An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

My Coast Guard
Commentary | July 8, 2024

Supercharge your Coast Guard career at the Navy Senior Enlisted Academy

By Zach Shapiro, MyCG Staff

If you’re a senior chief petty officer (E-8) or on the cusp of making E-8 in the Coast Guard, don’t miss this opportunity to supercharge your career as a senior enlisted member by attending the six-week program at the Navy Senior Enlisted Academy (USNSEA). It helps top enlisted leaders develop their leadership, teamwork, and critical thinking skills.  

Senior Chief Petty Officer Joe Hoff, who manages the Coast Guard’s Enlisted Professional Development program, explained that attending a joint school is an eye-opening experience. He said, “It’s like the first time going overseas in the service. You gain perspective. You see a whole other way of living...and it can change you.” 
Senior Chief Petty Officer Nicholas McGowen, the officer in charge (OIC) at Station Burlington, Vt., will always cherish his experience at USNSEA. The program taught him invaluable lessons about the strengths of Navy and Coast Guard chiefs’ messes and left him with lasting memories of bonding with his classmates over sports and in the classroom.  
“I was very proud of the fact that I was the only Coastie [in the entire USNSEA student body] and that I could express what an OIC was to classmates who had never heard of an enlisted member wielding that authority,” McGowen recalled fondly. He added that USNSEA fit neatly within his professional ambitions. “I want to be a liaison for the Coast Guard in the future, and this was a great way to position myself for that and to reflect my passion for leadership and learning.” 
"It’s an excellent opportunity,” Hoff added, “for those heading before a board or panel to set themselves apart from the pack.” 
USNSEA’s curriculum helps Coast Guard graduates stand out among their peers by fostering a deeper understanding of the Navy while boosting writing and communications skills. It allowed McGowen, for example, to hone his public speaking talents through impromptu speeches in front of his classmates. Essays on military policy and history and their impacts on the service today strengthened his writing. And he relished the opportunity to learn from peers by debating complex ethical dilemmas that members of the Armed Forces face.  
Master Chief Petty Officer Chip Melleby is on the other side of the classroom as the Coast Guard’s faculty advisor at USNSEA. "One of my favorite parts of the course is the core strengths workshop,” he said. “The students enjoy learning about and understanding their traits and how managing those traits impact the relationships they build and maintain as leaders."  
The Enlisted Professional Development program has just updated the nomination and application process to empower districts to handpick candidates. Now, each district’s gold and silver badges will be asked to nominate a primary and alternate E-7 for each senior service academy seat, respectively. If you are interested in the program, please contact your local gold and silver badges. Nominations for the USNSEA are due August 15. 
McGowen strongly recommends the program to other senior enlisted Coast Guard members, as above all else, it “helps foster better collaboration with the Navy and other branches by deepening mutual understanding.”  
For more information about USNSEA nominations, curriculum, and requirements, click here