UNCLASSIFIED// ROUTINE R 090042Z DEC 09 BT UNCLAS FM CNO WASHINGTON DC//N1// TO NAVADMIN INFO CNO WASHINGTON DC//N1// NAVADMIN 349/09 MSGID/GENADMIN/CNO WASHINGTON DC/N1/DEC// SUBJ/FY-10 UNITED STATES NAVAL ACADEMY LEADERSHIP EDUCATION AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM// RMKS/1. THIS NAVADMIN ANNOUNCES APPLICATION PROCEDURES FOR THE FY-10 LEADERSHIP EDUCATION AND DEVELOPMENT (LEAD) PROGRAM. THE UNITED STATES NAVAL ACADEMY (USNA) IS SEEKING APPLICATIONS FROM MOTIVATED, ACADEMICALLY AND PROFESSIONALLY QUALIFIED UNRESTRICTED LINE (URL) OFFICERS FOR THE FY-10 LEAD PROGRAM. SELECTED OFFICERS WILL SERVE AS BOTH COMPANY OFFICERS AND ROLE MODELS FOR OUR FUTURE NAVAL OFFICERS. THE USNA COMPANY OFFICER MASTERS PROGRAM IS A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY FOR JUNIOR OFFICERS TO PARTICIPATE IN A 36-MONTH GRADUATE EDUCATION AND LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE. THE PROGRAM COMBINES A FULLY-FUNDED MASTER OF PROFESSIONAL STUDIES DEGREE IN LEADERSHIP, EDUCATION, AND DEVELOPMENT FROM A GREATER BALTIMORE-WASHINGTON, D.C., METROPOLITAN AREA UNIVERSITY WITH THE OPPORTUNITY TO SERVE AS A COMPANY OFFICER FOR TWO YEARS AT USNA. OFFICERS ATTEND CLASSES AT THE UNIVERSITY AND WITHIN THE NAVAL ACADEMY YARD AT LUCE HALL. (Emphasis added)



Posted by UltimaRatioReg in Marine Corps, Navy, Uncategorized


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  • Prof Gene

    A little background:

    USNA initiated this program in the early 90’s in an attempt to:
    – Make a Company Officer tour more valuable to the officer and the Navy. Company Officer had become a near-deadend job and it was more difficult to find strong officers to take it on, while community managers did not see any value in sending good officers to a tour they perceived was without a payoff. Integrating a master’s degree into a three-year tour provided the officer a graduate degree and the community some sense of “value”. It also is intended to draw more career-motivated officers into this role, which should provide better role models for midn.
    – Better prepare Company Officers to succeed, and to succeeed earlier in their tours, by providing them a solid foundation on which to stand. The transition from leading a division of 20-30 Sailors to a company of over 100 midshipmen is a serious challenge, since you have 3-4 times as many people, you see them less often, and you have far less experience to tap into among your junior leaders (an LPO typically has 5 or more years service and a couple of deployments; a company commander has three years and two midn cruises). This program gets new Company Officers 14 months on the Yard as observers before they take on a company, plus the opportunity to read/write/think on how to be effective in this role before they actually do it.
    – Build a library of academic research into Bancroft-specific leadership challenges that can be used to drive internal policy and improve midn performance as leaders.
    – Get junior Navy leaders to start thinking earlier about the need for ongoing leader development across a career. Hopefully this leads them to self-development, professional reading, etc. and serves as a model for their peers.

    A few issues:
    – This was initiated with NPS as the degree-granting institution and USNA providing an O-5 full time for oversight and supervision. Classes were by a mix of distance (VTC with some online) and on-site (NPS profs flew to USNA for 2-4 weeks). Using NPS allowed the Navy to drive the curriculum directly and control the qualifications of faculty. A few years ago, the decision was made to bid the program competitively to save money; since then UMD, UMUC and a consortium of local colleges have been running the program. The money saved is not great.
    – This program provides a leadership master’s degree to Company Officers, who then teach a section of one of the core leadership courses most semesters. Full-time leadership instructors, who teach four sections of students every semester are not included. Instructors in leadership, seamanship and navigation are the only USNA instructors who are not required to have a master’s degree (even PE requires an MA) – and leadership is the moist difficult of those three to teach. Creating a system where some instructors in a course are required to have a degree, but most are not, communicates that maybe this degree program really isn’t all that important.
    – This degree leads to a subspecialty, but the only billets coded for this subspecialty are Company Officer slots at USNA. There are no other billets in the navy aligned to this subspecialty – not at the Command Leadership School, not at the Center for Naval Leadership (now folded into CPPD) that owns officer and enlisted leader development courses, not in the N1 organization that controls leader development policy, and not at the Navy Education & Training Command. Leadership Development is the Navy’s only subspecialty that leads nowhere.
    – The Navy has not certified any other MA at any other institution as providing this subspecialty, so it cannot be earned in any other way. That’s a departure from general policy to maximize officers’ opportunities to achieve subspecialties.

    Comment:
    This is a good idea that is not being well executed.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    “This is a good idea that is not being well executed.”

    May be the case. But, even if well-executed, I would have trepidation toward serving in such a billet with the current command climate and the yawning chasm of a credibility gap between the Superintendent/Commandant of Middies and the Midshipmen themselves.

    Perhaps it is reflective of your observation that “Leadership Development is the Navy’s only sub-specialty that leads nowhere”. It is one aspect in which a number of senior officers are conspicuously and sadly lacking.

  • Cap’n Bill

    A long time ago I was one of the “pioneer group” of Luce Hall Lt/LCDR who vluntarily enrolled in a 3-yr after hours MA Program in Personnel Management. Our fulltime duties were teaching Seamanship, Leadership and Navigation. This scheme was conducted under auspices of GWU who supplied curriculum,staff (they vetted several USNA instructors) and routine academic guidance. Core Lectures and all 90% of classes were held in the Yard. We drove to neighboring military activities and (rarely) to weekend classes in DC. Ours seems to have been a more energetic and demanding program than the “leadership” courses mentioned above.
    There may have been some BUPERS holy water but I never saw it. We did graduate with a GWU MS in Personnel Management and were so certified by BUPERS.

    It seems that all such programs need to be reviewed for effectiveness. Maybe this would have been helpful in the Bancroft Hall scheme.

  • Prof Gene

    URR –

    Throughout the existence of this program many of the participating officers have expressed great frustration at what they perceive to be a huge gap between the leadership taught in LEAD (this MA program in Leadership Education and Development) and the leadership they see practiced/preached in Bancroft Hall and elsewhere on the Yard. More than a few midshipmen agree with that concern. And some of these officers have told me they have not seen the real value of their LEAD studies until they returned to the Fleet, since they felt what they had learned was much more welcome there than it was in Bancroft Hall.

    The fact that Company Officers continue to perceive that they are “caught in the middle” and called upon to defend policies that are clearly flawed is a huge problem. We need to get some top officers into those billets as strong role models and influencers who will help stamp our Navy values and perspectives on the lives of the next generation of officers coming out of USNA. Four years at USNA is costly – the Navy needs to maximize the value of the 700+ Ensigns that are produced every year. Company Officers have a critical role in that; we should arm them well for the challenge.

  • RickWilmes

    I think what is needed is a discussion about leadership and values. A good place to start might be John Allison’s speech on ‘Leadership and Values’ found at

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDAn51D_YxY&feature=youtube_gdata.

    The noise at the beginning only lasts for a couple of minutes.

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