By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Eddie Harrison, Fleet Public Affairs Center Det. Europe
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- The Center for Personal and Professional Development offers educational services worldwide and continues with the goal to strengthen leadership and expand educational services within the Navy. While in the Navy, Sailors have many opportunities to excel, to increase not only their professional skills but also some basic skills for a balanced personal life. DART These opportunities are, in part, provided by CPPD. The command was established in 2002 to support the Chief of Naval Operations-directed "Revolution in Training" and to focus on the continuous personal development of Sailors throughout their careers by providing education and training that builds personal, professional and leadership skills. "As you go through your career, we have material to make you the best possible Sailor out in the fleet," said Capt. John Picker, commanding officer for CPPD. "We want the best leaders possible, and it all begins with character development and foundation." The CPPD offers various programs to include leadership, alcohol awareness, instructor training and training for new Navy career counselors. One of the many programs offered is the Voluntary Education (VOLED) program. The VOLED provides Sailors with the ability to earn a college degree through the assistance of the Navy College Office. The VOLED program is supported by approximately 52 Navy colleges worldwide and 30 schools who have agreed to partner with the Navy. "The Navy College gives you the advantage to use your military credits and allows you to complete that degree in a shorter amount of time," said Director of the Navy's Volunteer Education Program, Mary Redd- Clary. "Any course you take, whether it's one class or more, no one can take it away from you. You've got it forever." Earning a degree while in the Navy can help in the advancement of a Sailor's Navy career. When Sailors earn an associates degree, they are credited two points for advancement. When a bachelor's degree is earned, they are credited four points toward the advancement test. CPPD also offers the Navy College Program for Afloat College Education. This program is for students who want to continue their educations while at sea. Another program is the United Services Military Apprenticeship Program, aimed to provide Sailors the opportunity to learn the civilian equivalency of their Navy jobs while on active duty. "All of these programs have a common purpose geared towards development," said Picker. "We don't make Sailors, we make them better." For more news from Center for Personal and Professional Development, visit www.navy.mil/local/voledpao/.