What do we do on a day‑to‑day basis?
Why is “learning” a better word than “training?”
Training implies passivity; it is done to us. We are trained; we attend training. Learning is active; it is something we do.
What do we learn?
We learn how to prepare a submarine for success in combat.
Why would we need to go to combat?
We would go to combat if called upon by our country to defend the Constitution of the United States.
Why is that important?
The personal liberty, well- being, and economic prosperity we enjoy in the United States are unique throughout the history of mankind. Man’s life has generally been short, hard, and brutish. The democratic system we have and the importance of individual rights specified by the Constitution are the reasons for our emotional and physical prosperity. It’s an important document, worthy of being defended. You are not alone in deciding this, as many have died defending the Constitution before you.
Submarines can accomplish unique missions no other platform can accomplish. The American submarine force has a tremendous heritage of defending democracy. For example, during World War II, the submarine force, while only making up 2 percent of the Navy, sank over 50 percent of all Japanese vessels sunk. This was a critical contribution to winning that war.
If all we do is learn, how does the work get done?
We do the work. But, we learn by doing— maintenance, evolutions, casualty drills, studying. So, when we are working, even doing field day, we are learning.
It seems like a trick; we’re still doing the same thing, we’re just calling it something different.
Yes and no. Yes, in that we will still keep the boat clean, drill, do maintenance, qualify, and the myriad other tasks that take up our time. No, in that how you look at things makes a difference. Instead of looking at a task as just a chore, look at it as an opportunity to learn more about the associated piece of equipment, the procedure, or if nothing else, about how to delegate or accomplish tasks.
How does the training program fit in?
The training program is a part of the learning process, but by no means all of it. Training is a subset of learning, which in turn is a subset of personal growth. We strive to grow each day.
Therefore, our vision of our command is a learning and competence factory.
The raw materials are the new personnel reporting aboard each week, new equipment, and tactics. The product is well-qualified, experienced sailors who, upon detaching from the command, carry their competence throughout the Navy. Each of you, then, is both a product of the factory (when you learn) and a machine in the factory (when you help others learn).
What do you expect me to do?
I expect you to learn to be a better submariner each day. I challenge you to look at each field day, maintenance action, drill, monitor watch, underway, and deployment as an opportunity to learn more, and by doing so, to grow as a person.
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