Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Jacob G. Sisco, Navy Public Affairs Support Element, Det. Northwest
SILVERDALE, Wash – The U.S. Pacific Fleet Chief Petty Officer Training Team (FCPOTT) spent the day with first class petty officers during the FCPOTT portion of the Navy Region Northwest First Class Leadership Symposium, May 15.
The FCPOTT training is a one-day seminar designed to energize Sailors to become more effective leaders by focusing on leadership responsibilities, key Navy programs, team building and leader development. Two post-tour command master chiefs gave the training.
“We try to re-energize chiefs and first classes, and now the wardroom,” said Command Master Chief Greg Renick, assigned to the FCPOTT. “We gather them together and we try to go back to the basics. We try to remind people of what they are suppose to be doing in their roles. What the challenges are how to work through some of those challenges.”
The training was more of a facilitated discussion, requiring Sailors to get into groups and talk about topics that the FCPOTT gave them. They then presented their answers to the class.
“It brings a different perspective than a lot of us may have, or a lot of us may see,” said Sonar Technician (Submarine) 1st Class Brian Gay. “I think the vast amount of backgrounds that we see, not only with the CPO training team, but with any of the presenters here gives us the opportunity to have our eyes opened to different ways of doing things.”
“I think it kind of gives us first classes a little more insight as to not only making chief, but getting a little more insight with our chiefs on how they are trained and how they are developed which helps us understand where they are coming from,” said Electrician’s Mate 1st Class Jeremiah Bowman, assigned to the USS Ohio (SSGN-726).
The training focused on concepts that every Sailor already knew at some point, but may have forgotten.
“All of the things we are going to discuss today are things that they already understand, but sometimes you have to sit down and rethink them again,” said Command Master Chief Jasen Williams, assigned to the FCPOTT. “For us the goal is to make sure they understand the different tools that they have in their toolbox. We love coming out here and talking to the first classes, they are like big sponges, they take in everything.”
“I hope they take away not only a reminder of the challenge of leadership, but also the privilege of leadership,” said Renick. “If you are leading the right way it should be a very difficult job. You should be pressed for time; you should have very little time for yourself during the day. All that personal stuff needs to be put aside because Sailors come first. Sometimes people miss out on the fact that it is an honor to lead other people, especially our incredible crop of junior Sailors that we have. We want to re-energize them, we want to refresh them a little bit, we want to kind of bring them back into neutral, and remind them of the basics.”
Leadership played a big role in the topics for the training. But it is hard to learn to be an effective leader in an eight-hour training session. The tools the Sailors walked away from the training with will show them the path to effective leadership.
“I think a big take away that I am going to walk away from this is different ways to approach scenarios, and also the ability to see things from different aspects,” said Gay. “With the CPO training team you have 52 years of experience between those two guys. They have seen stuff, they heard stuff, and they have done stuff that I myself may never encounter. However if I do cross a bridge that is somewhat related to something they have covered, or even haven’t covered, having heard them and having gone through this symposium itself it will definitely allow me to fall back on different resources that I didn’t know were available to help that Sailor, or give me the ability to refer that Sailor to a program.”
“I think every leader should be able to get this training,” said Williams. “When you are able to sit down and see different perspectives, people come out learning a little bit more. We can’t make you a good leader in six to eight hours but we can make you a little more aware. As long as we are making you aware, down the road you become a better leader.”
For more information on the FCPOTT visit https://www.facebook.com/fcpott/.
To schedule training, email firstname.lastname@example.org; use “[CMD] SCHEDULE REQUEST” in the subject line.