By MC2 Danica M. Sirmans
NPS President retired Vice Adm. Ronald A. Route and Provost Dr. Douglas Hensler, center, meet with Academic Affairs staff and leadership at the Peacock Room, Sept. 23. The meeting was one of a series of campus communication gatherings scheduled to facilitate an open exchange of information between senior leadership and members of the faculty and staff.
Vice Provost of Academic Affairs Dr. Doug Moses led the discussion. After introducing staff and faculty members, he discussed the mission of the Academic Affairs team.
"It is our mission to provide oversight and coordination of the university's graduate education and academic programs," said Moses.
Moses and members of the Academic Affairs team explained how each of their subgroups work to advance NPS' educational effectiveness and to establish integrated academic resource coordination.
After a productive discussion, the gathering was concluded with the honoring of several staff members. Director of Academic Administration Michael Andersen, Director of Admissions Susan Dooley, and Class Scheduler Cheryl Roston were each honored for more than 20 years of service to NPS and the Navy.
Route intends to continue his campus communication series to help encourage open communication throughout the institution.
By MC2 Danica M. Sirmans
Friends, family and NPS colleagues gather in remembrance of longtime NPS Department of Oceanography Professor Mary L. Batteen during a memorial service in her honor in Herrmann Hall, Sept. 26. Batteen joined NPS in 1985 and is survived by her husband, fellow Department of Oceanography Research Associate Professor Tim Stanton, standing left, and children Matthew, 22 and Elizabeth, 17.
Batteen was a renowned member of the NPS faculty and a revered contributor to the Navy’s Meteorology and Oceanography (METOC) community. She personally trained some 80 percent of the Navy’s active-duty oceanographer community, many of whom traveled to the university to honor her 30-year NPS legacy.
“I represent the students who Mary taught for three decades,” said Department of Oceanography Program Officer Cmdr. William Sommer. “While we mourn her loss, it also stands that we are grateful for her service.”
Sommer concluded his remarks by rendering a salute on behalf of the METOC community.
Batteen was awarded countless honors during her academic career to include the Department of Oceanography’s Outstanding Teaching Performance Award, NPS’ Top Teaching Excellence Award, and was selected for inclusion in the 2010 Who’s Who in America. Batteen passed away September 17, 2014 at the age of 62.
By MC2 Class Shawn J. Stewart
NPS' Summer Quarter 2014 graduating class listens to remarks by NPS President retired Vice Adm. Ronald A. Route at King Hall, Sept. 26. The 400-strong graduating class included members of the Navy, Marine Corps, Army and Air Force as well as some 163 Department of Defense civilians and 35 international officers.
"To the graduates here today, words cannot express our immense pride in you! We have immersed you in an extremely competitive academic environment that has enabled you to focus and think about the challenges that affect your service and our national security," said Route.
"It is our commitment that your NPS education will serve as your foundation upon which the rest of your careers are built. The skills you have developed will help you to serve more effectively wherever you are called, and our nation will count on you as strategic 'influencers' wherever your careers take you. We know each of you will make a difference," Route continued.
Route also thanked the families in attendance, noting that it was their love, support and sacrifice that helped the graduates to get to where they are today.
U.S. Congressman Sam Farr was the ceremony's keynote speaker. He has represented California's 20th District since 1993 and is a long-time NPS supporter and advocate.
"The solutions to the national security challenges we face as a nation will be resolved by the rigorous academic challenges you face here on campus," said Farr. "The debate about our national security shouldn't just be about whether or not to pull the trigger."
Farr also discussed the relationship between national security and the economic, diplomatic, cultural and defense "tools" that NPS inculcates within its students.
"NPS is where you graduates come to foster the cutting-edge thinking on how to best utilize these national security tools to keep our country safe," said Farr. "Simply put, the future of our nation is now in your hands."
Workshop Spurs Maritime Warfare Innovation
By Kenneth A. Stewart
Members of Team Gridley, one of several teams participating in the annual Warfare Innovation Workshop, discuss strategy at Ingersoll Hall, Sept. 23. Workshop participants were drawn from throughout the uniformed services, industry and allied nations.
NPS Professor of Practice Jeff Kline is a long-time supporter of the workshops.
"Our purpose is to coordinate and execute a series of cross-campus educational and research activities synchronized by the Chair of Systems Engineering Analysis and the Chair of Warfare Innovation with a central theme of exploring future methods for warfighting in the contested littorals," said Kline.
