The Navy has revamped leadership training for enlisted sailors, no longer making courses mandatory for advancement and tailoring them toward specific jobs instead of rank.

“What we’re trying to do is, rather than try to tie leadership development to a specific rank, tie it to the job that they do,” said Lt. Cmdr. Gary Kirchner, public affairs officer for the Naval Personnel Development Center and Task Force Excel in Washington, D.C.

“You can be a second-class [petty officer serving as a] leading petty officer and have different leadership responsibilities than you would normally have as a second class,” Kirchner said. “We’re trying … to embrace reality as it is.”

The Navy’s previous program, the Navy Leadership Training Continuum, was rank-specific and mandatory for advancement to the next pay grade. Three courses were available, one each for chief petty officers, petty officers first class and petty officers second class.

Now, the program is called the Navy Leadership Development Program. There are still three courses, but they are geared toward leadership positions, not necessarily pay grades.

They are:

• The First-Line Leadership Development Program, for sailors in grades E-3 to E-5 either assigned or scheduled to be assigned to a first-line leadership position at the command.

• The Primary Leadership Development Program, for sailors E-5 or E-6 in a leadership role for a division. A Navy division can range from a few sailors to dozens.

• The Advanced Leadership Development Program, for E-6s or E-7s in leadership roles for a larger division or department.

Though the courses won’t be required for advancement, most sailors wanting to move up in rank probably will end up taking one or more of the courses.

“The key point is who you are and who you will be in the Navy ... and what level you want to attain in the Navy,” Kirchner said.

Those wanting to move to a higher rank, which usually equates to a position with broader leadership requirements, will most likely have to take at least one of the courses in their career.

More information on the new program is available on the Bureau of Personnel’s Web site at:

Upcoming courses

Navy Leadership Development Program courses will be offered between January and May at these locations:

First-Line Leadership Development Program:

Bahrain: Jan. 25-Feb. 4 and March 21-31.Gaeta, Italy: Jan. 26-Feb. 5 and April 12-22.Naples, Italy: Jan. 26-Feb. 5, Feb. 17-27 and May 24-June 4.La Maddalena, Italy: Feb. 17-27.Souda Bay, Crete: Feb. 17-27 and March 22-April 1.

Primary Leadership Development Program:

Bahrain: May 23 to June 2.Gaeta: March 1-11.Naples: May 3-13.Stuttgart, Germany: April 12-22.

Advanced Leadership Development Program:

Naples: March 1-11.Bahrain: March 21-31.Souda Bay: May 3-13.

— Jason Chudy

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