Thursday, March 19, 2009

ET Rating Review - Final Day

As we gathered for the final day of our review, the hard work of the facilitators became apparent as they produced a draft copy of the new EPQs. We went through the whole batch, making sure we had covered all our discussion and decisions.

After going through the new document, we found that we have a very good product that accurately reflects the working world of the Electronics Technician. The number of EPQs grew from 68 to 83 and is spread liberally throughout the different pay grades, with the E4s having the most, of course and the E8s having a couple more than before.

I think we are very satisfied with the work we have done here this week and I am particularly grateful to have been a part of it. Being a part of this review has given me a great insight of what to expect as I embark on this journey of the Rating Force Master Chief.

I am honored to have worked with this great crew and feel that we have created the start of a very powerful network that will do great things for the ET rating and the Coast Guard into the future.

I look forward to participating in the next steps of the process as these tasks become qualifications that ensure our rating remains technologically adept and professionally competent as we continue to move towards modernization within the twenty first century.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

ET Rating Review - Day 2

Day two continued to be productive. We finished the first run through with some good discussion on the training EPQs and went through the tasks that didn't have a lot of technicians indicating that they do them very often.

This gave us a working copy of what the new EPQs will look like. We did a second run through and double checked the comments and decisions on each task question and got them ready for the facilitators to import into a new EPQ document.

Next we went over the United States Military Apprenticeship Program (USMAP) and validated some of the available certificates that ETs can earn within the program.

Tomorrow we go over the new EPQ document and also try our hands at creating Guiding Principles for the ET Rating.

We finished up for the day a little after Noon, so the SME's could have some time off as the facilitors process our work from the last two days and prepare for tomorrows go through.

Good work all around once again.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

ET Rating Review - Day 1

After a pleasant travel day on Monday, we got to work reviewing the data gathered from the recent occupational analysis for the ET Rating. After a review of the rules and introductions all around we got started on the meat of the issue. The Subject Matter Specialists were encouraged to take each question and note the percentages that each task is performed. They would then vote to either keep the task as an EPQ or to remove it. Any task that presently is not an EPQ, but had enough evidence of technician usage was discussed and either recommended to become a new EPQ or not.

The Review Team has a good make up of technicians from Second Class to Master Chief, all with well rounded careers and plenty of experience. Everyone is talking freely and offering their opinions and input as we work through the tasks, and having fun doing it.

We made very good progress in the first day and almost got completely through the first run through.

It was a busy, but fulfilling day and tomorrow should be even better as we shape the future of the ET Rating.

Let's see what tomorrow brings.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Business At Hand

Well, only one person was sent home from the Class 158 Convening of the CPO Academy yesterday. While that is good in relation to the success of the class, it makes my plan B a little shaky right now. I continue to hope I have real orders to the class and don't have to wait for someone to be sent home to jump into the class.

But there is more important things in the works. Today I fly down to Orlando for a week long Rating Review Meeting. We will be processing the Occupational Analysis data and reviewing the Enlisted Performance Qualifications to see if what we have is right and also to add or delete any that appear to be required or are no longer required to be an Electronics Technician.

I look forward to this week of challenges.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Let The Process Proceed - ET Rating Review

I guess I have been feeling a little anxious and frustrated about the Academy, because I haven't received orders yet. I have been checking each week to see how the enrollment is and see a cancellation here and there and new enrollments, so I must be getting closer. It is just hard to deal with sometimes as the convening date gets closer and I still don't have orders.

So, after talking with the experts one more time, I have decided I have done all I can and I must just sit back and wait for the process to do its thing. I am as ready as I can be, with a few more loose ends to tie up, but I am prepared.

It will be interesting to see how this weekend's convening goes. If more get sent home, then I have a chance. If all stay, then...

So, next week a bunch of ET Subject Matter Specialists (SME), the current RFMC and myself meet down in Orlando to do a Rating Review based on the Occupational Analysis (OA) conducted at the beginning of the Fiscal Year. We will go over the analysis and the current Enlisted Performance Qualifications (EPQ) and see what needs to be updated, deleted or added. It should be a good introduction into what I will be doing for the next four years. I am looking forward to this meeting.

I hope to document here, what we are doing down there on a daily basis.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

My Workout Routine

I have been interested in fitness for quite some time. I remember when I was around 11 or 12, I was already trying to work out with free weights and do some running. I was pretty skinny then, but the interest was there. I never considered myself a jock in high school, but doing energetic things has been a part of my routine for quite some time.

After joining the Coast Guard, fitness became even more important for me. At first, I wasn't really doing much. Of course boot camp had its requirements and I easily met all of those, but wasn't in the 700 club if I recall that moniker correctly.

After doing my first tour on a ship, then going to school, I was introduced to more intense weight lifting as a lot of the techs from the shop would head over to the gym after work and get a good workout in. We supported each other and talked manly gym talk. It was a bonding experience.

And so it went as I piled on the years of my career and alternately piled on muscle and weight, back and forth through the years. My running and biking would ebb and flow also, depending on the season and my inclination. My wife and I were also introduced to "real" volleyball and eventually wallyball, which has become our passion. We also do Adventure Races together and have had some success in our endeavors in this sport.

And so we come to the present, where I prepare for what I am hoping will be a physically challenging CPO Academy experience. Lately, I have been doing a lot of research into the different services Physical Fitness programs and tests. I'm telling you there are quite a bit of differences, but what it usually comes down to is upper body strength and endurance, core strength and endurance and aerobic ability and endurance; pushups, sit-ups and running.

I have found some good information all over the Internet and within our network. I looked into the Boat Crew Physical Fitness Standards, the Coast Guard Fitness Assessment from the Personal Wellness Profile, the Army Physical Fitness Test, the Marine Corps Physical Fitness Program and Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP).

To keep my workouts constantly changing and challenging, I am right now doing a lot of stuff from the Marine's Fitness program. They concentrate a lot on pull ups, but mix in so much other stuff, it stays interesting.

Some of the things I am doing are:
A circuit course of 10 different exercises, mixing body weight and weighted exercises followed by 40 yd sprints.
Core exercises followed by a 1.5 mile run.
A few rounds of a 1/2 mile run, then exercises that consist of pushing, pulling, squatting and overhead lifting.

I tell you they can be intense.

Also, in a serious attempt to get my body weight and fat percentage to something I am comfortable with, I have started on a program of my own making that mixes these workouts (at least 6 times a week) with some smart eating. I have lately been logging EVERYTHING I eat on a couple of websites that show me exactly what nutrients and calories I am taking in and what I'm getting too much of and what I am not getting enough of. It is very enlightening and I have dropped a good amount of pounds in the few weeks I have been at it.

I may post some of my workouts here as things move along.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Physical Fitness Screening Forms Submitted

Today I sent in my Physical Fitness Screening and Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q) forms to the Academy. The deadline isn't until March 20th, but I will be TAD during that week and I don't want to fall behind in any way.

Last week I went over to medical and had the Doctor fill them out, then I went to the Persru to get weighed and measured.

Everything is pretty much in order. I'm healthy, doing a great workout routine and my weight is well within my Maximum Allowable Weight (MAW) with a steady downward trend as I am trying to eat healthier and ramping up my workouts.

It looks like there were a couple more cancellations for Class 159 since I last checked and there have been plenty for the next class, 158. I guess people are realizing that it is better to go through what you have to in order to cancel the class instead of being sent home after reporting aboard.

I have no idea if this is the case. All I can do is look at the numbers.

I continue to hope I get actual orders before too long.