Process evaluation of SWOS Division Officer training
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The Navy's Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) community has made impressive and creative efforts to train their junior officers (JOs) while at the same time responding to budget constraints. The current training program, which begins with a five-week course delivered by Afloat Training Groups in Fleet Concentration Areas, has saved money and shown other benefits for SWO ensigns. A formative evaluation based mostly on qualitative data--interviews or focus groups with over 100 SWOs--documents the benefits, but also some unintended consequences. The researchers recommend assessment by SWO leadership to fully weigh the costs saved in current division officer (DIVO) training against the potential for improperly trained and dissatisfied ship drivers. A needs analysis should be conducted to develop formal, dedicated training based on clear objectives and on par with the responsibilities required of the JOs. New training should be strategically communicated throughout the Surface Warfare community to ensure that it is fully understood and supported by all of those in a position to help develop JOs. The plan should contain renewed emphasis on mentoring, which is not as extensive as senior leaders intend. The importance of entry-level training in creating commitment and positive expectations of the Navy is the imperative to continue to improve DIVO training.
NPS Report NumberNPS-GSBPP-10-007
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