Great Lakes, Ill. (NNS) -- The staff and students of Training Support Center (TSC) Great Lakes have created a memorable year in 2019.
As 2020 begins, it is worthwhile to look back and reflect on the many changes, events and successes this past year.
At the beginning of the year, the revised Student Handbook was posted on the TSC Great Lakes’ website. Changes in the handbook encompass revised sections in a wide array of policies including; room standards, alcohol, mishap and safety reporting, liberty and watch standing.
Incoming Sailors from boot camp continue to be expertly trained during a four-day Life Skills class that teaches them critical information and decision-making skills they will need to know in order to have a successful Navy career. The course covers sexual assault intervention, military pay and entitlements, healthy relationships, navigating stress, operations security, banking and financial management service, and responsible alcohol use.
To further assist students in the Sailorization process, TSC established a bi-monthly region-wide Student Mentorship Program. Over 120 students per session have met over lunch with mentors from Great Lakes area commands to discuss fleet, professional and leadership development topics.
Fleet and Family Support Center began holding in-barracks “Married in the Military” classes for TSC students who are married, getting married or interested in getting information on topics such as the process of applying for and getting married, defense enrollment eligibility reporting system, record updates, name change, basic allowance for housing and Tricare.
Prospective Navy Military Training Instructors (NMTI) continue to go through rigorous training and testing. This training ensures that they are hard-charging, highly motivated and highly qualified individuals whom students can use as an example of living to the Navy Core Values – honor, courage and commitment.
This year also saw the initial development of an NMTI Academy. The Academy combines classroom instruction with a well-defined rotational plan for newly reported staff members with the goal to enhance NMTIs leadership skills and organizational knowledge while streamlining the qualification process. In conjunction with the development of the Academy, TSC is implementing a Talent Management Plan focused on developing the staff as leaders, mentors, and role models while allowing them to focus on their career and personal growth.
Aligned with the Navy’s new Leadership Continuum, TSC qualified 30 staff members to teach the Advanced Leader Development Course and Intermediate Leader Development Course to help ensure Sailors meet all advancement requirements.
This year saw four first class petty officers selected for promotion to chief petty officer and seven staff advanced to the rank of first and second class petty officers.
During a Suicide Awareness Prevention Month event, students from each barracks designed and presented themed posters judged by TSC Great Lakes leadership increasing awareness of the month’s message of "Small Steps Save Lives."
During Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, the Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions (CSADD) Sailors held a variety show to draw attention to dating violence. Numerous singers, dancers, musicians and poets showed their talents for a good cause.
TSC Great Lakes' CSADD Sailors were named the 2019 Bob Feller Act of Valor Award winners in the "Peer-to-Peer" Shore category for the U.S. Navy. This was the fourth year in a row they received the award. The award honors groups of junior Sailors that have excelled in encouraging other Sailors to embody the Navy Core Values, and have worked together to promote peer-to-peer mentorship to reduce destructive personal decision-making and behaviors.
This year saw a number of foreign and domestic visits, allowing TSC to display the mission of training Sailors ready for the Fleet.
Visits included U.S. Sixth Fleet Command Master Chief Johannes Gonzalez; fifteen senior foreign students from Naval Education and Training Security Assistance Field Activity; Republic of Korea Fleet Master Chief Yong Hee Kwon and Command Master Chief for Naval Forces Korea Christian Detje; San Diego area educators; Military Legislative Assistant to Sen. Tammy Duckworth, Matt Lampert; and Commander, Naval Education and Training Command, Rear Adm. Kyle Cozad.
Sailors continued volunteering their time in the local community improving lives outside the command.
The Reading with Friends Program provided TSC Sailors and students an opportunity to spend one morning each month reading books and answering questions from students at Forrestal Elementary School in Great Lakes.
Sailors teamed up with other volunteers at Feed My Starving Children in Libertyville, Illinois, to help prepare meals for children around the world.
CSADD Sailors were doing their part to help improve the environment working in Independence Grove Forest Preserve. Every Thursday a group of Sailors traveled to the forest preserve in Libertyville to maintain the forest and its natural beauty by clearing out invasive species of plants and replacing them with trees and plants native to northern Illinois.
The TSC Holiday Committee and Petty Officers Association led the effort in collecting gifts for two organizations that contributed to bettering the lives of less fortunate children during the winter season. Toys for Tots is a program run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve, which distributes toys to children whose parents cannot afford to buy them gifts, and The Salvation Army's Angel Tree Program, which provides gifts of new clothing and toys to thousands of children who otherwise might not have anything for Christmas.
Volunteering went both ways between TSC and the local community. This was no more apparent than how the surrounding area opened their hearts and homes during Thanksgiving.
More than 150 local homes and McHenry VFW Post 4600 invited and hosted 400 TSC Sailors to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal as part of the annual Adopt-A-Sailor program.
To close the year out, buses were loaded and students made their way to various parts of the world, as the annual Mass Exodus was in full effect for TSC Great Lakes.
More than 4,100 TSC Sailors gathered in the base Moral, Welfare and Recreation gym facility, Navy Exchange, National Museum of the Great Lakes and the USO waiting for buses that transported them during the early morning hours to local airports. Present to make sure the event went off without a hitch were numerous TSC, Center for Surface Combat Systems Unit Great Lakes and Surface Warfare Engineering School Command staff members.
This past year’s review highlights just a few of the impressive accomplishments of the dedicated staff and students. TSC has a long tradition of mission success and the command is looking forward to great accomplishments in training, volunteerism and continued support with the surrounding community in the New Year.
For more news from Training Support Center, Great Lakes, visit www.navy.mil/local/tscgl/.