Coast Guard honors high performers of the Aspiring Leader Program

Pictured from left to right are John Cavallaro, Curtis Odum, Elliott Cavanaugh and Andrew Gates, participants in the Aspiring Leader Program. Photo courtesy of CG-12.

Pictured from left to right are John Cavallaro, Curtis Odum, Elliott Cavanaugh and Andrew Gates, participants in the Aspiring Leader Program. Photo courtesy of CG-12.

Written by Brianne Alvis

In the Coast Guard, leadership is important at every level.

The Aspiring Leader Program sponsored by the Coast Guard’s Office of Leadership helps to prepare our junior civilian employees for positions as team leaders, supervisors and managers. The program, which is open to civilian grades GS-4 to GS-6, is designed to strengthen basic competencies in oral and written communication, problem solving, leadership, interpersonal skills, self-direction, flexibility, customer service, and decisiveness. Students learn to strengthen basic competencies in team and managerial skills so that Coast Guard civilian employees can excel in their current jobs and are competitive for promotion opportunities.

“I was very fortunate to attend the recent graduation ceremony for three Coast Guard civilian employees from the Aspiring Leader Program,” said Curtis B. Odom, director of Civilian Human Resources, Diversity and Leadership at Coast Guard Headquarters. “All of them told me how much they learned and how valuable the training was to them. This is an excellent course for our junior civilian employees. It will certainly help in their current position, and prepare them for future positions as team leaders, supervisors and managers. This course will also make them more competitive to move forward in their careers. I highly recommend applying for this course!”

Mr. Andrew Gates, Mr. John Cavallaro, and Mr. Elliot Cavanaugh were selected from a pool of 22 applicants as a result of their exceptional work ethics, initiatives, and positive attitudes. These individuals came from the Coast Guard Academy, the Aviation Logistics Center, and Air Station San Francisco respectively to attend the training and develop leadership skills. They each walked away better equipped to perform their jobs and with the capabilities to pursue future leadership opportunities.

“As part of the Aspiring Leaders Program, I had the opportunity to work with fifteen other individuals from eight governmental agencies, of various age groups, backgrounds, and walks of life,” said Gates, who works in the office of Morale, Well-being and Recreation at the Coast Guard Academy, in New London, Conn. “The Aspiring Leadership Program was filled with valuable lessons on leadership, cross-cultural communication, and personal branding that will be beneficial to me for the rest of my career” said Gates.

Cavanaugh, who works at Air Station San Francisco said, “The training was easily the best training I have ever been to – inside or outside my seven years of federal employment.”

The Aspiring Leader Program solicits for junior civilian employees annually via Coast Guard message traffic at the beginning of the calendar year.

For more information on the Coast Guard Aspiring Leaders Program, visit the Office of Leadership website.

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