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NEWS | Feb. 23, 2011

Bearings lay a foundation for success

By Machinist's Mate 3rd Class Brannon Deugan Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs Office

Sailors and Coast Guard members learned to lay the foundation for a successful career during a Bearings Course offered by the Center for Personal and Professional Development at Joint Base Charleston-Weapons Station, Feb. 7 - 18.

The two-week course promotes and establishes strong starting points for a successful career and satisfying personal life for service members, covering topics from decision making skills to financial assessments.

"The Bearings Course helps Sailors look inward at themselves and re-focus on their goals," said Naval Support Activity Command Master Chief Billy Cady. "It allows them to get back onto the path of success, both professionally and personally."

A service member's career is their own responsibility, but sometimes, many new service members do not know what their options are.

"We further their knowledge here," said Machinist's Mate Chief Mark Leaf, a Bearings instructor and leading chief petty officer of the CPPD learning site at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga. "We're a mobile training team and we travel to bases throughout the year helping service members identify and set goals for their career and ensure they have the resources readily available to them.

"Whether it is for advancement, leadership building skills or providing service members with the tools they need in dealing with situations they face daily, we want to make sure all our junior Sailors are taken care of," Chief Leaf said.

Service members are taught various skill-sets to help them deal with situations from uniform issues to communication and problem solving. These pointers help enable Sailors to better understand their decisions, whether personally or professionally.

"After each graduation, we conduct a follow-up on Sailors through their chain of command to ensure they are still on the right path and to see what progress they have made in the goals they have set for themselves," explained MMC Leaf. "We want each Sailor to get the most out of their career and we provide those tools and resources needed to get them onto that path of success."

According to Religious Program Specialist 3rd Class Fenel Simon, a graduate of a previous Bearings course, the course was very beneficial for him.

"The course opened my eyes to a lot of things and I still use many of the skills I learned in the course today," he said. "I learned how to handle situations better by thinking twice before reacting, and I really honed my communication skills."

Although the bearings course is intended for first-term Sailors, instructors emphasize the course provides plenty of resources that are useful to all service members.

"This is a good course for anyone to take," explained RP3 Simon. "There are so many topics covered during, each person will take something away from it that they can relate to. The Bearings course was very beneficial to me, in that it helped me learn what I could accomplish in my Navy career; it also helped me set some goals in my personal life as well."