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NEWS | June 23, 2014

Helping junior officers find paths to success

By Navy Lt. Rosemary Semonski

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. — Navy Rear Adm. Deborah Haven, Defense Contract Management Agency International commander, recently volunteered her support for the continued mentorship and professional development of Navy Reserve Supply Corps junior officers.

The event, Professional Development Day, or PRODEVDAY, is modeled after national supply community workshops of the past and reflects the economic realities of the present by being held at no cost to the Navy.

While participants now pay for travel, meals and lodging to either mentor or be mentored, more than 50 Navy Reserve and active duty supply corps officers participated in the first PRODEVDAY held here.

“Times are tough, but the value offered in this professional development event is, without question, necessary in generating the highest quality leadership standards,” said Haven.

PRODEVDAY was sponsored by the Navy’s Midwest Reserve Component Command Selective Reservist Liaison Team. The Midwest RCC is one of three nationwide groups of senior Navy officers devoting their time to the professional development of Navy Reserve Supply Corps junior officers. Through education, mentoring and esprit de corps, the RCC helps foster the next generation of senior leaders.

Referring to readiness being a top priority for reservists, Haven started the day’s program by asking the assembled officers, “Are you ready for the call?” Citing her own examples, Haven recounted mobilizations with as much as four-months to as little as four-days-notice.

Haven encouraged officers to keep fit physically, emotionally and professionally. She also cited honor, courage, and commitment as core values to draw on to meet the Navy Reserve’s tenets of war fighting first, operate forward and be ready.

“As a leader, all you have is your integrity and reputation,” she said. Haven urged officers to be transparent with their sailors, engage in their mission and maintain their individual readiness.

She further encouraged the audience to, “Develop your emotional intelligence,” and recommended reading Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Daniel Goleman.

Other presenters at PRODEVDAY focused on other topics including having a diverse professional network, the importance of self-confidence as a leadership quality, timely record management and the mechanics of the selection board process.

Senior leaders also manned five leadership stations, based on the observations of naval legend John Paul Jones. Topics reviewed at these stations included honor, courage, and commitment; the importance of virtue and integrity; military bearing; relationship management; and the prevention of sexual harassment and sexual assault.

The all-day event concluded with mentoring and networking time for participants and an evening formal social event.

The Navy Supply Corps traces its beginnings to 1795 and is one of the oldest staff corps in the Navy. Supply Corps officers typically focus on supply, logistics, combat support, readiness, contracting and fiscal issues. “Ready for Sea” is the Supply Corps’ motto and denotes its role in sustaining the warfighter. 



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