After reading up on the “Art of Thinking” e-book, chapter 5 explains the 4 stages of the critical thinking process. The first stage of critical thinking is to search for challenges. It explains that not all challenges are obvious and on how you should make it a habit to look out for challenges that comes your way. The second stage of critical thinking is expressing the problem or issue. The e-book explains in more detail the difference between a problem and an issue.
The third stage of critical thinking is to investigate the problem or issue.
Last but not least, the fourth stage of critical thinking is producing ideas. I think that this is also the critical stage of what makes a critical thinker. When I was in the Navy during my first year, I noticed that it was very difficult to advance in the occupational specialty that I was in compared to the other military occupation. One of the things that I’ve noticed was that the reason why the advancement was difficult was because there were too many people who were in the field rating.
The air department field rating was a difficult and dangerous job to be in; especially if you didn’t know what you were doing. There was long 18 hour work days that I had to do whenever there were out to sea deployments to the Persian Gulf. I also had to worry about equipment malfunction and the risk of falling over board from the flight deck. I was very dissatisfied with working with the air department division, so I decided to take the exam for a different rate when I was up for advancement.
I was curious to find out what other military occupations were out there for me with less danger on the field and better advancement opportunity. Fortunately for me, the advancement exam that I took was 100% advancement and 18 hours less than what I had to work compared to the air department. Based from my reading of chapter 7, the problem for me was working long hours in a hazardous environment. I asked myself, how can I get out of a hazardous work environment such as working on the flight deck? How can I advance myself to a rate that has less competition?
There were also some issues for me that I had to address. One of the questions I had to ask myself regarding the issue was if I should notify my supervisor that I plan on taking the advancement exam for another rate? Is he going to single me out and make me work harder in the division? In order to resolve my problem, I decided to take the advancement exam that focused on operating the radar systems and it was 100% advancement. The working hours were 6 hours on and 18 hours off rotations at the work center. The work environment was also less hazardous and more relaxed compared to the air department.
For my issues to get resolved, I decided not to tell any of my supervisors that I plan to leave the division by taking the exam for another rate. I figured that if I don’t tell them what I plan to doing, then they will not single me out or make me work harder compared to the other people in the division. I believe that it was the best decision that I made during my time in the military. Before I decided to take the advancement exam, I noticed that one of my co-workers had also taken the same exam before me.
According to chapter 8 of the “Art of Thinking,” I investigated the problems and issues that relate to working with the operations department compared to working in the air department. I took an eyewitness testimony from my former co-worker who used to work for the air department division, but later switch to the operations department division after taking the advancement exam. He provided the information to me regarding the pros and cons of working with the operations department.
The con part of working with operations was that you were working around a lot of high ranking officers and always had to practice for certain drills, but the pro side to it was good advancement and less work hours compared to working with the air department. In conclusion, I think that one of the best ways for me to solve this problem was to avoid going into the air department in the first place. I should have weighed out my options in regards to finding out what other good department divisions that I could benefit from by working with them for the 4 years that I was with the Navy.
I noticed that some fields such as working as an electrician has its benefits. I could have been able to transfer all of my work experience into the civilian side and done a similar job like that with more salary pay. I also now understood that the person who recruited me into the Navy had a quote to me in order for him to keep his job as a recruiter, but I should have done a better job in regards to thinking things out more critically in regards to how I was going to benefit from joining the Navy besides getting the educational benefits after successfully completing my contract of serving my country.