Story by MC1 Grant Ammon
Photo by MC3 Kenneth Abbate

The more than 400 Sailors recently selected for advancement aboard USS John C. Stennis took to the classroom Nov. 21 – 22 to take part in Center for Personal and Professional Development’s Petty Officer Leadership course.

Facilitators from the Chief Petty Officers Mess and First Class Petty Officers Mess came together to educate, inform and train the newly advanced petty officers on topics such as leadership, rights and responsibilities, mentoring, and subordinate development.

“My favorite unit of the training was on deckplate leadership,” said Yeoman 2nd Class John Maldonado, a course attendee selected for First Class Petty Officer. “I think I will be able to use the skills and lessons I learned during this course. It will serve me well on a daily basis. A lot of the course material seemed like review at first, but I really learned a lot. It was a good opportunity to take time just to focus on leadership and on the details that go into being a good manager or leader.”

The course blended readings and discussions with scenario-driven case studies to illustrate points and deliver course content to the newly advanced Sailors. Instructors wove stories and anecdotes into the lesson plan to make the content more appealing and interesting to participants.

“My favorite instructor was Senior Chief Brooks, who taught the block on professionalism,” said Maldonado. “She presented herself in a very professional manner and her enthusiasm for the course material really made her presentation fun and exciting. She shared her knowledge with such energy; it was hard not to get into the lecture.”

For Sailors volunteering to facilitate the course motivation to serve came from the opportunity to give back to junior Sailors and develop leaders in the Navy.

“The main reason I chose to get involved was to help to instill the Navy Core Values of honor, courage and commitment in our future leaders,” said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Michalle Miller, an 18-year veteran of the Navy who taught a portion of the Third Class Petty Officer Leadership Course. “I was able to draw from my experiences in the Navy as well as my life experiences as a mother and as a grandmother while teaching the course. I truly feel it is my obligation to give these newly advanced Sailors my knowledge for the betterment of the Navy’s future.”

Taking a break from the day-to-day responsibilities of shipboard operations to focus on leadership serves to develop and foster growth in those serving in the Petty Officer ranks and adds value to the naval service.

“These courses are meant to be a refresher or introduction to leadership and should re-instill the Navy’s Core Values in our Sailors,” said Senior Chief Personnel Specialist (SW) Robert Cook, Training Department’s Leading Chief Petty Officer. “These courses aim to make the Navy a stronger workplace and to remind these newly promoted Sailors that as a petty officer their responsibilities go beyond themselves. They are now also responsible for the Sailors in their care as well.”