NAVFAC Washington Teammates Succeed in Leadership Challenge

27 January 2022
Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Washington celebrated its 2021 Leadership Development graduates during a ceremony held onboard the Washington Navy Yard in Washington D.C. These graduates are the latest cadre of NAVFAC professionals who have taken on additional responsibilities in order to challenge themselves to succeed in a highly competitive environment through development of their leadership capabilities.
Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Washington celebrated its 2021 Leadership Development graduates during a ceremony held onboard the Washington Navy Yard in Washington D.C. These graduates are the latest cadre of NAVFAC professionals who have taken on additional responsibilities in order to challenge themselves to succeed in a highly competitive environment through development of their leadership capabilities.

The Leadership Development Program (LDP) represents one facet of NAVFAC’s leadership development opportunities and provides for the competitive selection of eligible personnel. The program is designed to provide deliberate professional growth through progressive learning opportunities and allows candidates to perform outside their sphere of influence. It consists of a structured training plan which includes rotational assignments, education and training, a specific development project, mentoring assignments, and developmental activities designed to broaden the cadre member’s corporate perspective.

Tony King, director of management services at the Core, was assigned to work with the Contingency Engineering and Theater Engagement (CE/TE) team at NAVFAC Headquarters as part of his LDP Level Two program. He attended the NAVFAC Leadership Board where Rear Adm. John Korka, Commander, NAVFAC, described the importance of supporting the Navy’s Distributed Maritime Operations. CE/TE was assigned lead in that support effort and King was tasked with assisting in the development of the team’s Concept of Operations.

“During my rotations in CE/TE at all echelons of NAVFAC, I was fortunate to meet some of the most talented and dedicated people in the organization,” King said. “Over time I came to understand the urgency of supporting the warfighter during this period of great power competition and NAVFAC’s important role in that support.”

One of King’s LDP rotations was to NAVFAC Pacific, Site Philippines, in order to get a feel for expeditionary support contracting, which is a vital NAVFAC competency in great power competition.

“It was an extremely eye opening experience. The amount of support required by a modest anti-terrorism force was significant, and the NAVFAC staff in the Philippines were doing a fantastic job of managing the rapidly evolving requirements and the performance of the contractors,” said King. “The Philippines site provides a model that can be used for expeditionary contracting worldwide.”

Rosil Saldana, community planner at the Core, was assigned to work with NAVFAC Washington’s Business Management Board members to develop standard operating procedures for employee onboarding as part of her LDP Level One program. The execution included data gathering through surveys to determine problems with the current process, data analysis to determine root causes of problems, and leading working sessions to determine corrective actions and timeframes before drafting the final documents.

“The Leadership Development Program is excellent for self-awareness. I got a better understanding of my own leadership style, motivations, strengths, shortcomings and preferences to make day-to-day decisions,” said Saldana. “The program also lends itself for collaboration and team building. With humility, patience and persistence we were able to move through interviews and working sessions for the benefit of all those involved – despite them all coming from a different angle and speaking different languages. I also enjoyed giving back by mentoring and training one of our asset management interns – it was mutually enriching.”

Three NAVFAC Washington teammates graduated from the Aspiring Leadership Development Program, Addoulye Camara, accountant at the Core, Gerald Wilkins, pipefitter at Naval Support Facility Dahlgren, and Terrey Johnson, production controller at Naval Support Facility Indian Head. Each of them successfully completed a variety tasks and projects designed to enhance their leadership and teamwork abilities.

“First and foremost, I learned how to delegate matters out,” said Wilkins. “I’m the type of person who wants to go out and get the job done myself and get it done right, but I’ve been learning how to delegate the work out.”

“It broadened my expectations, as far as what I can do in my career,” said Johnson during the graduation ceremony. “I learned so much more about myself. I don’t have to be a supervisor to be a leader in the position I’m in right now.”

NAVFAC Washington was pleased to announce the next cadre of employees accepted as students in the 2022 Leadership Development Program last December, and the command as a whole looks forward to the continuing tradition of successfully graduating new leaders from the program.
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