CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — The Navy says it is still working out the kinks in its Internet career information portal, called Sea Warrior.
The Web site is being revamped to help prepare sailors for better jobs in the military and civilian worlds, said Capt. Randy Morgan, the officer-in-charge of the task force responsible for Sea Warrior.
Sailors should focus on setting a practical career path during their first few years in the service, representatives of Task Force Warrior told sailors Tuesday at the Camp Foster Theater.
With a new contractor at the helm, the revised Sea Warrior Navy Knowledge Online Web portal, at www.nko.navy.mil, rolled out June 3.
“The idea is to get the right skills and go to the right schools before falling into a billet,” said Chief Petty Officer Michelle Brooks.
When asked, some of those in the audience of more than 100 sailors said they didn’t think a model designed to show individuals their best career options worked.
The “five vector model” matches a sailor’s professional, personal, leadership, qualifications and performance criteria to a career path.
“It works, but it’s not accurate yet,” said Brooks, who told sailors that the task force is using feedback to make changes to the model in the next couple of months.
The Navy also has had difficulty getting the program to sailors deployed on ships. That problem should be solved servicewide by 2006, when all ships will have servers with the NKO portal information, Brooks said.
Morgan said last week at Sasebo Naval Base, Japan, that getting the Sea Warrior infrastructure on forward-deployed ships is “our number one priority at this time.”
Originally, Morgan said, he looked at the program as a planning tool for mid-career NCOs who wanted to become senior NCOs.
It is really a tool for anyone, he said, but especially young seamen who may stay with the service, become contractors or leave the Navy altogether.
“What it’s about is that first-termer,” Morgan said Tuesday. “It’s about giving them these opportunities.”
As an example, Morgan cited a hospitalman third class who eventually wants a career as a civilian physician assistant.
Using the site, that sailor could be steered toward a billet in hospital administration, as opposed to a Navy job as an emergency technician, Morgan said. The sailor also could contact others through the Web site who have been in the same position or already have a similar billet, he said.
To get each sailor trained for his or her desired position, the NKO site includes links and information to 5,000 distance-learning courses, Brooks said.
Some younger sailors in attendance said the program’s ideas sounded helpful.
“It will probably help me keep focused on what I should be doing in planning my career,” said Seaman Robert Baldwin, a hospitalman.
Greg Tyler contributed to this report.