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Relations With the Command Master Chief (CM/C)
All professional officers and enlisted persons take  pride  in  naval  traditions  and  eagerly  conform to the customs and etiquette of the service. These traditions  and  customs  are  the  honorable  heritage of  “seamen  who  go  down  to  the  sea  in  ships.” SHIPBOARD  RELATIONS  BETWEEN OFFICERS AND ENLISTED PERSONS A   shipboard   environment   increases   the difficulty  with  which  officers  and  enlisted  persons maintain  the  proper  relationship.  Developing  a level of communication with their personnel that will foster mutual respect is of vital importance for  new  officers.  The  key  to  developing  this communication  is  for  officers  to  learn  the personality  and  character  of  every  one  of  their juniors.   American   blue-jackets   are   intelligent, cooperative,  and  ambitious.  They  want  their superiors to treat them well and show appreciation for  their  ability.  They  want  to  respect  their officers, to admire them, and to be able to boast about  them  to  the  crews  of  other  ships. By  virtue  of  their  commission,  new  officers find  themselves  in  charge  of  people;  they  may  feel strange   about   this   newly   acquired   authority. Because  inexperienced  officers  may  feel  uncertain about  associating  with  enlisted  personnel,  they may hesitate to develop a good relationship. They want to be liked by their personnel, to know them as individuals, yet maintain rightful authority over them. Personal  dignity  is  a  quality  new  officers  must cultivate.   Successful   leaders   possess   that   un- definable quality that enables them to talk casually and  unofficially  with  their  people,  while  main- taining  that  reserve  which  discourages  undue familiarity.  However,  consideration  for  enlisted personnel  is  a  must;  good  leaders  always  show concern  for  the  welfare  of  their  people. The  relationship  between  officers  and  their subordinates  influences  discipline.  Officers  should not fraternize with enlisted persons or attempt to be  “one  of  the  gang.”  This  type  of  familiarity quickly  undermines  discipline.  If  subordinates become   familiar   and   fail   to   keep   the   proper distance  between  themselves  and  a  senior,  the officer  usually  is  at  fault. A great difference exists between familiarity and   friendship. The   officer   who   talks   to subordinates   in   a   friendly   manner,   taking   a personal  interest  in  them  and  showing  concern  for their  problems,  quickly  gains  their  confidence  and respect.  Subordinates  want  to  look  to  their  seniors for guidance; they want to be proud of their senior petty officers and officers. Such leaders, because they  are  friendly  and  approachable,  will  be  the first  ones  their  people  turn  to  for  advice. Being  friendly  with  subordinates  does  not mean   being   easy   with   them.   Leaders   must handle  breaches  of  discipline  immediately, justly,   and   consistently.   They   cannot   react severely  to  breaches  one  day  and  pass  them  off as  insignificant  the  next.  Such  an  approach  can only  result  in  confusion,  poor  morale,  and  distrust of  the  leader. Two fundamental rules apply: (1) Never make a regulation you cannot or will not enforce; and (2)  take  immediate,  fair  action  that  leaves  no doubt in the mind of the offenders as to why they are  being  punished. In   summary,   a   good   relationship   between officers and their subordinates must be founded on  mutual  respect.  The  measure  of  respect  an officer inspires in enlisted personnel is a measure of  that  officer  as  a  leader  and  a  seaman. Relations With the Leading Chief Petty Officer (LCPO) Many  new  officers  have  difficulty  adjusting to  their  new  roles  of  authority.  Just  the  simple case of having someone 10 to 15 years their senior calling  them  “sir”  or  “ma’am”  often  takes  some getting  used  to.  That  coupled  with  the  respon- sibilities of their billet and the Navy way of life may  induce  a  “culture  shock.” A very important person in the development of  the  new  division  officer  is  the  leading  chief petty  officer  (LCPO).  As  the  division’s  technical authority   and   supervisor,   the   LCPO   has   the expertise  and  skill  to  accomplish  all  divisional tasks.  LCPOs  have  traditionally  contributed to  the  professional  growth  of  junior  officers through a hands-on approach of passing on their knowledge. The LCPO has been around the Navy and the division  longer  than  the  new  officer  and  stands ready to give support. New officers should make a  point  of  talking  with  their  LCPO  about decisions   affecting   the   division.   When   new officers develop a step-by-step plan to accomplish a  task,  they  should  discuss  the  plan  with  the LCPO.  The  LCPO  has  the  experience  and technical expertise to disassemble the plan and put it back together. The LCPO will give an honest opinion  of  the  plan  and  provide  suggestions  for improvement.  The  LCPO  will  be  supportive  of the   plan   if   it   is   sound   but   will   also   voice objection  when  in  doubt. 7-4

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