CIWT Command Career Counselors: Sailors Helping Sailors

13 December 2020

From Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Neo B. Greene III

PENSACOLA, Fla.- Sailors have many different responsibilities, and between focusing on the roles of their rating and the general duties of being a Sailor, some may find it hard to look at the big picture of their career. The Navy career counselors exist to help Sailors handle this and there are Sailors who know the importance of being command career counselors onboard Naval Air Station Pensacola Corry Station, Pensacola, Florida.
PENSACOLA, Fla.- Sailors have many different responsibilities, and between focusing on the roles of their rating and the general duties of being a Sailor, some may find it hard to look at the big picture of their career. The Navy career counselors exist to help Sailors handle this and there are Sailors who know the importance of being command career counselors onboard Naval Air Station Pensacola Corry Station, Pensacola, Florida.

“Our job is to take care of the Sailors and put them on the right path,” said Chief Navy Career Counselor Cyrus Irani, command career counselor for the entire Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT) domain. “Whether they are officers or enlisted, we make sure that they’re set up for success with their career, with their families, that they’re allowed to stay in as long as they desire while time in the service benefits them both during service and when they retire.”

With each Sailor coming from different areas and parts of life, career counselors have to be ready to assist Sailors in many different ways. What one Sailor might need, another might already have that particular area covered. Things also change when it comes to junior Sailors and other enlisted Sailors.

“Every Sailor is different, both junior and senior, and may have varying career and life experiences,” said Cryptologic Technician (Maintenance) 1st Class Daniel Cunningham, assistant command career counselor assigned to CIWT. “A career counselor interacting with a junior Sailor may tend to lean towards informing the Sailor on the opportunities afforded them in their career path; they could also be a very motivated Sailor and have already done extensive research on their particular question they ask the Career counselor. When it comes to senior Sailors, generally they already have that wealth of knowledge from their time in service. However, with time, things may have changed that can affect that senior Sailor. That’s why a career counselor must always keep up with the latest changes to policy and instructions, because what may have been true one year, six months or even one day ago, suddenly is not the case at the moment the question arises.”

Some Sailors decide to continue their service in the military, which is important for the growth and maintenance of the Navy while it also keeps the armed services manned and able to continue to protect and defend our country.

“When you keep positive Sailors in the Navy, you get a positive outcome,” shared Cunningham. “We negotiate things to incentivize them. It could be a selective reenlistment bonus, promotion or just specific opportunities, we want to do our best to give them the things that make them want to stay and continue to contribute positively as a servicemember.”

Retention is also a very important aspect of career counselors; they ensure that a Sailor has everything done to continue to stay in the military

“Retention is extremely important to the present and future evolution of the United States Naval forces,” shared said Cunningham. “The retention of skilled and knowledgeable Sailors helps to ensure that the Navy, and each command therein, is working to their most optimal ability. When a Sailor is not focused on the mission at hand because they are worried about their career or just have no interest in their current rating, then the whole of the team and command are affected. When every Sailor is focused on their current mission, then the whole command or unit can focus solely on the task at hand.”

Between helping Sailors being retained, Sailors ending their time in service and helping others currently serving have their optimal service time, things can get hard for a career counselor to handle on their own. Career counselors are known to network with each other to take care of their Sailors and respective commands, and they rely on each other for things like keeping each other aware of policy or instruction changes. Doing this eases the burden of their role for the career counselors.

“We constantly communicate about individual Sailor circumstances, minus the specifics” added Cunningham. “This enables us to support Sailors and ultimately the unit, command and the fleet better for mission essential readiness. We talk to one another, mainly through email and phone calls. to be very productive. This helps us to keep up to date on all changes that happen.”

Through these resources and each other, Irani and Cunningham continue to help CIWT domain Sailors with all their needs.

“Career counselors exist at the command to help everyone,” said Irani. “Being a career counselor, our job is all about you. We want your career on track, we want you to succeed. Just like Sailors have to make sure the ship is good to go, or an aircraft, we make sure that the Sailors themselves are good to go with whatever they need.”

With four schoolhouse commands, a detachment, and training sites throughout the United States and Japan, CIWT trains over 22,000 students every year, delivering trained information warfare professionals to the Navy and joint services. CIWT also offers more than 200 courses for cryptologic technicians, intelligence specialists, information systems technicians, electronics technicians, and officers in the information warfare community.

For more news from the Center for Information Warfare Training domain, visit https://www.netc.navy.mil/CIWT, www.facebook.com/NavyCIWT, or www.twitter.com/NavyCIWT.
 
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