DirectLine, the Web site owned
and operated by Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (SW/FMF) Joe R. Campa Jr., has undergone a six-month renovation project and is now open for viewing.
“I’ve been stressing active communication as one of our Guiding Principles,” said Campa. “DirectLine wasn’t conducive to that, so we ramped it up.”
Chief Information Technician (SW/AW) Bruce Allen, MCPON communications chief, said the new site’s most significant upgrade is the opportunities it offers users to communicate with one another and the MCPON.
The Web address for DirectLine remains the same, www.directline.navy.mil and registration is required. Unlike the previous version, CAC (Common Access Cards) are not required for log-on or access.
“We’ve increased the forum capabilities so that every chief in the Navy has the access they need to interact with one another in a message board format,” said Allen. “Also, MCPON can communicate directly with registered users through the Web site via individual e-mail or group e-mails.”
DirectLine began as “The Word” in 1976, when MCPON Bob Walker designed it as a newsletter he sent monthly to command master chiefs and chiefs of the boats. The name changed in 1979 and the paper medium continued for more than 20 years until the cost of producing and distributing it on that scale became prohibitive. MCPON Jim Herdt re-introduced DirectLine as a Web site in 2001.
The site had been under-utilized in recent years, though. The focus had shifted to its capability as a means to request retirement certificates -- which is still available on the new version
-- rather than an avenue for communication and discussion internal to the chiefs community.
The latest renovation to the site makes interaction easier.
Message boards are already fully capable and available on a tiered basis to all CPO’s, command master chiefs and members of the MCPON Leadership Mess. A section is being developed that would allow any Sailor the opportunity to forward the MCPON a message or question directly.
“We’re still ironing that out. I want Sailors to have an open door, of sorts. But I also want to stress that most issues, if not all, can be handled on the deckplate or by their chain of command. I don’t want to subvert that process.”
By Senior Chief Mass Communications Specialist (SW/AW) Bill Houlihan, MCPON Public Affairs Chief