CSS promotes Brilliant on the Basics, BET on sailors

USS Harry S Truman
Story by Chief Petty Officer Shawn Graham

Date: 10.24.2013
Posted: 10.24.2013 14:24
News ID: 115673

NEWPORT, R.I. – The Center for Service Support (CSS) touted the importance of training new Sailors on being Brilliant on the Basics and the importance of learning command required programs Oct. 24.

Brilliant on the Basics addresses six personnel programs every command should be using; sponsorship, indoctrination, career development boards, mentorship, individual recognition and a rigorous ombudsman/family outreach program

Capt. Mark S. Murphy, CSS commanding officer said that it is also important to train Sailors in the programs that are essential for operations.

“I like the rule of threes and don’t wish to overwhelm the CSS training domain during uncertain times,” said Murphy. “The ongoing budget process and sequestration have a tendency to pull everyone down to a tactical day-to-day level of just figuring out how to keep training and operations moving forward. As we enter the new fiscal year, I wanted to ensure that we maintain focus in three areas:

B- Back to Basics -We must ensure we’re keeping an eye on the things all commands should be doing well (Navy Programs).
E- Engage our customers. We must work closely with our customers to maximize training efforts in a resource constrained environment. We must be more efficient in training future Sailors despite world events going on around us.
T- Take care of our people. The Navy team is resilient. We need to keep an eye on the entire team to ensure stress levels don’t spike; we need to be creative in rewarding our Navy civilians. They haven’t had a pay raise in three years, suffered through furloughs and didn’t receive any performance rewards funds. That is a tough way to treat a great workforce. On the Sailor side we must continue to Sailorize to meet the CNO’s principles: Warfighting First, Operate Forward and Be Ready.”

“I want to ensure we don’t confuse Brilliant on the Basics and BET, although they are similar,” said Murphy. “Brilliant on the Basics focuses specifically on six tenets. BET takes the original concepts of Brilliant on the Basics and expands it to include all basic Navy programs that every command should execute every day. They are the areas of programs normally monitored during a command inspection. By getting these down pat and running them smoothly, a command displays attention to detail, organization discipline and sets the tone for everything it does.”

“The importance of Brilliant on the Basics shouldn’t be overlooked in the training pipeline,” said Murphy. “Junior Sailors can only absorb so much information in the beginning phase of their training so we must continuously reinforce these concepts. Sailorization shouldn’t stop after ‘A’ school. We must continue to teach all the additional programs that are tenets of well run, disciplined organizations.”

Murphy also said that leadership is the key when training junior Sailors. He also said good leaders must understand the impact of these programs and understand all the requirements their commands should meet.

“Leaders must read and understand the instructions driving key programs,” said Murphy. “Junior Sailors should be confident that their leaders know the intricacies and requirements of these programs.”

“Interaction and encouragement from their leaders about these programs and concepts will help spark genuine interest within the mind of young Sailors,” said Murphy. “That interest can pay dividends and may stay with them their entire career.”

According to Command Master Chief (SW/SCW/AW) Ray Rosado, the success or failure of many Navy programs begins and ends with chief petty officers (CPO).

"We must understand and execute,” Rosado. “The basic programs are the ones that affect everyone. Success of these programs leads to a better command environment with informed Sailors and families.”

"We talk to our chiefs every day about the importance of mastering the basics,” said Rosado. “I expect our Sailors to have knowledge about our programs, but chiefs must be able to explain and teach our Sailors the importance of each program."

Rosado also expects CPOs to seek guidance if there are aspects of a program that they don’t fully understand.

“Effective chiefs know who to turn to and when,” said Rosado. “All CPOs must leverage the knowledge found in their commands, particularly if they don’t have a Navy Counselor (NC) assigned.”

"Career counseling is a part of a chief’s job description but we mustn’t let pride get in the way of asking for help,” said Rosado. “We should have a healthy, professional relationship with the sailors we lead. Chiefs and supervisors must understand their sailor’s goals, both personal and professional. Monitoring their well-being should be an everyday activity, a discussion point every time they speak with sailors.”

CSS and its learning sites provide sailors with the knowledge and skills needed to support the fleet's warfighting mission. More than 300 staff and faculty work hand-in-hand with the fleet and are dedicated to ensure training is current and well executed on behalf of 10,000 Sailors who graduate from CSS courses annually in the administration, logistics and media communities.