Emily Gyde with Battelle, a non-profit organization focused on research and development, traveled to NPS to participate in the workshop.
"We are looking at cutting-edge technologies and exploring the best manner in which to deploy them," said Gyde.
"The purpose of the workshop is to push the innovation envelope," added NPS student Lt. Cmdr. Reginald Johnson.
Participants accomplished this by drawing upon their collective, multidisciplinary expertise and applying it to two notional, but potentially catastrophic, scenarios involving future Chinese expansion in the South China Sea and increased Russian military and economic interests in the Baltic.
"The scenarios are based on current events, extrapolating upon what could happen in 20 years," said NPS student Lt. Mathew Hipple. "We are looking at something that we are familiar with, and expanding it to a worse case scenario to pit our innovation processes against it. "
By MC2 Danica M. Sirmans
The 60th graduating class of the Naval War College (NWC) Monterey stands for a group portrait on the steps in front of Herrmann Hall, Sept. 18. NWC Monterey partners with NPS to provide Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) Phase 1 Certification to its students.
NWC Monterey Chairman Professor Fred Drake presided over the ceremony awarding a total of 93 U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Army officers with their NWC Command and Staff diplomas with JPME Phase I certification. 3,788 officers have earned this certification since the program's inception in September 1999.
By MC3 Michael Ehrlich
Center for Defense Management Research Director, Professor Douglas A. Brook, left, with NPS' Graduate School of Business and Public Policy (GSBPP) receives his retirement certificate from NPS President retired Vice Adm. Ronald A. Route, during a ceremony at Reed Hall, Sept. 18.
"Brooks has been a valued colleague in all phases of his NPS career and will be missed by students and faculty alike.
"As dean, [Brook] helped launch our successful Executive MBA program and established the Louis D. Lisken awards for teaching excellence and outstanding student [achievement] … In my role as dean, he has provided me with insightful advice and counsel," said GSBPP Dean Dr. Bill Gates.
Brook may be retiring from federal service, but he is hardly retired. He insists that its time for some "intellectual renewal" and the chance to do something different.
"I'm retiring from federal service, but I'm not going to go sit on the porch," said Brook. "I am looking forward to the challenge of going to the public policy school at Duke [University] where I will teach a broader set of courses."
In addition to his work in academia, Brook has served as Assistant Secretary of the Army (Financial Management), Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Financial Management & Comptroller), and finally as Acting Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller)/Chief Financial Officer. He is the only person to have ever held all three of these important financial management positions.
"I would like to share one last thought with you," said Brook. "My belief in the transformational power of higher education, the fact that education changes lives … I would like to be remembered by former students as having given them something that helped them in their future careers."
By MC2 Chablis J. Torrence
Lt. Cmdrs. Erik Hardy, Steven Clifford, Christon Duhon, Lt. Jone Tillman and Cmdr. Thomas Hines, pose for a photo during a break at the Executive Master of Business Administration's (EMBA) new student orientation, Sept. 16. The EMBA program has become a popular curriculum for state and federal agencies across the nation.
"I found this program after searching for ways to further my education," said Tillman, a Medical Service Corps officer from Naval Hospital Beaufort (NHB).
The EMBA curriculum educates officers to think analytically, to synthesize information from a wide range of sources, and ultimately to make quality strategic decisions under conditions of uncertainty.
"None of us in the room have had any formal business management training," said Hardy, with NHB's Ambulatory Procedure Unit. "This is our opportunity to get the training and education we need to handle the administrative roles we will soon be filling."
The EMBA program utilizes both traditional and on-line education formats, which allows students to maintain their current positions while obtaining an NPS education. Further information on the EMBA program is available at: http://tiny.cc/p3xlmx.
By MC2 Danica M. Sirmans
Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) international students, Argentine Army Col. Anibal Intini and Royal Australian Navy Lt. Cmdr. Katrina Ryan along with Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC) Instructors Air Force Tech Sgt. Huam Liang and Dr. Mi-kyonug Park, pictured from left to right, display their Military Recognition Day Awards, presented by the Kiwanis Club Monterey Chapter, Sept. 17.
NPS President retired Vice Adm. Ronald A. Route joined DLIFLC leadership as guests of the local Kiwanis Club for the organization's Military Recognition Day and Award Ceremony held at Monterey Marriott. The ceremony recognized two NPS students and two DLIFLC faculty members for outstanding achievements in academia and service, both on their respective campuses, and within the community.
