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Command Climate Assessment


Command Climate Assessment Process

Click here for information on DEOCS 4.0

1.  Effective immediately commanders, commanding officers (CO), and officers in charge (OIC) shall conduct a face-to-face debrief of their command climate assessment executive summary using the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI) Organizational Climate Survey (DEOCS) to include a plan of action and milestones (POA&M), with their immediate superior in command (ISIC).  Video teleconference is an acceptable method for commanders not located in the same geographic region as their ISIC.  This process will provide the ISIC an opportunity to mentor the commander and shall happen within 60 days of the completion of the command climate assessment, unless otherwise approved by the Echelon II Commander.  The POA&M and executive summary shall be forwarded to the ISIC no later than 30 days after the completion of the command climate assessment.  Commanders shall include ISIC commander contact information in their initial survey request to enable automatic ISIC visibility of the command climate survey process.  Commanders shall also validate ISIC information when closing the survey and requesting reports to enable the ISIC to receive automatic notification and directly access the survey results and reports.

2.  CNO has directed that Echelon II commanders list VCNO or DNS (whichever is applicable) rather than CNO as their ISIC.

3.  To enhance Commander Accountability, the following are exceptions to the Under Secretary of Defense Memorandum; Command Climate Assessments dated 25 July 2013, on the conduct of Command Climate Assessments for units of fewer than 50 personnel or with fewer than 16 personnel or 16 respondents:
    a.   Each unit, regardless of size, is required to complete a Command Climate Assessment.
    b.   Units with fewer than 16 personnel or 16 respondents on the DEOMI DEOCS shall conduct a climate assessment via focus groups, interviews, reviewing records and reports, and observations.  A face-to-face debrief of the command climate assessment results will be debriefed by the commander to the next level in the chain of command, within 60 days of completion of the Command Climate Assessment.

ISICs at each level shall issue guidance to their respective commands/activities on scheduling face-to-face debriefs and ISIC POC information for ordering the DEOCS.

5.  Debriefs shall cover significant findings, areas of strengths, areas of concern, explain the validation process, actions taken, and plans developed to improve command climate.  Brief format will be determined by the Echelon II commander.

6.  The preferred method to administer DEOCS is online.  It can also be administered manually (paper), or the command can use a combination of both.  Because of the time delay in receiving the final report, the manual method of administering the DEOCS shall only be used for units in a deployed status when connectivity is not consistently available and only if approved by the ISIC.

7.  When a DEOCS is requested electronically a user name, password and URL are provided to the survey administrator.  When the command closes out the survey the administrator must specifically request that the report be generated.  When the DEOCS is administered manually or as a combination of electronic and manual, the commander shall also provide a copy of the final DEOCS report, to include all comments, to the ISIC.

8.  OPNAVINST 5354.1F, CH-1 Navy Equal Opportunity Policy, requires both active and reserve commanders, commanding officers, and officers-in-charge to complete  command climate assessments within 90 days after assumption of command and annually as follow-up assessments during command tenure.  The assumption of command climate assessment must begin no later than the 30th day after assuming command.  Note:  Personnel assigned to Reserve augment units (units not listed on the SNDL) will be surveyed by their cognizant supported command.

9.  The command climate assessment shall be completed using the triangulation method as defined in the OPNAVINST 5354.1F CH-1.  When administering the DEOCS electronically the command climate assessment may not take longer than 60 days, 110 days for reserve commands, from the start of the survey to the submission of the executive summary to the commander.  The timeline is outlined below:

    a.   DEOCS:  21 days; 29 days for reserve commands

    b.   Request report from DEOMI: 1 day

c.   Command Assessment Team (CAT) review of the report: 14 days; 30 days for reserve commands

    d.   Conduct focus groups/interviews:  14 days; 30 days for reserve commands

    e.   Preparation of the executive summary and POA&M: 10 days; 20 days for reserve 

    f.    Commanders shall debrief their commands within 5 days of receipt of the executive summary.

    g.   Records and reports shall be maintained and reviewed quarterly.

NOTE: The timeline lists the maximum allowable days; however, fewer days may be used to complete each step. 

10.  When administering the DEOCS manually or as a combination of electronic and manual, the command climate assessment shall not take longer than 38 days, 60 days for reserve commands, from when the command first receives the report from DEOMI.

11.  Any deviation from these procedures shall be approved, in writing, by the Echelon II commander.  Deviations are not permitted for paragraph (9). 

12.  Command Climate Specialist and/or Command Managed Equal Opportunity Program Managers shall track and provide oversight of the command climate assessment process for subordinate commands.

13.  OCONUS commands with local foreign national employees can request an extension, to be granted by their Echelon II commander, to allow for survey question and response translation. 

Climate Assessment Tools

1.  Surveys:  The DEOMI Organizational Climate Survey (DEOCS) is available from the research department of DEOMI through the DEOCS Web site. The DEOCS is a commander's management tool that allows s/he to proactively assess critical organizational climate dimensions that can have an impact on effectiveness within the organization. Respondents answer questions that affect a unit's readiness and formal and informal policies, practices, and procedures that occur or are likely to occur within the organization. The questionnaire has three focus areas: 

    a.  Military Equal Opportunity (EO)

    b.  Civilian Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)

    c.  Organizational Effectiveness (OE)

Some facts about DEOCS:

  • DEOCS takes approximately 20 minutes to complete
  • DEOCS is suitable for organizations with military and civilian personnel
  • DEOCS is available online, in paper form, or in combination
  • DEOCS results are processed within 72 hours of receipt
  • DEOCS offers up to 10 locally developed questions and 5 short answer questions 
  • Results are for Immediate Superior in Command, Commander, Commanding Officer, Officer in Charge and command appointed survey administrators eyes only unless otherwise released
  • Any personally identifying information included in the written comments will remain there

2.  Focus Groups - CCSs are trained to conduct focus groups as a means of getting people to open up regarding the quality of the command climate.  Assessment team members can be taught this skill as there is no requirement that focus group facilitators be CCSs. Example focus group questions include:  "What do you like most and least about your command?" "How difficult is it for you to recover from making a mistake in the eyes of your supervisor?" "In a word, how would you describe your command?"

3.  Data Collection - According to OPNAVINST 5354.1F, a command climate assessment must be completed within 90 days of a CO's taking command and annually thereafter. Further, the instruction specifies that the "triangulation" method of assessment must be used. Triangulation means that at least three different methods of assessment must be employed, with one of them being DEOCS. Other assessment methods include Records Review (awards, promotions, discipline, etc.); Personal Interviews; and Assessor Observations. These methods are neither formal or formatted. Each means what its name implies. Results of data collection remain confidential between DEOMI and the supported command.