IMPROVING UTILIZATION OF SAILORS WITH CRITICAL SKILLS IN UNDERMANNED RATINGS
Robertson, April J.
Buss, Arnold H.
Craparo, Emily M.
Hatch, William D., II
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This thesis proposes and analyzes the effects of a new method of distributing Sailors with critical skills among undermanned ratings. It focuses on the distribution of Operations Specialists (OSs) on DDG 51 Flt I destroyers. OSs are known for being underutilized when in port and working longer hours than expected while deployed. The improved utilization of Sailors will result in a career path that supports work-life balance and eases the burden on recruiters to meet accession quotas. The analysis uses a discrete event simulation model to determine the effects of a surge command option on manning. Sailors with in-demand skills can choose assignment to the surge command rather than assignment to a specific ship. To facilitate manning at the surge command, fewer billets are authorized on ships while they are not deployed. When a ship deploys, it draws Sailors from the surge command to supplement manning. Surge command tours are 24 months while regular sea tours are five years. The compressed tour minimizes underutilized man-hours on in-port ships while improving manning on deployed ships. We conclude that a surge command provides increased deployment manning and decreased in-port manning, resulting in up to 315 fewer Sailors being under-utilized at any given time. Improved workload balance may result in increased retention. We recommend further studies to expand the scope of the model as well as studies to determine the effects of a surge command on Sailor retention.
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