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NEWS | July 31, 2017

Plotting the future of educating, training and equipping Navy Medicine

By Larry Coffey Navy Medicine Education, Training and Logistics Command Public Affairs

Leaders from across the Navy Medicine education, training and logistics enterprise and from the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, or BUMED in Washington, D.C., wrapped up a 2 ½ day strategic planning offsite in San Antonio July 21.

Commanding officers and senior enlisted leaders from Navy Medicine Education, Training and Logistics Command’s, or NMETLC five echelon-4 subordinate commands: Naval Medical Logistics Command, or NMLC; Navy Medicine Operational Training Center, or NMOTC; Navy Medicine Professional Development Center, or NMPDC; Navy Medicine Training Support Center, or NMTSC; and Navy Reserve-Navy Medicine Education and Training Command, or NR-NMETC; travelled to San Antonio to plot the future of educating, training and equipping Navy Medicine.

The visiting leaders joined several San Antonio-based NMETLC and BUMED leaders to discuss alignment of the education, training and logistics enterprise strategies and what performance measures might be developed to objectively demonstrate how these strategies contribute to Navy Medicine’s mission, said Lt. Andrew Duffin, an NMETLC operations analyst and one of two offsite coordinators and three facilitators.

“The purpose of the offsite was to align our strategic priorities and collectively determine as a leadership team what performance measures capture the many contributions of the hard working and committed members of the NMETLC AOR team to the Navy Medicine enterprise,” Duffin said. “We were able to craft concise initiatives with measures of performance that will quantitatively showcase the value of our organization. The measures show case the newly revised Hospital Corps School curriculum, operational readiness training, leadership development and logistical support the fleet.”

The initiatives will be provided to Rear Adm. Rebecca McCormick-Boyle, NMETLC commander, for prioritization and inclusion in the BUMED annual plan.

McCormick-Boyle opened the offsite by putting in context the need for strategic planning.

“We are Navy Medicine’s education, training and logistics leaders, and likewise, members of Navy Medicine’s leadership team,” she said. “We must understand Navy Medicine’s mission, vision and strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. We must understand our role, collectively and individually, in supporting Navy Medicine’s mission, goals and objectives. And, we must also understand our individual and collective business, and strive to improve our business so we can position the education, training and logistics enterprise for future success.”

The first day-and-a-half were spent doing just that – planning initiatives to sharpen the enterprise’s focus and alignment to Navy Medicine and offer tangible, measureable initiatives for fiscal year 2018 (FY-18), which begins Oct. 1.

“The environment provided an opportunity for the leaders to openly and honestly discuss their challenges and struggles, and how to better work together to develop solutions,” said Dan Pernell, NMETLC strategic and business planner and an offsite coordinator and facilitator. “The goal was to develop initiatives and metrics that demonstrate we are adding value and making a contribution to Navy Medicine without duplication of effort. This was accomplished.”

The last half-day was facilitated by Colleen Sullivan from the Jorgensen Learning Center, a Navy Medicine contractor. Leaders participated in a no-holds-barred discussion about the future of Navy Medicine and the Navy Medicine education, training and logistics enterprise.

The focus was flexible and agile, ready-and-relevant products and processes. Participants agreed there will be a growing demand for technological and educational expertise capable of producing a high-quality product, and a push for more tangible results.

Ideas included hyper-realistic training capabilities, more civilian instructors for non-military course elements, agile and flexible curriculum capable of being tailored to the end user, and a continuous demonstration of return on investments (ROI).

Above all, open, honest communication occurred.

“Leaders practiced and instilled the principle of the Leadership Conversation Model, which is consistent with the desires and practices of Rear Adm. McCormick-Boyle,” Pernell said. “The event ensured practice of each component of the conversation model by ensuring total group participation and communications by closing feedback loops, ensuring messages were received and by providing smooth transitions between and across segments of the participants.”

Whether it was tangible, measurable initiatives; a future high-tech Navy Medicine education, training and logistics enterprise; or practicing the Leadership Conversation Model; the senior officer and enlisted leaders seemed pleased with their time spent in San Antonio.

“I think we all left with a greater understanding of the challenges faced by all the subordinate commands,” said Master Chief Shawn Perkett, NMOTC SEL. “It was a great opportunity to sync our missions with our echelon-3 command, receive personal guidance from our admiral, look at very complicated problems specific to our commands, and discuss ways ahead as a leadership team. Annual planning, no matter how it's facilitated, offers a great opportunity to sync up and use gained network resources to meet future goals.”

McCormick-Boyle added, “Two-and-a-half days is a big investment. It’s a lot of time, but it’s also a very small amount of time, especially when one considers our objectives and what we accomplished.”