Cmdr. Jason Endress, the Director of Operations for the Center for Service Support (CSS), met with Supply Corps officers and senior enlisted on board USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) while pierside at Naval Station Norfolk this August to discuss training topics relevant to the fleet and receive their feedback.
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Cmdr. Jason Endress, director of operations for the Center for Service Support (CSS), right, speaks to Supply Corps officers and senior enlisted aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). (Photo by MCSA Justin Pacheco)
One particular topic of interest during the visit on board Truman was finding a happy medium between technology and traditional instructor led training.
“As we shift our focus to technology, we need to find a balance with computer based training and instructor led training,” said Logistics Specialist Master Chief Thomas Dobbins, Supply Department’s leading chief petty officer. He added that instructors offer Sailors and the Navy the opportunity to practice deck plate leadership and sailorization while in a training environment.
A presentation and subsequent question and answer session during the visit provided a unique opportunity for Truman’s Supply Department leadership to provide critical feedback on the quality of training being offered from various learning sites.
Truman’s subject matter experts were also invited to participate in a human performance requirements review (HPRR). An HPRR is organized to review an existing course aligned to a rate and/or system, sub-system, or equipment. The HPRR process provides stakeholders and operational experts an opportunity to identify redundant or unnecessary training and ensure proper alignment of training based on new or revised requirements.
“This is a great opportunity for us to use our knowledge and experience and contribute to a better product that trains our Sailors more effectively,” said Ship’s Serviceman Chief Atini Ransaw, Sales Division’s Leading Chief Petty Officer.
By the end of the session, both CSS and Truman’s Supply Leadership gained a mutual understanding of what it takes to develop a well-rounded Sailor from the “A” and “C” schools. Events like this allow CSS to gauge the pulse of the fleet and lead to more effective training programs across all supply, administration, and media curricula.
Endress said that visits such as this can positively impact how Sailors are trained and result in a higher level of knowledge when they join the fleet. As the Navy continues to evolve, it is vital that training is aligned with the fleet’s growing demands.
“My role is to interface with our supported Naval communities and fleet customers to validate training requirements and objectives. I think the 90 minutes that I spent with Truman leadership today will go a long way in forging relationships that will work to strengthen the product that comes from our schools in the future,” he said. “We at CSS plan to continue gauging the pulse of the fleet, which is essential to maintain the effectiveness and relevance of our curriculum and training programs.”
Ensign Jonizel Sioson, Truman’s repairables management branch officer, said that because newer Sailors have the ability to access information instantly, training methods should be updated and aligned accordingly.
“As leaders and trainers, we must align our methods to gain [Sailors’] attention,” said Sioson. “We can’t rely on the same training we’ve developed to train the Sailors in the past if we want to be effective.”
Over the course of a month, Cmdr. Endress embarked on a tour of all CSS locations and fleet concentration areas around the United States. The objective of the trip was to gather information from the school houses and fleet to enhance training plans and ultimately prepare Sailors with a professional foundation for success.
“By routinely canvassing the fleet (our customer) primarily in the fleet concentration areas, CSS can gather important data directly from operational Navy leadership. In turn, we can use this data to determine if our “A” school graduates are meeting expectations and modify curriculum and training accordingly if warranted,” said Cmdr. Endress. He also added that “what must be remembered is that we only have a short time (normally four to five weeks) in these “A” schools to completely “sailorize” these students. This includes not only rate-specific training, but also key emphasis on physical fitness, ethics, inspections, customs and courtesies, and many other areas vital to a Sailor’s success.”
CSS is an Echelon III command located in Newport, Rhode Island, that reports to Naval Education Training Command. Established in February 2003, CSS is responsible for training logistics, administrative, and media functional areas with oversight of seven learning sites, including the Navy Supply Corps School. Overall, CSS manages the training curriculum for seven enlisted ratings and three officer designators, and the learning sites produce between 10,000 to 12,000 graduates every year.
By Ens. James Ball, SC, USN, Sales Officer, USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75)