PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- Throughout the Navy, the need for tough Sailors is paramount. Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Corry Station, warrior toughness is continuously instilled in new accession Sailors so they are prepared and ready to serve the fleet.
What is toughness? According to now retired former Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John M. Richardson, toughness means, “We can take a hit and keep going, tapping all sources of strength and resilience. Through rigorous training for operations and combat, the fighting spirit of our people, and the steadfast support of our families, we maintain a culture of warfighting excellence and hone our warfighting ethos. We don’t give up the ship, we never give up on our shipmates, and we never give up on ourselves. We are never out of the fight.”
Onboard IWTC Corry Station, Senior Chief Cryptologic Technician (Technical) John Mendoza is just one of the many staff Sailors helping to develop tough Sailors.
“Warrior tough and resilient Sailors are essential to the next generation of fleet readiness,” said Mendoza. “Warrior toughness is important because we need to make sure that, when we get into the fight, our Sailors are prepared mentally and not just physically. Sailors coming into the Navy sometimes get a kind of culture shock. They come from Recruit Training Command (RTC) and they are indoctrinated on how the navy works. They’re being taught how to dress differently, how to conduct themselves and how to hold themselves to a higher standard, basically. Then they come here, and all of a sudden it’s a whole other culture shock. When they get here to IWTC Corry Station, it’s our turn to reinforce everything they learned but we’re also preparing them to join the fleet.”
For Information Systems Technician 1st Class Eric Graves, the focus for grooming Sailors is on sailorization, professionalism, and expectation management.
“I firmly believe it is important for students to adapt warrior toughness in a learning environment in preparation for real world application. It is imperative to train as you fight,” shared Graves. “When the stress of operation is high a well-trained Sailor will revert to their core knowledge base. We provide Sailors access to fleet resources in a training environment affording them the opportunity to learn the intricate mechanisms and theory behind the systems.”
An example of the resources and methods IWTC Corry Station uses to prepare Sailors is their resiliency training. The staff and instructors make use of watches and programs to indoctrinate Sailors’ minds to what they can expect in the fleet, making them more prepared and expectant for what their futures may hold in store.
“We try to prepare the Sailors in a lot of way,” said Mendoza. “We try to get them ready for the fleet by giving them watches, so that they can have some sort of experience with that, we try to give them resiliency training and we make sure to give them life skills. When it comes to making a warrior tough Sailor, we have to build resiliency in them as well. For every life-skills class, they go through a credo workshop called ‘We Have Your Back’ which is led by the Corry Station chaplain. All of this is in order to prepare them for whatever they might need to be mentally tough, whether it’s taking charge of a quarterdeck or managing a budget so that they can live.”
“IWTC Corry Station gives Sailors more of a mental guideline for the future of their careers,” said Information Systems Technician Seaman Jykuari Hunter, a recently graduated Sailor from one of IWTC Corry Station’s courses.
With the guidance receives, the Sailors also get experience and are taught how to navigate their lives in a more military fashion.
“I think it helps that we get to stand watches and get to experience a little of our jobs,” added Hunter. “I know it won’t be exactly the same once I get to my next duty station, but I at least have been able to do a little bit of the basics, so I won’t be caught off guard horribly. I just have to adjust to the situation using what they already taught me. It also helps that they teach us about resources to use when we’re lost, like Fleet and Family Service Center, using our mentors and sponsor, or going to see the chaplain.”
The IWTC Corry Station staff is dedicated to raising Sailors with warrior toughness. As they continue to pursue that goal, they focus on not just the Sailor side of things, but they try to teach students that they should be tough in all aspects of their lives.
“We are here to teach Sailors that we are warfighters,” said Graves. “We must train every day to be victorious in the worst situation possible. Not just for our military careers, but our personal ones as well. Be consistent, be concise, and know your why.”
IWTC Corry Station is a part of the Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT). With four schoolhouse commands, two detachments, and training sites throughout the United States and Japan, CIWT is recognized as Naval Education and Training Command’s top learning center for the past three years. Training over 21,000 students every year, CIWT delivers trained information warfare professionals to the Navy and joint services. CIWT also offers more than 200 courses for cryptologic technicians, intelligence specialists, information systems technicians, electronics technicians, and officers in the information warfare community.
For news from the Center for Information Warfare Training domain, visit www.navy.mil/local/cid/, www.netc.navy.mil/centers/ciwt/, www.facebook.com/NavyCIWT, or www.twitter.com/NavyCIWT.