"We have a number of outreach programs that our students are involved in that we are very proud of," said Route. "Along with their academic achievements, we also encourage our students to get involved in the community with tutoring and mentorship programs like Monterey County Reads and 'Breakfast for Your Brain.'"
"Excellence is expecting more of yourself than others expect of you," added DLIFLC Associate Provost Dr. Christine Campbell. "These awardees have gone way beyond the call of duty and we're very proud of you all."
In closing his comments to the club, Route expressed his own appreciation to Kiwanis for their support of the military community.
"I'd like to thank the Kiwanis Club Monterey Chapter for extending this invitation to NPS, and to our colleagues at the Defense Language Institute," said Route. "Their recognition of these individuals is well deserved, and I am pleased to see the value of their contributions recognized within our community."
Intini is slated for graduation next week, and in addition to the Kiwanis Club award, was recognized with Outstanding Thesis honors. Ryan will be graduating in December with a 3.98 grade point average, the highest in her class.
By Javier Chagoya
Recipients from the Summer Quarter Academic Award ceremony gather for a group portrait, above, following the presentation of their honors in the Barbara McNitt Ballroom, Sept. 16. Assistant Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education, Scott Lutterloh, far right, joined the honorees.
NPS President retired Vice Adm. Ronald A. Route and Provost Dr. Douglas Hensler recognized each of the 22 academic honorees. Of note, Lt. Jamie Johnson, far right seated, was recognized with both a best thesis award, and the John McReynolds Wozencraft Electrical and Computer Engineering Academic Award. Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association Monterey Chapter President Lawrence Reeves made the presentation.
"Lt. Johnson is a fine example of the next generation of leadership in the U.S. Navy and the value of postgraduate education and research at NPS," said Reeves.
Military Lecturer and Department of Applied Mathematics Program Officer Cmdr. Thor Martinsen discussed Johnson's award-winning thesis.
"Lt. Johnson was able to take a component of a complex scheme in network analysis and apply mathematic techniques in a novel way to describe and quantify network behavior," said Martinsen.
"I wasn't expecting it all and to have Mr. Reeves attend my thesis defense was certainly an honor," noted a humbled Johnson.
The awardees are slated to graduate, along with nearly 300 of their fellow classmates, during the Summer Quarter Graduation Ceremony, Sept. 26. Congressman Sam Farr is the scheduled keynote speaker.
Students Crunch Numbers to Understand Tactical Advantage, Probabilities
By Javier Chagoya
NPS systems engineering and analysis student Lt. Brandon Naddell, left, a member of Team Falcon, makes a point about his team's use of various attack parameters in a technical and probability-based maritime battle scenario, as NPS Department of Operations Research Professor of Practice Wayne Hughes, right, looks on.
Team Falcon, encompassing four student members, was tasked with analyzing a maritime battle scenario as part of their Joint Campaign Analysis Course. The team was provided a current snapshot of the area of hostility, and the limited assets known to be in the area of operations – in this case, the South China Sea. Within the scenario, they had to build a working document of possibilities of success and losses as tensions grow between forces.
"Normally, a team like this would have only three days to turn around an analysis to a maritime battle problem to their COCOM, since real world events occur more swiftly. Team Falcon had about three weeks to come up with this tactical and campaign analysis," said Hughes.
The team used two analytical methods, coefficients and engagement scenarios over three crucial time periods of 24, 96 and 18-day force engagements of surface, sub-surface and aerial campaigns. Analytical tools like the Tactically Exploited Reconnaissance Node (TERN), a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency effort, provide the optimization and polling analysis the students needed for informed probabilities in a large-scale battlefield scenario. Professors of Practice Hughes and Jeff Kline provided general direction, but within the study scenario, the students decided and built the specific analysis based on tools learned in their previous courses as well as in the Joint Campaign Analysis course.
"This is a one-of-a-kind course. It challenges the student with realistic problems and brings together all of the leading interdisciplinary talents to bear, especially when we have the mix of aviators, submarine and surface specialties, including our international cadre of officers, who actually operate full time in these areas that we're talking about," added Hughes.
By MC3 Michael Ehrlich
Members of Scout Pack 13 watch attentively as Electronics Technician 2nd Class Brandon Meyerdirk, left, and Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class Scott Froom, right, explain the proper way to fold the ensign at Mission Park Elementary School in nearby Salinas, Sept. 15.
"I am an Eagle Scout myself," said Meyerdirk. "Knowing what the scouts have done for me … I want these boys to succeed too. I'd like to show the kids that its cool to be a Boy Scout, and that it will teach them valuable life lessons."
James Calusdian is the Pack 13 scoutmaster, and is also the lab director for NPS' Control Systems and Robotics Laboratory in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
"I want the boys to learn about the history and symbolism in the American flag," said Calusdian. "I thought it would be a great opportunity to learn from the experts respect for the flag."
Froom works as NPS' color guard representative, and collaborates with various community organizations in support of events around the Monterey Peninsula.
"The significance of working with organizations such as the Boy Scouts is imperative to strong community and military relations," said Froom. "We are able to positively impact the lives of these young men and their families, instilling the importance of the National Ensign. It gives me a great sense of pride to know that I could have made a lasting impression on what it means to respect our country's traditions."
By MC2 Shawn J. Stewart
NPS Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS) Director and guest speaker Dr. Glenn Woodbury offers his thoughts to students, faculty and staff during NPS' Patriot Day ceremony in front of Herrmann Hall, Sept. 11. This year's ceremony included comments from Woodbury and Naval Support Activity Monterey Deputy Command Chaplain Lt. Cmdr. John Van Dyke.
"I am emboldened by the knowledge that we have not wasted the last 13 years," said Woodbury. "We have looked at ourselves and we have debated who and what we want to be … but most importantly we continue to debate what we could be."
Woodbury further explained the meaning behind the 9/11 slogans "Never Again" and "Never Forget."
"'Never Forget' shouldn't be a hollow phrase that only inspires sentimental remembrance … [It] helps us to balance all that we could do in response to an uncertain and dangerous world with thoughtful consideration of what we should do ... so as not to sacrifice the very principals we are proclaiming to protect.
"'Never Again' is from the gut, 'Never Forget' is from the heart, and somewhere above is our intelligence that recognizes that both are important, and both ideals should be constantly in constructive tension," said Woodbury.
In closing Woodbury paid homage to those who have fought, died, survived and have yet to sacrifice.
"I look at you, those who were there on that day, and those of you that will be called upon to be there the next time," said Woodbury. "I am comforted that you are here at this institution pursuing knowledge to ensure that we 'Never Forget' while thoughtfully considering the implications of what we might do in pursuit of 'Never Again.' Thank you for your service, thank you for your reflections and thank you for remembering."
By MC3 Michael Ehrlich
Executive Director of the Nuclear Science and Security Consortium (NSSC), University of California at Berkeley Chair, and former NPS Dean of Research Dr. Karl Van Bibber discusses the role of higher education in developing nuclear scientists focused on non-proliferation during a presentation with students, faculty and staff in Root Hall, Sept. 11.
Van Bibber discussed recent changes in national priorities relating to nuclear non-proliferation, citing a 2010 presidential posture review in which prevention of nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism became a top concern.
"Every time we did the nuclear posture review," said Van Bibber, "the different issues related to nuclear weapons were put in order of importance and priority. Recently, preventing nuclear proliferation has become our primary concern.
"Nuclear non-proliferation is many things," he continued. "It's policy, technology, tracking of materials and the chain of custody of those materials to name a few."
With a change in priorities, Van Bibber explained, there became an immediate demand for highly-skilled scientists in several nuclear science disciplines.
"We need the people to migrate into the laboratory to do the mission," said Van Bibber. "It's a very complicated mission because it is a broad scope of talent needed. Chemists, metallurgists, physicists, engineers, you need everything in the tool kit working in the National Nuclear Security Administration labs."
Van Bibber's visit to campus was not only to present the current efforts of his NSSC, but to open preliminary discussions on the potential for collaboration in relation to energy security. With nuclear energy providing 70 percent of all non-fossil fuel electricity generation in the U.S., Van Bibber discussed his department's research efforts in sustainable energy generation.
By Javier Chagoya
Argentine Army Col. Anibal Luis Intini, right, is pictured with his wife Maria Ragno during NPS' Summer Quarter International Graduation Luncheon in the Barbara McNitt Ballroom, Sept. 5. Intini was the recipient of the Kiwanis Club's Outstanding International Student Award and was recognized for Outstanding Thesis.
