First-Term Sailors Learn to Prepare for the Future

Thursday, April 19, 2007
Transition Assistance Management Program Educator, Susan Pulliam, begins the Career Options and Navy Skills Evaluation Program (CONSEP) course for Sailors. CONSEP emphasizes achieving personal excellence, career and professional development, parallel military/civilian career planning, and personal financial management for 1st term Sailors. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman John Suits

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Kieshia Savage, Fleet Public Affairs Center Atlantic

Should I stay in or get out? This is one question that will cross the minds of most Sailors during their enlistments. Even though the question is plain and simple, coming up with that life-altering answer may not be. The Career Options and Navy Skills Evaluation Program (CONSEP) at the Naval Station Norfolk Fleet & Family Support Center, gave junior Sailors some guidance for choosing the right direction during its most recent course offering April 9-12. There are lots of things to consider when making the decision to reenlist, extend or separate from the military. This is where CONSEP comes in. The four-day program is designed to help active-duty service members achieve their Navy and, ultimately, civilian career goals.

“The primary goal and purpose of the program is to empower the individual with some good information so they can really come up with a plan,” said Conley White, CONSEP program manager. The training focuses on personal, military, civilian and financial planning with the “Six Ps of Preparation” concept: Proper preparation and practice prevent poor performance. Among the speakers was Fleet Forces Command Master Chief(SW/AW) Jackie DiRosa whose message set the tone for the course. “Opportunity is out there for you,” she said. “No matter what your decision is, whether you plan on staying in the Navy or getting out you should first look at all the opportunities the Navy offers. If you decide to get out, make sure it’s a smart, well-educated decision and that you have everything aligned before you make that decision.” The 2006 Fleet Sailor of the Year Chief Machinist’s Mate(SS/SW/AW/DV) Jordan Rosado also spoke about the merit of CONSEP, calling it a great tool for junior Sailors today. “There’s great opportunity out there. You have to be driven and determined to go out there and grab those opportunities. It will make you not only a better person but a better leader and better Sailor,” Rosado said. Sailors participated in workshops, tests, exercises and various games that focused on the topic of the day. Sailors also got a chance to express their reasons for attending the course and their expectations. “I wanted to gain some knowledge because I’m having a hard time deciding whether to stay in the military or not and I thought this class could help me make a decision,” said Cryptologic Technician (Technical) Seaman(AW/SW) Leilani Gilbert. “Mission accomplishment for me means doing my job and doing it well and I think this course will assist me in managing my time. I also think it will help me handle my personal goals and further the knowledge I will need in my career,” Gilbert said. “My divisional career counselor told me about the course so I decided to come see what it was all about and find out some information I didn’t know before,” said Aviation Technician 2nd Class(AW) Brad Blue. “Junior personnel could learn a lot from this course. I wish I would’ve went to this course when I was first in because I would’ve known a lot more and been a lot better off.” Throughout the course students were urged to make plans and write goals down to help them stay on track. Career counselors explained their role in the fleet and the importance of knowing new opportunities as they arise. “The Navy’s always changing and this course is always going to have the most up-to-date information,” said Chief Navy Counselor(AW/SW) Woodrow King from Carrier Air Wing 17. “There’s a lot of information Sailors will be exposed to here that they may or may not hear about on a ship. Here, they will get the latest and greatest information to try to help that Sailor make an informed decision when the time comes to either reenlist or separate.”

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