was five years old and had only 4,000 miles on it, indicating a usage rate of only 800 miles per year! I don’t know of many small business owners in our country who can afford a vehicle in their business fleet that they only use for 16 miles per week.
Having thought that through, we did the right thing. We turned the car into the motor pool so it could be more effectively used by someone who really needed it. After that, when we needed a car for official business, we checked one out of the motor pool. For some of us, we may need to guard against a sense of entitlement (e.g., I am a big shot now; I deserve a car) and when we spend our Navy’s money, we should ask ourselves how would we act if it was our own personal money, because, in a sense, it is.
Our Chief of Naval Operations says our Navy will be “where it matters, when it matters.” That means our MSC mariners, Sailors and Navy civilians will be there, too. It’s what we do. Our team delivers. It is an honor to serve with you!
Thanks for your service,
The Korean Flag Shipping Program is a part of an active relationship between the United States and Republic of Korea. Formalized in 1981, the program enables Military Sealift Command to assume operational control of up to 59 South Korean-flagged, privately-owned cargo ships in the event of an emergency declared by the ROK government on the Korean peninsula. Both nations meet each year to ensure sealift assets are available to meet the potentially rigorous demands of resupplying U.S. troops with equipment and supplies. Alternating between locations in the United States and South Korea, this year’s Korean Flag Shipping Working Group Conference kicked off June 10 in Washington, D.C. Navy Capt. James Hruska, commander, MSC Far East, is the conference’s co-chair. In the following blog post, he discusses the importance of the conference and some topics for discussion this year: