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CAMP SHIELDS, Okinawa — Navy leaders sweeping the Pacific to tout their “Navy Knowledge Online” training Web site stopped on Okinawa on Jan. 8 to promote the new tool to island-based sailors.

Navy Knowledge Online, commonly called NKO, has job and training information, and the Navy’s new “Sea Warrior five-vector model” used to evaluate and guide sailors through different stages of their careers. The new system eventually is to eliminate the enlisted advancement exam system.

Computer access gives sailors fast access to NKO information. “This is some really out-of-the-box thinking on how you’re going to be able to manage your career,” Master Chief Petty Officer Mark Hayes, Naval Leadership Center, told Misawa sailors in mid-December.

Three Navy job ratings — culinary specialist, information systems technician and yeoman — were the first to go online in the new system. “Based on the job task analysis we did,” Hayes said, “we found that these three rates were the most manageable to get up and running.”

“When a sailor reports aboard a command,” said Command Master Chief Michael McCarthy of Misawa Naval Air Facility, “the first thing their chief or master chief should ask them: ‘Have you logged onto NKO?’ The Navy is putting everything into this NKO Web site.”

The system eventually is to allow all sailors to get information online about requirements for various ratings training and education resources, including those available online.

Hayes said the Navy hopes to save time and money and decrease traditional classroom training; he advises sailors to adapt and use more online training.

In a statement, Terry Scott, master chief petty officer of the Navy, said NKO is “going to give sailors a single access point to all their professional and personal development milestones and the training and education resources that support their success. I strongly encourage sailors to log on to this site, become familiar with it and use it to manage their careers.

“It’s a great example of the direction the Navy is going.”

Since inception, officials said, more than 90,000 users have registered in NKO, using the site more than 500,000 times and downloading more than 330,000 documents.

Among enlisted ranks, response to the new program remains mixed.

Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Five Petty Officer 3rd Class Dean Dickens, at Okinawa’s Camp Shields, said he likes the site but doesn’t like that it eventually is to eliminate the enlisted advancement exam system.

“I think that upon attaining … the appropriate time-in-rate, you’d then be eligible for participation in the advancement exam,” he said.

But Petty Officer 3rd Class Leota Phillips said, “Instead of relying on someone else who’s busy with their own things to get the information for you, it’s possible to find out what you need on your own and get done what is necessary. It has a definite advantage in controlling your own career.”

And Petty Officer 2nd Class Christopher Jones said, “I’ve logged on, registered and like where it’s taken me as far as learning more knowledge for advancement.

“I’m looking forward to any way that will make advancement easier.”

For more information on NKO, visit www.nko.navy.mil

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