Oct 24, 2012
NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md. — A command-wide graduation ceremony held on Oct. 16 recognized 295 employees who completed the requirements of a NAVAIR leadership development program.
The two programs — the NAVAIR Leadership Development Program (NLDP) and Journey Leadership Development Program (JLDP) — are designed to prepare employees to more effectively lead large and small teams toward mission success for Sailors and Marines.
“Leadership is a quality that must be cultivated and nurtured. JLDP and NLDP do just that,” said keynote speaker NAVAIR Commander Vice Adm. David Dunaway. He told graduates, “You’ve done a great thing for the organization and for yourself. I look forward to watching you excel in the future.”
Notably, the 224 JLDP participants recognized were the first to graduate from the program since it was formally established in 2010.
“This is a day of celebration. We both acknowledge and applaud the commitment and accomplishments of these 295 graduates,” said NAVAIR Deputy Commander Kal Leikach. “It is clear that both of these programs are thriving. We have a complete pipeline through which are flowing many of our very best and brightest.”
NLDP, the command’s flagship leadership program, is designed for high performing NAVAIR employees with demonstrated leadership potential. The program serves to develop leadership, management and productivity improvement skills and provide mid- to senior-grade employees a systematic and logical approach to clarify their career goals. NLDP is a three- to five-year program that focuses on leadership and AIRSpeed Black Belt training.
The JLDP helps develop future NAVAIR leaders, both civilian and military, through exposure to NAVAIR leadership responsibilities. In the one- to two-year program, participants enhance their interpersonal communication and productivity skills, gain a stronger working knowledge of command operations, and develop a more robust personal network through classes, training and developmental activities.
“Going forward, these graduates will share their leadership training and mentoring capabilities with others across the command. These graduates will help guarantee the safety and success of tomorrow’s Sailors and Marines,” said Stephanie Peppler, program manager for NAVAIR leadership development programs. “Their participation in these programs was not only a part of NAVAIR’s vision; their technical and leadership skills also help ensure that our mission and goals are successfully executed by leadership at all levels.”
Graduates from both programs said they have learned valuable lessons.
“JLDP has challenged me to reach back and mentor others in a more purposeful way. To accept this challenge and really put it into motion turns the focus outward — to the team and the entire mission at hand,” said Yolanda Jackson, an engineering technician. “The time that my mentors set aside for me was priceless. I am still learning from their example, and I believe that I will always benefit from my JLDP journey.”
Another JLDP graduate, telecommunications specialist Tony Masi said, “In this time of budget cuts and lean times, it is nice to see that I work for an organization that is investing in its most important piece of the puzzle: its people. I am convinced that the JLDP course of instruction has made me a better worker, a better leader, and most importantly, a better person.”
Greg Geiger, one of the 71 NLDP graduates recognized at the ceremony, said he appreciated the program’s leadership and continuous process improvement training, as well as the flexibility to complete the program while working full time.
“The program gave me the opportunity to meet and work with some of the best leaders across the naval aviation enterprise,” he said. “The NLDP alumni have become a valuable network for me.”
After some encouragement from a co-worker, Sophy Iv applied to NLDP. A P-3 Fleet Support Team avionics team lead, Iv said she cherishes the knowledge and experience she gained from her classes.
“This program has given me endless opportunity and the courage to explore beyond what I thought myself capable of,” she said.
For more information about eligibility criteria or the application process for NLDP and JLDP, NAVAIR civilian and military employees should call the NAVAIR National Help Desk at 301-342-3104, 888-292-5919 or DSN 342-3104, and press option 4, then 2, for training and Career Development Office support.