Introduction

As our Navy grows and evolves to protect America's interests in a fast paced, more complex and increasingly competitive environment, more will be expected and demanded from its Enlisted Leaders at all levels. Today, we are the strongest Navy in the world by any measure – we have the most capable ships, the best equipment, and more importantly the finest Sailors. Petty Officers have been demonstrating technical competence and devotion to duty in our Navy since 1775. Just as our capital assets, procedures, policies and technology have evolved over the course of our history, so has the process to develop effective leadership qualities that address the challenges our Sailors face. Our Sailors today are recognized worldwide in their distinct ability to overcome adversity, courageously face challenges and accomplish our Navy's mission as the world's most well trained and combat ready force. The Navy the Nation Needs will require our Enlisted Leaders to be continuously flexible, more innovative and confident in achieving operational excellence in tougher and more challenging environments. As our Sailors operate on all domains, from the sea floor to space, their daily duties, mission and challenges are unique. However, they must be united in their understanding of expectations and obligations to develop their skills from technical proficiency to leadership. Character development and adherence to our Ethos must be reinforced periodically throughout a Sailor's career by applying challenge, training, education, and accountability. Through experience and a deliberate leadership development process that points to our true north, the U.S. Navy remains the best in the world with the brightest and most capable people defending our nation. Our Navy cannot build the framework for leadership development without first "Laying the Keel." As our future Enlisted Leaders proceed from the stern to the bow over the course of their careers, marking each milestone, they are building the Backbone of our future Navy that is enduring and deeply connected to the Heritage of those that have gone before us. thenavytimes.org: Allows us to continue the growth and development conversation through a command owned and managed program. Building on the concepts learned in the foundational courses, this flexible, command specific approach is designed to be inclusive of all ranks. LAYING THE KEEL – DEVELOPING THE BACKBONE OF OUR NAVY: Formal courses set the foundation for career long learning. This foundation is formed by a series of short duration, high impact, advanced learning experiences, that focus on: Character, Ethics, Leadership, the Profession of Arms, Self-Awareness, and Decision Making, facilitated by trained and certified Senior Enlisted Leaders. Continuous Coaching, mentoring and advocacy will produce Sailors that are ready to be initiated into the ranks of the Chief Petty Officer. Teaching to our CPO Creed during initiation gives us the ability to align every Chief to the ideals and expectations of CPO Mess.

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