CRANE, Ind. – Three Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) employees were competitively selected to participate in a Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) leadership development program. Rebecca Udoekong, Marissa Wagler, and Susan Eckes were chosen to take part in the yearlong Next Generation (NextGen) Leadership Program in Cadre 3 this past fall.
Dr. Brett Seidle, the Technical Director at NSWC Crane, says the program provides participants with unique experience.
“The NAVSEA NextGen Leadership Program is a tremendous opportunity for our workforce to further develop themselves as leaders,” says Dr. Seidle. “Every employee, no matter their role here at Crane, provides leadership in a myriad of ways every day. Involvement in these programs has shown to be highly beneficial to those that engage and participate.”
Janna Foxx, the Deputy Technical Director at NSWC Crane, says NextGen provides valuable perspective.
“Throughout my career, it has become critical to learn about the roles, mission, and perspective outside of Crane,” says Foxx. “This program allows those highly motivated employees to collaborate with others, work with mentors, and broaden their understanding of what takes place across NAVSEA. The Navy is bigger than what we do here at Crane, and understanding how other organizations function is crucial to collaborating across the entire organization and enhancing the quality of work being produced here.”
NAVSEA consists of a global workforce of more than 74-thousand people. NSWC Crane is one of ten Warfare Centers across the country. Cadre 3 includes fifty emerging leaders from across diverse backgrounds, subject matter expertise, and years of experience.
Though NSWC Crane NextGen participants have recently started the program, they have already been gaining perspectives that will benefit them in their careers. Udoekong, an Electrical Engineer at NSWC Crane, is a new NSWC Crane employee.
“It is interesting and educational to gain knowledge outside my primary assignment,” says Udoekong. “The opportunity to shadow senior leaders to learn about the challenges they encounter and ways to resolve them is a great experience. I have also networked with people at other Warfare Centers who are highly skilled in their subject areas.”
Eckes, an Administrative Technical Specialist at NSWC Crane, says that she applied to the program to learn about other NAVSEA organizations.
“I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and understand what was happening outside the four walls where I do my day-to-day work,” says Eckes. “You don’t typically get exposure to leadership at the Senior Executive level and it has increased my awareness of what NAVSEA does. This experience has already made me a better employee by diversifying my thought base.”
Udoekong encourages her coworkers to take advantage of the opportunity and apply.
“I really wanted more in-depth understanding of NAVSEA as a whole and what leadership means to NAVSEA as well as the other Warfare Centers,” says Udoekong. “If you are ready to learn and push yourself to be better in any leadership role, this program will open your eyes to things such as working with other people, effectively understanding different personality types, and managing conflict.”
Wagler says the program is a valuable tool for anyone who wants to grow professionally.
“NextGen has been such an exciting experience so far; it’s allowed me to connect with people outside of my typical networking circle and to understand more about the challenges we each face - not just at Crane or other Warfare Centers, but across all of NAVSEA,” says Wagler. “We are given the chance to collaborate with fellow Cadre members and leadership across the enterprise and brainstorm ideas on how we can better support the warfighter. It’s truly an honor…I think we all want to be difference-makers, and NextGen is equipping us to be that catalyst for change to lead from where we are at.”
About NSWC Crane
NSWC Crane is a naval laboratory and a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) with mission areas in Expeditionary Warfare, Strategic Missions and Electronic Warfare. The warfare center is responsible for multi-domain, multi- spectral, full life cycle support of technologies and systems enhancing capability to today's Warfighter.
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