JOCCP and Career Progression

JOCCP and Career Progression

Postby Schlag » Sat Jul 05, 2014 6:50 pm

Figured I'd pose this to the masses, but how is JOCCP as a career move? I've heard from the DH's at my command that it's neutral to negative in terms of career progression and was kind of confused when I found out that the other services invest heavily in the program (sending somewhere between 10-15 JO to it at any one time) whereas the Navy only has about 2-3 at any one time.

Since it appears from the community briefs that have been presented (at least to my command) we need to generalize and hit all of the communities core tenants throughout our career, I would have figured that JOCCP would be more valued. I guess I'm just trying to figure out if it isn't valued that much, or if it is and just isn't widely used.
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Re: JOCCP and Career Progression

Postby COMEVIL » Tue Jul 08, 2014 11:03 am

Schlag wrote:Figured I'd pose this to the masses, but how is JOCCP as a career move? I've heard from the DH's at my command that it's neutral to negative in terms of career progression and was kind of confused when I found out that the other services invest heavily in the program (sending somewhere between 10-15 JO to it at any one time) whereas the Navy only has about 2-3 at any one time.

Since it appears from the community briefs that have been presented (at least to my command) we need to generalize and hit all of the communities core tenants throughout our career, I would have figured that JOCCP would be more valued. I guess I'm just trying to figure out if it isn't valued that much, or if it is and just isn't widely used.


When your DH's said neutral to negative was that in the context of a next tour for you based on your current career progression? Can't imagine why it would be viewed that way otherwise. Attend early, get some great experience and significant background at NSA, and leverage that knowledge and the connections you make throughout the rest of your career. I am working with a couple of "JOCCPer's" now at my current command and they are doing this very thing.

Neutral? Career-wise maybe but certainly not experience and knowledge-wise. Negative? I can't see it.

v/r

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Re: JOCCP and Career Progression

Postby Schlag » Fri Jul 11, 2014 1:45 am

How early (or what point) would you recommend attending? That said, when would you recommend moving on? I guess I'm also curious which would be a better fit - given the choice between JOCCP and Cyber, which would be a better route?

With regard to my DH, the question came up in an open forum so it wasn't really with regard to anyone in particular. I was still kind of shocked though at the respond they gave. One of the senior officers at the meeting completely wrote the program off because of a lack of leadership opportunity and said that you'd be setting yourself up for failure career-wise.

With regard to my particular situation - I'm a previous SWO who has done 2 years on the National/Navy shore side (I was "exposed" to both sides) and now I'm doing a Air DIRSUP tour that was written for 2 years. From a timing perspective, I'll probably have 12-18 months after my Air DIRSUP tour before I go in-zone for LCDR. I'm wondering if JOCCP is passed and opening and if I'd be better off going cyber or if there's still time to do JOCCP and nail a milestone afterwards (assuming things go well for LCDR).
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Re: JOCCP and Career Progression

Postby COMEVIL » Fri Jul 11, 2014 11:13 am

Schlag wrote:How early (or what point) would you recommend attending? That said, when would you recommend moving on? I guess I'm also curious which would be a better fit - given the choice between JOCCP and Cyber, which would be a better route?

With regard to my DH, the question came up in an open forum so it wasn't really with regard to anyone in particular. I was still kind of shocked though at the respond they gave. One of the senior officers at the meeting completely wrote the program off because of a lack of leadership opportunity and said that you'd be setting yourself up for failure career-wise.

With regard to my particular situation - I'm a previous SWO who has done 2 years on the National/Navy shore side (I was "exposed" to both sides) and now I'm doing a Air DIRSUP tour that was written for 2 years. From a timing perspective, I'll probably have 12-18 months after my Air DIRSUP tour before I go in-zone for LCDR. I'm wondering if JOCCP is passed and opening and if I'd be better off going cyber or if there's still time to do JOCCP and nail a milestone afterwards (assuming things go well for LCDR).


