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February 2, 2012 / iDriveWarships

The DIVO Draft

Wish you could’ve picked your first job assignment? Just like a career fair where individuals sell the idea of their job to employment seekers, the USS Higgins (DDG 76) held a job fair exercise on Jan. 31 for its Division Officers (DIVOs) to explore the various divisions on board. The goal was to match DIVOs with jobs best suited to their individual skills and qualifications.

DIVOs were directed to ask hard questions from the various department heads and in return challenge them to provide clear expectations for the positions being filled. At the end of the exercise, DIVOs completed a form with their desired position and an explanation of their selection. Department heads also submitted their feedback with recommendations for who they thought would be the best match.

“This experience enables DIVOs on USS Higgins to have a more diverse first tour,” said Commanding Officer, CDR Andrew Carlson. “It’s important for them to have the opportunity to gain important, tangible experience.”

CDR Carlson anticipates some of the tougher jobs on board being more difficult to fill, and some of the more exciting jobs drawing a lot of interest.

For the deck division, Chief Boatswain’s Mate Tony Young was hoping to introduce the junior officers to the type of daily activities carried out on the top-side stations, including preservation of the ship.

Ensign Lena Akerson created a science fair-style board listing the specific skills necessary to succeed as a Force Protection Officer, including meticulousness and organization. Typically a collateral duty role, this ship-wide responsibility became a full-time position for her, and she plans to instill the importance of it to her relief.

For Lieutenant James Hagerty, an ideal Operations Division Officer for the Combat Information Center would be comfortable dealing with other people and completing a good bit of administrative work. As the largest division on the ship, this officer would manager several operations specialists and need to have knowledge of all their specific jobs.

A few new positions were added to the roster, including a social media specialist/public affairs officer, to create a social media presence for USS Higgins before its next deployment.

For Sailors used to taking orders from their superiors, this exercise was a welcomed change for them to have a hand in their own professional development. What better way to learn about a job than ask the person already doing it?

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