Leadership: February 26, 2003

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The U.S. Navy has taken advantage of Internet and personal computer technology to revise their training program for new surface ship officers. In the past, these officers would be sent to a Surface Warfare School before getting their first sea assignment. But using PC based simulations and instructional material, as well as Internet based material (all ships have Internet access now), the initial training is now done on ship. The new officers go directly to their first ship assignment. There they can do the academic work at their own pace, and have access to all the experienced chiefs and already certified Surface Warfare Officers for advice and practical knowledge. Eventually, the new officer does attend a short (three week) class room course, which is considered an "post graduate" sort of experience and an opportunity to fill in any gaps in the knowledge acquired during the PC/Internet course. Past experience has shown that the new officers learn a lot more on-the-job than they do in the classroom. But until the navy realized they could effectively simulate the classroom experience with PC and Internet based material, a lot of the instruction had to be classroom based. 

 


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