The Senior Enlisted Academy … The Foundation in ‘Zeroing in on Excellence’

     Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON)(AW/NAC) Mike Stevens visited Bureau of Naval Personnel /Navy Personnel Command on this past February.

     He took an opportunity to talk to all of the Chiefs on the base at the Pat Thompson Center in the Gold Room.  He discussed several topics that centered on his vision and expectations of today’s Chiefs in regards to the Navy Senior Enlisted Academy (SEA) and its mission.

     “The mission of the Senior Enlisted Academy is to further develop, through education and training, the leadership capabilities of Senior Enlisted to give sound decision support in command, staff, management, and leadership positions in Naval, Joint, and Multinational environments,” he explained.  “And to provide Senior Enlisted a sound understanding of military strategy and leadership skills; cultivating leaders who maintain a constant focus on ethics, flexibility, and mission accomplishment in an ever changing environment.”

     MCPON Stevens stated that he personally makes every effort to visit each convening class, and he also said that he would like to see future classes filled to their capacity.  The Navy’s vision is to have the SEA become the “premier academic institution, educating tomorrow’s senior enlisted leaders.”

     When MCPON released “Zeroing in on Excellence” in November 2012, he listed three fundamental focus areas in regards to solidifying the CPO lines of operation.  They are, Developing Leaders; Good Order and Discipline; and Controlling What We Own.

     Developing Senior Enlisted Leaders goes past the boundaries within one’s rating, departmental obligations, and command roles and responsibilities.  It becomes a mission of fostering a continuous mindset that embraces the growth of an organization becoming stronger — in every strand of leadership — from the top senior enlisted ranks within the Department of Defense, down to the deckplates aboard our ships.  The Navy Senior Enlisted Academy becomes the institution that acts as a vessel in educating, reenergizing and sustaining the mindset for leaders and the commands that they serve.

     Our E7 to E9 Career Development Boards (CDB) should always focus on our personal commitment to add the SEA to our career path.  Not only is the SEA mentioned within the training topics from the Chief Petty Officer Mess and within the Learning and Development Roadmaps , but it should be deeply discussed during our CDBs.  Every Chief should map out their journey to get to the SEA.  Often, the academy enhances one’s performance while serving at Fleet Commands (FLTCMs), Type Commands (TYCOM), Afloat Training Groups (ATGs)/Navy Food Management Teams (NFMTs), as Department Leading Chief Petty Officers, Senior Enlisted Leaders and other billets that are enhanced in Senior Enlisted Leadership.  All Chiefs who have not attended the SEA should bring up the discussion with their detailers so they can capture their request per future detailing.

     Future Graduates.  Please take the opportunity to review the Navy Senior Enlisted Academy website, http://www.usnwc.edu/Students/Senior-Enlisted-Academy/Non-Resident-Course.aspx.  It will give you a great perspective on the eight-week course framework and objectives, course pre-requisites, course requirements, expected workload, required reading, and physical conditioning.  Note: There is an option for those to obtain a two-week “Blended Course” residency.

     The Navy Senior Enlisted Academy became in existence on September 14, 1981.  Since then we have seen so many Supply Chiefs join their peers in collective study groups that allow diversity, free exchange of ideas and professional experiences that allow leadership to solve issues that result in team building.  Team building and the cross pollinations of professional experiences create a mutual respect within the ranks.  Community stereotypes are permanently buried, and a broader sense of awareness is achieved in the common goal of perfecting leadership.

     More than 30 years later, the academy’s mission is still relevant in how Chiefs maintain a constant focus on Ethics, Flexibility, and Mission Accomplishment in our ever-changing environment.

By CSCM (SW/AW) Thaddeus T. Wright, Supply Enlisted Community Manager, Lead Technical Advisor.  CSCM(SW/AW) Thaddeus Wright attended the U.S. Navy Senior Enlisted Academy, and graduated in 2006 with Class 123.