SAN DIEGO - Adm. Scott H. Swift, commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, kicked off The Bridge Bootcamp, a four-day seminar held in San Diego, Feb. 6-9.

The Bridge is a COMPACFLT initiative designed to give all Sailors, regardless of rank or experience, an opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas for improving the Navy while empowering them to identify and solve problems they find.

During his opening remarks Swift did gave simple direction when it came to the boot camp course curriculum.

“Thinking outside the box makes people nervous and concerned with failing,” said Swift. “I want to make the box bigger for you to think and operate. I have the authority to do that and I’m giving it to you.”

Swift said too often in the military leaders default to a risk-averse methodology when trying to solve problems. Senior leaders need to delegate authority to the lowest level possible and allow those deck-plate leaders the latitude to make decisions on the spot.

“As the four-star in charge, all the problems that come across my desk should be hard,” said Swift. “Any time I get presented with an issue that has an easy solution, I should be kicking it all the way down the chain to the lowest possible level and asking how it got to my desk. As leaders we need to a better job delegating authority, while maintaining the responsibility.”

Boot Camp is a four-day course that instructs participants on topics related to innovation and intrapreneurship. The course is comprised of two modules of topics: Innovation Psychology and Innovation Case Studies. Throughout the week, participants develop concepts around command sponsored problem areas and brainstormed initial solutions.

After the four-day course, Boot Camp continues through individual and group work.

Participants are empowered to continue working on their solutions for a period of 30 to 90 days. Participants continue to develop, test, and iterate their proposed solutions. The Bridge and MD5 support this follow-on period by holding weekly office hours with course participants and promoting cohort collaboration between teams and other stakeholders in the PACFLT and MD5 communities.

At the end of the follow-on period, select teams will have the opportunity to pitch their finalized concepts at a future US Pacific Fleet Commanders Conference.