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Sailors practice repairing leaks in the wet trainer at the Submarine Training Facility (SUBTRAFAC) Norfolk. Training for these situations will help prepare Sailors for emergencies in the real world. Five-Vector Model: Focused On Tracking Qualifications

Photo of Sailors practicing to repair leaks in wet trainerThe Sailor Continuum, or Five-Vector Model (5VM), is a symbol at the core of every Sailor’s personal and professional development. And coming in spring 2004, it will be available for
submarine ratings.

5VM is a powerful piece of software, which will allow Sailors to keep track of their careers in the Navy and take credit for their accomplishments. Available at Navy Knowledge Online (www.nko.navy.mil), 5VM is customized to match each Sailor’s rating, pay grade and past accomplishments.

5VM breaks down the skills and knowledge that Sailors need to be successful into five categories: Professional development, personal development, military education and leadership, certifications and qualifications, and performance.

The Sailor Continuum is the brainchild of the Navy’s Task Force for Excellence through Education and Learning (EXCEL). Task Force EXCEL has been the catalyst for the Navy’s
revolution in training.

According to Submarine Learning Center Command Master Chief (SS) Peter J. Berns, “Each five-vector model is based on an enlisted rating, and each five-vector model is specifically engineered to the individual.”
Berns said the 5VM will help Sailors take charge of their careers. “For many years, he goes through his ‘A’ school, and then what do you do?”

“What’s your next step to be a second class… what’s your progression to make chief? Not too many enlisted people could tell you that,” he continued. “But with this five-vector model, it’ll be all listed right there; it’ll tell them how to progress.”

"The continuum is going to increase mission effectiveness by providing the fleet with a stable and balanced force that is smarter and more motivated."

Former Task Force EXCEL Director VADM Harry Ulrich concurred with that, saying, “The continuum is going to increase mission effectiveness by providing the fleet with a stable and balanced force that is smarter and more motivated.”

Berns said submariners can look forward to logging into their 5VM this spring. “We want to have the five-vector model for the submarine rates online by 1 April, so that people can actually go on to NKO and call up their five-vector model and, for the first few months at least, be able to look at the list of the tasks required of an MMW, or an MM ‘A’-ganger, or an ST,” Berns explained.

“Right now we’re just working on the tasks that submariners perform based on the warfare, general, and watchstation qualifications that exist in the fleet today,” he continued. “Every submariner knows that we live, eat, and breathe qualifications onboard submarines, and we generally know where a guy needs to be at what point in his career to complete a specific qualification.”

According to Berns, information contained in a Sailor’s 5VM would carry over from command to command. “It will all be laid out for him, and it will also be a resume so that every time he qualifies something or completes a school or accomplishes a qualification, it will be logged in there and it will be maintained in his record for life,” Berns said. “This way, a Sailor won’t have to get the same qualifications twice.”

Berns added that 5VM isn’t the only abbreviation people need to know. “People need to know that there’s a new term out there called KSATs, which stands for Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Tools, which is what the whole five-vector model is based on,” Berns said. KSATs will let Sailors in every rating and pay grade know what they need to know and what they need to be able to do to hold their positions.

“That’ll be a very common acronym in the future,” he added. Berns stated that the 5VM will show Sailors the KSATs they have earned and tell them what KSATs they need to advance.

Berns wants to spread awareness of the Navy’s revolution in training. “If anybody hears that I’m coming to town to give a brief, I really encourage those guys to come and attend, so that they can ask me all kinds of questions, and I can be there available to answer them,” he exclaimed.

Through 5VM, Sailors have the ability to take charge of their careers. With just a few clicks at NKO, Sailors have access to what can amount to weeks of research. And using the 5VM, they know what information they need and when they need it.

JOSA Zask is a Navy Journalist assigned to Commander, Naval Submarine Forces Public Affairs, Naval Submarine Forces Public Affairs.

Submariners plot a course in Norfolk’s SUBTRAFAC. By honing their skills in facilities like this, Sailors will be better prepared to meet challenges at sea. Photo caption preceeds