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Training Deficiencies in Technical Related Ratings Essay

Training Deficiencies in Technical Related Ratings

As a Chief Cryptologic Maintenance Technician in today’s Navy, I would state that proper initial training is vital in the success of our chosen career field.  Too many times people are graduating from their “A” School with little to no actual or practical knowledge.  The trend seems to be minimal training in school with the remainder to be learned at your first duty station as “On the Job”(OJT).  This method of learning for technicians can lead to catastrophic failures for many reasons.  In this essay I will discuss the many ways that this method may fail and what can be done to correct the deficiency.

The primary factor for the military these days is the bottom dollar. Money has become the deciding factor on what plan we take in order to reach towards a goal, because many times, it fails.  “Rapid reductions in the defense budget are leading to the restructuring or elimination of many programs.” (Richard J. Dunn 2013) One of the programs having its budget reduced is the training pipeline.  Many of the policy makers believe that the training gap can be fixed with a just the basics attitude in schools with the completion of training and specialization to be completed upon reaching the trainee’s first command.  The problem with this is that there is not always a senior technician at the location to give the on the job training to the junior person.  This is leading to many of juniors today to have to attempt to train themselves which can lead to damaging multi million dollar equipment or causing massive loss of life.  Do not get me wrong, there are fully capable personnel that are more than able to complete these basic tasks, but when it comes to the more sophisticated procedures they are just woefully unequipped and set up for failure.  This is setting a precedence that we will start training you, but then you are on your own.

The diversity of the systems that technicians work on would require a better initial training pipeline.  The basic electronic components are the same, but the way they interact to produce a product is what differs, so if we chose to give you a better initial introduction to your job specialty, the easier the learning new technologies would become.  The initial investment in training can reduce the maintenance cost later and extend the life of certain technologies.  By creating apprenticeships to aid in the educating of the new technicians we can also increase the readiness of all the services.  Identifying where the training gaps exists and using an apprenticeship type program if we are going to do the on the job training would allow people to receive basic skills training in their school, and then be given a pipeline of System and related technical information.  Using the already in use Contractor Organizations to specialize the technicians on specific system types reflecting the old “C” schools.  Modern “C” type schools teach buttonology and reading of a technical manual instead of data/ electron flow through the system.    The way that students are taught could be reviewed and the curriculum rewritten in order to reflect the modernization of the systems used by the United States Military today.  Building a system from the base components or disassembling a configured system and reassembling it and ensuring it remains functional should be a priority in school.  Due to funding many schoolhouses will say that it is not economically feasible to use a system to teach students to disassemble and reassemble, yet they will send them to their first duty station to do it for real on an operational system.  One system with competent technicians at a schoolhouse, so the students can be guided without causing severe damage to it logically would save money in the long run.

In closing, the gap between what a technician is expected to know versus what they are actually taught in the “A” school for their rating is ever expanding.  By making a small initial investment in the training pipeline we can teach our new accessions how to properly do the job they joined to do, which is putting hands on and fixing/ operating the newest technologies in the world and and learning skills that will make them marketable in the Civilian world when they have completed their obligations.  It will not only help them while they are an asset of the military but make them a better technician overall enabling them to be competitive in the ever evolving world of technology.  This is our obligation to leave the service better then when we joined and posed to be effective in the future.

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