Four Carderock Division Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) employees graduated from the Naval Sea Systems Next Generation Leadership (NAVSEA) program on January 19.
The graduation was broadcast live via Microsoft Teams, with Vice Admiral William Galinis, Commander of NAVSEA, and Giao Phan, Executive Director of NAVSEA Command, presiding.
The NAVSEA Next Generation Leadership Program, a one-year program, is the first in the three-stage NAVSEA Leadership Development Continuum. The Continuum allows employees to focus on leadership development at different stages of their careers, in preparation for future opportunities within the organization. The other two stages consist of the Journey Level Leaders (JLL) program, as well as the Commander’s Executive Fellows program.
Being the first in the Continuum, the Next Generation Leadership Program focuses on entry-level NAVSEA employees in their first five years of employment, who seek to take on more leadership roles at NAVSEA.
The program consisted of nearly 50 people from NAVSEA and was divided into seven different groups. Each group was assigned a mentor and given several assignments to complete throughout the year, including online leadership classes through Defense Acquisition University, reading and reviewing two books focused on leadership , welcoming a leader within NAVSEA as a guest speaker and a final panel. flagship project.
Dr. Kylee Fazende, Assistant Project Engineer for the Corrosion Control Support Team in the Corrosion and Coatings Engineering Branch; Alexis Douglas-Hargro, Deputy of the Procurement Department; Gabriel Upton, Structural Composites Engineer in the Structural Composites Branch; and Akeel Channer, a materials engineer from the additive manufacturing industry were among the Carderock attendees.
For the final draft, each group was assigned a different naval facility and tasked with doing surveys and conducting interviews to gather information about the culture of those facilities and how they align with the NAVSEA 3.0 campaign plan. The two main objectives were to determine the workforce’s perception of culture, as well as to uncover the cultural perception of Navy leaders and supervisors.
“It’s been a great experience seeing the different ways people do things in the Navy – we all see the Navy’s mission differently,” Fazende said. “It was refreshing to interact with people who aren’t science, technology, engineering or math (STEM)-type techies, and it was a good reminder that there are other parts of the Navy than the ones you specifically work on. It helped us visualize the true size of the Navy and how what we do fits into the bigger picture.
Fazende’s group was assigned to the Supervisor of Shipbuilding (SUPSHIP), Conversion and Repair in Bath, Maine.
“During our group work, we talked a lot about integrity and honor, and trust with your employees,” Fazende said. “It was really educational. Some people take it for granted, but as a supervisor you have to be able to trust employees to do the right thing and demonstrate integrity.
For mentors, each participant was assigned one person participating in the JLL 2021 program. Coincidentally, Fazende, as well as Channer, were both assigned to Dr. Matthew Draper, a metallurgist in Carderock’s physical and fire metallurgy branch.
“It was as much for the JLL participants as it was for us,” Fazende said. “Part of their development was becoming supervisors and leaders where they have people under them that they mentor. Having Matt as a mentor is great and we learned a lot from him. He showed us the importance of planning our career goals over the next five years. The main takeaway I have is that you don’t always have to stick to your plan, but if you have a plan, it’s much easier to pivot than to go blind without a plan.
Channer, who was also mentored by Draper, was assigned to SUPSHIP conversion and repair in Groton, Connecticut.
“It was really a great experience to be able to get up there and see the work they do,” Channer said. “It’s a smaller business, with only about 450 employees. I noticed right away that they had an advantage because it’s so small, which made it more enjoyable. Everyone was kind and inviting and super helpful in every way possible. I would describe their business as a family culture.
Douglas-Hargro passed its portion of the final synthesis draft to the Crane Division of NSWC in Indiana.
“You can have such a singular experience at your command, but going to see how other war centers do business is eye-opening,” she said. “This type of experience gives you a new perspective on organizational culture. I was thrilled to bring this valuable idea back to command and share it with my colleagues.
Douglas-Hargro and his group at Crane had the opportunity to meet with command and senior management to learn about their culture.
“We went through a number of interviews and within a week we were able to understand their culture and the principles of their strategic framework,” she said. “We were able to see what works for them and where to improve. Her regular advisor is a champion of “fearless feedback,” a concept she calls “transformative.” The main takeaway is that it permeates what we do – our values, our beliefs and our motivations. At the beginning of this experience, we did not know how much culture is embedded in our daily lives. I am encouraged to continue to cultivate a positive one.
For Upton, like Channer, he had the opportunity to experience life at a smaller naval facility, traveling to the Southeast Regional Maintenance Center (SRMC) in Mayport, Florida.
“The general consensus from my group at SRMC was that, due to their small size, communications can flow fairly freely between leadership and enlisted and civilian personnel,” Upton said. “They seemed really proud of the work they were doing, especially their ability to deliver combat power in time and to ensure ships were in and out as quickly as possible. Their management wants to keep communication open, which seems to work well for them due to their small size.
Each of Carderock’s four employees successfully completed their program. They seem grateful for the opportunity to not only see what life is like at other naval installations, but also to be able to bring the knowledge gained back to Carderock to improve the culture in their daily lives.
The groups presented the results of their final capstone project to Galinis and Pham on January 18, followed by an official graduation ceremony on January 19.