PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- Citing the importance of continuing education to transformation goals and operational excellence, the Navy's Chief Learning Officer, Vice Adm. Alfred G. Harms Jr., commander, Naval Education and Training Command (NETC), announced the Navy's new Professional Military Education (PME) Continuum Nov. 18.
The PME Continuum integrates advanced education (beyond secondary school level), traditional Navy-specific Professional Military Education (NPME), Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) and leadership development. It sequences learning opportunities with significant career phases, allowing for newer personnel to receive more analytical and technical training, while those more senior will be offered strategic and management-oriented learning opportunities.
"We must adopt a more comprehensive approach to education that fully acknowledges the relevance of education to mission success," said Harms. "It is essential that we broaden the professional and intellectual horizons of Sailors throughout their careers to better prepare them to operate tomorrow's fleet, and to assume key Naval and joint leadership roles."
"As Sailors become more senior," Harms said, "education will provide more strategic perspectives, and develop more effective management and business practices. Leadership development will be more position-focused to align with roles across a career. Ultimately, from the earliest days of their careers, our Sailors and their leaders will know what professional military education is expected and required."
Naval Administrative Message (NAVADMIN) 263-04 outlines the implementation strategy for the comprehensive plan, which will impact every Sailor in the Navy.
"Our staff is aggressively developing flexible learning opportunities for the components of PME," said Harms. "Implementation of the continuum is essential
to the success of Seapower 21, and for the growth and development of our people to meet the challenges of today and the future."
JPME will provide understanding of the principles of jointness that underpin Seapower 21. Education in joint matters will enhance the ability of naval leaders to provide unique and complementary warfighting from the sea to joint force commanders. Timely completion of appropriate JMPE will be a key consideration in identifying future Navy leaders.
According to Harms, NPME will provide a broad, common understanding of the Navy and its full capabilities, and better prepare Sailors to effectively perform their missions across the full spectrum of naval and joint military operations. NPME will also be sequenced across a career, and address three core competencies of the Naval profession: military studies, professionalism, and national and global security.
NPME will also be incorporated into the Five Vector Model (5VM) for all Sailors, and will become a staple in both officer and enlisted accession training. The Center for Naval Leadership (CNL) has taken the lead, in conjunction with the Naval Post Graduate School, Naval War College, the Naval Historical Center, Naval Justice School and the Center for the Study of Professional Military Ethics at the Naval Academy, in developing a primary level course that will be implemented later this year. Content from this course will be used as the baseline for developing an intermediate level course for senior enlisted personnel. Officials hope to have the first intermediate course available by mid-fiscal year 2005.
Harms' senior enlisted leader, NETC Force Master Chief (FORCM) Michael J. McCalip, said the program is coming at the right time.
"The Navy is experiencing transformation everywhere," McCalip said, "and providing a relevant PME program for all Sailors directly supports the Sea Warrior of the 21st century. We believe PME will provide us with a smarter, more agile force ready to meet every mission challenge."
McCalip credited the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) with taking the Navy to new levels of excellence with his commitment to providing more educational opportunities for Sailors.
"PME is the right human capital investment for the Navy to make," McCalip stated, "and it will provide our organization with a huge return on our investment as we press forward in to the future. These are exciting times for Sailors."
Distance learning, Harms believes, will be a key tool for Sailors to further their education and meet the goals of PME. In fact, he said, statistics show a substantial increase in the number of people enrolled in distance learning over the last three years.
"This (distance learning) is gaining steam from the grass roots of the organization," Harms added. "The Sailors like the flexibility this approach provides, and they want it."
Under PME, advanced education will emphasize the development of a technical or analytical knowledge base, critical thinking skills, an innovative mindset, and competencies to lead the Navy in the future. These education opportunities will include certificates, degree programs, and courses and seminars tailored to meet the professional requirements of all Sailors.
"We are transforming the way our Navy develops and equips the extraordinary men and women who choose to serve as members of the world's finest military," said Harms. "As our Navy becomes more high tech, our workforce will get smaller and smarter. We're going to need critical thinkers and agile learners if we're going to achieve the Seapower 21 Navy that the CNO envisions. What we're pursuing here is a future force that we believe will both want to be, and need to be, more educated than ever before."
For related news, visit the Naval Education and Training Command Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cnet.