NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to the Ford-class aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) develop and implement their leadership skills during Sailor 360 training sessions, physical training and community relations projects, designed to strengthen and enrich its enlisted leaders.
Sailor 360 was created to provide the tools to develop Sailors into effective leaders. Ford’s version of Sailor 360 is the program expanding to include more ranks in a continued effort in developing the backbone of the Navy.
“Sailor 360 is a program to help guide future leaders,” said Master-at-Arms 1st Class Eric Soto, from San Antonio. “Its goal is to engage Sailors and prepare us to take on future leadership roles.”
Ford’s Sailor 360 co-lead, Chief Hospital Corpsman Marlene Koza, from Norfolk, agrees it is never too early to train and mentor the Navy’s future deckplate leaders.
“Mentoring Sailors earlier gives them skills to lead Sailors of their divisions competently,” said Koza. “An effective leader makes sure all of the information is broken down and understood by their team, in other words helping them see the bigger picture, before leading the team towards a goal.”
Sailor 360 is team-building based, involving the development and sharing of ideas, community outreach, and training among shipmates. The program requires a large commitment and Soto says the payoff is greater, and molds them into better leaders.
“[As opposed to previous programs], Sailor 360 is going to create a better, well-rounded leader of tomorrow,” said Soto. “It’s going to bring the same leadership skills, but is going to fill in the gaps previous programs may have missed.”
During the trainings and events, Sailors can count on being involved and engaged.
“Attendees can expect to have a family environment, and be held accountable to share ideas,” said Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class Richard Mabe, from Matthews, Virginia. “Be ready to interact and come together for the common goal.”
As first class petty officers train to improve their leadership skills, Koza added that it’s important to keep in mind the continual group progress towards individual leadership goals.
“I conduct interviews for the leadership positions within Sailor 360 to find the best Sailors that will embrace that role and have a positive effect for the program and command,” said Koza."
Sailors hold their commitment to the program and developing themselves for many reasons, but a few reasons continually rise above the rest.
“I’m committed to becoming a better Sailor and leader for Sailors to look up to,” said Soto. “With the help of our mentors and shipmates this program is helping everyone maintain a constant attitude of building each other up.”
Future plans to implement the program to all ranks are in the works.
“For the time being, first class petty officers are encouraged to join, but in the near future the program will open to include second class petty officers,” said Koza.
Sailor 360 helps all Sailors in their professional and personal lives. Forming a stronger Navy and developing Sailors into better people and leaders.
Gerald R. Ford is a first-in-class aircraft carrier and the first new aircraft carrier designed in more than 40 years. Ford is currently undergoing its post-shakedown availability at Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding.
For more news from USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn78/.