The MyNavy HR Career Development Symposium (CDS), hosted by Navy Personnel Command, swept through Hampton Roads, engaging Sailors stationed throughout Navy Region Mid-Atlantic July 13-14.
The events, held at Naval Station Norfolk the first day and aboard Naval Air Station Oceana the second, brought a total of approximately 700 Sailors together with MyNavy HR leadership and subject matter experts to showcase new and emerging Navy programs and initiatives, explain how these changes will be affecting them, and offer Sailors the opportunity to ask questions and voice concerns.
Rear Adm. Alvin Holsey, commander, Navy Personnel Command, said the efforts brought out during CDS made this one of the best he’s seen. For Holsey, having the opportunity to meet Sailors and have direct honest conversations made all the difference.
“To watch young Sailors walk around and hear their comments, to tell them about what we’re doing at Navy Personnel Command, to me is about changing lives and improving outcomes,” he said.
Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Russell Smith also attended CDS and talked with Sailors about their concerns and career aspirations. He said CDS, “(lifts) barriers as a part of the CNO’s ‘Get Real, Get Better’ initiative. Hopefully, this symposium will put time back in our Sailors’ pockets to better prepare for combat," Smith said.
CNP hosted a town hall, where he took questions from Sailors, many of whom took the opportunity to engage senior leaders in a direct forum.
“You can ask hard questions that you may not be able to ask over your computer and we are going to be here to answer them,” said NPC Force Master Chief Chris Detje.
True to its name as a Career Development Symposium, detailers and community management teams were on hand to provide career advice and discuss current and upcoming programs with Sailors.
“There’s not too many times that a Sailor can have their enlisted community manager and a detailer in the same spot at the same time, it’s like one stop shopping,” said Master Chief Electrician's Mate Douglas Stevenson Jr., Surface Engineering Enlisted Community Manager.
The central feature of CDS was the MyNavy HR Trade Show. Sailors had the opportunity to visit tables filled with information and meet with subject matter experts standing by to discuss many programs and initiatives such as the MyNavy Career Center, eNAVFIT, the Government Travel Charge Card, the MyPCS Travel Voucher, MyNavy Coaching, and many others.
For Sailors new to their careers, CDS also brought with it the Professional Apprenticeship Career Track (PACT) Fleet Engagement Team, which helped more than 450 Sailors earn a rate right on the spot. Held in conjunction with CDS, the PACT Team started their work July 12 and wrapped up July 15.
“This (CDS) is a fantastic event. This is the biggest event I have ever seen and it’s been nothing but excellent,” said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class George Whitehead, assigned to Navy Cargo Handling Battalion (NHCB) 1. “Every single one of my sailors got a rate today. It was fantastic.”
“The Sailors really mean everything and without the men and women in this room we’re not the strongest military on the planet,” said Dietje. “It’s our mission to make sure that we’re taking care of each and every Sailor. CDS brings us closer to our goal: To see the Sailor today.”
Learn more about CDS at https://www.mynavyhr.navy.mil/Career-Management/Talent-Management/CDS.
Follow MyNavy HR on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MyNAVYHR
LCDR Rick Chernitzer
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