Initial Skill Training for Navy Enlisted Personnel

FPCD-81-56: Published: Jun 29, 1981. Publicly Released: Jun 29, 1981.

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GAO recently completed a survey of the Navy's initial skill training for enlisted personnel. The survey addressed how the Navy determines which job tasks a sailor should know, how it insures that the tasks are taught, and whether fleet supervisors are satisfied with recent graduates of initial skill training.

The Navy is taking action to improve its initial skill training by developing new training curricula specifically linked to the job tasks relevant to the Navy ratings. Because these new curricula are not yet fully developed, GAO could not assess the effectiveness of the Navy's efforts. Initial skill training in the Navy is intended to introduce a recruit to the basics of an occupational rating so that he may contribute to fleet operations. The effectiveness of this training is important because of the significance of the cost and the long-term impact on Navy manpower levels and preparedness. Instructional systems development procedures have been approved by the Navy. In implementing these instructional systems procedures, the Navy has systems to develop useful job-task inventories, develop new curricula using these inventories, and provide feedback on course quality. Surveys are presently being conducted to identify the initial skill training tasks applicable to selected ratings, their relative importance, and how these tasks should be taught. The results will be used to establish learning objectives. A formal feedback system on the quality of initial skill and other training has been active. Through the instructional systems development process, the Navy can address much of the fleet's dissatisfaction with current training. However, because of present and projected manpower and equipment shortages, GAO remains concerned about whether the Navy will commit adequate resources to improving initial skill training.

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