Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Kitchener: SWO Retention on Upward Trend – SeaPower

Vice Admiral Roy Kitchener speaking at the Surface Navy Association’s annual symposium. us Navy

Arlington, VA — Retention of surface warfare officers is improving, the US Navy’s “surface boss” said, a metric that confirms efforts to assess Navy readiness and take action to address challenges.

“Within the wardroom, SWO retention continues an upward trend, a 5% increase over the past five years, equal to or exceeding the aviation and submarine communities,” said Vice Admiral Roy Kitchener, speaking to the audience on 11 January At the Surface Navy Association’s annual symposium in Arlington, Virginia.

“As a positive sign, there’s still a lot of work to do, and we’re not really satisfied with where we are,” Kitchener said.

“We will be looking at the entire career spectrum through an analytical lens to determine what our officer retention goals should be,” he said. “We need to think differently about how we manage retention. I would submit that past retention policies may not help us retain the best talent as we move forward in the future.”

Kitchener said the Navy is looking at how other services and other high-performing organizations “manage their talent pools.”

He also said that the Navy will look into important factors like childcare and family planning.

“We are dedicating resources to sustaining a range of SWO career paths with increased compensation, diverse education opportunities, tourism within the industry and additional flexibility in their career paths,” he said. “We have a lot of work to do in this area, but we are committed to the task.”


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