The U.S. Navy’s Personnel Command sought to modernize personnel management, training and education across a force that graduates 800 new recruits per week and trains over 50,000 service members per year. This multi-year initiative spanned the entirety of human resource and force management. The Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) located in Pensacola, Florida, was responsible for exploring methods to modernize and focus traditional enlisted training pathways and methods to accelerate delivery and relevance of military and technical skill sets. The Naval Education and Training Command approached the University of West Florida’s Innovation Institute to collaborate on early pilot programs to demonstrate options for modern and alternative military training options.
The U.S. Navy selected information technology, aviation technician and law enforcement training for exploration and rapid prototyping. Collaborating with the Innovation Institute, subject matter experts from military training centers identified alternative modern content available in the market place and worked with the innovation institute staff to design and deliver required online, classroom and on-site training. University of West Florida instructional design experts ensured that the deliverable education segments were accredited and had pathways for continued skill attainment. The Innovation Institute served as the design space and delivery hub for planning and execution of the project.
An enterprise vision of distributed, shared and external training and education was framed with near-term local objectives. The Institute’s initial work provided key military personnel with historical and corporate knowledge for a point of view to opportunities for acceleration of technical skill acquisition. Participants explored industry trends and sought intersections with existing civilian, military and government training. The project included on-campus, home-based and travel-based research. The efforts included exploration of methods and technologies for content delivery; large, organizational training systems used in business and industry; outsourcing opportunities for courses and content; credentialing for learning, and potential relationships with external partners. The team lastly identified potential, immediately available, external commercial learning sources for further pilot programs. An independent university research course, Accelerated Training Design and Development Certificate, was offered to participants who were military instructors and also technical practitioners. The project results and prototyping data were collected and reported to senior leaders with discussion on magnitude of effort to implement larger programs and cost per participant or cost per content available for military decision makers. The project influenced strategic timelines and focus of effort for the larger enterprise modernization initiative.