Friday, August 15, 2008

The Future of the Fleet

Vintage Number One Teacher Coffee Mug, DoNotDestroy

I've been spending a whole lot of time NOT here, and most of my Facebook and Twitter updates have been that I was studying. I'll probably be MIA for another two weeks or so, and I thought I should explain myself.

My day job is to train sailors on new/replacement skills, specifically maintenance of equipment. I have learned an immense amount abut instruction and learning; and really people in general. Now it's time to move on and become a little more qualified. I'm working on my Master Training Specialist qualification, which will help me to become a better instructor and leader, and the fundamentals of curriculum development. (A side effect of which is that MTS is a easily recognized skill in the corporate world . . .)

"The Navy's MTS program recognizes instructors who have demonstrated excellence in leadership, technical competence, application of instructional methodology, and desire to improve fleet readiness through quality instruction."

It is pages of memorization, and once all of the training is complete, a 3 step process. I passed my test, which was Phase 1. Next is my Pre-board on Monday afternoon, a test of my fundamental knowledge on the subject. When I pass that, I have another week to prepare for my final Board, which is the application process, where I get to create curriculum and teach to demonstrate my ability. So phew, I'm tired. I'm stressed from memorizing instruction numbers and acronyms, and I just want this done. I'm so close.

I'll be back, and probably in a really good mood when this is all over!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Bittersweet week.

"With No Anchor, With No You" - thedreamygiraffe -$20

I aplologise for my probably inconspicuous absence, but I've been here, being sad and keeping busy. My shipmates know (and now you do too), that I was up for a big promotion this year. It's an annual promotion, selected by board after a grueling exam, and I thought I had a good shot this year. I did, really. But for whatever reason, I was (am) not what they were looking for. Circumstances being what they are, I have a hard time escaping my failure. You see, El Jefe has already attained this level in his career. Two years ago, he was selected and the carnival ride that is the transition period began. El Jefe means The Chief. And he is.

Advancement into the Chief Petty Officer grades is the most significant promotion within the enlisted naval ranks. At the rank of Chief, the sailor takes on more administrative duties. In the Navy, their uniform changes to reflect this change of duty, becoming similar to that of an officer albeit with different insignia.

I was eligible for advancement with several of my friends, a few of whom were selected. Mike, Mike, and Jeff; you guys deserve it and I can't wait to shake your hands when it's all over. That part makes it sweet. El Jefe has been chosen to "sponsor" one of his own selectees - an honor in and of itself. He's through the roof proud, and so am I. But I'm still sad. My friends are moving on without me, El Jefe's caught up in the work of the next 5 weeks (the process is a long one . . .) and I haven't really had time for myself to just be sad. It's hard to vent to him, he's very supportive, but hard on me. And he's very busy himself. Sigh. I really just need to take a day off, but I've taken on a bunch more work - both to busy myself and numb the pain, and to do what I can to come closer next year.

Must go study!!