Call for Short Submissions: Notes to the New Chief of Naval Operations

By Dmitry Filipoff

Submissions Due: September 18, 2023
Week Dates: September 25-30, 2023
Submission Length: 500 words
Submit to:

In 500 words or less, what do you want the new Chief of Naval Operations to know? CIMSEC is launching a special topic week series featuring short articles that look to convey pressing points to the U.S. Navy’s new top leadership.

On August 14, 2023, Admiral Lisa Franchetti assumed the duties of Acting Chief of Naval Operations. Several days later, Admiral Franchetti issued guidance to the fleet, and captured the scope and intent of the Navy’s major efforts:

“In our ongoing effort to strengthen warfighters, improve warfighting, and ready the platforms that support them, our way ahead is clear and our course is true. We will continue our Navy-wide culture renovation, where Get Real Get Better is the standard of leadership and problem-solving that leaders at all levels embrace and live. We are building teams that are self-assessing, self-correcting, and always learning toward one goal – delivering warfighting advantage. Similarly, we have commenced a once-in-a-generation transformation of our Navy in order to develop, design, and deploy the weapons and tools we need to compete and win, both now and in the future. In this decisive decade, we will maintain this course and increase our speed.”

How can Admiral Franchetti better lead these efforts and achieve these objectives? What challenges are underappreciated by Navy leadership and deserve stronger priority? Contributors can address these questions and many more as they convey their message to the Navy’s new leadership.

Given the broadly international nature of the U.S. Navy’s mandate and the numerous partners and allies that closely work with American naval forces, international contributors are highly encouraged to share their perspectives. 

Please submit all contributions for consideration to

This is an independent CIMSEC initiative and is not produced in cooperation with any U.S. Navy organization or entity. Read the previous edition of “Notes to the New CNO” here.

Dmitry Filipoff is CIMSEC’s Director of Online Content. Contact him at

Featured Image: The new acting Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Lisa Franchetti delivers remarks after assuming the duties of CNO during the relinquishment of office ceremony for the 32nd Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Michael M. Gilday at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, August 14, 2023. (DoD photo by Chad J. McNeeley)

One thought on “Call for Short Submissions: Notes to the New Chief of Naval Operations”

  1. Hardware
    When it comes to procuring new systems, whether it’s a piece of software or a full weapons suite, you must have the end user involved in the R and D phase, as well as the initial testing phases. What the end user gets, be they junior enlisted sailor, experienced pilot, or ship’s CO, is often a half-finished kludge that is as much a hazard to the operators as it is the enemy.

    Far too many “finished” procurements get pushed out to the fleet that are, at best, one generation away from being minimum viable products. In addition to this many of these systems require massive support infrastructure, entire shops are devoted to maintaining them, and have sub systems that can only be maintained by defense contractors who are not keen on flying into a warzone to effect repairs.
    If you want to reduce maintenance costs and down time, have the maintainers help design the systems. If you want to streamline training, have the end users help design the products that will be in their hands. Design engineers rarely have to work on the systems they produce. They are simply told to design a means to an end, not a cost effective and efficient one. This leads to “working” solutions that cause yet more problems.

    The Navy puts far too much emphasis on its officer corps and does not invest enough in its enlisted ranks. On top of this the officers are too detached from what they are asking their subordinates to do. The enlisted may as well be a button to push or level to pull. Lastly there is no mechanism for junior personnel, enlisted or commissioned, to offer realistic critiques of their superiors.
    If the enlisted are supposed to be able to trust their leaders, they need to know they their worries are heard. They need to see that when they identify a problem, or problematic person, that corrective action will be taken.

    The Marines and Coast Guard might be smaller and more crude compared to the Navy, but they are far more efficient because they trust and train their enlisted personnel to take on responsibilities far above their paygrades. More importantly, they heavily cross train outside of their rates/MOS to build resiliency in their forces. Junior enlisted Marines can take command of a platoon with heavy casualties if needed. A Coast Guard cutter can lose every crew member above E5, still be able to limp back to a safe port, and tie off to pier or accurately drop anchor.

    Logistics and Overhead
    The Navy is by far one of the more inefficient entities on the planet. The logistical chain it drags behind it is only dwarfed by the bureaucratic overhead required to keep it running. Planners need to take a serious look at simple automation for basic tasks like payroll, tracking hours on airframes, and ordering provisions. Reducing the number of unique product lines that have to be supported will help with this.

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