Imagine a 210-foot long replica of a guided-missile destroyer sitting in 90,000 gallons of water inside a 157,000 square-foot building, complete with special effects lighting and sea and diesel fuel scents. The $82.5 million USS Trayer, part of what the Navy calls Battle Stations 21, features the latest in virtual reality and entertainment technology to provide a 12-hour, all night, capstone learning experience for Navy recruits. There are 17 realistic problem-solving tests, including an incoming missile disaster and fire.
Darden Professor Brandt Allen and Senior Director of Executive Education Tom Cross visited the Naval Service Training Command (NSTC) in Great Lakes, IL, on August 15-17, to experience first-hand Battle Stations 21 and the entire Navy recruit training experience. The trip was arranged by the Navy Executive Learning Office for its Academic Partners and was hosted by Rear Admiral Arnold Lotring and Captain Annie Andrews.
Allen and Cross say they walked away from the experience with amazement and great respect for the Navy training experience. NSTC trains 39,000 recruits each year—with only a 9 percent attrition rate— in a $1 billion facility located 30 miles north of Chicago. With a $300 million budget, 1,200 instructors and 12,000 sleeping berths, NSTC rivals U.Va. in size. Recruit training admits 400-1,200 new recruits each week for a demanding eight-week program in discipline, marching, physical fitness, fire fighting, marksmanship and water survival. Follow-on specialty training is also offered at the Great Lakes facility. Allen and Cross say the highlight of the trip was seeing the magnificent graduation ceremonies for 840 sailors. Unlike U.Va., the Navy conducts the graduation ceremony every Friday except during the Christmas holidays.
In July 2007, Darden Executive Education completed its first 2-week Navy Corporate Business Course (NCBC) for 33 Navy Commanders and Captains in partnership with the Navy Executive Learning Office. Additional NCBCs are planned for 2008 at Darden.
Founded in 1955, the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business is a professional school that works to improve society by developing leaders in the world of practical affairs.
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