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Senior Chief Logistics Specialist Norma Porter, the recipients of the U.S. Navy Senior Enlisted Academy (SEA) Peter Tomich Distinguished Leadership Award delivers a speech at the SEA Class 254 graduation Sept. 1.

About Senior Enlisted Academy

The Senior Enlisted Academy (SEA) provides an opportunity for students to engage in studies that broaden their educational experience and assist them in fulfilling today’s increasing senior enlisted responsibilities. SEA develops stronger leaders by preparing them to fulfill their expanded and ever-widening roles as global leaders.

Educating Future Leaders

Our mission is to develop senior enlisted leaders who give sound decision-support in command, staff, management, and leadership positions in naval, joint, and multinational environments.

The SEA is the Navy’s only Professional Military Education (PME) institute for our senior enlisted force. The curriculum is designed to be as demanding, challenging, diversified, and comprehensive as possible, preparing our future senior enlisted force to be proficient in their areas of expertise and fulfilling today’s increasing responsibilities.

A Timeline: SEA Through the Years

Our history has enabled us to prepare U.S. and international senior enlisted leaders with the understanding of the national security strategy, joint force operations, and leadership skills in a global environment that maintain a constant focus on ethics, flexibility, and mission accomplishment.

Senior Enlisted Academy is Created

In 1979, the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) expanded the role of senior and master chief petty officers. No longer would they be just senior technicians; some would serve as mid-level managers. As a result, commands throughout the Navy appointed many senior and master chief petty officers to positions of greater responsibility. While some performed well in these expanded roles, others lacked the education and training needed to successfully carry out their new managerial duties. To meet this new challenge, the Navy established the Senior Enlisted Academy (SEA).

Opening Ceremonies

Opening ceremonies were held on Sept. 14, 1981 at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. It marked the beginning of an educational program unique among the Navy's traditional training schools and programs. The SEA pilot class, consisting of 16 students, received and validated a diverse mix of subjects such as communications skills, national security affairs, Navy programs, and physical readiness training.

A Permanent Facility

In August 1989, the SEA moved to its dedicated facilities in Tomich Hall, named after Chief Watertender Peter Tomich who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions aboard USS Utah (AG-16) on Dec. 7, 1941, in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Key to Leadership

In 1995, the CNO established the requirement that all prospective Command Master Chiefs and Chiefs of the Boat successfully complete the SEA prior to reporting for their first assignment.

In 2015, the Navy announced that senior chiefs selected in 2017 and beyond would be required to attend one service senior enlisted academies to be eligible for master chief. These academies are the Navy SEA, Air Force Senior NCO Academy, USMC Senior Enlisted Professional Military Education, Joint Special Operations Forces SEA, and Coast Guard Senior Leader Course.

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