A proficiency-based cost estimate of Surface Warfare Officer on-the-job training
Macaluso, Anthony D.
Hatch, William D.
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Since 2003, the Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) community has changed initial training on two occasions. In 2003, they replaced schoolhouse training (SWOS) with an OJT intensive shipboard computer-based-training in response to criticism that SWOS was a wasteful use of six months. Yet, SWOs considered "SWOS-at-Sea" inadequate fleet preparation, prompting the reestablishment of one month of "SWO Intro." A 2010 Government Accountability Office report concluded the Navy must evaluate how changes to training impact job performance, not just budgetary costs. Analysis of SWO training costs should consider how training changes impact officer proficiencies and qualification time. This thesis calculates the SWO OJT investment assuming the Navy subsidizes officer development until officers achieve SWO qualification. The research proposes first-tour officer proficiency is a function of commissioning source and initial training professional development. After arrival at the ship, proficiency is measured by SWO Personnel Qualification Standards (PQS) progress and, ultimately, SWO qualification. The analysis finds that decreases to initial training increase shipboard training costs, and that changes to initial training have not been accommodated by appropriate shifts in qualification time requirements. Recommendations include adopting SWOS's proposal for two months of initial training in San Diego and Norfolk, ensuring SWOS learning outcomes are based on SWO PQS, and adjusting SWO qualification time requirements to reflect level of initial training.
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