CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti —
The Sailor 360 program is scheduled to be rolled out Navywide in October, and the initiative marks the first significant change since 2011 on how the service trains its enlisted leaders.
Navy Chief Petty Officer Irene Aguilar, the leading chief petty officer for the CPO 365 program here, said there are unique challenges, including scheduling, to incorporating the new training into deployments. Because of the high tempo of the operational mission and frequent personnel turnover, it could take longer here than elsewhere to fully implement the program.
“We are in a forward-deployed environment, so it’s not like we’re back home and can plan to have training on a set day,” Aguilar said. “We are here to complete a mission; everyone is very busy.”
Sailor 360 applies seven leadership elements: alignment, habits, training, education, opportunity, feedback and self-awareness.
Aguilar said the aim of Sailor 360 is to introduce these leadership elements to sailors below the rank of petty officer first class — something that was not part of the previous leadership model.
“We tend to focus leadership at a senior level,” she said. “The junior enlisted people are the foundation of the Navy and our future chiefs.”
Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer addressed the Sailor 360 program’s integrated leadership style in “Laying the Keel — Developing the Backbone of Our Navy.”
“A professional, formal leadership development curriculum reinforced by innovative, meaningful command-developed training such as Sailor 360 [is] how command leaders will grow competence and improve character while instilling integrity, accountability, initiative and toughness in every sailor,” he wrote.
Because Sailor 360 is command developed, leaders have the flexibility to tailor existing source material to best fit their observed needs.
A majority of sailors deployed to Camp Lemonnier are members of the Navy Reserve. Before deploying, many reserve sailors are introduced to leadership training through CPO 365 at their Navy operational support centers.
Aguilar said if reserve centers emphasize the importance of this training, it will help lay the foundation for the continuation of training for those stationed here.
Comprehensive Training Approach
Camp Lemonnier’s Command Master Chief, Jon H. Morton, said that with the rollout of Sailor 360, he anticipates a more comprehensive approach to leadership training at the lower enlisted levels. The type of training Sailor 360 offers is the most effective way to develop long-lasting leadership skills, he added.
“Sailor 360’s experiential learning curriculum will be better for junior sailors,” Morton said. “The top-down approach of a lecture-based training just doesn’t have the same impact. I’m looking forward to this change.”
Camp Lemonnier’s mission includes enabling joint warfighters operating forward and reinforcing the U.S.-Djibouti relationship by providing exceptional services and facilities for tenant commands, transient U.S. assets and service members.