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Warren T. SuttonYevgeniya K. PinelisDavid L. Reese
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The Surface Navy has decided to implement a new optimal career path that will ensure that select sailors receive rating-enriching work on both sea and shore tours. This new career path is designed to allow sailors to hone their skills on a particular platform (in some cases, the baseline of the Aegis weapon system) to become technical experts as they advance to senior sailors in the fleet. The Navy’s goal is to increase the proficiency of Combat Systems Maintenance Managers (CSMMs) and Top Snipes (the senior enlisted person on board in the rating) serving in the fleet with this new optimal career path. Initially, the optimal career path will be piloted in the Engineman, Machinist Mate, Fire Controlman–Aegis, and Gas Turbine Systems Technician for Electrical and Mechanical (GSE/GSM/GS)communities.

In this study, we examine whether the sailors currently serving as CSMMs/Top Snipes have career paths that mirror the newly defined optimal career path. We also give guidance on the number of sailors to tag as potential future CSMMs/Top Snipes, as the Navy implements a new program that gives sailors tracking Navy Enlisted Classifications (NECs). Lastly, we determine how the current CSMMs/Top Snipes perform on the occupation component of their E5 advancement exam relative to their peers who took the exam at the same time. This analysis aims to understand if this metric could be used to help identify potential future CSMMs/Top Snipes.

The results of our study show that the majority of current CSMMs/Top Snipes follow the optimal career path, although very few actually have all of their sea tours on the same platform. These sailors are also top performers compared with their peers who took the E5 advancement exam at the same time. This suggests that, for all the communities in our study, except the GSE/GSM/GS community, high achievement on the E5 advancement exam is a good indicator of potential to become a CSMM/Top Snipe. The E8 selection board appeared to be a better indicator for the GSE/GSM/GS community. Using inverse survival analysis, we are able to determine the numbers of sailors to tag with the tracking NEC in each cohort to ensure that all future CSMM/Top Snipe billets are filled. We also conclude that there are enough rating-enriching shore billets to have opportunities for all sailors that the Navy would like to tag.

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Approved for Public Release; Distribution Unlimited. Specific authority: N00014-11-D-0323.


  • Pages: 58
  • Document Number: DRM-2014-U-007699-Final
  • Publication Date: 7/1/2014
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