Again, it all depends on the timing. Some of our jobs simply don't have leadership opportunities, and that is OK. The key is ensuring you have completed tours that do have leadership opportunities prior to taking ones that don't. But JOCCP offers some fantastic opportunities and access to resources you may not have again for a long time. Some key projects and initiatives have come out of JOCCP, so include a very important and ongoing Cyber initiative. To belittle the program simply because it may not involve "leadership" is short-sighted. Leadership isn't always about leading large numbers of people.

As for your timing, that is really up to you. Although based on what I have seen you would probably be a much more senior applicant than most that the Navy sends.

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Re: JOCCP and Career Progression

Postby Schlag » Sat Jul 12, 2014 4:06 pm

Sounds good - thank you for the input and insight! I really appreciate it!
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Re: JOCCP and Career Progression

Postby stewie » Thu Jul 17, 2014 10:54 pm

Sorry for the lengthy response, but this hits close to home and the mind set you are facing frustrates me. I went through JOCCP. I reluctantly went into the program. I listened to the same folks your talking to. Fortunately I wasn't given a choice to turn down the orders. Those that I talked to prior to going in referred to it as Junior Officer Civilian Career transition Program. Most Officers used the program to transition to an agency civilian job. JOCCP had a bad reputation and I wanted no part of it. I was the first Navy Officer to go back into the program after not sending anyone in for a few years. The intent was to scrap the old program and start over. The program was revamped and included getting a Master's degree from Johns Hopkins. That lasted about 6 months into my tour when CNSG went away and so did the commitment to the Johns Hopkins bit.

IW Officers go into the program with the majority of the academics already completed through our basic course and community qualifications. At least that was what happened in my case and I went through in 2004.The other services value the program more than the Navy because they do not have the SIGINT training we get initially. This program is their basic SIGINT course of training. That said the program is what you make of it. You get to work in the office you want and when you go into a work center you write up a contract with the work center so you work the project you want. You do not start on the ground floor, you walk in a proven commodity because you are working for the Director, and you are a Directors Intern and treated as such. I worked Red Team, OTRS, TAO, MINUTEMAN, and a few other jobs. I deployed multiple times to Afghanistan, Horn of Africa and even went afloat all by choice.

You have to be proactive and seek out opportunities within the Command. I was able to be a DIVO and later the only O3 DH for N5, the other department heads were O4 and O5. I was ranked #1, completed the NPS Executive MBA, selected for O4 and PCS'd into a Milestone. I completed my Milestone, I was asked to serve as a Flag Aide, followed that up with a tour as XO and selected for O5. Point being it is what you make of it and you will have more opportunities than you will know what to do with, but you will have to independently seek them out. The program served me well, but I had to work hard within the Command as well. You need to engage the CO of NIOC Maryland and stay engaged throughout your tour with your entire chain if command and actively participate within the command, which you should be doing regardless. You need to have a good, proactive O6 Navy representative for the program that can help you sort out which offices and opportunities are the best. My O6 program representative at the time was then CAPT Filipowski, so I benefited from some phenomenal mentors.

Most don't really understand the program and you can easily disappear for 3 years into the bowels of the agency and no one will care, which would result in a neutral to bad tour. NIOC Maryland is there for support, but they are not going to actively work to employ you within the Command or Agency unless you ask. The relationships I built with government civilians, contractors and our community leaders as well as other service JOCCPrs I still have today and have been able to leverage those relationships every tour since then. The folks you work with in the program go on to get promoted, and gain seniority right along with you. They take over divisions, take lead on programs, and become heads of major offices within the agency, so you would be amazed at the doors that open up. There are a lot of views within our Community similar to what you mentioned. I am at a site run by the Air Force, when they found out I was a JOCCP grade my stock went up considerably along with my credibility, so while there are some that may poo poo the program in the Navy, our sister services, who you will work right alongside, value the program immensely. Send me a note if you want more of my perspective. I do not know the current status of the program and how it falls out among other opportunities you may have or how the program lines up with your career aspirations. Talk to someone who has been through the program. I believe you can also look at previous grads on high side and I encourage you to reach out to them. I encourage you to reach out to some of them, talk to LCDR Chad Smith or CAPT Keck and get their perspective. Both will give you an honest assesment on how the program lines up for you.
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