Fellow NOAA Corps officers,
I would like to take a few minutes of your time this week to continue the thread from last week's Cyberflash and dive a little deeper into the training element of professional development. NOAA Corps Directive (NCD) 04303 states "Professional development is a continuing process and is manifested through various types of training programs, either part-time or full-time". NCD 04303 goes on to convey "Each NOAA Corps officer must assess further needs for training in areas of weakness and then seek to obtain such training so as to remain professionally and competitively strong within his/her officer peer group". NCD 04101 is also enlightening as it references part-time training and continuing education courses and how they both help promote job satisfaction as well as enhance promotion potential.
For the most part, we all know about the training courses required to be in the promotion zone for the ranks of LTJG through LCDR and accomplish them in a timely manner. However, I also see quite a bit of NOAA Corps officer files that have large "gaps", sometimes up to 3 years, where no training has been accomplished. Barriers to ongoing training include time commitments, budget constraints, and management support but these obstacles can be overcome. Training does not only consist of the more formal and expensive week long classes many officers think an Officer Personnel Board (OPB) is looking for; these are certainly beneficial but any type of training that makes us a better officer has value. There are hundreds of classes online that can be accomplished at no-cost and with flexible time obligations. My favorite sites are listed at the bottom of this section and contain no-cost courses in dozens of disciplines critical to NOAA Corps officers.
Every NOAA Corps officer has their own goals to "remain professionally and competitively strong" and each one of us has a different timeline, but I would like to share the way I approach training. My personal goal is to take 3 classes each year which I choose based on two entering arguments. First I try to take 1) a class that addresses a strength of mine, 2) a class that addresses a weakness of mine, and 3) a class that is "out of the box". The second entering argument I try to use in course selection is to take a class that 1) would be useful in my current job, 2) would be useful in a future job, or 3) would be useful to my technical discipline (mariner/aviator). In this way I capitalize on what I am known to be good at, show leadership I am continually striving to improve, and incorporate new ideas/skills into my toolbox.
Finally, don't take training just to "check the box". Take training and then use the knowledge to accomplish objectives in your job. Linking training to work accomplishments (hopefully captured in your OER) is a great way to show an OPB that you are managing your career.
CAPT Devin Brakob, NOAA
Director, Commissioned Personnel Center
|13 June 2018||Officer Assignment Board|
|CAPT Amilynn Adams||01 Jun 2018|
|CDR Nathan Hancock||01 Jun 2018|
|LCDR Lyndsey Davis||01 Jun 2018|
|CAPT Robert Kamphaus||01 AUG 2018|
|LT Jessica Senzer||10 AUG 2018|
|LT Adam Ruckman||24 AUG 2018|
|LT Gavin Chensue||31 AUG 2018|
|LTJG Kathryn Richwine||05 SEP 2018|
|LT Kyle Salling||07 SEP 2018|
|LT Daniel Langis||01 OCT 2018|
|LCDR David Cowan||26 OCT 2018|
|LCDR Brian Prestcott||01 Nov 2018|