Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: Joellen Mitchell

Joellen Mitchell, recipient of the 2014 Charles Swaringen award. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Erin Chlum.

Joellen Mitchell, recipient of the 2014 Charles Swaringen award. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Erin Chlum.

Written by Lt. Erin Chlum

All Coast Guard men and women attend residential training throughout their careers but where does the training come from? Who creates it?

At each of the Coast Guard’s Training Centers, there is a Performance Systems Branch made up of analysts, instructional systems specialists and curriculum developers who are all dedicated to creating valid, reliable performance-based training to prepare the workforce to perform our missions.

At Training Center Petaluma, Joellen Mitchell serves as the curriculum development team lead for the electronics technician, information systems technician, operations specialists and command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance courses, overseeing 22 different courses of instruction and she does it all with an infectious positive attitude and devotion to the development of those around her.

For her outstanding mentorship and selfless development of others in the application of performance technology skills, Mitchell was selected as the 2014 Charles Swaringen Award recipient.

Swaringen served as the advisor to the commanding officer at Aviation Technical Training Center in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, before cancer took his life in 1987. He is remembered as one of the first true performance technologists who experimented with innovative training applications. He developed training and interventions which resulted in graduates who were confident and capable of performing their jobs to their fullest potential. However, what Swaringen did best was develop people. He was an extraordinary mentor and it is this trait that is recognized in the recipient of this prestigious award.

Capt. Charles Fosse, commanding officer of Training Center Petaluma expressed what Mitchell means to the base community.

Joellen Mitchell receives the Swaringen Award from Capt. Charles Fosse at a presentation at Training Center Petaluma on Nov. 18, 2014. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Erin Chlum.

Joellen Mitchell receives the Swaringen Award from Capt. Charles Fosse at a presentation at Training Center Petaluma on Nov. 18, 2014. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Erin Chlum.

“On a daily basis, Joellen demonstrates the spirit of this award through her personal commitment to the professional development and success of others and as an unrivaled ambassador for the tenets of Human Performance Technology principles, practices, and methodologies,” Fosse said.

Further explaining Mitchell’s impact on the training center community, 12 people offered written testimonials on Mitchell’s behalf, each one praising the profound impact she has had on their development within the training community.

She was praised by one person who stated, “…it is hard to put into words the effect Joellen has on Training Center Petaluma. She has an extraordinary analytical mind and caring spirit that combine to make her an incredible teacher and mentor. I know that I can always go to Joellen for any assistance.”

Another testimonial said, “The best way to describe how Joellen impacted me as an analyst is to state that I am emulating her style and processes to this day… her leadership has had lingering effects on me.”

Each of the 12 testimonials described Mitchell’s contagious positivity, her constant willingness to assist and encourage others, her team work and her strong leadership abilities.

The effects of Mitchell’s work are much more wide spread than at Training Center Petaluma. She manages and solicits updates and feedback to the Coast Guard’s Training System Volume 5 ensuring residential training is developed and delivered to best prepare the Coast Guard to execute its missions.

Mitchell started her service to the Coast Guard as a contract analyst and instructional systems specialist; she transitioned to a Government Service position two years ago. In her 12 years with the Coast Guard, she has worked at both Training Center Yorktown and Training Center Petaluma.

Do you know someone who embodies the Coast Guard Core Values of Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty? Please submit your nominations using the “Submit Ideas” link on the right.

Joellen Mitchell works on the information technician "A" School curriculum with Mr. Richard Payne. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Erin Chlum.

Joellen Mitchell works on the information technician “A” School curriculum with Mr. Richard Payne. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Erin Chlum.

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