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Training/Professional Development
Considering the fact that the Army has free Rosetta Stone language training software on Army Online that usually costs hundreds on dollars to buy in the civilian world and the fact that the Marine Corps War College allows all students to take an Arabic language elective, is the Navy going get on the language training bandwagon and fund any options like these in the future?
We are aggressively pursuing foreign language training opportunities through a variety of means. We have added an On-line Language Learning Tool to the FY08 budget and plan to begin deploying it to NKO by the end of 2007. While our on-line language tool is not Rosetta Stone, it does provide comparable benefits of computer-based, modern language-learning techniques in modules that can be downloaded to personal computers, laptops, iPods and other hand-held devices. This tool is designed to teach mission-relevant terminology and vocabulary designed for specific military operations and can be expanded up to 88 different foreign languages (including the GWOT languages we need). This on-line language tool is already in use by Navy students attending the Defense Language Institute (DLI) who use it to augment their classroom instruction.

We have also added additional training seats for non-FAO officers at DLI and will use them to provide language education for those assigned to billets (such as foreign war colleges, PEP and overseas duty). Detailers and community managers are already filling these opportunities. Finally, we are considering additional personnel funds for future budgets to support six month in-country immersion language training for up to 25 Navy FAO's per year.

Foreign Language Proficiency Bonus (FLPB) is by far the best motivator for Sailors to acquire/sustain/improve their language skills. Except for those languages in which we have sufficient capacity (i.e., Spanish, French, Tagalog, German, Italian, Korean, Russian, Portuguese), any Sailor can be eligible for FLPB provided he or she achieves a qualifying score on the Defense Language Proficiently Test. To help us shape our force, some languages receive higher FLPB rates than others (e.g., highest Arabic proficiency can get $500 per month). The law caps the monthly payment at $1,000 per month for more than one language.
Could MCT (combat training) for all 2401ís/2404ís be increased to include reservists?
Marine Combat Training is already a requirement for all RPs & HMs (active and reserve) ordered into theater with the Marine Corps to complete Marine Combat Training. Please let your chain of command know if you did not receive that training prior to deploying with your unit.
Is there any plan to implement Tuition Assistance for naval reservists?
TA is available to Reservists, although limited to only those Reserve Sailors serving on continuous active duty. TA is also available to Reservists ordered to active duty for 120 days and to Reserve Officers ordered to active duty for 2 years or more.

To qualify for TA, service members must:
- be on active duty for the whole length of the course.
- attend an institution accredited by a regional, national, or professional accrediting agency recognized by the Department of Education.
- receive counseling from a Navy College Office who will assist in the application process and determine if a CLEP/DSST exam could take the place of the course to be funded (If CLEP/DSST exam credit can be used, Sailors will take test first and, hopefully, receive college credit without taking the course).
- provide all grades from previously funded TA courses and reimburse the Navy for those courses in which a Sailor receives a failing grade and/or withdrawal grade (if the Sailor withdrew for involuntary reasons, a waiver of TA reimbursement may be granted with his/her commandís verification).
Will they break up NEC courses into SCBT-like classes to make it easier to get an NEC over time? How will this affect the skill?
We recently started a pilot program for the Advanced Builder (5907), Advanced Construction Electrician (5635), and Advanced Utilitiesman (6105) NECs to break up the course of instruction into modules similar to the SCBT method of instruction.

This pilot program allows a Journeyman to take the "C" school course of instruction using 1-to-3 week modules in any order over a period of 18 months. It also gives Sailors the opportunity to learn the material and perform some limited practical exercises, and then take their education back to the workspace and put it to practical use.

Training in this way should provide more reinforcement of the skills right after they are learned in the classroom. We will evaluate the pilot program over time and, if it proves successful, look for ways to make the arrangement more permanent.
Will tuition be raised in the future to allow Sailors to reach a higher degree before using the G.I. Bill?
The tuition assistance ceiling is now sixteen (16) semester hours per year, up from the previous limit of twelve (12) semester hours. This policy was announced in NAVADMIN 166/06, released 9 June 2006.

If you are interested in taking more than 16 semester hours of college credit per fiscal year, you may submit a waiver request. More tuition assistance and waiver information may be obtained from the Navy College website at https://www.navycollege.navy.mil/.
Will Sailors with language aptitude ever be allowed to attend Defense Language Institute (DLI)?
I can tell you that right now Sailors bound for DLI are either career linguists (i.e., CTI) whose rating demands linguistic proficiency, or in billets coded for foreign language. An example of the latter would be a Sailor in a non-CTI rating (e.g., IS, OS (Seal), etc) whose prospective billet requires skill in a given language. In this case, the detailer would see the language requirement and send the Sailor to DLI en route to the permanent duty station billet which requires that language. If you do well on the DLAB, I recommend you talk to your Command Career Counselor about cross rating to CTI or about non-CTI language billets that are available to you.
Will enlisted members have the opportunity to attend DOD graduate universities since tuition assistance doesnít cover costs for graduate school credits?
The Department of Defense has not validated the requirement for graduate level degrees for the enlisted force. Until we have those requirements, we will be looking at other ways to encourage Sailors to further their education.

There are now some limited opportunities for senior enlisted Sailors who attend the Naval War College to complete graduate degrees while they are there. There is also a great opportunity for highly motivated, world-wide assignable senior enlisted (E7-E9) professionals to pursue a Navy relevant degree program during their off duty time. The Advanced Education Voucher (AEV) master's degree program covers 100 percent of tuition, books, and related fees up to a maximum of $20,000 per year for up to 24 months of enrollment. As you progress through the ranks, I encourage you to look into these programs.
What are we doing to make Navy Knowledge Online and the Five Vector Model accessible to commands without the requisite bandwidth and/or IT capability?
There is nothing worse than staring at the hourglass on that computer screen. I donít like it any more than you do. Everyone in the senior leadership is aware of the issue and is working very hard to find solutions. For starters, we are going to begin outfitting small ships and submarines with terabyte servers to open up some of that bandwidth. If that works well, weíll look at expanding their use to other commands in need.

Part of the problem, though, lies in our own self-discipline. Bandwidth is a lot like money -- the more you have the more you tend to spend. And we have a real bad habit in the Navy of finding all kinds of new ways to ďspendĒ our bandwidth, particularly at sea. It seems each time we manage to save a little bandwidth, we find a new technology or capability to use it up. We need to get a whole lot smarter about that.
Do you see any changes coming in the advancement system? When are we going to start getting advanced based on skill-level rather than through test-taking ability?
The advancement system in our Navy will definitely change. How much and how exactly fast I simply canít say right now. But this much is certain: itís going to become competency-based and performance-based, and it is going to reward you not just for what you know but how well you apply your knowledge through a broad range of skill sets.

Are we at the stage where we can eliminate advancement tests? No, but I think that day is eventually coming.

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