DVIDS – News – NSWC Dahlgren Division Engineer Learns Side-by-Side in Naval War College Program


When an employee starts at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) or one of the other Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Surface or Submarine Warfare Center Divisions, the doors of opportunity open wide. For Emily Hester, NSWCDD’s Digital Proving Ground (DPG) Principal Systems Engineer, she found herself learning alongside active-duty service members from all services as part of the Naval War College’s inaugural Bundy residency program.

“At the time, I was looking for distance learning options to get my master’s degree,” recalls Hester. “Not even a month later, the request for nominations came out.”

Hester was one of five Bundy Scholars, a program named for Dr. William Bundy, the recently deceased professor who was known as a champion of uniting warfare centers and naval operators. Hester says she had limited exposure to the fleet before attending the Naval War College.

“I had some experience of going out on ships, but it was a small idea of ​​what being in the fleet is really like,” the King George native recalled. “My critical thinking only expanded to engineering, based on my experiences and what I already knew. At War College, I interacted, interacted, and worked with other service members at my same level. It was a real revelation for me.

The Naval War College environment is designed to encourage intellectual curiosity and conversations that cut across disciplines. Hester, who has a technical background, was able to exchange knowledge with classmates who had more experience on the operational side. “Everyone goes by their first name. It’s not your rank that matters, it’s your ideas,” Hester said. “Everyone wears civilian clothes, which also helps to break down the barrier between military and civilians. In the end, we were all there to learn.

The War College program allows students to take both core and elective courses. Hester was one of two Bundy scholars also selected to participate in an advanced research program on war games.

“I spent ten months playing wargaming at War College, and it was something that really benefited me,” Hester said. “It’s not just about reading it in a book or seeing it in a slide presentation, but thinking about those operational scenarios and learning from my military peers how they would fight tonight.”

The mix of technical experts with operational gurus in the fleet has had a lasting impact on Hester.

“Part of DPG provides an environment to understand employment concepts, experiment and ensure that we are building capability for the fleet,” she said. “Understanding the needs of the fleet [as far as utility] can help us, as engineers, make better decisions about the capabilities we provide and the gaps we fill. »

During her basic college courses, Hester and her classmates examined case studies from previous wars focusing on the operational level, as well as understanding theater security and foreign policy, the leadership in the profession of arms and joint military operations.

“This experience made me a better engineer and gave me a better understanding of the competition and the threats we face,” Hester said. “I don’t come from an active duty background. It was a great experience learning alongside my military classmates what the Navy does, as well as what the Department of Defense does as a whole. This experience will be something I can always apply to my career at Dahlgren.

Date taken: 30.03.2022
Date posted: 19.04.2022 20:07
Story ID: 418804
Location: DAHLGREN, Virginia, USA

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