Story by Equipment Operator 2nd Class Marisela Allen, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3 Public Affairs
OKINAWA, Japan – Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction (NMCB) 3 have embraced the Navy’s Sailor 360 program as a way to shape and promote leadership skills in junior enlisted Seabees.
The Sailor 360 program is the Navy’s newest leadership training program designed to enrich the professional development of its enlisted Sailors. The program brings significant changes to how the Navy has traditionally trained enlisted leaders since 2011 and empowers commands to continue the leadership conversation through command-developed trainings.
This new curriculum is derived from Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer’s initiative titled “Laying the Keel: Developing the backbone of our Navy.” The program applies to seven leadership training fundamentals: alignment, habits, training, education, opportunity, feedback and self-awareness.
NMCB-3 is one of the first commands in the Naval Construction Force to implement the program in their training curriculum with small group training sessions meeting monthly.
“It feels good be part of a command that’s going to take on implementing this program and find out what the best practices are to be able to pass that on to similar commands for the benefit of their Seabees,” said Builder 2nd Class Daphne Maxwell at the conclusion of the first training session.
NMCB-3 is utilizing the course to give all Sailors an opportunity to have a discussion about what it takes to lead at all levels through challenge, adversity, and positive feedback. This training format was a focus that was more heavily leveraged towards first class petty officers in the past.
Senior Chief Equipment Operator Denise Demontagnac is the program’s advisor. Her responsibilities include ensuring all program training objectives are in accordance with the curriculum’s fundamental elements of the leadership development process as well as listening and initiating feedback vital to the enhancement of the Sailor 360 program for future organizational development.
“I think Sailor 360 will have a great impact on NMCB-3’s command climate, with everyone knowing their voice will be heard for their own personal development,” said Demontagnac. “The importance of the curriculum is to ensure we provide overall mentorship to Sailors from E-1 through E-9, with it always being a constant goal to empower all so no one feels left out.”
Command Master Chief Alonso Cadena, command master chief of NMCB-3, said that he welcomes the program with open arms and is an advocate for the new direction and flexibility of the Navy’s mentorship program.
“The program will allow us to provide direct mentorship from supervisors—we can provide leadership skills early on that need to be addressed in order to make the unit better while not going off of one template and one schedule,” said Cadena. “It allows us to be creative.”
During the first implementation of NMCB-3’s Sailor 360 program, conducted onboard Camp Shields in Okinawa, Japan, ten second class petty officers mentored more junior enlisted Sailors to tackle the topic of “why.” The leaders addressed the topic that lingers in many junior Sailor’s minds as they may struggle to understand the purpose of their day-to-day tasks in their work centers and how they relate to the bigger picture in both their personal careers and the battalion’s operations and overall readiness.
“This gives us a good reference point of where we are at in life, whether it’s in building our careers in the Navy or preparing for a career as a civilian,” said Equipment Operator 3rd Class Alvis Frederick. “I look at this as something to get us on the right track and help us develop a good plan. I think Sailor 360 is good for our future.”
NMCB-3, nicknamed “Better Than Best,” has the values of leadership and ownership built into the commanding officer’s command philosophy and leaders looks to foster more forward-thinking Sailors who are more involved in leadership throughout all levels of service.
“We want everyone to have a chance to say something and be heard,” said Demontagnac. “We want to use these discussions to build leaders, unlock potential, and show our junior Seabees what they’re capable of.”
Other more senior petty officers showed excitement for facilitating the course and mentoring their Junior Seabees.
“I really hope this program does not fall by the wayside, and I hope the participation will grow as we continue on,” said Builder 1st Class Ghafayt Moredeyo at the conclusion of the command’s first Sailor 360 class. “I think this can be a great tool if interest and value are there.”
For more information about Seabees and NMCB-3, visit http://seabeemagazine.navylive.dodlive.mil or https://www.facebook.com/NMCB3/