The Arleigh-Burke Guided Missile Destroyer USS Higgins (DDG 76) held a job fair for the first time for junior officers (JO) to provide them information about different division officer jobs available on board, Jan. 31.
Chief petty officers and senior officers identified billets where there were opportunities for JOs in leadership or management positions, said Cmdr. Drew Carlson, Higgins’ commanding officer.
“As junior officers complete a tour aboard Higgins, we want to ensure they have a broad work experience from working in different departments, personal exposure to different rates and a deeper understanding in discipline,” said Carlson. “This will help as they transition to a second tour and continue on in their career paths. It is also important for junior officers to have an opportunity to show initiative in their career destiny.”
“This event is a huge advantage to us because being on board, we get an idea of what junior Sailors are doing, and after getting information from the experts in the field, we know exactly what they have to do and see where we best fit into the job,” said Ensign Daniel Kelly, who attended the event.
Traditionally, it is up to the officers at the department head level and above to decide where each JO will be positioned.
“Some jobs are more technical and others are more leadership driven.” said Lt. James Hagerty, “So it is up to the department heads and above to look at strengths, qualifications, preferences and career paths of each officer to ensure the job they are placed in will benefit the junior officers and the ship.”
The job fair creates a better opportunity to place JOs in the position they want, to lead, influence and mentor deckplate Sailors, said Carlson.
“When we provide individual support for the junior officers’ careers,” said Carlson, “it provides our ship with a more combat-ready, cohesive fighting unit because we have a better grasp of what the management roles and responsibilities are for both senior enlisted and junior officers.”
Naval Today Staff , February 06, 2012