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WTI Scholar Program: Best of Both Worlds

by Petty Officer 1st Class Devin Lowe
06 September 2022
WTI Scholars Program: Best of Both Worlds
220826-N-FG807-1001 Lt. Matt Serio, an Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Warfare Tactics Instructor (WTI) was selected to attend Naval Postgraduate School to earn a Master’s of Science in Space Systems Operations under the WTI Scholars program. (U.S. Navy photo illustration by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Devin Alexondra Lowe)
WTI Scholars Program: Best of Both Worlds
WTI Scholars Program: Best of Both Worlds
220826-N-FG807-1001 Lt. Matt Serio, an Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Warfare Tactics Instructor (WTI) was selected to attend Naval Postgraduate School to earn a Master’s of Science in Space Systems Operations under the WTI Scholars program. (U.S. Navy photo illustration by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Devin Alexondra Lowe)
Photo By: CNSP
VIRIN: 220908-N-N0831-0001
Creating a career path to sustain and enhance Surface Warfare Officers (SWO) requires balancing between professional development and academic endeavors. The Navy is recognizing the value of offering Warfare Tactics Instructors (WTI) the opportunity to earn a graduate degree in sequence with other career goals.

Lt. Matt Serio was one of two Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) WTIs selected for follow-on academic coursework as part of the WTI Scholar Program while at Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC).

Serio was selected to attend the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in Monterey, California, later this year to complete a fully-funded, in-residence graduate degree program that is available to WTIs through the WTI Scholar program.

“The WTI Scholars program allows me to pursue in-residence graduate education at NPS for specific programs while executing a production tour,” said Serio. “It’s a great fit for me because it allows me to execute my production tour immediately after completing my WTI course of instruction but also allows me to finish my shore tour with a master’s degree — it’s a best-of-both-worlds opportunity.”

The WTI Scholars program began when leaders at SMWDC saw a return on investment from officers in the WTI program who already had a master’s degree or were earning their degrees through the NPS distance learning program. The pilot initial program launched with four attendees in 2020 and has continued to grow.

Serio described the opportunity as a great chance to satisfy both personal and professional goals as a WTI, which will help make him competitive among his peers and allow him to earn a Master’s of Science in Space Systems Operations.

“It will allow me the chance to earn my master’s degree, which is something I have personal interest in as well as something required in order to pursue command at sea, which I have professional interest in,” Serio explained.

Previously, any WTIs have had to forgo the opportunity to obtain graduate education due to the WTI career path constraints precluding lengthy in-residence educational tours. To combat this, NPS has stepped in and tailored certain curriculums allowing WTIs to obtain a master’s degree at an accelerated paced and get back to the fleet to fill key billets.

“I recommend any WTI who wants the ‘best of both worlds’ opportunity to complete their in-residence graduate education while completing their production tour,” said Serio. “If you are willing to PCS for a year I do not see any reason eligible candidates should not apply. Talk to your chain of command and go for it!”

There are four WTI specialties:
• Anti-Submarine Warfare / Surface Warfare
• Amphibious Warfare
• Mine Warfare
• Integrated Air and Missile Defense

To accommodate these difference subjects, NPS was able to leverage the existing curricula and capabilities it already had and cater to each WTI specialty rather than having to create something entirely new.

SWOs interested in joining the SMWDC team and becoming WTIs can send an email to SWO_WTI@navy.mil for more information. For more information about SMWDC visit www.facebook.com/SMWDC or https://www.surfpac.navy.mil/nsmwdc./

 
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Commander, Naval Surface Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet, 2841 Rendova Rd. San Diego, CA 92155-5490

This is an official
U.S. Navy website

U.S. Pacific Fleet
2841 Rendova Rd
San Diego, CA
92155-5490

Email:
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