Laying the Keel: Atsugi kicks off Sailor 360

by MC2 Michael Doan
NAF Atsugi PAO

It is a common saying in the Navy that a Sailor should be performing at the rank they want to be and not the rank they are.
Sailor 360 kicked off at Naval Air Facility Atsugi at the end of January and saw more than 100 Sailors learning about Atsugi’s new mentorship program.

“Sailor 360 is replacing CPO (Chief Petty Officer) 365 to involve all Sailors across all ranks, not just chiefs teaching first classes,” said Naval Aircrewmen (Mechanical) First Class (AWF1) Brandon Coccio. “It’s designed to reach all ranks and provide different perspectives from many different rates.”

In April of 2018, “Laying the Keel,” was released and set forth foundational training that includes Sailor 360.
“In anything we do, we must always have a vision first,” said Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (ret.) Steven S. Giordano. “Laying the Keel is the blueprint of that vision for Enlisted Leader Development. This was developed by Sailors for Sailors.

This deliberate and comprehensive approach is a path to becoming more authentic, competent, and courageous leaders.” Sailor 360 sets the foundation for a series of formal courses throughout the career continuum. Courses are short in duration, high impact, adult learning experiences, with focus on: character, ethics, leadership, the “Profession of Arms,” self-awareness, and decision making, facilitated by trained and certified Senior Enlisted Leaders.“

Sailor 360 sets the foundation for a series of formal courses throughout the career continuum. Courses are short in duration, high impact, adult learning experiences, with focus on: character, ethics, leadership, the “Profession of Arms,” self-awareness, and decision making, facilitated by trained and certified Senior Enlisted Leaders.

“The training is created from foundational training we all received during boot camp, ‘A’ schools and formal courses like PO indoc,” said Coccio. “We take those core lessons that we learned and re-introduce them in an interactive learning environment to get everyone involved.”

The Navy’s core values are stressed upon from the beginning of a Sailor’s career. On-duty and off-duty. But how those core values play into each Sailor’s life is different. “Our core values as Sailors are always ‘Honor, Courage, and Commitment’ first,” said Coccio. “Sailor 360 adds integrity, accountability, initiative, and toughness as a way to check each Sailors self-awareness. This is a team based program designed to check and fortify our core values and develop as “The ‘boat team’ format came from Senior Hickman. He had been a part of CPO 365 on a prior ship of his where they implemented this,” said Chief Information Systems Technician Zebulon Brackman. “When he presented it to me I was on board instantly. The purpose of this boat team structure is to give the teams the freedom to make this their own, with the trainings, the team building, physical training events and community relations. Also, it helps with the Sailors’ work schedules. It will allow them to work intimately with their teams to schedule an event for max participation. Although, if they cannot meet with their boat team, they could possibly join another boat team to make up an event they might have missed. It’s a great way to help keep Sailors engaged. It is extremely tough to get every Sailor who is involved together at the same location at the same time.” Just as the Navy as a whole is diverse, boat teams are no exception.

“The Sailors were divided into boat teams by AWF1 Coccio (this year’s SAILOR 360 Co-Lead),” said Brackman. “We wanted to ensure each boat team was as diverse as possible, meaning the leads assigned to the boat teams do not work together or come from the same rate. We attempted to keep that pattern through the 12 teams, but you can only split up so many commands and departments. The goal is to get Sailors who don’t know each other, or what they do in their rate, to get together and learn from each other, helping to create a well-rounded Sailor.”

Some Sailors may question whether or not they want to participate in the program. AWF1 Coccio goes on to explain why they should. “If you’re on the fence about joining the program, I think you should first look at yourself and ask what you want to get out of the program,” said Coccio. “The program is not mandatory but if you don’t participate you will miss out on valuable training, knowledge, comradery and opportunities that will help you stand out and help build you as a leader. This program is going to grow into something that everyone talks about here at Atsugi and you’re going to want to say that you helped in getting it started.” “Have you heard of the saying, ‘don’t re-create the wheel?’ Well, in this case I kind of had to,” said Brackman. “Laying the Keel states ‘Because SAILOR 360 is command-developed, leaders have the flexibility to tailor existing source material to best fit their observed needs.’ In other words, I didn’t really have a template to go off of and that’s how all great programs are created. Someone comes along with an idea that takes someone, with support of their community, willing to start from scratch to build a foundation for a program that will flourish.”

With each boat team being comprised of all ranks, Sailors may utilize that collection of Navy knowledge to further themselves as future leaders and mentors. “SAILOR 360 here in Atsugi has the potential to help make you the best in the Navy,” said Brackman. “With the help, support and buy-in of the Sailors on this base, we will reach that goal. Although, I believe if only one Sailor learns something through this program, I will consider it a success!”

Recommended Content