School of International Graduate Studies (SIGS) Assistant Dean Gary Roser presided over the ceremony. NPS has seen 5,650 international students from 110 countries pass through its doors since 1954.
"The changing landscape of our international community reflects the global reach of an NPS education, and why we are such an important part of the DOD international education engagement strategy," said Roser.
As the summer quarter comes to an end, 35 international students from 11 countries are scheduled to graduate. The graduating international students will be replaced by 45 new students from 15 countries. Notably, the incoming cohort of internationals will include NPS' first student from the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.
NSA Army Student Takes Third in DePuy Writing Contest
By MC3 Michael Ehrlich
U.S. Army Capt. Hassan Kamara is pictured among the stacks in the Dudley Knox Library, Sept. 9. Kamara recently won third place in "Military Review" journal's General William E. DePuy Special Topics Writing Competition, sponsored by the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center.
"I was working on my thesis proposal while I wrote my submission," said Kamara. "It was a challenge but I was really inspired to write."
Kamara is a student in the National Security Affairs program at NPS, and attributes his motivation for the submission, focused on the topic of U.S. Army transformation in the face of limited resources, to the courses he has completed at the university.
"During a course called military innovation and adaptation, we took a historical look at defense planning at the end of the World War I period," said Kamara. "When [Germany] was going through budget cuts, military workforce reduction because of the Treaty of Versailles, and the beginning of the Great Depression, they were still able to build a world-class army."
Kamara is continuing to analyze this historical precedent in his thesis, while going further by taking into consideration doctrine, organization, training, material, leadership and education, personnel and facilities (DOTMLPF).
"What if I could take one of our ways of analyzing change, and DOTMLPF, and apply it to what they did," said Kamara. "I'm looking at the end of war period and now to see if there are similarities in American strategic and command organization cultures, with focus on innovation and change.
"The focus of my thesis is transformation," he continued. "The military is often static, and we were isolationists at the time, so I'm looking at that and seeing how far we have come and what similarities we still need to address.
"It's a rewarding and fulfilling way to use the education I received [at NPS]," continued Kamara. "I feel like I'm contributing to the body of work out there to help the Army during this period of transformation."
Kamara's anticipated graduation date is in March of 2015, after which he will be heading to the Redstone Arsenal Army Base in Huntsville, Alabama.
Defense Analysis Professor Wins 2014 Hamming Teaching Award
By MC2 Chablis J. Torrence
NPS Department of Defense Analysis Associate Professor Michael Freeman sets up a round of the strategic board game, "Diplomacy," for his Deterrence, Coercion and Crisis Management course, Sept. 9. Freeman has recently been named the 2014 recipient of the Richard W. Hamming Annual Faculty Award for Achievement in Teaching.
"Being named the 2014 Hamming recipient for teaching excellence is very rewarding," said Freeman. "It reinforces the point that graduate level education is an important part of an officer's professional development, not only in the U.S. Armed Forces but in our allies' militaries as well."
NPS Provost Dr. Douglas Hensler announced the award to the campus, recognizing Freeman for his exceptional teaching and commitment to students.
"Professor Freeman excelled in all three criteria for the Hamming award; outstanding teaching, excellence in thesis supervision, and strength of contribution to NPS students beyond the classroom," said Hensler.
The annual faculty award is named for NPS Professor Emeritus Dr. Richard W. Hamming, highlighting a faculty member that demonstrates commitment to interdisciplinary scholarship and exceptional teaching skills. Freeman will be officially honored during the upcoming Summer Quarter Awards Ceremony, Sept. 16.
Space Systems Chair Rudy Panholzer Honored for 50 Years of Service
By MC2 Shawn J. Stewart
Space Systems Academic Group (SSAG) Chair Dr. Rudy Panholzer shares stories of data variants received from the Naval Postgraduate School's Petite Amateur Navy Satellite (PANSAT) during a ceremony celebrating his 50 years of federal service in Bullard Hall, Sept. 2.
Panholzer joined the university in 1964 as a professor in the NPS Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He has served as SSAG Chair for several years, and as the Dean of the Graduate School of Engineering and Applied Sciences from 1996-2002.
"When I first arrived here at NPS, Bullard Hall was in existence but many of the other buildings were not," said Panholzer. "We could drive our cars right up to the entrance of Bullard Hall … imagine that!
"We've had a lot of fun together over the years," Panholzer continued. "Building experiments and especially the student-built PANSAT, which we launched in 1998 while or John Glenn was on board [the Space Shuttle Discovery]."
