By Stuart Rivers, Center for Personal and Professional Development Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- More than 50 spouses of senior enlisted Sailors attended a Highlights in Leadership seminar at Naval Base San Diego's Fleet and Family Support Center July 28-29.
The training was developed specifically to help spouses understand the importance of their role in supporting the Navy's mission.
"This seminar is designed to provide you with the tools to be our eyes and ears at home while we are out there supporting the mission," said Capt. Rick L. Williamson, commanding officer, Naval Base San Diego.
The one-day Highlights in Leadership seminar, developed by the Command Leadership School (CLS) in Newport, R.I., is offered to senior enlisted spouses who have the potential to attend the Command Master Chief Spouse Leadership Course (CMCSLC) in Newport, or who were unable to attend when their spouses attended the Command Master Chief/Chief of the Boat (CMC/COB) Leadership course.
The training was led by Robin Witcher, lead instructor for the CMC Spouse Leadership Course taught in Newport. The Highlights course included topics such as team-building, communication, command support team relationships, group dynamics and conflict resolution.
"What a great opportunity for our spouses to understand what their spouses do, so they can assist them in their careers," said Navy Region Southwest Command Master Chief David Chmielewski.
Because of the popularity of the course the seminar was held for two consecutive days to ensure all San Diego-area spouses who were interested in attending could participate.
"This is a wonderful opportunity for the spouses in our region," said Kim McDonough, seminar coordinator and CMC/COB Spouse Leadership Course Advisory Board member for Navy Region Southwest. "All of our spouses were extremely excited about the opportunity to attend. I look forward to coordinating our next one."
Each day attendees worked collaboratively to identify the many resources available to help Navy leaders and their spouses overcome challenges as members of the command triad.
"The command triad, consisting of the commanding officer, executive officer and command master chief or chief of the boat, is a powerful element at any command," said Williamson. "Your role as the spouse of a CMC or COB is, or will be, a major factor."
The Command Leadership School offers Highlights in Leadership to senior enlisted spouses in multiple locations throughout the year with the assistance of the CMC/COB Spouse Leadership Course Advisory Board. In addition to coordinating local attendance and facilities, board members provide seminar support during the events to ensure the success of the events. The next seminar will held at Naval Station Pearl Harbor Aug. 26 and 27.
"The seminar has received rave reviews in other fleet concentration areas," said Capt. Bill Nault, director, Command Leadership School. "I'm convinced that everyone who attends will be equally energized and informed about leading our fleet and our Sailors."
Spouses who have a spouse selected to be a Command Senior Chief (CSC), CMC or COB have the opportunity to attend CMCSLC in Newport. The CMCSLC provides spouses with an in-depth program to develop their knowledge of the choices and contributions they make as the senior enlisted leader's spouse. Based on personal values and preferences, each spouse develops a personal vision statement and, together with their prospective CMC/COB/CSC, develops a Command Master Chief Tour Charter that is in alignment with each of their personal visions.
The CMCSLC is an intense, one-week course and is taught at the same time as the CMC/COB Leadership course.
"Attending the Command Master Chief Spouse Leadership Course is a great opportunity, and I would encourage any spouse who has the chance to make the time for the class," said Chmielewski.
"Senior enlisted spouses are seen as leaders," said Witcher, "Their experiences have given them the tools and resources necessary to help them become an integral part of the command support team."
The course also provides spouses with an awareness of leadership and management skills that can enhance positive contributions to the family, command, and community environments. The course does this by providing insight into issues that are likely to arise in connection with the new command responsibilities.
"You are every bit as much leaders as your spouses are," said Nault. "Part of our mission at CLS is to make sure you have the tools you need to succeed during your spouses' CMC or COB tour."