PRIORITIES. In order to achieve the enabling objectives the following are my priorities during
my tenure in command.
a. Training. When training is mentioned most personnel cringe. However,
training or better stated learning is the key to success. Training pervades everything we do from standing
watch on the bridge or lower level engineroom to equipment maintenance to preparing meals to underway replenishments.
The better we are trained and the more we have learned about PLATTE, its equipment, and its capabilities the better
we will be able to accomplish our mission.
Training must be conducted at the individual and team level. Individually, read a book, better yet read a technical
manual. Learn why a particular PMS is done or why a specific system setup works best. Work toward advancement.
Don't be satisfied with your current level of qualification, work toward the next higher qualification.
Take a correspondence or night course in a subject that interests you. When assigned to a team,
learn how your assignment fits into the big picture. Anticipate what information will be needed and provide
it rather than having to be prompted every time. Work together. Set goals for yourself
and your team and work toward them.
b. Safety. A well trained crew that knows its equipment and procedures will be safe.
Safety is not just for the ship, its for everything we do, from driving to trimming trees at home to replacing a winch
motor to liberty in a foreign port. If something seems unsafe it generally is. I would
rather be safe than fast. People first, then equipment, then the job. Nothing is more
important than a life or a finger or an eye. There is always time to do a job right the first time.
every person onboard PLATTE to think safety during every evolution. If a situation is unsafe or seems unsafe,
stop it. I don't care how senior or how junior you are. If I'm doing something unsafe
I expect and require you to tell me. If you are involved in a drill or other training evolution and are
not sure of your assignment or task, ask for a training timeout until the situation is resolved.
Finally always remember, I will be the
only person in PLATTE who will authorize working on energized electrical circuits no matter what the voltage, bypassing any
safety interlocks, one valve protection in any system no matter what the temperature or pressure, or intentionally operating
any equipment out of safety parameters. This includes PMS actions as well as emergent repairs.
Along with training, planning is another key to success. I am in charge of long range planning.
The Executive Officer should be looking ahead six months; Department Heads should be routinely planning 3-4 months
ahead; Division Officers and Chief Petty Officers 3-4 weeks; and Work Center Supervisors 4 weeks for maintenance and at least
a week for work center work lists. Well thought-out, thorough planning produces two results: first and
foremost, we are in control rather than someone else controlling us, and a steady strain approach to our demanding underway
schedule, maintenance of the ship and preparations for inspections. If we do our planning right and then
faithfully execute our plan, their should be no last minute surprises and regular work hours.
"A clean ship is a happy ship." While that may seem trite to some, it has been my experience
a clean ship with sailors who are well groomed runs safely and efficiently. No one wants to work or live
in a dirty environment. Cleanup after yourselves. Put tools away at night.
Stow equipment where it belongs not where it is convenient. Be proud of PLATTE, keep her clean and
well preserved, after all she is our home for long periods of time.
e. Core Values. By virtue
of your military service each and every one of you will be held to a higher set of standards and a greater level of accountability.
I will not tell you what to think, however business conducted aboard PLATTE will be color blind and gender neutral.
loyalty, and trust are but a few characteristics of a good shipmate. Once you have compromised these characteristics
they are extremely difficult if not impossible to regain. Be true to yourself, be true to your shipmates.
Treat others as you would want to be treated.