VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) (SS/SW) Rick D. West met with students attending Center for Personal and Professional Development courses at Naval Air Station Oceana Dam Neck Annex Feb. 9.
West spoke with Sailors from commands all around the Hampton Roads area who were attending Journeyman Instructor Training (JIT), Command Training Team Indoctrination (CTTI) and Alcohol and Drug Abuse Managers/Supervisors (ADAMS) for Supervisors Facilitator Training courses taught by CPPD Learning Site Dam Neck instructors and facilitators.
"It is a great honor to host MCPON West at CPPD and facilitate his discussions with Sailors attending our courses," said CPPD commanding officer Capt. Chuck Hollingsworth. "We're very proud of the professionalism and dedication of CPPD's staff and instructors, as well as the job we do in supporting mission readiness by serving Sailors and helping them reach their personal and professional goals."
West was in the Hampton Roads area Feb. 7-9 conducting visits with a number of commands. During his CPPD visit, he spoke to officer and enlisted students about the importance of being an instructor in the Navy.
"You're going to shape a lot of minds," he told students in the JIT class. "Whether you're a second class, first class or chief, you're an instructor, and everyone will look up to you for that - you're the standard setters," he said.
West answered students' questions on the Enlisted Retention Board process and Perform-to-Serve. He also discussed other topics such as advancements, early retirements, possible changes to future retirement and deployment lengths. During his remarks, West emphasized the importance of teaching and mentoring Sailors along their career paths. "You hear a lot about 'taking care of Sailors,' instead of taking care of them, challenge and develop them," he said.
West also discussed the importance of the command indoctrination program. "It's not about technology and not about ships," he said. "It's about people." West told the class that when he entered the Navy there was no command indoctrination program at his first command and emphasized its value for today's Sailors, saying to the future command indoctrination instructors, "The thing you're going to do is important."
West's last stop at CPPD was to visit the Virtual Education Center (VEC) for a tour and to meet with its staff of education professionals. He was briefed on the VEC's responsibilities such as being the single point for processing and authorizing tuition assistance requests as well as the work it does to assist Sailors with furthering their educational goals.
Near the end of his visit, one of West's final questions from a Sailor was, "What's the best thing about being MCPON?" His reply: "You - meeting with Sailors."
For more information about the Center for Personal and Professional Development, visit https://www.netc.navy.mil/centers/cppd/.
For more news from the Center for Personal and Professional Development, visit www.navy.mil/local/voledpao/.
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