Surface Warfare Officers-initial training for future success
Wilson, Arron J.
Olsen, Christopher J.
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The training of any Surface Warfare Officer begins at the Basic Division Officer Course (BDOC). This training is meant to lay the foundation for an officer’s first tour and build the core competencies for their careers. Recent incidents in U.S. 7th Fleet, which took the lives of 17 sailors, caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to multiple warships, and reduced our Navy’s ability to complete missions, has called this training into question. In this study, we reviewed the effectiveness of BDOC by interviewing BDOC staff and former BDOC students. We identify problems with the Naval Education and Training Command End-to-End Process used for updating and creating learning modules and Surface Warfare Officer School (SWOS) staffing as well as weaknesses in the methodologies used for training. We conclude that the Basic Division Officers Course, and SWOS as a whole, could greatly increase the effectiveness of their training by improving the efficiency of the End-to-End Process, adding an on-site instructional system design team at SWOS, properly staffing each of the Basic Division Officer Course sites, and focusing less on PowerPoint slides and more on situational and interactive learning methods.
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