Students attending the Division Officer Leadership Course (DIVOLC) at the Navy Supply Corps School, located at Naval Station Newport, Rhode Island, completed the “Pressure Cooker” exercise exposing them to several challenging leadership scenarios recently.
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Andrew Grisham puts Ens. Andrew Steczo through the “Pressure Cooker” exercise part of the Division Officer Leadership Course (DIVOLC) at Naval Supply Corps School, at Navy Station Newport, Rhode Island. The one-week course trained 44 junior Navy Supply Corps officers, preparing them for division officer responsibilities in the fleet. During the exercise students learned lessons on ethics, working climate, and fraternization prevention. After the pressure cooker, the staff instructor debriefed the students to ensure they each have a clear understanding of the best courses of action to take in particular situations.
The one-week DIVOLC course trained 44 junior Navy Supply Corps officers, preparing them for division officer responsibilities in the Fleet. During the afternoon pressure cooker exercise, students learned lessons on ethics, working climate, and fraternization prevention.
Navy Lt. Erin Tortora, lead DIVOLC Instructor explained, “The purpose of the pressure cooker is to put students in real-life, challenging situations to help better prepare them for what they will be experiencing as Division Officers in the very near future.”
Educating Sailors at all levels in leadership is a cornerstone of Navy education and training. Challenges such as the pressure cooker exercise are vitally important dimensions that help define a Sailor’s future ability to handle stressful and challenging situations throughout their career.
“This is an opportunity for students to apply the lessons learned in the course and make difficult decisions in situations involving ethics, working climate, and fraternization,” Tortora said. “The staff debriefs the group of students after each of the three scenarios to ensure students have a clear understanding of the best courses of action to take in that particular situation.”
Since taking command last summer, NSCS Commanding Officer Capt. Kristen Fabry has set out to ensure each graduating student is “Ready for Sea.” She implemented the pressure cooker, stating “we brought back the concept of the pressure cooker to the schoolhouse as this was something I remember valuing as an Ensign years ago when I went through the Basic Qualification Course. Lt. Tortora has truly taken the concept to the next level by creating multiple scenarios for the students to experience. In the safe environment of the school house, we are able to stress test their critical thinking skills first hand in a real life scenario – better preparing them should they find themselves in similar situations in the Fleet. The feedback from the students has been overwhelmingly positive. Even just one “a-ha” moment makes it all worthwhile.”
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Ens. Britney Steen (pictured left), a student attending the Division Officer Leadership Course (DIVOLC) at Navy Supply Corps School, Naval Station Newport, Rhode Island, is experiencing the “Pressure Cooker” portion of the course. Senior Chief Petty Officer Fred Burgess (pictured right) explains to Steen the difficulties associated with leading Sailors.
The Navy Supply Corps School is one of seven training centers that fall under the Center for Service Support (CSS). With its mission of “providing the personal and professional foundations for success,” NSCS instructors continue to innovate and find new ways to challenge students, helping better prepare them for their future roles as division officers. NSCS leverages their partnerships with other training commands to provide dynamic and relevant instruction. CSS, for example, plays a vital and active role in the pressure cooker. Additionally, students spend a morning during the DIVOLC course with the Chiefs at the Senior Enlisted Academy for an in-depth discussion on expectations and how to foster a productive Chief-DIVO relationship.
CSS is comprised of active-duty, civilian and contractor personnel who direct the training efforts of administration, logistics and media schools for active-duty and commissioned officers. The CSS team ensures curriculum and professional development tools are current.
By MCCS Palmer Pinckney II, Center for Service Support Public Affairs