HEADQUARTERS, NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md. — The Journey Leadership Development Program is making some changes as the program enters its seventh year.  The changes will align with NAVAIR’s Leadership Development Program and were introduced at a JLDP application seminar held here Sept. 19.   “You will have more of a cohort feel,” said Steve Cricchi, assistant commander, Corporate Operations and Total Force. “That piece was missing from JLDP.”

During the past seven years, the JLDP has seen different formats — for example, the program first became competitive in 2013 — and a rise in the number of applicants and graduates.

The program will now span two years (previously, the program could be completed in one or two years). The program will also require some travel to encourage networking. Classes will no longer be offered at each NAVAIR site but will be scheduled every six months in two-day sessions. And, like NLDP, sites will be divided into three regions: mid, south and west.


“You are competing to be in a program,” Gary Kurtz, assistant commander for acquisition, told potential applicants at a Journey Leadership Development Program seminar in Patuxent River Sept. 19, “so have integrity and honesty, but don’t be shy in saying what you did.” JLDP is a competitive command-wide leadership program for both civilian and military employees. (U.S. Navy photo)

“We felt that an important piece was missing from JLDP: the networking aspect,” explained JLDP Manager Twila Kopaniasz. “With regionalization, participants will now have an opportunity to meet and work with participants from other sites, as well as observe the differences each site has to offer. Because of travel and the course schedule, the program is now two years in length.”

JLDP targets the midlevel workforce and includes six training classes, four online classes, the creation of an individual development plan, three job shadowing assignments, interviews with senior leaders, professional reading, networking and group activities. Applications will be accepted Jan. 28 to March 15, 2019.

In addition to the new program overview, the seminar also included a review of three of the Office of Personnel Management’s executive core qualifications, which are part of the foundation of the JLDP application and help address applicants’ leadership experience and potential.

Twila Kopaniasz, at podium, addresses potential applicants to the Journey Leadership Development Program, advising them of changes to the program and how to apply, at a seminar in Patuxent River, Md., Sept. 19. (U.S. Navy photo)

“Be selfish if you get in,” Cricchi advised. “Get more than one mentor, shadow more than one, network with your peers and colleagues. It really is an awesome opportunity.”

Gary Kurtz, assistant commander for acquisition, agreed program participants need to take advantage of their time in the program.

“This is an opportunity to fortify, build upon, expand your full leadership potential,” he said. “Believe it or not, you’re all leaders. There is someone in this organization watching you and modeling after you.”

A second workshop is scheduled for Oct. 16.