Electronic Training Jackets Help Sailors Manage Their Careers

Story Number: NNS050622-19Release Date: 6/23/2005 6:55:00 AM
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By Jon Gagné, Naval Education and Training Command Public Affairs

PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- The Electronic Training Jacket (ETJ) tool on the Navy Knowledge Online (NKO) Web site is an important link for Sailors who are tracking their career progression or preparing for advancement.

ETJ integrates data from a host of Navy databases to provide active-duty or Reserve personnel a complete history of the knowledge, skills and abilities they offer to the U.S. Navy.

"The Navy's ultimate goal for ETJ is to give every Sailor access to education and training information anywhere, at any time, to support individual and operational readiness for the fleet," said Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) Force Master Chief Michael J. McCalip. "Achieving that goal through ETJ is a key factor for the professional growth and advancement of our Sailors."

ETJ collates for the user all the training, education, special qualifications, certifications, skills, awards and other data pertaining to an individual's career. The information is maintained in various folders within the individual's training jacket. With all of this data available at their fingertips, Sailors can now manage their own ETJ folders to ensure that everything is in the right place at the right time for career progression.

According to McCalip, Sailors should be taking an active role in managing their ETJ, especially with the onset of the Navy's Professional Military Education (PME) Continuum.

"As Sailors complete college courses, finish training and earn Navy qualifications, it's extremely important to document that information," McCalip said. "Fortunately, the NKO Web site has made updating the ETJ as easy as logging in to the site and making a few clicks of the mouse."

Senior Chief Electronics Technician William McKeithen, NETC enlisted PME manager, believes that individuals should think of their Electronic Training Jacket as an online resume.

"ETJ is where Sailors must validate and update their personal educational data. In the very near future, as part of Sea Warrior, this information may be used to determine suitability for billet assignments and promotion," McKeithen said. "It's your resume, a history of your career and accomplishments, qualifications and education.

"Whether they are viewing future job possibilities or merely ensuring that they are getting credit and recognition for their training and professional accomplishments, this information should be checked on a regular basis," he added.

ETJ compiles data from a host of different sources for college degree and course data, service schools, College Level Entry Program (CLEP) exams, military courses (which provide American Council on Education (ACE) credits), language skills, additional qualification designations (AQDs), completed Corporate Enterprise and Training Activity Resource System (CeTARS) training information, and more. Ultimately, ETJ will be the definitive source for housing all of this information.

McKeithen said the process of updating the ETJ is fast.

"Online NKO courses update very quickly," McKeithen said. "I recently completed an NKO online course, and it was listed at the top of my ETJ training folder within the week. College courses take a little longer to be updated, typically from two to four weeks from the time a Sailor turns in the information."

NKO provides the user various links to Navy database sites that are used for compiling the information contained in the ETJ. Step-by-step instructions are included for updating and correcting information in each folder of the Electronic Training Jacket.

"Updating the ETJ is very easy," said Intelligence Specialist 1st Class (SW) Robert Scales, of Explosive Ordnance Detachment Mobile Unit 8, based in Sigonella, Sicily. "After a Sailor logs into the ETJ portal, they will find a 'Problems with your data?' hyperlink on the lower portion of the screen. All a Sailor has to do is click on this link, and a pop-up screen appears listing the procedures and points of contact for updating their information. It's real easy."

Scales said if Sailors are still having problems getting their information updated, they should contact their local Personnel Support Activity (PSA) or ask for help via the ETJ feedback link. They can also ask for assistance from their peers via one of the many message boards on NKO.

As more and more Sailors turn to off-duty education as a means to achieve their educational goals, proper management of the training jacket will become increasingly important to Sailors preparing for advancement.

"I have my troops print out their ETJ once a quarter," said Storekeeper 2nd Class Joshua Palmer, of Assault Craft Unit 1, homeported in San Diego. "If corrections are not necessary, I simply transfer the information into the Sailor's hardcopy training folder that is managed by our leading petty officer. If discrepancies are noted, I help the Sailors to take the necessary steps to correct the problem. Doing this on a regular basis makes it a lot easier."

Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Rebecca Wagner, of Naval Security Group Activity Kunia, Hawaii, agrees.

"I have found the ETJ feature of NKO to be quite useful," Wagner said. "The first time I viewed my training jacket, I discovered a lot of things that were not included, like certain qualifications and course certificates. But I was able to update my ETJ without any problem. I have also used NKO to update my college courses information."

Through NKO, Sailors can view and update their training jackets from their work stations, their home, or any other location with Internet access, 24-hours a day, seven days a week. This around-the-clock access to information is a key functionality of NKO.

"Having the right skills in the right places at the right times will enable our Sailors to become effective Sea Warriors today and in the future," said Vice Adm. Kevin Moran, commander, NETC. "The ETJ empowers Sailors by giving them a tool to manage their own careers, one of many in their Sea Warrior tool box."

"I strongly encourage all Sailors to take the time to review their personal records on ETJ thoroughly," McCalip said. "Sea Warrior is our Navy's future. And as we become a smaller, better-educated and more highly-trained force, it becomes increasingly important that our professional Sailors take an active role in managing their online resume."

For more information on ETJ, visit the NKO Web site at https://wwwa.nko.navy.mil. For more information on the Naval Education and Training Command, visit the NETC command Web site at https://www.netc.navy.mil.

For related news, visit the Naval Education and Training Command Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cnet/.

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