By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Cory Asato, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West Det. Northwest
SILVERDALE, Wash. – The Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PSNS & IMF) First Class Petty Officer Association (FCPOA) hosted the 2014 Navy Region Northwest FCPOA Symposium, “Leaders Developing Leaders,” at Bangor Plaza on Naval Base Kitsap, April 15-17.
The symposium served as a platform for first class petty officers from various commands to receive mentorship from senior leaders on topics such as selection board information, fleet reserve opportunities, and full time support.
“We wanted to open a forum for first class [petty officers] from all over the region to participate and receive guidance and mentorship from some of the best senior leadership the Navy has to offer,” said Hull Maintenance Technician 1st Class Dominic Clifton, PSNS & IMF FCPOA president, from St. Louis. “This also allowed us to exchange advice to help improve our impact within our commands and the community.”
Guest speaker Pacific Fleet Master Chief Marco Ramirez, a San Antonio, Texas native, emphasized the importance of communication and how it affects the role of a first class and their naval career.
“A Sailor should never find out what they’re doing wrong from an evaluation,” said Ramirez. “The responsibility falls on leadership to counsel and address deficiencies within that Sailor and for the Sailor to take charge and ask their supervisors periodically what they can improve upon.
“Communication is always a two-way street and I stress the importance for every Sailor to develop an appreciation and incorporate it into their professional and personal lives,” said Ramirez.
Retired MCPON Rick West, a Poulsbo native, who served as 12th MCPON, was also a guest speaker during the symposium.
“I get many questions about achieving success in the Navy,” said West. “I always need to stress that while diligence and hard work do earn dividends, luck and timing are also elements as well in regards to promotions and high visibility billets.”
West also shared insight from his 31-year Navy career.
“What made my career successful to me is how I enjoyed my journey rather than where it ended, every one of you will end it by transitioning out of the Navy,” said West.
The symposium disseminated vital information and inspiration to Pacific Northwest Sailors due to collaborative efforts within the area’s FCPOAs and assistance from khaki leadership.
“Everyone who cooperated and participated in any manner available is who made this symposium such a success,” said Clifton. “Not only did we network with each other and gain numerous careers worth of insight from some of the best, but we have more tools as first classes to engage our Sailors and our careers.”
The three-day event was designed to benefit the most junior first class petty officer to those who are about to transition to the civilian work force.