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Commander, Naval Surface Forces Atlantic

SURFLANT Hosts its Inaugural Junior Officer Training Symposium

by MC1 Jacob Milham
02 December 2022

VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia (December 1, 2022) Capt. Jeff Heames, director of Surface Officer Assignments at PERS-41, speaks to junior officers during the inaugural Naval Surface Force Atlantic Junior Officer Training Symposium (JOTS), Dec. 1. 126 junior officers attended JOTS, and had the opportunity to network with, learn from, and listen to senior U.S. Navy leaders. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jacob Milham)
SLIDESHOW | 6 images | 221201-N-OW182-059 221201-N-OW182-059 VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia (December 1, 2022) Capt. Jeff Heames, director of Surface Officer Assignments at PERS-41, speaks to junior officers during the inaugural Naval Surface Force Atlantic Junior Officer Training Symposium (JOTS), Dec. 1. 126 junior officers attended JOTS, and had the opportunity to network with, learn from, and listen to senior U.S. Navy leaders. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jacob Milham)
 Rear Adm. Brendan McLane, commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic (SURFLANT), hosted the inaugural SURFLANT Junior Officer Training Symposium (JOTS) onboard Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Dec. 1.

The symposium focused on building upon junior surface warfare officer’s skill sets in the Hampton Roads area. Attendees had the opportunity to network with, learn from, and listen to senior leaders. During his opening statements, McLane expressed how the symposium would prepare junior officers for future success.

“When you are in the Navy for as long as I’ve been, you just learn to accept certain issues and shortcomings,” McLane said. “But, you are just coming into the service and you see how those can be addressed. We need to learn how to talk to our junior officers and get their perspectives for better solutions.”

126 junior officers representing 25 commands attended the symposium. Attendees submitted problem-and-solution scenarios and discussed best practices in an open dialogue forum. Capt. Riley Murdock, director of SURFLANT’s Commander’s Action Group, discussed the importance of the exercise and the symposium as a whole.

“Junior members of [our] wardroom [are] determining the trajectory of our Fleet tomorrow with their leadership today,” Murdock said. “Our junior officers want to serve as leaders in the most capable Navy in the world. We must maintain that reputation by improving every single day. JOTS is an opportunity to foster that growth.”

The symposium ended with a social event onboard Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek. Overall, junior officers left the event better educated and motivated about their role in the U.S. Navy.

“It is crucial that we invest in the Navy’s future, and our future,” said Lt. William Porter, navigation officer aboard guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87). “The best way to do that is by bridging gaps between the deckplates and higher leadership, like we did today. Allowing us to be upfront and honest with senior leaders and have that reciprocated goes a long with moving our community forward.”

Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMNAVSURFPAC) hosted their first JOTS event aboard Naval Base Point Loma, July 28, 2022. 

SURFLANT mans, trains and equips assigned surface forces and shore activities, ensuring a capable force for conducting prompt and sustained operations in support of United States national interests. The SURFLANT force is composed of nearly 80 ships, 17 pre-commissioning units, and more than 30 shore commands.

For more SURFLANT news and photos, visit facebook.com/SURFLANT, www.surflant.usff.navy.mil, and Twitter - @surflant.


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