Vice Adm. Robert Burke, the Navy's top personnel officer, highlighted Sailor 2025 and stressed the importance of modernizing the Navy's personnel system during a panel discussion on the Navy's Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority at the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC), Nov. 30.

Following Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson's keynote remarks, the panel, comprised of senior Navy flag officers, discussed how they are implementing various parts of the Design.

Burke said that he is concentrating on the Gold Line of Effort, which is focused on people and what the Navy must do to adapt to a changing security environment and continue to recruit and retain the best Sailors.

"While the Navy's personnel system has been adjusted many times throughout our history, we have not fundamentally changed our approach to personnel policy and programs since the 1970s," said Burke. "We need to modernize the system now before we have to, and rapidly move beyond our current Industrial Age model."

As head of Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education for the Navy, Burke is responsible for making sure that Sailors are ready for the litany of jobs they will be asked to perform. This includes finding and recruiting talented individuals to serve, executing training pipelines, and implementing policies that remove barriers to having a Navy career and a family.

"While the Navy is in a good position today with recruiting, retention and manning, it's important we put in place updated polices that position us to deal with challenges before they arise," said Burke. "Sailors 2025 is a roadmap to help us do just that. It is a living, breathing set of initiatives aimed at modernizing our entire approach to our personnel programs by providing Sailors choice and flexibility."

Burke also said that training, simulation and learning are critically important to Sailor 2025 programs and contribute to warfighting readiness.

"Seeing how some of these innovations here at I/ITSEC have been put to practical use in our training pipeline is nothing short of impressive," said Burke. "We want to continue to employ the best technologies to apply the science of learning, make it more efficient, and look for ways to move these types of technologies to the Fleet faster. At the end of the day, our job is to develop young men and women into ready, high-performing teams, who are prepared to conduct prompt and sustained operations from the sea."

I/ITSEC is the world's largest modeling and simulation event, brought together members from industry, academia, government and each military service.

As the chief of naval personnel, Burke answers to the Chief of Naval Operations on matters of the Navy's manpower readiness. He also serves as the deputy chief of naval operations (Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education/N1) and oversees the Bureau of Naval Personnel, Navy Personnel Command, Naval Education and Training Command, and Navy Recruiting Command.


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Updated March 1, 2017 (kbh)