-Naval Surface Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet (SURFPAC) and Naval Base San Diego (NBSD) hosted the first Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) Career Enhancement Seminar during San Diego Surface Warrior Week onboard NBSD Sept. 23.
Surface Warrior Week is comprised of a week of career enhancement activities on the San Diego waterfront and includes detailer visits to ships and area shore commands, a Career Sailor Expo for enlisted Sailors, and the first-ever Surface Warfare Officer Career Enhancement Seminar.
"The events offered during Surface Warrior Week are about putting Sailors first," said Vice Adm. D.C. Curtis, Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet. "By bringing resources and personnel to the waterfront, we are empowering Sailors to take control of their careers, and affording them a chance to learn from seasoned experts at every level." Aimed toward the professional development of SWOs O-1 through O-6, the Career Enhancement Seminar began with a series of presentations on career path options, training, and educational opportunities.
"As an ensign, this event gave me an opportunity to see what options are available to me as a Surface Warfare Officer," said Ensign Olakunle Folayan of USS Preble (DDG 88). "I was really interested to hear about the different education programs that are offered to SWOs, like the Scholarship Offset Programs and the Naval Post Graduate School. Today I realized the SWO community is very diverse and any direction you go in, you can enhance your career with extended education."
In the afternoon, division officers, department heads, and commanding and executive officers broke for milestone-specific breakout sessions.
"The break-out sessions gave me a chance to hear information that is focused more towards my needs and my career," said Lt. William Huebner of USS Gary, "The discussions were not too broad and as a department head I got my questions answered.
In addition to the scheduled program, officer detailers were present all day for one-on-one detailing sessions.
"I'm a part of the detailing command and it is important for us to get out here and the accurate facts out to the SWOs," said Cmdr. Lex Walker, Navy Personnel Command. "It is honestly a great time to be a SWO, there are a lot of challenging billets and opportunities out there, and we have a great career path that offers a lot of flexibility to get education and to make family plans."
The seminar concluded with a SWO join up, sponsored by the Surface Navy Association, and a Spouses Brief from Navy Personnel Command, held at the Waterfront Recreation Center on NBSD. This was the second such brief from Navy Personnel Command, who also met with enlisted spouses at the conclusion of the Career Sailor Expo the previous night.
For more news from Commander, Naval Surface Force, Pacific Fleet, visit www.surfaceforces.surfor.navy.mil or follow the Surface Force at www.facebook.com/surfacewarriors.