Photo Information

A group of sailors listen to a period of instruction on financial management during the Career Options and Navy Skills Evaluation Program, here, June 10. The program focuses on preparing sailors to make informed decisions affecting their career, whether they stay military or exit active duty. (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Brian Lewis)(RELEASED)

Photo by Cpl. Brian Lewis

Course teaches sailors long-term goals

15 Jun 2009 | Cpl. Brian Lewis

Approximately 30 sailors from various units had the opportunity to take part in the Career Options and Navy Skills Evaluation Program, here, June 8 - 11.

The course aims to help guide the careers of sailors whether they plan to reenlist or exit active duty

“The program is a four-day course designed to teach sailors to make informed decisions,” said Mr. Conley White, the CONSEP program manager. “Whether they stay in or get out, we want to make sure they can take care of themselves as they navigate their naval career.”

The program is divided into two groups, mid-career and first term. The first term classes are offered to sailors, who have between 12 and 18 months left on their initial contract.  The mid-career classes are for those 6 to 12 years into their service.

Personal, financial, civilian career and military career planning are some of the subjects covered by the course.

While separation classes taken toward the end of enlistment cover many of the same subjects, the program allows the sailors more time to think about their options before making a decision.

“We are giving (the sailors) a chance to take in all of this information and a good amount of time to think it over before making a choice,” White said. “Of course we want them to stay in and continue their career in the Navy, but if they decide to leave, we want to make sure they are prepared.”

The sailors who attended the course found the information very beneficial to them in the short run, as well as in the long term.

“Sailors need to get this training and information as early as possible in their career,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Benjamin Hall, a hospital corpsman who traveled from Marine Corps Air Station New River to attend the course. “The resume writing class showed me many aspects of creating one that I had no idea about.”

While Hall had decided to continue his Navy career, others planned to take the information with them into civilian life.

“Today, everything we deal with ends up with a responsibility,” said Seaman Apprentice Catherine Rosenbury, a hospital corpsman with 2nd Maintenance Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, who plans to separate and become a pharmacy technician. “The financial planning courses really stuck out to me, because it is never really taught this in depth. It is good information to know.”

The course aims to give sailors the tools they need for a successful Navy career, but the wealth of information on civilian life even attracts some Marines.

“I thought the class was a good idea when I first heard of it, but after the first day, I could see how beneficial it is to the sailors,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Christopher Beauchamp, a hospital corpsman with Combat Logistics Battalion 24, Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group. “If you decide to stay in, or to get out and pursue a career as a civilian, the classes definitely help you accelerate your future.”

The course is taught by the Fleet and Family Support Centers, mainly located in Virginia, and it is taught once or twice a month. To make the program more available, White often travels around the East Coast to reach more students.

“The program is a wonderful asset to our sailors,” White said. “We are constantly trying to spread the word because so many sailors have no idea about this.”

This was the first time Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune received the class, which has been around since 1999. Two petty officers had been sent to attend the course in Norfolk, Va., and upon their return, they were adamant about getting the course here, White explained.

Although it is a Naval program for sailors, Marines are also welcome to attend. White hopes to gain enough interest that it may become a standard course taught on base.

“Leadership should make the effort for their sailors to attend the classes, and then pass on the information to their subordinates,” White said. “It is all about getting the message out and raising awareness”

For information about attending or requesting the program, call (757) 444-2102.