Led by Panholzer, PANSAT was wholly designed and built by NPS students and researchers, and since its launch, Panholzer says the orbiting satellite has defied even his expectations.
"The satellite is still in orbit … we predicted it would operate for [several] years, but we miscalculated because it's still going strong," he said. "There isn't any communication left, so we can see it, but not hear it."
Panholzer has now joined a small group of distinguished NPS employees that have reached 50 years of federal service. Much like his satellite, he has defied expectations.
By MC3 Michael Ehrlich
NPS Dean of Students Capt. Matthew Vandersluis presides over a mass promotion ceremony for eleven NPS students on the steps of Herrmann Hall, Sept. 2. Eleven officers in total were promoted to ranks ranging from Lieutenant to Commander.
"It's always great to be promoted, and to share it with colleagues you have worked with over the years makes it even better," said Vandersluis.
Lt. Cmdr. Steven Earnest, a student in NPS' Graduate School of Business and Public Policy, was overjoyed to be able to celebrate with his family.
"The great thing about getting the promotion here at NPS is that my family was able to take part, which doesn't happen if you're forward deployed," said Earnest. "I feel so honored to be able to serve and continue to contribute to our national defense."
Many of those promoted shared similar feelings in regard to being ashore for their promotions.
"I'm a 25-year veteran, so going back to graduate level education was a challenge, but it's going to be very memorable to be promoted here," said Lt. Cmdr. Russ Sansone. "I couldn't have done it without the support of my wife and two sons. They certainly fueled my motivation, without a doubt we've earned this together."
By Javier Chagoya
Associate Professor James Scrofani, Director of NPS' Center for Multi-INT Studies (CMIS), updates university staff on various initiatives underway at the National Capitol Region Office, Sept. 2. Scrofani traveled to NPS from his Washington, D.C. base of operations to promote discussion of multi-intelligence and "Big Data" initiatives, and to raise awareness about the program's developments.
"I'm seeking collaborations among NPS faculty and students who can integrate their theses into Big Data solutions to help grow the Multi-INT field into a mature academic program and community of users," said Scrofani.
Multi-INT is an emerging, interdisciplinary field that seeks to understand how integrating disparate intelligence sources can vastly improve the intelligence value derived from a given system. The field known as "Big Data" is one of the areas where Multi-INT studies are showing promise.
"The 'Google-ification' of the world has created a domain of now and the challenge for data collection via detecting anomalies through inference, must become just as rapid," said Scrofani. "We can't afford to continue the bean counting approach to intelligence."
Scrofani points to an article recently published by IBM that illustrates the need for academic work in the Big Data domain. IBM predicts that 40 zetabytes, or 43 trillion gigabytes, of data will be created by 2020, an increase of 300 times the figure from 2005. For Scrofani and members of his center, those numbers present both challenges and opportunities – opportunities that Scrofani hopes lead to student research here at NPS.
By Javier Chagoya
NPS Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) students wait for a rare face-to-face with Navy Personnel Command detailers to talk about their career aspirations during individual counseling sessions, Aug. 27, in the NPS Student Services Office.
First Tour Department Head Detailer Lt. Cmdr. Diane Cua and Junior Officer Detailer Lt. Kailey Snyder traveled from Millington, Tennessee to meet with the 144 NPS SWOs during a two-day visit to help the students negotiate their career paths.
Lt. Meagan Makarenko, a student in the financial management curriculum and Lt. Ervin Mercado, a systems engineering and analysis student, took advantage of the opportunity.
"We only see our detailers at limited times and putting faces to names is great," said Makarenko. "In this case my own thesis focuses on developing a forecasting tool for department head retention and pay incentives, and Lt. Cmdr. Cua was able to provide data to support my suppositions."
Following graduation in December, Makarenko's first department head tour will be as Operations Officer on a guided missile destroyer. Her ultimate goal is to screen for early command on a minesweeper.
"I now have a better understanding on how to become a successful department head in the fleet and compete in future promotion boards. I would like to see this same training information on social media for all of the different officer levels in the community," added Mercado, who says his decision to attend the university is paying off. "NPS is the best shore duty for officers who are looking into getting a quality master's degree, as well as a break from the high tempo life in the fleet. It is helping me to further enhance my thinking skills and shaping me to become a better student as well as a better leader."
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